BMW E46 Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
440 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 2002 325Xi auto is super low mile, came with records, and maintained strictly at the BMW store (even tires - wow). However, I don't have any records from an out of state BMW dealership they used at their summer house and there's no record of a coolant flush. I want to address the cooling system refresh, and it appears the expansion cap may not be original as it does not have the yellow sticker I've read about. First question: Does anyone have a way I can ascertain from looking at the tank and cap in situ (limited ability to see it only at the top) whether this is original or not? It would help me know if I should get more aggressive getting those records as it may show this has been recently done, and allow me to know exactly what I need to still replace.

To help, the "bobber" in the tank is a yellowish/light brown and the tank has a white paper sticker on the side with a BMW logo and the P/N 1436239. The cap is made by "Ruetter" and has a green paint dot that matches a green dot on the cooling hose on the neck of the tank facing the engine, but no yellow warning sticker and it's got embossed warnings that would preclude a sticker ever having been there. I've heard the bobbers on the factory units are red. So some info points to original but its inconsistent to other info.

I'm also wondering if anyone knows of a vendor that has put together a kit that covers an E46 cooling system refresh or if there's a forum thread with a well thought out discussion?

To forestall the thoughts I should just ignore identifying this and replace everything - I'm partly curious about the historical aspects and records veracity here, and partly wanting to know if it's been replaced to push the former owner on records that may show things recently replaced. Other things on the car have been excellently maintained. Thanks for listening!
 

·
Registered
E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
Joined
·
1,214 Posts
Reutter is/was a supplier of the expansion tanks to BMW. Then Modine bought them out. There was a period when you could get Rettter, Modine and/or Rutter/Modine tanks. I think all of the NOS Reutter tanks are gone, but they ARE factory.
Can't help on the cap, other than since all else is original to the car, likely the cap is also?

There were a couple of discussions here about FCP Euro and kits that cover what you desire. IIRC the drawback was that if one part of the "kit" was bad they wanted the whole kit back?
Correct me if I'm wrong guys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,070 Posts
Yes, replace everything. Depending on how low the super low is, you could keep your radiator, though it'll leak from just having 18 year old rubber in it...not a bad idea for another $100. Pulleys, belts too...but ET, WP, thermostat and the upper and lower hoses...to be safe for many years. When the intake is off for something, you can do your hard pipes underneath it. But if they're not leaking, knock on wood.

I'd be happy to inspect it personally if you meet me under exit 14B of the New Jersey Turnpike--I'll have some good friends meet you and take the car from you. I'll let you know how I like it in a few years.
 

·
Here to serve y’all
2004 330Ci 85k miles
Joined
·
11,173 Posts
Check out Mango’s cooling system guide.
 

·
Registered
2004 325i automagic
Joined
·
2,075 Posts
There were a couple of discussions here about FCP Euro and kits that cover what you desire. IIRC the drawback was that if one part of the "kit" was bad they wanted the whole kit back?
Correct me if I'm wrong guys.
First e46 cooling system I did, I bought the fcp euro kit with the Graf water pump ... which then spit coolant out of the weep hole within 7k miles or so and I was able to return just the pump without sending back everything else. I've seen the same reference to sending back the whole kit, but that would be pretty ridiculous.

Since then I don't buy the kits, although they can be a good reference, but I just piece together everything separately based on what brands I'm looking for.
 

·
Here to serve y’all
2004 330Ci 85k miles
Joined
·
11,173 Posts
I don't buy the kits, although they can be a good reference, but I just piece together everything separately based on what brands I'm looking for.
Same here, I don’t think their kits offer any price break. I use them as a reference to see what else needs to be replaced “while in there” and to look at the brands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
...
I'd be happy to inspect it personally if you meet me under exit 14B of the New Jersey Turnpike--I'll have some good friends meet you and take the car from you. I'll let you know how I like it in a few years.
:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
440 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I think 14A would be even scarier. When I was a kid in college I had a summer job out there and someone told me the worst place around was under the bridge in Bayonne. So naturally I had to go see it and naturally it was late one evening as I passed through the area. Heh, Memories. I was all over NJ from the NY border down to slightly south of Newark, and west as far as Alpha. Contrary to what I'd heard/read/been told about NJ (armpit), that was total BS. There's a reason you guys have the Garden State on your plate. Hello - lots of gorgeous green in the places I was.

So I ordered the reservoir, a water pump, and a thermostat & housing and I'll find a new seal for the cap if possible. If not (anyone have a source?) then it will be easy to replace after I flush and fill with green coolant and these bits are installed.

The belt is new and I'll take a close look at other things while it's apart. The radiator literally does not seem to have a single bent fin. I'll spray it from the engine side with Simple Green, let it soak, and spray out the fins forward to clear any dust by pushing back out the front. I have a cool little grease tool designed to push past waterproof pulley or bearing seals and inject fresh grease, so I'll maybe hit the lower ones with that while stuff is out of the way. I thought about doing the oil filter housing seal but that requires a LOT more crap come off and I'll do it when I go under the intake for the PCV stuff before Fall sets in as it has a cold package and I don't want to mess up this little creampuff with the dreaded hydrolock. The videos make this thing almost FUN to work on - lots of room to swing a wrench, pulling the rad fan out looks like removing a cassette - really? Looking forward to it. It's been so babied at 61k the original owner whom I purchased it from answered my question "what's the fastest you've ever driven it" with a jaw dropper. Only 82mph.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
440 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Wow! Seriously? The stock E46 cap vents at 29PSI? No wonder we're blowing expansion tanks - that's the highest I've ever heard of by a huge margin. Where do I get my hands on a 1.4 or the 1.2?
 

·
Registered
2004 325i automagic
Joined
·
2,075 Posts
E30 1.4 bar cap
17137639023

I bought one today from a local dealership for $29 total, including sales tax. Fcp euro has the genuine BMW ones for $23, so I just went to the dealer.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top