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Toughguyhuh

Hairline crack in original radiator plastic inlet

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Sooooo....

I was getting all cocky, having cleared all the fault codes on my E39 after swapping out the AUC sensor and thermostat. Did the coolant, bled it, ran up to temperature and everything was looking great, the engine is running so nicely.

Just happened to walk around the passenger side of the car when I spotted what I thought was a spider web coming off the radiator inlet. Looked a bit closer and it turned out to be a very small, fine jet of coolant coming out under pressure.

 

Being fairly handy with a soldering iron, I attempted to gently melt the crack as it was so teeny but this just resulted in the leak moving around the area. Tried melting a piece of black cable tie over it with my solder rework station, 400 degrees of hot air focussed on a 2mm sq area did the job, but still there was a bleeding around the "fix".

 

It was the original radiator and it's on 99k miles so in the end I've given up and just ordered a new radiator. It's a Mahle Behr.

 

Now for the question - Hella took over Behr a while ago, then Mahle took over Helle Behr in 2018. Is my new radiator going to be a Hella Behr or just a Mahle? Pretty sure they're all the same but the cost difference was big - £77 for the Mahle Behr and £160 for the Behr OEM. It's not going to make much difference in the real world, they're both good brands but interested if anyone knows.

radiator leak.jpg

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It'll probably say Mahle or Behr on it; both fine

 

The other one to go for is Nissens :) 

 

And that area for cracking is common; hard to see as well unless engine is up to temp and pressure is forcing the coolant to weep

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6 minutes ago, d_a_n1979 said:

It'll probably say Mahle or Behr on it; both fine

 

The other one to go for is Nissens :) 

 

And that area for cracking is common; hard to see as well unless engine is up to temp and pressure is forcing the coolant to weep

 

If you look closely you can see some residue where it must have been leaking for a while, just not enough to cause a noticeable issue.

 

I see Nissens a lot and at a cheaper price. So far I've only bought Meyle or Mahle parts for the car, you reckon Nissens is a safe bet?

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46 minutes ago, toughguyhuh said:

 

If you look closely you can see some residue where it must have been leaking for a while, just not enough to cause a noticeable issue.

 

I see Nissens a lot and at a cheaper price. So far I've only bought Meyle or Mahle parts for the car, you reckon Nissens is a safe bet?

 

Yes; they've been around a long time and are a tried & tested company :) 

 

I won't recommend anything I'm not prepared to use myself :) 

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Plus one for nissens.  Had a garage repalce my radiator seven or eight years ago and it only lasted a couple of years.  Swapped for Nissens and still going strong. Danish company in think.

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The new radiator arrived this morning - stamped Mahle Behr. It took around 30 mins to fit, and after a fluid refill and temp test everything is now back to how it should be, running perfectly. I love these M54 engines. Not so much the ZF 5HP19 gearboxes...

 

Edited by Toughguyhuh

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22 hours ago, Toughguyhuh said:

The new radiator arrived this morning - stamped Mahle Behr. It took around 30 mins to fit, and after a fluid refill and temp test everything is now back to how it should be, running perfectly. I love these M54 engines.

 


Fair play it takes me at least 30 minutes just to get the viscous fan off! 
 

Also took a good 20 minutes cleaning all the crap out that had built up in front of the rad in the gap behind the A/C condenser. 
 

I’d never make it working in a proper garage!

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I find that once it's loose I can just spin the fan blades to get it off, same for mounting it. Then just a quick nip with the 32mm locking spanner set. Saw that on Youtube and it's saved me heaps of time.

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1 hour ago, Toughguyhuh said:

I find that once it's loose I can just spin the fan blades to get it off, same for mounting it. Then just a quick nip with the 32mm locking spanner set. Saw that on Youtube and it's saved me heaps of time.


It’s the getting it loose that’s the problem, yes spins of fine after that. 
I guess there is a special tool for locking it but the only way I found was to take out one of the little bolts & use a slight longer one to bolt a drilled bar on to lock it. It took about 2 hours first time, it was properly jammed on. It comes off ok now but it still takes me ages to get the little bolt out to fit the bar...

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1 hour ago, Toughguyhuh said:

It makes all the difference having the lock tool and skinny spanner!

 

Best tenner I've ever spent on generic ebay tools. Only had to have the fan out a few times of my last E34 and two of my E39's, but everytime spent far too long fighting with it. Never wanted to buy proper tools as each time I thought 'well at least I won't have to do that again'... Finally bought a set pre-emptively when I knew I'd need fan off early last year (turned out to be multiple times for cooling system overhaul and transmission cooler replacement) and laughed like a loon after finding out how easy it could have been for all of those previous ordeals.

 

I remember standing on one of the suspension mounts in the engine bay of the E34, literally kicking the hell out of an adjustable plumbers wrench which was barely thin enough to fit in there. Ah memories...

 

Anyone reading this who is ever likely to have to remove their viscous fan - For the love of god, do yourself a favour and get the right spanner and locking brace. For around a tenner, it'll make your life so much easier.

Edited by Pzero

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Ah thanks very much, maybe I will get one just incase, certainly before next time anyway. 
 

I just got a proper long ball joint splitter after spending ages getting all but on of them off, should have got that at the start too! 

Edited by Andyrt200

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