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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 01-02-2013, 01:48 PM
Mark Thompson Mark Thompson is offline
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Location: AL
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 325i, 1997 Z3 2.8
Coolant flush and belt replacement

I have a '97 2.8 with 98,000 miles. I noticed the drive belt was in bad shape and decided to change it. I also plan to flush and replace the coolant. While I have easy access to the water pump and thermostat, do you think it would be wise to change them? I believe they are original. Do you think I should replace hoses and tensioner pulley also. I'd appreciate your thoughts on this.
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2013, 03:10 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 Z3 Roadster
At that age, you should replace everything made of plastic in the cooling system: radiator, coolant reservoir, fan, water pump pulley, thermostat housing, and hoses. While you might have a decent water pump (with a metal impeller), at that point, it's a pretty easy job to replace.
All of this is known to turn brittle and fail suddenly. It's all pretty simple to do-it-yourself, but if something breaks, it will be very expensive, possibly even an engine, which can turn to scrap metal in just a few minutes without coolant.
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2013, 03:21 PM
nfunk nfunk is offline
1998 BMW Z3 2.8L
Location: New Orleans
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW Z3 2.8L
I thought I saw someplace that the 2.8L didn't have plastic impellers. Is this correct or not?

Nick
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2013, 04:05 PM
Mark Thompson Mark Thompson is offline
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Location: AL
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 325i, 1997 Z3 2.8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklane View Post
At that age, you should replace everything made of plastic in the cooling system: radiator, coolant reservoir, fan, water pump pulley, thermostat housing, and hoses. While you might have a decent water pump (with a metal impeller), at that point, it's a pretty easy job to replace.
All of this is known to turn brittle and fail suddenly. It's all pretty simple to do-it-yourself, but if something breaks, it will be very expensive, possibly even an engine, which can turn to scrap metal in just a few minutes without coolant.
The radiator??
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2013, 04:31 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Location: Louisville, KY
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,326
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9 5MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by nfunk View Post
I thought I saw someplace that the 2.8L didn't have plastic impellers. Is this correct or not?
From what I have seen, all the OEM impellers are plastic. For a metal impeller, you have to go aftermarket for a Stewart water pump. There are several vendors, here's one:
http://www.bimmerzone.com/BMW_Perfor...STE-30330.html
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2013, 05:35 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Thompson View Post
The radiator??
Absolutely the radiator. The plastic end tanks get brittle and break at the inlet nipple.

Like this:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=160105
or this:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=658706

There is also a good YouTube video on BMW cooling system failure modes.

Last edited by Blacklane; 01-02-2013 at 05:42 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2013, 07:37 PM
Bob2.8 Bob2.8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage42 View Post
From what I have seen, all the OEM impellers are plastic. For a metal impeller, you have to go aftermarket for a Stewart water pump. There are several vendors, here's one:
http://www.bimmerzone.com/BMW_Perfor...STE-30330.html
2.8's have metal impellers

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...tal+water+pump
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2013, 08:00 PM
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IgotBMW IgotBMW is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 Z3 1.9L M44
Sorry to get off topic, but I have a question for Bob2.8.

Bob2.8, where did you get your roll hoops?
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1996 Z3 (M44)
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2013, 04:37 AM
Bob2.8 Bob2.8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IgotBMW View Post
Sorry to get off topic, but I have a question for Bob2.8.

Bob2.8, where did you get your roll hoops?
They are Alumex, a German company. The PO installed them, not sure if they are still available or not.
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2013, 05:23 AM
Mark Thompson Mark Thompson is offline
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Location: AL
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 325i, 1997 Z3 2.8
Any suggestions on a radiator? Prices and brands galore! What about Vista or Silla brand? anyone have any experience with these?

Last edited by Mark Thompson; 01-03-2013 at 01:37 PM.
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2013, 05:29 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is online now
formerly updmst
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 658
Mein Auto: 2000 M Coupe, 1997 318ti
I would also change the plastic expansion tank. If the budget allows, get the Stewart's water pump - http://store.bimmerworld.com/stewart...6e46-p680.aspx Replacement BMW water pump are know to fail. I've never heard of a Stewart's pump failing.
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2013, 06:28 AM
rudyrov rudyrov is offline
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Location: Bothell, WA.
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW Z3
Just FYI, those roll bars look to be Alumex. I have been searching the web and that company seems to have either gone out of business or changed names.
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  #13  
Old 01-04-2013, 04:17 PM
Mark Thompson Mark Thompson is offline
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Location: AL
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 325i, 1997 Z3 2.8
Thanks to all for your input.
I've decided I will be replacing the radiator, expansion tank, water pump, thermostat and housing, water pump pulley and all hoses.
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