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Discussion Starter #41
Good to replace that. But that’s not sagging per se. That‘s moisture that gets trapped in the dirt between the fins and crystallizes (which expands in volume, pushing the fins down) at night.
Interesting. So this could've been caused by the coolant not being changed at the correct intervals?
 

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FWIW, my original factory radiator failed at 145k miles during a super cold in mid December of 2017.

Replaced with a Nissens and been solid this far. If you have a MT, you can get away without buying the new plate. I ordered one just in case but sent it back to FCP Euro after realizing I didn't need to utilize it.

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I'm doing a complete cooling system overhaul. I'm gonna be replacing basically everything but the radiator. My car has driven 120k miles. I don't know if there is a way to check if it's the original radiator but to be safe I'm assuming it's.
Is the radiator something you should change periodically or will it show slight wear when it's time to replace it?

What's the typical lifespan of an E46s radiator?
I don’t think it’s quite that simple unless you know if the cooling systems parts were EVER changed. Here’s the parts I replaced which is essentially the entire cooling system
Radiator, fan clutch, upper and lower hoses, all belts, upgraded water pump, but all belt tensioners, the expansion tank, the radiator cap I think has to be ordered separately, the thermostat, and any small hose when you go to realoem. Depending on when it was last changed, some people re-use the coolant.
The way I figure it, it’s not worth the hassle of collecting the coolant and put in back into the nice clean parts you’ve just replaced. There is a write up somewhere in the DIY section that does a pretty good job of detailing the necessary parts. There are also coolant kits you can buy from FCP Euro and other vendors. My 2004 E46 325Ci Convertible has only got about 70,000 miles on the odo after almost 17 years on the road. Where you live can also make a difference. I just moved to South Carolina. 35 years of living in NJ where it goes from 100+ in the summer to close to zero in the winter makes plastic and rubber parts expand and contract. Place close attention to some assorted O-Rings, and there is a difference between the automatic radiator and the one for a manual transmission. Keep in mind I’m working from memory and at almost 66, memory ain’t what it used to be. Be sure to “burp” the hoses and look form the upper hose with the METAL screw vs the plastic screw. I just think anytime you can replace plastic with metal it probably will last longer.Frankly the easiest wayis to put the last 7 digits on realoem.com/bmw, the go to engine and you’ll find everything you need. Any as I mentioned several vendors sell a “light” kit meaning no radiator and maybe even no water pump, so just pay close attention. Good luck!
 

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FWIW, my original factory radiator failed at 145k miles during a super cold in mid December of 2017.

Replaced with a Nissens and been solid this far. If you have a MT, you can get away without buying the new plate. I ordered one just in case but sent it back to FCP Euro after realizing I didn't need to utilize it.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6000 using Tapatalk
How long have you had the nissens? I just installed one too. (My OEM lasted 208k miles, and is still fine. Changed it for piece of mind).
 

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How long have you had the nissens? I just installed one too. (My OEM lasted 208k miles, and is still fine. Changed it for piece of mind).
I've had it for 3 years and about 25k miles. So far so good. Plus it's from FCP Euro so it's good for life.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6000 using Tapatalk
 
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