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330i Cooling refresh and radiator choices

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I'm planning to refresh my cooling system to make sure it's in top condition prior to some engine upgrades.  I've already sourced a replacement water pump and thermostat.  I think it's probably also prudent to replace the radiator and expansion tank which are of unknown age and condition.  They may well be the originals as fitted in 2000 and nearing 100k miles plus plenty of track time too!

Trying to figure out whether it's worth going for the all aluminium type rads or just sticking with OEM Hella or something like Nissens with a good reputation?  I'd love the best cooling possible for the planned engine mods but would value any experience you may have of improving your cooling using such rads.

Rad choices are

1. - OEM style replacement as per existing with plastic sides, either Hella or Nissens for approx £65

2. Ebay sourced all aluminium with various sizes available from 40-56mm core  but not exactly clear what will fit easily without some modifications approx £150

3. Mishimoto all aluminium rad backed by lifetime guarantee which does add some extra cooling capacity and should fit standard car without mods but comes at price - £300

Clearly an all Al rad might  be removing a weak point in the system and giving a larger cooling surface area to remove heat they may not be made equal?  Also true that you'll only remove heat as far as allowed by the airflow over the rad and suitable low pressure areas to remove heat from under bonnet so just chucking a bigger rad in might be pointless!?  (might add bonnet venting to help with this).

Any experiences / recommendations ?

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The OE rads as in the car from new were Hella. The Expansion Tanks were made by them too. All available from Eurocarparts. 

If you've been happy with that on track until now, why upgrade. Unless you're adding forced induction,  why will you need better cooling? 

There's other options,  such as Evans waterless coolant, which promise to reduce temperatures. 

Kirkynut 

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12 hours ago, kirkynut said:

The OE rads as in the car from new were Hella. The Expansion Tanks were made by them too. All available from Eurocarparts. 

If you've been happy with that on track until now, why upgrade. Unless you're adding forced induction,  why will you need better cooling? 

There's other options,  such as Evans waterless coolant, which promise to reduce temperatures. 

Kirkynut 

This 👍

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On 16/07/2019 at 00:17, kirkynut said:

Unless you're adding forced induction,  ...

 You hit the nail on the head.... supercharger kit waiting to be installed, just need some time.

In the end I decided to stick with OEM and replace the existing rad and expansion tanks to be on the safe side.  The plan is to monitor the oil / coolant temps very closely following conversion to see what needs to happen for reliable track work without debilitating heat soak or killing the engine...

Pre conversion dyno very encouraging, car has retained nearly all it's power, AFR and power delivery very smooth.... will post more when there's progress. 👍

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Just to add there's also a block drain plug if you didn't know, as welll as the radiator drain plug. This will help remove extra coolant. Even with all drain plugs removed I could never get more than about 5 litres out. I am planning to do coolant changes every two years to overcome being unable to drain all the coolant.

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Nice, what S/C system have you gone for?

Not sure what your setup will be but I moved my IAT sensor to the airbox from the manifold, the standard manifold location for the sensor and ECU map experiences heatsoak and causes timing to be pulled. Not sure you'd benefit though as the S/C setup might take this ito account and adjust accordingly. I basically bought a replacement sensor, drilled a hole in the airbox and pushed the new sensor in, then piggybacked the wiring from the manifold to the airbox.

With the IAT sensor in the airbox it still experiences heatsoak, but nothing like with the sensor in the manifold. I feel that the level of heatsoak using the airbox is more representative of the actual air temperature entering the engine at full throttle when good timing control is needed. Using the original IAT location the temp. would be showing about 50-55C just cruising down the motorway on a hot day, but drop down to say 30-35C if I floored it for 30 seconds or so, so I think I was losing a lot of throttle crispness and pickup using the original IAT location.

I've not noticed any major pinging with the IAT in the airbox, and power loss on a hot day is a lot less. I can hear just a touch of ping at very low revs (~1500rpm) if I floor it suddenly in lower gear, in an abrupt way to try and force it to happen, which I don't think will cause any harm whatsoever, other than that it's all good.

Edited by Tim-Ci

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Hi.  Great info thanks.  I've gone for the Active Autowerke level 2 kit with an air to air inter cooler.  Been distracted by other things but finally got some time and I'm part way through the install right now.  Most bits in place, just fighting with all the charge pipes as space is super tight getting out of the wing down to inter cooler and then back up same location into intake and manifold.  I hear that heat soak is the enemy, especially on a track car!  I'm planning to fit some additional sensors / gauges to keep an eye on things, maybe even a AFR gauge too.

What kit are you running?  Hows the results and how many miles have you put on it?

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Hi. I just did the IAT move to improve the pickup, mine has no kit on it. 155,000 miles and pulling well. It's got an Upsolute map, so perhaps worth about 10bhp.

One thing I have been impressed by is that changing the O2 sensors with new Bosch ones has given me about 10% more fuel economy, the exhaust was smelling rich, the original sensors started going downhill about 140,000 miles.

The IAT move has certainly helped with removing the stodginess on hot days.

I would like to go SC but funds don't permit at the moment, I would probably perhaps go for just an ESS stage 1 if I was going to fit one. I worry about my clutch though as it's original, and it's my only car so if I had any problems I would be off the road, so will probably leave the thought of a SC as a dream for now.

Yes I can imagine the heat soak might be an issue for you, there's already a fair bit of heat due to the cats sitting under the bonnet.

It would be great if you can post a video once you've got the kit on, I'm always impressed with the gains with a supercharged 330.

Edited by Tim-Ci

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