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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-30-2007, 05:50 AM
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Tips for replacing a tstat and housing.

Does anyone have any special tips/hints/tricks for R&R of the tstat and housing?
I just ordered the whole thing, gasket included. Not sure on the difficulty of this and other things. Like what to do after I replace it besides bleed the system.

Is there actually a way to install this backwards? Last guy that owned it said he installed it backwards.

Also, my plans are to replace this, take it downtown and get the cooling system flushed. Would it be safe to do this without bleeding the lines? its only about a 10 min drive.
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2007, 06:22 AM
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You checked this site mate? - http://www.bimmerdiy.com/e36

http://www.bimmerdiy.com/e36/maint
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  #3  
Old 06-30-2007, 06:35 AM
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No reason to "take" the car somewhere to get it flushed. You HAVE to drain the coolant anyway to do the T-stat and housing so why not do it yourself since you are 90% there already? Changing the T-stat and housing can be a pain if your fan doesn't want to come off.

Just follow the link Pirate provided and you'll be fine. Also, if you have access to ramps, this is the best way to flush and refill the system. The higher you get the bleed plug, the faster your bleeding will go. When I did mine, I had it up on ramps and I drained the radiator AND the block. The block plug is behind the exhaust manifold. Be careful when you remove it, it's best to unscrew it part way and let it drain cause if you don't, it will come rushing out all at once and create a HUGE mess. (ask me how I know) Then simply plug it up and refill. Follow the directions in the link for refill and bleeding.

P.S.
Please use factory BMW coolant and DISTILLED water!
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Last edited by jasonf860; 06-30-2007 at 07:29 AM.
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  #4  
Old 06-30-2007, 07:06 AM
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+100 on the coolant!!!
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2007, 04:47 PM
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Use normal water and you'll get rust and mud buildup in youre engine and cooling system.
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  #6  
Old 06-30-2007, 05:22 PM
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Use the wrong coolant and you will damage/corrode your engine too
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  #7  
Old 07-01-2007, 04:08 AM
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After your done, take your time bleeding the coolant. It's a pain. Don't drive too far & if the temp starts to go past the middle, get home & add coolant. KEEP YOU EYE ON THE TEMP GAUGE! It takes a while for the coolant to fill all the voids & the coolant level will drop so carry some extra anti-freeze in your car for a week.

A lot of people have not had issues bleeding but it was nothing but a pain for me. Check the level frequently.

Have Fun.
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2007, 05:02 AM
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Top tip....

When you bleed the system, jack the front of the car up or use ramps. Makes it much easier
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2007, 08:48 AM
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i dont have a fan...just that electric one mounted on the radiator.
Can i not just pull the housing and tstat off, put the new one in w/o draining my coolant?
I dont actually have a place to drain it.
I was gonna take it down to a shop and have them flush everyting.
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  #10  
Old 07-01-2007, 09:02 AM
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If you don't have the fan you will need the water wetter. It sounds like your car has the fan delete mod. I did mine just recently. If your T stat does not have a rattle valve to let air pass drill a 1/8" hole where the up arrow is making sure all burrs are removed. This will allow an easier bleed and there are no side effects. Good luck
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  #11  
Old 07-01-2007, 09:09 AM
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If you don't have an engine driven fan make sure you get the right thermostat! DO NOT get the 90Deg. one! You MUST get the 80deg. one otherwise your car WILL overheat!

Also, you must drain your coolant at least to a level below the T-stat. The system is made to have no air in the coolant and thus your t-stat and housing are full of coolant. If you try and just remove the housing, your going to have a BIG mess on your hands!
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2007, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonf860 View Post
If you don't have an engine driven fan make sure you get the right thermostat! DO NOT get the 90Deg. one! You MUST get the 80deg. one otherwise your car WILL overheat!
What about the hi/low speed switch for my electric fan? do i need to get a different temp on that too?

Also i have looked for the coller thermostats and aluminum housing. I havent found one yet. Looked at pelican didnt find anyting. Also looked at bavauto. still nothing.
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Old 07-01-2007, 09:29 AM
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Ordered my tstat aluminum housing and tstat from pelican. I really wanted a Failsafe tstat from motorad but it was going to take 4-6 wks to get it shipped from texas to my local motrad dealer here in Canada. I could get the 82 deg. failsafe no problem. You may want to check with your local parts dealer to see if they carry failsafe. If your not familiar with failsafe, they only fail in the open position meaning you can still drive the car home or to shop without damaging engine.
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  #14  
Old 07-01-2007, 09:30 AM
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they have a website?
Also if it fails while its open only how would you ever tell that its not working?
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  #15  
Old 07-01-2007, 09:55 AM
Fireman Paul Fireman Paul is offline
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If it fails your temp gauge will not be at 12 noon and will read cold. The site is motoradusa.com. I believe a place like autozone or pep boys may carry this. Also check out this link about the fan clutch delete and it will give you direction on refilling with the water wetter and antifreeze. http://www.understeer.com/fanclutchmod.shtml
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  #16  
Old 07-01-2007, 10:04 AM
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the only bad thing to running cold is fuel consumption right?

The car used to run fine with the tstat thats in it now.
Anyone have an idea of the dealer will put a colder tstat in?

And also my car was manufactured w/o the mechanical fan. So the tstat that it calls for shuld be correct right?
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  #17  
Old 07-01-2007, 10:27 AM
Fireman Paul Fireman Paul is offline
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Correct the car will be harder on fuel. However, the failsafe tstat will allow you to get home or to a garage to get it replaced and will not allow your engine to blow because of overheating. I just nticed that you drive a 318. I believe the OE tstat is 198 deg and you wouldn't have the fan mod as there is none. Go to the motorad site to the catalog section and punch in the specs of your car and it will give you part numbers.
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  #18  
Old 07-01-2007, 10:31 AM
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sweet thanks.
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  #19  
Old 08-13-2007, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonf860 View Post
Just follow the link Pirate provided and you'll be fine. . . . The block plug is behind the exhaust manifold. Be careful when you remove it, it's best to unscrew it part way and let it drain cause if you don't, it will come rushing out all at once and create a HUGE mess.
I have an issue with my engine block drain plug. I have the tip sheet from Pelican Parts, but on my '98 328i there's an exhaust pipe oxygen sensor right in front of the drain plug; it doesn't look like there is enough clearance to get the drain plug out. Do I remove the O2 sensor? Anyone else have this issue?
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  #20  
Old 08-14-2007, 10:40 AM
BavDude BavDude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BavDude View Post
I have an issue with my engine block drain plug. I have the tip sheet from Pelican Parts, but on my '98 328i there's an exhaust pipe oxygen sensor right in front of the drain plug; it doesn't look like there is enough clearance to get the drain plug out. Do I remove the O2 sensor? Anyone else have this issue?
Done deal. It was the drain plug and it was an exhaust manifold oxygen sensor. There was just barely enough room to loosen the drain plug, just not enough room to completely remove the plug. That worked out fine; made it easier to put it back in and prevented the coolant from splashing everywhere. Only downside is that I wasn't able to replace the seal washer. I can live with that.
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