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Old 06-23-2010, 01:26 PM   #1
Jim Murphy
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Non-M Aluminum Radiator - frustrating search

I will post this in the drivetrain section as well because non FI people will also be interested.
As part of my AA/2 installation I wanted to get away from the OEM radiator with its plastic end tanks and go to an aluminum radiator. Since I have an automatic transmission I also opted for a bigger transmission oil cooler thus I would only need a manual transmission version radiator. I started by ordering a PWR radiator only to be told a week later that PWR has stopped bringing in this particular radiator. Then I inquired about a Mishimoto radiator and found that they are in the prototype stage for the non-M version. Next, I ordered a Mizu radiator (actually the cheapest one so far), it came in damaged so a replacement was ordered. We then discovered today that the replacement (along with the 1st one) has a manufacturing error on it - both hose connectors are welded on backwards so that the angled bevel up to the clip circle is facing the radiator not the hose. I know, you get what you paid for and it was the cheapest of the three. While we wait on what Mizu is going to do I will use my OEM radiator. In case Mizu does not cooperate, does anyone know of a cost effective aluminum radiator for the non-M?

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Old 06-23-2010, 02:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Murphy View Post
I will post this in the drivetrain section as well because non FI people will also be interested.
As part of my AA/2 installation I wanted to get away from the OEM radiator with its plastic end tanks and go to an aluminum radiator. Since I have an automatic transmission I also opted for a bigger transmission oil cooler thus I would only need a manual transmission version radiator. I started by ordering a PWR radiator only to be told a week later that PWR has stopped bringing in this particular radiator. Then I inquired about a Mishimoto radiator and found that they are in the prototype stage for the non-M version. Next, I ordered a Mizu radiator (actually the cheapest one so far), it came in damaged so a replacement was ordered. We then discovered today that the replacement (along with the 1st one) has a manufacturing error on it - both hose connectors are welded on backwards so that the angled bevel up to the clip circle is facing the radiator not the hose. I know, you get what you paid for and it was the cheapest of the three. While we wait on what Mizu is going to do I will use my OEM radiator. In case Mizu does not cooperate, does anyone know of a cost effective aluminum radiator for the non-M?

Jim

Only other one I can think of on the top of my head is the PWR

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Old 06-23-2010, 02:05 PM   #3
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Hey

Hey man I just upgraded to the mishimoto racing rad, very good quality for price, type in e46 mishimoto rad or BMW mishimoto and ull find a eBay link it's about 350-400 shipped
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:07 AM   #4
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As I stated in my post, PWR stopped shipping non-M rad's and Mishimoto told me that they don't have one for a non-M (only M3), it is in the protoype stage. Any other rad's that don't cost in the $1K range?

Jim
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:27 AM   #5
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only one is zionsville...which is $1k...

Trust me, I would have bought it too if it wasn't such a ripoff (it understandably is though since it's from a racing team that doens't make a lot of them...ergo high production costs).
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:10 PM   #6
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Today, a Mizu engineer stated that the diameters of the radiator hoses are different between manual and automatic transmissions - is this true?

Jim
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:15 PM   #7
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Nope, cause when we buy replacement hoses for cooling overhaul. Doesn't ask us for a manual or auto. Only difference is one has a mounting spot for the auto tranny cooler.

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Old 07-01-2010, 05:54 PM   #8
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mishimoto

yes they do make it for e46 non-M i have one on my car right now...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/MISHI...Q5fAccessories
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:28 AM   #9
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Having replaced the OEM radiator on my E46 with a custom aluminum piece, I can say the Zionsville piece is actually cheaper than doing it yourself.

You guys are forgetting that to properly replace the OEM piece, you need to add a reservior, pressure cap, lines, and overflow tank. And a custom radiator is very likely to need an aftermarket fan as well....unless someone figures out how to remount the OEM plastick housing.

So as someone that has DONE this, as opposed to talked about it, consider the Zionsville piece to save some headaches.
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:03 PM   #10
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yes they do make it for e46 non-M i have one on my car right now...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/MISHI...Q5fAccessories
Not according to several people...

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...8&postcount=23

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...8&postcount=31

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...5&postcount=34
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:34 PM   #11
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hmm well that link I posted clearly says 323,325,328,330,m3 and I have it on my car so I dont understand? maybe because my car has a s54 motor would that matter? and why would they advertise 323,325 ect if it didnt fit a non-M?
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:45 PM   #12
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hmm well that link I posted clearly says 323,325,328,330,m3 and I have it on my car so I dont understand? maybe because my car has a s54 motor would that matter? and why would they advertise 323,325 ect if it didnt fit a non-M?
Because ECSTuning made the same mistake. They thought it would fit non-M, but found out later it doesn't. Even confirmed my Mishimoto when people called.

You have the S54 motor, which assumes you have the oil cooler and relocated expansion tank as well? So maybe your front clip is slightly different mounting.
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:54 PM   #13
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Because ECSTuning made the same mistake. They thought it would fit non-M, but found out later it doesn't. Even confirmed my Mishimoto when people called.

You have the S54 motor, which assumes you have the oil cooler and relocated expansion tank as well? So maybe your front clip is slightly different mounting.
Yes your correct I have the oil cooler and relocated expansion tank... I guess it doesnt fit non-M, thats weird how its advertised on ebay that it will fit all the 3 series including M, damn ebay scammers LOL
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:09 PM   #14
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Probably not a scammer, just uninformed. Not everyone is a fanatic

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Yes your correct I have the oil cooler and relocated expansion tank... I guess it doesnt fit non-M, thats weird how its advertised on ebay that it will fit all the 3 series including M, damn ebay scammers LOL
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Yes your correct I have the oil cooler and relocated expansion tank... I guess it doesnt fit non-M, thats weird how its advertised on ebay that it will fit all the 3 series including M, damn ebay scammers LOL
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighBoostin330 View Post
Because ECSTuning made the same mistake. They thought it would fit non-M, but found out later it doesn't. Even confirmed my Mishimoto when people called.

You have the S54 motor, which assumes you have the oil cooler and relocated expansion tank as well? So maybe your front clip is slightly different mounting.

If you've ever tried to mount an e46 m3 radiator to an m54 car, this would be very understandable.
It very nearly fits. But it doesn't. I tried this a few months back. To make it work, the e46 m3 expansion tank must be used, furthermore, the electric fan fan does not like it very much and the radiator's deeper profile makes the fit very difficult, in practical terms, it's not feasible.
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by PEI330Ci View Post
Having replaced the OEM radiator on my E46 with a custom aluminum piece, I can say the Zionsville piece is actually cheaper than doing it yourself.

You guys are forgetting that to properly replace the OEM piece, you need to add a reservior, pressure cap, lines, and overflow tank. And a custom radiator is very likely to need an aftermarket fan as well....unless someone figures out how to remount the OEM plastick housing.

So as someone that has DONE this, as opposed to talked about it, consider the Zionsville piece to save some headaches.
Agreed...plus think of the headaches saved by never having to replace your radiator and expansion tank.

But still, its $1k+ for a freakin' radiator

Holding breath for the Mishi non-M radiator. Kind of shocks me that no sponsor on this forum has really stepped up to fill this gap.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by PEI330Ci View Post
Having replaced the OEM radiator on my E46 with a custom aluminum piece, I can say the Zionsville piece is actually cheaper than doing it yourself.

You guys are forgetting that to properly replace the OEM piece, you need to add a reservior, pressure cap, lines, and overflow tank. And a custom radiator is very likely to need an aftermarket fan as well....unless someone figures out how to remount the OEM plastick housing.

So as someone that has DONE this, as opposed to talked about it, consider the Zionsville piece to save some headaches.
This appears to mean that the Zionsville deal comes with ALL the other components that you mentioned above - true? If true, then I also wonder what it would cost to add these components to the Mizu radiator (once it is fixed) and I suspect that it will be cheaper than $1K. If NOT true and the additional components are an additional cost then your $1K that you quoted is actually much higher - true? Please post the bottom line cost for all of this.

Jim
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:14 PM   #18
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I just finished machining and welding up a custom non-M aluminum radiator.

I started with the OBX-R aluminum non-M radiator, which has the wrong necks welded on, but fits relatively well otherwise. They are standard barb fittings for rubber/silicone hoses. Not compatible with the BMW E46 quick-connect hoses (more complicated must mean better, right BMW?). So with the help of my boss, I cut them off, turned new necks out of 6061 2" OD, 1.25" ID aluminum tube on a lathe, and then welded them on. I very carefully measured the OE radiator's necks for dimensions, and machined the new necks to the correct specifications. Here it is:











As you can see above, fewer features are necessary in the necks than are molded into the OE plastic. The groove secures the quick-clip, the chamfer centers the fitting on the neck and stops its travel at the correct place, and the radius cut on the end spreads the o-ring for easy install/uninstall. The o-ring seats in about the middle of the smaller OD neck flat, just as with the OE neck. The recess machined into the back allows the new neck to slip onto the cut-off OBX stub for fixture-free welding. It is installed and running now, with no problems.

The OBX radiator is the ONLY alternative to the Zionsville at the moment. I'm the one who posted the review of Mishimoto's attempt (and failure) here: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...5&postcount=34

Mishimoto's only fits the M3, and the necks are welded on backwards anyway! Mishimoto told me their entire stock has the problem, and they have no solution. That's a lot of scrap aluminum. Almost every online vendor is misinformed about Mishimoto's radiator. Mishimoto told them all it will fit the non-M. It won't.

The custom build cost me approximately $200 for the OBX radiator + $35 for the aluminum tube stock. A steal if you have the tools. Get the necks made and welded if not. Or the Zionsville is a direct drop-in.

Last edited by WBVenom; 07-05-2010 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:34 AM   #19
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Wow, nice work!
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:13 AM   #20
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Any pics installed?
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