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Thread: I just have to know

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Ankeny, IA
    Posts
    574
    My Cars
    96 BMW Z3

    I just have to know

    I generally post on the Z3 subforum since I recently acquired a 96 1.9L. The first thing I hit was repeated, strong advice to replace the entire coolant system because the plastic fails suddenly and engine damage happens too quickly for most drivers to react. I just ordered $700 in parts to replace everything pertaining to the cooling system (about $550) and things that I just want to do related and because I'll expose them, e.g. pulleys and tensioners.

    Now here's my question: did they learn their lesson and go back to metal cooling system components for fittings. I can forgive plastic radiators since they're common and relatively easy to replace, but heater hose fittings, thermostat housings, etc. used to be all metal back when I was a kid in the 60's and 70's. In particular, the Z3 has two plastic heater fittings bolted to the back of the engine, nestled between the engine and firewall. It's recommended to take both upper and lower intake manifolds off for access and even then it's a bear of a job. Unfortunately, I'm told they're the most failure prone of the lot.
    Claude Berman, 96 Z3 Production Date 2/96 BMW CCA# 581686 Private Hudson : We're on an express elevator to hell, going down!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ca
    Posts
    6,306
    My Cars
    2001 525it
    No there still,plastic think about how long the old ones lasted sure they fail but it takes a long time

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Ankeny, IA
    Posts
    574
    My Cars
    96 BMW Z3
    Well, I caved and got plastic replacement pieces. They'll probably outlive me and I couldn't find them in metal. Water Pump impeller is metal, I think. Goal is to just have a car reliable enough to take trips up to 1000 miles (round trips). Funny, routinely did that with my old MG, never worried and never had a breakdown. In fact, I can't recall ever having a stop at the side of the road emergency and it had about 70k miles. I did replace a lot of stuff as a preventative measure when I got it (it was 10 years old). So, the question is why do I have a worry about the Z3 now?, and I do worry.
    Claude Berman, 96 Z3 Production Date 2/96 BMW CCA# 581686 Private Hudson : We're on an express elevator to hell, going down!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ca
    Posts
    6,306
    My Cars
    2001 525it
    The water pump impeller was plastic because when installed it is sitting right in front of the cylinder bore and should the bearing gets loose the metal could dig into it

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Ankeny, IA
    Posts
    574
    My Cars
    96 BMW Z3
    Thanks for that tidbit - interesting! I've come to the conclusion that my beef is really the shock of modern engine realities. The complexity, combined with the routing issues is an evolution I didn't anticipate. I can't argue as much with the use of plastic as with the location(s). Today the intake is coming out just to replace hoses and fittings. I feel like I'm doing a major overhaul. My reference frame is the cars of my youth where there were four coolant hoses and no major disassembly to replace them. Had I known what I know now, my offer for the car would have been $2000 less than it was.
    Claude Berman, 96 Z3 Production Date 2/96 BMW CCA# 581686 Private Hudson : We're on an express elevator to hell, going down!

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