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Discussion Starter #1
The other day my car overheated, no water/coolant and steam from above the hose and to right of radiator water input tank. No over flow tank.. Put 2 things of coolant + water. Some dripping but wonder... 4 short distance its was ok, but now several stops, short distance and all fluid gone. pulled over at parts store. I think maybe leak there on top I see moisture there now. ... can I show picture
 

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Welcome to Bimmerfest! I've moved your question to our E36 3 Series forum, you'll get more help in here.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks Tim. See that horizontal space above hose . I saw steam come out from this general area last time. I stopped here before badly overheated. A new old car for me but meticulous care with records.
 

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Turns out the radiator may have an upper crack to the right of water intake and slightly right of hose. Maybe hose not adequately tight but it did not look that way. Upon addition of coolant it just poured out and ran down the inner side of radiator at or close vacinity of the area mentioned. Also cap was broken away at lowest point where O-ring is.

I think for driving in city on random errands, this is an odd place for a radiator crack. Hitting something or a rock yeah, but this upper enterior region is curious. I am wondering if this is area is not cracked at all but somewhat of a junction of hard plastic to metal. ?.. for a novice, a mystery so far.
 

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Perfectly normal for those plastic hose fittings to crack with age. Time for a new radiator and water pump if that is still original. Overflow tank could be next.
 

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D'oh, You Kids!
1984 633CSi, 1985 635CSi, 1985 325e, 1987 325is, 1993 325is, 1995 318is, 1995 M3, 2003 F150
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Depending on just how severe the overheats (plural) have been, I fear this will not end well.
 

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Depending on just how severe the overheats (plural) have been, I fear this will not end well.
Agreed. AAA is cheap vs having to replace a cooked engine or for that matter just having to do a head gasket. AAA gold is 100 miles towing 7 times a year for $85 bucks Cheap insurance.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I hear your point on head gasket & other assorted horrors. The first time it was a shock for less than 1/2 mile of driving. I ran all stop signs at medium idle. At home this area had steam and it all happened suddenly. I would say it was overheated for 5 minutes tops, maybe less.

However I would guess it's really the high temp and not so much the amount of time that makes trouble.

The man's excellent records (a space scientist) do not mention any previous replacement of the water pump. ... so I guess this is a good time for a new one. Especially after this event.

What is the story on 'replacement' radiators? I would want to find a reliable company, if so.
Bavarian Autosport?
 

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D'oh, You Kids!
1984 633CSi, 1985 635CSi, 1985 325e, 1987 325is, 1993 325is, 1995 318is, 1995 M3, 2003 F150
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Please read at least the first few postings in this thread:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=713745

Failure of the radiator or expansion tank is just the tip of the cooling system potential failure points. If you like the car and intend on keeping it long term, consider the system overhaul outlined in those postings.
 

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Please read at least the first few postings in this thread:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=713745

Failure of the radiator or expansion tank is just the tip of the cooling system potential failure points. If you like the car and intend on keeping it long term, consider the system overhaul outlined in those postings.
Like he said ^ you can redo the whole system for around $400 piecing it together on pelican parts, which includes all hoses radiator water pump fan clutch and thermostat housing and thermostat. There is other sites selling kits which aren't complete and cost similar. Just do it all and be done with it. Worry about the head gasket after, on my buddies e36 he drove it to my house in the red zone for about 10 minutes blew the radiator and the headgasket was still ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Excellent. Even tho I once changed an alternator on a Chevy truck and merely a modest knowledge of working on cars, I understood every word posted.

I am taking the advise of changing out the entire cooling system. This via room mate who swears he can do it. Now computer guy, he was a certified mechanic years ago working on Volkswagen & some corvettes. All this plus, I have a detailed additional manual book given to me by the NASA dude & former owner.

Afterwards, maybe I will use the ultraviolet light leak tester stuff too.

Anyway, I am almost glad this happened. Everyone has been very kind and extremely helpful. The cumulative knowledge and BMW experience shared by forum members is priceless.

I will read all that's written within forums so I can keep my cool aging car running well for as long as possible. I love that darn thing.

Thanks a whole lot, Ann
 
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