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      07-02-2018, 10:28 PM   #1
BSG335
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Question Let's talk radiators - OE / OEM / CSF / PWR / Mishimoto

So the time seems near that I'll replace the radiator (07 E92 N54) and in my previous BMWs I've just used OE or OEM replacements (E30, E46, E90, E83).

Some I've had to do over again in a very short period and rather than possibly go through that again with this car, I'd like feedback on what options there are.

I imagine the OE / OEM route is probably most cost effective in terms of cost of parts. The performance or aftermarket products seem to be 2-3x or more. Labour will be more or less the same regardless of which option is selected.

I've read a lot of info on radiators lately and of course there's a lot of conflicting views from users, vendors, and it varies by platform.

What do I use my car for? Daily Driver with some spirited driving. Upto 100km / day on highway and stop start traffic. In the last 12 months I've replaced all hoses, water pump, thermostate, expansion tank so I expect that this will be the last piece of the cooling system puzzle (for now ).

Mods? currently no performance mods but IC, DPs, CP and MHD 1 or 1+ in the near future.

I was thinking of something better than OE. With our very warm summers the larger core all alu units seem attractive and no messing about with that stupid drain plug.

Thoughts and feedback on your experience would be appreciated.

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      07-02-2018, 11:27 PM   #2
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I've got the CSF, great product fantastic build quality.

Don't bother getting it if you expect a cooling gain driving on the streets. The DME targets coolant temps by varying pump speed and opening the thermostat. So if you get the CSF rad, the temps during street use will be the same. Without track use I'd have a hard time suggesting to someone its a worthwhile upgrade performance wise.

If you just want the best and have a high quality piece on your car, then I can understand that. Additionally if you plan on keeping the car for a while and don't want to worry about plastic coolant fittings breaking thats also a huge bonus. Regarding the drain plug, I found it interferes with intercoolers so its worth getting a new drain bolt that uses an allen socket (so its low profile, the CSF one uses a hex drain bolt which sticks out a lot)
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      07-03-2018, 12:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtl View Post
I've got the CSF, great product fantastic build quality.

Don't bother getting it if you expect a cooling gain driving on the streets. The DME targets coolant temps by varying pump speed and opening the thermostat. So if you get the CSF rad, the temps during street use will be the same. Without track use I'd have a hard time suggesting to someone its a worthwhile upgrade performance wise.

If you just want the best and have a high quality piece on your car, then I can understand that. Additionally if you plan on keeping the car for a while and don't want to worry about plastic coolant fittings breaking thats also a huge bonus. Regarding the drain plug, I found it interferes with intercoolers so its worth getting a new drain bolt that uses an allen socket (so its low profile, the CSF one uses a hex drain bolt which sticks out a lot)
+1 CSF
Build quality is a work of art for under $1000
Make sure you specify auto or manual as they are different
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      07-03-2018, 10:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtl View Post
...The DME targets coolant temps by varying pump speed and opening the thermostat. So if you get the CSF rad, the temps during street use will be the same. Without track use I'd have a hard time suggesting to someone its a worthwhile upgrade performance wise.
Yep, totally understand about the DME managing the cooling system. If I don't use OE or OEM, I'm looking for that extra peace of mind that the extra cooling capacity brings.

Quote:
...and don't want to worry about plastic coolant fittings breaking thats also a huge bonus.
This is really on my mind. I hate at the plastic rubbish that sits in the engine bay especially to do with the cooling system.

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Regarding the drain plug, I found it interferes with intercoolers so its worth getting a new drain bolt that uses an allen socket (so its low profile, the CSF one uses a hex drain bolt which sticks out a lot)
Very good to know. Thanks for the advice, Vince.
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      07-03-2018, 10:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socket View Post
+1 CSF
Build quality is a work of art for under $1000
Make sure you specify auto or manual as they are different
Beauty indeed.
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      07-03-2018, 10:40 AM   #6
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Anyone out there that has experience with CSF vs Mishimoto? PWR is definitely overkill for a street car.

The Mishimoto looks good and I guess is at a mid point between OEM and the CSF (there's some specials on some websites) currently at about $700 shipped from Aus suppliers. Can share details if you'd like.

I'm leaning towards it but really don't have any reference points to gauge its value or quality. Alternatively, where would you source your OEM unit from?
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      07-03-2018, 09:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSG335 View Post
Anyone out there that has experience with CSF vs Mishimoto? PWR is definitely overkill for a street car.

The Mishimoto looks good and I guess is at a mid point between OEM and the CSF (there's some specials on some websites) currently at about $700 shipped from Aus suppliers. Can share details if you'd like.

I'm leaning towards it but really don't have any reference points to gauge its value or quality. Alternatively, where would you source your OEM unit from?
CSF is thicker and hence performs better than the Mishimoto. I paid 490usd last year for mine, at that prce no point going for the Mishimoto.
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      07-03-2018, 09:10 PM   #8
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^ yeah I think that was a lucky buy though. Definitely not possible now with a weaker dollar and GST on all imported goods.
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      07-03-2018, 09:27 PM   #9
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https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/CSF-Perf...a0bdf25&_uhb=1

(thats a manual trans rad that both me & VTL purchased)

Add to your cart then wait for 10% off ebay code.

If you need it now use the 5% off ebay code.

(I bought the Manual trans rad above with 10% off code and top gear solutions are a great seller!)
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      07-03-2018, 10:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR-JEKL View Post
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/CSF-Perf...f25&_uhb=1

(thats a manual trans rad that both me & VTL purchased)

Add to your cart then wait for 10% off ebay code.

If you need it now use the 5% off ebay code.

(I bought the Manual trans rad above with 10% off code and top gear solutions are a great seller!)
That's great - thank you.

Manual trans radiator won't work for auto / dct will it?
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      07-03-2018, 10:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSG335 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by DR-JEKL View Post
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/CSF-Perf...a0bdf25&_uhb=1

(thats a manual trans rad that both me & VTL purchased)

Add to your cart then wait for 10% off ebay code.

If you need it now use the 5% off ebay code.

(I bought the Manual trans rad above with 10% off code and top gear solutions are a great seller!)
That's great - thank you.

Manual trans radiator won't work for auto / dct will it?
no, look in that sellers store for the AT rad

apparently there's a 10% off code still running PLATYPUS by memory
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      07-03-2018, 10:49 PM   #12
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Going to order the aliexpress one soon. Lol
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      07-03-2018, 10:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iliketurtl3s View Post
Going to order the aliexpress one soon. Lol
which one's that?
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      07-04-2018, 04:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSG335 View Post
which one's that?
Rad
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      07-04-2018, 05:26 AM   #15
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I guess no harm in trying it out turts.. take one for the team
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      07-04-2018, 11:58 AM   #16
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OE and OEM (made by Behr): both are very similar in design, but there's a slight difference in the fin-pack density, and the drain plug design is different too. Cooling efficiency is the same (splitting hair really tring to differentiate between these two).

Mishimoto: garbage, period! Check Sean54 YouTube channel, he used to suffer limp mode on the track with OE radiator on his 335i N54, he bought the Mishimoto unit in an attempt to fix the issue, suffered limp mode at the exact same point on the track as with the OE radiator lol . It's not an upgrade by any means! Eventually he went with CSF, which solved his coolant limp mode issues

CSF: Great product, good for casual track days, and is much better than OE, OEM and Mishimoto

PWR: The biggest and largest capacity performance radiator available for this platform (slightly fatter than the CSF), this is a proper competition racing product! Something you'd install on a N54 race car. This is the radiator I am going with after I am done with my manual conversion next month. Main downside; exxy, looking at $940 AUD.


On the Bathurst 6 Hour Production Race held earlier this year, I've noticed all the BMW's competing were running PWR radiators. If you look closely at Tim Leahy's F80 LCI M3 Comp below, you can see the "PWR" logo behind the bumper grille . This was by far the fastest car of the race!









Conclusion: Can't go wrong with either CSF or PWR, it will depend on how you're going to use the car.
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Last edited by PeterY; 07-04-2018 at 12:05 PM.
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      07-04-2018, 07:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterY View Post
OE and OEM (made by Behr): both are very similar in design, but there's a slight difference in the fin-pack density, and the drain plug design is different too. Cooling efficiency is the same (splitting hair really tring to differentiate between these two).

Mishimoto: garbage, period! Check Sean54 YouTube channel, he used to suffer limp mode on the track with OE radiator on his 335i N54, he bought the Mishimoto unit in an attempt to fix the issue, suffered limp mode at the exact same point on the track as with the OE radiator lol . It's not an upgrade by any means! Eventually he went with CSF, which solved his coolant limp mode issues

CSF: Great product, good for casual track days, and is much better than OE, OEM and Mishimoto

PWR: The biggest and largest capacity performance radiator available for this platform (slightly fatter than the CSF), this is a proper competition racing product! Something you'd install on a N54 race car. This is the radiator I am going with after I am done with my manual conversion next month. Main downside; exxy, looking at $940 AUD.


On the Bathurst 6 Hour Production Race held earlier this year, I've noticed all the BMW's competing were running PWR radiators. If you look closely at Tim Leahy's F80 LCI M3 Comp below, you can see the "PWR" logo behind the bumper grille . This was by far the fastest car of the race!









Conclusion: Can't go wrong with either CSF or PWR, it will depend on how you're going to use the car.
Now... this is how you answer a forum question ...
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      07-05-2018, 05:54 AM   #18
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Great response indeed. If anything happens to mine ill consider CSF.
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      07-05-2018, 06:14 AM   #19
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That's a superb answer and very much the quality that forum questions need but rarely receive. Thank you.
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      07-05-2018, 08:58 AM   #20
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SeanS54 youtube channel for those interested:
https://www.youtube.com/user/SeanS54
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