Fan on 95 325is

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My car has not been driving as smoothly as normal so I open up the hood to find that the fan is missing about half of its blades. The have snapped off somehow. My question is this: Is it dangerous to drive
the car like this? And how could this have happened? Also, is this a big job to have fixed? Thanks...
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This is not uncommon to see. The heat will weaken the plastic blades over a period of time. This is something that you should have repaired immediately, since it can take out the bearings on your waterpump. This is not a major repair. A shop should be able to do it in a half hour.
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You can get a new fan from the dealer for about $60 (USD) and install it yourself. I was doing a routine oil change when I found several of the blades scattered about the engine bay ...
There is a single reverse-thread nut on the center of the fan that holds it on. I forget the torque spec, but it isn't very high, and I took mine off with channel lock pliers and used a screw driver to hold it still while working the nut.

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I feel comfortable doing it myself but it seems to be in a tought area to get to. Do I do it from underneath the car or do I have to remove a few pieces to get access to the nut?
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Not sure about your model, but on mine you remove the top half of the radiator shroud. Easily done.
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Not on the E36. The fan shroud goes all the way around and is easier to remove after the fan is off. To remove the fan is just a matter of getting in there with the right wrench and knocking the nut loose (clockwise) from the top. It's a tight squeeze but can be done.
The easiest way to get it started off is to actually strike the (long) wrench using a hammer or mallet with a sharp blow . It should spin off easily after that. Then you have to finagle it out from between the engine and radiator (shroud).
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-Fred W

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In the UK, Sykes- Pickavant sell a special spanner for fan removal. It's in either the common sizes - 32mm and IIRC 34mm. It's made out of thick pressed steel and has an offset before the jaw to clear the fan. It's long enough to clear the top of the fan and housing making it easy to hit with a hammer. Costs about 10 gbp retail, so much less than a full sized one which is unlikely to be long enough anyway.
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Yes but when struck with the hammer isnt the fan going to move? How do you hold it in place when trying to loosen the nut?
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madloof72 wrote:

Don't take the belt off until the fan is loose or off.
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Doesn't it turn both ways?
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madloof72 wrote:

Doesn't what turn both ways? You are trying to remove the female threaded nut which the end of the fan clutch assembly from the male threaded end of the waterpump.
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It's not the fan the nut is attached to but the waterpump. And it shouldn't be very tight. It works by IIRC kinetic action. Think an air wrech on a wheel - you don't need to apply the brakes.

You don't need to - although you might need several goes.
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It was pretty easy, actually. Take the shroud off, and you can get to the fan pretty easily. I don't recall if I did mine from the top or the bottom, but whichever is easiest is the way I went.

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Jeff Strickland wrote:

The thread on the fan is reverse so that when the engine is running it drives the threads tighter. The "official" spec is 40nm (29 lb/ft). You really do not need to tighten that fan coupling much. It only makes it more difficult to remove the next time.
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I simply give it a tap with the hammer on the spanner - same as when undoing it.
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So I bought a new fan, its an original BMW part, got it for 35$ too off of www.ultimategarage.com.
So I tried loosening the nut. It turned and I was going clockwise, but it never loosened. Whatever that piece the nut is attached to (opposite the fan) was turning with it.
I may just take it to a mechanic on Monday morning unless you guys can offer me some more help.
Thanks...
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madloof72 wrote:

It may be too late (since it's now Monday morning), but the "part that is turning" is the waterpump pulley. As previously stated, the trick is to leave the belt on, fit a wrench on the fan nut and strike the end of the wrench sharply with a mallet. This should break it free unless the last person who put it on torqued it up too tight or the threads have somehow got crusty. In that case, you need to get a tool to hold the waterpump pulley from moving while turning the bigger fan nut.
You can easily make one if you are at all handy. All you need is a piece of steel strap that you drill two holes in at the same distance as two of the four bolts that hold the pulley on the waterpump. You remove two of these little bolts (10mm heads) and bolt your tool to the pulley and you should be good to go.
Here's what you want to make your tool look like: (Amazon.com product link shortened)"8013&v=glance
Hope that helps.
--
-Fred W

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Fred,
Thank you. I just realized that I never struck the wrench with the hammer, I was just turning it. I'l try giving it a good smack tonight when I get home.
Thanks again!
Ryan
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SUCCESS!!!
Thank you everyone that helped me. It was a fairly easy job. I can't believe that I forgot to wack it with the hammer.
I got the part for $35 and I changed it about 45 mins. I would guess that if I took it to my mechanic it would be $60 Labor and $60 for the part.
Thank you all again and happy Thanks giving.
PS: The car is back to running smooth as molasses.... With my tri-flow exhaust, its purring like a cat again. A big black cat...
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madloof72 wrote:

Please give us your impressions and details about the tri-flow (best to start a new thread). I have been considering an exhaust upgrade on one of my BMWs (the Z3 - toy car) and would value your input.
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