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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Mon, Aug-10-2015, 04:25:37 PM   #1
VinceSE2
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Default Has anyone else experienced leaking BW/C&R oil cooler?

As I spent the extra money to not have to deal with quality issues like this I'm very disappointed.
There is a leak where the top most cell meets the right tank.
Is this repairable?

Checking up after recent front suspension upgrades I found this:

In the plastic under pan that had been clean just a few days earlier.
There has been oil there before, but I thought that was from the high pressure PS hose (which I have now replaced).

Cleaning the oil cooler and looking closer into the issue it made me very disappointed that the cooler is leaking where the core meets the right tank.






Here its all cleaned up:


But after just lying against the floor ("hanging" from the hoses such that the right most part was the lowest) about 45 minutes "fresh" (that hadn't been there before) oil leaked from the top most cell:



As you can see there is no damage at all to the cooler so this has to be a problem when it was manufactured.
Has anyone else experienced this?

Is it repairable?


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Old Mon, Aug-10-2015, 04:40:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Has anyone else experienced leaking BW/C&R oil cooler?

I'll have my car on the lift at my shop today or tomorrow and I'll check mine out. If it is, it's not as much as yours.

When did you purchase yours? I have had mine about 18 months.
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Old Mon, Aug-10-2015, 10:45:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Has anyone else experienced leaking BW/C&R oil cooler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMS951 View Post
I'll have my car on the lift at my shop today or tomorrow and I'll check mine out. If it is, it's not as much as yours.



When did you purchase yours? I have had mine about 18 months.

Thanks!
Can't remember when I bought it, but I'll dig up the receipt tomorrow. I do however remember that I had it lying around for quite some time before I had time to install/needed it (wasn't tracking due to family obligations).


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Old Mon, Aug-10-2015, 10:48:14 PM   #4
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Default Has anyone else experienced leaking BW/C&R oil cooler?

Found this in Braymonds CSF cooler thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by admranger View Post
Well, not so fast on the C&R oil cooler. Mine developed a non-repairable leak after 14k miles (but 4 years on the car -- 3rd car, rarely gets miles anymore). C&R won't warranty it b/c of the age... Bimmerworld stepped up, of course, and offered a discount on the CSF oil cooler.

OP: when you bled the new radiator, did you have the nose of the car higher than the rear of the car? I have found that to be a big help getting those last air bubbles out. GL!

I really hope my leak is repairable, or even better, that the cooler is replaced.


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Old Tue, Aug-11-2015, 03:29:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Has anyone else experienced leaking BW/C&R oil cooler?

I have bad news for you; your oil cooler isn't repairable and if it is the least bit old, you're screwed... Your leak is in the same place as mine. Right side where the tank meets the ribs of the cooler. I can now draw a straight line to a design flaw with these two failure points.

C&R stands behind their product like BMW acknowledges vanos bolt or hub issues (e.g., they don't). Really unhappy camper about this but there's not much one can do about it except never buy their crap again.
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Old Tue, Aug-11-2015, 05:45:13 AM   #6
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Default Has anyone else experienced leaking BW/C&R oil cooler?

Now that I'm a member of the forum, I might as well through my 2 cents into the mix.
1) what you have is a typical tuber to header plate leak. It's happening at the top corner of the unit where most of the stress is occurring. I'm assuming that this is because the oil cooler hangs from right above this, and this is causing the oil cooler tubes to flex/pull from the load.
Another theory is that the welding was too close to the tube, and the high heat weakend the tube to header joint. I highly doubt this because C&R welders are some of the best, and they know what they are doing. Also, oil tubes (especially the ones with inner turbulation like these) are supposed to be very strong.

C&R makes some of the best coolers in the world.. They are cooling all of NASCAR (everyone besides 3 teams), but all cooling manufacturers experience defects because of the thin materials used.. They are very hard parts to make... Hopefully they will come right, and at least the Point of purchase will help you out or contact them on your behalf.

When working on our oil cooler design with Rogue engineering, we opted for the more robust bar/plate core rather than tube/fin for durability and reliability purposes. It weighed about 2 pounds more, and cooled about 2 degrees hotter compared to the C&R, but in the grand scheme of things, these differences were negligible.. Especially when considering the cost saving of using the bar/plate core versus the high rejection rate of tube/fin during the manufacturing process.

Good luck resolving your issue.


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Old Tue, Aug-11-2015, 06:41:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: Has anyone else experienced leaking BW/C&R oil cooler?

Great input Ravi !
I'm happy you joined the forum so you can share the wealth with us
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Old Tue, Aug-11-2015, 08:08:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Has anyone else experienced leaking BW/C&R oil cooler?

Nice input Raji.
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Old Tue, Aug-11-2015, 08:48:34 AM   #9
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Default Has anyone else experienced leaking BW/C&R oil cooler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by admranger View Post
I have bad news for you; your oil cooler isn't repairable and if it is the least bit old, you're screwed... Your leak is in the same place as mine. Right side where the tank meets the ribs of the cooler. I can now draw a straight line to a design flaw with these two failure points.



C&R stands behind their product like BMW acknowledges vanos bolt or hub issues (e.g., they don't). Really unhappy camper about this but there's not much one can do about it except never buy their crap again.

Thanks for your response!

But oh my God, I can't even begin to tell you how upset this makes me!!
I had a REALLY hard time convincing myself to spend this kind of money on an oil cooler in the first place.
But I told myself it's better to cry once, that i should go for the quality cooler.

Although the OE oil cooler was full of fine grained sand and other road debris (after 7 years) it had no leaks.
WHY is it so hard to make a performance part last at least as long?

And I've been telling "everyone" to get one of these.
Needlessly to say, I will most probably correct that mistake!!!

I bought the cooler December 2013 while on a visit in the US, didn't install it until April 2014 (in preparation for the Nurburgring). And the car has been on jack stands since March 2015 as I have been doing this:
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=529214



The car has done 5000 miles with the C&R oil cooler. And the leak started before then. I initially thought the oil was coming from the high pressure PS hose. A hose I now have replaced, and checking up on that hose is why I pulled down the under tray so soon after having everything cleaned up.

Had the leak been due to a rock or something else hitting the cooler I would have been upset, but that would still be something I could easily have gotten over.

But now there isn't any damage to it at all!

And I was planning on getting C&Rs Radiator (water cooler) as an upgrade. That will not happen if they don't step up and replace my faulty oil cooler.



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Last edited by VinceSE2; Tue, Aug-11-2015 at 09:03:38 AM.
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Old Tue, Aug-11-2015, 09:36:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: Has anyone else experienced leaking BW/C&R oil cooler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaviCSF View Post
Now that I'm a member of the forum, I might as well through my 2 cents into the mix.
1) what you have is a typical tuber to header plate leak. It's happening at the top corner of the unit where most of the stress is occurring. I'm assuming that this is because the oil cooler hangs from right above this, and this is causing the oil cooler tubes to flex/pull from the load.
Another theory is that the welding was too close to the tube, and the high heat weakend the tube to header joint. I highly doubt this because C&R welders are some of the best, and they know what they are doing. Also, oil tubes (especially the ones with inner turbulation like these) are supposed to be very strong.

C&R makes some of the best coolers in the world.. They are cooling all of NASCAR (everyone besides 3 teams), but all cooling manufacturers experience defects because of the thin materials used.. They are very hard parts to make... Hopefully they will come right, and at least the Point of purchase will help you out or contact them on your behalf.

When working on our oil cooler design with Rogue engineering, we opted for the more robust bar/plate core rather than tube/fin for durability and reliability purposes. It weighed about 2 pounds more, and cooled about 2 degrees hotter compared to the C&R, but in the grand scheme of things, these differences were negligible.. Especially when considering the cost saving of using the bar/plate core versus the high rejection rate of tube/fin during the manufacturing process.

Good luck resolving your issue.


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Thank you Ravi for sharing your expertise.
If C&R will not replace my cooler (has been on the car for less than a year and less than 5000 miles) with one with their revised design (i was just made aware that they are revising the design), is my cooler repairable?

I'm thinking a pro radiator tech must be able to cut of the tank, weld the tubes and then weld the tank back on?
Or are the tubes not weldable BC of thinness and the use of adhesives?


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Discussing Has anyone else experienced leaking BW/C&R oil cooler? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)