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Radiator failures

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by Robert Wright, Nov 21, 2009.

    Robert Wright guest

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    This week I experienced my 2nd near-catastrophic radiator failure on my 1995 E36 (M50). The upper hose neck of the factory plastic radiator tank broke away, immediately dumping all of my coolant. The first time this happened, about 5 years ago, I just assumed that I had a faulty radiator, so I replaced it with the BMW part from my local dealer (manufactured by Behr, I believe). After this second, identical failure, I did an internet search and found that this may be a common problem. Does anyone know if BMW has addressed this issue? If not, is there a better aftermarket radiator that someone can recommend?
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    John in VA

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    MGarrison

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    Robert Wright guest

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    Replacement radiators for E36

    Thanks, I replaced the water pump (yes, the plastic impeller failed) about 6 years ago with the stainless steel impeller upgrade. Do you have any advice on replacement radiators? I don't think I'll go back with the Behr, as I have had 2 of them fail, unless they have changed their design. Online I'm finding aftermarket radiators by Nissens, Silla, Laengerer & Reich, and Croymax.

    Robert Wright
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    John in VA

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    I had a all-metal Nissen radiator in an E28 - no problems, good value.
    Plastic cooling system parts should be considered consumables, and be replaced every 60-90K miles, unfortunately.
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    MGarrison

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    I presume you saw the link to Zionsville Autosport - I don't know if they source their radiators or have them made to their specs, but they are offering all-metal radiators w/ some additional options. There may be any number of aftermarket suppliers, if you want to eliminate the issue, I think the solution is an all-metal radiator, eliminating the plastic parts prone to failure. Any quality all-metal radiator would probably work fine, but you'd have to get other's opinions about the brands. John in Va has obviously had good luck with his Nissen, & I would have high confidence in Zionsville's solutions.

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