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Old 01-03-2013, 10:29 AM   #798
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Old Greg's Cavern
Posts: 12,605
My Ride: '13 128i, '04 330Ci
Originally Posted by ScandiHooligan View Post

Cooling System Overhaul Advice Requested. (Mango, thanks very much for taking the time to provide the above parts list. I'm new to BMW's and this forum, though I have been studying both of them for 3 weeks. About 3 weeks ago, I purchased a 2002 325Ci, (JW52135) with 153K. The service records for the first 64k came from BMW since this was a Lease vehicle. The next owner had it for about 10K, then the guy I bought it from had owned it from 75k till I bought it from him. The guy I bought it from had it serviced by the same Indy BMW Garage, (with receipts) till I bought it. The car has been pretty well maintained with regular oil changes. The only issues are the typical BMW issues I've found on this forum and the car is in need of a Cooling System Overhaul to include a radiator, since there is a hairline crack around the neck. None of the receipts I have indicate the cooling system has ever being touched, except for 20k ago, the Indy BMW Garage replaced the Thermostat, a Radiator hose and the belts. I will be driving this car btw Tampa and Miami at least once a month. I want to minimize my chances of a breakdown, so I'm trying to look at what could possibly give me a problem. The one thing I have not seen addressed with regards to the cooling system are the Heater Hoses and Pipes, (RealOEM. com schematics) in the system. So my questions:
1. As you well know, there is a lot of plastic on these cars, so I have to believe these heater pipes are plastic as well and suffer from the same heat/pressure related failures as the rest of the system, or are they more robust? Every vehicle I've purchased in the past the first thing I do is flush the system and replace the cooling system hoses, to include the Heater Hoses etc. What would be your advice for this BMW?
2. And with regards to the above post about the Expansion Tank mounting plate, should that be a wait and see or should I just go ahead and replace it?
3. I have a Hydraulic Tensioner for the WP/ALT/PS. Should I replace the entire Tensioner assembly or would the Tensioner alone be enough? The A/C Tensioner is Mechanical and independent of the rest of the system and looks to be pretty accessable and functioning properly for the time being. I think I'll leave it alone for now unless you're of a different opinion.
4. Voltage Regulator. Someone posted, (might have been you) that while you're down in the bowls of the engine compartment you should go ahead and replace the VR since these cars are particularly voltage sensitive. Your opinion?
Thanks very much for taking the time to address my questions.
1. I have not seen anyone ever report leaking heater hoses. Mango has been here longer so he can speak more on this, but I don't believe they are a concern. I think they are also pretty inconvenient to access.

2. If you have a manual transmission I think you can ignore the ET mounting bracket (plate). The automatic cars use this plate as a junction for the transmission cooler. I have an auto and I will be replacing mine with the ET as it is leaking slowly.

3. The hydraulic tensioner is quite expensive. Rather than buying the whole unit, you may just want to see if you can convert to the mechanical. I don't know if this is possible. If not, then the critical components are the hydraulic arm and the pulley bearing. Those two things need to be replaced probably.

4. If you want to take care of it go ahead. You can at least check it's condition by removing it and inspecting the alternator's brushes. If they are getting small, just replace it. I don't know too much about VR failure though. Mango can tell you weather or not it shows symptoms before failure, or if it just dies out of the blue like the fuel pump.

Since you asked for Mango, he can verify what I am saying or correct anything I have gotten wrong, but I think I've pretty much got the gist here.

Last edited by WDE46; 01-03-2013 at 10:31 AM.
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