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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 10-31-2013, 01:06 AM
white_lancer white_lancer is offline
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split expansion tank

My truck just turned 100,000 miles and started leaking cooling fluid everywhere. checked the usual areas and found a split in the expansion tank. replaced last night - took 20 mins. back on the road again.
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2013, 03:02 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
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Welcome to BMW lol ... On a m54-52 62 and the n series ... You should stock one in house
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2013, 04:31 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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Be careful not to overfill that tank or you'll be replacing it again...
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2013, 07:09 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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anyone tried one of these 1.2 bar caps

anyone tried one of these 1.2 bar caps from german auto ?????

http://www.germanautosolutions.com/b...12_bar_cap.php

Last edited by swampX3; 10-31-2013 at 07:10 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2013, 07:59 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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That's a really interersting concept... BMW factory spec cooling pressures may be too high which contributes to system failure.

Their words: "Our cap will limit the maximum coolant pressure to 1.2 bar (17.5 psi) instead of the OEM spec of 2.0 bar (29 psi). Even something as simple as overfilling the coolant recovery tank a little higher than the recommended level will result in potentially damaging pressures when using the stock 2.0 bar cap."

I guess I don't quite understand how the cap can regulate overall pressure .
I thought the cap was nothing but a safety valve that would open & dump fluid or air if pressure was exceeded. Is that what these caps would do... be opening up all the time dumping coolant all over until proper pressure was attained, or is there some internal mechanism at work which, when operating, allows the coolant to circulate along a different route? Certainly something to think about.

Last edited by jlex; 10-31-2013 at 08:00 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2013, 08:15 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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radiator cap pressure

yes the cap is not a pressure regulator but just a pure relief ....so it would pop at ~ 17 psi and save the plastic parts/old pipes/old heat exchangers that warm our feet etc

the blurb covers the notion that most auto engines relieve over pressure thru the cap at 1.2 bar or ~ 17 pounds ish ......and that newer BMWs have migrated to the lower pressure 1.2 bar caps also

could be that a simple cap change would give some extra lease on life to older plastic cooling system components but I would still go the careful not to over fill and swap weak point system stuff out based on time/climate and miles

also noticed that when we ran a gauge on the x3 and some 3 series older units they averaged about 9 psi of system cooling pressure......plenty of extra left even with a relief at ~ 17 psi

the x with the stewart pump showed no difference in the 9 psi average pressure but looks like a much more robust product.....probably will outlive the car by a 10 factor

Last edited by swampX3; 10-31-2013 at 08:20 AM.
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2013, 01:24 AM
white_lancer white_lancer is offline
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I do have one issue though....

After I completed the job I ran the car for about half an hour ticking over outside the garage to get the car up to temp to check for leaks when the radiator system was pressurised.

I left off the air filter housing and Mass Airflow Sensor whilst I was running the car so I could get a better view of any leakage.

I noticed afterwards that there was a yellow warning light on the dash. it is a little yellow circle with an exclamation mark in the middle. I looked in the manual and it states Automatic Transmission Warning Light.

Is this related to what I was doing? Will this dissappear on its own or will I need to reset it?
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2013, 04:29 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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Running the car without the MAF would certainly have thrown a code or two, but I don't think the auto transmission light should have gone on. I'd think you'd throw a CES (check engine soon) light on the dash instead.
Am wondering if your AT oil temp thermostat got messed up during your tank switch. It's about the size of a shotgun shell & sits at the base to which the tank is attached.
Here's a picture: http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-AUTOMATI...r#ht_606wt_679
I replaced mine at the time I did the tank as many posters have said they broke theirs during the replacement of the tank. Mine didn't break. I don't know if others use a jackhammer or whatever to remove the old tank, but I installed the new one anyway.
Could be the thermostat isn't working or broken & your transmission temps have gone up thereby throwing the light. Better pay attention to what's going on here before somethng nasty happens. Sure, you could cancel the code & see if it returns, but if it does I wouldn't ignore it a second time for fear of losing a transmission.
Looks like your 20 minute project may take a little longer
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2013, 05:00 AM
white_lancer white_lancer is offline
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damn.... thought the job went a little too easily.

I did see the AT thermostat under the expansion tank as there is a little brass piece with a spring attached. There is a pin on the brass piece which locates into the centre of the AT thermostst. I did take care when removing the old expansion tank and when relocating the new tank so I don't think that I damaged the AT thermostat. I think I will remove the tank again and check everything is correct. Does the AT thermostat just lift out of the housing or is there some clever way of removing it?
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2013, 05:15 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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It just pulls out. There's an O ring or two that has it seated pretty well. I just wiggled it out a bit at a time. Check to see how it's seated before pulling it out to make sure the new one is in all the way before reinstalling the tank.
I really don't know what the transmission light measures.... could be temperature; could be low fluid level (which would just be a weird coincidence). Since you just did the tank repair, it's probably the thermostat & temperature related. Don't know if the light will reset itself after the repair or not; you may have to reset it w/ a code reader.
Have fun...
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  #11  
Old 11-01-2013, 05:26 AM
white_lancer white_lancer is offline
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Now I am confused. I just took a good look at the picture of the AT thermostat in your picture and it looks like the brass bit and the spring I was describing are actually inside the AT thermostat in your picture? I am wondering if my AT thermostat is still in one piece?
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  #12  
Old 11-01-2013, 05:30 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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transmission light

oddly enough I left the MAF plug out once on a 330 and restarted the car ......ran good but did set that yellow triangle you write about .....did the battery disconnect trick .....let sit for lunch ......connected up MAF correctly this time and triangle was gone after restart....still haven't figured out the transmission warning triangle and MAF connection logic
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  #13  
Old 11-01-2013, 05:38 AM
white_lancer white_lancer is offline
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Just txt the wife - the Automatic Transmission Warning Light was not on this morning when she started the car and she has been driving the X3 around all morning and the warning light has not come back on yet?

I am pretty confident I did a good job so I will monitor it for a week or so and see if the warning light reappears
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  #14  
Old 11-01-2013, 06:25 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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Maybe just bad ju-ju because you exhibited over-confidence in having made the repair in just 20 minutes. You may not have exhibited enough humility in the presence of superior Teutonic engineering...
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2013, 06:36 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by white_lancer View Post
Now I am confused. I just took a good look at the picture of the AT thermostat in your picture and it looks like the brass bit and the spring I was describing are actually inside the AT thermostat in your picture? I am wondering if my AT thermostat is still in one piece?
Oh... just to add to your paranoia... I'm wondering if the housing on yours broke and the spring and brass head are now exposed. Unless yours is a type I'm not familiar with, the only ones I've seen have the metal encased in the plastic housing. Possibly broken with plastic bits interrupting the operation of the thermostat? I know you want to pull that tank and replace that thermo anyway, right?
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  #16  
Old 11-01-2013, 07:25 AM
white_lancer white_lancer is offline
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Originally Posted by jlex View Post
Maybe just bad ju-ju because you exhibited over-confidence in having made the repair in just 20 minutes. You may not have exhibited enough humility in the presence of superior Teutonic engineering...
dude i'll have a pint of what you are drinking!
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Last edited by white_lancer; 11-01-2013 at 07:26 AM.
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  #17  
Old 11-01-2013, 07:29 AM
white_lancer white_lancer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlex View Post
Oh... just to add to your paranoia... I'm wondering if the housing on yours broke and the spring and brass head are now exposed. Unless yours is a type I'm not familiar with, the only ones I've seen have the metal encased in the plastic housing. Possibly broken with plastic bits interrupting the operation of the thermostat? I know you want to pull that tank and replace that thermo anyway, right?
thinking about this - I have done three expansion tanks recently. One on my X5, one on my X3 and one on a 320. all of them were the M54 engine with Auto transmission and all had the little brass piece and a spring. Maybe the AT thermostat is done differently here in the UK than everywhere else?

I am thinking of pulling the tank to take a look, but everything is working ok at the moment. I may just wait for a few days to see if any more warning lights show up. I dont want to possibly cause more problems by taking it apart again if I have actually solved the original problem?
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Last edited by white_lancer; 11-01-2013 at 07:31 AM.
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  #18  
Old 11-01-2013, 07:54 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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Wow, no wonder you can switch one out in 20 minutes. Lots of practice...
Yeah, maybe they're using a different style of thermo in UK vehicles, especially if you've done multiple ones & they've all looked the same. See what happens...
Just for $hits & giggles (I think that's what they say in UK), why not check the old tank to see if there's any broken plastic inside it (remnants of the old housing). If there is, you can start worrying again.
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  #19  
Old 11-01-2013, 08:04 AM
white_lancer white_lancer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlex View Post
Wow, no wonder you can switch one out in 20 minutes. Lots of practice...
Yeah, maybe they're using a different style of thermo in UK vehicles, especially if you've done multiple ones & they've all looked the same. See what happens...
Just for $hits & giggles (I think that's what they say in UK), why not check the old tank to see if there's any broken plastic inside it (remnants of the old housing). If there is, you can start worrying again.
Not heard that expression before?????

Damn.... will you stop with the ideas...... now you have got me thinking.

When the old expansion tank started leaking I took a look inside and when I touched the red level indicator stick it literally crumbled in my fingers to dust. I managed to fish out the rest of the red indicator stick with a pair of long nosed pliers. I then filled the tank to the brim to make the little white piece at the bottom float to the top so I could remove this too. I am not 100% sure if any of the dust / disintegrated pieces fell back into the tank. I reset the coolant level to the correct level and drove around for another couple of days before I spotted the split in the expansion tank and decided to carry out the replacement. I am now wondering of any of the old "crap" is still floating aroung the coolant system and whether the AT thermostat has been contaminated with any of this debris or in fact whether the AT thermostat had disintegrated too.
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  #20  
Old 11-01-2013, 08:05 AM
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cagui1223 cagui1223 is offline
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The thermostat itself is composed of about 7 different parts. A spring on the top and I believe a spring on the bottom, both of which are held down by twist-on"caps". Among the parts I replaced was the transmission thermostat. Removing the old one was a PITA. The piece is slippery and doesnt twist off. From applying pressure on the sides of the cap and trying to pull it out I broke part of the cap and the spring popped out a bit. I removed what remained of the cap and removed the spring. Beneath these parts was something that looked like a circle cut in quarters (See image below).
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I removed the lower part of the thermostat by inserting a flat-head screwdriver into one of these quarters and pulling it out. Took a bit of force but it came out. Just be careful NOT to break the expansion tank mounting plate as these run for $150.
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  #21  
Old 11-01-2013, 08:10 AM
white_lancer white_lancer is offline
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Yes - definately seen this "quater circle" thing. It has a small hole in the centre which the pin of the brass piece sits into and the top spring sits on the top of the brass piece. it sounds as if my AT thermostat had disintegrated and all I have left is the internal working parts!

No wait a minute........ the diameter of the AT thermostat is probably 20mm, the diameter of the brass piece was probably 16mm and the spring was tapered from 16mm to maybe 25mm at the top which is wider than the diameter of the whole AT thermostat!
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Last edited by white_lancer; 11-01-2013 at 08:14 AM.
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  #22  
Old 11-01-2013, 08:20 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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The plot thickens ... Maybe the spring, once out of it's plastic housing, expanded to the increased size...
A good Halloween scare story.
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  #23  
Old 11-01-2013, 08:26 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by white_lancer View Post
....... it sounds as if my AT thermostat had disintegrated and all I have left is the internal working parts!

No wait a minute........
I'm sure that is what happened. And the spring expands at its upper end when the cap is off.

Guaranteed that the same 'stat is used in the U.K as everywhere else.

How critical to the A/T a working 'stat is for everyday running is another matter, but not worth risking for too long.

Some DIY'ers unbolt the mounting plate from the rad. while the tank is still on and disassemble everything on the bench.
That might make dealing with the A/T 'stat easier.

Expansion tank R&R could be a 20min. job for M/T cars, but double that for A/T's.
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  #24  
Old 11-01-2013, 12:47 PM
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cagui1223 cagui1223 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by white_lancer View Post
... it sounds as if my AT thermostat had disintegrated and all I have left is the internal working parts!

No wait a minute........
I really regret not taking pictures of the broken thermostat to give a visual.. But I found an excellent video that looks exactly like what happened to mine.

Video for BMW 330 (E46) but it appears to be the same A/T Thermostat.

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  #25  
Old 11-01-2013, 02:07 PM
jlex jlex is offline
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Great video cagui1223...right on point.
Now that is something for White Lancer to take note of as he said the spring/piston assembly was exposed in all three of his expansion tank projects. hmmmm. This is too scary even for Halloween
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