BMW e30: Thermostat (Again)

This is how my car looks most weekends: hood up, trunk open.

On Thursday I was driving to Los Gatos and the temperature gauge his 3/4ths so I stopped driving and left it in Campbell. I consulted my mechanic and it was discovered that I probably installed a 88C thermostat instead of an 80C. He hooked me up with the correct thermostat (and kindly drilled a hole in it to make bleeding easier) and some coolant so I did the whole operation over again this morning.

The old-new thermostat is a story in itself: I ordered a Walher thermostat from FCPGroton but they shipped me a different brand worth half as much – both in price and function. I still need to call them and sort out my refund for that.

Engine temperature briefly hit 3/4ths after installing the Wahler but dropped back down after I bled out some more air and coolant. I’ll need to drive it to know if I’ve got the system bled correctly and it’s still possible my aux fan is not working.

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Update: Temperature briefly went over 1/2 this morning but the guage seems to be jumping around a little more freely (read: inaccurately) now, especially after going over big bumps. Did the following:

– topped up reservoir with distiller water, was a little under the “kald level” indicator
– released any air from the thermostat housing using the bleed screw (done at operating temp. with cabin heat blasting)
– checked hoses for leaks but also for temperature: top rad hose was hot, bottom rad hose was cool
– confirmed that the electric aux fan works by running the A/C. it should only come on if the A/C is on or the radiator gets really really hot but at least I know it’s not broken. 

Noticed my radiator is not firmly bolted in, possibly because I have a newer rad for a BMW e36 instead of an e30 rad. Might have to fabricate my own solution to that. I don’t think it will hit the fan but I like everything bolted down tight.

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August 11, 2012 Uncategorized