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I like JBweld, but two things, one is that you have two different materials with different coefficients of expansion and you will have to clean both sides making sure ALL the coolant is gone as otherwise it won't stick.

 

Generally, repair is by replacement, unless you want to go the leak stop route.

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Hi Jon--

I had a 320i radiator in my late '73. One time I had a radiator shop remove the top, rod out the core, then carefully replace the top;; it worked fine afterwards.  If I were you I would discuss repair with a local radiator shop to see if they will guarantee a repair.

Larry

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4 minutes ago, layers said:

If I were you I would discuss repair with a local radiator shop to see if they will guarantee a repair.

+1  Some years ago our Acura Legend had a similar leak--turned out to be a cracked upper tank--a faulty design that was replaced under warranty.  A local shop removed the old upper tank and installed the new design.  Tank and core were sealed with a rubber gasket and then crimped together.  The local shop did the work very well.  And that was back around 1993--never leaked again--and we sold it in 2007.  So they can be repaired.  And FYI, you can buy brass E21 radiators, as well as replacement high capacity 2002 radiators...

 

mike

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1 hour ago, Einspritz said:

And that begs the question, why do you need a 320i radiator when the stock unit plus a tropical fan and a proper thermostat will do equally well?

I'm sure it's not a *need* but I'd bet 320i replacements are a whole lot cheaper/easier to find than stock replacements these days, no?  And while it's true they're *technically* not serviceable, you're always welcome to give it a try anyway.  All you need to do is take a screwdriver to unbend all those little crimp fingers that hold the tank onto the core.  Underneath the bottom lip of the tank is a big rectangular gasket.  Once you're in there you can try to determine if the leak is in the actual core (small crack where a vertical tube is brazed to the horizontal 'header,' or if it looks like the leak was past that rubber gasket.  Then it's just a matter of soldering the hole (if present), making sure the gasket is in good condition, putting it back in its groove, putting the tank back on, and then having something to press it down pretty hard to compress the gasket while you bend the fingers back into place.  I'd say probably not worth the effort, but I'd never discourage someone from at least attempting a repair before throwing money at a replacement!

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8 minutes ago, AustrianVespaGuy said:

...but I'd never discourage someone from at least attempting a repair before throwing money at a replacement!

This makes me smile. Pretty much my theory of repair also. Ya learns sooo much this way😃

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50 minutes ago, AustrianVespaGuy said:

and then having something to press it down pretty hard to compress the gasket while you bend the fingers back into place. 

If you have the clamps or a friend that is a woodworker, the long clamps they use would work to clamp.

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I put one of the 320i plastic tank and aluminum core radiators in my 2002, it failed spectacularly as I rolled into a car show because the fan hit the bottom of the radiator and cut into one of the tubes when I went over a speed bump. I finally bit the bullet and bought this to replace it instead of spending another $100 for a used radiator. I've had other bad experiences with bmw plastic radiator end tanks. Plastic and hot coolant dont work well together, but they're cheap to manufacture and guarentee more parts sales meaning more money.

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