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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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  #1  
Old 02-10-2010, 07:20 PM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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Expansion tank cracked...

So I stopped at a stoplight today and noticed a small amount of steam rising from the hood. I stopped at the gas station and popped the hood open, steam and coolant everywhere. I filled the car up with water (1.5 gallons went in), I drove the car home and nailed it down to the expansion tank.. It has a 2" crack in the back of the expansion tank (side by the radiator).. Waiting on parts now... Dealer is asking $115 for the tank. I have seen aftermarket direct replacement parts for $58.00..

Anyone have experience with this, and any of the replacements?
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2010, 08:18 PM
TxGr8White TxGr8White is offline
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try: www.autohausaz.com
$56.82
they have OEM stuff for very cheap...
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2010, 08:58 PM
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M.Wong M.Wong is offline
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Another option - $61.50

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/e38enginecooling.html
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  #4  
Old 02-11-2010, 05:19 AM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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Nice! thanks guys, quick question though-

The car's "low coolant" light never came on, while the car was running it would appear that the expansion tank was full although my father mentioned that in his M-sport 540i it is very sensitive to coolant level and when his tank cracked it was showing low coolant after loosing about 4mL.. I am wondering if there is a good chance that my level sensor is not fuctioning??

Also the car never got hot, never waivered from the halfway mark, and also didnt appear to leak while driving, more so at stops. Any ideas on that? How may gallons does this car hold (of coolant) I would have thought at 1.5 gallons short it should have gotten hot at least..
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  #5  
Old 02-11-2010, 12:51 PM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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Ordered From autohausAZ

Paid for expidited shipping, Got the tank and sensor for $100.00 shipped.. Can't beat that with a stick..
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  #6  
Old 02-14-2010, 08:35 AM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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Waiting on parts, they are supposed to be delivered Monday. The removal took only 5 minutes, hopefully the install will go as smoothly. Hate not being able to drive the car.. Luckily my father was leaving town and let me come over and borrow his 540i M-Sport while he is out of the country.
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  #7  
Old 02-15-2010, 12:16 PM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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I took my time with the install and it took about 25 minutes double checking everything. Gently bled the system and the car idled up to temp and held center guage. I used aftermarket clamps and turned them to the side as instructed to avoid shroud seating issues. All in all it went smoothly.

Quick Tip- If you buy from Autohausaz the expansion tank COMES WITH THE SENSOR so save yourself the $25.00. I was unnaware of this and ordered the sensor seperately.. I guess i have a spare now.

Thanks for the PM's and I have decided to start buying the parts I may need in the near future (radiator, waterpump, starter, alternator) just so I have them available when the time comes. (waiting on parts is one of my least favorite things... Thanks again.
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  #8  
Old 02-15-2010, 02:37 PM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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A few quick winter shots post repair..

Pictured- My 1997 740i waiting to be driven, and "the loaner" aka the 1999 6 speed 540i M-Sport my father lets me borrow when I need to.. not a bad loaner if you ask me. My wife prefers the 740i hands down, becuase she doesnt like the manual in the 540i..





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2001 740il Sport- Needs maintenance.. Parts ordered..
2006 Volvo XC90- Kid Hauler
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  #9  
Old 02-23-2010, 01:45 PM
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CodyItaliano CodyItaliano is offline
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hey since you're going to be in there, check the condition of the hoses and radiator itself. being they all have plastic parts, might be a good idea to go ahead and think about replacing those also if money isnt a problem. i got my upper and lower hoses for about $40 each at the dealership. i still want to replace my expansion tank and radiator since it gets nice and hot down here in south texas.
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2010, 02:45 AM
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CodyItaliano CodyItaliano is offline
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those are genuine BMW parts they sell? i want to replace my expansion tank and radiator before summer comes around. my E38 is my daily driver. i'll probably price the parts at my local dealership, i get a bit of discount with them. but then again they still are marked up quite a bit for most parts.
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*Der E38*
manufactured: 7/01
color: anthrecite metallic
wheels: style 89 E66, 19X9F 19X10R
ext. lighting: 8000k D2S & LED plate light
*want to get sport rear diff*
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2010, 04:06 PM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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It appeared to be OEM (Behr) and came with the sensor for $58 shipped...
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2010, 06:10 PM
bmwtime740 bmwtime740 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrtec View Post
It appeared to be OEM (Behr) and came with the sensor for $58 shipped...
entire coolant system is made by Behr on my 740. I replaced it from BMW.
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  #13  
Old 03-04-2010, 02:04 AM
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CodyItaliano CodyItaliano is offline
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well dont think i could beat that price. i like how easy these cars are to work on. i'll let you know if i order it.
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*Der E38*
manufactured: 7/01
color: anthrecite metallic
wheels: style 89 E66, 19X9F 19X10R
ext. lighting: 8000k D2S & LED plate light
*want to get sport rear diff*
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  #14  
Old 03-16-2010, 04:25 PM
southpol southpol is offline
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easy fix

I had the same problem. I purchased the tank from the dealer for about 80 bucks. Only takes about ten fifteen minutes to replace. Be careful with the sensor attached to the bottom of the tank. It can be quite sensitive.
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  #15  
Old 05-27-2010, 07:29 AM
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PETER NEWMAN PETER NEWMAN is offline
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Cracked expansion tanks a warning !

Expansion tanks cracking are caused either by the viscous fan coupling failing or the head gaskets are leaking but check the fan coupling first, If it just free wheels without pushing air when the engine is hot and the car is stationary.
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  #16  
Old 07-13-2010, 06:18 AM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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Tank cracked again..... Not sure whats up with that.
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  #17  
Old 07-13-2010, 10:48 AM
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PETER NEWMAN PETER NEWMAN is offline
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expansion tank cracks

In my opinion your head gaskets are leaking but again I say make absolutly sure that your viscouse fan coupling is working properly, Peter
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  #18  
Old 07-13-2010, 11:01 AM
tommyb2b tommyb2b is offline
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Your tank cracked again!! Thats unheard of! Are you getting the check coolant level message? Im sure the tank comes with a warranty. I would check the fan clutch as well, make sure theres no play. How long did it take until the tank cracked again?
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  #19  
Old 07-13-2010, 11:15 AM
Jasongind Jasongind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyb2b View Post
How long did it take until the tank cracked again?
According to his posts it took roughly 5 month from the time he installed it. Hope you get it squared away man.
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  #20  
Old 07-13-2010, 01:38 PM
rrtec's Avatar
rrtec rrtec is offline
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There is no coolant in my oil or vise versa so I am doubting a headgasket problem. The tank did not split in the same spot this time, it is a small place (too small to see with the naked eye) on the bottom of the tank on a manufacturing seal mark.. I bought a new one from the dealer today out of desperation (heading on a 1200mile trip this week) and couldnt wait for the replacement from Autohaus AZ.. I think that this event was a manufacturing defect on this tank, since the original replacement I have been able to smell a slight hint of coolant on that side of the engine bay..

The OEM tank that was on the car when I bought it split on the back side where they all crack... This is a slow drip that occurs when the car is off.. It does not leak when the car is running.. I am going to replace the tank this evening and will check the fan as well.. (any hints on how to check the fan?m it appears to be functioning properly as it moves lots of air and does not seem easy to move when the car is off..
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  #21  
Old 07-13-2010, 07:30 PM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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After further investigation the tank had a small hairline crack on the seam running up the side.. The coolant was running down and dripping off the bottom... I completed the repair and checked the fan clutch which to my knowlege appears to be working correctly. I am holding fast to blaming "manufacturer defect"..
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  #22  
Old 07-13-2010, 09:59 PM
Jasongind Jasongind is offline
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Hope it is repaired and good luck on your trip.
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  #23  
Old 07-14-2010, 10:52 AM
tommyb2b tommyb2b is offline
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Good luck dude! With the fan you check if there is play. If so replace it fast!!
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  #24  
Old 07-14-2010, 05:54 PM
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rrtec rrtec is offline
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What do you mean by play? I did the tests I know how (turn the car on let it run then shut it off and watch the fan stop.. , move the fan by hand and see if you can get it to spin easily on your own.. ect..) and It "passed" those tests, the car blows air well and never gets hot..
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  #25  
Old 07-15-2010, 11:07 AM
tommyb2b tommyb2b is offline
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Hmm how do I explain it lol.. Does it move back and forth like do they blades move vertically as if the fan clutch were not on properly? Also when the car is on are you able to stop it with your hand? If your still not understanding I can make a video for you to explain.
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