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Discussion Starter #1
Its time to replace, end cap beside upper hose outlet is cracked.

Back in the day when I was younger and perhaps less conservative I did a zionsville comp kit on the E36M3...not sure the E39M5 and my use of it merits anything that hard core. Although the idea of a 100% aluminum rad is appealing, not sure how plausible it is for investment/self preservation/benefit/ cost etc.

as priced on FCP Euro:
Stock Behr - $162
OEM BMW - $476
CSF - $549

Zionsville - $825 or $1,389 w/ elect fan

Am I missing any other choices? Am I missing any other issues to consider.

Saw a youtube video comparing the Behr to an aftermarket Direnza all alum hi po unit which resulted in the behr winning, see here:

Really could use some data points.....
 

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Its time to replace, end cap beside upper hose outlet is cracked.

Back in the day when I was younger and perhaps less conservative I did a zionsville comp kit on the E36M3...not sure the E39M5 and my use of it merits anything that hard core. Although the idea of a 100% aluminum rad is appealing, not sure how plausible it is for investment/self preservation/benefit/ cost etc.

as priced on FCP Euro:
Stock Behr - $162
OEM BMW - $476
CSF - $549

Zionsville - $825 or $1,389 w/ elect fan

Am I missing any other choices? Am I missing any other issues to consider.

Saw a youtube video comparing the Behr to an aftermarket Direnza all alum hi po unit which resulted in the behr winning, see here:

Really could use some data points.....
Other than the thermostat, the S62 factory cooling system parts are pretty robust. So since you are buying from FCP, then Behr or genuine BMW will work perfectly fine unless you track the car. From what I've heard Zionsville isn't worth it because of buyers complaining about shoddy welding that cracks overtime and are slow to fix it when you send it to them for repair. Haven't heard much on the CFS, though they are a very respected brand.

Don't know the mileage of your car, but be sure to give anything else in the area a good look over such as the hoses, fan clutch, expansion tank blah, blah, blah you get the picture lol.

Sent from Uranus with Love.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Other than the thermostat, the S62 factory cooling system parts are pretty robust. So since you are buying from FCP, then Behr or genuine BMW will work perfectly fine unless you track the car. From what I've heard Zionsville isn't worth it because of buyers complaining about shoddy welding that cracks overtime and are slow to fix it when you send it to them for repair. Haven't heard much on the CFS, though they are a very respected brand.

Don't know the mileage of your car, but be sure to give anything else in the area a good look over such as the hoses, fan clutch, expansion tank blah, blah, blah you get the picture lol.

Sent from Uranus with Love.
Thanks I am at 108K on this 2002/02 build. Expansion tank discolored, so may consider that. Already have a t-stat and new coolant but was shorted tstat housing seals etc.
 

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As someone who worked as an engineer manufacturing automotive radiators and intercoolers, here's what I can tell you on the topic:
- All OEMs use plastic-tanked radiators because they're much cheaper and aluminum is not at all necessary and can even be detrimental if not designed correctly. Intercoolers often us aluminum tanks because the higher temperature and pressure necessitates it, but on the radiator side the plastic tanks hold up just fine. Often the weakest point of the radiator is the braze between the coolant tubes and the 'header' to which the tank is crimped. As the radiator heats/cools, the tubes grow and cause some bending to radiator core. If you use aluminum tanks, they are much stiffer, don't allow the core to bend as much, and thus put greater stress on the tube/header joints. This CAN be mitigated with proper design, but hard to know how well AE parts accomplish this. My advice is to search around a little to see if you can get some evidence of where the OE parts tend to fail. If there seem to be a lot of cases of cracked tanks, then sure an aluminum tanked part would help mitigate this failure mode. But I expect tube/header cracks/leaks are the much more prevalent failure, in which case you're better off sticking with the OE plastic style. Lastly, I suspect that any complaints of Zionsville parts cracking are actually tube/head cracks, and not where the tank is welded to the header, although I don't know the actual data so I may be wrong, just a hunch.
 

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The oem/oe fail at the plastic end caps, at least for me. Went through two replacement oem bmw units, all failed at the same driver's side plastic end cap. So no more plastic for me. I went with the CSF, which also solved my overheating issue along with the zionsville oil cooler.

YMMV, but three plastic grenades converted me to aluminum.
 

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The oem/oe fail at the plastic end caps, at least for me. Went through two replacement oem bmw units, all failed at the same driver's side plastic end cap. So no more plastic for me. I went with the CSF, which also solved my overheating issue along with the zionsville oil cooler.

YMMV, but three plastic grenades converted me to aluminum.
I have had a Zionsville rad for years (before CSF was available). I replaced it only because I was upgrading. I think I still have the original in my garage with my spare parts.

Mine is not the oversized one, but a drop in replacement. Easy swap. Haven't had a moments trouble. Whether cost is worth it for a stock car is a separate issue.

Regards,
Jerry
 

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FWIW, I have 180K miles on my original cooling system - all of it. Fortunately, the M5 does not share the crappy coolant system parts of lesser E39s.

I'd go with the OEM stuff.
 
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