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Old 02-28-2010, 08:01 PM   #23
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Seattle / Sequim
Posts: 3,413
My Ride: 2002 BMW 330Ci
Originally Posted by paraklas View Post
5. You can drain some beforehand through the radiator plug located below the radiator. You will need ramps and to take the splash cover out to do that. Or you can remove the temperature sensor located in the lower radiator hose. This way you will loose the coolant but it won't go on the belts. Nothing you can do to keep it inside the engine.
I would recommend that you do not remove this part unless you have a replacement unit on hand. This is because the unit has most likely not been changed and the seal is (at least) the same age as the seal on the tstat you are replacing. Pull this out and you risk a leak.

The write-up is good - as said before though, I would not put silicone sealant on the mating surface. Future replacement is going to be difficult because you'll have to free the surface of the old compound.

Think about it this way - BMW builds millions of cars. They are all built this way from the factory and I've never seen a dealership washing spots of coolant where the cars were parked, nor has mine or any of my friends leaked over time. IF the bolts are torqued down properly the surface will seal appropriately all the way around. This looks like someone may have changed this before you got to it. The leak looks like the result of someone without a torque wrench who over-tightened the bolts. Initially it would seal but over time the housing may distort slightly causing the leak.

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