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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 05-28-2010, 12:21 AM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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I did it! A zero pressure cooling system.

Well, I decided that if I run a zero pressure cooling system, I may not have to do that next cooling system overhaul. No pressure, no exploding radiator.

So I ordered a case of Evans NPG+ waterless coolant. Not cheap at about $120, but if it saves an overhaul............... The case was 4 gallons. It took 12 liters (or about 2 3/4 gallons) to fill the system. That leaves over a gallon for top-ups, since you can't add water or any other kind of coolant with Evans.

I fully drained the system, radiator, lower hose, block drains, and ran the heater pump to get it out of there. I must have got it all because Bentley says it holds 12 liters and that is exactly what I got in it. So everything must have been out and there can't be any air trapped in there. After the NPG+ fill I changed the 2 bar cap for a 1.4 bar one.

With a boiling point of 375 degrees there should never be any pressure in the system now.
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2010, 07:39 AM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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keep us posted with your findings on this chief. As pricey as it is, might really be cheap insurance against a failed radiator or hose for us e39s.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:44 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Thanks Chief!

It was discussed in bimmerforums 4 years ago:
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=618224
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:45 AM
Pappa Bear Pappa Bear is offline
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sounds awsome. much cheaper than 2, 3, 4 overhauls. even my zionsville develped a crack in it, bad weld.
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2010, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Pappa Bear View Post
sounds awsome. much cheaper than 2, 3, 4 overhauls. even my zionsville develped a crack in it, bad weld.
how long after you installed it did the crack form?
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:11 AM
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Chief, please update how the engine runs (a long term update would be awsome).

Concerning the Zions unit failing at the welds, it has been reported a few times.
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:12 AM
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So, let me get this straight; when this fluid heats up from say 90 degrees ambient to say 220 degrees operating temp, there is no increase in pressure? Just trying to understand the physics of it?
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:32 AM
kentd98 kentd98 is offline
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There is no need to pressurize the system to keep the coolant from boiling off.
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  #9  
Old 05-28-2010, 09:36 AM
Pappa Bear Pappa Bear is offline
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Originally Posted by ganesht View Post
how long after you installed it did the crack form?
it was about 3 years old. PO put it in, major + when deciding to purchase it. then the leak on the expansion tank. Zionsville wouldnt replace it for me either. slapped some JB weld on it because its not like its an OEM system and the crack means the whole thing is gonna blow. everything else has been replaced twice. but the JB is holding for now, until i get someone to teach me how to tig.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:21 AM
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How can you say that this is a zero-pressure system, when you have a 1.4 bar pressure cap on it?

I can't see much advantage to lowering the pressure by 9 psi.
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  #11  
Old 05-28-2010, 10:35 AM
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So, let me get this straight; when this fluid heats up from say 90 degrees ambient to say 220 degrees operating temp, there is no increase in pressure? Just trying to understand the physics of it?
As coolant gets hot, it expands. Since the cooling system is sealed, this expansion causes an increase in pressure in the cooling system, which is normal and part of the design. When coolant is under pressure, the temperature where the liquid begins to boil is considerably higher. This pressure, coupled with the higher boiling point of ethylene glycol, allows the coolant to safely reach temperatures in excess of 250 degrees.

The radiator pressure cap is a simple device that will maintain pressure in the cooling system up to a certain point. If the pressure builds up higher than the set pressure point, there is a spring loaded valve, calibrated to the correct Pounds per Square Inch (psi), to release the pressure.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:42 AM
tacoma330ci tacoma330ci is offline
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Part number for 1.4bar cap?

Hey Chief,

Whats the part number of the 1.4bar cap? sounds like a good way to go to protect the system...

As long as the evans coolant doesn't corrode the water jackets/pipes etc... would be a nice longterm fix to the PM of the cooling system...
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCo540i View Post
As coolant gets hot, it expands. Since the cooling system is sealed, this expansion causes an increase in pressure in the cooling system, which is normal and part of the design. When coolant is under pressure, the temperature where the liquid begins to boil is considerably higher. This pressure, coupled with the higher boiling point of ethylene glycol, allows the coolant to safely reach temperatures in excess of 250 degrees.

The radiator pressure cap is a simple device that will maintain pressure in the cooling system up to a certain point. If the pressure builds up higher than the set pressure point, there is a spring loaded valve, calibrated to the correct Pounds per Square Inch (psi), to release the pressure.
but how is it possible that this stuff would be able to heat up w/o creating any pressure?
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  #14  
Old 05-28-2010, 12:54 PM
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but how is it possible that this stuff would be able to heat up w/o creating any pressure?
That's my point, everyone is buying into this but no one can answer that question.
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:00 PM
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I took the car for a ride on the freeway today, about 80 miles round trip, AC on, air temp in the 90's. When I got home I immediately opened the hood and opened the radiator cap. A very small psst sound, might have been 2 or 3 lb. pressure. This would be from liquid expansion. The real pressure in a radiator is built up from the liquid exceeding its boiling point. This pressure then raises the boil point of the liquid. It works just like a pressure cooker, and like a pressure cooker, if you pop the cap when its hot....disaster. The liquid in my radiator never gets even close to its boiling point of 375+ degrees, so no real pressure. If I wanted to eliminate that 2 or 3 lbs, I can cut the spring or drill a small hole in the cap, either will have no effect on the function of the system. In any event, I went from 30 psi to 2 or 3 psi in the system, which should be a good thing.
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by tacoma330ci View Post
Hey Chief,

Whats the part number of the 1.4bar cap? sounds like a good way to go to protect the system...

As long as the evans coolant doesn't corrode the water jackets/pipes etc... would be a nice longterm fix to the PM of the cooling system...
For "normal" coolant, it's not (protect the system). Once the pressure increases past 1.4 bar (which you will have in a "normal" BMW), all your coolant will escape right there. You will have a "controlled" if you will, crack induced on top of your expansion tank.

Now, even if it corrodes, you won't have pressure in the system, which might allow you to patch up a pipe or a hose even with ducktape until you're home. Not so if it's high pressure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganesht View Post
but how is it possible that this stuff would be able to heat up w/o creating any pressure?
I believe the boiling point of that liquid is very very high. Much higher than the boiling point of the normal coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
I took the car for a ride on the freeway today, about 80 miles round trip, AC on, air temp in the 90's. When I got home I immediately opened the hood and opened the radiator cap. A very small psst sound, might have been 2 or 3 lb. pressure. This would be from liquid expansion. The real pressure in a radiator is built up from the liquid exceeding its boiling point. This pressure then raises the boil point of the liquid. It works just like a pressure cooker, and like a pressure cooker, if you pop the cap when its hot....disaster. The liquid in my radiator never gets even close to its boiling point of 375+ degrees, so no real pressure. If I wanted to eliminate that 2 or 3 lbs, I can cut the spring or drill a small hole in the cap, either will have no effect on the function of the system. In any event, I went from 30 psi to 2 or 3 psi in the system, which should be a good thing.
I will have to read on this. What's the freezing point of this stuff? We have very frosty winters, but if this stuff can withstand -40C I might be game.
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  #17  
Old 05-28-2010, 01:35 PM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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Per Evans "protects from -40 to 375".
http://www.evanscooling.com/npg/

I did a lot of reading before I made the change, and not just from their web site.
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  #18  
Old 05-28-2010, 01:45 PM
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Does the heater still work?
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  #19  
Old 05-28-2010, 01:48 PM
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Thanks Chief.
It's very, very tempting to use the stuff.
And compared to a total cooling overhaul......which you might not need now.....Not mentioning Zionsville.
Basically the only "scary" thang left is the fan and it's bloody clutch........
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:51 PM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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Does the heater still work?
Why wouldn't it? The liquid is just a hot, it just won't boil.

I'm not going to run out and test it. It wouldn't come on anyway. The Climate Control system only goes up to 90 and it's over 90 here today.
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:55 PM
taggart taggart is offline
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Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
Why wouldn't it? The liquid is just a hot, it just won't boil.

I'm not going to run out and test it. It wouldn't come on anyway. The Climate Control system only goes up to 90 and it's over 90 here today.
Wow! That's probably all we need to address the cooling problem. Hope it works out. Say is it necessary to change to a lower bar cap? Just curious.

Over 90 is HOT!
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:12 PM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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No, you don't need to change the cap. I just had it laying around and decided to use it. But, it is critical that ALL of the old coolant be removed before putting the NPG+ in the system. Water or traditional antifreeze will contaminate the system.

Per Evans: WATER IS CONSIDERED TO BE AN IMPURITY, AND HARMFUL TO THE SYSTEM.
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:41 PM
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This stuff appears to be designed for big diesel trucks. These engines run at a much lower temperature tham the E39 V8. Ever notice the radiators covered over in the winter, so the driver doesn't freeze to death?

There may be a point there.

Keep us posted.
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Old 05-28-2010, 06:24 PM
july865 july865 is offline
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Does the heater still work?
thermostat maintains the proper temp still
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  #25  
Old 05-28-2010, 07:01 PM
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POof540i POof540i is offline
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Nice, how often do you have to change the fluid?
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