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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

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 06-17-2013, 01:35 PM
Cliff_Idaho Cliff_Idaho is offline
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Location: Pocatello, Idaho
 
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Mein Auto: 323iC, 2002
freeze plug or head gasket or...?

A few days ago my 1998 323i with the 2.5L straight six developed a rather massive leak of coolant from the rear of the engine.

It is actually a steady stream, not drips. There is no coolant in the oil, that I can tell. Oil level is normal. No oil is coming out. As the coolant is flowing out, it drips down between the engine and transmission.

Beyond that, I can't tell where it is coming from. Freeze plug, head gasket, or what else could be the issue in that part of the car? I have already tried taking off the intake manifold, but I don't see fresh coolant up there, and so I gave up on that.
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2013, 10:45 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
I believe there is a freeze plug on the back of the block, so that could be the culprit. See item #13 in this diagram:

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1998 BMW 328is
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:59 PM
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Shigeta Shigeta is offline
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Location: Hayward, CA
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
I believe there is a freeze plug on the back of the block, so that could be the culprit. See item #13 in this diagram:
Is that freeze plug likely to leak, as commonly seen on the OBDII Oil Filter Housing?
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:29 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
In my experience, freeze plugs are not a common source of leaks on engines, including ours, but it can happen. I worked on an engine in the past (Ford 351) that had blown a freeze plug. And since the OP cited a rather dramatic "massive" leak, that sounds like a failed freeze plug to me. Seems like a HG leak would not be "massive". I'm just guessing, though. I'd recommend getting better look with a telescoping mirror.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback

Last edited by ZeGerman; 06-18-2013 at 11:30 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-19-2013, 03:42 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Time to drop zee trans out
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  #6  
Old 06-23-2013, 03:44 PM
JayMac JayMac is online now
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Mein Auto: what ever starts
If need be I have a 6 on a stand and can take some shots and post for you to look at. Can you tell anything about the location? Heater hose leaking or something like that?
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