Radiator identification E30 or E36?


Replacing our now RX7 modified radiator (and core support!) and want to get the same as what was in there as I customized the front fan setup to match it. The radiator was in the car when we bought it 6 years ago so no idea what it was originally from. Can anyone say more definitively if it’s an E30 or E36 piece?

Unfortunately the part number sticker yields nothing about fitment:


I don’t think that there is a “definitive” answer. It’s common to see a variety of radiators in both e30s and e36s. A rad for an e30, for example, may also be sold by the local autoparts store for a half dozen other BMW applications and twice more non-BMW applications. That said, my perception is that almost all e36 radiators have an expansion tank on the passenger side and I don’t see it in your pic.

An expansion tank is supposed to provide a “quiet” area for air to work it’s way out of water. The plastic area on the right side of the pic doesn’t look to me like an expansion tank…it just looks like the end cap of the radiator. You’d have to look inside of the plastic endcap to know for sure.


E36 6 cylinder radiators are identical to late model E30 radiators.

E36 4 cylinder radiators have an attached expansion tank on the driver side.

The pictured radiator looks similar to a late model E30/6 cylinder E30 radiator.


My old e36 328 had an expansion tank on the passenger side. I couldn’t say for sure that it was OEM tho. I didn’t by the radiator.