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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While sitting in a drivethru my serpentine belt came off the pulleys somehow and I completely lost power steering and alternator I'm guessing. Anyway I tried removing the fan but it just won't budge. I'm using the correct tool and am aware it's reverse threaded as I have removed it once before years ago. While trying to get it off I managed to crack the water pump pulley where it's going to crumble with any more pressure. I tried then to remove the hex screws but 2 of them are stripped, I'm thinking from the previous owner. I got a replacement metal pulley for whenever I can get the fan off. I am not sure where to go from here, any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had the special tool but found a large 32mm? wrench work best for me, you need to pop it a few times to get it loose.
I've been wacking at it with a hammer and using penetrating spray. Like mentioned I whacked it so much that I cracked the water pump pulley that the other part of the tool uses for leverage. I think the bolt is seized from heat since I have a coolant leak somewhere as well.
 

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2002 325xi
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The hammer blows should do it. Must be astonishingly tightly on there. Looking at the engine from the bumper, you are whacking it with a hammer movement from your left, to your right, correct? As if you are trying to tighten it. Just confirming for you, though you said you knew its reverse thread, as under duress all of us have made errors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The hammer blows should do it. Must be astonishingly tightly on there. Looking at the engine from the bumper, you are whacking it with a hammer movement from your left, to your right, correct? As if you are trying to tighten it. Just confirming for you, though you said you knew its reverse thread, as under duress all of us have made errors.
Yeah from the front bumper turning the wrench clockwise. I watched a few videos just to absolutely make sure I was not tightening. I’ve taken it off once before a couple years ago when I replaced some pulleys and the belts. I think it might be seized from heat because I know I have a coolant leak somewhere. Ill attach some pictures if that helps. You can see the cracked pulley here
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Oh that looks bad. Were these bolts tight when using tool that bears against them? Put something heavy against the tool that holds the pump shaft, so the hammer has something to work against.

I just did my waterpump. It took one hit with a small dead blow to loosen the fan. I made sure to put some Fluid Film on on the threads when I put it together 3 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The bolts for the water pump pulley? Yeah they're tight, but yeah they’re tight or at least were until the pulley started cracking one is loose now. I definitely bent one or two. Here is a better pic I just took.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just to clarify you are using somethign against the 10mm bolts to hold the water pump? What are you using?
I'm using the standard 2 piece tool set with the 32mm wrench and the long piece with 2 holes and a groove. I'm using that second piece to fit over the bolts for leverage while I try to turn the wrench. Here is the tools I'm referring to.

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I used only belt tension to help hold. I also found a smaller hammer swung faster was the key. Speed moved the bolt before the shaft began moving. So perhaps put a new one on to help provide more force to push against!
 

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Anyway I tried removing the fan but it just won't budge.
as I have removed it once before years ago.
So you removed the fan before and installed it the wrong way -- torqued it too tight un-necessarily. Please just snug it to bottom the big nut and stop. It won't back out bc it left hand threads for CW fan rotation.
I tried then to remove the hex screws but 2 of them are stripped, I'm thinking from the previous owner. I got a replacement metal pulley for whenever I can get the fan off. I am not sure where to go from here, any help would be greatly appreciated.
STOP! Leave the WP pulley alone and try to use it as a leverage to remove the seized fan nut: use an old but intact belt, loop it around the wp pulley with the remaining belt folded together on the right hand side, then manually turn the pulley CW to double wrap the belt around the pulley tightly to prevent the looped belt slipping around the pulley. Do this until about 6" of remaining belt, then loop the end of the belt over the tensioner or idler pulley as an anchor, whichever closer to the WP. The looped belt will stop the pulley from turning CW. Now use the big wrench or tool on the fan nut and turn CW to loosen it as the belt holds the pulley in place.
 

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I had the special tool but found a large 32mm? wrench work best for me, you need to pop it a few times to get it loose.
AutoZone didn't have a 32mm in stock when I needed one but they did have a 1.25", which is almost exactly the same and worked perfectly.

To the OP: To loosen the nut on the Fan, you wrench TOWARD the Expansion Tank so protecting it with something is a must. I also managed to get a wood wedge in the serpentine system to prevent movement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So you removed the fan before and installed it the wrong way -- torqued it too tight un-necessarily. Please just snug it to bottom the big nut and stop. It won't back out bc it left hand threads for CW fan rotation.

STOP! Leave the WP pulley alone and try to use it as a leverage to remove the seized fan nut: use an old but intact belt, loop it around the wp pulley with the remaining belt folded together on the right hand side, then manually turn the pulley CW to double wrap the belt around the pulley tightly to prevent the looped belt slipping around the pulley. Do this until about 6" of remaining belt, then loop the end of the belt over the tensioner or idler pulley as an anchor, which every closer to the WP. The looped belt will stop the pulley from turning CW. Now you the big wrench or tool on the fan nut and turn CW to loosen it as the belt holds the pulley in place.
What do you mean by snug it to the bottom?

I really don't know how I torqued it on too tight and maybe it has more to do with the fact I moved to the coast basically since just after I got it off the first time and the salt is effecting it. I also believe it could've seized from heat due to a coolant leak? I will accept if I put it on too tight but I am not sure if that is the case, it was a huge pain to get off the first time too. I'll see about that belt trick when I find one.

The damage was resulted from being under the impression that I needed to give it more force. As soon as it cracked and I saw the bolts bent I went to trying the hex screws inside the fan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You are causing too much damage, slow down, dont be so forceful. Maybe get some more tools. You can't be using those little water pump nuts attached to plastic pulley to turn the big fan nut for leverage.
Which other tools would you recommend? I just have used what worked before and been recommended on every fan removal source I can find. All videos have the water pump nuts be used for the removal of the fan clutch and without them it seems impossible with those tools. Also I failed to realize the pulley was plastic because I am a dummy otherwise I would've been more careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
AutoZone didn't have a 32mm in stock when I needed one but they did have a 1.25", which is almost exactly the same and worked perfectly.

To the OP: To loosen the nut on the Fan, you wrench TOWARD the Expansion Tank so protecting it with something is a must. I also managed to get a wood wedge in the serpentine system to prevent movement.
A wooden wedge, I'll maybe try this when I have time! Thanks, it seems it would work similarly as the belt trick someone else mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Pray that pulley holds together for the belt trick.

If not, hope there is enough room to remove the water pump and fan together without pulling the radiator.
Yeah had I realized the pulley was plastic I probably would've been more delicate and given up sooner. I'll be trying the belt trick when I find some time and a belt.
 

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What do you mean by snug it to the bottom?

I really don't know how I torqued it on too tight and maybe it has more to do with the fact I moved to the coast basically since just after I got it off the first time and the salt is effecting it. I also believe it could've seized from heat due to a coolant leak? I will accept if I put it on too tight but I am not sure if that is the case, it was a huge pain to get off the first time too. I'll see about that belt trick when I find one.
Turn the fan by hand until the nut is bottomed on the wp shaft. STOP. Done. Make sure that it's bottom, if not, when engine running, it tightening the nut too tight by momentum. Make sure to coat the threads with some grease before install.
No coolant or heat soak, no ocean salt caused this issue. It was torqued in too tight.
 
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