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Radiator Replacing
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Radiator Replacing

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$350

Talent:

***

Tools:

T25 Torx driver, 10mm socket, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Radiator, coolant reservoir vent hose

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Proper engine cooling

Complementary Modification:

Inspect or replace coolant hoses

When a radiator begins to fail, you'll notice that the car tends to overheat at high engine speed, such as driving on the highway. When you accelerate, the engine temperature will rise, when you idle the engine it will return to normal range. Now, this is not always indicative of a failing radiator, but a good starting point. Of course, there are also leaks that occur at the side tanks of the radiator and the plastic side tanks can crack, causing major loss of engine coolant. You will have to remove the electric cooling fan to replace the radiator. These cooling fans are troublesome. I would suggest replacing it while you have it out. Inspect both radiator hoses and replace if necessary. Check for dry rot or splitting and examine to see that the sealing O-rings are in good shape.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the radiator on the BMW E53 X5 models. Be sure to work with a cool engine and confirm the cooling system lacks pressure before opening the cooling system. The subject vehicle in this tech article was an automatic transmission equipped M62 8-cylinder engine. Other models are similar.

Drain the cooling system. See our tech article on cooling system draining and filling.

Remove the radiator cooling fan. See our tech article on radiator cooling fan replacing.

Working at the upper radiator hose, use a flathead screwdriver to lever out the coolant vent hose retaining clip.
Figure 1

Working at the upper radiator hose, use a flathead screwdriver to lever out the coolant vent hose retaining clip. Be sure to pull the retaining clip out until it rests at the stop. Pull the vent hose straight up and off the upper radiator hose.

Working at the upper radiator hose, use a flathead screwdriver to lever out the coolant hose retaining clip.
Figure 2

Working at the upper radiator hose, use a flathead screwdriver to lever out the coolant hose retaining clip. Be sure to pull retaining clip out until it rests at the stop. Pull the radiator hose straight off the radiator in the direction of the green arrow to remove it. This can be tricky. The hoses have been attached to the radiator for quite a while and may not come off easily. You will want to pull the hose off, while rocking it back and forth. Be careful not to damage the hose if you plan to reuse it. Once the hose moves off the radiator slightly, you can use a flathead screwdriver to gently lever the hose off while pulling. Be very careful with this technique, as everything you are prying on is fragile.

Working at the left lower side of the radiator, use a flathead screwdriver to lever out the coolant hose retaining clip (green arrow).
Figure 3

Working at the left lower side of the radiator, use a flathead screwdriver to lever out the coolant hose retaining clip (green arrow). Be sure to pull the retaining clip out until it rests at the stop. Pull the hose straight off the radiator in the direction of the red arrow to remove it.

Working at the right lower side of the radiator, remove the three hoses from the automatic transmission cooler bracket (green arrows).
Figure 4

Working at the right lower side of the radiator, remove the three hoses from the automatic transmission cooler bracket (green arrows). Use a flathead screwdriver to lever out the coolant hose retaining clip (red arrow). Be sure to pull the retaining clip out until it rests at the stop. Pull the hose straight off the bracket to remove it (inset). You do not have to remove the clip indicated by the yellow arrow. The clip for that particular hose is facing toward the right frame rail.

Working at the transmission cooler, lift the cooler release tab (green arrow) until it stops.
Figure 5

Working at the transmission cooler, lift the cooler release tab (green arrow) until it stops. Then pull the cooler away from the bracket in the direction of the yellow arrow.

Then disconnect the radiator outlet temperature sensor by pressing the wire release (yellow arrow) and pulling it straight up.
Figure 6

Then disconnect the radiator outlet temperature sensor by pressing the wire release (yellow arrow) and pulling it straight up. Then, at the lower radiator hose, use a flathead screwdriver to lever out the coolant hose retaining clip (green arrow). Be sure to pull the retaining clip out until it rests at the stop. Remove the lower coolant hose from the radiator by pulling it straight off. This can be tricky. The hoses have been attached to the radiator for quite a while and may not come off easily. You will want to pull the hose off, while rocking it back and forth. Be careful not to damage the hose if you plan to reuse it. Once the hose moves off the radiator slightly, you can use a flathead screwdriver to gently lever the hose off while pulling it. Be very careful with this technique as everything you are prying on is fragile.

Working at the top of the radiator support, remove the two 10mm fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 7

Working at the top of the radiator support, remove the two 10mm fasteners (green arrows).

Lift the radiator mounting bracket (green arrow) up and feed the front of it out of the radiator support.
Figure 8

Lift the radiator mounting bracket (green arrow) up and feed the front of it out of the radiator support. Be sure not to misplace the plastic mounts (yellow arrow). There is one below each side of the mounting bracket.

Working at the top of the radiator, pull the seal (yellow arrow) off the radiator.
Figure 9

Working at the top of the radiator, pull the seal (yellow arrow) off the radiator. Then remove the two T25 Torx fasteners at the corners of the radiator (green arrows).

To remove the radiator, pull it out of the radiator support, upward and out of the engine compartment.
Figure 10

To remove the radiator, pull it out of the radiator support, upward and out of the engine compartment.

Working at the left side of the radiator, remove the two T25 Torx fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 11

Working at the left side of the radiator, remove the two T25 Torx fasteners (green arrows). Then remove the automatic transmission cooler bracket from the radiator and transfer it over to the new radiator. If you are replacing your radiator hoses, you will have to swap the radiator outlet temp sensor over to the new lower hose. Be sure to inspect the hoses for damage. To replace the radiator hoses, use a flathead screwdriver to lever out the coolant hose retaining clips. Be sure to pull the retaining clips out until they rest at the stop. Then, remove the coolant hoses from the thermostat and water pump housing. This can be tricky. The hoses have been attached to the thermostat for quite a while and may not come off easily. You will want to pull the hose off, while rocking it back and forth. Be careful not to damage the hose if you plan to reuse it. Once the hose moves off the thermostat slightly, you can use a flathead screwdriver to gently lever the hose off while pulling. Be very careful with this technique, as everything you are prying on is fragile. Lower the new radiator into the engine compartment and install on the support. You will want to check that the radiator is properly engaged to lower the radiator support. The way I do this is, once the radiator is installed without the fasteners, I pull on the bottom of the radiator. It should stay put. If it pulls out, you did not get it in correctly. You'll have to lift if up and try again. Once it is installed properly, reassemble the hoses and the radiator support covers. Then, install the cooling fan and fill and bleed the cooling system. Run the engine and double check for coolant leaks.

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Comments and Suggestions:
kfsinc Comments: Big thanks for this write up! Very helpful as I dove into the project. For those contemplating this - have patience. It's not technically hard, but the fittings can be challenging to get apart. Not sure if it will work for everyone, but I was able to get the radiator out without taking the fan off. Loosen the fan shroud and slide it over the fan towards the engine. I also found that the Trans cooler plastic mount is easily removed - before taking the radiator out - making removal of the three hoses un-necessary. And a final note - MUCH easier to put back together than take apart. Kudos to the Pelican team!
November 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jeff Comments: This website is the best. I have : 01'x5-3.0 auto /196K miles
But I am in need of advice about replacing my steering angle sensor. I found some information that states: Disconnect the positive lead to the battery,avoid setting off airbag remove the lower kick panel.
Unbolt the connection below the sensor and push the lower shaft down toward the floor. Release the sensor, replace and connect the shaft. Ok, Is it really that easy? Does the shaft slide off the top steering shaft that easily? Will I need to tap it off with a hammer/chisel?
Your thoughts and adivce are greatly appreciated.
June 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It isn't that hard. The steering shaft has to be separated, that may be the toughest part. Just be sure to remove the negative battery terminal, not the positive. Also, you will have to release the new sensor once it is replaced, using a BMW scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
J Comments: Hi,
Do you have a guide for pusher A/C fan replacement?
Thanks J
June 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

See this tech article:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/BMW-X5/52-BODY-Front_Bumper_Replacement/52-BODY-Front_Bumper_Replacement.htm

Once the bumper is off it comes off quite easy. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:23:35 AM