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  #1  
Old 09-26-2009, 10:55 PM
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Another Behr vs. Nissens thread...

I was wondering which is better quality as of now, in 2009?
Reason being, I replaced the original radiator in my '95 E320 wagon 4.5 years ago after it failed in the typical way, ie. upper hose bib broke with a new Behr radiator.

So today while changing the fan clutch, I noticed that the driver side plastic tank is leaking where it attaches to the core. I'm kind of bummed that the replacement is failing after only ~80K miles and 4.5 years.

Do you think I just got a bad radiator or is Behr quality not what is used to be? Should I try a Nissens this time?

Thoughts?

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  #2  
Old 09-27-2009, 07:30 AM
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I think the Behr radiators are now made in the third word, where lower QC is generally the rule, so I would go with the Nissens now, they are from Denmark, I am told.

That said, at 75,000 miles I got back around 1997, a new Behr radiator, on the assumption it was just normal routine maintenance to replace it, from a Mercedes Benz dealer in Marin County, California. In those days Behr was the thing to get, according to list serve (early internet discussion fora) MB owners.

12 years later, with 161,000 miles on the car, and some 30,000 miles coolant replacements, it's still working just fine!!
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2009, 01:19 AM
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Thanks Jim. I'm going to try a Nissens this time and see how it holds up.
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2009, 01:21 AM
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My 300SD has a new Behr radiator that I installed about 4 years ago....it has been perfect so far, and was Made in Germany.

My 300E has a Nissens radiator (obviously a replacement) from sometime in the past 5-7 years....and it has been perfect also....and says Made in Denmark.

Nissens are generally a bit cheaper to buy, I'd not hesitate to buy one. They seem to be of very good quality.
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  #5  
Old 09-28-2009, 03:48 PM
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The difference was about $30 less for the Nissens so not a big deal either way, I just hope this one lasts longer.
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2009, 04:02 PM
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I purchased and installed a Behr radiator in my 1992 300CE in March of this year. It did have the metal reinforcement rings inserted in the inlet/outlets.

This radiator was made in South Africa and cost $195. So far, so good. Fit perfectly and replaced a leaky original Behr radiator made in Germany.
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  #7  
Old 10-13-2009, 07:32 PM
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Follow-up. I installed the new Nissens radiator over this past weekend. Overall, it appears to be constructed well and the fit is 100% the same as stock or aftermarket Behr. The only thing is that it did NOT have metal reinforcing tubes in the inlet/outlet necks. Instead, the plastic necks are thicker. I guess it's one reason the Nissens are a bit less expensive. In any event, I'm pretty sure the 4.5 year old Behr unit just had a manufacturing defect which caused a failure of the end tank seal...probably an isolated example.
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  #8  
Old 10-13-2009, 07:52 PM
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Timely post for me. I have to get the water pump replaced on my 91 300SE, and I figure I'm going to be replacing some hoses and the t-stat as well. I still have the original Behr radiator (only 65,000 mi) no leaks or temperature problems, but I'm thinking I should throw in a new one while the work is being done anyway.

Sound like a smart move? Like I said, no problems right now but... Good to know that either option should be OK.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:39 PM
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You can also have it tested/ultrasonic cleaned at a radiator shop, if it's weak it'll fail after cleaning.

Seems I have more trouble with new PM replacements than with older things I'm considering replacing just on age.
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  #10  
Old 10-13-2009, 09:56 PM
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I'm having good results (knock on wood) with the Nissens radiator in my 300CE. Keeps the car from overheating, that's all that really counts with the M103/M104s since they just love to operate in those extreme temps.
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  #11  
Old 10-13-2009, 10:29 PM
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what is the difference between a 2 core or 3 core radiator? i have seen that on advertisements for different radiators for our cars....

bsmuwk, do you think the nissens cools better that the OEM Behr?

thanks,
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  #12  
Old 10-13-2009, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latief View Post
what is the difference between a 2 core or 3 core radiator? i have seen that on advertisements for different radiators for our cars....

bsmuwk, do you think the nissens cools better that the OEM Behr?

thanks,
No noticeable difference actually. I'd say they're about the same. Only real difference may be how the coolant flows through either one and the necks.

My car's cooling system has been completely redone (water pump and whatnot) and it still runs hot. It's how these engines are. I have a resistor on my coolant temp sensor for the auxiliary fans to come on at an earlier temperature to keep my engine temps under 100 degree C all the time. If it goes over 100 degree C, I have a problem.
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  #13  
Old 10-13-2009, 11:12 PM
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I have a made in India BEHR on my Gurkha that has done some extremes from coldest point on earth to hottest and after 126,000 miles, still going strong touch wood and so is my made in Germany BEHR on the 300D. The later has around 86000 miles.
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  #14  
Old 10-14-2009, 01:12 AM
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I'm a little confused hearing some of your cars are running hot. I realize the temperature never really gets hot here in SoCal but I've taken our wagon to the mountains in Northern California, upper 90's and Las Vegas in 112 degree heat and the car has never gone over ~110 on the gauge, usually lower. The only times it has run hot, well above 100 consistently was when either the aux fans blew the fuse or the engine fan clutch died.
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  #15  
Old 10-14-2009, 10:00 AM
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so I might be changing my radiator this week. I have a question about this Glen (and others), what happens with the tranny-cooler lines? once you unbolt them from the radiator, are you going to have tranny fluid all over the floor? will you need to top-off the transmission after that?

thanks,

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