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gwilson
06-27-2005, 07:49 AM
Once again a radiator neck failed during a drivers' school. This is not a rare occurence. I bought my E36 M3 with 50k miles, and intended to replace the radiator with another plastic one before tracking the car. Mark P. had a failure at the last 2003 school, so I opted to go with a fluidyne aluminum radiator. I think that the issue should at least be discussed in classroom and perhaps referred to on the tech sheet. Other options include:
Forbid tracking of cars with plastic radiators exceeding a cetain mileage.
Require drivers of cars with the failure after a certian mileage to compensate person in following car for damages, fellow students for lost track time, and chief instructor for psychic distress.
Require student in following car to pay for new radiator to compensate for valuable learning experience. Nonsurvivors would be exempt.
Encourage running without antifreeze.
Start running older air-cooled Porsche 911s. Start new thread discussing oil on track. Consider logo change on T-shirts.
Do nothing, chalk it up to "sh*t happens".

1996 328ti
06-27-2005, 08:22 AM
You just never know when it will go. My radiator was replaced at around 160K miles and was still good. I replaced it with an aluminum radiator and t-stat housing before it became a problem. There are some people who say the radiator is only good to 60K miles. So, YMMV.

chester
06-27-2005, 11:25 AM
I was the one who was directly affected by the blown radiator as I had a big off in turn 4. I am continually amazed that people who track their cars will cheap out and not replace this item that is known to break with age. Not only do you endanger yourself, but you endanger others around you. I was lucky not to hit anything but did suffer $600 in damages (front bumper cover is toast, steering rack is gone) as a result of flying over the curbing.

I had planned on taking the Elise to this school, but wasn't allowed to because of "safety" reasons. Seeing that I neglected my M3 over the winter, I proceeded to dump about $2000 in parts to replace many items:
- power steering pump
- both from control arms
- both tie rods
- rebuilt the entire steering column
- fuel filter
- spark plugs
- radiator fan clutch
- rear subframe (sway bar tabs were broken off)
- rear trailing arm bushings
- engine mounts
- engine carrier brackets

So now the condition of the control arm and tie rod are a bit suspect in my mind and all this because of someone else's lack of maintenance. I do agree that there should be a "last time your radiator was changed" in the tech sheet. Though...who can enforce it? What's to prevent someone from lieing?

1996 328ti
06-27-2005, 12:19 PM
There is no way to enforce inspection rules.
People need to be responsible for themselves and others.
That is the reason I replaced my radiator before anything happened.
I take care of any little issues that come up before a driving school.
Way before a driving school.

1996 328ti
06-27-2005, 12:29 PM
Forbid tracking of cars with plastic radiators exceeding a cetain mileage.
Require drivers of cars with the failure after a certian mileage to compensate person in following car for damages, fellow students for lost track time, and chief instructor for psychic distress.
Require student in following car to pay for new radiator to compensate for valuable learning experience.Huh? Next require only sedans because they are structurely safer than coupes? I see more incidents with M3s. Let's ban M3s then. Like I said in a previous post, people need to be responsible for themselves and to others. I don't expect anyone to cover my damage caused by someone else and I probably would not cover anyone else. I'd do what I could to help but we all have insurance. If you don't want to use your insurance there is DE insurance in some states. I think most of us know the risk that is involved. We try to minimize it the best we can. For all the events I do a year I see radiator problems more at Summit than anywhere else.

chester
06-27-2005, 02:11 PM
Huh? Next require only sedans because they are structurely safer than coupes?

This is a falsehood. People always go around saying that the sedans are stiffer because they have a b-pillar. Hello?!?! What's that right behind the door of a two door? There was a post on Suzy's M3 list a few years ago that compared the stiffness of the cars and the coupe was stiffer than the sedan. Why PTG used the sedan to race was purely a marketing decision.

chester
06-27-2005, 02:14 PM
Hi Steve,

I don't see how you can say you take care of your issues before a driving school....with a 160k mile radiator! :confused: That's crazy! :icon_eyes Hopefully you weren't taking the car on the track with that old radiator. With places like bimmerparts.com selling complete radiator packages for something as little as $175 ish....it's *CHEAP* insurance to just replace it and be done with it once every 60k - 80k miles. Or...get the aluminum one like you did. But really, I would have been nervous as heck travelling any place far away from home base with a radiator that old.


There is no way to enforce inspection rules.
People need to be responsible for themselves and others.
That is the reason I replaced my radiator before anything happened.
I take care of any little issues that come up before a driving school.
Way before a driving school.

ncbted
06-27-2005, 03:10 PM
I was the radiator culprit this past weekend and sincerely apologize to anyone whose weekend I screwed up. The car is a recent acquisition and I was led to believe that the radiator was fairly new; however, that must not have been the case and I wish that I had preventatively replaced along with all the other work I have done to car thus far. I cannot thank everyone enough who helped me get the car back on track for Sunday so that I didn’t loose the whole weekend. Regardless, no one ever want to be the “that guy” for a weekend and I understand chester’s frustrations. I am not sure there is really a way to police this sort of thing because like me, many will not know how old their radiator really is.

wduvall
06-27-2005, 04:41 PM
This concern has compelled some race series to mandate water only in the cooling system of their racecars. I don't believe this is something that should be mandated. Mileage or age is not always a factor in a part failing that causes an inherent danger on track. Earlier the same session a relatively new M5 laid down oil on the entire track, thankfully not enough to cause any incidents before the track and car were black flagged. I don't know what the reason was for the oil leak but things unfortunately happen. We all wish they wouldn't but that is not realistic. There is no part that goes into an F1 car that isn't inspected, tested and evaluated countless times but still parts fail for any number of reasons.

This is one reason why safety in our driving education in taught so much. Things will happen and we learn how to handle these situations from this driving program.

I hate to see any vehicle go off track especially if there is damage. However this risk is one we assume by voluntarily participating.

I wish everyone a safe driving experience.

mlytle
06-27-2005, 05:49 PM
you can't address all the possible car failures, but you can address known problems ahead of time. e36 radiators are a well known problem. anybody tracking an e36 should replace the stock radiator with at least a zionsville or equivalent aluminum radiator. should also consider running only water and water wetter in the cooling system, no slippery coolant. (car will run cooler with bigger radiator and just water anyway.)

1996 328ti
06-27-2005, 06:44 PM
Hi Steve,

I don't see how you can say you take care of your issues before a driving school....with a 160k mile radiator! :confused: That's crazy! :icon_eyes Hopefully you weren't taking the car on the track with that old radiator.I was until I started seeing the problem and learned about the aluminum radiator. I could not take care of a problem if I did not know about it. So yes, I took care of issues based on what I knew. The price of the radiator was steep but I did not want to trip over my own fluid, let alone cause a problem to someone else. I have enough problems on a dry surface. Up until then I did not know about the problem. Now that radiator sits in Dan Martin's trailer in case someone needs one to get home with. With all those miles on it it is still good enough to get home with rather than be towed.

And my comment about sedans vs coupes was meant to have sarcasim in it.

1996 328ti
06-28-2005, 08:01 AM
Earlier the same session a relatively new M5 laid down oil on the entire track, thankfully not enough to cause any incidents before the track and car were black flagged.Oil was coming out of the oil cap. It was closed but leaking out. He reinstalled it 180 degrees and was fine later on. Odd problem. Maybe a gasket wasn't seated properly.

OwnedbyDuncan
06-28-2005, 06:22 PM
The issue of having cars use only water and/or water wetter has been discussed
over the years. I bought it up when I was coordinator. It would be very difficult to require and police and the big thing was the added cost were the reasons I was given. Synthetic oil shuld also be banned since it is more diffilcut to clean up. Same excuse the cost was given when I requested that only SA helmets be required.

E36 coupes are signicantly weaker than their sedan countparts. When they rollover their roofs collapse. Not a pretty sight.

If we are going to require water not antifreeze than we should also mandate a minimum of a rollbar, 6pt harness, full face SA helmets, Hans devices, race seats and Hooters girls to change your track tires back to street tires at the end of day.

mlytle
06-28-2005, 09:12 PM
If we are going to require water not antifreeze than we should also mandate a minimum of a rollbar, 6pt harness, full face SA helmets, Hans devices, race seats and Hooters girls to change your track tires back to street tires at the end of day.


hmmm, sounds good to me..
fire system - check
nomex suit - check
nomex gloves - check
nomex socks - check
elec cut off switch - check
alum radiator - check
water in cooling sys - check
roll CAGE - check
6pt harness - check
full face sa - check
hans - check
race seat - check
hooters girls - doh! i almost qualified for a de! :)

ob325
06-29-2005, 04:53 PM
If you don't want to use your insurance there is DE insurance in some states.
Any idea if anyone offers this in VA? I'd call my insurance company but then I'd have a nasty little note left in a comment field on my file I'm sure.

1996 328ti
06-29-2005, 06:24 PM
Any idea if anyone offers this in VA? I'd call my insurance company but then I'd have a nasty little note left in a comment field on my file I'm sure.Not that I am aware of. Sorry. In Maryland I use http://www.americancollectors.com

Read your policy. Policies are written pretty well. If there is an exclusion it is there in black and white.