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As this is my first post regarding my Montreal restoration I thought I would start off with a small component!

My car is missing many parts but piece by piece I am tracking them down :)

I picked up this used coolant reservoir this week with what appears to be the original hose. Its dirty but solid and complete. The insides are full of all sorts of crustiness. What is the best way the clean them inside and out? I would imagine swirling something abrasive on the insides would be helpful.
 

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Go to your wife and let her know that you need "clorix" or toilet cleaner.
Start for first only with hot water, then water mixture with the toilet cleaner.

You will see it works and cleaned the reservoir.

Kai
sorry for my bad english
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Kai, sounds like an easy option to try. I am sure your English is a lot better than my rusty german!
 

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I would add about a cup of fish-tank gravel to the mix and then swirl the heck out of it! Those little rocks will cut through most any crust and not damage the plastic.
 

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Hi Derek,
I used (No Name ) cheap bleach and swished it around (fish gravel sounds good ,too). Even left it for a few days. Try also soaking the green tube and cap . The cap can be polished by autosol with vigorous buffing or any professional metal polisher.
Cheers.
 

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Hmmmmm. OK, I've not tried chlorox on automotive plastics, but before retirement I was around chemical plants a lot. Chlorine can make some plastics brittle with time. I don't know the makeup of the overflow bottle, but I would attempt some vinegar before trying Chlorine-based bleaches.

Here's a couple of quotes from other websites that at least raise some concerns. Given the difficulty of obtaining spares, and historic fragility of Alfa plastics, I'd do everything I could to avoid hastening the inevitable.

"Bleach damages ABS. Bleach does not damage polythene or polypropylene. Bleach damages nylons and acetals. Not too bad with polystyrenes but some damage. ABS and acetals very common in coffee machines. Since most trouble is from calcium, use vinegar. Or for fingermarks, hot water with a tiny bit of detergent."

"A waterbed mattress can sustain damage through the use of chlorine bleach. A multipurpose water conditioner properly maintains the vinyl mattress while bleach can cause the plastic to dry, become brittle and crack.

Chlorine bleach is not compatible with vinyl. It chemically changes additives such as plasticizers resulting in damage to the fabric. Consumers should use products compatible with the mattress' composition.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Don, I had read a similar discussion before about some of the negatives of bleach.

Ok, keep the ideas coming. I probably have at least three years until I will fit it. I will scan some other car forums to see what has been tried and tested.
 

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I used regular dishwasher detergent (a spoonful or so, no fancy rinse aid or water softener) and warm water to clean mine out. It had been on the receiving end of at least one leaking head gasket and had oily rings on the inside, crust at the bottom and who knows what else.

I repeated the process a couple of times, and it came out spotless.
 

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I have successfully used a handful or two of crushed ice to clean the insides of plastic reservoirs. The sharp edges will scour the crud away without damaging the plastic. A hot water rinse (add some soap if needed) and the ice & dirt are gone.
 

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The tanks are evidently molded from polyethylene, and there is no solvent for this material, a problem with trying to repair a cracked one. Thus bleach shouldn't bother it, as basically nothing acts on that plastic, except heat of course. It is possible, though, that it might turn the plastic white inside, but I doubt it.
 

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I picked up this used coolant reservoir this week with what appears to be the original hose. Its dirty but solid and complete. The insides are full of all sorts of crustiness. What is the best way the clean them inside and out? I would imagine swirling something abrasive on the insides would be helpful.

I just did this a few weeks ago and used a handful of small nuts and washers with warm soapy water to clean out the inside of the tank, shaking vigorously. For the semi-rigid thick walled hose (and yours is an original Cavis hose with an original Romablok clamp; a Italian eBayer had hose clamp kits with 58 -63 clamps for ~$170) I wiped the outside off with paper towels and mineral spirits. For the inside of the overflow hose, I threaded a piece of wire with small pieces of paper towel "wire wrapped" using the main piece of wire, through the hose with a couple of extra feet of length and pulled it through the hose several times.

Hose orientation
Overflow tubing orientation.jpg

Hose installed
Overflow.jpg

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well thanks guys for all the help and suggestions. I will give it one last swirl but I got a result I am happy with. I used dish washing detergent and a handful of pebbles out of the kids' fish tank ;)
I also used some AAAA fine steel wool to clean up the outside a bit as it had overspray and other unknowns on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As an aside, do all tanks have min/max on them or is there an Italian version?
 

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Derek, the tank looks very good. Were you able to clean up the hose? The cap for the tank could be wire brushed and either painted silver or cadmium plated. I checked the photo above and my tank says 'Min' and 'Max' as well; never thought about it being in english, unless Italian has very similar words.

Mark
 

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Hi Mark, yes the hose cleaned up very well. I'm at the beach for a bit so can't take a pic. Yes it says Cavis on it.
The reason I asked about the min/max is that the parts I find locally are from RHD cars with english gauges etc.
 

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Thanks to Derek for starting this thread and to all the responders. This is a task I will be doing on my GTV in the next month or so. You can bet that it would have been a darn long time before I independently thought of dishwasher soap and fish tank gravel! Now I know 1) that good results are possible and 2) how to achieve them.

Thanks again,
Bob Stewart
'73 GTV
 

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I've been told to use denture cleaner. A couple of "Polident" tablets and away you go.

I realize that a solution was found here that was satisfactory to the OP. Just thought I'd add an additional potential solution for future users.
 

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The reason I asked about the min/max is that the parts I find locally are from RHD cars with english gauges etc.
Derek, If you come across a spare MPH speedometer cluster with a working fuel gauge and clock, I'd be interested. My KPH speedometer does me little good, even knowing the conversion, the fuel gauge and clock currently do not work.

While cleaning the overflow hose, I wiped the 'CAVIS' logo right off the overflow hose; no biggie.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Here is the hose. Will keep an aye out for a speedo too. I know of one. Will find out what he wants for it.
 

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