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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Another E39 radiator busted. Wheres the engine drain plug?

I have read so much about these radiators and hoped to miss out on one getting busted since I got the 2.8l. But with DC weather I guess it couldn't handle it.

I am definately leaking coolant. It was a little hard to figure out where the leak is. But after running the heater and looking around it seemed like it came out on the side of the rad. (see picture)

So tomorrow I'll start my DIY project replacing the rad :eek: . I read that you should change the entire system, but I don't have room for that on my budget right now. So I hope to just change the rad.

I got the Bentley manual, but I am not quite sure how to tackle the fan since I don't have the BMW special tool to hold the clutch while unscrewing the 36mm bolt. I guess I'll try a screwdriver trick like CNN-090 described in his great manual for changing the coolant system.

I am also not sure where the engine coolant drain plug is located :dunno: . I think I've found it (see picture), but it looks somewhat different than what the Bentley manual described.
 

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Special tool??? A thin 32mm wrench you can buy at any bicycle shop for about 10 bucks, a LONG screwdriver, and you're in business.
 

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Norwegian
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304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The expansion tank cracked after i changed rad. On my pictures you can't see the tank, it's the side of the rad you are seeing.

I had to make do with a normal 32mm wrench and screw driver because the tools I ordered never showed in time. After this I have taken the cooling system apart quite a few times. the thin 32mm and holding tool definately makes it easier, though not necessary.

All I can say is that it's an ok job for DIY'ers, but if I knew what I know know I'd change everything while i was at it.
 

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What you need in order to remove the fan is a "Fan Clutch Tool" its a large wrench with a square opening that fits around the 4 botle in the fan clutch, then you can turn the big 32mm nut and remove the fan. Remember that the nut turns the opposite way to remove unlike a normal nut.

I don't know if you have the AutoZone chain out there but those guys rent these tools out. You get the one that works for GM and it'll fit the BMW. You leave a deposit, and keep the tool as long as you need it. When you bring it back, they give you the deposit back so its basically a free loan program on tools.
 

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I wanna DRIVE!
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The expansion tank cracked after i changed rad. On my pictures you can't see the tank, it's the side of the rad you are seeing.

I had to make do with a normal 32mm wrench and screw driver because the tools I ordered never showed in time. After this I have taken the cooling system apart quite a few times. the thin 32mm and holding tool definately makes it easier, though not necessary.

All I can say is that it's an ok job for DIY'ers, but if I knew what I know know I'd change everything while i was at it.
Want to buy a used expansion tank cheap? I'm in Vienna, VA and have one laying around.
 

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This is CNN-090

I have read so much about these radiators and hoped to miss out on one getting busted since I got the 2.8l. But with DC weather I guess it couldn't handle it.

I am definately leaking coolant. It was a little hard to figure out where the leak is. But after running the heater and looking around it seemed like it came out on the side of the rad. (see picture)

So tomorrow I'll start my DIY project replacing the rad :eek: . I read that you should change the entire system, but I don't have room for that on my budget right now. So I hope to just change the rad.

I got the Bentley manual, but I am not quite sure how to tackle the fan since I don't have the BMW special tool to hold the clutch while unscrewing the 36mm bolt. I guess I'll try a screwdriver trick like CNN-090 described in his great manual for changing the coolant system.

I am also not sure where the engine coolant drain plug is located :dunno: . I think I've found it (see picture), but it looks somewhat different than what the Bentley manual described.
Hi Scanny1980,

This is CNN-090. I understand you are short of budget, but the whole cooling system I did in my write-up was not too bad, the cost was some $550 (that includes everything from a to z in my write-up).

My advice is if your are short on budget, then:

1. change the radiator and expansion tank for now.

2. save some money and do the rest later. When you look at it $550 for the whole cooling system ( and you only have to spend $550 every 100K or so, it is not that bad in terms of cost) is not all that bad considering that you are preventing catastrophic engine failure (seized waterpump that can cost you an engine, which is not cheap! A new engine is upward of $5-6K or so.)

At 107K, things other than the radiator and exp tank will fail soon: Tensioners, belts, fan clutch and blades etc.
When it comes to cooling system, try not to save money because the engine is at stake.

An example is: let say you have brand new radiator and exp tank, but if your thermostat seizes or your wp is gone, then your engine will overheat....and you face a bill of $5-6K or more.

*** So save some money and come back in the Spring to do the rest, you will drive with peace in your mind.

*** As a follow-up, 9 months and 5K later: "Nissens" radiator and "HEPU" Waterpump works just fine.

CNN-090
98 528i 93K
 

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I wanna DRIVE!
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No Way!

The old grills make a nice decoration.

I've got a bunch of old parts laying around. Radiator, expansion tank, cowling, fan, fan clutch, sport springs, sport shocks, m5 sway bar bushings that are almost new. I gotta get that stuff on ebay.

By the way, I'm anxious to hear your car. I loved that Brittleman (sp?) setup on Dave's M5. Without a doubt the sweetest sound I've ever heard coming from a BMW.
 
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