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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-15-2012, 06:04 AM
Shoalin Shoalin is offline
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Radiator Replacement DIY on a 330i?

Anybody have a good DIY for replacing a radiator? Putting it in, filling it, bleeding it, and whatever else might need to be done for a successful replacement - best way to connect the upper hose. I broke the radiator by putting on the new upper radiator hose - that hose was so hard to put on that I had to put alot of pressure on it which ended up damaging the radiator in that corner. Ugh!

Over the weekend I have already replaced the thermostat, water pump, water pump pulley, upper radiator hose (which I have to take back because the bleeder hose broke - it was an expensive cheap part).

I guess there is also transmission thermostat sensor that should also be replaced.

Grateful for the help, thanks.
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  #2  
Old 10-15-2012, 06:42 AM
bimcwe bimcwe is offline
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lol check your other post.
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  #3  
Old 10-15-2012, 07:23 AM
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I did some shaky vids, but worth watching,



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  #4  
Old 10-15-2012, 07:57 AM
Shoalin Shoalin is offline
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Watched the videos. Have some questions.

How did you go about draining the coolant?

Why did you have to drain the transmission fluid?

How did you go about replacing the transmission fluid?

How to put the radiator fluid in the new radiator?

How to put in the upper radiator hose without damage to the radiator (like I did the first time - I pressed that hose in with all the strength I could muster but learned that it was not a good method!)

Is it absolutely necessary to remove expansion tank to take out the radiator?

What was your method of bleeding the coolant line?

I know that these are alot of questions. I thank you for taking time to answer any of them.
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  #5  
Old 10-15-2012, 10:02 AM
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smolck smolck is online now
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Originally Posted by Shoalin View Post
Watched the videos. Have some questions.

How did you go about draining the coolant?

Why did you have to drain the transmission fluid?

How did you go about replacing the transmission fluid?

How to put the radiator fluid in the new radiator?

How to put in the upper radiator hose without damage to the radiator (like I did the first time - I pressed that hose in with all the strength I could muster but learned that it was not a good method!)

Is it absolutely necessary to remove expansion tank to take out the radiator?

What was your method of bleeding the coolant line?

I know that these are alot of questions. I thank you for taking time to answer any of them.
Drained the coolant from the radiator petcock. I didn't remove the trans fluid. I removed the transmission cooler from the radiator, all auto's have one but you don't loose any trans fluid.

The new radiator goes in exactly the reverse of removal. Yes, you have to remove the expansion tank because it will bind as it comes up, you can remove the alternator and P/S pump reservoir and it might work, but what a bunch of extra work.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2012, 03:00 PM
Shoalin Shoalin is offline
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Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Drained the coolant from the radiator petcock. I didn't remove the trans fluid. I removed the transmission cooler from the radiator, all auto's have one but you don't loose any trans fluid.

The new radiator goes in exactly the reverse of removal. Yes, you have to remove the expansion tank because it will bind as it comes up, you can remove the alternator and P/S pump reservoir and it might work, but what a bunch of extra work.
I asked a auto parts store if they had any transmission cooler and the guy I talked to didn't know what I was talking. He said there is transmission fluid and radiator fluid (He said radiator fluid was the coolant). Since this is my first time working on the coolant system, I don't know enough yet to talk intelligently with the auto parts people.

I noticed in your video that the transmission cooler came from that metal box and was a clear looking liquid and the petcock (i think) was drained from the radiator it's self. So I was a little thrown off by the transmission cooler drain. If I drain it I don't know how to put this liquid back in when I put everything back together.

I do have a Haynes repair book I'm going through (chapter 3 cooling system), but I got to have this car running by Wednesday. It's not in our budget to keep our rental car past that time. So the pressure is on. Yikes! I thought I had the car finished Sunday, but I ran into the problem with the overheating which was caused by a damaged radiator. Oh, joy.
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Last edited by Shoalin; 10-15-2012 at 03:02 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2012, 04:51 PM
Shoalin Shoalin is offline
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Ok, I finally got it. The transmission cooler is not a liguid - it is the metal box - the part it's self. The transmission cooler is filled with coolant (antifreeze). I'm writing this for the sake of someone else who has never done this before and is wonder what the terms mean.

So when the coolant system as been drained and all parts replaced then the coolant (antifreeze) is poured into the expansion tank and then the system is bled. When the system is bled the coolant will travel to all the parts of the cooling system.

Someone confirm if my understanding is correct.

Thank you again for all your help.
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  #8  
Old 10-15-2012, 05:02 PM
Shoalin Shoalin is offline
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Also for the uninitiated radiator fluid is coolant (antifreeze). I didn't know. So many names for one fluid. I guess with older cars the coolant was poured directly into the radiator - hense the name radiator fluid. The Bimmer has an expansion tank also called a reservoir tank which the coolant is pour into instead of the radiator.

For people who have worked on car alot, this is a no brainer. But for me it's news.
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2012, 05:13 PM
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smolck smolck is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoalin View Post
Ok, I finally got it. The transmission cooler is not a liguid - it is the metal box - the part it's self. The transmission cooler is filled with coolant (antifreeze). I'm writing this for the sake of someone else who has never done this before and is wonder what the terms mean.

So when the coolant system as been drained and all parts replaced then the coolant (antifreeze) is poured into the expansion tank and then the system is bled. When the system is bled the coolant will travel to all the parts of the cooling system.

Someone confirm if my understanding is correct.

Thank you again for all your help.
Yes, you got it.
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