FWIW - E34/M50 coolant leak fixed w/o new radiator

Hi,
It's a 1992 I've owned since new. Small puddle forming underneath and looked to be seeping from the base of the reservoir where it attaches to
the radiator housing. Most (here and elsewhere) suggested replacing the entire radiator but I could not resist the possibility that only $8 of o-rings might be all that was required vs. a $400+ radiator.
I drained the radiator, but not the block, removed one radiator clamp (amazingly without it breaking), removed the upper retaining plate and then gently pried the tank out. Once out, I cleaned the o-ring areas etc, lubed the new ones with coolant, installed them and then gently tapped the tank back in place (using wood block to buffer the mallet).
So far I've recorded about 500 miles on it without a drop of coolant showing. Maybe I was lucky for once, but had to at least give it a try. Too, I have the luxury (if you want to call it that) of another vehicle to drive were it not to have worked.
Also, I read a lot indicating "USE ONLY BMW COOLANT!". Per two different parts guys at the BMW dealer, the only real requirement is for the coolant be void of nitrates and be non-phosphorous. Today the guy said he knew Zerex made one (looks like it's their G-50). I use Prestone Extended Life which has no nitrates or phosphorous.
Happy driving, Nate
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<snippage>
My dealer said to use any *green* coolant.
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joe_tide wrote:

few years time.
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I'd me at least a little leery of that blanket advice. I believe the Prestone coolants other than Extended Life are also *green* but contain some of the prohibited junk.
Nate
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I am leery of that advice. I just wanted to share what some of the dealers are saying.
The light was coming on telling me the coolant level was low so I called the dealer and asked about it. That's what they told me. I popped the hood and took a peek. It was only down enough to let the light come on at start-up for a few seconds then it went out. I put about 6 ounces of water in it and it is OK now.
When it's time to flush the cooling system I'll use BMW coolant unless I run across a persuasive reason not to.
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In that light I don't suppose a little 'bad' coolant added to the existing would matter all that much.
I should have mentioned I use only distilled water for the cooling system after learning the hard way what tap water can do to a heater core (not a BMW though).
Nate
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