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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 09-08-2012, 10:31 AM
sawtooth4x4 sawtooth4x4 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1988 E30 Super ETA 325
Upper Radiator hose

Is there supposed to be a black spacer at both ends of the hose. I found a black round plastic piece the same diameter of the radiator hose ends. I only found one.

I put it on the radiator side and it feels nice and snug. But the hose on the thermostat feels loose and i'm sure it will leak.

At this point i'm thinking i just need new o-rings. I've looked all over on the floor and on the engine, but I cannot find another piece like this one.

i'll take a picture.
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2012, 10:35 AM
sawtooth4x4 sawtooth4x4 is offline
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I think this part just goes on the radiator and there isn't one on the thermostat side. Correct???

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  #3  
Old 09-08-2012, 11:21 AM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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interesting i have nothing like that on my 98. when i installed my upper hose it just has two clamps on each end.
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  #4  
Old 09-08-2012, 11:47 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Has the radiator been replaced on this car?

Just speculating here but that piece you found on the undertray might have been a protective shipping cap for the hose or a port on a new rad, and the installer may have simply dropped it.

The rad hoses on these models don't have spacers. You can check realoem.com for the parts in your system.
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  #5  
Old 09-08-2012, 01:30 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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+1, the M54 has NO spacers on the radiator hoses. They simply push on and then push the clip down. That's it.
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  #6  
Old 09-08-2012, 07:34 PM
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wat's dat noise
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no spacers on mine...........
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  #7  
Old 09-08-2012, 10:27 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Radiator autopsy here:
- Behr radiator and Behr expansion (aka surge) tank autopsy (1) (2)
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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
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:59 AM
sawtooth4x4 sawtooth4x4 is offline
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alright! i figured this out!

These little plastic rings are what hold the o-ring in place inside the hose. I found one in the other side of the hose. I searched around town yesterday and found some o-rings that fit the hose. reinstalled everything and no more leaks.

interesting engineering BMW. I've seen a few questionable designs. oh well. I guess i'm just to used to working on Mercedes, but they too have been questionable through the years.
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2012, 08:21 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawtooth4x4 View Post
alright! i figured this out!

These little plastic rings are what hold the o-ring in place inside the hose. I found one in the other side of the hose. I searched around town yesterday and found some o-rings that fit the hose. reinstalled everything and no more leaks.

interesting engineering BMW. I've seen a few questionable designs. oh well. I guess i'm just to used to working on Mercedes, but they too have been questionable through the years.
Nice find. Was the hose leaking before you removed it? Is it possible that the act of removing it loosened this "spacer" ring to the point that it fell out? The hose probably would have leaked badly if that piece hadn't been in place beforehand. I can't imagine any reason to purposely disassemble the hose by removing those seals. Do they snap into place, or are they simply press-fit?

As you know, BMW doesn't sell the O-rings separately. I suspect the O-ring material is somewhat softer than that used in the generic O-rings you can get from the stores.
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  #10  
Old 09-09-2012, 08:34 AM
sawtooth4x4 sawtooth4x4 is offline
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They are press fit. I had to replace the thermostat since we had a pin hole develop in one of the expansion tank hoses. The hose had been rubbing on the AC compressor pulley. all sorted now. The car got.pretty hot and I decides to change out the thermostat as cheap insurance.

Anyway I found the plastic piece in my drain pan. After messing with it yesterday I finally figure out where that piece went.

I had to replace the o rings because there was coolant leaking.out after I pressurized the system and bleed the air out. After everything was back together we took it on a 200 mile drive through Yellowstone National Park. No leaks. No overheating. Works great.
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  #11  
Old 09-09-2012, 08:43 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawtooth4x4 View Post
Anyway I found the plastic piece in my drain pan. After messing with it yesterday I finally figure out where that piece went....
I hope you mean you found it on the undertray, Do you think the piece was missing all along or that it fell out when you disconnected the hose?

I suspect it fell out, otherwise you'd've had a big leak. These hose connectors can be tough to remove without using some "rough wiggling" haha but it's funny that your thread is the first I've seen about this spacer piece finding its way out. I bet it's happened to many folks but few if any took notice and just went and bought a new hose. You can be sure I'll be paying attention every time I remove one of these hoses from now on. I still am not clear on why BMW picked this design but maybe .... maybe that ring is like that to allow the hose connector to accommodate slight variations in inlet/outlet port diameter. Hell I dunno....

Thanks for updating us on this, though.
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  #12  
Old 09-09-2012, 08:50 AM
sawtooth4x4 sawtooth4x4 is offline
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It just fell out when I disconnected the hose. I had the belly pan off since I was replacing some hoses. It just happened to fall into the pan I was using to drain my coolant into.

So be aware people if your hose isn't sealing anymore. Put new o rings in. I think I used a 1.5 inch diameter by 3/8" thickness. Works great. No leaks now.

I imagine the reason for the design is for simpler assembly line process.

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  #13  
Old 09-09-2012, 03:29 PM
Bwood1 Bwood1 is offline
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I had this experience and it is the inside of the radiator hose falling apart. It was the plastic ring that holds the o-ring in place. It means the hose end has failed. It helps keep the hose centered and keep the o-ring in place.
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