BMW 318ic 1997 less than 87,000 US Miles

Folks,
I have a minor problem in that the item you will see on the link which follows seems to be broken and leaking water. The non-metal nipple had
cracked some time ago and was a minor leak from what I am told. This most likely dates to this same time last year when the radiator blew a hole and needed to be replaced (and don't those come with a cap as a matter of normal sale).
The PDF file shows all I can of the location and condition of the item and any help is requested. Like how to reach this area, what to remove in other words and any gotchas I need to look for.
Is it possible to replace this non-metal item with an after market design made from metal which is going to withstand the heat of the radiator fluid for a lot longer, even to the point of over-boil temps as was the case when the radiator blew a hole.
In that incident last year I just turned off the engine which -- was no further problem as the car was parked and idling for a while. Humm, come to time about it, that heat exchanger or manifold might have been the problem all along; having a minor leak and draining the reserve tank and thereby the radiator for several days to weeks as I only check fluids about weekly and I might have missed that prior week. Geez, why is this thing made so poorly if it is a heat exchanger or is it a heater core manifold bypass. Either way, poor design.
Please go to --
http://www.divshare.com/download/14321842-56b
-- for the PDF titled BMW 01.pdf which is 454 KB (465,156 bytes) in size.
TIA
--
Mike C


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In your photos I can't see what has failed although I do see a lot of signs of maintenance issues there.
Is what has failed the nipple on the thermostat cover or the lower water distribution pipe?

Yes, the cooling system is underdesigned on these cars. Everybody knows it. Therefore when you replace the radiator you should be replacing all the hoses, all the plastic parts (and that includes the water distribution pipe and maybe even the expansion tank), and the water pump while you're in there. If they didn't do that when they replaced your radiator, they should have.
Cooling system replacement on these cars, unfortunately, is an expected part of normal maintenance and you're at about the point where you need to be doing that. Oh, also you NEED to do the cooling system flush on these annually, or they fail even faster. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On 3/16/2011 8:43 AM, Scott Dorsey wrote:

Thanks for pointing that out Scott, yes the failed item is the one which has the broken plastic nipple. Is that a thermostat cover then? This nipple connected to the lower radiator via the hose I indicate. The upper hose has not failed yet but from what you and others say below and prior on this NG it is just a matter of time.

I will do this as soon as I can figure out how to disconnect all these items in the proper order, the Chilton guide I have is a joke, I tell you, an absolute prat fall for that organization if ever there was such. They might have researched and printed a poorer guide about another car but if so I have yet to see that in the racks.
Mike C (still needing direction, for me and my buddy)
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If you plan to work on your car, get yourself a Bentley Manual, you won't regret it:
http://www.bentleypublishers.com/bmw/repair-information/bmw-3-series-e36-1992-1998-repair-manual.html
Good Luck!
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On 3/17/2011 4:31 PM, bfd wrote:

http://www.bentleypublishers.com/bmw/repair-information/bmw-3-series-e36-1992-1998-repair-manual.html
I located a correct year edition copy of this repair manual and with more than just a brief skimming though I determine there is no direct information re the problem I have.
The device might be mentioned in a few places such as the electrical diagrams or figures those entries refer you to such as the poor quality fig 19 on 610-7 (but only incidentally) where an arrow points to a different device, the ECT for my M44 engine. Several of the electrical diagrams indicate a cooling system dual sensor which this part might be the "holder' for -- but none show a picture or figure for that part or its location; ELE-95 mentions the dual temperature switch for example, for the 4 cyl E44.
At 113-2 fig 3 it might be talking about the item as a part of the engine cooling system, which it is, but does not deal with the replacement of that unit anywhere in the 'low price donated and sold cheap' book I bought (I love my local friends of the library folk). This item is "labeled" cooling flange but this fig refers to the M42 engine, although it looks remarkably like the item I need to replace on the E44 in my 318ic. I am at a loss here folks, does anyone actually work on their engine/vehicle and can that person figure out what item I am describing and a check sheet of the things to remove to access that area? Hopefully the replacement part is less expensive than the initial manufacturer part as I do not see how injection molded bake-lite fixtures are considered a serviceable choice and that is how this material seems to be constructed.
The figure at 113-2 fig 3 is the best match-up I have seen. So use that as your starting point and please inform me of the method of replacement, i.e., what to take off to get to there and what to do when I arrive at that part. A part number and name would be very helpful and if there is an after market part that would perform better, please inform me. If all this does is hold one (or two) sensor(s) in the (divided maybe) cooling fluid flow then maybe I can rig a better "holder" from a couple of galvanized pipes and/or nipples threaded to accommodate the sensor(s) but I need to get to the part to determine any further choices I might have, or at least have a better idea of what the part is by name and number and a figure or drawing of what it looks like in cross-section and function.
Mike C
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On 3/16/2011 8:43 AM, Scott Dorsey wrote:

Thanks Scott, these two possibilities gave me a range to search to find what I need. Both of these terms seem to refer to the same device I show below, odd that there is a dual naming convention within BMW.
I have worked through what is needed before I remove the part and will have on hand the replacement parts to tie up this fault.
The part has been identified as
by URO as Coolant Pipe or WATER DIST Hose Connector
it is OE Part Number: 11 53 1 714 738 A
made up from these sub assembly Parts: Engine Coolant Pipe, [O-Ring, Hose Connector Clamps not supplied] Also uses # 11-53-1-709-157 or # 11-53-1-709-157-M17 O-ring (the M17 is more than likely 17mm)
It is also called "Engine Cooling -- Thermostat Housing" (does not contain any thermostat that I can see, maybe because it is an input to that item) there is an actual TH which could in event of the dual name usage cause major confusion unless folks use pictures or descriptions... sigh.
All the items blocking access to the connector need to be removed in order and replaced in the reverse order, there are no special tools needed nor are there any particular road blocks to the replacement of this item. This is very straight forward it would seem.
It is claimed the URO brand is inferior to the OE part, it is not able to seal as well due to an injection molding issue, it sags and will not be parallel when it is mounted with the two (2) bolts to the driver's side (American driver side that is) of the engine block. The sag is toward the block and the impact to the seal area is to pinch the O-ring at the side closest to the pipe and to expand the distance the O-ring needs to cover at the side past the pipe; leaks are from both areas from time to time, no way to seal unless you use RTV able to take the heat and cold and cross your fingers, and reapply the RTV from time to time.
The method of sealing is of the cantilever effect -- the bolts prevent the enclosure from riding out of the hole by stiffening the connector on one side only rather than actually being a part of the seal factor or allowing the spanning of the engine block entry hole with bolts on both sides of the connector to assist in the sealing. Additionally, the existing bolts are below the center of action of any portion of the connectors normal functions, the hoses will exert several axis of movement, the pressured warm/hot/cool/cold water will cause a series of distortions to the connector at various points and even if all this is within the design parameters it is a poor design over all.
My local BMW has the OE version of course for ~ $19 + $3 for the O-ring (yes, highway robbers need to take lessons from dealerships) and has these items in stock and placed to the side for my pickup soon.
So, not only are we subjected to poor design practices by the manufacturer, gouging prices by the dealerships, we have to put up with poor repair manuals and shoddy instructions from folks like us in the newsgroups. Gee, ain't this the life, bimmer forever nevermore!
As soon as I can I am unloading my person of this car-- the experience of driving it -used as it is- is not worthy of repeating even with a new version since I understand the way of thinking behind the overall designer mentality; this is not a thing of beauty, it is a crippled steed.
Mike C
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Sometimes this is the result of different translations.

I think that second name is a mistake in some database somewhere.

Just to explain this to you.... you have a car that requires a good bit of preventative maintenance. That includes annual coolant changes and regular inspection of the cooling system. There are certain cooling system parts that just have to be replaced on schedule. There are a lot of other plastic and rubber parts that also have to be replaced on schedule.
You also have an old car. Not all that old, but just at the age where plastic and rubber parts that weren't replaced pre-emptively are going to start failing right and left.
Now, what's more, you have an old car that has not been properly maintained in the past, and you are beginning to see the results of that kind of deferred maintenance. Even worse, you're going out of your way to just replace the one part that has failed rather than going back and doing a proper cooling system rebuild. You are MUCH better off just calling the dealer or someplace like Bavarian Motorsports and ordering a complete cooling system kit. It will be expensive, but you can do it now or you can do it later. And later is going to be some time when you are far from home on a dark street.
If you are used to Japanese cars that just run and run until one day they fall apart all together at once, this car isn't like that. This is a car that requires regular attention. However, if you give it that regular attention, it will in the end run much longer than any Japanese car. If you do not give it that attention you will have a cooling system failure and wind up warping the head.
Spend the money and do it right or sell the car. This may not be the car for you. Sell it to someone who will enjoy it. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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