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 Post subject: Cleaning heat exchanger
PostPosted: 25 Apr 2019 12:29 
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Tactictian

Joined: 25 Apr 2016 10:25
Posts: 110
My temps are starting to creep up under load to slightly over 180 at 2300-2500 rpm. I replaced the fresh water pump and the impeller on the raw water pump. I get good water flow, but I think I may need to clean the heat exchanger.

I have heard of people having good luck with barnacle buster, but am not able to find it in Mexico. I have heard it is just phosphuric acid.

Does anyone have any recommendations to flush this? Or should I be doing something else.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning heat exchanger
PostPosted: 25 Apr 2019 16:51 
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Skipper

Joined: 16 May 2009 08:06
Posts: 167
Something that I have done with some success is hook up the water flow backwards and back flush the system. I have yet to put any chemicals through mine (20 years).


 
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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning heat exchanger
PostPosted: 26 Apr 2019 10:01 
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Tactictian

Joined: 25 Apr 2016 10:25
Posts: 110
I don't know if I will get the capabilities to do a fresh water flush. Did you just hook a garden hose up?


This may also be a dumb question. Should I be running the blower while motoring?


 
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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning heat exchanger
PostPosted: 26 Apr 2019 13:18 
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Skipper

Joined: 14 Jul 2012 20:36
Posts: 404
We now run the blower while motoring, helps keeping the alternator, tranny and motor cooler. Plus if something happens, like smoke or fire in the engine compartment you will know sooner.

Try this, warm up engine, shut off. Shut hull valve. Pull SW intake hose off and place hose in white vinegar. Start engine run till the gallon is almost gone and let it sit 15 min. Then repeat. Reconnect hose and run for 10 minutes. You might need a funnel to feed the vinegar in, depends on the condition of your SW pump.

A backflush with freshwater is a good idea. I found some impeller pieces that way. Inject water on the outlet side of heat exchanger. You can disconnect the inlet hose and dump in bilge. DO NOT INSTALL A HOSE TO INLET OF HEAT EXCHANGER. Quick way to kill a motor with a hydro-lock.

Also last resort, take off and take to radiator shop. Dip and pressure test. Make certain rubber end cap is installed correctly.

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Hull #208, Puff Card
Southern Chesapeake Bay


 
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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning heat exchanger
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2019 10:22 
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Skipper

Joined: 24 Sep 2013 09:20
Posts: 385
I finally did the Barnacle Buster flush this past off season. It is definitely what you need to do once you can get some. Nothing else will get it clean like that will. I bought a bilge pump and some hoses and hooked it up in the system with a bucket to cycle it through. I was having the exact same symptoms as you. After that, I can run the engine as high RPMs as I want with not even the slightest over heating. Until you can get some, check all the hoses. There is a short piece of hose between the heat exchanger and oil cooler. It is a pain to remove and even harder to put back on. A couple years before I did the Barnacle Buster, I was having over heating. I had checked everything but that hose. Everything else looked great. When I removed it, it was so full of junk, it was unbelievable that any water was getting through. Replacing that bought me 2 years before I needed to do the Barnacle Buster.

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Zach Duncan
SV Holiday
Hull# 280


 
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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning heat exchanger
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2019 18:30 
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Tactictian

Joined: 25 Apr 2016 10:25
Posts: 110
Where did you hook into the system? After the raw water pump? Where was the outlet?


 
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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning heat exchanger
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2019 20:12 
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Skipper

Joined: 14 Jul 2012 20:36
Posts: 404
My outlet went to the mixing elbow. Guess your's goes to that failure waiting to happen oil cooler. Took that piece of junk off years ago, not required.

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Hull #208, Puff Card
Southern Chesapeake Bay


 
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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning heat exchanger
PostPosted: 27 Apr 2019 20:19 
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Skipper

Joined: 29 Dec 2006 09:38
Posts: 573
If you have the standard W50 here are some things to do to determine what is going on with your heat exchangers—you have two of them. One is the main coolant exchanger and the other is the oil cooler (the smaller one on the back). I would suggest that you look at both before you start dumping caustic chemicals into the system. Back flushing may delay the need to take the system apart to clean it, but I doubt if it will fix a clogged system.
1. The main heat exchanger has a rubber cap on the back side. If this cap is misaligned (there is a groove in the center that must be exactly aligned with the center divider in the heat exchanger with the groove in the cap)—if this is not perfectly aligned, your engine will overheat just as you described—even if you are getting good throughput in both sides of the system (sea water and coolant). Pulling off this cap will allow you to see the inside of your main heat exchanger and you will see if it really needs to be cleaned, getting it perfectly aligned took me a bit of practice. If you have a W50, my view is that learning this skill is essential, routine maintenance you either do yourself or have your mechanic do it every 500 hours. You need to remove any obvious residue from the zincs in the exchangers and you can run a wire (coated stiff wire works well) down through the tubes in the heat exchanger to see if they are obstructed. I will also say that you need to look for obstructions at all the joints in the hoses—-I think I had occasion at some time to find a restriction in every joint in the cooling system at some point in the 4000+ hours I ran my W50. I got good at taking it apart quickly. These hoses and heat exchanger arrangements are one reason I dislike “marinized” tractor engines—the connections and dissimilar metals provide a lot of opportunity for obstructions. The W50 has a particularly crappy design with a fussy main heat exchanger and a way too small oil cooler hooked up in series.
2. The oil cooler runs much hotter (the water going into it is already hot from running through the main exchanger) and in my several thousand hours of operation seemed to be a bigger problem with plugging and overheating the water returning to the engine (the actual engine did not overheat—but the water was so hot by the time it got to the sensor it showed an overheat situation) than the main heat exchanger as it clogs faster because the oil is hot and the exchanger is small. I found this one plugged so badly with salt that I always carried a spare.
I realize you are in Mexico but I believe you could find a radiator shop there who would blow out your heat exchangers with the proper chemicals and they can pressure test it. Mexico is blessed with folks who actually know how to repair things—not just replace them like in the US. Removing them is not a huge deal and it is a skill that I found useful in my years cruising in Central America—I think maintaining the heat exchangers is probably one of the most overlooked maintenance issues with all diesels. Good luck. Not sure if the technical side of this site has pictures of the removal and putting the cap back on, but someone should post it as it is a critical task that should be done periodically if you want your W50 to last. If you get into it, we can probably help if you send us pictures.
Ray Durkee


 
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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning heat exchanger
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2019 15:02 
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Skipper

Joined: 24 Sep 2013 09:20
Posts: 385
I did mixing elbow hose and then the hose from the pump to the heat exchanger. I bypassed the raw water pump because it was new in the past year, and I hate messing with it. If you go through the water pump, you are supposed to remove the impeller. Also, you remove the zincs and just put the zinc nut back in without the zincs. I ran it one direction half the time and the other direction the other half. I used two treatments of the Buster. When it stopped foaming and seemed inert on the first batch, I changed it out and used a new bottle. The temp after I was done is now perfect. Climbs very slowly to 180 after running at cruising speeds and sits at 180 or just under.

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Zach Duncan
SV Holiday
Hull# 280


 
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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning heat exchanger
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2019 20:52 
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Tactictian

Joined: 25 Apr 2016 10:25
Posts: 110
Thanks for the advice. I will pull the hoses when I get to La Paz in a few days to check for clogs.

When I changed the zincs a few months ago I was very careful to put the heat exchanger gasket back carefully so the groove was aligned. The grove was very distinct and I think I got it back on correctly.

If you pull the oil cooler and the heat exchanger I'm assuming I need to find new gaskets for them somewhere.

Looks like the whole manifold has to come off so the coolant gets drained too.

What gaskets or anything else should I order since I likely need them shipped to Mexico.


 
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