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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. is the premier BMW Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
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Old 07-19-2004, 03:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ok so here it is, right up front to save many of you guys some worry and grief... Clearly BMW uses hoses made by the same comapny as Snapple.. (The best stuff on earth) The final result of 12 hours of back breaking labor to change every coolant hose on my 12 year old 60K mile coupe is as follows: all the original hoses (except the upper and lower radiator hoses becuase thety had been changed several times) were in EXCELLENT condition when i cut them open. So good in fact that I didn't bother taking pictures. Now you can draw your own conclusions about what deteriorates hoses, be it calendar time or miles, but since hose manufacturers recommned replacement at time intervals and things like heat and ozone break down rubber I still beleive time is the crucial factor.

Having said that, I can say those hoses looked good for another 12 years easy. That was the good news. The bad news? all the vacuum hoses looked kinda dried out and one was even almost crumbly. I replaced them all (i didn't use oem BMW hoses because they are vacuum hoses and the stuff off the spool is just fine. Any auto parts place should carry the stuff. Even worse the six intake manifold gaskets were dried out and cracking, and thus needed to be replaced. ( given these little guy's proximity to the piping hot head, I can't imagine not replacing them whenever you remove the intake manifiold, which you guys should keep in mind if you ever need to pull that manifld for say a starter replacement)

All in all the job is not that hard, and I also changed out both belts, the thermostat, the thermostat housing, and the fuel lines in the engine bay. So this added perhaps an hour and a half at most. One trick I will share (learned it the hard way) is the back most nut on the manifold is a little inaccesable. you will likely drop the nut a couple of times before you mange to get it started. it has a built in washer on it so do this: take a piece of thread, and slip it between the nut and the built in washer. tie the other end onto something in the engine bay, it doesn't matter what. when you drop the #$%%^& nut trying to get it started on the stud, whilst you are laying completely accross the top of the motor, just pull up on the thread and you get to try again. without the thread.... if you are lucky you find the nut.. if not, a trip to the dealer or hardware store.

If there are any specific questions on this job please feel free to ask.
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Old 07-19-2004, 06:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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well I'm glad we've established the kinda quality of the coolant hoses. I knew the vaccum hoses were crap though, had one break on me a few months ago. Well I'm glad you were able to take care of everything, sorry that you ended up dropping a nut.... (sorry couldn't resist)
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