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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fluidyne Radiator Arrives

Note: I wound up returning this radiator due to the fitment issues noted below. If you intend to use the OE shroud please read this entry and the followup before you buy this radiator!

The radiator has arrived and I plan to install it soon so I can take the car to the body shop. In the meantime the E46 continues to serve as my daily driver.

I also picked up an OE expansion tank, coolant level sensor and o-ring, new top plastic retaining clips, and a stock shroud. My original stock shroud is not broken (to my knowledge) but since it was only $35 I bought it to help test fit the unit to the new radiator.

While at first glance I felt the unit looked pretty good, I'm not at all happy with the fit of the new OE shroud I picked up today. I know a lot of people who install these radiators don't use the OE shroud but I think $500 should buy me a perfect fit. The shroud attachment points are not welded in the correct locations and the core itself is a about 2 mm smaller than necessary for a perfect fit. The end result is that the holes at the top of the shroud don't align perfectly with the threaded nuts welded to the top of the core and the seal between the shroud and the core, while not perfect even with OE parts, is decidedly less than ideal. My solution will likely involve trimming of the OE shroud, since I have no intention of taking my Dremel to a $500 radiator.

Video: Fluidyne Radiator Closeup

Mileage: 235000