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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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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  #1  
Old 11-10-2011, 09:30 AM
z168 z168 is online now
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Genuine BMW Expansion Tank

I replaced my expansion tank in July2010 with what I thought was "OEM" labeled as Hella-Behr and had "made in china" below it. I didnt make anything of it and installed it. As soon as I installed it the sensor level was leaking so I had to make "adjustments" for it. 14months later its leaking again.

So I decided not to mickey mouse with the reservoir and bought genuine BMW tank, level sensor and cap. Also got a brass bleeder for it which I will eventually do on my other cars as well.

No leaks, im happy. Lets see how long this one will last. Took pics of a Hella-Behr next to the Genuine Unit. Sorry for the lousy pics but you can tell right away from the finish



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  #2  
Old 11-10-2011, 09:50 AM
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You're not the only one unhappy with Behr China expansion tanks:
- Why new Behr/Hella expansion tanks are DOA (1)

It would be interesting to see what your Chinese expansion tank looks like inside:
- Behr radiator and Behr/Heat expansion tank autopsy (1) (2) & request for another Behr surge tank autopsy (1)
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:21 AM
z168 z168 is online now
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hey Bluebee - love your comprehensive posts!

I still have it. How did you slice it? I only have a drill, a battery powered dremell, a sawzall, and a hacksaw.


Checked the links you posted ^ I didnt realize the V8 tank is different than the i6. The V8 tank only has 2 hoses leading to it (small on top, larger on the bottom)
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Last edited by z168; 11-10-2011 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z168 View Post
How did you slice it?
I used a dremel tool cutting wheel.


Previously I had seen a lateral slice:
- BMW E39 Expansion Tank Failure Analysis

I realized that a vertical slice is more appropriate for an expansion tank, so I sliced it down the middle of the long side:
- Will the next person who replaces his expansion tank please cut it open & compare?



Note the two bottom hose holes marked 'medial' and 'distal' (plus the third sensor hole) in my I6 expansion tank below:


It will be interesting to see your results for two reasons:
1) We need to know what's different about the Behr China expansion tanks, and,
2) We're still trying to better understand how the black float works!

Last edited by bluebee; 11-10-2011 at 10:35 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2011, 10:44 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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I have always wondered who makes reservoir for BMW these days.

For many many years, Behr makes reservoir for BMW and so far so good until recently.

So here is the $1M question:

1. Does Behr still make reservoir for BMW? If so, is there "double standard", i.e., the aftermarket Behr is made in China and the BMW (made by Behr) is made in ? Germany.

2. Or another XYZ company now makes reservoir for BMW?
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:46 AM
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Fudman Fudman is online now
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I recently bought one and it had the BMW emblem and BMW part # ground off but had a sticker that said made in Germany. We shall see...
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:49 AM
z168 z168 is online now
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huh....interesting...mine just has a logo and no usual marking of where its made or the nice stickers that usually come with genuine parts. In fact mine didnt even have the nice plastic wrapping or the box. Which actually made it suspect when I got it. but comparing the unit I got with the china made Behr, fit and finish was different.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:50 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Does anyone know any source for ALUMINUM coolant reservoir?
I can see a market for it given the Behr has failed to keep up the quality.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:51 AM
z168 z168 is online now
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this looks awesome. but a lot of money for a potential collision part...




of course theres this

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Last edited by z168; 11-10-2011 at 11:52 AM.
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  #10  
Old 11-10-2011, 12:37 PM
Reefin' Dude Reefin' Dude is offline
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i still have the one i replaced. i will take a look at it and see if i can see any unusual markings. this time i went with an inexpensive ebay one. if i can not trust a $70 tank, than i would rather spend $30 and not trust it. so far so good on mine.

G~
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  #11  
Old 11-10-2011, 05:25 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I recently bought one and it had the BMW emblem and BMW part # ground off but had a sticker that said made in Germany. We shall see...

Shaved off BMW logo means purchased other than BMW parts counter, and that means a lot cheaper for the exact OEM part. You lucky bastich!!! I shipped back the Behr (made in China) POS that was leaking right away and had to buy the "good" one from the BMW "store" at a premium. At least that one is doing the job.
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  #12  
Old 11-12-2011, 05:38 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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Just a couple of comments on the reservoir photos, from a molding perspective. The reservoir on the right is a pretty poor molding.
1) There is heavy sinking due to the internal ribbing. This is typically caused by not adequately packing out the mold during injection or running the mold at too low a temperature.
2) There is a heavy knit line running up the middle of the part where the material flowed around the mold & met in the middle. This is emblematic of either too low a mold temperature or too low an injection barrell temperature. This causes a weak point that can either split or leak.
3) On the top of the part, the one in the back is shiny around the gate. This is where the plastic shrank away from the mold cavity, again a sign of inadequate filling of the mold.
4) There is a little bit of "splay" (shiny snot like areas) running through both parts, but the one on the right a little more. The recycling symbol indicates the part is made of 6/6 Nylon, which needs to be dried extensively prior to molding. Otherwise moisture in the resin causes the splay. This also degrades the mechanical properties of the finished part.
5) Most likely both parts are made of 6/6 Nylon, but this is a material grade, not a brand. There are literally hundreds of different brands of nylon compounded and they are very definitely all created equal.

The one with the BMW logo is a significantly better quality of molding.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:48 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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timarnold,

Great observation.

I have been using aftermarket parts in many vehicles for a long time from reputable makers such as Behr, Sachs, Bosch, Hella, INA etc. etc.

From a country of origin perspective, here are my observations:
- The H7 bulb is Hella made in India: great product.
- The Bosch relay is made in Spain, great product.
- The Mann fuel filter is made in S. Africa, great product.
- The Mann oil filter is made in Mexico, great product
- My Nissens radiator is made in Denmark, great product.

However, whenever a part (from a reputable maker) is made in China, you can warranty money it will fail very soon! You can say this with 99% certainty.
So avoid car parts made in China.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:25 AM
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To the OP & to the injection molding experts out there:

It's hard to tell which the assessment is referring to; are these annotations correct?


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Last edited by bluebee; 11-12-2011 at 07:42 AM.
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  #15  
Old 11-12-2011, 10:14 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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Thanks,
Your location of the annotations is 100% correct.
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timarnold View Post
Your location of the annotations is 100% correct.
Thanks. I'll try to leverage this information to others, so that we can tell, on sight, whether a new expansion tank is well made or not.

BTW, do any other experts out there know what the OTHER markings indicate on the expansion tank pictures above?
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  #17  
Old 11-13-2011, 08:06 AM
z28forlife z28forlife is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z168 View Post
this looks awesome. but a lot of money for a potential collision part...




of course theres this

Where do you buy that?
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  #18  
Old 11-14-2011, 02:18 AM
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gibo58 gibo58 is offline
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genuine bmw

With all this talk about expansion tanks I thought I should check the one I bought from Pelican Parts back in Febuary but still havn't fitted. I checked my invoice and saw I had paid $86 for it. I then checked the part at Pelican from the part number on the invoice 17111436381-M9, unfortunately that part number didn't come up

Seems they don't stock the geniune part for my car anymore, just oem and another odd make.
The oem one was only $68 but why would you save a few bucks rather than buy geniune knowing the problems these parts can cause. Below is the stamp on my tank and the bag it came in




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Old 01-11-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
timarnold,

Great observation.

I have been using aftermarket parts in many vehicles for a long time from reputable makers such as Behr, Sachs, Bosch, Hella, INA etc. etc.

From a country of origin perspective, here are my observations:
- The H7 bulb is Hella made in India: great product.
- The Bosch relay is made in Spain, great product.
- The Mann fuel filter is made in S. Africa, great product.
- The Mann oil filter is made in Mexico, great product
- My Nissens radiator is made in Denmark, great product.

However, whenever a part (from a reputable maker) is made in China, you can warranty money it will fail very soon! You can say this with 99% certainty.
So avoid car parts made in China.
+1.
While doing the DIY for replacing my oil filter housing gasket, I noticed my Behr radiator is made in South Africa...
Nifty....
Just as long as it is NOT made in China...!
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:37 AM
uncmozo uncmozo is offline
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Notice z168's BMW expansion tank has the date code and the aftermarket one doesn't. The date code is the round circle with the '10' inside -'2010'. The dots around the edge of the circle represent months - 8 dots = August. The machine operator adds a punch mark in the mold at the start of each new month. So, this tank was manufactured in August of 2010. The tank from gibo58 was manufactured in November 0f 2009. This allows for trace-ability of defective parts.
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Last edited by uncmozo; 01-11-2012 at 10:41 AM. Reason: ?
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  #21  
Old 01-11-2012, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncmozo View Post
The date code is the round circle with the '10' inside -'2010'
So others benefit, I'll add this information to the cooling system date-clues thread:
- Cooling system date stickers & radiator date codes & markings (1) (2)

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Old 01-11-2012, 05:35 PM
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Oh, I see. The China part has no traceability because it is not needed. They are all garbage.
I wonder if they are really Behr or a Behr ripoff clone?
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  #24  
Old 01-25-2013, 08:45 AM
zzvelik zzvelik is offline
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Thanks for posting the pics. I changed my expansion tank 6 times in 18 months even though the mechanics swore that they were using OEM Behr parts. I finally bought one from straight from the dealer 6 months ago and it I was able to distinguish the knockoff and the OEM just as you've shown in the pictures. I'm not sure where the dealer part was manufactured, but it's still functioning fine, unlike the cheap China junk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
To the OP & to the injection molding experts out there:

It's hard to tell which the assessment is referring to; are these annotations correct?


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