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Thread: Yet another cooling system refresh, but with a kicker.

  1. #11
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    Damn Iím on borrowed time. Got a day off next week. Think Iíll be ordering some goodies and try to tackle it. How long should a refresh take? Donít think Iíd do the radiator, unless itís highly recommended.


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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbcons View Post
    I have no way of knowing if the previous owner used an ECS kit or bought parts piecemeal. The water pump looked to be in good condition, but it got replaced regardless. I'll dig the old tank out of the trash later and see if there is a manufacturer's stamp.

    Edit. The failed tank was made by Vaico. Can't really fault it. The thing lasted 75,000 miles, 70,000 of which was with a 2 bar cap.

    That's one fine looking corpse of a water pump you got there. Get all the pieces out of the engine?

    The "Mango kit" from FCP Euro is all OE/OEM or BMW parts, so I should be okay. Old radiator is a Behr. New one is Nissens.

    Ken...
    I would guess that yes, there are more bits inside somewhere. So far, no weird noises or behavior. I replaced the first one at about 60k(?) or so?

    The last one was at 125k.

    Quote Originally Posted by joeybananaz18 View Post
    Damn Iím on borrowed time. Got a day off next week. Think Iíll be ordering some goodies and try to tackle it. How long should a refresh take? Donít think Iíd do the radiator, unless itís highly recommended.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I wouldnít worry too much about a radiator unless youíve got some mileage on your car. Mine was still in decent shape, but since I was going to have the rest of the system off, I might as well do it. It was shiny.

    I cant give you a good time estimate, cuz Iím real slow and methodical. I usually spread out the work over several days. And yes, Iím an old geezer.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    2004 Imola Red over Black Leather. 6-MT, Navigation, Cold Weather Pkg (the wife loves them seat warmers!), 3.46 Diff, UUC Short-Shift Kit, Tranny Mounts, CDV Delete and iPod mount.

  3. #13
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    I'm thinking of spending a weekend doing it and taking my time making sure its all done right. I'm at 163K.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeybananaz18 View Post
    Damn I’m on borrowed time. Got a day off next week. Think I’ll be ordering some goodies and try to tackle it. How long should a refresh take? Don’t think I’d do the radiator, unless it’s highly recommended.
    Take a look at the parts in the kit I linked above. That's a full refresh, including radiator. Remember that the radiator has plastic tanks which may (will?) crack with age. I really strongly recommend the 1.2 bar cap from G.A.S. The factory cap is 2 bar, which is WAY more pressure than necessary and will likely cause tank failures earlier than than we're used to.

    I'm thinking that if I had my indie shop do the work it would be a full day for a seasoned pro if it goes well. I am not a seasoned pro. High mechanical aptitude, but not a pro. I spread it over three days, 3-6 hours per day. Mitigating factors: (1) Not pro, (2) Sick with some bug, (3) I'm an old fart.

    I'm thinking of spending a weekend doing it and taking my time making sure its all done right. I'm at 163K.
    It is time.

    =========================

    Postmortem and tips on a completed job, not necessarily in order:

    • Thanks to 50sKid from YouTube for a his how-to vids and "Mango" from E46Fanatics. Gave me enough understanding to get it done.

      Get the front end safely up in the air because you will be under there.

      I bought a large concrete mixing tub at Home Depot ($13) to place under the front end to catch all the inevitable mess. Totally worth it.

      Only a couple semi-specialized tools required: a T50 Torx socket and an 8mm socket, both to fit your socket wrench. These are for the tensioners. The A/C tensioner is de-tentioned with the T50 Torx socket. The main serpentine belt is de-tensioned with the 8mm hex socket. That's the way it's supposed to be. Mine was T50 for both. Snap off the caps and check. The last thing you need here is a stripped out bolt head.

      Speaking of belts: Don't remove the serp belt until you carefully and accurately draw the belt routing on a piece of cardboard or some-such.

      Use a light coating of silicone grease on O-rings to ease installation. Do not use petroleum grease.

      You will hate installing a radiator. If you have not yet developed a profane vocabulary, you will. If you have one, you'll extend it.

      Be sure that block mating surfaces for the water pump and thermostat are clean before installing new.

      Get a gallon of distilled water and pour off 64oz into a clean container. Pour BMW coolant in the half full water jug to bring it back to a gallon, then pour the water from the container into the BMW coolant jug. Now you have your coolant all premixed and ready to go.

      Optional: A couple feet of 1/2 inch ID clear flexible tubing forced over the open bleed hole will aid in (1) seeing the bubbles you'll be looking for and (2) containing the mess and directing it to the tub or whatever under the car. Only used during the initial (cold) fill. Just be careful not to allow a siphon to start.

      When filling, pour in the coolant from the BMW jug first. Then before you move on to the other jug, stop and empty the old coolant into the BMW jug (for HAZMAT recycling) and clean & dry your mess catcher. Place the cleaned mess catcher back under the car and continue the fill. This is so that if you have a major leak you'll be able to re-use the caught coolant.

      Gently squeezing and releasing the upper radiator hose will help to get bubbles out.

      Once the initial fill is done, check for leaks at all fitting locations you changed out. Then start the car and let it idle to normal operating temp. Turn A/C off and heater all the way up with the fan on low. After it gets part way warm, check for leaks again. Once it gets to normal operating temp, again check for leaks. Shut down the engine and let it sit for a few minutes to really heat soak the coolant and build pressure, then check for leaks. Remember that the cooling system will see its max pressure shortly after shutting down the engine.

      If everything is good, let the engine cool down completely and check coolant level in the tank. Adjust as necessary.


    I'm gonna go for a drive.

    Ken...
    Last edited by kbcons; 04-19-2019 at 06:32 PM.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbcons View Post
    Take a look at the parts in the kit I linked above. That's a full refresh, including radiator. Remember that the radiator has plastic tanks which may (will?) crack with age. I really strongly recommend the 1.2 bar cap from G.A.S. The factory cap is 2 bar, which is WAY more pressure than necessary and will likely cause tank failures earlier than than we're used to.

    I'm thinking that if I had my indie shop do the work it would be a full day for a seasoned pro if it goes well. I am not a seasoned pro. High mechanical aptitude, but not a pro. I spread it over three days, 3-6 hours per day. Mitigating factors: (1) Not pro, (2) Sick with some bug, (3) I'm an old fart.



    It is time.

    =========================

    Postmortem and tips on a completed job, not necessarily in order:

    • Thanks to 50sKid from YouTube for a his how-to vids and "Mango" from E46Fanatics. Gave me enough understanding to get it done.

      Get the front end safely up in the air because you will be under there.

      I bought a large concrete mixing tub at Home Depot ($13) to place under the front end to catch all the inevitable mess. Totally worth it.

      Only a couple semi-specialized tools required: a T50 Torx socket and an 8mm socket, both to fit your socket wrench. These are for the tensioners. The A/C tensioner is de-tentioned with the T50 Torx socket. The main serpentine belt is de-tensioned with the 8mm hex socket. That's the way it's supposed to be. Mine was T50 for both. Snap off the caps and check. The last thing you need here is a stripped out bolt head.

      Speaking of belts: Don't remove the serp belt until you carefully and accurately draw the belt routing on a piece of cardboard or some-such.

      Use a light coating of silicone grease on O-rings to ease installation. Do not use petroleum grease.

      You will hate installing a radiator. If you have not yet developed a profane vocabulary, you will. If you have one, you'll extend it.

      Be sure that block mating surfaces for the water pump and thermostat are clean before installing new.

      Get a gallon of distilled water and pour off 64oz into a clean container. Pour BMW coolant in the half full water jug to bring it back to a gallon, then pour the water from the container into the BMW coolant jug. Now you have your coolant all premixed and ready to go.

      Optional: A couple feet of 1/2 inch ID clear flexible tubing forced over the open bleed hole will aid in (1) seeing the bubbles you'll be looking for and (2) containing the mess and directing it to the tub or whatever under the car. Only used during the initial (cold) fill. Just be careful not to allow a siphon to start.

      When filling, pour in the coolant from the BMW jug first. Then before you move on to the other jug, stop and empty the old coolant into the BMW jug (for HAZMAT recycling) and clean & dry your mess catcher. Place the cleaned mess catcher back under the car and continue the fill. This is so that if you have a major leak you'll be able to re-use the caught coolant.

      Gently squeezing and releasing the upper radiator hose will help to get bubbles out.

      Once the initial fill is done, check for leaks at all fitting locations you changed out. Then start the car and let it idle to normal operating temp. Turn A/C off and heater all the way up with the fan on low. After it gets part way warm, check for leaks again. Once it gets to normal operating temp, again check for leaks. Shut down the engine and let it sit for a few minutes to really heat soak the coolant and build pressure, then check for leaks. Remember that the cooling system will see its max pressure shortly after shutting down the engine.

      If everything is good, let the engine cool down completely and check coolant level in the tank. Adjust as necessary.


    I'm gonna go for a drive.

    Ken...
    Thanks for this very detailed list!!!

    Totally agree on cleaning the engine block surfaces of any residue prior to installing the new parts. My thermostat keeps weeping coolant. Not bad but noticeable enough to create a coolant stalagmite! I tried using a scotch brite pad, but didnít work all that great. I replaced it and it still leaks. Ugh.

    Iím open to any suggestions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    2004 Imola Red over Black Leather. 6-MT, Navigation, Cold Weather Pkg (the wife loves them seat warmers!), 3.46 Diff, UUC Short-Shift Kit, Tranny Mounts, CDV Delete and iPod mount.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyGraphic View Post
    Thanks for this very detailed list!!!

    Totally agree on cleaning the engine block surfaces of any residue prior to installing the new parts. My thermostat keeps weeping coolant. Not bad but noticeable enough to create a coolant stalagmite! I tried using a scotch brite pad, but didnít work all that great. I replaced it and it still leaks. Ugh.
    Is it possible that you overtightened the bolts? If so the mating surface may have warped. Proper torque is 89 in/lbs - about 7 or so ft/lbs.

    Ken...

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbcons View Post
    Is it possible that you overtightened the bolts? If so the mating surface may have warped. Proper torque is 89 in/lbs - about 7 or so ft/lbs.

    Ken...
    Hmmm...Possibly. I know the 89 in/lbs is crazy low. It may not have felt tight enough, so I may have gone too tight.

    Hereís a pic of a before and after of the block.


    After cleaning with scotch brite pad.


    I replaced it at that time with a brand new factory OEM thermostat.

    Next time around, Iíll probably use some sort of RTV on it. I think 50ís Kid does it(?).


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    2004 Imola Red over Black Leather. 6-MT, Navigation, Cold Weather Pkg (the wife loves them seat warmers!), 3.46 Diff, UUC Short-Shift Kit, Tranny Mounts, CDV Delete and iPod mount.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyGraphic View Post
    Hmmm...Possibly. I know the 89 in/lbs is crazy low. It may not have felt tight enough, so I may have gone too tight.
    Yeah it isn't much, but it's all you need. Except for the one that attaches the lifting eye, the bolts are small. All need to be 89 in/lbs. There are lots of the little guys on the engine so I invested in a cute little 1/4" drive torque wrench.

    I replaced it at that time with a brand new factory OEM thermostat.
    Seeing that traditional gasket struck me as odd. The one I removed and the new one both have an embedded seal.[/quote]

    Next time around, I’ll probably use some sort of RTV on it. I think 50’s Kid does it(?).
    Yes, he did use a really thin bead of RTV. I elected not to for a couple reasons: (1) BMW didn't so why should I if I'm using an OE part, and (2) cleaning up RTV at the next change would be a true PITA.

    Ken...
    Last edited by kbcons; 04-20-2019 at 02:31 PM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbcons View Post
    Yeah it isn't much, but it's all you need. Except for the one that attaches the lifting eye, the bolts are small. All need to be 89 in/lbs. There are lots of the little guys on the engine so I invested in a cute little 1/4" drive torque wrench.



    Seeing that traditional gasket struck me as odd. The one I removed and the new one both have an embedded seal.


    Yes, he did use a really thin bead of RTV. I elected not to for a couple reasons: (1) BMW didn't so why should if I'm using an OE part, and (2) cleaning up RTV at the next change would be a true PITA.

    Ken...[/QUOTE]


    Yeah, Iíve got 1/4Ē torque wrench I got from HF. I think I snugged it into place and it was already past the torque specs and it still felt really loose. Oh well. On to t-stat #3! At the right specs!

    Thanks for the insight on the RTV. Rethinking my plan.
    2004 Imola Red over Black Leather. 6-MT, Navigation, Cold Weather Pkg (the wife loves them seat warmers!), 3.46 Diff, UUC Short-Shift Kit, Tranny Mounts, CDV Delete and iPod mount.

  10. #20
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