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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 12-27-2014, 04:05 PM   #1
Kye7
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Transmission thermostat question

So my expansion tank blew, and the old thermostat broke. I know this is normal, and I have a new thermostat. so I put the new one in and tried to push it is hard as I could with all my force, but I can't get it all the way in. Now I fear I can not get it out. I cannot fit the expansion tank back on with the top piece of the thermostat. So I removed it. and it seats fine.

I have heard of people running without a thermostat, but never part of it. What could happen?
I know I can: not get heat, the car will take longer to warm, or transmission fluid will be extra hot.

Can I leave this top piece of it off? Is it crucial? I do not think I'm getting it out of there.

I wish I had used the old o-rings from my previous thermostat before I put it in.

And yes I broke the little alignment wedge off of it.

This is how far I have it down, it's flush with the clip plastic, but not all they way down where it needs to be.

What do?
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Last edited by Kye7; 12-27-2014 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:16 AM   #2
Kye7
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Need an answer to this soon please, if anyone knows about this.
I have to get my car put back together today

Last edited by Kye7; 12-29-2014 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:27 PM   #3
goose123
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I think I would just buy the entire black plastic piece that mounts on the radiator. The thermostat should already be in it. Read on one of the threads that it is $75.

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325...tat/ES2763801/
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:10 PM   #4
Kye7
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Good idea, but I need to get it put back today. Do you know what would happen if I ran the car without the upmost part of the thermostat?
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:21 AM   #5
jjrichar
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I just grabbed an old one of these thermostats out of the shed to take a look, and also had a look at some old diagrams I made of where the coolant flows. Here's my take on the situation.

Engine cooling is unchanged. The thermostat is just to regulate coolant to the auto TX fluid heat exchanger that sits below the radiator.

The thermostat in question is in fact two thermostats in one. The top one you are missing is open when cold to allow coolant directly from the expansion tank, in order to heat up the TX fluid quickly. It closes (although not completely), when the coolant gets to normal operating temp.

The bottom one, which you have, is closed when cold, but opens at operating temp to allow coolant to flow from the radiator to cool the TX fluid.

Without testing I can't be sure, but this is what I think will happen without the upper part of the thermostat.

The TX fluid will warm up quickly as the engine coolant warms as normal. When at operating temp, the lower thermostat will open, but the upper (not being there) will not restrict the flow from the expansion tank, and therefore there won't be the required cooling. As a result, the TX fluid will be hotter. This is bad. If you want to try it out, plug INPA (or similar) into the car and see what happens, but personally, I would be replacing parts to make everything as it should be.

Last edited by jjrichar; 12-30-2014 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goose123 View Post
I think I would just buy the entire black plastic piece that mounts on the radiator. The thermostat should already be in it. Read on one of the threads that it is $75.

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325...tat/ES2763801/
That is a great price for thermostat and brackets!
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Last edited by BMWCaptain; 12-30-2014 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:00 AM   #7
Kye7
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Thanks jjrichar. Very informative.
This is exactly what I was looking for.

So all that is happening is my transmission is getting hotter while the car is getting up to temperature?

Will def look into buying a new bracket.
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:05 PM   #8
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Kye, what I'm saying is that as the car engine is warming, the transmission oil will warm up as per normal with it. The difference is the transmission oil won't hold at the correct operating temperature, but will continue to get hotter as you drive the car. This is bad, and is a sure fire way to trash the transmission. Again this is just a theory based on what I can deduce by looking at the system.
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