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Thread: Oil cooler from E46 M3 on an E36 M3?

  1. #1
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    Oil cooler from E46 M3 on an E36 M3?

    does anyone run the OEM oil cooler and lines from an E46 M3 on their E36 M3? Looking for inexpensive options for adding an oil cooler to an S52. I have an S54 oil filter housing on the way and was wondering if the S54 lines and oil cooler will fit just like the e36 euro oil cooler would.

    any one have this setup? I searched a fair amount and couldn't find any specific info. Plenty of e36 euro/z3 m setups and aftermarket setup, but nothing about the E46 m3 oil cooler.

    Thanks

    Brian
    Last edited by lightingflash; 11-01-2012 at 11:34 PM.

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    In for details. I test fitted my E46 M cooler in between my zionsville E36 alloy radiator and motion motorsports underpanel with no problems. Just leaves the question if the OEM lines (I don't have yet) willl route without problems, which I have a feeling they will.

  3. #3
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    The coolers are essentially the same (MZ-S54 and M3-S54). If there are concerns, get a Z3 S54 cooler as the Z3 radiator is the same as an E36 radiator. Though there are plenty of Z3 and e36 folks that hang a s54 oil cooler under their radiator.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RatedM3 View Post
    In for details. I test fitted my E46 M cooler in between my zionsville E36 alloy radiator and motion motorsports underpanel with no problems. Just leaves the question if the OEM lines (I don't have yet) willl route without problems, which I have a feeling they will.
    Make sure you get stock lines that are for the E46M3 S54 if you are using a cooler from a E46M3, as they are spaced different at the cooler then the S50/S52/Z3M(S54) cooler.

    -Scott B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottbm3 View Post
    Make sure you get stock lines that are for the E46M3 S54 if you are using a cooler from a E46M3, as they are spaced different at the cooler then the S50/S52/Z3M(S54) cooler.

    -Scott B.
    Thanks for heads up, that's the plan.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottbm3

    Make sure you get stock lines that are for the E46M3 S54 if you are using a cooler from a E46M3, as they are spaced different at the cooler then the S50/S52/Z3M(S54) cooler.

    -Scott B.
    I hear what you are saying about making sure the lines match because they are different. The z3 m with the s54 uses the same oil cooler as the e36 euro, so we know that that will work. I want to know for sure if the cooler and matching line from the e46 m3 will work .
    Last edited by lightingflash; 11-02-2012 at 07:17 PM.

  7. #7
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    I have that setup. The e46 oil fillter housing and the e46 cooler. It is now hanging below the BW/C&R race radiator though. Previously it was under the euro e36 radiator. The lines are the key. I bought a spare oil cooler, e36 euro version(duh), thinking mine was the euro e36 (from PO.) I went to swap out, but the e46 lines did not fit the euro e36 oil cooler. Back to the older e46 cooler which is bigger. So now I have a spare cooler without any lines that fit....On the winter checklist
    Last edited by doclouns; 11-03-2012 at 12:24 PM.

  8. #8
    NeilM is offline Member BMW E36 M3 Expert
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    I happen to have a new and unused E46 M3 oil rad sitting in my garage attic, a leftover from a long ago project that went another direction. No reasonable offer refused — PM me if interested.

    Neil

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    Subbing to this thread for more info.

  10. #10
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    I don't think Euro/Z3M is the same as the S54 E46 in terms of dimensions. I am currently running the S54 E46 cooler but it's mounting and dimension won't mate up to my Z3M S54 radiator. Another thing is, the S54 E46 radiator is too wide length wise to fit between our chassis rail so I think it might be impossible to fit it. What I'm doing is actually ditching the S54 E46 oil cooler and using http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-42...6-e82-e9x.aspx to mount a custom oil cooler.
    Last edited by jasonn; 11-05-2012 at 01:50 AM.

  11. #11
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    so it seems like the consensus here is that the E46 M3 oil cooler and lines will fit under the radiator but it not an exact fit like the E36 euro oil cooler. I would have to fab up some brackets, etc. Does that sound like a fair statement?

    Anyone have a picture of this setup?

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    The easier setup is the Euro E36 M3 oil cooler, lines, and radiator. Get the Euro E36 M3 front exit duct and trim the air dam between the radiator and center undertray to fit. More air through the Euro E36 cooler will be better than a poorly fitted E46 cooler that allows all the air to spill around it.

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  13. #13
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    bump for pics of an E46 M3 oil cooler hung under radiator on an E36

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    Not sure if you can wait until January but I will most likely be doing my install then. Already test fitted it. I'll most likely use some L brackets since the plastic duct peice has a flat surface with mount holes perpindicular to the radiator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RatedM3 View Post
    Not sure if you can wait until January but I will most likely be doing my install then. Already test fitted it. I'll most likely use some L brackets since the plastic duct peice has a flat surface with mount holes perpindicular to the radiator.
    I may not get to it till then either. Do you still have an aux fan?

  16. #16
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    Nothing in front of the radiator (zionsville + their spal & shroud combo) and a motion motorsport under panel.

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    Bumping this as its kind of on the same topic. I just got 3ft of AN line from a buddy. With this, I figured it might be cheaper to go ahead and do an AN set up instead of the OEM oil cooler lines. Would 3ft be enough for the set up? Thanks in advance.

  18. #18
    NeilM is offline Member BMW E36 M3 Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by RatedM3 View Post
    Bumping this as its kind of on the same topic. I just got 3ft of AN line from a buddy. With this, I figured it might be cheaper to go ahead and do an AN set up instead of the OEM oil cooler lines. Would 3ft be enough for the set up? Thanks in advance.
    Unlikely. The exact amount depends on the hose routing you end up with, which in turn is a function of how much other stuff you've already stripped out of the front end. Normal SS braid 10-AN hose isn't very flexible, so you'll end up making large radius bends that use more length. My guess is that you'll need another 3 ft length, but that you'll end up cutting off close a foot from each run to fine tune.

    Neil

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

    Unlikely. The exact amount depends on the hose routing you end up with, which in turn is a function of how much other stuff you've already stripped out of the front end. Normal SS braid 10-AN hose isn't very flexible, so you'll end up making large radius bends that use more length. My guess is that you'll need another 3 ft length, but that you'll end up cutting off close a foot from each run to fine tune.

    Neil
    Yea, I saw some of the upgraded line kits come with 6ft of line. I found a low mileage used OEM line for cheap though while I was researching. Maybe I'll upgrade to AN lines in the future.

  20. #20
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    Bumping this.

    I bought a used e46 m3 oil cooler with the stock lines in Hope's of a quick and easy solution for my gts2 racecar. I am running the s54 z3 radiator, euro oil filter housing and after test fitting do not see this working at all. The e46 m3 cooler sticks out about 3 inches past the radiator on each side and the lines don't seem to want to fit in place well either. I'm about ready to go another route unless people have solutions. Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Nick

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  21. #21
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    Old thread I know but just thinking...I guess the CSF "bolt-in" E46 M3 oil cooler upgrade wouldn't work on my S54 Z3M radiator in my E36. I believe I currently have a Euro E36 oil cooler which hung on the Euro E36 radiator (and now a new US S54 Z3M radiator) no problem. Kind of a bummer, that would have been a nice easy replacement. If I have to modify anything might as well just start with a Setrab and run custom lines.

  22. #22
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    I use the euro e36 cooler on my car and the oil temps stay between 220F -240F with a high power turbo engine on a 20-30 min session. Those coolers will work fine, as with any heat exchanger they need to be properly ducted. I dont know why people expect proper oil cooling when the oil cooler is just hanging in front of the rad and all the air can just flow around it instalead of being ducted through it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by savage217 View Post
    Bumping this.

    I bought a used e46 m3 oil cooler with the stock lines in Hope's of a quick and easy solution for my gts2 racecar. I am running the s54 z3 radiator, euro oil filter housing and after test fitting do not see this working at all. The e46 m3 cooler sticks out about 3 inches past the radiator on each side and the lines don't seem to want to fit in place well either. I'm about ready to go another route unless people have solutions. Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Nick

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    Replace it with a Z3M S54 / Euro E36M3 cooler and lines. They will fit straight up to the filterhousing. And fit your radiator like stock.
    E36 M3 S50B32 daily - E36 M3 S54 trackcar

    They Say Money Talks, All Mine Ever Says Is Goodbye

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by =BA= View Post
    Replace it with a Z3M S54 / Euro E36M3 cooler and lines. They will fit straight up to the filterhousing. And fit your radiator like stock.
    These are tough to find used which is why I went the e46 m3 route. Guess this really is the only option for a quick/clean install though. If anyone has any leads on a good used kit let me know please!

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  25. #25
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    Pelican carries an aftermarket Z3M / Euro E36 oil cooler that is reasonably priced (link). I plan to use it with the S54 Z3M lines on my S52 Z3M Coupe.

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