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New radiator good or bad?

 
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Kjwals



Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Jamestown, NC

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:36 pm    Post subject: New radiator good or bad? Reply with quote

I have a '86 BMW 325e and I've been rebuilding it to use as an everyday car. Most things on it are original, including the radiator. I found a decent aftermarket radiator that's a dual core BUT if you look at it, the bottom spout is on the right side. OEM is on the left side. What should I do to make this work or should I just look for another radiator that fits exactly?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DUAL-CORE-FULL-ALUMINUM-RACE-2-ROW-COOLING-RADIATOR-88-91-BMW-E30-3-SERIES-M3-MT-/350812629114?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item51ae0fe87a&vxp=mtr
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'86 325e 212K+
Kenneth J. Walsh
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 4711
Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome aboard Kenneth...

The radiator you're looking at on eBay is NOT for the "e" series cars, but for the 88-91 BMW E30 M3 (Manual Transmission Only) cars, and there is a big difference... Even "i" series radiators will be slightly different.

These are for the "e" series cars:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-325-325e-325es-325i-325is-Radiator-Behr-17111176900-/190668419511?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Make%3ABMW%7CModel%3A325e&hash=item2c64b931b7&vxp=mtr#ht_1916wt_1170

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Spectra-Premium-Ind-CU825-Radiator-/330923068586?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Make%3ABMW%7CModel%3A325e&hash=item4d0c8d4caa&vxp=mtr#ht_1357wt_932

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-1-Row-w-o-EOC-w-TOC-Replacement-Radiator-For-2-7-L6-GAS-AT-/290815310026?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Make%3ABMW%7CModel%3A325e&hash=item43b5f178ca&vxp=mtr#ht_1822wt_1170

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SPECTRA-PREMIUM-CU825-Radiator-/330924436018?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Make%3ABMW%7CModel%3A325e&hash=item4d0ca22a32&vxp=mtr#ht_1368wt_932

Also, it matters if you have a manual or auto transmission. Go to PelicanParts.com and check out their radiators, which are pricier, but give you the differences.

Also, you can go to RealOEM.com, type in your 7 digit vin number (last 7 digits), and get the actual part number that was in YOUR car when it lef the factory...

Hope this helps... Again, welcome to the forum!
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Cosmo - 1985 BMW 325e, Single Owner, 235,000+ ORIGINAL miles and still going strong!

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Kjwals



Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Jamestown, NC

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That clarifies a lot about the radiator, and about the car in general. The thing about the radiator in the car now is that it still works but there's a crack in the plastic on the side. That's also another reason why I was looking at the all aluminum radiators. And when the car is sitting for a while it tends to get really hot, moves to the half way mark when on a normal day it's at the 1/4 mark. I've only had it running a little after Christmas so I'm still doing a lot of work too it and don't know as much as I'd like to. Are there any dual core radiators that will still fit this model?
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Kenneth J. Walsh
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Kjwals



Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Jamestown, NC

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, It's a manual drive transmission.
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Kenneth J. Walsh
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Kjwals



Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Jamestown, NC

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would this be as good as any?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/84-87-Bmw-325-325E-325Es-Radiator-View-Chart-/310515296963?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Make%3ABMW%7CModel%3A325e&hash=item484c276ac3&vxp=mtr
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Kenneth J. Walsh
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tncean



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 1652
Location: Chattanooga, Tn.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If temp increase at idle is biggest concern, or is cause for want to replace radiator, might want to rule out a few things first.

A modest increase of temp at idle is normal. A big increase is not.

A common cause of temp climb at idle is the fan clutch. There is a fluid/heat driven clutch on the engine fan, the plastic bladed one just behind the radiator and in front of the engine. Simplest test I know of to check it is to get engine to full warm, turn off engine, then use a finger and give the fan a spin. If the fan spins freely, the clutch is bad. If it spins a dab then quickly stops, probably ok.

IF you are NOT loosing coolant, I would suggest the fan clutch to be inspected first.
If you ARE loosing coolant, have a pressure test done. Ask your local parts stores to recommend a shop. Not pricy, will find the leak.

First things first; if you are new to e30, the MOST important thing to know is the age/condition of the TIMING BELT. If you do not know when it was last changed out, above all, get it updated. If the belt breaks, the engine is wrecked. Period.

Good luck. Hope this helps.
tncean
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Kjwals



Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Jamestown, NC

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's obvious of a small leak in the side wall near the over flow spout, that's the main reason why I want to replace it. I have to keep refilling my expansion tank every other week. But while I'm in there I'll check the fan clutch and I already had plans for the water pump, belts, thermostat, and timing belt.
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Kenneth J. Walsh
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tncean



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 1652
Location: Chattanooga, Tn.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The e30 doesn't like air in the coolant. Be sure and bleed the air well. Try and get front wheels above rear, turn heater on full, use bleed screw atop thermostat housing. With engine running, crack open the screw until only fluid comes out. I often will squeeze the big radiator hoses and quickly release to help move bubbles. May take more than 1 try.

If you are doing a t-belt job, and are going to keep the car, might be wise to update the fan clutch anyway.

Do yourself a favor, use top quality parts for critical components.

Good luck... tncean
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Kjwals



Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Jamestown, NC

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely would not have thought of bringing the front wheels up, thanks for the advice. I'll be getting the radiator on Tuesday or Wednesday. Hopefully all will work out well, I might post a picture of it! Very Happy
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'86 325e 212K+
Kenneth J. Walsh
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