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E46 Engine Swaps
Replacing your motor? From direct replacements to more exoctic engines, if it's going under the hood of an E46 3 Series this is the forum to discuss it.

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Old 03-28-2020, 09:24 PM   #1
Matt 330LS
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Year: 2001
Transmission: T56
LS swap radiator question

For those of you who have done an LSx swap and are using a factory style radiator, what did you do to cap off the extra ports from the expansion tank to the former BMW block? If you changed to an aftermarket radiator, what was your setup and how was it plumbed?
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Old 03-29-2020, 03:01 PM   #2
bremerd1
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Year: 2000
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I'm not quite there yet on my swap, but it is my understanding the shop plans to cut the stock hoses, and use a metal 'pipe' to join them keeping the stock radiator (seems like the easiest way to me - we'll see what they do when it's completed). Graft the BMW hoses on one side, and the LS hoses on the other. I'll let everyone know when I get the car back (and take pics; I've also asked the shop to take a boatload of pics of the whole process along the way for me.)


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Old 03-29-2020, 04:52 PM   #3
Matt 330LS
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Year: 2001
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Yeah that's what I was planning to do originally, but I wasn't sure what to do about the expansion tank ports that need plugged, not to mention still needing the BMW specific quick connect hose ends.

I was considering the Chase Bays tucked radiator, fill neck, and overflow last week but they had to close shop due to a community quarantine order, which gave me time to (over)research more. Most of my research kept leading me back there, and they are back to shipping items now (albeit short staffed and slower) so I pulled the trigger this afternoon.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:58 PM   #4
damon forrer
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I plugged the one expansion tank port in the radiator side tank with a 1/2" NPT pipe plug (maybe it was 3/8" NPT) either way I tapped the hole and used JB weld as thread sealant. I ran my engine in the car for the first time on Sunday and no leaks yet.
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:52 PM   #5
bremerd1
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Tampa, Fl
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My Ride: 323
Year: 2000
Model: CI
Transmission: ZF 5HP19
I'll wait for the shop that's doing the swap to finish, and see what pans out. If I don't like it, I can always re-engineer it.

I like the Chase Bays items -- didn't cross my mind to go in that direction (mostly because I paid the shop for the swap... Isn't that why I paid them?).

Now that I've had a chance to think it thru, I'll bookmark the site, and keep it in my back-pocket for future needs...

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Old 04-01-2020, 08:48 AM   #6
Matt 330LS
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My Ride: 330Ci
Year: 2001
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I went all around the net looking at options and kept ending up there. Fortunately everything was in stock and ready to go so it shipped quick and is supposed to be delivered this afternoon. One step closer. My primary goals were to not have to tap and plug points that, while not likely to fail if done right, still introduce a potential weak point as well as not be beholden to the factory BMW quick connects at the main hose attaching points.
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