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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 04-19-2017, 11:46 AM   #1
zheka130
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Anyone know the size of coolant passages inside the engine?

Guys

Perhaps some interesting info for some,
A couple days ago I was asking whether my coolant leak was a head gasket breach or the plastic coolant pipes. The consensus was that likely it is the pipes.

Luckily it was indeed the pipes, as both were cracked at the point of entry into the engine. Upon removal, both broke off leaving a ring inside the engine, which had to be removed. Photo below.

However, when removing one of them, a small piece of the "fried on to the engine pipe" (likely about 1-2 mm sq) fell into the coolant passage.

Anyone have any clue what is the diameter of these passages? Probably big enough to allow this thing to circulate in the cooling system, I would think

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Old 04-19-2017, 12:05 PM   #2
SSchwab
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The radiator will likely capture a small piece. Try to flush it out before installing hoses to the radiator.
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:17 PM   #3
zheka130
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Thanks bud.
Do you think there is a chance it can clog something ?
I haven't removed rad hoses and wasnt planning to really.
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:24 PM   #4
SSchwab
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No reason not to remove them at this point. Assume it does clog. At a minimum you'll drain the coolant and remove the hoses to replace the radiator. Worse case, you overheat and blow the head gasket.

I would remove the radiator connections and block plug and flush the opposite direction of the heater core flow.
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:46 PM   #5
TobyB
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Small piece of junk probably won't cause problems-
about the worst it could do is chew up the water pump impeller a bit,
but that's a long shot.

Most likely it'll float to the bottom (or top) of a water jacket, and eventually become a permanent resident.
Or, yeah, end up in the radiator, where it won't bother anything.

A few minutes spent trying to get it out, flushing's a good idea, wouldn't be wasted.
But don't worry about it. It won't hurt anything.

t

Last edited by TobyB; 04-19-2017 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:09 PM   #6
SSchwab
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Well, if TobyB wants you to skip back flushing the coolant, you might want to ask him to fly out and help you when you need to replace your radiator or head gasket.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:35 PM   #7
iowna330xi
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Pretty large chunk got lost inside of my old E46. Never saw that piece again and never affected anything in my cooling system. You're mileage may vary though.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:25 AM   #8
TobyB
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Quote:
A few minutes spent trying to get it out, flushing's a good idea, wouldn't be wasted.
Reading comprehension?

In for trip to Toronto. But it's not going to kill the head gasket or the radiator at 1-2mm...

t
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