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General E46 Forum
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:20 PM   #1
raptorman5174
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Aluminum Thermostat Housing

does anybody have any opionions on this? Is this a good buy or should I go with the normal plastic housing?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Alumi...04595632QQrdZ1
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:51 PM   #2
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does anybody have any opionions on this? Is this a good buy or should I go with the normal plastic housing?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Alumi...04595632QQrdZ1
I would stay with the normal plastic housing thermostat. BMW never made a metal thermostat for our engines. The only one I have seen is a CNC machined housing for motorsports use and it costs in excess of $200 if I remember correctly.
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:53 PM   #3
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Stick w/ OEM.
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:23 AM   #4
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Aluminum housing is a popular replacement for m50/52 but I've never seen it for m54 before.

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...ID=11531722531
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:00 AM   #5
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+1. OEM. I just replaced my entire cooling system with OEM parts. No aluminum radiator, or thermo. Well.. I did put in a Graff WP with metal impeller, but thats the only alteration I would make, is to the water pump.
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:51 AM   #6
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Assuming that the innards of this aluminum T-stat are the same (but how would you know), it probably wouldn't do any harm.

But a couple of things to consider:
Would the heat conductivity of the aluminum vs. the (somewhat) insular properties of the plastic affect the accuracy of the thermostat?

And secondly, while there are many areas where a more expensive metal part would be preferable to plastic, that usually involves an item under some sort of physical stress. While the thermostats do go bad all the time, it's usually because the internal wax-based thermostat gives up the ghost. I don't know of any cases (though there may be some) where the exterior of the unit cracked or failed in some way.

So my question would be "What's the advantage of aluminum?" in the case of a thermostat. Failing to see any real upside, as others have suggested, I'd stick with OEM.
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:11 AM   #7
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I don't know of any cases (though there may be some) where the exterior of the unit cracked or failed in some way.
I've never heard of the m54 thermostat cracking but the m60 from the e34 and the m50/m52 used in the e39 and e36 platform is quite prone to cracking.
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:23 AM   #8
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You can at least expect a minimum level of quality with OEM parts. This ebay piece is unknown and unproven within the community. I'd stick with OEM.
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Old 11-09-2008, 05:04 PM   #9
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You can at least expect a minimum level of quality with OEM parts. This ebay piece is unknown and unproven within the community. I'd stick with OEM.
For sure. If you are going to go aftermarket then order from a reputable source such as Turner or one of the sponsors.
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Old 11-09-2008, 05:06 PM   #10
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Dude the oem thermostat is only $50 max. Stick wit it...
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Old 11-09-2008, 05:11 PM   #11
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I think a good rule of thumb is to never buy a non-OEM part for which you cannot identify the actual manufacturer of the part.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:08 PM   #12
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That's the first I have heard about an aluminum thermostat for the M54. The M50/M52 have a thermostat separate from the housing so an aluminum housing is a nice reliability upgrade. M54 thermostats are a 24 month interval item (in my experience) so the plastic does not age enough to fail like radiators do.

I say skip it.
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:48 PM   #13
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That's the first I have heard about an aluminum thermostat for the M54. The M50/M52 have a thermostat separate from the housing so an aluminum housing is a nice reliability upgrade. M54 thermostats are a 24 month interval item (in my experience) so the plastic does not age enough to fail like radiators do.

I say skip it.
Just an FYI, the M52 engines used in the early e46's (99-00) also use the composite thermostat, like the M54 engines, not the separate parts. But yes, it does seem like they have a fairly short life, and 24 months (about 28K miles) is about what I experienced as well.
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:44 PM   #14
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Thanks guys for all your response, I will be going with the normal plastic housing

THANKS AGAIN GUYS!
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:33 PM   #15
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I think a good rule of thumb is to never buy a non-OEM part for which you cannot identify the actual manufacturer of the part.
+1. Couldnt have said it better meself
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arsevader View Post
Aluminum housing is a popular replacement for m50/52 but I've never seen it for m54 before.

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...ID=11531722531
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamdfl View Post
That's the first I have heard about an aluminum thermostat for the M54. The M50/M52 have a thermostat separate from the housing so an aluminum housing is a nice reliability upgrade. M54 thermostats are a 24 month interval item (in my experience) so the plastic does not age enough to fail like radiators do.

I say skip it.
http://www.zionsvilleautosport.com/s...ry_Code=CCSE46
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:31 AM   #17
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Zionsville makes a quality piece but it's not necessary and certainly not cost effective for a daily driven car.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:18 AM   #18
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Zionsville makes a quality piece but it's not necessary and certainly not cost effective for a daily driven car.
$489! wow.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:22 AM   #19
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$489! wow.
See what I mean about it not being cost effective? Much much cheaper to just preventatively replace the OEM every 60-80k miles.
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