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Old 07-29-2009, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Coolant Caking On Radiator Hose

So very recently I noticed a little bit of coolant caking onto hoses connecting to the radiator (upper radiator neck?) on my 94' 325i. See the following photo -- any additional analysis is appreciated:

So I took the car into a mechanic and he said that I ought to be concerned about this since the radiator neck has a significant chance of cracking at some point. My cursory further research into it tells me to take him seriously (the plastic impaler situation and all).

I'm going to replace the whole cooling system (radiator and all) per his advice. I've decided to go ahead and try a DIY, even though I've never done a job that's anything like this before. But I want to make sure I am ordering all the needed parts. Using, I found parts with the part numbers that the mechanic printed out for me. Does the following list of items sound comprehensive?:

-Bleeder Screw for Expansion Tank
-Radiator Cap
-Thermostat O-Ring
-Thermostat Housing/Cover - Aluminum
-Genuine BMW Antifreeze, 1 gallon
-Thermostat 88 Degrees

What else will I need/should I buy to do the job? makes it seem like there is more to buy. Is 1 gallon antifreeze sufficient? Should I get new radiator hoses? Water pump? Water pump belt? Mounting brackets? Rubber insulators? Do I need to buy any special tools (I have a pretty comprehensive mechanical toolkit already)? Any other miscellaneous things to order? I feel like I'm going to miss at least one essential peice of the puzzle. I want to do a complete job.

I'm gonna take my time and get myself up to snuff on the DIY tutorials for the job in the meantime.

But I appreciate the help! I'll make sure to keep everyone updated with the job itself after I order the parts and they come in...
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good idea to go with the aluminum housing, also try to get an all aluminum radiator. The plastic sides on the original tend to give out. They make oem all aluminum radiators, so look around. Its not a hard job to do. The radiator is pretty much just sitting in there. After everything is disconnected there are two clip tabs on either side and two mounting support bushings/ brackets on the bottom that its just sitting in. The pelican parts is a great place to go for help. Pelican Technical Article: BMW Radiator Replacement I also reccomend seeing if your car was made with a plastic water impeller on the pump. They also sell oem all aluminum replacements for that as well. Good luck!
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mishimoto makes a really nice aluminum radiator, I would definitely go to an all-aluminum radiator. Way better than the plastic end tanks!
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Old 08-01-2009, 04:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the heads up. But now I'm wondering if it's necessary to replace the small hose in the photo. According to the following diagram, it's the radiator and engine return hose:   BMW E36 325i Cooling System Water Hoses

If you look at the photo you see that there is a tiny bit of dried coolant on the end of it there where it attaches to the radiator. Do you think that'll be a problem or what?

Thanks again.
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