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New Way to Remove the Radiator Nipple - Easy

Received the new nipple from Pelican Parts, stated with a cold car.

Loosen the radiator shroud and moved it towards engine.

Used a heat gun to warm up the radiator and old nipple, once the plastic was a little warmer than I wanted to touch I put a flat screwdriver into the space between the nipple and the radiator from the driver's side, pressed/twisted slightly. Up it popped!!

Loosened the clamp, pulled out the nipple, put the new one on and snapped it into place.

15 minute repair, no more leak and did it a couple of more times to my buddies cars.

Heat gun, not blow dryer…
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
I've never really understood WHAT this so-called "overflow" hose really does, but, the question came up today in another thread, which I'll reference here:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > coolant seepage, what is this piece?

Hello All. My 163k, 1997 528i had the top radiator hose suddenly come loose, with predictable needle quickly pegged into red. Got off the road, let it cool down completely, reattached the hose (did not see any plastic piece mentioned by some for 540i, don't know if that applies to 528i?), moved the hose clamp in closer to the radiator, as you can tell in the photo (so it fit in two groves), refilled, bled, etc. Seems okay in that held steady temperature the 4 miles it took me to get home. My question is the small seepage i am getting out of the plastic piece on top of the radiator (rounded piece in picture and can see coolant seep). It has a couple slits in the sides and coolant oozes out once the engine has some temperature. Is this by design as in some sort of relief valve? In other words, is this normal? Would appreciate any info.
thanks,
Jim

See also:
- BMW E39 cooling system autopsy (1) & how not to bleed your cooling system (1)
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 · (Edited)
For cross reference, another nipple thread came up today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Topping off coolant...
looks like its just the nipple failing. what do you think?

nipple came out like butter. all 3 legs intact. problem is, I can't see any obvious signs of failure. here are pictures post-op. what do you think?

NOTE: I seem to remember the replacement nipple being of a different size than the OEM Behr and/or Nissens nipple, so, that, in and of itself, might be the reason this OPs nipple came out like butter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 · (Edited)
The question came up again today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Radiator Vent L Nipple
Has anyone successfully removed this from the top left of radiator without it snapping and leaving its internal section in the radiator?

Yup, I did it a few weeks ago. I knew the plastic shaft was going to break somehow, so i removed the upper radiator hose and put a semi rolled up piece of paper to catch any debris. Aside from dropping one tiny piece of the securing clip (prior to inserting paper catch), it was a perfect job... just a bit of lost coolant. So far no leaks what-so-ever!

Prying it up as bluebee mentions is a good start and if it snaps i would use the paper catch and just push the internally stuck part down.

Others mention the 9mm socket on string method, but there was no way on this Earth i could align that with my big fingers XD

Dealer charged about $5 for the vent tube.
 

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it seems that you can push it to the base of the outside housing and if the inner piece is broken, it will release the top part, if the piece is not broken, you can push it further in and it will release the entire tab.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
It may be that nipples come in sizes...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > The Radiator overflow nipple
I see there is much written on removing broken radiator overflow nipples, but I have a different question. I have just replaced the radiator on my 1998 528i and also replaced a probably perfectly good expansion tank and overflow top hose. (I'm surprised more people don't complain about this hose. If it was 2" longer, it seems like routing it from the tank to the nipple would be a lot easier.) My new hose is very stiff and barely allows it to connect at both ends. After bleeding the system, there is a leak at the nipple and I can easily rock the nipple and see the leak. I bought an extra nipple not knowing if my bargain radiator had one. My question: Is the short new hose likely the problem "rocking the nipple out", or is it just as likely, the nipple doesn't seat well in the radiator?
 

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bluebee: I have a E39, but I seem to work on my neighbor's E39's a lot more and encounter new problems I haven't seen before. Every time I do a search, I inevitably end up on one of your threads! LOL ... do you have an indexed and searchable "book of E39 repair & maintenance" thread that links to all the various discussions?

I ended up on this thread because my neighbor is having a tiny leak at this elbow. Over the years, I've found that a lot of O-rings on BMWs have a high failure mode due to compression set. I've slowly been collecting info on various O-rings as I find them and finding suitable replacements that I think last longer. In particular, using Viton O-rings seem to do the trick and I have less people coming back to me to help them fix their BMW's leaks. (i'm sort of the neighborhood BMW repair guy - only by hobby not a pro)

To that end, has anyone pulled the O-ring off and taken some measurements? Outer Diameter? Inner Diameter? Or thickness? That would help me hunt for the right size Viton O-ring...

I plan to try to remove the part intact, as I replace this guy's radiator w/ Behr one (his choice) about a year ago; I don't think the plastic is too brittle just yet. I see the two tabs are not for retaining, but probably just to hold position so the piece is pointing in the right direction. I plan to spray some WD-40 around it and let it sit so it seeps in and helps lubricate the O-ring. I've used this technique on removing the radiator hose connections when they've seized on the O-ring and it helps a lot. Also, getting a assortment set of pry tools meant for taking apart cell phones might come in handy; there are usually a variety of very thin pry tools (thinner than screw drivers) made out of plastics and even metal. I don't know where I got my kit as my wife got it for me as a present one year, but prying little things like that has been a lot easier with that kit. Once it comes out enough, I will then use a screwdriver or other typical prying tools I have in the garage. I also have a trim panel removal tool set that looks like this
that I will bring with me in case it might be of use in this situation.

Anyway, just sharing my thoughts/approach on this task. I haven't actually done it yet, waiting for my neighbor to get the parts, but will report back on what works or didn't work.

Anyone help with the O-ring size would be great... if anyone has this part lying around, please take measurements. Thanks!
 

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As it turns out, my neighbor said he found the elbow piece in a box from his order of the Behr radiator from Autohausaz.com. The radiator already had it in place so we never used it. I took the O-ring off and measured it to be:

11.36 mm OD
7.60 mm ID
2.00 mm cross section

Obviously not exact, but I think it is close to 11.50mm OD/7.50mm ID Viton O-ring I found on Amazon. It's $4.50 for a pack of 10 o-rings and much less for larger quantities. We will probably go ahead and replace the O-ring w/ Viton in hopes that the compression set failure is less likely to happen anytime soon. His recent failure was within a year of installing the brand new radiator!! Manufacturers are using really ****ty O-rings these days... they could have spared a few cents for something better and less prone to failure.
 

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that end, has anyone pulled the O-ring off and taken some measurements? Outer Diameter? Inner Diameter? Or thickness? That would help me hunt for the right size Viton O-ring...
Somewhere I saw a thread where he listed all the O-rings in the car. It's probably in that sticky thread at the top of the forum page.

I see the two tabs are not for retaining, but probably just to hold position so the piece is pointing in the right direction.
Are you sure about that?

I'm not sure what the tabs do, and I agree they certainly orient the nipple, but I could not get the old nipple off without breaking it off flush on top of the radiator. The leftover pieces I had to push into the radiator but I didn't know about this thread at that time.
Once it comes out enough, I will then use a screwdriver or other typical prying tools
I tried prying but ended up breaking it. If you can pry it out, that sounds good.
As it turns out, my neighbor said he found the elbow piece in a box from his order of the Behr radiator from Autohausaz.com. The radiator already had it in place so we never used it. I took the O-ring off and measured it to be:

11.36 mm OD
7.60 mm ID
2.00 mm cross section

Obviously not exact, but I think it is close to 11.50mm OD/7.50mm ID Viton O-ring
I don't remember which thread it was that had all the O-rings shown but this sounds like something you should add to it.
 

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Very useful post here about the 10 mm socket approach! However, I performed a successful and quick surgery with a 10mm combination wrench. It eliminated the fat-finger problem (mine are skinny) and makes it virtually impossible to lose your tool in the radiator.
 

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2003 E39 4.4L V8 radiator hose question

Guys, I am looking at this post. Is this the piece that connects from the radiator to the hose to the trans cooler assembly? I replaced the water cooled alternator and in the process found a leak at the cooler in the radiator hose - cone quick disconnect. Repaired this end by adding an o-ring in the cone. Now I have a leak in the other end of this same hose at the radiator, above the crimped hose joint. I cannot readily tell how this hose connects to the radiator. Mine seems to attach to the radiator at the bottom driver's side of the radiator. Your pics seem to have this nipple attach to the bottom of the radiator, is this correct?
And what engine is this in your post? I believe I have an M62 engine. I also had the radiator out for the alternator replace.
Also what seals this nipple to the radiator? Is there an o-ring between the nipple and the radiator body?
At this point I will replace the hose and nipple - if I can find the part nos.
The 2003 540i only has 83K on it.

Best regards,
Don B
 

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Other options to remove the nipple

All,
I agree with the attempt through the upper radiator port. You could use a 1/4" ratchet with the 9mm socket to compress the tabs, or a flex breaker bar with the 9mm socket. Another option would be to get a 6-8" piece of metal pipe the correct diameter, put a 70 degree bend on one end about 2-3" from the end, then flare the end of the pipe to allow you to compress the tabs on the nipple.

Best regards,
Don B
 

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Thank you - Angry Bear from Don B

Thank you very much for the info and the link. The service manual tells you nothing about this issue or how to solve it. The connection at the radiator from the link appears to be a nipple similar to the one for the overflow pipe in the thread. I initially did not realize where the thread connection was being made. If I have any more info to add after I get and install the hose and fitting, I will post it here.

Best regards,
Don B
 

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Thank you very much for the info and the link. The service manual tells you nothing about this issue or how to solve it. The connection at the radiator from the link appears to be a nipple similar to the one for the overflow pipe in the thread. I initially did not realize where the thread connection was being made. If I have any more info to add after I get and install the hose and fitting, I will post it here.

Best regards,
Don B
No make a new thread with your progress
Your issue is with the transcooler, this thread is for nipple connector for the overflow tank. Don't want people getting confused or your info getting lost in here
 

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This is what the nipple looks like when in place.

Notice that the two alignment tabs are missing here (I broke them off trying to remove the nipple by a different method). I think those tabs do nothing other than to prevent the nipple from going into the radiator the wrong way (notice the corresponding alignment slots in the nipple).



According to the original reference and to my initial observations, a 10mm socket seems to fit the nipple best.


This is what the nipple looks like from the inside.


The problem is that very little of the nipple actually protrudes into the radiator itself ... so there is precious little purchase for the 10mm socket to grab.


So, I found that a 9mm socket is a better match for pushing the radiator nipple out from the inside without breaking the nipple.


Here, you see, that the 9mm socket does work to compress the tabs of the nipple so that the nipple can be pushed out of the radiator, intact.


The problem, of course, will be that you don't want to lose the 9mm socket so here is what you'd likely do.


The stated technique of removing the radiator nipple intact is interesting, but, I think it may be problematic for large hands to do all of this from the radiator hose opening.

Time will tell. I hope the next person who sees this who needs to remove his radiator nipple intact can try it out for us and let us know how it works or how to improve upon the procedure.
BlueBee, awesome write up, was that you I met at Target buying Rain X Wipers for your 5 series?

May I suggest that you try using Q-Bond with the black filler, it does work well on plastic and good to 350 degree's.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PVOdRx4SSA

http://qbond.net/
 

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I forgot to get a new elbow/nipple when I had my cooling system overhaul performed a couple years ago...so the old, reused one started leaking recently. If you buy the factory oes Behr/Hella brand it comes with an extra o-ring as a spare. Not sure why anyone really wants to reuse these things, they are super cheap...like under $2 from RM European.
 
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