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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 08-28-2012, 02:25 PM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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Radiator Install Advice

I will be attempting to install a new radiator relatively soon in my vehicle, and i have been reading and looking at a lot of the diy links. So i know this will sound stupid but in order to slide out the radiator, the fan clutch with fan and cowl must be removed correct? Also since its an auto the transmission hoses must be detached as well?
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2012, 02:38 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkgreene39 View Post
I will be attempting to install a new radiator relatively soon in my vehicle, and i have been reading and looking at a lot of the diy links. So i know this will sound stupid but in order to slide out the radiator, the fan clutch with fan and cowl must be removed correct? Also since its an auto the transmission hoses must be detached as well?
Yes, to the fan, cowl and clutch.

Not absolutely necessary for tranny hoses but would make the job easier.
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2012, 02:45 PM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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ok ty.
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2012, 11:50 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I asked the same question over here:
- One users' example of total electrical failure (AAA towed away) alternator repair (1) (2)

And, since you have the automatic, see this:
- What's the trick to get the radiator back in on the M52 engine?

This is my procedure for removing the fan shroud:
- Removal instructions for the fan shroud of a 2002 525i

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Last edited by bluebee; 08-29-2012 at 11:52 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2012, 08:20 AM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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Appreciate it. Reading up on links you have posted.
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2012, 09:00 AM
oembimmerparts oembimmerparts is offline
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We have seen a few people damage the threads on the waterpump where the clutch screws on, So start it 3-5 threads by hand first before you start with a wrench when re-installing.

Max
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2012, 09:00 AM
Bwood1 Bwood1 is offline
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Had to replace expansion tank after 2 months

I did the cooling system refresh this summer (in Texas) on my 2002 540 M Sport and used a Behr expansion tank from OEMbimmerparts. It lasted 2months and started leaking. I replaced it with a BMW expansion tank last night and OEMbimmerparts has given me a RMO to refund my money.

Believe it when everyone says to stick with the BMW expansion tank (through experience).
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2012, 09:30 AM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oembimmerparts View Post
We have seen a few people damage the threads on the waterpump where the clutch screws on, So start it 3-5 threads by hand first before you start with a wrench when re-installing.

Max
Thank you for the heads up. I concerned about the atf hoses. I have read that one member removed one and some fluid came out. If i have no choice but to remove the atf hoses to complete the radiator install and some fluid is released, where will i be able to add some? should i? The transmission in my 98 is functioning with no issues, last thing i want to do it mess that up.
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkgreene39 View Post
I have read that one member removed one and some fluid came out
You do not have to remove the hoses to get the radiator out nor in.

They just get in the way when you're putting the radiator back in - but everyone gets around it by pushing, pulling, cursing, and shoving.

In the bestlinks are more DIYs for doing this job than you can read in a week so you should be fine.

Just make sure to buy all the right parts first (see the lists in the bestlinks of what to get) as you'll be doing belts and tensioners at the same time and maybe even the OFH leak and an ICV cleanout, etc.
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2012, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
You do not have to remove the hoses to get the radiator out nor in.

They just get in the way when you're putting the radiator back in - but everyone gets around it by pushing, pulling, cursing, and shoving.

In the bestlinks are more DIYs for doing this job than you can read in a week so you should be fine.

Just make sure to buy all the right parts first (see the lists in the bestlinks of what to get) as you'll be doing belts and tensioners at the same time and maybe even the OFH leak and an ICV cleanout, etc.
good to know, hopefully i will succeed. One thing at at time, if i can complete this successfully then i will tackle more things. For now im only doing the radiator. I have been reading these links.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...eplacement.htm
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/01/34/22
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/01/34/18
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/00/32/77
http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm
http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/199986
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2012, 03:40 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkgreene39 View Post
good to know, hopefully i will succeed. One thing at at time, if i can complete this successfully then i will tackle more things. For now im only doing the radiator. I have been reading these links.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...eplacement.htm
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/01/34/22
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/01/34/18
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/00/32/77
http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm
http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/199986
Now there is a guy who did his homework. Good search work!
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  #12  
Old 09-15-2012, 07:35 PM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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Well I received my replacement radiator last week via autohausaz . They sent me a new one because the one i originally bought was seeping coolant by the upper radiator hose area. I had time saturday plus some time off. So today I attempted the hardest diy so far, the replacement rad, lower hose, bypass hose, coolant temp switch. The overall result was a success with some frustration on the side. When I completed the install the new behr made in SA radiator is again seeping in the same spot. I am too exhausted to redo this again with a dealer radiator, hell im willing to get any radiator but behr at this point. So i will give it some time and decide what radiator to purchase that wont seep RIGHT AWAY although at this point im starting to get annoyed and think they are all nothing but a p.o.s. Next time i will redo it along with new water pump, expansion tank, and fan clutch.

The fan clutch removal was the easiest to do, granted i purchased the 32mm wrench with pulley holder because i am new at this and whatever makes the job easier on a newbie wrencher the better so I'll take it.

The hardest was fishing the radiator under and over the atf lines, that was a bitch. Two of my friends helped me wiggle it out. Annoyingly I broke that clip by the expansion tank bleeder. I have bought mtc replacment not the oem just in case, however some freaking reason i cannot get the bleeder screw flush with the expansion tank clip. Once i install the clip, the bleeder screw does not screw in all the way, so obviously i am doing something wrong. So iinstalled the bleeder screw and jerry rigged with ziptie at the moment. I attached a pic of where the coolant is seeping from the radiator, AGAIN. Also a pic of the aluminum thermostat housing that an indy installed for me over a year ago, it looks strange underneath with a black discoloration of a line running across it, is it about to crack? members will tell me you should have replaced everything when i was down there, next time i will.
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Last edited by bkgreene39; 09-15-2012 at 07:38 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-15-2012, 10:00 PM
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If it makes you feel any better, here are all the mistakes I made when I did my radiator replacement ...

- How not to remove the nipple from the E39 radiator (broken radiator nipple)
- How not to put your E39 fan clutch back on (crooked fan clutch nut)
- How not to bleed your E39 cooling system (1) (broken bleeder screw)
- How not to replace your E39 thermostat (thermostat loom misplaced)
- How not to remove your E39 expansion tank (broken expansion tank nipple & cn90 repair)
- How not to put your radiator back in (1)
etc.
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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
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  #14  
Old 09-15-2012, 10:29 PM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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I believe I have read the links you have posted, also its no biggie but for some reason the link for how not to install radiator doesn't lead to anywhere, or maybe its my browser? not sure. I am happy i worked on the vehicle to this extent because it has granted me experience. It is just frustrating in a way that I did all this work just to install another pos radiator. Tomm morning I have to figure out how to get the bleeder screw flush with the clip. Bleeding the system was messy, twas a coolant massacre. Overall im happy that i got the experience to do this.
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  #15  
Old 10-03-2012, 11:10 PM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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After two defective behr made in South Africa radiators right out the box I have switched to nissens. Its too early to judge but after a week its bone dry, hoping it will stay that way for some time.

I changed the expansion tank as well. The expansion tank was the original one and still worked, i had no issues with it. Looking and holding the nissens radiator in hand I noticed that it feels better built then the behr. Especially by the plastic where the upper and lower hoses attach too.

Last edited by bkgreene39; 10-03-2012 at 11:21 PM.
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  #16  
Old 10-04-2012, 05:14 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Nice work. Hopefully, you used a dealer sourced Behr expansion tank. Otherwise, you may be redoing this in a few months. Like your radiator, Behr has some issues with where they make some parts. As you have found, it is also better to get the right parts and do EVERYTHING in a single DIY rather than to try and save a few bucks and doing it piecemeal.
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  #17  
Old 10-04-2012, 09:32 AM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Nice work. Hopefully, you used a dealer sourced Behr expansion tank. Otherwise, you may be redoing this in a few months. Like your radiator, Behr has some issues with where they make some parts. As you have found, it is also better to get the right parts and do EVERYTHING in a single DIY rather than to try and save a few bucks and doing it piecemeal.
The expansion tank is indeed sourced from the dealer. My service records for this car go up to 2004. So there is a large gap that is missing from that time till now. When I purchased the vehicle private party I took it to an indy to do some work on it. Some of the work that has been done included changing the belts in the car and adding an aluminum thermostat housing. This was done last year in august.

In early September of this year I took it to an indy for radiator installation with the behr that I have purchased. Unfortunately the part I gave them was defective. After that I decided to start wrenching on the vehicle myself, and I am glad I did. So far I have installed the radiator, upper and lower hoses, expansion tank, coolant temp sensor and added the brass bleeder screw. The water pump has not been changed and the fan clutch has not been changed. The vehicle is approaching 87,000 miles. I will get too them shortly in due time. Even though I frequent the forums and read about all the cooling system horror stories and the constant stating of preventive maintenance is key, I at times lean away from preventative maintenance. Sometimes I feel that if it isn't broke don't fix it. The expansion tank that I have changed was 14 years old and still worked, so I wonder what the lifespan of these components really are. I guess it differs from vehicle to vehicle and driving conditions.

This forum makes owning the e39 a better experience as many I am sure can attest to. A lot of amazing information and time as been put in by members to make this forum great. I wish I started working on the car earlier because I would have saved money from the beginning. But I am a beginner and all beginners start somewhere and well I guess now is my time.

Now I am off too research as to the cause of why my vehicle occasionally has the taillights blinking when the vehicle is left parked overnight. Living in an urban setting I am just hoping that some moron set off my alarm by bumping my car whilst parking, and it is not a battery and or alternator issue. The alternator in my car is from 1997 and the battery I am not sure about other then it is a interstate battery.

Last edited by bkgreene39; 10-04-2012 at 09:50 AM.
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  #18  
Old 10-04-2012, 12:24 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkgreene39 View Post
After two defective behr made in South Africa radiators right out the box I have switched to nissens. Its too early to judge but after a week its bone dry, hoping it will stay that way for some time.

I changed the expansion tank as well. The expansion tank was the original one and still worked, i had no issues with it. Looking and holding the nissens radiator in hand I noticed that it feels better built then the behr. Especially by the plastic where the upper and lower hoses attach too.


I have feeling AZ knows that everyone now ask for SA radiator so they just use SA labels on all China crap to be able to sale them

I have 2 SA radiator from AZ , one is 1 years old and 1 is 3 month old with 0 leaks
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Last edited by champaign777; 10-04-2012 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:55 PM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post


I have feeling AZ knows that everyone now ask for SA radiator so they just use SA labels on all China crap to be able to sale them

I have 2 SA radiator from AZ , one is 1 years old and 1 is 3 month old with 0 leaks
I would hope someone as legitimate as autohaus would not dare do such a thing, but in this day and age anything is possible I guess. Lets hope not, I will give them the benefit of the doubt and just go with the fact that I received two duds unfortunately. They were gracious to send me the nissens.

In regards to your behr radiators do you happen to know the build date of the ones you have installed.
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