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E90 Radiator Removal DIY
Published by HFELIU
E90 Radiator Removal DIY

Hey everyone, I've searched high and low for a DIY on the removal of the radiator but came up with ZILCH! So here I am now, My wife's '07 335i sport(automatic) has a leak in the radiator and it needed to be replaced, I searched for a replacement and we both narrowed it down to a CSF radiator which was at a pretty good price (under $200), and it also came with a 2 year warranty (I'm all about the bang for the buck). We've decided to pick up a temporary Rad for the time being till we pick up the all Aluminum race rad which will come in handy when we continue to do other upgrades for more power, So I figure since i'll be doing the project more people here could use this info, and here we are, I'll try and give as much detail as possible so if I leave anything out or your needing more info just feel free to let me know and i'll try my best to help out.
Under $200 and a 2 year warranty, not bad

Do not perform this while the engine and coolant is hot!
Wait at least 2 hours for the coolant to cool down.
I raised the vehicle on ramps, you can also use jack stands.

Tools needed:
Flat Head Screw Driver (to pop out clips and to pry hoses off if needed)
T25 Torx Socket
T25 Torx Bit
Socket wrench
10mm Socket
8MM Socket (removal of under belly cover)
Pliers (Coolant hose clamps)

In order to remove the radiator 4 things need to be removed first, all in this order:
1) Under Belly Cover (Splash guard, 16 x 8mm screws to remove)
2) Air duct
3) Radiator Fan
4) Intercooler (in order to drain the coolant you'll need access the drain plug and other screws that hold certain hoses and parts in place)

Now on to the good stuff

1) Disconnect the negative cable on the battery (to avoid any short circuit or triggering of any codes)
2) Remove the Air Duct:
There are two T25 screws that hold the air duct in place to the front of the car, once those are removed reach to the back by the air filter and stick the screw driver into the clip and pry the hose from the air filter box (gently pry, the plastic it's pretty pliable so it'll move very easily. While your there, you might as well take a look at your air filter by unclipping about 5-7 clips and lifting the cover and exposing your air filter, if it's dirty, change it lol.

3) Remove the Intercooler:
Remove 2 T25 Screws and 2 plastic clips (securing the Radiator support, Radiator, AC condenser, and Intercooler in place, both on each side of the intercooler (left and right).

4) Remove Radiator Fan:
Amazingly easy, 2 T25 screws (1 at the top of the fan, and the other at the bottom holding the cooler in place with the fan), and 2 clips hold this in place, both clips are on the drivers side, 1 which is holding the Charge pipe for the intercooler in place (I found it best to just loosen the clamp on the Charge pipe with the screw driver and remove the pipe out of the way), next clip just push in as you slide the fan up and out of the engine bay, and your done.

5) Drain the coolant:
Unscrew the cap on the coolant reservoir and unscrew the bleeder screw, Then go under the vehicle and loosen and remove the Blue drain plug which will be on the drivers side of the radiator. While that drains continue to the lower Radiator hose which will be located on the passengers side of the radiator, There's a clip located on the connector, you'll need to pull it out to the "open" position (not completely removed) with a small flat screw driver, followed by the Upper radiator hose (loosen clip) located on the driver's side. This is just to make sure all coolant is removed so to avoid any leaking or spilling when removing the radiator.

WARNING!!! the coolant vent pipe will most likely be old and brittle, so use caution when removing the vent pipe or expansion tank hoses!

Now that the radiator is drained from the drain plug go to the radiator expansion tank and disconnect the coolant vent pipe from the coolant expansion tank hose by squeezing the clamp and moving it.
Like my vehicle, most of you probably haven't done this maintenance before so both the radiator hoses(upper and lower) might be to tight to remove from the radiator(which was my case), if so just remove the hoses directly from the engine instead, which was easier to get to and squeeze off for me instead of removing it from the radiator(again, same principle as before, loosen clips on each connector and pull off)

6) Remove the Radiator:
There are 2 T25 screws securing the Radiator to the AC condenser at the top, followed by 4 hoses, Upper and lower radiator hoses which require a screw driver to squeeze the clip loose (not off), and 2 Cooler hoses with T25 screws securing them in place). Once the screws removed and clips are loosened you can remove the hoses, neither hoses should be rotated (they're locked in place), just pull up and down while pulling away from the connection.

7) Radiator is now free, just pull upwards and slide out.

Now in order to install the new Radiator just do everything in the reverse order and once everything is done, fill the system from the Coolant Reservoir, then bleed the system and your down!

Word of advice, when installing the new radiator you'll need to keep in mind that the radiator must slide into a locking position within the Radiator support or else the 2 top screws won't evenly match up. Also by now your AC condenser will be loose because the plastic support tabs from the Intercooler are off so you'll need to lift both radiator and AC condenser from the top of the vehicle and make sure they're aligned and in the locking position of the radiator support. Screw the Top 2 screws in first, then follow by installing all hoses in place, in order to lock back the hoses in place slide the metal clips back down into the "Locking" position before inserting the hoses back on the connecting mounts, once the clips are in the locking position just slide the hoses back in until you hear a "Clicking" sound, that'll let you know the hoses are secure.

I was trying to make this as detailed as possible, so I apologize if it's long winded. I've tackled harder projects on a vehicle before, this is just a bit time consuming because of all the screws and angles you would have to get to in order to get every screw, so take your time, and got at it slow and you won't have any problems.
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By hoopvillian on 08-19-2013, 01:16 PM
Nice write up. Thanks man.
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By shadow191 on 08-19-2013, 01:23 PM
Wish this was around a few months ago when I had to replace the AC condensor. And you're right about the locking tabs for the AC condensor and radiator. It took me a long time to get it all to line up so I could get it all to fit.
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By HFELIU on 08-20-2013, 09:10 PM
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Thanks, and I wish I could've helped sooner, I've been looking for a DIY for over a week with no luck, So I figured i'd get started on one and share the details, remember Knowledge is power !
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By rogerdiaz on 08-16-2015, 07:01 PM
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fallen intercooler left

Hello, I removed by bumper to swap out broken grille. To my pleasant surprise the left side of intercooler is fallen. It appears a bolt/screw is missing on the left to hold it up. I took a picture of the one on the right side.

Can anyone assist with p/n, anything else I should be concerned for? found a way to hold up with a zip tie.

2011 335D
Attached Images
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By seccsc on 12-30-2015, 10:38 PM
Did you have to remove the tranny lines to the radiator?
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