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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,

I have a 2002 525i. A few days ago I noticed coolant leakage under car, it turned out the leak is from the radiator vent hose fitting as shown in this link:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showpost.php?p=19758204&postcount=8

So I loosened up the fan shroud and unplug the nipple connector of the vent hose fitting, as shown in picture #2 I attached, the nipple has broken from half way: half connected to the hose, another half still in the hole.

The problem is: how do I get the other half out from the hole ?? Any special tool/method you guys can suggest?

Thanks a lot.

Andres
 

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Search forum using keyword "Cooling Overhaul", "bluebee" etc.
This has been discussed close to 100 times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Cn90,

I have read related stuff I can found on this, including your Cooling Overhaul instructions. However, my case is pretty unique that the broken lower portion of the nipple got stuck in the hole and I can not get it out.

Somebody suggested to me that I need to take the radiator out, and use to drill to grind the lower portion of the nipple off, let it fall into the radiator, then flush the radiator many times to make sure no plastic remains there. That seems a lot of work, is it feasible?

Thanks a lot!

andres
 

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My suggestion is to use an appropriate-sized drywall screw and gently screw into the broken nipple then pull it out with a vice-grip.
A new nipple is about $1 at dealer.

Then start thinking about cooling overhaul.
The broken nipple is the beginning of the "tsunami" coming.

PS: For those reading this thread, it may be a good idea to replace this nipple every 4-5 years. Very easy to do.
Just apply small amount of grease on the new O-ring and slide it in.
 

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However, my case is pretty unique that the broken lower portion of the nipple got stuck in the hole and I can not get it out.
Hi Andres,
In the VERY best of E39 Links is a link titled:
- Cooling system overhaul mishaps (broken radiator nipple) (crooked fan clutch nut) (broken bleeder screw) (thermostat loom misplaced) (broken expansion tank nipple & cn90 repair) (expansion tank fell apart inside)

Specifically, the "broken radiator nipple" link covers the way to get the nipple out, intact (Max at OEMBimmerparts offered the best advice so far in post #3 above).

However, while you're 'wrong' that the situation is unique (it's extremely common to break the nipple, leaving half inside the radiator), you're probably right in that it's not totally obvious how to remove the half that is still in the radiator.

As cn90 said, the information is definitely out there because I too had the exact same problem (I seem to have 'em all) ... and the solution was written up a few times to simply push the broken end INTO the radiator (where in the short term, it shouldn't cause much problem as it's rather large in the scheme of things). That's what I did. I used a small screwdriver to push it into the tank when I did my alternator & belt-drive system overhaul:
- One users' example of total electrical failure (AAA towed away) alternator repair (1) (2)

After that radiator nipple mishap, I tried to find a more graceful way of removing the nipple, without breaking it. Max provided the best hints in the aforementioned post #3 above.

But, I MUST warn you that those two little tabs in the radiator itself are VERY FRAGILE!

So, unless you are very delicate (I wasn't when I tried it on my spare radiator as can be seen in that thread and in the picture below), you WILL break the tabs above the nipple and that will ruin the radiator.

So, my advice: Do what I did. Do what almost everyone does. If you break the radiator nipple in half (and we all eventually do), then simply PUSH the broken half into the radiator.

Good luck. Please take a picture and append to the radiator nipple thread what you've learned so we can pass on the tribal knowledge to the next person with this problem.

 

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My suggestion is to use an appropriate-sized drywall screw and gently screw into the broken nipple then pull it out with a vice-grip.
That may work also.

It has the advantage of not leaving the broken part inside the radiator (which is what I did but then I replaced the radiator a few months later anyway).

You still have to press on the two fragile side clips though ... so you'll need only three hands ... :)

 

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Now if you push the broken parts inside the radiator, you have 2 options:

1. Live with it, likely no harm because the plastic pieces will float and stay on this side without crossing through the radiator's horizontal coolant passages.
The most important thing is do NOT lose sleep over this.
But you should lose sleep sitting on this time-bomb until you do a cooling overhaul.

2. Remove the radiator, turn it upside down and flush it out through the UPPER radiator hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks to Bluebee & cn90 for very detailed information and insight.

I tried with cn90's suggestion of use a screw: tried a few screw may be I did not have the correct size but I ended up pulling the screw up instead of the broken part, even though the screw was very tight in place. Another reason may be the broken part is already very soft and fragile while soaked in the coolant for many years.

I then used a Swiss-army knife which worked -- only partially. See the attached pic #1, I pulled most of the broken part out. The end of this nipple part should have three prongs, I think two of three prongs left in the coolant. I only got one out. It is very fragile and soft - I can tear it off by hands, see pic #2. Is this going to be OK?

Also, another question is: Can I still use the same clamp when replacing the nipple? It still looks ok.

andres
 

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...Also, another question is: Can I still use the same clamp when replacing the nipple? It still looks ok.

andres
Nope,

That is an Oetiker clamp, designed for use only once!

Use a regular clamp but turn the screw downward as shown below, otherwise the Fan Shroud will not fit!

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
BigCo540i - thanks. I think I left two small pieces of the broken part in the radiator, hopefully it will be ok too. I know sooner or later, a cooling overhaul is needed.

andres
 

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Andres,
cn90 and the others have you covered.

As they said, you need a new clamp. Notice "we" (the tribal we), prefer the solid metal clamps. Get the smallest one that will fit. Bear in mind that the new nipple is slightly larger than the older nipple but still use the smallest clamp you can fit.

The bolt head has to be the way cn90 shows it (or it won't fit under the shroud).

You might even need to cut off the tip of the bolt if you get too large a clamp. We like to use the fuel-system clamps ourselves.

It's explained in my writeup:
- Removal instructions for the fan shroud of a 2002 525i

 

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In the quest for a better radiator nipple removal procedure, cn90 came up with a dooozy!

WANTED: An ingenious method of removing radiator nipple

  1. If you wish to remove the nipple & o-ring intact ...
  2. Remove the upper radiator hose (see this DIY for non-destructive removal hints).
  3. Try to squeeze the nipple prongs from INSIDE the radiator (accessing through the upper hose neck)
  4. Pull up on the nipple ... and hope that it comes out fully intact ...
  5. If the nipple breaks (and it just might) ... then ... pick out the o-ring using a dental pick ... and then ...
  6. Thread a coat hanger (or any wire) down from the top through the center of the broken part of the nipple stuck inside the radiator and then out the open hose hole ...
  7. Then, with a screwdriver, push the broken nipple neck down, into the radiator, and then out the radiator neck hole - sliding it along the wire.
 

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I know this is not fantactic info but I keep a spare radiator nipple in the glove box.
 

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In the quest for a better radiator nipple removal procedure, cn90 came up with a dooozy!

WANTED: An ingenious method of removing radiator nipple

  1. If you wish to remove the nipple & o-ring intact ...
  2. Remove the upper radiator hose (see this DIY for non-destructive removal hints).
  3. Try to squeeze the nipple prongs from INSIDE the radiator (accessing through the upper hose neck)
  4. Pull up on the nipple ... and hope that it comes out fully intact ...
  5. If the nipple breaks (and it just might) ... then ... pick out the o-ring using a dental pick ... and then ...
  6. Thread a coat hanger (or any wire) down from the top through the center of the broken part of the nipple stuck inside the radiator and then out the open hose hole ...
  7. Then, with a screwdriver, push the broken nipple neck down, into the radiator, and then out the radiator neck hole - sliding it along the wire.
Great info! And I'll add, as I did on your other post that you might consider placing a baseball card, or some other strong cardboard piece into the upper radiator hose hole to act as a "safety net" incase the wire trick goes bad.
 

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rad nipple removal using a 10 mm socket

Hi,
Interesting problem...here's what I make of the "10 mm socket" solution;
1. Remove upper rad hose.
2. Get a 10 mm socket and tie a string through it so you don't drop the socket inside the rad. Tie the other end of the string to something big.
3. Somehow, you need to manouver the socket inside the hole where the upper rad hose used to be. You want to fit the socket over the 3 "fingers" of the nipple so that when you apply upwards pressure on the socket (toward the nipple), the 3 "fingers" get squeezed in and the entire nipple should just pop right out!
4. Do the happy dance.

:banana::banana:

NOTE: Looking at your new spare rad nipple, it's obvious that the nipple was meant to stay put unless those 3 "fingers" are somehow compressed, and that is where the 10 mm socket comes in. Practice this with your new spare rad nipple before you attempt it on the actual rad.
 

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I have a 1998 528 . A few days ago I noticed coolant leak, it turned out the leak is from the radiator vent hose . So I`m removed nipple connector of the vent hose fitting
But, I MUST WARN you that those two little tabs in the radiator itself are VERY FRAGILE! and I`m didn`t touch it !! I then used knife from one site and screwdriver which worked great and I SLOW pulled niple in ONE PIECE ! but I`m must to say I`m did it when coolant was STILL HOT ! [ engine was really hot ] and maybe just MAYBE this is reason why it was easy to remove !
 
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