Is a Pre `80 Cylinder Head Bad?

Yes, always use this reference point when looking to purchase any E3, 80 and older - bad, 81 and newer - good.

Yes, Somewhere in '80, BMW redesigned the water jacket to add more metal to fix the cracking problem (cracks from the exhaust valves to the water jacket). I, personally, would look for a casting date of 81 or newer to avoid any error. If you have to replace the head figure on $300-350 to purchase a used rebuildable head, and all of the cost to do the work ie: rebuild-valve job, R&R heads, etc. Also, if you use a mechanical fuel pump and do not want to change to electric, most - all heads must be drilled for the cam follower rod for the fuel pump.

No, there is no OEM replacement radiator and no cross reference to other series that will fit. At one time a "Desert" radiator was cavliable, I don't know about now.

BUT.... There is a solution. There are new "cores" avaliable to replace the original "2 row" core. The number of"rows" relates to the number ot finned tubes that cross form one tank to the other. There are 3 and 4 row cores avaliable, a radiator shop replaces your old core with one of the new cores and it will increase cooling efficiency 100% or better. If you look at your radiator end tanks, you will see that there is 18mm of thickness avaliable. To explain: your tanks are 48mm wide, the core is flush with the side of the tanks that face the fan, but the OEM core is only 30mm thick. the additional rows can be added towards the front and no one can tell. I would suggest against the "MOre is better" syndrome. I had mine recored with a 4 row core, better cooling, but the smaller tubes (had to make them small to fit twice as many in the same space), they clog up sooner and are more dificult to clean, so the last time I had to re-re-core after only 5 years.

Yes, if you buy from those that specialize in older cars, such as Mesa, they will help you get the coldest thermostat. Beware! Do not use these colder thermostats in any new Bosch Motronic engine management systems, some will keep it from going into closed loop, and if you think you had problems passing emissions before.



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