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      04-13-2017, 10:26 PM   #1
fe1rx
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CSF Radiator on N54 135i

In my experience my 2008 135i with a mild tune encounters power reductions due to overheating coolant during extended track sessions.

Our ECU begins to progressively reduce power once coolant reaches 117C (243F), and the effect is immediately apparent when driving on the track. A similar effect occurs once the oil reaches 151C (304F), however, my coolant reaches the limit before the oil does.

My experience is not different from others. I thank xBlueStreakx for steering me towards the CSF radiator:

http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showp...56&postcount=1

He also pointed out this article:

http://oppositelock.kinja.com/my-tho...ato-1745809742

Which leads to this this thread on E90POST which deals with the problem exhaustively:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=412156

So, I have purchased and installed a CSF p/n 7045 radiator. Removing and installing the radiator is somewhat difficult due to the very limited space up front. I found disconnecting the oil cooler lines to greatly help the installation. I ended up replacing the cooling fan shroud as well as mine had cracked at some point.

The cooling fan shroud connects to the original radiator at three points: one bolted connection at the upper RH corner, and one plastic clip on each side at mid height. The CSF radiator uses mid-height brackets that do not correctly mate up with the plastic clips. I designed a simple delrin block that provided effective clamping, while ensuring that the shroud remains properly centered on the radiator. I offer the idea up for anyone planning on installing this radiator.

The LH plastic clip on the radiator shroud needs a bit of grinding to work with my clamping block. Before:

Name:  LH Shroud Clip Before.JPG
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and after:

Name:  LH Shroud Clip After.JPG
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The radiator provisions are simple brackets with clamping screws. LH Bracket:

Name:  LH Radiator Bracket.JPG
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RH Bracket:

Name:  RH Radiator Bracket.JPG
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The shroud clips only half hang on these brackets so the clamping screw does not fully engage and a slight lateral shift will allow the clip to fall off the bracket.

My delrin clamping block provides features to ensure the shroud remains centered, and it provides a good surface for the clamping screw to engage. These screws have captive washers which provide no function in this installation. I installed them with Loctite to ensure they wouldnt back themselves out over time.

Name:  Delrin Clamping Block.JPG
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LH side with Clamping Block:

Name:  LH Clip with Clamping Block.JPG
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Size:  446.2 KB

RH side with Clamping Block:

Name:  RH Clip with Clamping Block.JPG
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Size:  446.8 KB
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      04-14-2017, 03:39 PM   #2
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Do you think there is any need to replace coolant hoses at the same time?
Thanks for posting this. On the cusp of doing the same upgrade.
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      04-14-2017, 04:01 PM   #3
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For what it's worth, I haven't an issue with the fan and shroud assembly moving with the supplied CSF mounting tabs. Is it a flawed design? Certainly. Is it an active issue, not really. I've done a dozen track days since then and there is no movement of the fan assembly.

As always, I like your elegant solution to the issue at hand.

Edit: It should be noted that since installing the CSF unit, my water temps stay at 205* all day on track. Even around town, the fan runs a lot less than it did with the stock rad.
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      04-17-2017, 12:06 PM   #4
fe1rx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayao View Post
Do you think there is any need to replace coolant hoses at the same time?
Thanks for posting this. On the cusp of doing the same upgrade.
I would only replace them based on their condition. I didn't replace mine.
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      04-17-2017, 12:13 PM   #5
fe1rx
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I discovered a conflict between the radiator drain plug and the OE intercooler which prevents it from moving fully into place vertically:

Name:  Drain Conflict.JPG
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The offending feature is this web:

Name:  Intercooler pre-mod.JPG
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Grinding away a piece 32 mm x 9 mm fixed the problem:

Name:  Intercooler Mod 1.JPG
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Name:  Intercooler Mod 2.JPG
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Here it is installed:

Name:  Intercooler Installed.JPG
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An added note, connect your intercooler fully before reconnecting your coolant hoses and filling the system. The cold pipe coming out of the intercooler and connecting to the charge pipe can't be installed once the coolant hoses are in place. Ideally, get it into position as you install the fan shroud to avoid some cursing.
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      04-17-2017, 01:21 PM   #6
ayao
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I think I've read elsewhere that other N54 folks have encountered similar issues with the drain plug interference. I think Ginger's kinja blog said something about this as well?
I'm also thinking about replacing the stock oil cooler with a CSF 8042 at the same time - not sure if doing it together with the radiator at the same time pays any convenience dividends.
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      04-17-2017, 03:00 PM   #7
fe1rx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayao View Post
I think I've read elsewhere that other N54 folks have encountered similar issues with the drain plug interference. I think Ginger's kinja blog said something about this as well?
Yes he does. I failed to notice that though and learned it the hard way ...
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      04-18-2017, 02:25 PM   #8
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Thanks for sharing your experience with the csf radiator. Just curious, did you inform csf of the issue with the middle mounting tabs?

Your solution is awesome, but I wouldn't be able to create the same solution so I'm wondering what csf says about the issue and what their solution is.
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      04-26-2017, 12:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houtan View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience with the csf radiator. Just curious, did you inform csf of the issue with the middle mounting tabs?

Your solution is awesome, but I wouldn't be able to create the same solution so I'm wondering what csf says about the issue and what their solution is.
bump. Thinking about getting this radiator. Has contacted CSF about the mounting tab mis-alignment? If not, I would be happy to email them. Just don't want to ask if someone has already.
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      04-26-2017, 09:00 PM   #10
fe1rx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houtan View Post
bump. Thinking about getting this radiator. Has contacted CSF about the mounting tab mis-alignment? If not, I would be happy to email them. Just don't want to ask if someone has already.
Not me.
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      04-26-2017, 09:22 PM   #11
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So, I just ordered one of these off an Australian eBay seller because my OEM radiator split & the car is off the road.

I'm waiting delivery of the CSF7046 (AT model) and it'll be mounted above a VSRF 7" Intercooler.

Had I read this thread, I would've just stayed with the OEM radiator...

Looking forward to having heaps of trouble installing it... I'll let you all know how I go.
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      04-27-2017, 08:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fe1rx View Post
Not me.
Thanks. Sent them an email. Will let everyone know what they say.
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      04-27-2017, 04:52 PM   #13
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I emailed Ravi back in February about passenger side fan shroud fitment issues (described by Ginger on his kinja blog) and he said it was resolved. But it's a bit unclear to me how this relates to the cumulative fitment issues that have been discussed.
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      04-27-2017, 06:12 PM   #14
fe1rx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayao View Post
I emailed Ravi back in February about passenger side fan shroud fitment issues (described by Ginger on his kinja blog) and he said it was resolved. But it's a bit unclear to me how this relates to the cumulative fitment issues that have been discussed.
That issue is resolved. The brackets are now located in the correct location on both sides.

Location aside, those brackets aren't a great fit on the fan shroud, but by no means is this a deal breaker for me. My added delrin block is just me being me - trying to make things just a bit better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xQx View Post
So, I just ordered one of these off an Australian eBay seller because my OEM radiator split & the car is off the road.

I'm waiting delivery of the CSF7046 (AT model) and it'll be mounted above a VSRF 7" Intercooler.

Had I read this thread, I would've just stayed with the OEM radiator...

Looking forward to having heaps of trouble installing it... I'll let you all know how I go.
Installation of the CSF radiatior is not significantly different than intalling an OE radiator in terms of difficulty. They are both a tight fit.
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      04-28-2017, 08:12 AM   #15
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Got a response from Ravi at csf saying everything should fit and if there are any issues people simply need to contact them.
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      05-05-2017, 05:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fe1rx View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ayao View Post
I emailed Ravi back in February about passenger side fan shroud fitment issues (described by Ginger on his kinja blog) and he said it was resolved. But it's a bit unclear to me how this relates to the cumulative fitment issues that have been discussed.
That issue is resolved. The brackets are now located in the correct location on both sides.

Location aside, those brackets aren't a great fit on the fan shroud, but by no means is this a deal breaker for me. My added delrin block is just me being me - trying to make things just a bit better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xQx View Post
So, I just ordered one of these off an Australian eBay seller because my OEM radiator split & the car is off the road.

I'm waiting delivery of the CSF7046 (AT model) and it'll be mounted above a VSRF 7" Intercooler.

Had I read this thread, I would've just stayed with the OEM radiator...

Looking forward to having heaps of trouble installing it... I'll let you all know how I go.
Installation of the CSF radiatior is not significantly different than intalling an OE radiator in terms of difficulty. They are both a tight fit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fe1rx View Post
Installation of the CSF radiatior is not significantly different than intalling an OE radiator in terms of difficulty. They are both a tight fit.
So, the mechanic called me at 5:30 this arvo after spending all afternoon trying to get it to fit... I'm going in on Monday morning armed with the info from the forums etc to try to help...
Fan mounts will be the least of my worries.

But yeah, it's a bit thicker than stock, which at a minimum causes great difficulty in the already tight space of a 135i automatic convertible with a 7" VSRF intercooler, and most likely will involve some cutting / fabrication to fit.
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      05-05-2017, 08:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xQx View Post
So, the mechanic called me at 5:30 this arvo after spending all afternoon trying to get it to fit... I'm going in on Monday morning armed with the info from the forums etc to try to help...
Fan mounts will be the least of my worries.

But yeah, it's a bit thicker than stock, which at a minimum causes great difficulty in the already tight space of a 135i automatic convertible with a 7" VSRF intercooler, and most likely will involve some cutting / fabrication to fit.
Maybe. Your intercooler has to be removed to remove or install the radiator, so it doesn't really affect getting the radiator in place.

I found it very helpful (essential actually) to remove the oil cooler hoses from the filter housing to free up some space for the installation. If they are still attached, I suggest starting there.
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      05-07-2017, 08:20 PM   #18
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Do you have the cad drawing from those clamping blocks that your are willing to share?
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      05-07-2017, 09:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatsADSM View Post
Do you have the cad drawing from those clamping blocks that your are willing to share?
No problem ...

Name:  Radiator Shroud Clamping Block.jpg
Views: 816
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Material is Delrin.
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      05-14-2017, 02:21 PM   #20
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A couple of quick questions I was hoping you could answer. Did you replace the o-rings before reinstalling the coolant hoses to the radiator? Also, do you use any lubricant on the o rings before reinstalling? Thanks.
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      05-14-2017, 05:08 PM   #21
fe1rx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houtan View Post
A couple of quick questions I was hoping you could answer. Did you replace the o-rings before reinstalling the coolant hoses to the radiator? Also, do you use any lubricant on the o rings before reinstalling? Thanks.
I didn't replace the O-rings. I lubricated them with Dow Corning DC4 Dielectric Grease. Petroleum based lubricants are a no-no, although counter to this rule I have used vaseline in the past. DC4 is a silicone-based grease and so seems like a better choice, and I had it on hand. Any silicone grease would probably work just as well. This question does seem to produce a very wide range of opinions on the internet ...
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      05-14-2017, 07:52 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fe1rx View Post
I didn't replace the O-rings. I lubricated them with Dow Corning DC4 Dielectric Grease. Petroleum based lubricants are a no-no, although counter to this rule I have used vaseline in the past. DC4 is a silicone-based grease and so seems like a better choice, and I had it on hand. Any silicone grease would probably work just as well. This question does seem to produce a very wide range of opinions on the internet ...
Thanks.
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