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BMW E39 Radiator Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Radiator Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

8mm, 17mm socket with ratchet or wrench, flat head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan/Wagon (2001-03)
BMW 528i Sedan/Wagon (1997-00)
BMW 530i Sedan (2001-03)
BMW 540i Sedan/Wagon (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Radiator, coolant expansion tank, radiator hoses

Hot Tip:

Drain the coolant from the drain screw in the radiator first.

Performance Gain:

Reducing over-heating but improving cooling

Complementary Modification:

Replace the condenser at the same time

The job of the radiator is simple. Use the airflow over the radiator, either from the cooling fans or airflow from driving, to cool the coolant passing through it. This helps keep the engine cool when the temperature gets hot. Radiators can leak or get clogged with corrosion. Either condition reduces the effect of the cooling system. In this tech article we will go over all the steps to remove the radiator so you can replace it with a new one.

In order to remove the radiator you need to remove the mechanical cooling fan and fan shroud. See our tech article on removing the mechanical fan and shroud. You also need to remove the lower engine cover under the engine compartment. See our tech article on removing the lower engine covers.

This photo illustrates underneath the car on the left side of the bottom of the radiator.
Figure 1

This photo illustrates underneath the car on the left side of the bottom of the radiator. Use a 17mm wrench to remove the radiator drain screw (green arrow). Make sure you have a drain pan under the drain screw to catch the draining coolant.

Working at the top of the radiator remove the two 8mm screws (green arrows) that secure the brackets that hold the radiator in place.
Figure 2

Working at the top of the radiator remove the two 8mm screws (green arrows) that secure the brackets that hold the radiator in place.

Remove the bracket on the left side of the radiator by pulling it upwards in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 3

Remove the bracket on the left side of the radiator by pulling it upwards in the direction of the blue arrow.

Remove the bracket from the right side of the radiator by pulling it upwards in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 4

Remove the bracket from the right side of the radiator by pulling it upwards in the direction of the blue arrow.

Use a flat head screwdriver to remove the radiator upper hose clamp and remove the hose from the radiator by twisting it first then pulling it off.
Figure 5

Use a flat head screwdriver to remove the radiator upper hose clamp and remove the hose from the radiator by twisting it first then pulling it off.

If you have a 1998 and later model BMW E39 use a screwdriver to lever up on the retaining clip.
Figure 6

If you have a 1998 and later model BMW E39 use a screwdriver to lever up on the retaining clip. Once the clip is removed lightly twist the hose end and wiggle off the hose from the radiator.

When lifting on the retaining clipPictured here move it until it hit the stop (green arrow) on the hose.
Figure 7

When lifting on the retaining clipPictured here move it until it hit the stop (green arrow) on the hose.

On the older model E39 use a flat head screwdriver to remove the loosen radiator hose clamp.
Figure 8

On the older model E39 use a flat head screwdriver to remove the loosen radiator hose clamp. Twist the hose and as your twisting pull the hose off of the radiator. If you have the later style hoses lift the retaining clip as shown in step 7

Working at the right side of the radiator squeeze the locking tab of the radiator temperature sensor and pull the connector in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 9

Working at the right side of the radiator squeeze the locking tab of the radiator temperature sensor and pull the connector in the direction of the blue arrow.

Lift up on the radiator and move it towards the engine in the direction of the blue arrows.
Figure 10

Lift up on the radiator and move it towards the engine in the direction of the blue arrows.

Working at the right side of the radiator we see the mounting pin (green arrow) is hidden by the radiator tank.
Figure 11

Working at the right side of the radiator we see the mounting pin (green arrow) is hidden by the radiator tank. It fits into the rubber mount on the body (yellow arrow). Be sure the rubber mount does not fall out and get lost when removing the radiator. Lift up on the right side of the radiator first and then unhook the left side and remove the radiator.

Remove the radiator coolant temperature sensor (green arrow) and the upper bleeder hose from your old radiator and install it on the replacement radiator.
Figure 12

Remove the radiator coolant temperature sensor (green arrow) and the upper bleeder hose from your old radiator and install it on the replacement radiator. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Fit the left side of the radiator in the mount and then drop in the right side mount. The bottom of the radiator should fit into the lower radiator support. Plug in the radiator coolant sensor. Fit the two radiator hoses and either tighten the clamps or insert the hoses on the radiator necks and push down on the retaining spring. Install the radiator mounting brackets in the rubber mounts on each side of the radiator and tighten the mounting bolts. Fit the radiator shroud and fan as outlined in our tech article on replacing the cooling fan. Fill the cooling system and bleed it following our steps on our tech article on filling and bleeding your cooling system.

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:05:49 AM