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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Thu, Sep-11-2014, 11:29:31 PM   #1
suaveflooder
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Default Need help….can't get the top radiator hose to stop leaking

Just as the title says. I can't for the life of me get this hose to stop leaking. It can be anywhere from a couple drops to a full on pool depending on the day (never the weather dependent oddly enough). I had NOTHING all day yesterday and it was about 90* and I drove the car for about 3 or 4 hours. Drove the car for about 20 minutes to the grocery store today and just found this.

Water pump, thermostat and both hoses have been replaced along with clamps. I have even gone so far as to replace the top hose (leaky one) for a SECOND time with new clamps.

Yes, I have re-tightened the hose multiple times, still leaking where it connects to the what I assume is the water pump (????)

Any ideas or thoughts? I'm willing to try anything at this point. Car runs like a top other than this annoyance.



Edit: Could the car still have air in it? I did burp it when I refilled the radiator after the second upper hose change. I did notice that the tank was slightly high this morning before I drove. Just checked it after driving for 45 minutes and letting it sit for 30 minutes or so and NOTHING. It's been on and off for two weeks, new hose went on last weekend. (I drained the radiator at that time and re-burped the car)
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Old Fri, Sep-12-2014, 12:08:14 AM   #2
falciott
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Default Re: Need help….can't get the top radiator hose to stop leaking

Were these OE or aftermarket hoses that you installed?
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Old Fri, Sep-12-2014, 12:19:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: Need help….can't get the top radiator hose to stop leaking

It doesn't connect to the water pump, it connects to the t-stat housing. Did you replace the t-stat housing when you replaced everything else? It could be damaged or cracked.
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Old Fri, Sep-12-2014, 12:41:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Need help….can't get the top radiator hose to stop leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by falciott View Post
Were these OE or aftermarket hoses that you installed?
Yes. First time OEM, second time aftermarket. Aftermarket has sealed better so far. Still leaks, but better. OEM leaked A LOT.

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Originally Posted by blizzard424 View Post
It doesn't connect to the water pump, it connects to the t-stat housing. Did you replace the t-stat housing when you replaced everything else? It could be damaged or cracked.
Housing is stock. Now that I'm looking over the previous owner's reciepts, looks like the T-stat is too. Car has not everheated once.

Not a bad idea on the housing. Is this normal? And why would it only be periodically?
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Old Fri, Sep-12-2014, 01:00:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need help….can't get the top radiator hose to stop leaking

If it's leaking at the radiator, it's probably got a broken neck.
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Old Fri, Sep-12-2014, 03:11:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Need help….can't get the top radiator hose to stop leaking

Nah, it's from the thermostat side. Radiator is new


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Old Fri, Sep-12-2014, 03:27:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need help….can't get the top radiator hose to stop leaking

Try cleaning off the thermostat housing neck with some fine steel wool. You may have some crud on there which is preventing a good seal.
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Old Fri, Sep-12-2014, 04:48:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Need help….can't get the top radiator hose to stop leaking

So, I have a ton of pressure build up in the system even when the car is cold. I finally got it to stop coming out of the thermostat connection, but it came out of the one connected to the radiator, so it's just looking for an out. I've also noticed that the car has to be 100% cold for it to leak (explaining why it only happens sometimes). If it's even at the top of the blue area, I'm good, but the second the car is 100% cool, it pops. I did bleed it, but I am reading that I may not have done it enough or overfilled the system. I pulled out the bleeder screw today and it spewed coolant out!! I'm hoping it's just air. I guess worst case scenerio is that my head gasket needs replacing.

I know that the headgaskets go in these cars at higher mileage, but shouldn't the car run poorly?? It runs great!

Thanks for your help guys. Right now, I'm thinking positively that it's just excess pressure and hoping for the best.
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Old Fri, Sep-12-2014, 05:34:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Need help….can't get the top radiator hose to stop leaking

I'd make sure it is properly bled. If really hot, it will spew coolant from the bleeder but that is expected. Bleed as as it is warming up. You can find step by step instructions. It is a messy job in my experience. Pour some water on area when done to wash away coolant.

Thermo housings, whether aluminum or stock, can leak. Sealing with sealant should stop that. I assume there is no chance the thermostat was improperly installed? Backwards? Without rubber ring? If jiggle pin or bleed hole equipped, not properly oriented?

I also assume expansion tank cap is ok. A failure could over pressure the system.

Only if all that checks out would I assume the worst -- headgasket. At 15-20 years and 150-200k miles, a HG failure is not uncommon. A good, careful DIY can do the job but I recommend having someone who has done it before help you your first time. And send the head to a good machine shop to be pressure tested, cleaned and resurfaced.
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Old Fri, Sep-12-2014, 09:08:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Need help….can't get the top radiator hose to stop leaking

I'm facing the same problem right now, actually, and my best guess seems to be that the coolant temperature is spiking after I shut the engine off, resulting in an intermittent, minor leak from the top radiator neck. I do a lot of highway miles in triple-digit temperatures, and have observed the coolant temperature hit 220-degrees after I park somewhere and shut the engine down. I have zero problems with coolant loss or overheating when the motor is actually running.

I'm down to less than a 1:3 ratio of coolant to distilled water, due to topping up with plain distilled water, which means my coolant might actually boil over at times. I intend to change the coolant again pretty soon to correct that lean ratio.

In my case, the old thermostat housing recently cracked after only 20k miles. While pressurizing the cooling system easily revealed the cracked thermostat housing, it can't replicate the minor leak at the top radiator neck. The radiator (Behr S54 unit) is just over a year old, and there is no apparent damage to the neck of end tank (like I said, I can't replicate the leak with pressure testing).
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Discussing Need help….can't get the top radiator hose to stop leaking in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)