E36 S54 radiator upgrade, modification

BMW E36 S54 radiator upgrade

Upgrading your E36 radiator with an OEM solution rather than aftermarket radiators give your E36 superior, proven quality and reliable performance. Avoid aftermarket radiator modification and fitment headaches with a proven OEM solution you will not regret.

Why is the S54 radiator a perfect fit the E36 chassis?

The 2001 - 2002 BMW Z3M coupe and roadster models feature the same 3.2L S54 engine found in the E46 M3 chassis. Because the Z3 front end was largely based on the E36 model to save in development costs, many parts between the two chassis are interchangeable.

What is the difference between the stock E36 and radiator from the S54?

The radiator found on the S54 Z3 model features a larger cooling capacity than the largest engine found in any E36 chassis. The upgraded core is 42mm thick verse the standard 34mm core. The thicker core allows for more surface area which air can pass over resulting in additional engine cooling.

Should I upgrade my stock E36 radiator to the S54 radiator?

Yes. Whether you are running your stock E36 engine on stock horsepower, tracking your car or upgrading to forced induction this upgrade is for you. Radiators are wearable items that will eventually need replacing on all models. Upgrading your cooling for nearly the same price as your OEM radiator is a no brainer.

What are other benefits of the S54 radiator upgrade?

The S54 radiator features mounting provisions for the European oil cooler. This upgrade requires additional brackets sold separately.

What model E36’s will the S54 radiator fit?

The upgraded radiator will fit all 6 cylinder model E36s. This includes all M3, 323i, 325i, 328i and models.

Are there any modifications required for upgrading?

No. This is a plug and play installation with no modifications of any kind required. All OEM mounting points for this installation will fit the upgraded radiator under your hood without any clearance issues with adjacent components.

What is the part number of the S54 radiator?

OEM BMW part number: 17 11 2 227 281, 376712211
OE Mahle / Behr part number: 376712211
It is important to note this S54 radiator found in the Z3M is not the same radiator part number found in the E46 M3 chassis.

What is the cost of the S54 radiator?

The OEM E36 S54 radiator currently sells for around $499 new but around $165 for the Mahle version.

Where can I buy the upgraded S54 radiator?

Any BMW dealership parts counter can order this part for you along with any online parts store in your region. Simply google the OEM BMW part number shown above and choose your favorite online retailer.

What is the part number and cost for BMW coolant?

When doing the radiator swap it is important to replace your coolant with OEM BMW coolant. We recommend doing an entire coolant flush of not only your radiator but your entire system including your engine block. The OEM BMW concentrated coolant part number is 82141467704 and costs about $21. This is a gallon of concentrated coolant and must be mixed with distilled water upon installation.

Where can I learn more tips and tricks about the BMW E36?

Learn more about the BMW E36 by checking out our reference guide HERE

Where can I learn more BMW tips?

Learn more BMW pro tips by clicking HERE

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BMW E36 radiation S54 upgrade
BMW E36 radiation S54 upgrade