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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 12-31-2013, 02:40 PM   #1
Nic_1_2
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Gig Harbor, Washington
Posts: 3
My Ride: 2000 323i
Coolant system repair.

Hello all. i know this topic has been covered about 3200 times but i had just a few questions.

the car is a 2000 323i auto 165k miles. i do not know when the last cooling system overhaul was preformed. i have developed a pin hole leak in the top left plastic part of my radiator. here lays the problem. i have a budget of $350 and i want to fix as many things as i can while im in there. i refuse to buy the cheap ebay special parts What should i focus on buying? As a new bmw owner i really appreciate any and all direction.
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:33 PM   #2
CharlzO
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Location: Upstate NY
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You're going to need at the very least, the radiator, and a new auto trans t-stat. Those are the first you need, since the auto t-stat will break when you pull the expansion tank out. And obviously the radiator. Then, after that, fit anything else you can, and make sure to bookmark money for the rest as soon as you can. You might want to try for the water pump and thermostat since you'll have access when the radiator is out. At that point though, really, the hoses aren't that much on top of it. But anything you don't replace now, be prepared to pull the fan and things back out again to do the water pump and whatnot if you don't do it now. Radiator and auto trans t-stat are minimum to get you back leak-less.

Once the leak is fixed though, there's also a chance that any other weak points will suddenly be exposed when there isn't a pressure relief in the form of that leak any more.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:50 AM   #3
weskroesbergen
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Mississauga
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My Ride: 2002 BMW 320i
I'd do both the cooling system and the rad. If you're on a tight budget, you might want to check out FCP for a rad (~$138 OEM), and their E46 cooling kit (~$278). I know your budget is ~$350, but you'll save a lot more in the long run if you spend the extra 60 now.

Kit (obviously verify compatibility via Real OEM)
http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-...oem-e46coolkit

Rad (obviously verify compatibility via Real OEM)
http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-...em-17119071519

Last edited by weskroesbergen; 01-01-2014 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:41 AM   #4
Sansho
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Posts: 1,632
My Ride: 2001 325i
Check out Mango's cooling post here. Here are some parts sources and prices:

BMAparts has the Behr radiator for $128 with free shipping.

Expansion tank recommend BMW versus other brands, with sponsor TheBMWPartStore for $75.

Auto transmission thermostat usually breaks, as CharlzO mentioned... you can get OEM replacement from Autohausaz for $45.

Water pump, there are several choices ... some look for metal impeller vs composite. Autohaus has a Graf for $45.

Thermostat most use Behr or Waller ... Waller is $45 at BMA.

Upper and lower radiator hoses you can buy most anywhere, usually CRP brand, around $30 each.

May also need a lower hose thermostat or at least a new rubber o-ring.
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Last edited by Sansho; 01-01-2014 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:15 AM   #5
Dinan91
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Fcp

Quote:
Originally Posted by weskroesbergen View Post
I'd do both the cooling system and the rad. If you're on a tight budget, you might want to check out FCP for a rad (~$138 OEM), and their E46 cooling kit (~$278). I know your budget is ~$350, but you'll save a lot more in the long run if you spend the extra 60 now.

Kit (obviously verify compatibility via Real OEM)
http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-...oem-e46coolkit

Rad (obviously verify compatibility via Real OEM)
http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-...em-17119071519

I agree. FCP is a great place to pick up parts while on a budget. I have purchased a radiator, tstat kit, water pump kit, coolant system overhaul kit, and on Monday purchased the valve cover kit along with wiper relay and a few other miscellaneous parts. Never had any issues with them at all. Great quality products and great pricing. Give em a shot you won't be disappointed.
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