scardeal Reader
June 14, 2010 1:55 p.m.

While I'm waiting on my parts order to arrive for the '96 328i, I want to know what sort of grease I'm going to need. I just read the "Grease: It's the Word" article, and figured I'd need some. Apparently they come in multiple flavors...

Anyway, I'm going to replace the radiator hoses, radiator, radiator fan, thermostat, thermostat housing, and the water pump. The whole shebang.

So...
What sort of grease should I use?

And, any tips besides using the Pelican Parts articles?

bludroptop SuperDork
June 14, 2010 2:05 p.m.
scardeal wrote: So... What sort of grease should I use?

"Elbow"

Matt B Reader
June 14, 2010 2:09 p.m.

I've never worked on any BMW's, so I might be missing something here, but it doesn't seem like you'd need actual grease for any of those parts installations. At least I haven't for any of my Hondas and Toyotas over the years. Maybe just some sealant for the waterpump and some anti-seize for various nuts n' bolts.

bludroptop SuperDork
June 14, 2010 2:29 p.m.

Yeah, no grease required. You will need a special tool to hold the pulley while you remove the fan - I made mine from a piece of flat stock purchased at the big orange box for $5. You also need a 32mm open end wrench and remember the fan nut is reverse threaded.

Bleeding the coolant at the end can be a little fussy but otherwise this is a pretty straighforward job.

Matt B Reader
June 14, 2010 2:41 p.m.

What, no Zerk fittings?

scardeal Reader
June 14, 2010 2:42 p.m.

Special fan tool arrived a week or two ago...

It's good to know that it's straightforward.

Thanks for the input so far.

Only reason I mentioned the grease is that the article on the frontpage AND one of the pelican parts articles recommended it for ensuring the seal on a gasket or other.

Timeormoney New Reader
June 15, 2010 8:13 p.m.

So for your e36, do not under any circumstances grease any of the above items. For the gaskets you MAY, and I repeat MAY want to use a SMALL, repeat SMALL about of rtv on each side.

By small, I mean put the RTV on thumb and forefinger, pull gasket through getting just enough on each side to get it tacky. This way when you go to put that damn water pump on, the gasket will stay in place. But you are really just wanting to get the gasket SLIGHTY coated.

Also, did you check the fan thermostat? Basically, does the fan's fluid clutch still lock up when the car is hot? It should, being that you are dealing with a 96, instead of the 87's I keep buying.

Its a decent, while you are in there replacement item. BTW, I did not learn that the easy way.

Dr. Hess SuperDork
June 15, 2010 8:25 p.m.

The best wheel bearing grease, evar, is Genuine Harley Davidson Wheel Bearing Grease. For other misc. purposes, Supertech synthetic grease from wally world.

Timeormoney New Reader
June 15, 2010 8:37 p.m.

Really, is the Genuine Harley Davidson Wheel Bearing Grease worth getting for cars/trailers and such?

Jensenman SuperDork
June 15, 2010 8:37 p.m.

I go for any of the waterproof greases. Bel Ray was a particular favorite during my dirt bike daze.

Most greases are soap based, meaning they are water soluble. Yep, if it gets wet it goes away.

porksboy Dork
June 15, 2010 9:24 p.m.

Wheres the Grease article you are refering to? Is it on the pelican site or an issue of the print mag?

Dr. Hess SuperDork
June 15, 2010 9:46 p.m.

In reply to Timeormoney:

Really. Stop by a dealership and buy a can. Most dealerships stock it. HD part# 99855-89

Testimonial: "Back in the day" we used to have to replace wheel bearings with each tire change. They would be shot at 8K miles. Then, I was getting a tire at an aftermarket shop (who later bought a dealership) and he showed me a tube of Genuine HD wheel bearing grease. I kinda thought it was silly, grease being grease and all, but he said that since he started packing bearings with that stuff, he never had to replace another bearing. That was about 1990 and at 25K miles on my bike. Since then, I've only used Genuine HD grease, except at the next to last tire change when I brought my own grease in to an indy. They insisted on using their own, as they had a packing tool, used "real good trailer bearing grease," etc. I was skeptical, but let them do it. Mileage at the time was 70K (same bike, of course). Next tire, I had bad bearings. Coincidence? I think not. "I've Heard" that it is actually Kendall Super-Blu.

foxtrapper SuperDork
June 16, 2010 5:20 a.m.

Wadayaknow, I picked up a tub of Kendall Super-Ble last year at a swap meet.

Anyhow, the notion of greasing radiator hoses is to make them easier to remove later. And it does. Counter point is it makes it harder for them to stay on with the clamps when pressure builds up in the system. You have to clamp them very tightly, creating other problems. So I don't grease them, and use this handy tool, which does a great job of lifting the hose off the spigot.

The same easier release arguement applies to the thermostat housing and such. Grease makes future removal a lot easier. Though various other gasket goo materials do a similar job. Unlike hoses, these parts won't slip from pressure buildup. I suppose somewhere a gasket has blown out because of greasing, but it would be darn rare.

scardeal Reader
June 16, 2010 8:48 a.m.

In reply to porksboy:

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/grease-its-word/

scardeal Reader
June 16, 2010 8:55 a.m.
Timeormoney wrote: So for your e36, do not under any circumstances grease any of the above items. For the gaskets you MAY, and I repeat MAY want to use a SMALL, repeat SMALL about of rtv on each side. By small, I mean put the RTV on thumb and forefinger, pull gasket through getting just enough on each side to get it tacky. This way when you go to put that damn water pump on, the gasket will stay in place. But you are really just wanting to get the gasket SLIGHTLY coated. Also, did you check the fan thermostat? Basically, does the fan's fluid clutch still lock up when the car is hot? It should, being that you are dealing with a 96, instead of the 87's I keep buying.

Got it: coat it so thin that it barely covers the surface with the thinnest of coatings.

Is the fan thermostat the same as the regular thermostat, or are they different? IE, are there multiple thermostats or just one? I'm changing the thermostat and thermostat housing.

iceracer Dork
June 16, 2010 10:33 a.m.

The clutch fan has an integral thermostat. Much different than the coolant one.

m4ff3w SuperDork
June 16, 2010 10:37 a.m.

I suppose I use thin layers of grease way to much on rubber parts. I always use a small amount of grease on hoses and paper gaskets.

Seems to work OK for me.

ansonivan Reader
June 16, 2010 11:30 a.m.

The only case in which RTV could be required in an e36 cooling system is for the thermostat housing gasket on an engine which was severely neglected and developed pitting in the aluminum sealing surface of the head.

I install these all day long and have never used or found the need for grease.

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