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post #1 of 6 Old 12th July 2019, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
sweeney921
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Water pump failed, still finding particles in coolant

Hey everyone,

My coolant pump bearing failed/exploded a few weeks ago, after which I found a ton of particles in the coolant. Some of the particles were magnetic, some weren't. This makes sense to me since both the impeller and pump housing were heavily damaged.

I installed a new OEM pump and flushed the system *FIVE* times with blue BMW coolant and distilled water (50% ratio), but I'm still finding metal particles in the drained fluid. I even removed and reverse-flushed the radiator then cleaned out all of the hoses. It seems that no amount of flushing the system will get all of the metal particles out of there....

The metal particles can be seen suspended in the overflow reservoir, which tells me that they're light enough to circulate through the entire cooling tract. That being the case, the particles are going through the pump, too. My question for the forum is if I should be concerned by the remaining metal particles, or if I should just forget about it and see what happens?

The pump and all other parts came from FCP Euro, so I'm not concerned about cost if the new pump fails prematurely. I've driven it nearly every day since the repairs, and the coolant/oil temps are spot on. It's running beautifully.

Should I be concerned about the metal particles still remaining in my coolant system?

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post #2 of 6 Old 12th July 2019, 03:57 AM
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Crazy you're still seeing particles after 5 flushes.

The cooling system is fully contained within itself so unless you get a crack in your head gasket, you shouldn't get any particles in the engine, but I understand that's not very comforting. I bet at this point you're just left with small, light particles that are suspended in the fluid and unlikely to damage to impellers. Ideally you would rig up some kind of in-line filter in one of the radiator hoses to catch everything which shouldn't take more than 10 seconds of running the car, but that's easier said than done.

If I were you, I'd continue flushing just with distilled water for the sake of cost. If you're also draining the block, you'll get most of it out. Once all the particles are out, I'd do a final flush where make the ratio something like 55% coolant/45% water to compensate for the remaining water. Or just base it off a measurement of how much fluid you're actually draining.

How many miles have you driven it after the pump R&R?

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post #3 of 6 Old 12th July 2019, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response

I had an oil analysis done after the repairs, which fortunately came back in good shape. No coolant was in the oil and they didn't suggest any other inspections or repairs.

I'm at 113k miles, having done nearly 3k since the water pump, fan clutch, and thermostat replacement. Ambient temps are 95F but the coolant and oil temps are still rock solid. The water pump bearing feels good, too.

Your inline filter suggestion is an interesting idea. A quick Google search turns up a few aftermarket products but they're made for specific pipe diameters. Maybe I could rig up some sort of coffee filter contraption in the overflow tank and run it for 10 minutes?

Another option I've kicked around in my head is to route the radiator outlet into a bucket and continuously fill the overflow with distilled water with the engine running. Then once it's coming out clear just add a gallon of blue coolant and let it mix inside the engine. Thoughts?

I plan on doing UOAs at every oil change for the foreseeable future so that I dont lose sleep at night.

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post #4 of 6 Old 12th July 2019, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thinking outside the box here, but what if I attached a magnet to the side of the overflow tank to catch the ferrous particles. After running it that way for a day or so I'd remove the overflow and flush it thoroughly.

Of course that wouldn't address the aluminum particles, but at least it would be progress. Very easy to do, too.

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post #5 of 6 Old 12th July 2019, 12:40 PM
technician117
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I wouldn't be overly concerned. With the amount of time you spent cleaning the system, the majority of it has to be out by now. I didn't flush my system nearly as much as you when my bearing failed years ago. I even remember seeing a small pile of silvery particles in the reservoir for years before my next coolant change. That replacement pump now has 140k on it with no issues.

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post #6 of 6 Old 12th July 2019, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technician117 View Post
I wouldn't be overly concerned. With the amount of time you spent cleaning the system, the majority of it has to be out by now. I didn't flush my system nearly as much as you when my bearing failed years ago. I even remember seeing a small pile of silvery particles in the reservoir for years before my next coolant change. That replacement pump now has 140k on it with no issues.
Thanks, that's exactly the sort of experience that I was hoping to hear about. The S62 water pump is quite stout so I've been leaning towards running it as-is. If the new pump does fail then I'll have an excuse to turn wrenches on it again.


Thanks for your responses!
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