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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 01-30-2012, 12:19 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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If I correctly read this thread posted today, the OP broke the radiator nipple and was successful in making a temporary expoxy repair until new parts arrived:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Notes from my cooling system overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwpo1 View Post
2. When removing the fan shroud be very careful to pry upward, not forward. When I removed mine I pried it forward and it broke the vent spout on the top right hand side of the radiator. This was an issue because I initially was changing out the water pump and the belts. So I was forced to epoxy it back together until the radiator and hoses arrived. This is a very temporary fix as it could not gain a total seal and the antifreeze degrades the epoxy over time. It lasted two weeks, just long enough to get the radiatior and hoses in.
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  #27  
Old 01-12-2013, 05:13 PM
SharkD SharkD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
- Another lesson I learned, the hard way, is that simply pressing out on the two tabs locking the nipple in place breaks off these two tabs quite easily. The problem with that is that these tabs are part of the radiator, not part of the nipple. So, once you break these two tabs, you're ruined the radiator.
The O-ring on my 3-year-old nipple failed (Behr radiator with a test date of 3/6/2010).

Desipite using two jeweler's screwdrivers to open the tabs and lifting the nipple with a third, the two alignment tabs broke.

Since the tabs don't serve to retain the nipple, only keep it straight, is the radiator really ruined, or is it still safe to run?

(I tried the 9mm socket trick, but couldn't reach the prongs, possibly because 2 were broken when I did get the nipple out.)
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  #28  
Old 01-12-2013, 07:20 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Don't worry about those radiator tabs.

Once the nipple is in, the nipple's tabs (inside the rad) will keep the nipple in place.
Plus, when the Fan Shroud is down and the rivet (plastic clip) is attached, the Fan Shroud keeps the nipple downward and it has no chance of coming out.

Just grease the O-ring a tiny bit to slide it in.

This is a photo from my car (taken from another DIY) to show you the rivet on the Fan Shroud:


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  #29  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:09 PM
613fatboy 613fatboy is offline
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How to remove rad nipple in one piece :dunno::mad:

Hi,
Interesting problem...here's what I make of the "10 mm socket" solution;
1. Remove upper rad hose.
2. Get a 10 mm socket and tie a string through it so you don't drop the socket inside the rad. Tie the other end of the string to something big.
3. Somehow, you need to manouver the socket inside the hole where the upper rad hose used to be. You want to fit the socket over the 3 "fingers" of the nipple so that when you apply upwards pressure on the socket (toward the nipple), the 3 "fingers" get squeezed in and the entire nipple should just pop right out!
4. Do the happy dance.




NOTE: Looking at your new spare rad nipple, it's obvious that the nipple was meant to stay put unless those 3 "fingers" are somehow compressed, and that is where the 10 mm socket comes in. Practice this with your new spare rad nipple before you attempt it on the actual rad.

Last edited by 613fatboy; 03-04-2013 at 07:06 PM.
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  #30  
Old 02-05-2013, 10:11 PM
613fatboy 613fatboy is offline
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How to remove rad nipple in one piece



Hi,
Interesting problem...here's what I make of the "10 mm socket" solution;
1. Remove upper rad hose.
2. Get a 10 mm socket and tie a string through it so you don't drop the socket inside the rad. Tie the other end of the string to something big.
3. Somehow, you need to manouver the socket inside the hole where the upper rad hose used to be. You want to fit the socket over the 3 "fingers" of the nipple so that when you apply upwards pressure on the socket (toward the nipple), the 3 "fingers" get squeezed in and the entire nipple should just pop right out!
4. Do the happy dance.



NOTE: Looking at your new spare rad nipple, it's obvious that the nipple was meant to stay put unless those 3 "fingers" are somehow compressed, and that is where the 10 mm socket comes in. Practice this with your new spare rad nipple before you attempt it on the actual rad.
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  #31  
Old 03-04-2013, 03:17 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 613fatboy View Post
it's obvious that the nipple was meant to stay put unless those 3 "fingers" are somehow compressed,
I received this PM today, which shows even a broken nipple will seal (perhaps due to the o-ring in the midline of the nipple):

Quote:
...whilst removing the radiator shroud, having seen your extensive documentation about the radiator nipple, I very carefully eased it out of the hole with two small screwdrivers - I'm sure it offered almost no resistance and came straight up. When it was out, however, I found that two of the three legs had been broken off. I know someone else had worked here previously, in fact, the radiator was not completely seated and didn't have the rivet on one side.
My question is: Is it possible for the cooling system to have operated with the nipple having only one leg? Does it seat well enough with the o-ring? Or would pressure in the system surely have popped it out, thus being evidence that I broke it?

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  #32  
Old 03-21-2013, 10:19 AM
mikeson mikeson is offline
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I just replace mine yesterday.
Those 2 tabs are just guide for the nipple in right position and it doesn't hold it. So I guess, even we brake those 2 tabs, it is ok.

And I didn't even clear those 2 tabs when I remove the nipple. just left it up with 2 screw drivers and it pop up and came out one piece.

Anyway, thank you for those who put picture as DIY and it helps me a lot.




Quote:
Originally Posted by SharkD View Post
The O-ring on my 3-year-old nipple failed (Behr radiator with a test date of 3/6/2010).

Desipite using two jeweler's screwdrivers to open the tabs and lifting the nipple with a third, the two alignment tabs broke.

Since the tabs don't serve to retain the nipple, only keep it straight, is the radiator really ruined, or is it still safe to run?

(I tried the 9mm socket trick, but couldn't reach the prongs, possibly because 2 were broken when I did get the nipple out.)
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  #33  
Old 03-21-2013, 05:00 PM
Quantumlogic Quantumlogic is offline
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Thumbs up

while replacing radiator, the nipple came off as if it was just there. no effort realized that it was actually broken. since the coolant was already out a little pry up top and a second pry with a small screwdriver on the radiator drain location caused broken tab to fall out. I was replacing radiator any ways so didn't matter, but the 9mm socket trick is ingenious.
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  #34  
Old 07-25-2013, 12:03 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this was posted today, with nice pictures:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Radiator leak?
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  #35  
Old 07-25-2013, 12:18 PM
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I dremeled the top off then I took a screw driver and punched it into the tank then it fell out the drain pipe.
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  #36  
Old 07-25-2013, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hh3uunp View Post
I dremeled the top off then I took a screw driver and punched it into the tank then it fell out the drain pipe.
That works!

But, the goal is figuring out how to remove the nipple without destroying it.
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  #37  
Old 07-25-2013, 08:10 PM
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Why not just replace it? It was like $10 for it.
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  #38  
Old 10-31-2013, 06:23 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hh3uunp View Post
Why not just replace it? It was like $10 for it.
You're missing the whole point. Re-read the first post for the reasons.

Anyway, today this similar thread came up, and it was nice to see that the advice here and elsewhere helped....
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > vent house fitting elbow removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by onebadbmw View Post
does this piece snap out of place or is there a trick to get it out.

http://www.eaceuroparts.com/parts/pa...00%20419%20132
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by onebadbmw View Post
thanks! another successful diy
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Last edited by bluebee; 10-31-2013 at 06:26 AM.
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  #39  
Old 10-31-2013, 06:52 AM
dnbigdog dnbigdog is offline
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I had to perform this job last week due to a compressed o-ring that was allowing a leak. Thanks to the forum it was easy, just place a screw driver or small pry bar under the horizontal portion of the nipple and pry upward. It popped right out, thankfully intact and changing the new one was simple.
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  #40  
Old 10-31-2013, 08:15 AM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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you got lucky

my bmw indy replaced it, old one came out but one of the legs remained. I doubt it will harm anything as it it too large to clog the radiator passages.
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  #41  
Old 01-01-2014, 02:38 PM
LarryDibat LarryDibat is offline
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Cool New Way to Remove the Radiator Nipple - Easy

Received the new nipple from Pelican Parts, stated with a cold car.

Loosen the radiator shroud and moved it towards engine.

Used a heat gun to warm up the radiator and old nipple, once the plastic was a little warmer than I wanted to touch I put a flat screwdriver into the space between the nipple and the radiator from the driver’s side, pressed/twisted slightly. Up it popped!!

Loosened the clamp, pulled out the nipple, put the new one on and snapped it into place.

15 minute repair, no more leak and did it a couple of more times to my buddies cars.

Heat gun, not blow dryer…
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  #42  
Old 05-19-2014, 11:56 AM
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I've never really understood WHAT this so-called "overflow" hose really does, but, the question came up today in another thread, which I'll reference here:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > coolant seepage, what is this piece?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim K. View Post
Hello All. My 163k, 1997 528i had the top radiator hose suddenly come loose, with predictable needle quickly pegged into red. Got off the road, let it cool down completely, reattached the hose (did not see any plastic piece mentioned by some for 540i, don't know if that applies to 528i?), moved the hose clamp in closer to the radiator, as you can tell in the photo (so it fit in two groves), refilled, bled, etc. Seems okay in that held steady temperature the 4 miles it took me to get home. My question is the small seepage i am getting out of the plastic piece on top of the radiator (rounded piece in picture and can see coolant seep). It has a couple slits in the sides and coolant oozes out once the engine has some temperature. Is this by design as in some sort of relief valve? In other words, is this normal? Would appreciate any info.
thanks,
Jim

See also:
- BMW E39 cooling system autopsy (1) & how not to bleed your cooling system (1)
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  #43  
Old 08-06-2014, 07:31 PM
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For cross reference, there was yet another nipple thread today ...
- Real OEM does NOT have a picture of the part I'm looking for.
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  #44  
Old 08-07-2014, 08:48 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For cross reference, another nipple thread came up today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Topping off coolant...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommylaw9 View Post
looks like its just the nipple failing. what do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommylaw9 View Post
nipple came out like butter. all 3 legs intact. problem is, I can't see any obvious signs of failure. here are pictures post-op. what do you think?

NOTE: I seem to remember the replacement nipple being of a different size than the OEM Behr and/or Nissens nipple, so, that, in and of itself, might be the reason this OPs nipple came out like butter.
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Last edited by bluebee; 08-07-2014 at 05:20 PM.
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  #45  
Old 12-06-2014, 03:02 PM
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The question came up again today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Radiator Vent L Nipple
Quote:
Originally Posted by gchand View Post
Has anyone successfully removed this from the top left of radiator without it snapping and leaving its internal section in the radiator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dking078 View Post
Yup, I did it a few weeks ago. I knew the plastic shaft was going to break somehow, so i removed the upper radiator hose and put a semi rolled up piece of paper to catch any debris. Aside from dropping one tiny piece of the securing clip (prior to inserting paper catch), it was a perfect job... just a bit of lost coolant. So far no leaks what-so-ever!

Prying it up as bluebee mentions is a good start and if it snaps i would use the paper catch and just push the internally stuck part down.

Others mention the 9mm socket on string method, but there was no way on this Earth i could align that with my big fingers XD

Dealer charged about $5 for the vent tube.
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Last edited by bluebee; 12-06-2014 at 08:37 PM.
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