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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 01-27-2009, 10:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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93 318IS overheat..coolant smell? help please!

The other day I was driving to work in my 93 e36 232k on the dash , on the way I got into it with a Honda civic and tore a hole him! But when I parked and turned off the car my front window started to fog and when I got out I had a leak from the back of my engine. Smelled the leak and it smelled a little like coolant. Checked the coolant and it was a little low, so I added some to it. I came back out later to check the car and it was fine until I was in the drive through and kept the car running bc it was soo cold out side. I saw my car start to heat up so I turned it off and it cooled down. But I turned on my fan and smelled coolant! I have had a new heater core on this car and a new RAD tank on it. I wanna know if its the THERM sticking or is the fan or something else? If so how do I replace? The car and coolant is fine as I'm driving it daily, it just when its sit for 6-8min it starts to heat and smell!
Please help..thanks!
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd start by checking the clutch fan.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I didn't understand the reply? Thanks
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The viscous coupling, silver round thing, behind/part of the fan with fins on, its basically a clutch.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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is that a hard job to do/replace?
can anyone give me any sites/advice/steps when replacing?
thanks!
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The viscous fan is difficult to remove unless you can lock the pulley. To do this find a small spanner that can engage between two of the four small pulley bolts. Rotate the pulley clockwise until this spanner locks against the lower crank pulley. With the fan pulley locked in this way you should be able to use the 32mm spanner to undo the viscous fan bolt (NB: it is a left hand thread but does undoe failry easily!)

The best thing to do if you have trouble locking the fan pulley is hit your 32mm wrench with something( hammer ) to shock/suprise the bolt. 80% of the time this works.

REMEMBER ITS A LEFT HAND THREAD OPPOSITE TO NORMAL
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just to let you know, I had a similiar issue.....a few months ago, I replaced the heater core hoses when I had my intake manifold off doing the M50 intake swap. I had found out that I did not tighten one of the hose clamps tight enough & it started to leak.

So, I'm guessing you still have a leak.....& you do have an overheating issue, I agree a clutch fan would cause an overheat condition, but I would rule out the thermostat first.....do you have heat in the car? Also when the engine reaches operating temp. the upper & lower radiator hoses should feel about the same temp.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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thanks marti5!

Johnny: yes my heat still works fine in the car..its just when i sit it starts to overheat. and yea the temp feels the same on both

Thanks
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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how hot is it where you live? I took the engine clutch fan out of my e36 and i live in a desertwith daily temps of 97+. No water wetter or extra fan or anything and my car doesnt come close to overheating, minus the one time my AC fan wasn't working. "Forgot to plug the thing back in " those clutch fans are just waiting time bombs. i will never put one back in my car. One blade broke while driving and caused massive Mayhem. sliced my radiator hoses and everything of importance around it. damn thing became shrapnel in my engine bay.

i got 5 bucks that says its either heater core hoses or actual heater core. clutch fan could be part of the problem for the over heating but with smelling coolant i highly doubt it.

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Originally Posted by johnnybayonne View Post
Just to let you know, I had a similiar issue.....a few months ago, I replaced the heater core hoses when I had my intake manifold off doing the M50 intake swap. I had found out that I did not tighten one of the hose clamps tight enough & it started to leak.

So, I'm guessing you still have a leak.....& you do have an overheating issue, I agree a clutch fan would cause an overheat condition, but I would rule out the thermostat first.....do you have heat in the car? Also when the engine reaches operating temp. the upper & lower radiator hoses should feel about the same temp.
Also make sure your cooling system is bled properly. pull the little black plastic screw on the over flow tank/radiator and run the car with heater full blast till no air comes out of the plug but the coolant is almost pouring out of the bleed plug.

how new is the heater core. was it a DIY or dealership install?

Last edited by garbone; 01-27-2009 at 11:59 PM.
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