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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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  #1  
Old 12-07-2013, 07:11 PM
small_525 small_525 is offline
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Aluminum Thermostat Housing

Okay I guess I jinxed myself. I had some time on my hands and figured I'd make the fan pulley wrench/holder to have for when I needed it. So I made one up and figured I'd give it a try for fit. Well turns out that the pump on the I6 the bolts aren't square but rectangle and the tool only works on the two bolts further part and the wrench cannot be made to work with all four b/c of the nut even when the tool is built for the hole spacing.

Any way I digress, as usual, while checking for fit and turning the pulley a bit I see a green spot on the alt belt!! Anti freeze from some where! I was hitting, making contact, with the T stat housing a bit while monkeying around and thought maybe its cracked. I wiped the belt and ran the car and cannot fond any other signs!! No more leak??

The Radiator is a year old as is the expansion tank. I have a new/spare water pump from my e34, same part number, so I'm planning on changing it with the t tats housing. O'reilly's auto showed one in stock, same price as those online I figure are plastic.and it turns out its the aluminum variety. Plan brown box w/t the t stat marked "Moto RAD" has a black gasket already installed.

I'm in no hurry to do this and can return it after reading about leaks with the aluminum yet most were for older models, mines an '03. The casting looks okay and if it doesn't leak it won't/shouldn't need replacing again for leaks and I like that idea. I think Poolman mentioned using Black RTV on these to insure they don't leak. CN90 has said to avoid.

Well what says the group? Anyone have good luck with the Aluminum?
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2013, 05:34 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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My 2 cents on this is as follows--I searched for quiet some time, trying to find a vacuum leak because of lost gas mileage. I had changed out the cooling system on my car with new parts and afterwards my mileage was down. I searched for months trying to find out what was wrong. Then I noticed that when hot weather came around , my mileage was where it should be,,then when cold weather came around ,,it went to H"ll again..The I checked my running temp via the OBC and found during cold weather the running temp was around 76C,,and for full fuel atomization the temp should be around 96C. That is when I discovered that the electronic stats that go in these engines are not the same--You need the OEM stat for the fuel system to work properly--Now if you want to take a chance on loosing fuel mileage ,,but insure the hosing doesn't break (By Using The Alum Housing)that is your decision.. There is a Metal housing that will allow the use of a convential stat,,Turner motorsports sells it,,but expensive
On the RTV--I used a product called the right Stuff and was just a thin layer layed down--They call this The Right Stuff ,,because It Is. Little costly also--will need to be used with a calking gun--never have seen the material in a tube like permatex products come in.
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2013, 07:08 AM
small_525 small_525 is offline
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Thanks Poolman.
A call to the dealer may be in order then. I was just hopping that over the years and this being for a later model, and different brand, then the one others had issues with, I may have gotten lucky. I had not read of aftermarket giving issues with actual drivabilty, every I've been revolved around leaks. Even there most didn't have issue with aftermarket "plastic" housing.
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2013, 01:43 PM
dvdlkd dvdlkd is offline
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small 525, I thought the aluminum T stat housing was only good on the 97 and 98 E39. After that, the design of the T stat when to electrically assisted and the wires went through the plastic thermostat housing. Doesn't your 03 have an electrically assisted T stat? If you can use an aluminum housing, I have had good luck with mine for over 90k miles. The forging was rough but a little buffing smoothed it out so the hoses would not leak. Could be wrong on the 03. I could not find an aluminum housing for my son's 2000 528 and still keep the electrically assisted thermostat.
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2013, 06:54 PM
small_525 small_525 is offline
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dvdlkd I was thinking that too when I was surprised to see this was Aluminum I figured I got lucky. It had the tstat and sensor just like on my plastic housing now. The housings exterior didn't look bad and the mating surface looked good too. I was going to run a file on the edges just to make sure but after Poolmans comments about performance with aftermarket I'm leaning to OEM yet its almost twice the cost!! The AL one was made by ?Murray? and said motorad on the tstat. If this wasn't such an ordeal to change I'd almost be willing to take my chances. Alas I'm making my "While I'm here" list of other parts to change at the same time.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2013, 08:28 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by small_525 View Post
the tool only works on the two bolts further part
Just curious if you used the plans in this thread (found by typing /counterhold in the bestlinks)?
- How to make your own BMW cooling system overhaul fan clutch nut counterhold tools (1) (2)

If so, do the plans need updating?
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 12-09-2013 at 07:14 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2013, 08:46 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by small_525 View Post
Anyone have good luck with the Aluminum?
When I last researched this (years ago), it was my understanding that it wasn't worth the problems to go aluminum if plastic is the OEM.

I don't remember the details, but they might be here:
- Complete cooling system overhaul recommended parts list (1)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 12-09-2013 at 07:15 AM.
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  #8  
Old 12-09-2013, 05:13 AM
small_525 small_525 is offline
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Thanks for your comments Blue, I was hopping that the new aluminum was going to be the ticket but after Poolmans comment about aftermarket not working well sensor wise for the thermostat I'd rather not take the chance. I did look hard at seeing if I could remove the sensor from the Aluminum one and swap it with one from a OEM plastic one to have the best of both worlds. I'm not sure it can be done and I hate to wreck them. That said since I do plan on changing it when the time comes I will try and remove the sensor form that old one being replaced. IF I'm able to remove it successfully I may "try for" a swap with a Aluminum one for a spare I'd hope to never need.

As for the wrench I did follow the instructions yet I rounded the measurements to standard fractional dimensions like 3/16" plate 1/2" holes etc. I should have read further in that thread you posted where you ask about the "Warning" pelican because I thought I was smart to reinvent the wrench to work with all four and because of the nut it can't be done. Lesson learned.

I tried the holder out this weekend and I tried to just use it against a wrench without hammering and it bent. So I smacked it a few times with a hammer and the nut came loose. SO I'd say the drawings are pretty spot one. For my e34 I used the single hole bar that it shown it worked just as well. I just thought I'd try build a more "pro" looking tool.
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2013, 07:10 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by small_525 View Post
As for the wrench I did follow the instructions yet I rounded the measurements to standard fractional dimensions like 3/16" plate 1/2" holes etc. I should have read further in that thread you posted where you ask about the "Warning"
While most threads are intended to have people follow in our footsteps, I have a bunch of "how not to" threads, so that people don't follow in my footsteps and make the same mistakes.

It would be nice if you can append your experience to that comprehensive counterhold tool thread, so that others won't make the same mistake.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 12-09-2013 at 07:16 AM.
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2014, 12:51 PM
small_525 small_525 is offline
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Hey sorry for the delay in updating here. Bluebee I'll post to that other thread also.

As I said I had a spare pump and had decided to make the wrench work on either combination of holes but that just won't work using this design. The drawing is spot on and works using the two bolts furthest apart .

Here is the thing I wanted to try it out before I got into the project and well it failed at the nearest bolt hole/slot in the tool. The material was pretty thin. Now it also twisted because I still had the top hose on so the wrench was at an odd angle. So at work today I brazed up the failure and straightened it out pretty well. I then went over to the break press and made an offset. It now fits on the bolts and clears the t-stat housing and upper hose! Most likely many here won't be able to bend steel like that but if you can I think its a neat addition.

As soon as it warms up I will siphon out some coolant to help minimize the mess and change out the upper hose. I'll try and shoot a picture of the tool so you all will get a better idea. These pictures just kind of show the tool.


 photo P1010483_zps27003e0f.jpg

 photo P1010484_zpsc0b6f34a.jpg

 photo P1010482_zps8f282d2f.jpg
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2014, 09:14 AM
small_525 small_525 is offline
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OK so I see nothing wrong with the Tstat housing. There are some marks where the o-ring makes contact but nothing to indicate any issue worth changing it. Now while I was examining the upper hose connection I see nothing either as far as cracks or damage. I'm a betting man and say the o-rings are shot. I'm going to run with the new hose for now checking for leaks. If there aren't any then its fixed. I will replace the o-rings on the old hose and try it too, "just to see". these aren't that big of a pain to swap out and draining some anti-freeze before limits the amount of waste and mess. If the new o-rings do the job I'll swap back to the new and put the old in reserve for long trips "in case of emergency kit"

Here is the tool I made;

 photo P1010487_zps6b2fe55f.jpg

 photo P1010491_zpsacccf7f5.jpg

 photo P1010488_zps28b5645e.jpg
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  #12  
Old 01-22-2014, 07:17 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I think it's beautiful!

EDIT: Are you saying that, with the bend, the same tool works on both sets of pulley bolts?
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__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 01-22-2014 at 07:23 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-22-2014, 07:56 AM
jfive96 jfive96 is offline
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- -I'm running the aluminum housing and I have no issues. Also I have never had to use that tool in those photos from above.- -
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2014, 06:48 AM
small_525 small_525 is offline
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Thanks for saying that Bluebee I'm blushing.

Okay to clarify. I tried to make the tool to work on both sets of bolts but failed because in order to grab the two holes set closer together the "cut out" for the nut is too small so the tool won't work.

When I was trying the Original designed tool from these prints I was using it with the Upper Hose still on, which didn't allow the tool to fit well up against the pulley, it was at an odd angle. It did "work" and I was able to loosen the nut but it broke the tool. While I was repairing the tool, I decided to but an offset in, so it could be used with the Upper Hose still connected. It works well. After going through the exercise of building it, I have come to the conclusion that there is probable not one reason in the world where you will need to loosen the nut AND have that upper hose still in place. That said, this Mod isn't really that use full. Granted it clears the T-stat housing which would still be on in most cases making the area where the tool can be used greater. Again not worth the effort, especially if you get the angle too large or the offset wrong you'll have a useless tool and have to start again.

Bottom line follow the drawing, and take off the upper hose to gain access.

Last edited by small_525; 01-23-2014 at 06:50 AM.
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