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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 Mon, Sep-25-2017, 03:49:02 PM   #1
DasBlitzAuto
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Default How high is too high with water temp on the track?

Hey guys I hate to start yet another cooling system related thread but I'm having a hard time finding the answers I want.

Anyhow,

Me and my buddy recently overhauled out cooling systems in our cars. (Stewart Pump, Mishimoto Rad, OE Thermo, Thermo Housing, Mishimoto Exp Tank, Hoses, Aux Fan Switch, Coolant temp sensor)

This past weekend we were running up at Wakins Glen with NASA NE in about 90* weather and both saw our water temp gauges near the 3/4 mark. According to my OBD Data on Track Addict water temp was about 227 at its highest. But would immediately drop to normal at the beginning of the cooldown lap.

So my questions are
1. How hot is too hot?
2. Would this be normal for a stock cooling system that being driven very hard?
3. At what temp does the temp gauge kick off the middle?
4. Is there anything I missed that I need to change to get my temps lower?

Also I've done some reading saying that Water Wetter would help but is just a bandaid and there is another problem somewhere else how true is this?
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Old Mon, Sep-25-2017, 03:54:40 PM   #2
GG///M3
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Default How high is too high with water temp on the track?

What do you have as far as a cooling system ? Has the head gasket been replaced recently? Have you checked for air in the cooling system ?


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Old Mon, Sep-25-2017, 04:15:42 PM   #3
DasBlitzAuto
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Default Re: How high is too high with water temp on the track?

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Originally Posted by GG///M3 View Post
What do you have as far as a cooling system ? Has the head gasket been replaced recently? Have you checked for air in the cooling system ?


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I have Mishimoto Radiator, Mishi Exp Tank. OEM 88 degree Thermo (thinking maybe I should have gotten a 80) Stewart Water Pump.

Don't believe the head gasket was replaced. I haven't bled it since the few times I bled it after I changed all the stuff which was 2 weeks ago.
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Old Mon, Sep-25-2017, 05:39:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: How high is too high with water temp on the track?

I'm trying to remember. I think I've seen the temp gauge move off of center at around 225F. I had on multiple occasions seen over 220 at track events on hot days prior to cutting a vent in my hood behind the radiator and ditching the AC condenser and aux fan. I also have a Mishimoto radiator and use Water Wetter with 75/25 water/coolant ratio. I'd say that what you saw is normal for what you have. Not that you want to hit over 220F regularly. Lower temp thermostat won't do anything for this. It's going to get worse the more comfortable you get on the track, as you'll be on the throttle more.
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Old Mon, Sep-25-2017, 06:54:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: How high is too high with water temp on the track?

Do you have any sort of additional venting? How long are your sessions/races typically?
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Old Mon, Sep-25-2017, 08:20:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: How high is too high with water temp on the track?

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Originally Posted by Solaris99 View Post
I'm trying to remember. I think I've seen the temp gauge move off of center at around 225F. I had on multiple occasions seen over 220 at track events on hot days prior to cutting a vent in my hood behind the radiator and ditching the AC condenser and aux fan. I also have a Mishimoto radiator and use Water Wetter with 75/25 water/coolant ratio. I'd say that what you saw is normal for what you have. Not that you want to hit over 220F regularly. Lower temp thermostat won't do anything for this. It's going to get worse the more comfortable you get on the track, as you'll be on the throttle more.

How would the 75/25 mix work in the winter sadly my garage is detached and not heated unless id just have to drain in the winter time and throw some coolant at it to store it. I've read the water wetter isn't as effective with the 50/50 but is it still worth a shot? May need to delete the aux fan and condenser and add some vents over the off season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate047 View Post
Do you have any sort of additional venting? How long are your sessions/races typically?
No additional venting. Sessions are usually 20 to 25 mins.
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Old Mon, Sep-25-2017, 08:52:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: How high is too high with water temp on the track?

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Originally Posted by DasBlitzAuto View Post
How would the 75/25 mix work in the winter sadly my garage is detached and not heated unless id just have to drain in the winter time and throw some coolant at it to store it. I've read the water wetter isn't as effective with the 50/50 but is it still worth a shot? May need to delete the aux fan and condenser and add some vents over the off season.
.
My garage never gets below freezing and the mix I currently have is safe to around 20F. I don't know if coolant reduces the effectiveness of Water Wetter. I'd think you just have reduced cooling ability from the mere fact that you're using coolant. I've never heard of harm coming from using WW, so it's worth a shot.
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Old Mon, Sep-25-2017, 10:57:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: How high is too high with water temp on the track?

Your water temp gauge should not move off from center, ever, if your system is in good condition with adequate ducting. If it moves off center you're risking head gasket issues.

Pre-S54, I had zero water temp issues with normal 50/50 coolant/water, AC, stewart pump, stock thermostat/housing, OE S54 Z3 radiator, stock expansion tank/hoses/etc. I had no issues in 100+F heat at altitude (less air to cool stuff) nor at sea level, on a 230whp S50. No aftermarket ducting, just MM underpanel+rad baffle and OE rubber radiator shrouds.

The only time I ever had my coolant needle move beyond center, it reached a max of 3/4 to the red. This was due to a failing OE water pump. The next track day after replacing all the things, minus radiator, I would get the needle to move past center within 4 laps-- bad sign. Shortly thereafter, the needle would move past center on the 10 minute drive from my house to safeway. Turns out the head gasket had nearly failed when the water temp reached 3/4, and subsequent hard use caused it to fully fail.

After replacing the HG I had zero water cooling issues ever again. I did the S54 swap ~4 years later, and never saw the coolant needle move once regardless of altitude or high temp trackdays. Full stock stuff works amazingly well.

I've heard very similar stories of folks who used the Mishimoto stuff over the OE Z3 radiator with good ducting, even with the AC installed. Their temps were always high, mine were never an issue except for when the system failed. The OE stuff was fine for years pre/post HG replacement, with many many track days.

I now have a fancy aluminum radiator and to be honest I don't think it was worth it over a bone stock $150 Z3 S54 rad. For folks who question the durability of the stock radiator, my car had said Z3 S54 radiator when I bought it in 2009, and it wasn't new then. I pulled the rad when doing the S54 swap in 2015, because I thought I needed more cooling (water-wise, I didn't). That radiator is living on in an E30 S52 lemons car.
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Last edited by Bimmerman325i; Mon, Sep-25-2017 at 11:11:12 PM.
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Old Mon, Sep-25-2017, 11:06:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: How high is too high with water temp on the track?

I have ummmm "thoughts" about Mishimoto product design, quality control and construction, but that's a can of worms... Probably wise to listen to this guy^
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Old Tue, Sep-26-2017, 09:26:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: How high is too high with water temp on the track?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerman325i View Post
Your water temp gauge should not move off from center, ever, if your system is in good condition with adequate ducting. If it moves off center you're risking head gasket issues.

Pre-S54, I had zero water temp issues with normal 50/50 coolant/water, AC, stewart pump, stock thermostat/housing, OE S54 Z3 radiator, stock expansion tank/hoses/etc. I had no issues in 100+F heat at altitude (less air to cool stuff) nor at sea level, on a 230whp S50. No aftermarket ducting, just MM underpanel+rad baffle and OE rubber radiator shrouds.

The only time I ever had my coolant needle move beyond center, it reached a max of 3/4 to the red. This was due to a failing OE water pump. The next track day after replacing all the things, minus radiator, I would get the needle to move past center within 4 laps-- bad sign. Shortly thereafter, the needle would move past center on the 10 minute drive from my house to safeway. Turns out the head gasket had nearly failed when the water temp reached 3/4, and subsequent hard use caused it to fully fail.

After replacing the HG I had zero water cooling issues ever again. I did the S54 swap ~4 years later, and never saw the coolant needle move once regardless of altitude or high temp trackdays. Full stock stuff works amazingly well.

I've heard very similar stories of folks who used the Mishimoto stuff over the OE Z3 radiator with good ducting, even with the AC installed. Their temps were always high, mine were never an issue except for when the system failed. The OE stuff was fine for years pre/post HG replacement, with many many track days.

I now have a fancy aluminum radiator and to be honest I don't think it was worth it over a bone stock $150 Z3 S54 rad. For folks who question the durability of the stock radiator, my car had said Z3 S54 radiator when I bought it in 2009, and it wasn't new then. I pulled the rad when doing the S54 swap in 2015, because I thought I needed more cooling (water-wise, I didn't). That radiator is living on in an E30 S52 lemons car.
Heh interesting, before I changed my rad i never had an issue before not sure if its that the old one was more efficient but this past track day was the hottest its been outside (before the most I ran was in 80* weather) and the highest altitude plus on top very large track with alot of full throttle driving, the most yet in fact compared to other tracks Ive been to.

Could it really be the HG though? Both cars doing the same thing with the same exact components I feel like its something we did possibly maybe it is the rad. I just always thought the OEM rad was a POS and the general consensus was to go Aluminum. In fact it was the dudes at the track that told us to ditch that stock rad to begin with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate047 View Post
I have ummmm "thoughts" about Mishimoto product design, quality control and construction, but that's a can of worms... Probably wise to listen to this guy^
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Discussing How high is too high with water temp on the track? 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)