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New "BMW" radiators and other cooling parts

Shawn Piper


I'm getting pickier since seeing my car's new paint. My previously OK radiator is now starting to look cosmetically unacceptable. I tried to clean it up and spent considerable time straightening the smashed fins with a plastic spudger.  Even though I achieved decent results (better with a repaint I'm sure) , I decided to go with a new radiator and keep the old one as a spare. 


Here's what the old radiator looks like after cleaning.  This clearly isn't the radiator that came with my car (due to the fan shroud provisions) but its a genuine BMW part.

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I originally started down the path of reconditioning my existing radiator but local radiator shops  wanted a lot of money to rebuild my core- I figured there is no point spending lots of money rebuilding something that isn't original to the car.   As a result, I decided to find a new BMW radiator (part # 17111115755).  



I placed my order online and waited about 6 weeks for the part to presumably arrive from Germany.  When I first opened the box, I was immediately tipped off by the radiator cap that it wasn't the same as the photo.



Not a big deal because I had already bought a BMW radiator cap (that I attached right away!), but I was curious what that meant for the radiator. 



Here's what I got:

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The radiator looks really nice and came well packed (double boxed!). 

At first glance, the new radiator is missing any BMW or LR stamping. At second glance, the fin density is higher on the new radiator so I wonder if the cooling properties are better than the old radiator. At third glace, the stamped metal at the top and bottom have different patterns.  

That being said, the drain plug is there (white flecks are from styofoam packing) and the dimensions are identical.  




As for maker's marks, I found this sticker for TUV Nord:



Doing some research online, TUV Nord seems to be one of these large German companies that does a bit of everything. One of their offerings is safety inspections of automotive parts.   There is no indication who made the radiator, but I presume BMW changed their supplier from LR.  


Later, I got suspicious that I was shipped the cheaper Wallothnesch radiator for the higher BMW price.  However, the Wallothnesch radiator actually looks more like the radiator I just replaced than the one I bought, so the purists might want to use that over the new "BMW" part.  



On a side note, my hoses, clamps, and thermostat arrived.  I'm getting excited to start reassembling the car in the next months. 

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Edited by Shawn Piper

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I’m interested to hear how the replacement process goes. I have a recently acquired ‘72 that probably needs a new radiator. It has several other issues, including not starting at the moment, but the cooling one is high on my list of drivability concerns. Good luck!

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