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Thread: The Official Aluminum Radiator Thread!

  1. #1
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    Arrow The Official Aluminum Radiator Thread!

    Ok, since there are so many threads/questions about aluminum e36 radiators, I'd figured I"d make a thread.
    Mods it might not be a bad idea to sticky this

    I'm going to post below the dimensions (overall diameters and core diameters) of radiators that I know of that will fit in the e36. I don't know all the info, so please help me fill in the blanks if you know them (I'll edit the first post with the info)!

    Also, please share your own personal experiences with aluminum radiators by filling out this info:


    1. Radiator brand:
    2. Amount of time on car thus far:
    3. Ease of installation:
    4. Issues:
    5. Before and after water temps (if you have a water temp gauge):
    6. Overall 1-10 scale of the radiators performance:




    Ok, here's the info I have:

    Factory e36 plastic radiator (for reference)
    33mm core
    overall dimensions of 22x17x1-3/8
    Usually around $200 Shipped.


    S54 radiator
    No info other than its 3 rows


    Mishimoto
    40mm core
    Overall Size: 27.7" x 17.8" x 3.5"
    Core Size: 21.46" x 17.13"
    Rows: 2
    Inlet: 1.5"
    Outlet: 1.5"
    Core Thickness: 1.57"
    Tank Wall Thickness: .08"
    Fill Neck: None
    Drain Plug Thread Size: (M16) .06"
    Drain Plug Thread Length: .047"
    $190 shipped in Stuck group buy

    Euro Dyne
    33mm core
    2 rows
    Length: 18.00" Width: 1.50" Height: 25.00" Inlet: 1.50" Outlet: 1.50"
    * Made from aircraft quality aluminum and Heli-arc welded, cores are not color brazed, no epoxy either
    * Provide 20% - 30% more cooling than standard radiators
    * OEM quality and fitment
    * 1-Year warranty for all our products
    * Directly bolt-on with no modification require
    $180 shipped in group buy


    Fluidyne
    Core Size: 21.5W x 17.5H x 1.5D
    Core Style: 1-row with 1.5" Tubes
    Overall Size: 26.37W x 17.6H x 2.0D
    37mm core
    roughly $600 shipped


    Bimmerworld
    Don't really have any info other than its $320 on their site
    Core is 45mm


    Ireland Engineering
    Core is 45mm
    $295


    PWR 42mm
    42mm Core
    $600


    PWR 57mm
    57mm Core
    $620


    Zionsville Alloy
    The surface area of ZA's Alloy Radiator is 374 square inches.
    Advertised 65% better cooling
    33mm core
    $500


    Zionsville Fat Boy
    54MM two row core
    $630


    Active Autowerke Race Radiator
    I have rear rumors that this is simply the PWR 57mm radiator with AA badges, however I could be totally wrong.
    Greater cooling capacity. Factory system holds approximately (2) Quarts, the Racing radiator holds (4)Quarts
    All hardware included for easy bolt-in
    1 Year Warranty with free tech support
    $750


    VSL Performance (Bimmerzone)
    Overall Size: 27.7" x 17.8" x 3.5"
    Core Size: 21.46" x 17.13"
    Rows: 2
    Inlet: 1.5"
    Outlet: 1.5"
    Core Thickness: 1.57" (40mm)
    Tank Wall Thickness: .08"
    Fill Neck: None
    Drain Plug Thread Size: (M16) .06"
    Drain Plug Thread Length: .047"
    3 Year Warranty!
    $240 shipped in group buy section



    Ebay radiators:
    CXRacing
    * Overall Size: 27"x19.5"x2"
    * Core Size: 21.5"x17.25"x1.25"
    * Inlet:1.49"
    * Outlet:1.49"
    * Rows:2
    $180 shipped


    Godspeed
    core size- 546 X 464 X 42 mm (core size)
    - 100% light weight aluminum
    - direct bolt-on
    - perfect for street or strip
    - 40% more cooling efficient then stock
    - 3 YEARS WARRANTY
    $220


    Blackworks
    # Overall Size: 27.7" x 17.8" x 3.5"
    # Core Size: 21.46" x 17.13"
    # Rows: 2
    $220



    There are also a plethora of random ebay radiators. If you have any info on these, please post them up.



    Hopefully this will eliminate some of the many threads on here about AL radiators and make it easier for people to choose. I am looking to get an AL radiator but still haven't made up my mind
    Last edited by liilpa09; 01-26-2010 at 02:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    I have a Zionsville and I can assure you it's thicker than the stock BMW which is 33mm.
    It wasn't advertised as a FatBoy and came in the early kits.
    Last edited by Balthazarr; 07-24-2009 at 02:01 PM.
    Walk a mile in my shoes and you are a mile away in someone else's shoes.
    Goodridge*UUC sways* Black TME's and mounts( switched from Red)* x-brace*brembo rotors*Zimmerman rear*Pagid*Kumho Ecsta SPT's* Roja Formula 7's (Bronze)* Stromung*Powdercoated AA DSB* OMP strut bar*GC RSM's* M3 alum/leather knob*JTD underpanel *Traffic PRO (sold) *Black hella Ellipsoids w/celis rings * ACS Pedals*ACS handbrake*RE Octane SSK*Wheelskins Eurotones S/ Wheel Cover( tossed-replaced with new one)* Totally Covers Front seat velour covers with custom styling *Rieger roof spoiler-lost it on fwy Stock A/B*URI CP (ditched years ago)*540 HFM (sold) Stock HFM (BeckArnley)*FMS 24 lb inj*Alum rad and some other stuff*Konis w/adj rr's*Vogtland springs ** Passport 8500(sold)*Passpprt 7500 (sold V1-1.8 with POP) No detectors at all.
    Coming...nada

    BMWCCA-303681

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balthazarr View Post
    I have a Zionsville and I can assure you it's thicker than the stock BMW which is 33mm.
    It wasn't advertised as a FatBoy and came in the early kits.
    I am just going by info i found on bimmerforums through searches. It may be thicker, but the core thickness from what I've found is 33mm. If you can find me what it is for sure (if its different than 33mm), please let me know and I'll update!!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by liilpa09 View Post
    I am just going by info i found on bimmerforums through searches. It may be thicker, but the core thickness from what I've found is 33mm. If you can find me what it is for sure (if its different than 33mm), please let me know and I'll update!!!
    I went to the Zionsville site and 33mm is what is stated.
    Guess I was wrong.
    The number of rows is what's different, I suppose.
    Walk a mile in my shoes and you are a mile away in someone else's shoes.
    Goodridge*UUC sways* Black TME's and mounts( switched from Red)* x-brace*brembo rotors*Zimmerman rear*Pagid*Kumho Ecsta SPT's* Roja Formula 7's (Bronze)* Stromung*Powdercoated AA DSB* OMP strut bar*GC RSM's* M3 alum/leather knob*JTD underpanel *Traffic PRO (sold) *Black hella Ellipsoids w/celis rings * ACS Pedals*ACS handbrake*RE Octane SSK*Wheelskins Eurotones S/ Wheel Cover( tossed-replaced with new one)* Totally Covers Front seat velour covers with custom styling *Rieger roof spoiler-lost it on fwy Stock A/B*URI CP (ditched years ago)*540 HFM (sold) Stock HFM (BeckArnley)*FMS 24 lb inj*Alum rad and some other stuff*Konis w/adj rr's*Vogtland springs ** Passport 8500(sold)*Passpprt 7500 (sold V1-1.8 with POP) No detectors at all.
    Coming...nada

    BMWCCA-303681

  5. #5
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    95 Hellrot M3/02 MY Z06
    I have the S54 3 Row (officially its the Z3M model), car is in the shop so I can't measure it but it's total OEM looking and fit with the original. (I installed it myself 3 years ago or so)

    PS...Nice Thread Idea!!!
    Last edited by JETninja; 07-24-2009 at 03:13 PM.

    John
    '95 Hellrot M3 w/Dove
    AA Euro HFM Stage II (w/21# Injectors & Software) W/Gen III Exhaust - URI Crank Pully - FDM w/3 Row M Coupe Rad - 3.23 LSD - Vogtland Club Spec/Koni SA - UUC Red w/Enforcers - TMS Shims/Rear Camber Bars w/QA1 inners/Sways - VMC F/TMS R End Links - X-Brace - Perf Ultimate/SS Brake Lines - GC Tower Mounts/RTAB Shims - ZKW's w/5000K Hid - Fog Delete - Alpine 9847/Pioneer TS-C130R Kevlar Components/Pioneer PRS-X340/Stealth Box's/Wired Zune 120GB - OE LTW CF Sills/Glove Box Plate - Staggered Black M-Spoke II's w/235/40 (front), 255/40 (Rear) Nitto NT05's - Rolled Fenders!

    ***Got a '95 M3? (actually pretty common on all years! Even happened to Racer Seth Thomas! ) Check Your LSD! http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=390209

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balthazarr View Post
    I went to the Zionsville site and 33mm is what is stated.
    Guess I was wrong.
    The number of rows is what's different, I suppose.
    cool, thanks for verifying!
    I may go with the Zionsville or Euro Dyne as of now since they are both the same core size as factory and with my 8 rib s/c pulley setup i have no extra room to play with. How do you like yours??? Care to comment on the questions I listed above in the original post?
    Quote Originally Posted by JETninja View Post
    I have the S54 3 Row (officially its the Z3M model), car is in the shop so I can't measure it but it's total OEM looking and fit with the original. (I installed it myself 3 years ago or so)

    PS...Nice Thread Idea!!!
    cool thanks for the opinion! I would really consider it but the plastic end tanks kill it for me...

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I currently have the Godspeed radiator in my vehicle. I installed it about 4 months ago and have had no problems with it thus far. When I first received it, I looked over every square inch of it and really scrutinized the welds. I found one area around the petcock that looked a little suspect to me, so I took it by my friends shop and had him re-weld that 1/4" area. It was a direct fit and the fan shroud mounted up really well. The only thing that I think really needs to be noted is don't throw out the rubber inserts from your old radiator the top mounting brackets snap down into.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by liilpa09 View Post
    cool thanks for the opinion! I would really consider it but the plastic end tanks kill it for me...

    Well, when I bought it we didn't have all these cheap Alum options, most were $500. And the Plastic is good for a good 5 years easy, maybe more if you cool it often. Most days when I park in the garage after my commute (35m) I open the hood up, my thought is I may be extending the life of crappy BMW plastics a bit....or so is the intent.

    And after that 5 years, Hoses, Belts etc should be changed as well. So I have a good cycle I think....

    John
    '95 Hellrot M3 w/Dove
    AA Euro HFM Stage II (w/21# Injectors & Software) W/Gen III Exhaust - URI Crank Pully - FDM w/3 Row M Coupe Rad - 3.23 LSD - Vogtland Club Spec/Koni SA - UUC Red w/Enforcers - TMS Shims/Rear Camber Bars w/QA1 inners/Sways - VMC F/TMS R End Links - X-Brace - Perf Ultimate/SS Brake Lines - GC Tower Mounts/RTAB Shims - ZKW's w/5000K Hid - Fog Delete - Alpine 9847/Pioneer TS-C130R Kevlar Components/Pioneer PRS-X340/Stealth Box's/Wired Zune 120GB - OE LTW CF Sills/Glove Box Plate - Staggered Black M-Spoke II's w/235/40 (front), 255/40 (Rear) Nitto NT05's - Rolled Fenders!

    ***Got a '95 M3? (actually pretty common on all years! Even happened to Racer Seth Thomas! ) Check Your LSD! http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=390209

  9. #9
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    '98 M3/4, '06 Pilot
    FWIW I have a Fluidyne that has done a perfectly fine job for me during the last 2 years. If anyone needs any specific pics or anything lemme know!

  10. #10
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    '98 M3 Coupe
    Zionsville radiators have a lifetime warranty, as do the mishimotos. the GB pricing on the mishis is dead and should never be mentioned again

    the OEM pieces are made by Behr in south africa and can be found for ~170 shipped. mines done ~80k and started to randomly leak where the passenger side end tank attaches, but never had any issues with running hot (retaining factory clutch fan)

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    As a suggestion we should add whether this rad works with the automatic cooler or not. Mit says it does and I have one in the garage right now.
    Cooler is separate from the rad but screws into the rad at the top and bottom.

    Yeah yeah yeah I know get a real car. Hard to do with a real wife of 35 years...

  12. #12
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    Bimmerworld BWSport specs

    I asked Bimmerworld about the core thickness of their BWSport aluminum radiator and they said it is made to the same specs as the OEM radiator (which I assume means 33mm).
    95 M3

  13. #13
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    Just for info, mine has 6 yrs on it this April.
    Only using BMW coolant which is what Zionsville stipulates for lifetime warranty support.
    Walk a mile in my shoes and you are a mile away in someone else's shoes.
    Goodridge*UUC sways* Black TME's and mounts( switched from Red)* x-brace*brembo rotors*Zimmerman rear*Pagid*Kumho Ecsta SPT's* Roja Formula 7's (Bronze)* Stromung*Powdercoated AA DSB* OMP strut bar*GC RSM's* M3 alum/leather knob*JTD underpanel *Traffic PRO (sold) *Black hella Ellipsoids w/celis rings * ACS Pedals*ACS handbrake*RE Octane SSK*Wheelskins Eurotones S/ Wheel Cover( tossed-replaced with new one)* Totally Covers Front seat velour covers with custom styling *Rieger roof spoiler-lost it on fwy Stock A/B*URI CP (ditched years ago)*540 HFM (sold) Stock HFM (BeckArnley)*FMS 24 lb inj*Alum rad and some other stuff*Konis w/adj rr's*Vogtland springs ** Passport 8500(sold)*Passpprt 7500 (sold V1-1.8 with POP) No detectors at all.
    Coming...nada

    BMWCCA-303681

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    08 E90M3; 99 E36M3 Turbo
    I have the 8 rib crank pulley and use a Z3M radiator. In this application, it fits a slim 16 inch puller fan with just an inch of the fan sticking over the top lip of the core. I'd love to have a radiator with twin 1 inch cores, but I'd have to give up on the fan (or maybe try to fit two 10 inch fans). The Z3M radiator seems to have similar dimensions to stock, but there is no overhang on the flanges at the top and bottom of the core. Rather, the core is flush with the outside edges of the flange. I would say it adds 1/2 inch or 12-13 mm to the core, which seems about right for adding a 3rd row of 1/2 inch tubing.

  15. #15
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    I purchased the Mishimoto through Stucks group buy, I haven't had any problems with the radiator. Installation was easy, it fit right in. If you have an automatic you'll have to drill holes for the trans. cooler. It's also covered buy a lifetime warranty, even if you get into an accident they'll replace it. I've only had it for a while but it's not leaking and I've not overheated. I would not however recommend the matching Mishimoto shroud and fan. The one I received from them did not fit at all, nor does it have any way to secure the lines for the expansion tank or have any provisions for mounting the expansion tank itself. My Zionsville shroud is much better and riveted right on the Mishimoto radiator. If you intend to use your OEM shroud the shroud will have to be trimmed.
    Last edited by bigpuppy; 01-26-2010 at 04:12 PM.
    -Brian


    -Varis-Hartge-Seibon-Umnitza-TRM--Mason Engineering-Zionsville-Mishimoto-Stewart-Conforti-BMW ///M/LTW

  16. #16
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    i JUST got my bimmerworld aluminum rad today in teh mail :

  17. #17
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    i got the zionsville one a while back shortly after making this thread with the oil cooler provision on the bottom....very very happy with it, fit is great with the rms 8 rib setup and 16" spal electric fan. I have seen a substantial drop in water temps and the euro oil cooler dropped the oil temps down considerably as well. Very happy with my cooling setup now

  18. #18
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    wow
    are you kidding me? Euro Dyne makes an all aluminum radiator for that cheap..
    son of a bitch where were these guys 2 yrs ago. Zionsville and PWR were the only ones back then.

    Rule the Bends, Bend the Rules

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Zionsville Radiator

    I have a Zionsville radiator in my car and it is 4 or 5 years old. Fit is great - drops in like stock one. No problems on the install and no problems with performance.

    Have also installed several Zionsville radiators in customer's/friends cars and same as above. Great product.

    Ken
    96 M3, no sunroof, OBD1-M50 intake manifold, ASC delete, CAI by TMS, Shark, VAC oil pan baffle kit, VAC HD oil pump shaft, VAC oil filter top, JB light-flywheel, B&B cat back, AA headers,underdrive pulleys, TCKline Coil overs-Koni SA, JT Design front strut bar, HR springs & bars, TCKline camber plates, Power Flex throughout, X brace, B&M-ssk, 4pt roll bar, fiberglass hood & trunk, Recaro Driver and Corbeau pass. seats and Schroth 6pt, Zionsville alum rad. JT Design front splitter, Z3 power steering rack (2.8 turns), A/C delete, Racepak IQ3 Data Acquisition plus eng oil pres, eng oil temp, eng water temp, brake pressure, and throttle position, final drive - 3.64 LSD by Blanton.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimsey View Post
    I currently have the Godspeed radiator in my vehicle. I installed it about 4 months ago and have had no problems with it thus far. When I first received it, I looked over every square inch of it and really scrutinized the welds. I found one area around the petcock that looked a little suspect to me, so I took it by my friends shop and had him re-weld that 1/4" area. It was a direct fit and the fan shroud mounted up really well. The only thing that I think really needs to be noted is don't throw out the rubber inserts from your old radiator the top mounting brackets snap down into.
    Bringing up somewhat old post but last night I helped a buddy install a Godspeed radiator and we realized a bit too late that it was missing a fitting for the small hose going from top-left (looking forward) of radiator to the expansion tank... Just wondering how yours came and if it had a fitting or a nipple welded on there? This one had a threaded hole but nothing to go in there, so we rigged something up temporarily.

    Also, on a separate note, I'm buying one soon and wondering what the difference between the rad with 1 endtank vs 2?
    -Ivan

  21. #21
    Join Date
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    so i need to buy a new radiator and i was either going to pick up the vsl performance one
    http://www.bimmerzone.com/VSL_Perfor...diator_E36.htm

    or the mishimoto one
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/MISHI...Q5fAccessories.

    what should i get? which one is better? they are both $240 and free shipping.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schultz28 View Post
    so i need to buy a new radiator and i was either going to pick up the vsl performance one
    http://www.bimmerzone.com/VSL_Perfor...diator_E36.htm

    or the mishimoto one
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/MISHI...Q5fAccessories.

    what should i get? which one is better? they are both $240 and free shipping.
    Paypal $200 to boombop.racing@gmail.com and tell him it's for an E36 M3 Mishimoto radiator. My friend got his in 4 days and it was perfect fit with some upgrades from their older radiators (according to my friend and another M3 owner who has the older one... I don't know exactly what the differences were)

    They're currently on backorder but I ordered mine today and they expect a shipment in 1-2 weeks.
    -Ivan

  23. #23
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    UV RAYS/VITAMIN D stg 3
    I got my Mishimoto in a group buy for around $175 shipped



  24. #24
    Join Date
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    95 M3 - 03 325i - 68 Bug
    I have the VSL radiator, but I purchased mine cheaper than what the GB is on it now.

    When those eurodyne's were not keeping in stock, I spoke with someone at bimmerzone for like half hr via quick messenger on their site, then called. $180 shipped, thing works like a charm. Going on 2nd year with it, no issues anywhere, had to make to small snips into the factory shroud to make it fit, but who cares.

    Getting an aluminum shroud soon enough anyways (Zionsville w/overflow tank)

    I see hot ass weather too down here in Louisiana, FDM as well, has never over-heated.

  25. #25
    Join Date
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    e30m52 325iT E30 E70X5
    The mishimoto seems to be a real winner. I know of LOTS of HPDE/Racecars that are E36 based vehicles. Many are years old and they are running in the southeast. Larger than stock core. Lifetime warranty. AND they accept design ideas as the newest ones have metal drains/bolt and some additional pieces for different fan/mounts.

    Using one for my E30 M52 swap.

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