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Old 07-04-2011, 12:12 AM   #1
travisn
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Auto vs. Manual Radiators.

So as part of the cooling system overhaul I am changing the radiator.

(as far as I know the fact that the radiator is from an automatic car and mine is not is irrelevant to this situation)

This is in regards to the little shield/bracket that the expansion tank clips to, the shield that was on my car appears to be missing something, but I don't ever remember seeing anything there nor is anything extra left over.

This little hole (see picture) is leaking and there is nothing to cover it. the whole piece also doesnt sit flush along the bottom edge of the radiator either. I have tried this on both my old radiator and the 'new' one, same situation. I did find that the auto shield has a o-ring on it and from searching I found the autos use that hole as a heat exchanger for the tranny. If I put the o-ring on the manual shield from the auto shield that came with the radiator it does seal a bit, and it would probably work, except the hole in the middle goes to atmosphere.

the hole in question is in the upper left of this picture


'different' view


you can see there that it goes straight through to nothing. this hole is unused for my car yet it appears on both radiators.


part I am having problems with is #1


I know first thought is to just use a radiator from a manual car but it's still a problem with the radiator that came off the car. It wasn't a problem originally which leads me to believe I am just missing something in the garage but I can't find anything nor do I know what I am looking for since nothing is listed on realoem and any pictures I googled for the part look exactly like what I have. (the reason i am changing the radiator is because it leaked and the PO used some sort of epoxy to try to fix it)

Thanks!

edit: The solution is the little plug that screws into the bottom under that hole: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...7&postcount=11 Thanks Kent330i for the heads up!

Last edited by travisn; 07-05-2011 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:40 AM   #2
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I think we've had a couple like that in the last few weeks.

It does matter if the radiator is made for a manny or auto. On manny, that hole isn't a hole. In a manny rad, the only holes at the bottom...if memory serves, go into the ET bracket.

Sounds like the PO tried to fix another 'auto' radiator. In part, I think this is BMWs fault for making an auto trans...but what you gonna do?

Call where you got it from and ask them if they sent you the radiator for the manny or auto. They should get a replacement to you.

I think the hole is for the trans cooler and so an automatic would need this whereas a manny wouldn't.

I'll say I'm around 94% that I'm right...sorry!

Have a look at the radiator for the auto trans in realoem...and then the cooler for trans.
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:51 AM   #3
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Right but you missed my point, the car did not have a problem there previously (it was cracked where the upper radiator hose came in) and I am using the part that has been on the car the whole time. That shield I'm using is way different than the one for the auto tranny as that one has a part that provides the other half of the tube for the heat exchanger circuit. There is no way that part would clip to the one I am trying to use.

Maybe Friday I'll have time to go to the dealer and compare parts.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travisn View Post
Right but you missed my point, the car did not have a problem there previously (it was cracked where the upper radiator hose came in) and I am using the part that has been on the car the whole time. That shield I'm using is way different than the one for the auto tranny as that one has a part that provides the other half of the tube for the heat exchanger circuit. There is no way that part would clip to the one I am trying to use.

Maybe Friday I'll have time to go to the dealer and compare parts.
It sounded like your radiator had a hole into it where the manual radiator doesn't have one. The bracket is different also and I know you have the right bracket.

I think visiting the dealer to compare is a good idea...should tell you what's up right away.

D
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:10 PM   #5
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Nope both radiators have that hole :/

fml.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:00 PM   #6
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http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...or+manual+hole

This thread might explain better...sounds just like your issue...not the posts at the end...they both have a hole, but one of the holes goes through and the other doesn't. Fill the old one or stick a wire into the hole to see if it's really going into the radiator.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:19 PM   #7
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hmm, so in an automatic radiator that hole is internally open to the radiator and on the manual radiator the hole is internally closed, yet still there.

damnit.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
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hmm, so in an automatic radiator that hole is internally open to the radiator and on the manual radiator the hole is internally closed, yet still there.

damnit.
Like I said...if it's the same 'hole' Stick a wire in and see how far it goes in both.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:44 PM   #9
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well it makes too much sense now, time to buy more parts to take advantage of the extra down time. lol
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:39 AM   #10
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problem fixed!

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...7&postcount=11
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:26 AM   #11
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Where does the automatic transmission cooler plug into? Is is a lower bracket or is it part of the radiator? This might be another difference in auto vs. manual...
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Great! But, I read that post and I'm curious what it was...you had the wrong radiator adjusting screw, or no 0-ring behind the mounting screw...or something like that!

Anyway, whatever it was, glad to hear you're all good. Let us know, for the record.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:38 AM   #13
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It was this:



Thats the only difference between the two radiators. The expansion tank is the same, just a different fitting goes in the bottom and the 'shield' thing is different. Radiator hoses are the same.

I will post up to confirm once I have it back together and not leaking...

Last edited by travisn; 07-05-2011 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:40 PM   #14
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Like 3 weeks ago I changed the radiator and mine is Auto.
When I bought the radiator, it comes with the both plugs. So I used only auto one and still have a manual one.

Do you need it?
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:44 PM   #15
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nah, dealer had it in stock for $5.77. Thanks though.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:49 PM   #16
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Which is why Behr radiators



Got rid of those shenanigans and just included a threaded plastic bolt in place of the said shenanigans
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:30 PM   #17
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Well it is to let coolant to go the auto trans heat exchanger if necessary, so it makes sense why it is there. The parts guy at bmw says the radiators they get don't come with the plugs installed as the tech has to put the appropriate one in per application.

Regardless, problem solved, I don't believe you can reuse the old one if you are swapping because there little lock tangs that get broken upon removal (the little 'wing' on the right side short plug in the above picture)
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travisn View Post
Well it is to let coolant to go the auto trans heat exchanger if necessary, so it makes sense why it is there. The parts guy at bmw says the radiators they get don't come with the plugs installed as the tech has to put the appropriate one in per application.

Regardless, problem solved, I don't believe you can reuse the old one if you are swapping because there little lock tangs that get broken upon removal (the little 'wing' on the right side short plug in the above picture)
So this little "winged" plug, the shorter one that is pictured on the right actually fits into the hole that would otherwise be occupied by the auto transmission cooler? So the auto transmission cooler would fit into the plug on the left if it were an automatic?

I ask this because I converted from auto to manual and wound up leaving my auto transmission cooler in the radiator, plugging off the oil hoses. as a humorous note, during my conversion I mistakenly removed the cooler without draining the radiator ...
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:12 AM   #19
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no. Both plugs have the blue drain plug and 'screw' into the bottom of the radiator. I think I used a 3/4" wrench. It only turns a 1/4 turn or so, and it takes ALOT of force to unscrew it. You will not be reusing the old one so dont worry.


pictures help!



Blue: radiator fluid
Purple: auto plug that lets fluid pass (its longer than the green one)
Green: manual plug that stops fluid
Red: where to apply wrench to remove plug

So once a manual plug is in there is no reason to seal the hole as its just an empty cavity.

Last edited by travisn; 07-06-2011 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:16 PM   #20
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Sorry to dredge up this old thread but I have a related question. I just installed a new radiator and as per the large amount of leaking I'm now seeing, I realized that I got an automatic radiator and put it in my manual 330i. It is a Behr.

Is the only difference between the two the drain plug? Can I simply swap out the drain plugs or do I need to get the correct radiator as well?

Thanks for everyone's help in advance
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