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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 Sat, Feb-28-2015, 06:32:39 AM   #1
mickeyreeves
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Default draining the block

hey guys - im about to get going on my cooling system job, still waiting on parts but doing my homework on all the procedures. Im a new DIYer so i appreciate all the help to come. heres my question --

I want to drain all the coolant from my engine, not just the rad. Is there any way to achieve this without removing the drain plug on the block? I understand there is a o2 sensor right there and I would really like to leave it alone if I can. Id really like to just drain the block and rad, flush with some water once, drain again and then re-fill the coolant. My concern is that A) if I get coolant on the o2 sensor im gonna damage it and B) If i remove the sensor and accidentally get coolant down the exhaust im gonna damage my catalytic converter.

any thoughts or wisdom from those who have done this? Thanks guys
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Last edited by mickeyreeves; Sat, Feb-28-2015 at 06:42:00 AM.
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Old Sat, Feb-28-2015, 01:52:56 PM   #2
98M3csm
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Default Re: draining the block

I have never done this. But i have changed my O2 sensors. I believe for this job you are supposed to remove the sensor and then tape over the hole.
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Old Sat, Feb-28-2015, 02:14:34 PM   #3
egebhardt
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Default Re: draining the block

1. Leave the O2 sensor in. Coolant won't ruin it.
2. Remove the coolant drain plug.

The drain plug is awkward to get at but it's not too difficult to remove. You'll be glad you drained it. Well... 'shower' is a better word. You'll know what I mean once you remove the plug.
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Last edited by egebhardt; Sat, Feb-28-2015 at 02:33:20 PM.
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Old Sat, Feb-28-2015, 02:18:44 PM   #4
vmbray
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Default Re: draining the block

Its easy to remove the o2 sensor as and tuck it up out of the way. Have the car jacked up decently high. Then its very easy to remove the plug. Have a decent size funnel and a five gallon bucket ready and just hold on for dear life. It helps to have a couple other buckets to slide under the major streams. Not hard at all.

When you put o2 back in, pre-twist the wire so it straightens out when you spin it in.
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Old Sat, Feb-28-2015, 03:04:13 PM   #5
pbonsalb
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Default Re: draining the block

An 02 should not be damaged by coolant on the exterior. Yes if on the sensor part that is inside the exhaust pipe.
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Old Sat, Feb-28-2015, 03:27:37 PM   #6
vmbray
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Default Re: draining the block

Its just really easy to get at the plug with the sensor out.
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Old Sat, Feb-28-2015, 03:57:54 PM   #7
Psyper
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Default Re: draining the block

You have to remove the sensor for the plug, op knows this. Take the sensor out, cover with plastic sandwich bag, ziptie/tape and tuck up behind the pipes so the opening is facing down. Get a bigger storage bag and duct tape above the hole and below leaving a small opening on the bottom in the off chance coolant gets in there. Drain/flush away! The Navy taught me how to take care of an amputated appendage, and a sucking chest wound (hole through chest and lung)

Edit: vmbray had great advice about twisting counter clockwise prior to re-install
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Old Sat, Feb-28-2015, 04:15:40 PM   #8
Jrrrrrrr
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Default Re: draining the block

Don't remove the O2 sensor(s) - you can get at the coolant plug easily with the O2 sensors in place. Coolant is not going to damage the electrical element in one of the O2 sensors, because they are sealed where the wires enter. Coolant is not going to leak past the threads on either of the O2 sensors.

Have a new crush washer ready for when you reinstall the plug - I think it's M10 but can't remember off hand. Have a large splash pan on hand, or a kiddie pool, or something else of good area, because the coolant will go everywhere and is pretty much impossible to channel neatly.
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Old Sat, Feb-28-2015, 04:21:06 PM   #9
Tock172
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Default Re: draining the block

I did this about 2 months ago. I removed the o2 sensors and tucked it out of the way. The plug let loose a deluge of coolant, but I still had to flush out the system to get every drop of the old, incorrect coolant out. Afterwords I did exactly what vmbray said, twist the o2 sensor counter clockwise prior to screwing it in so as not to twist the wiring too much.
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Old Sat, Feb-28-2015, 04:49:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: draining the block

Unless your coolant contains the Ebola virus, it's not required to get all the old coolant out.
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Discussing draining the block 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)