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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When i replaced my water pump my fan clutch would not come loose of the whole water pump i ended up deciding to replace the fan clutch. i bought an after market one on amazon, awful choice if anybody is thinking about buying a non oem DO NOT extremely noisy makes my car sound like a truck. anyway im either gonna buy an oem fan clutch or get a electric cooling fan like the ones in the manuals. i found a oem clutch for 70 dollars and an after market fan ironically made by the same company as the clutch i bought for 93. anybody have any thoughts either way? anybody actually swapped the fan before?
 

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I did cooling fan mod (i.e. replace electric and belt-driven fans on auto-trans models with the electric fan used for manual-trans). In my case the electric fan had failed plus AC condenser needed replacement. New electric fan was ~$60 more but also replaced well-aged components such as fan clutch, fan, fan shroud. With the added benefit of not having to remove that fan nut as needed for many repairs. You must weigh the value of improved reliability and access against extra work to remove current electric fan and extra bucks. Though, if you want to switch, now would seem the time. With engine cooling being an Achilles heal, if you want to keep the car, I say go for it. GL

Edit: Oh wait... aftermarket. If going this route, think I would stay with two fans to avoid major overheat from a single failure. I got BEHR (who was OEM) fan for $230, pn 17117561757 from FCPEuro. They also sell fan by CoolXpert (also OEM) for $15 less. If you want to keep the car, consider spending extra bucks for OEM as single overheat can quickly ruin these engines . GL
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What do you mean? It won't unscrew from the threaded shaft?

Just stay with a good OEM mechanical fan.
yeah the thing will not unscrew at all. I tried everything. I even tried heating it up and then trying to unscrew it wont budge at all.. its the original water pump and clutch from 1999 so its on there good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did cooling fan mod (i.e. replace electric and belt-driven fans on auto-trans models with the electric fan used for manual-trans). In my case the electric fan had failed plus AC condenser needed replacement. New electric fan was ~$60 more but also replaced well-aged components such as fan clutch, fan, fan shroud. With the added benefit of not having to remove that fan nut as needed for many repairs. You must weigh the value of improved reliability and access against extra work to remove current electric fan and extra bucks. Though, if you want to switch, now would seem the time. With engine cooling being an Achilles heal, if you want to keep the car, I say go for it. GL

Edit: Oh wait... aftermarket. If going this route, think I would stay with two fans to avoid major overheat from a single failure. I got BEHR (who was OEM) fan for $230, pn 17117561757 from FCPEuro. They also sell fan by CoolXpert (also OEM) for $15 less. If you want to keep the car, consider spending extra bucks for OEM as single overheat can quickly ruin these engines . GL
Yeah that's what i was worried about, i read the reviews and they seem to be fine. but im still not sure. and tell me about it.. those bolts were nearly impossible to get to. I might go to the junkyard and see if theres any manuals i can grab a fan out of so i know its oem quality without the price tag. also need a seat so might end up going that route
 

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You know that the fan clutch is left hand thread right? You loosen it the opposite direction of normal threads.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
 

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yeah the thing will not unscrew at all. I tried everything. I even tried heating it up and then trying to unscrew it wont budge at all.. its the original water pump and clutch from 1999 so its on there good.
It is a LEFT hand threaded -- turn CW to lose. Did you turned CCW mistakenly?
 

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I swapped my viscous coupling as the old one was doing nothing at all. The new one does sound 'like a truck' as you put it for a minute or so but as soon as it's warmed up a bit you can't hear it. It pulls a lot of air through now though where it was totally ineffective before. I have thought about doing the electric fan upgrade but decided against it.
 

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2004 330Ci 115k miles
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I swapped my viscous coupling as the old one was doing nothing at all. The new one does sound 'like a truck' as you put it for a minute or so but as soon as it's warmed up a bit you can't hear it. It pulls a lot of air through now though where it was totally ineffective before. I have thought about doing the electric fan upgrade but decided against it.
The only “upgrade” is that the engine side electric fan is easier to remove than the mechanical fan. The two electric fan types, in front of and behind the radiator, are the same fan. You’d get the same result simply removing the mechanical fan, which some folks have done.
 

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The only “upgrade” is that the engine side electric fan is easier to remove than the mechanical fan. The two electric fan types, in front of and behind the radiator, are the same fan. You’d get the same result simply removing the mechanical fan, which some folks have done.
Yes, thanks for the info, I had heard that, someone on here did say its more effective on the rear of the radiator sucking, rather than blowing though. I don't know how true that is. I just thought BMW put 2 fans on for a reason so i'll keep it that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It is a LEFT hand threaded -- turn CW to lose. Did you turned CCW mistakenly?
yes i am very aware lol. i have taken the new one off and it comes off like it should. just very loud. I wish it was a simple mistake like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The only “upgrade” is that the engine side electric fan is easier to remove than the mechanical fan. The two electric fan types, in front of and behind the radiator, are the same fan. You’d get the same result simply removing the mechanical fan, which some folks have done.
do you mean you would get the same result if you remove it and replace it or just simply remove it completely? if that's what you mean wouldent it overheat if not my bad.
 

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2004 330Ci 115k miles
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do you mean you would get the same result if you remove it and replace it or just simply remove it completely? if that's what you mean wouldent it overheat if not my bad.
It won’t overheat if you just remove the mechanical fan and clutch, assuming your electric fan is working properly. I’ve had my mechanical fan off for years and I live in a hot climate. Of course, I first recorded logs of oil, coolant, and ATF temps with and without the mechanical fan installed before leaving it off permanently.

My comment was that both style electric fans perform the same, regardless of pushing or pulling.
 

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2002 330xi Black Sapphire
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I'm a licenced mechanic, but new to BMWs. I have a question. I just purchased an 02 330xi.. It needed a water pump badly, as the front bearing was all but destroyed. The clutch fan felt good to me; stiff to turn, but smooth operation. After pump replacement, and fan reinstall, the engine sounds like a Chevy Astro van all the time, because the fan is pulling so much air. I also heard the fan is regulated at around 2500 rpm and shouldn't spin up beyond that, although I'm sure I've heard it still climbing around the 3K rpm range. In my experience with clutch fans in the past, they would be loud for a half a minute or so, then quiet down, but this fan never stops howling. In regards to the mechanical fan removal and replacement with an electric fan, at what temperature will the fan come on? I've heard that it engages at a temperature that is much higher than what the clutch fan would normally maintain. Is there a separate coolant switch that signals the cooling fan relay, and if there is, are they available in cooler temperature triggers? Aside from a call for AC, does the condenser fan (pusher fan) come on at the same time normally, or is it one or the other?
 

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Loud means it was too tight. Never torque that fan nut -- just turn it until bottomed out. Stop. Then when remove, just tap the wrench with a small hammer.
I fail to see how over-torquing the fan to the water pump has anything to do with how loud the fan is.
 

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E46 '04 330Ci convertible 780 K km
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I also heard the fan is regulated at around 2500 rpm and shouldn't spin up beyond that, although I'm sure I've heard it still climbing around the 3K rpm range
Another name of fan clutch is visco clutch. As you are mechanic you know principle of how clutch work. So It cannot control a limit of revs by number, and number you mentioned is approximate. If you rev your engine to red zone, fan still revving, but air resistance will not let iit spin faster than certain revs. So you hearing it climbing after 2500 doesn't mean fan runs with speed equal to engine revving.Clearly, if clutch is leaking then it will have less resistance and at some point won't provide enough engagement to fan to spin fast enough to deliver enough air for effective cooling; stuck clutch (happening sometimes) would hold too strong, so it could lock completely and then spin with a speed of engine, which could end up with fan blades break and fly tearing hoses, breaking radiator and cutting trough bonnet.
Naturally, there is temptation to get rid of mechanical fun in favor of electric one - and many people did that and claim it works perfect etc and I have no reason not to believe to them. You can search forum for more info of how aux fan engages (replacing clutch fan with electric one you will use same connector as aux fan, so algorithm of work will remain the same as aux) . Let's see if your post (and my comment) will start another spin of ''get rid of that useless clutch right now'')), but as mechanic, you probably know that if there is something comes with car from manufacturer then there is solid reason for that. So IMHO you keep clutch maintained (they are really cheap and last for 100K easily) and it will not fail you (based on my over 730K km experience with M54 engine equipped with such fan).
 

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E46 '04 330Ci convertible 780 K km
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In my experience with clutch fans in the past, they would be loud for a half a minute or so, then quiet down, but this fan never stops howling.
It might show fan stuck, however, it also could indicate overheating issues with engine, or it might be absolutely fine - as if my fan running at ambient temp over 45C it might take a while before I could hear fans speed decreasing - despite engine temp stays within 87-93C - and nothing is wrong with clutch.
 

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2004 330Ci 115k miles
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I'm a licenced mechanic, but new to BMWs. I have a question. I just purchased an 02 330xi.. It needed a water pump badly, as the front bearing was all but destroyed. The clutch fan felt good to me; stiff to turn, but smooth operation. After pump replacement, and fan reinstall, the engine sounds like a Chevy Astro van all the time, because the fan is pulling so much air. I also heard the fan is regulated at around 2500 rpm and shouldn't spin up beyond that, although I'm sure I've heard it still climbing around the 3K rpm range. In my experience with clutch fans in the past, they would be loud for a half a minute or so, then quiet down, but this fan never stops howling. In regards to the mechanical fan removal and replacement with an electric fan, at what temperature will the fan come on? I've heard that it engages at a temperature that is much higher than what the clutch fan would normally maintain. Is there a separate coolant switch that signals the cooling fan relay, and if there is, are they available in cooler temperature triggers? Aside from a call for AC, does the condenser fan (pusher fan) come on at the same time normally, or is it one or the other?
Your questions are answered in the Electric Fan Guide
 
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