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Thread: E36 M3 RallyCross build!

  1. #301
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Herndon, VA
    Posts
    388
    My Cars
    98 M3/4/5, RIP 528e
    Hey guys, I've got another, but hopefully simpler cooling system question.

    I've gotten into the habit of monitoring my coolant temps, and I noticed something that worried me a bit coming home from the first race of the season. At the race, temps in grid stayed around 203* (monitored via Torque app on phone). Ambient temp was about 80* with average humidity. When cruising at 80 mph on the highway, temps stayed around 200-205*. On the way home, I turned on the AC for the first time in a long time. Obviously, my coolant temps started rising when the heat from the condenser started getting pushed into the radiator. I started getting worried when the temps rose to 210*. I was going up a very long and pretty steep hill, so there was a significant load on the motor. Once coolant temp reached 210* I shut off the AC and waited to turn it back on when I started going downhill again. I took longer than I expected for the temps to drop back down to their normal range. This happened a few times during the drive.

    I know 210* isn't that much higher than 205*, what worried me was how it seemed to struggled to drop back down, given that I was going 80 mph and had plenty of airflow through everything. I didn't want to leave AC on and see how much higher it was going to go. In my other car where I can monitor coolant temps, they NEVER go above 205*, even with AC on on a hot day. I had never really thought about it, but there seemed to be a hard limit of how high temps could go.

    So my question to you is this: What do your coolant temps look like when you turn on AC? When parked? When on the highway? How high are you comfortable letting your coolant go before taking some action?

    The only thing I can think of as a contributing factor is that there was a significant amount of dust in the condenser and radiator from the race. I took my leaf blower to them the following day and cleaned them up real good. Aside from that, I'm drawing a blank. Am I just freaking out over a few degrees or is something funny going on here?

    Thanks!

  2. #302
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Nevada City, CA
    Posts
    215
    My Cars
    E36 M3 Coupe
    Quote Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post
    Hey guys, I've got another, but hopefully simpler cooling system question.

    I've gotten into the habit of monitoring my coolant temps, and I noticed something that worried me a bit coming home from the first race of the season. At the race, temps in grid stayed around 203* (monitored via Torque app on phone). Ambient temp was about 80* with average humidity. When cruising at 80 mph on the highway, temps stayed around 200-205*. On the way home, I turned on the AC for the first time in a long time. Obviously, my coolant temps started rising when the heat from the condenser started getting pushed into the radiator. I started getting worried when the temps rose to 210*. I was going up a very long and pretty steep hill, so there was a significant load on the motor. Once coolant temp reached 210* I shut off the AC and waited to turn it back on when I started going downhill again. I took longer than I expected for the temps to drop back down to their normal range. This happened a few times during the drive.

    I know 210* isn't that much higher than 205*, what worried me was how it seemed to struggled to drop back down, given that I was going 80 mph and had plenty of airflow through everything. I didn't want to leave AC on and see how much higher it was going to go. In my other car where I can monitor coolant temps, they NEVER go above 205*, even with AC on on a hot day. I had never really thought about it, but there seemed to be a hard limit of how high temps could go.

    So my question to you is this: What do your coolant temps look like when you turn on AC? When parked? When on the highway? How high are you comfortable letting your coolant go before taking some action?

    The only thing I can think of as a contributing factor is that there was a significant amount of dust in the condenser and radiator from the race. I took my leaf blower to them the following day and cleaned them up real good. Aside from that, I'm drawing a blank. Am I just freaking out over a few degrees or is something funny going on here?

    Thanks!
    I definitely wouldn't worry about five degrees temperature difference! 210 is fine for coolant temp. There's a reason that your temp gauge has 'room' to move until it gets to the red - there's an acceptable range for coolant temps and you're within it. What are you running for coolant, thermostat, and auxillary fan temp switch? For contrast, I run only distilled water and water wetter, with no auxillary fan and no mechanical fan (upgraded to all-aluminum radiator). No issues with water temps whatsoever on the track, even in hot weather.

  3. #303
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Herndon, VA
    Posts
    388
    My Cars
    98 M3/4/5, RIP 528e
    Quote Originally Posted by cemmett View Post
    I definitely wouldn't worry about five degrees temperature difference! 210 is fine for coolant temp. There's a reason that your temp gauge has 'room' to move until it gets to the red - there's an acceptable range for coolant temps and you're within it. What are you running for coolant, thermostat, and auxillary fan temp switch? For contrast, I run only distilled water and water wetter, with no auxillary fan and no mechanical fan (upgraded to all-aluminum radiator). No issues with water temps whatsoever on the track, even in hot weather.
    So where do you draw the line for being worried, 220? 230? I know 210 isn't "the danger zone" but it's certainly approaching it. And I don't want to rely on that dummy/fake temp gauge for anything. If it's in the red it's too late! As mentioned in my post, coolant is 50/50 BMW blue with distilled water, thermostat is stock temp OEM BMW, and when I installed the electric fan I installed the lower temp switch in the radiator, but I don't remember the specific temp for it. It's whatever everyone recommends.

  4. #304
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Nevada City, CA
    Posts
    215
    My Cars
    E36 M3 Coupe
    230f is running 'hot', 240f is 'overheated' as per BMW. You're more than fine at 210 with heavy load and AC on in traffic. If you're really worried about it, install a lower temp thermostat and run more water than BMW antifreeze. 50/50 is a very conservative mix for varying climate zones.

  5. #305
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Herndon, VA
    Posts
    388
    My Cars
    98 M3/4/5, RIP 528e
    Quote Originally Posted by cemmett View Post
    230f is running 'hot', 240f is 'overheated' as per BMW. You're more than fine at 210 with heavy load and AC on in traffic. If you're really worried about it, install a lower temp thermostat and run more water than BMW antifreeze. 50/50 is a very conservative mix for varying climate zones.
    Thanks, that's good info, didn't know that. But to be clear, I wasn't sitting in traffic, I was going 80 mph on an empty highway (granted it was up a very long, steep mountain), so plenty of airflow through the radiator. So how hot does your car get on track?
    Last edited by 95maxrider; 04-16-2018 at 04:21 PM.

  6. #306
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Redwood Shores, CA
    Posts
    219
    My Cars
    1999 BMW M3 Coupe
    Quote Originally Posted by 95maxrider View Post


    So my question to you is this: What do your coolant temps look like when you turn on AC? When parked? When on the highway? How high are you comfortable letting your coolant go before taking some action?
    I donít think thereís any need to freak out. Iím sure cleaning the dust out of your front end will help a bit.

    I monitor my temps via AEM temp gauge with sender in the head. I usually range 186-192F with every day driving, both highway and city. When I have the AC on, Ive seen it go up to about 194. On really HOT days (100F ambient temp), itís gone up to 198F.(this is pre hood vents, will see how the AC is with hood vents come summer time). But regardless of the peak temps Iíve noticed that it cools down very very quickly, especially when my Spal fan kicks in.

    On track, the car stays very cool as well. So far the hottest Iíve gotten on track was about 202F for like a few seconds until it dropped back down to the 190ís. Granted, I was pretty close to the car in front of me.

    On my car with how cool it runs now, I consider 220F too hot. However, I remember from my old s52 I would range from like 196-212F and the temp needle would still be dead straight.

    For reference I run:
    50/50 BMW coolant
    KoyoRad Radiator
    Spal Fan hooked up the high temp signal on aux fan switch
    Stewart WP
    80 degree thermostat
    Low temp fan switch (80/88)
    MM radiator baffle
    Trackspec hood vents.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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