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General E46 Forum
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:19 PM   #461
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Hi Mango,

Noob question - you've convinced me to do the overhaul of the system. Although I have no experience with car mechanics, I like to think I'm fairly capable with my hands if I take my time. Apart from the bleeding steps, is it a matter of just simply taking the parts on and off when replacing them?
Pretty much. Just take your time and take breaks if you get frustrated. It's not that bad.
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:35 AM   #462
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Chances are you'll get a coolant shower. Don't forget to buy a new crush washer for the plug.
I managed to keep completely dry on this. My method is to cut a hole in a very long plastic bag and stick this hole onto the drain plug and then clamp it using a hose clamp. The other end of the bag goes to the bucket.
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:14 PM   #463
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I tried draining my coolant and filling it last night. I broke my radiator drain plug.
I've decided to do an 'overhaul' but I'm not sure what all I *need* to replace. My friend is at 216k on his car and has only replaced the Water Pump & Thermostat. I think I'll be okay with replacing the Water Pump, Thermostat & Expansion Tank....and a new drain plug. Are hoses & pulleys completely necessarily?

I understand the difference between preemptive replacement and replace on failure, but there has to be a line somewhere.


I also can't reach the block drain plug (xi's are a pain). I tried & tried...even if I did get it off, I'd never get it back on. I'll just flush it a few times with a few gallons of distilled water...

Last edited by Dreamliner330; 07-29-2012 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:24 PM   #464
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Really too bad not to do the drain on the block.
Unless your coolant comes out clean and clear, I'd try harder.

Yes, do hoses as they wear from the inside out, and the O-ring seals harden.
No need for pulleys unless damaged.

Have you done the set of three belt pulleys (idler and tensioners)?

New rad under $150 shipped. It IS a wear item.

research parts at www.furiousmethod.com

Last edited by Stinger9; 07-29-2012 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:38 PM   #465
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I ended up getting all the parts for a complete cooling system replacement. Pelican Parts was actually a bit cheaper than RMEuropean, BMA & Autohaus. I decided it wasn't worth saving the couple hundred bucks not to replace an item. at 75k, I know I'm on the early side for replacement, but my thermostat failed...

Parts arrive Thursday...I still can't reach the block coolant drain plug.

Last edited by Dreamliner330; 07-30-2012 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:17 AM   #466
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^^^How much did you end up paying when ordering from Pelican?
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:21 PM   #467
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All their prices are on their website. :p

I ended up buying everything I need for the cooling system overhaul as well as pulleys, and belts, oil filter housing gasket... Etc.

It was $420 for everything shipped same day with 3 day shipping.

Update: Parts showed up today! 2 days after ordering!

Last edited by Dreamliner330; 08-01-2012 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:16 PM   #468
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I got everything in, not too happy with the BEHR radiator, the expansion tank bracket didn't line up the greatest and there is no drain plug....


I still can't get that coolant block drain plug off. I can't touch the plug with my finger if I try. I can't get enough leverage on it with the wrench...
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:08 PM   #469
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I was able to barely get my hand in there, then placed the wrench and slammed a few times to break the bold loosw with that very little room. I also thought the behr radiator was off... didnt sit exactly right IMO but it could have been me.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:13 PM   #470
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I got everything in, not too happy with the BEHR radiator, the expansion tank bracket didn't line up the greatest and there is no drain plug....


I still can't get that coolant block drain plug off. I can't touch the plug with my finger if I try. I can't get enough leverage on it with the wrench...
I wonder what's different about my coupe. Got the new Behr radiator for manual transmission, transferred over the bracket and it all went back like good factory fitting parts should.
Lately there seems to be more reports of things not fitting smooth with the Behr.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:04 PM   #471
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I got everything in, not too happy with the BEHR radiator, the expansion tank bracket didn't line up the greatest and there is no drain plug....


I still can't get that coolant block drain plug off. I can't touch the plug with my finger if I try. I can't get enough leverage on it with the wrench...
Now I think I actually prefer have no drain plug. I will remove the transmission cooling unit anyway to drain the transmission so the drain plug is not much use, it just added two more leak potential (the plug and the adjustment screw)

To get the block drain off, I used the socket on an universal joint, plus several extension bars so that the wrench can be operated low down with no obstecles. Now since the angle is different, need to adjust the way you wrench to get the biggest bite.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:07 PM   #472
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Well, I'm all done! Replaced the thermostat, water pump, radiator, expansion tank & hoses. I also did the VANOS seals/rattle and an oil change...busy few days. . Truth be told, I think it was premature replacement. A lot of radiators make it over 200k, seems a bit early to do a cooling overhaul at 73K, but with a failing thermostat, I figured I'd do it all.

I could not get the drain plug off. I even got help and tried again. This time I used various extensions and a breaker bar and still couldn't get it loose. Anything that tight can just stay on. With the amount of new coolant in, I'm sure its fine.

How do I drain the BEHR radiator (no trans line in the manual), just pull the lower rad hose? Seems less than ideal.

Last edited by Dreamliner330; 08-01-2012 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:11 PM   #473
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I used the Behr radiator on my manual trans car. If I recall correctly, mounting the expansion tank bracket was a bit of a pain. But just keep at it and you'll get it done.

As for the block drain plug, I was able to get at it without removing the front wheel. I used a ~2 ft extension bar with a wobble socket adaptor. I taped up the wobble part so it wobbled a bit, but still retained good rigidity to get it on the drain plug.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:45 PM   #474
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I just finished my cooling system. It took me 3 years DIYng, and all the parts used were OEM. Im at 113k and most of these parts did not fail on me, but had the $$$ so went ahead and worked on it. The only part that failed on me was a hair/crack Expansion tank which never gave me a major leakage. All from Radiator, thermo, to a simple vent screw were DIYed using youtube.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:16 AM   #475
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Truth be told, I think it was premature replacement. A lot of radiators make it over 200k, seems a bit early to do a cooling overhaul at 73K. I agree! Problem is you don't know until you take the old parts off. And some have failed ET's or rads or thermostats as early as 60K miles.

I could not get the drain plug off. I even got help and tried again. This time I used various extensions and a breaker bar and still couldn't get it loose. Anything that tight can just stay on. Seems like that xi configuration just makes it tough to reach the block drain without taking off something in way.

How do I drain the BEHR radiator Your Behr has no drain plug at the bottom? Mine came with a plastic plug.
see comments imbedded.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:22 AM   #476
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How do I drain the BEHR radiator (no trans line in the manual), just pull the lower rad hose? Seems less than ideal.
Strange, I thought it had a drain plug. Anyway, the Zionsville version doesn't, so I'm in the same boat. When the time comes, I'll probably just pull the lower hose and suck out what I can with a hand pump. In your case, you haven't drained the engine block, so you're not getting a lot of the old coolant out. That's probably a good reason to fill it with distilled water, run, and drain a couple of times. Then it won't matter if you left a pint or two in the bottom of the radiator.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:50 AM   #477
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The Behr has a drain plug. just turn it with a big socket.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:17 AM   #478
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^ I try that on my original radiator after I took it out and I think I broke something. Are you certain that will work?
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:36 AM   #479
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It worked on my Behr. It doesn't look like it's turnable but it is.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:43 AM   #480
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I just developed a small leak and what would you guys say the bare essentials to be changed over are? Would this $399.95 kit be ok?
http://www.bimmerzone.com/BMW_Parts_...LING-AUTO.html
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