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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys this is the first thread I open I hope its on the right section I've been reading your forums since a while and I have solve some problems thanks to all of you now I need to post My situation.

I found out that my fan clutch was weak and no air was pushed trough it and an annoying "school bus engine" started to appear. I check on the internet and found some ways to test If the fan clutch was bad. Yes I could stop the fan with my hands no matter how hot the engine was (later I figured out it was dangerous). I ordered a new fanclutch "berh" from an online store but when I installed it seemed to do the same.

I called the store and after a long discussion they decided to send me a replacement, (according to what I told them the fanclutch was in good condition).

Now what I want somebody to explain to me if its true that those berh fan are like that "Can they be stooped by a news paper roll with an hot engine running?".

I've been reading about the electrical fan and im thinking about switching but still want to know what you guys think about that.

thanks!
 

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My experience with fan clutches was never good. When i owned my e36s that was the first thing I removed. After one of them exploding on me and destroying the entire cooling system I knew it was a bad item. When I purchased my e46 that was the first thing I checked. Thank fully the previous owners (on this forum) upgraded it to a electric fan.

My suggestion just upgrade and you will have a little more piece of mind about your cooling system. You might also want to replace you cooling system while your at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I need to sell the new fan clutch first since the store didnt wanted to give me a refund or send me a replacement because they think the fan its in good condition.

You might also want to replace you cooling system while your at it.
what parts exactly do you mean?
do you think that may have to do something with an error code i got a few days ago P0313 "misfire with low fuel"
 

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I don't think it will have anything to do with the code. As for cooling system parts all hoses, thermostat, water pump, expansion tank, possibly the radiator. Anything that looks fatigued.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh ok got it .. .thanks for that I will keep it on mind since I cant replace everything at the same time but i was thinking about the thermostat... and the radiatior looks kinda new. since I just got this car like 18 months ago..
 

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The electric fan swap is proven to give adequate cooling. It is used on the manual E46s and E90s. see DIY http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=849735
Cost is about $260 for the Bosch fan from Pelican. Quieter and less parasitic drag on the engine so it gives the benefits of under drive pulleys. Also gives easier access to the engine since the electric fan removes with 2 fasteners in about 1 minute.
With your original set up, both fans might be failing. I have an original mechanical fan, clutch, shroud and aux cooling fan for the front of the grill left after the electric fan upgrade. PM me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No way, im not buying from pelican anymore after what they did to me with the fan clutch.

thanks for the DYI info.
I found also somebody who post in another thread , they selling berh fans for 180$
 

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I'm not sure that you're testing it correctly. You'll pretty much always be able to stop the fan; it's a question of how much resistance is it offering.

I don't know why everyone hates on the viscous fans so much. I've run them for the last 15 years and over 400,000 miles and the only problem is they like to loosen up at about 120k. So you replace the clutch and fan ($20) and move on with your life.

People overthink this stuff.
 

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Please do not get rid of your fan clutch. The reason it is there is becase your automatic transmission imparts more thermal load on your car than a manual. If you remove it you will have problems. The engine driven fan moves a lot more air than the electric. You also have an electric fan already to deal with the air conditioning load.

Here is how a fan clutch works.. When the car is running normal temp the fan clutch operates in a mode that draws little energy form the engine and creates the least noise, because it runs much slower than the engine. When the car engine gets hotter the clutch locks and the fan is locked to the same RPM as the engine and pumps gobs of air ...probably five times an electric fan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks for replying

Please do not get rid of your fan clutch. The reason it is there is becase your automatic transmission imparts more thermal load on your car than a manual. If you remove it you will have problems. The engine driven fan moves a lot more air than the electric. You also have an electric fan already to deal with the air conditioning load.

Here is how a fan clutch works.. When the car is running normal temp the fan clutch operates in a mode that draws little energy form the engine and creates the least noise, because it runs much slower than the engine. When the car engine gets hotter the clutch locks and the fan is locked to the same RPM as the engone and pumps gobs of air ...probably five times an electric fan.
thanks for your reply .. but what about all the noise.. it was not like that when I first got the car..
 

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Replace entire cooling system. If auto, this includes fan blade/clutch. Aside from the usual cooling parts, replace the belts and tensioners too. Also new water pump pulley and four new 10mm bolts. THX!!
 

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thanks for your reply .. but what about all the noise.. it was not like that when I first got the car..
The fan clutch will wear out over time and pump less air in normal mode. It will get looser over time and probably quieter. When you put in a new clutch the fan will get louder.
When you first start the car when it is cold the fan should stop when you stick something in the spokes. I don't recomend that because you may knock you fan out of alignment. When it is really hot the fan will lock and get louder.

By the way Antomn is corrrect about changing them. I changed mine at 110k just because I know they wear out. Cheap insurance.
 

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If you're getting a "school bus" sound, then then the clutch is locking up too much, and moving too much air. Not too little! When is that happening?

If it's right when you start the car and persists for the first couple of minutes, then you have a cheap clutch that's hyperactive. I'd demand a replacement, esp if it says "Behr" on it.

If it's making bus noises when the a/c is on and you're in traffic, all is normal. Monitor the engine temp with your OBC. If it heads up to close to 100C, you hear whoosihing, and it comes down to about 90, and then it's quiet again, that's normal.

But if it's loud all the time or when it's cold, it's a bad part.

FWIW I replaced mine when I noticed that the electric fan was running more (and faster) on light drives. I figured the electric fan was compensating for a weak mechanical fan. When I changed the clutch, I hardly hear the electric fan.

I prefer the mechanical fan because it's simple, draws power only when it needs to (assuming the clutch is operating correctly), doesn't load up the alternator, is 100% efficient, and sounds kinda cool for the 10 minutes per year that it's fully locked up.
 

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If you're getting a "school bus" sound, then then the clutch is locking up too much, and moving too much air. Not too little! When is that happening?

If it's right when you start the car and persists for the first couple of minutes, then you have a cheap clutch that's hyperactive. I'd demand a replacement, esp if it says "Behr" on it.

If it's making bus noises when the a/c is on and you're in traffic, all is normal. Monitor the engine temp with your OBC. If it heads up to close to 100C, you hear whoosihing, and it comes down to about 90, and then it's quiet again, that's normal.

But if it's loud all the time or when it's cold, it's a bad part.

FWIW I replaced mine when I noticed that the electric fan was running more (and faster) on light drives. I figured the electric fan was compensating for a weak mechanical fan. When I changed the clutch, I hardly hear the electric fan.

I prefer the mechanical fan because it's simple, draws power only when it needs to (assuming the clutch is operating correctly), doesn't load up the alternator, is 100% efficient, and sounds kinda cool for the 10 minutes per year that it's fully locked up.
I saw ten minutes a year locked up and said no way until I took a gander at where you live. Mine locks for 4 months of the year, but I live in the desert
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I prefer the mechanical fan because it's simple, draws power only when it needs to (assuming the clutch is operating correctly), doesn't load up the alternator, is 100% efficient, and sounds kinda cool for the 10 minutes per year that it's fully locked up.
It happens when im running . (mostly ) when I called the store they helpped me to perform a "diagnostic " trough the phone, and because their "especialist" said that there is nothing wrong with the fan.
If I buy something new Im expecting a improvement (and yes the old fan was reaally loose).
btw what you mean it doesn't load the alternator??
 

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Well, an electric motor loses a energy as heat to spin something, and an alternator also wastes a lot of energy as heat to make electricity. Using one inefficient device to power another inefficient device makes less sense, to me, than just having a belt turn the thing you originally wanted turned - the fan.

Under what conditions does the fan make a lot of noise? On startup? Does it come and go, or is it constant?

Yeah, I only hear mine when I'm in stop-and-go traffic with the ac on and it's above 80F. I'll watch the temp creep up to about 99C, the the fan kicks in for a few minutes, the temp drops, the fan lets go. I suppose it could get annoying if I lived in the desert lol.

I bought a cheap fan clutch for my e36 and it was annoying as hell. It'd be locked on start up and roared for the first few minutes of driving. Highly annoying. I took the fan out in the fall and put it back in the spring until I sold the car. The lesson is to not buy the cheap part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
hey guys thanks for your responses. Over the weekend I received the new clutch and took the old clutch out since i need to returned. I read in another thread about trying to run the car without the fan, I did it and found out that the bus noise persist so im taking the fan out of the equation. left the new fan in the car but still thinking about swaping to electric (in the future.)

While the fan was out I noticed that the noise came from under the engine (i thought maybe the exhaust has a break or something) also noticed a lot of oil I mean A big mess of oil in the left part of the engine. I may need to open a new thread for this but just wanted to let you guys know to see what you think

I appreciate your replies
 

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hey guys thanks for your responses. Over the weekend I received the new clutch and took the old clutch out since i need to returned. I read in another thread about trying to run the car without the fan, I did it and found out that the bus noise persist so im taking the fan out of the equation. left the new fan in the car but still thinking about swaping to electric (in the future.)

While the fan was out I noticed that the noise came from under the engine (i thought maybe the exhaust has a break or something) also noticed a lot of oil I mean A big mess of oil in the left part of the engine. I may need to open a new thread for this but just wanted to let you guys know to see what you think

I appreciate your replies
Beware of those that say they know better than the engineers at BMW. BMW engineers probably worked for about six month of testing and design for the engine driven fan. You are going ot take the advice of some yahoo on a message board that says take the fan out. Good luck woth that
 

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I saw ten minutes a year locked up and said no way until I took a gander at where you live. Mine locks for 4 months of the year, but I live in the desert
Same here brother. I live in Arizona so my fan should be locking all the time but it doesn't so i will be replacing the clutch very soon. Just bought the car so i was expecting this! :)
 
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