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  1. #1
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    Member No: 21723 ColinC is an unknown quantity at this point ColinC's Avatar
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    Bigger radiator for E30??

    Does anyone know for sure if a bigger or thicker radiator from another BMW will fit my E30 325i? I'm replacing my radiator, and I figured if a bigger one will fit, I might as well do it. I use my a/c a lot on really hot days, and the engine needs all the cooling it can get.


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    E36 radiator is

    the best choice unless you want racing radiator. The HD rsdistor from Zionsville Motorsports is a winner!

    orcBMW CCA 356800
    1989 330is (S50B30 Orca)
    1986 325es (White Rabbit)

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    Member No: 94871 mactar is an unknown quantity at this point mactar's Avatar
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    does it really matter?

    Maybe under full blown racing conditions, but the cars cooling system was designed to be able to handle A/C and so was the radiator. I don't see any advantage to "upgrading."


    100% parted as of 5.05. Email for parts

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    Re: does it really matter?

    E30 cooling systems (and E36 ones for that matter) are widely known to be barely adequate for the car, even when everything (fans, thermostat, radiator, etc.) is in optimum condition.

    So yea, it does really matter when you're sitting in city traffic, in a bad neighborhood, on a 95-degree day and your temp gauge is at 3/4 and climbing. Since I'm replacing the rad anyway, why not add a little insurance, in the form of cooling capacity, for the sweltering weather ahead?

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    Re: does it really matter?

    Late models have the plastic water pump impeller that fails and fans that explode into the radiator but I have to admit I've never heard of a radiator weakness. If you're running into the 3/4 mark you've got problems, not necessary need an upgrade. Did you convert your A/C to R134a without re-wiring the Aux fan?

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    Re: does it really matter?

    I've had 2 e30s with stock radiators at over 130k miles with no problems, and never heard of stock e30 radiators being poorly designed. Yes you can contaminate them and they need flushing or replacing, but that's user / maintenance error, not design.
    Like lurkr says, if you are at 3/4 in that situation something in your system is wrong. If you are driving through bad neighborhoods try packing your glock.


    100% parted as of 5.05. Email for parts

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    E30s are cool runner cars with excellent radiators


    E30s are known for cool running engines with ample radiator performance. I've driven mine for 361,000 miles with NEVER an even slight overheat. If your car pushes to the 3/4 mark, you've got engine trouble, not an insufficient radiator. In the hottest days idling in traffic, mine sometimes moves to near the 3/4 mark for a few seconds before the aux. fan turns on and almost immediately brings it down to the optimal center reading.

    BEST ADVICE: Stop using replacement parts from Pep Boys (or ANY other aftermarket dealer) and your BMW will run perfectly. When using performance enhancing parts, do the research and don't buy cheap.

  8. #8
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    Re: E30s are cool runner cars with excellent radiators

    I will agree with that statement, but only with the addition of "as long as every component of the cooling system is new or in prefect working order". This includes the radiator, both fans, condenser fan sensor, condenser fan resistor, fan shroud, etc. I suspect the original radiator with 150,000 miles on it has lost some efficiency due to deposits, etc., since every other cooling component is either new (and no, I don't buy parts at Pep Boys; only OEM or BMW parts) or working correctly, and there are no engine problems.

  9. #9
    walter cronkite
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    Needle shouldn't go above half

    Do you have a fan clutch issue. Your IP says you're in Boston. During the last few sweltering days, my temp gauge sits just below 1/2 MAX. Cruising on the highway I'm around 3/8ths. This is the case for all of my bmw's (90 325, 84 325, 87 535is and my bro's 96 328is).

    You can also get a thermostat that opens earlier. I'm not sure what stock temp is, might be 80 deg C. Check the archives for that info.


  10. #10
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    Graham

    Hi guys I ran a 4litr 4cam v8 without a rad Thurmo fan through Australias hot summer with 2inch thick e30 radiator and it easily stayed cool in Sydney traffic with only the a/c Thurmofan in my 88 series 2 e30
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote 120.18.102.244

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