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calw

E21 Radiator install- Too Tall ?

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I'm attempting to use a nice E21 radiator in my 1600.  It's the early brass version with the transmission cooler stuff at the bottom.  The plastic plugs are still in place on the transmission ports.  I've seen the details about how to mount it, but I've done it a bit differently by fabbing aluminum mounting parts- "U" channel shape on the passenger side, "Z" shape on the driver side (with 90 degree bends,not really a "Z").  With the bottom of the plastic transmission port plugs suspended above the cross member by a fraction of an inch, the top looks like the first photo from the front of the car 

My hood is not on the car so I have nothing to go by, but it looks tall.  Too tall? 

rad1.JPG

rad2.JPG

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That's a common swap, and no one has reported that an E21 radiator--brass or aluminum--didn't fit.  Did you measure the height of an OEM '02 radiator and then the E21?  That should tell the story.  

 

It doesn't look like the tranny cooler housing sits any lower than the radiator's lower tank so it should be the same height as a manual trans E21 radiator.

 

mike

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thanks, Mike.  oops, I didn't turn notification on for my post. 

 

I probably worry too much about things that don't matter.  The problem that I didn't mention is that I have several radiators which started life as standard '02 but no longer have the original mounting brackets on them- no idea why, they came to me this way.  So, I can't take a n absolute measurement-  I don't know how far a standard radiator extends upward from the upper mounting holes, or how close it is mounted to the crossmember. 

 

For the record-

The two standard radiators that I have are 19" tall from bottom to top of the cap, the E21 radiator is just a bit over 19 1/2" tall (both brass and plastic/aluminum versions).  The E21 radiators have ears for mounting at the top corners that are almost as tall as the top of the cap - but they are easily removed or bent out of the way, at least on the brass version. 

 

If 1/2" higher is ok at the cap, and it's still OK where the ears stick up, things should work out. I'll probably bend my ears over and go with it...  I'm mounting it rigidly to all 4 mounting holes and ensuring "no-touch" at the crossmember, so I don't see the need for the rubber bits at the bottom (any other opinions about those rubber parts cheerfully accepted!)

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I think when I put mine in, I had to bend those tabs over a bit. make sure it clears your hood when you close it.

 

 

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With the plastic version, the tabs sit a bit lower.

 

But yeah, that looks about right.

 

You could bend the tabs 90 degrees, then use them for the upper mounting location.

 

t

 

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