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The following thread was posted

Subject: ENTIRE COOLING SYSTEM REPLACEMENT Tips and Tricks (Very Long, Enjoy!)
Author: cn as CNN-090 : member since July, 2004 : 916 posts
Posted on: 2006-05-14 04:27:25

I want to attempt this process with my BMW but I am reluctant to dive in. I tried to specifically ask the author but I am new to Bimmerfest and don't have the navigation down quite yet.

I have some questions about the process and I will ask them in order as the steps go. Keep in mind that I am only replacing the belts, water pump, fan clutch and the idler roller by the alternator. I am considering the thermostat but not sure yet. The reason I am changing the water pump is just because. Everything seems to be working fine except there is a slight rattling sound coming from the clutch area. Oh and one other thing, I have a 525 not a 528.

1. Where do I drain the antifreeze at? Is there a specific place to do so?

2. How do I move the circlips without breaking them, do I pry them out with a flathead or use a phillips and unscrew them?

3. The fan shroud, I inspected it and don't really see what is holding it on, is it these circle clips?

4. Should I not remove the radiator since I am not replacing it?

5. The garden hose flush is done with the car off right? I am assuming so and setting the dial on hot allows the water to flow through the heater coil. If this step is performed do I need to worry about any excess water that did not make it out or no need.

6. Why doesn't the thermostat come with a hole there, What happens if I don't drill the hole? Might not change though.

7. Did you use any RTV or adhesive along with the gaskets for the WP when reinstalled? I have done this before but again now I am working on my BMW so I don't want to do anything stupid.

8. Take a look at step 18. Fill Antifreeze through the Bleed Hole. Use 5.5 quarts of pure Antifreeze. The rest is distilled water: Where is the bleed hole? Why don't you fill through the radiator? In the picture is that a skinny funnel going down to the black piece where there is a small hole or is there something special needed.

9. Looking at the same picture from above....Is the PS the black canister with thefunny shaped knob on top that reads ATF only? Is this not for the Automatic Transmission Fluid for the transmission?

10. Bleeding the cooling system-->Never done before, can you explain, I have bled brakes so I am sure I can do it.

I have done many DIY mechanic jobs but all have been done to a Jetta when I had a manual. I just dont want to hurt my precious ride.

Thank You to all that can help answer my questions before I start and ESPECIALLY to the author of the thread mentioned. Good Job!!!!:thumbup:

Ordering parts tomorrow.
 

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How many miles do you have? 80-120K is about the life of a radiator in a 6 cyl and maybe you should consider replacing it since you have it all apart.
 

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I'm in Richmond, and I did this exact overhaul on my '01 (with the assistance of another BF member) just a month or so ago. I'm out of town for a couple of days on the road but I'll try to get at your questions tonight when I have a more stable internet connection.
 

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The following thread was posted

Subject: ENTIRE COOLING SYSTEM REPLACEMENT Tips and Tricks (Very Long, Enjoy!)
Author: cn as CNN-090 : member since July, 2004 : 916 posts
Posted on: 2006-05-14 04:27:25

I want to attempt this process with my BMW but I am reluctant to dive in. I tried to specifically ask the author but I am new to Bimmerfest and don't have the navigation down quite yet.

I have some questions about the process and I will ask them in order as the steps go. Keep in mind that I am only replacing the belts, water pump, fan clutch and the idler roller by the alternator. I am considering the thermostat but not sure yet. The reason I am changing the water pump is just because. Everything seems to be working fine except there is a slight rattling sound coming from the clutch area. Oh and one other thing, I have a 525 not a 528.

1. Where do I drain the antifreeze at? Is there a specific place to do so?
Replacing all cooling parts will drain enough fluid on its own, i.e. I didn't open an block drain plug.

2. How do I move the circlips without breaking them, do I pry them out with a flathead or use a phillips and unscrew them?

Pull up on them.

3. The fan shroud, I inspected it and don't really see what is holding it on, is it these circle clips?

Yes 2 clips, should held in on bottom with small 'feet' into rubber mount points. Pull out of, drop into. But there are cooling lines and sensors connected to it as well.

4. Should I not remove the radiator since I am not replacing it?
Replace it if miles are high.

5. The garden hose flush is done with the car off right? I am assuming so and setting the dial on hot allows the water to flow through the heater coil. If this step is performed do I need to worry about any excess water that did not make it out or no need.

See #1 my flush was removing all parts (water pump etc).

6. Why doesn't the thermostat come with a hole there, What happens if I don't drill the hole? Might not change though.

I did not drill any hole used a tool (forgot name) sucked all air out of system even collapsed hoes, with vacuum nothing but fluid was brought into system, no bleeding required. Friends a mechanic.

7. Did you use any RTV or adhesive along with the gaskets for the WP when reinstalled? I have done this before but again now I am working on my BMW so I don't want to do anything stupid.

Me nope.

8. Take a look at step 18. Fill Antifreeze through the Bleed Hole. Use 5.5 quarts of pure Antifreeze. The rest is distilled water: Where is the bleed hole? Why don't you fill through the radiator? In the picture is that a skinny funnel going down to the black piece where there is a small hole or is there something special needed.

See #6

9. Looking at the same picture from above....Is the PS the black canister with thefunny shaped knob on top that reads ATF only? Is this not for the Automatic Transmission Fluid for the transmission?

10. Bleeding the cooling system-->Never done before, can you explain, I have bled brakes so I am sure I can do it.

I have done many DIY mechanic jobs but all have been done to a Jetta when I had a manual. I just dont want to hurt my precious ride.

Thank You to all that can help answer my questions before I start and ESPECIALLY to the author of the thread mentioned. Good Job!!!!:thumbup:

Ordering parts tomorrow.
I tried to answer a few questions in line see above
 

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You can't drill a hole in a 525 thermostat...it's permanently mounted in the plastic housing, unlike the older style which has two pieces.
 

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Also, you should replace the radiator. The plastic surrounds will split and you'll be stranded or left with a blown head gasket. It's worth spending the $150.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the information. I think I will order all parts and do everything at once. Even the radiator because I have 96k miles on her. Might as well get it right the first time.
 

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As others have said, Preventive replacement will save you the hassle down the road

Radiator
Waterpump
Expansion Tank
Themostat

Radiator hoses would also be a good idea while you are in there
 
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