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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-26-2011, 06:07 PM
3B2M8WI 3B2M8WI is offline
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Question Not sure if i need to overhaul my cooling system

Ok so i am about to flush my coolant and i am wondering what is necessary to replace at this time. I know the number one thing to replace on these cars is the cooling system because of the plastic parts that can crack and drop your coolant but i am not sure if this applies to me or not my car has a metal thermostat housing on it. I was wondering if BMW made certain cooling system parts metal after a certain year on these cars or if some one else has already replaced these parts the car has 114000 miles on it i bought it at 106000.

I know i may have no idea that i am talking about i am just trying to learn as much as possible before i change the coolant.

any information would be greatly appreciated.

thank you
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  #2  
Old 02-26-2011, 06:23 PM
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TRaV MaNN TRaV MaNN is offline
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It was probably replaced with the aluminum housing. I don't think there is a way to tell about the water pump unless you take it out.

PO have any knowledge about it when you bought it.?
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  #3  
Old 02-26-2011, 06:36 PM
3B2M8WI 3B2M8WI is offline
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Yeah I am looking (sorry forgot I had this) at the car facts that I got with it. It says nothing about something on the cooling system replaced.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:37 PM
3B2M8WI 3B2M8WI is offline
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Although some one could have done it on their own
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:20 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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BMW used three different kinds of water pumps throughout the E36's production run. They were plastic in the early years, then they switched to a composite impeller, which was better than the plastic impeller. They also used water pumps with metal impellers. When I overhauled my cooling system in the fall, it had the original date-stamped water pump still in the car, and it was a metal impeller. Since your car is the same year as mine ('98) there's very good chance that if your car has the original water pump, it's the one with the metal impeller. That said, your water pump may have been changed by the previous owner. Or, if it is the original pump and you have the metal impeller, the same rules of when you should change it out still apply. If the impeller doesn't get you, a failed bearing will. That's why I say regardless of which of the three water pumps you might have in your car, always change it out every 75-100k miles (or if you don't know when it was last changed).

Same goes for the radiator, expansion tank, bleeder screw, and radiator cap.
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:20 PM
3B2M8WI 3B2M8WI is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
BMW used three different kinds of water pumps throughout the E36's production run. They were plastic in the early years, then they switched to a composite impeller, which was better than the plastic impeller. They also used water pumps with metal impellers. When I overhauled my cooling system in the fall, it had the original date-stamped water pump still in the car, and it was a metal impeller. Since your car is the same year as mine ('98) there's very good chance that if your car has the original water pump, it's the one with the metal impeller. That said, your water pump may have been changed by the previous owner. Or, if it is the original pump and you have the metal impeller, the same rules of when you should change it out still apply. If the impeller doesn't get you, a failed bearing will. That's why I say regardless of which of the three water pumps you might have in your car, always change it out every 75-100k miles (or if you don't know when it was last changed).

Same goes for the radiator, expansion tank, bleeder screw, and radiator cap.
ok sounds good thank you for the great information.

Do you know where i can get a complete overhaul kit?
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:26 PM
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I got my overhaul kit from ECSTuning.com (a BimmerFest vendor). Very decent prices.

Also, I forgot to mention - you'll want to replace your belt-driven fan, too. Like the other plastic items in the cooling system, they get brittle over time and fan blades can suddenly break off and go flying into your brand new radiator. They're only around $30, and you'll have it out of the car when replacing the water pump anyway.
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  #8  
Old 02-26-2011, 10:06 PM
3B2M8WI 3B2M8WI is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
I got my overhaul kit from ECSTuning.com (a BimmerFest vendor). Very decent prices.

Also, I forgot to mention - you'll want to replace your belt-driven fan, too. Like the other plastic items in the cooling system, they get brittle over time and fan blades can suddenly break off and go flying into your brand new radiator. They're only around $30, and you'll have it out of the car when replacing the water pump anyway.
Ok thanks for the help!
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:18 PM
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When you replace the waterpump, make sure you find the one with the composite impeller. All BMW waterpumps at this point that you can buy are remanufactured, and have a composite impeller. The composite impeller is much lighter than the metal one, and less therefore puts less stress on the bearing.
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2011, 08:28 AM
3B2M8WI 3B2M8WI is offline
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Originally Posted by ethereal45 View Post
When you replace the waterpump, make sure you find the one with the composite impeller. All BMW waterpumps at this point that you can buy are remanufactured, and have a composite impeller. The composite impeller is much lighter than the metal one, and less therefore puts less stress on the bearing.
Ok I will thank you
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