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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 05-06-2012, 10:24 AM   #161
Rob_in_LA
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removing the blower housing cover

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmanny View Post
Hi, thanks for the writeup. I got this far, but could not remove the front cover. Is there a trick? I didn't want to force the issue....

TIA

Manny.....
On my car, a 2005 325i, there are only three fasteners which retain the blower housing cover. These are a single self threading screw with a size T15 Torx head at the top and two sliver colored spring clips at the bottom. When these are released the cover comes straight toward you. There are two tabs, one on each side, visible in the photo you quoted. These are located in the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions on the housing cover face. These are a pretty good place to pull. They may well have been put there for that exact purpose, and you lose nothing if they break off. They serve no obvious, other function.

By the way, I just took off my fuel rail, (the rocker cover is already off) and the blower fan went in with adequate clearance. I now have the fan installed and working, and am waiting for the fuel injector o-rings, rocker cover gaskets, compression grommets, plastic clips and other small parts which must now be replaced in order to close up the engine. All in the, job will be over three hundred dollars in OEM parts and four hours of skilled labor.

This is a pretty incredible expense just to replace a fan. With this and similar decisions BMW is going to a design strategy of planned obsolescence. Not so very long ago you bought a BMW because the cars could be kept in service indefinitely. This is not true of my 325i. In the engine box I encountered a lot of little plastic clips and one hose which were so brittle that there was no practical way to remove them intact. The force to remove them was greater than their present tensile strength. The plastic breather house which fell into pieces while being removed with 'normal' force, is a 35 or 40 dollar part: a lot for a 'disposable' component, almost designed to shatter. Similarly plastic wire retainers, when flexed with the standard 'design' range, simply crumbled.

There are worse examples. The gas tank on this car, a SULEV, is of stainless steel, and has the fuel pump and the fuel filter WELDED inside. I am not joking. The gas filter cannot be replaced without replacing a $6,750 stainless steel tank. The way you replace the fuel filter or the fuel pump is to replace the ENTIRE tank. This is much documented on this website in other threads. Initially no one can believe it, because it is so not like the BMW design work most of us know and love. The truth is in the postings, and in the RealOEM price on that tank. And putting the tank in is not an easy job. Both the exhaust and the rear drive train have to come out.

In these kinds of design decisions, we are witnessing the end of one of the worlds great automobile companies. Pushing the problems of the present into the future and handing the bill to your customer, five to ten years down stream, is simply not a sustainable way to do business. The blue book on my car is around 9,000 USD. If I have to replace the fuel pump after the warranty ends, the cost to do that will be 8,000 USD. A fuel pump repair will be almost as much as the worth of the whole car.

I love BMWs but this is my last.

Last edited by Rob_in_LA; 05-06-2012 at 10:52 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:23 PM   #162
Madmanny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_in_LA View Post
On my car, a 2005 325i, there are only three fasteners which retain the blower housing cover. These are a single self threading screw with a size T15 Torx head at the top and two sliver colored spring clips at the bottom. When these are released the cover comes straight toward you. There are two tabs, one on each side, visible in the photo you quoted. These are located in the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions on the housing cover face. These are a pretty good place to pull. They may well have been put there for that exact purpose, and you lose nothing if they break off. They serve no obvious, other function.
Thanks Rob. I have a 2005 330i ZHP. I did pull on those tabs and only the bottom portion of the cover loosened. It felt like something was holding the top portion of that piece in place. I put the cover back together and will try again next weekend. Fact, I'll probably just order the cover ($11.90 from getBMWparts.com) and just force the issue. BTW - Does anyone know the part number for the 2 flaps? I would like to order those just in case....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_in_LA View Post
I love BMWs but this is my last.
I too love my car, but just getting a little tired of the "over engineering" which IMO causes fixing simple issues to become difficult/expensive. i get that the engineering is what makes these cars great, but stuff like this just makes me bang my head. I am not ready to give up on it yet, but getting close......

Thanks again!
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:53 PM   #163
Rob_in_LA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmanny View Post
Thanks Rob. I have a 2005 330i ZHP. I did pull on those tabs and only the bottom portion of the cover loosened. It felt like something was holding the top portion of that piece in place. I put the cover back together and will try again next weekend. Fact, I'll probably just order the cover ($11.90 from getBMWparts.com) and just force the issue. BTW - Does anyone know the part number for the 2 flaps? I would like to order those just in case....
On a 325i it is completely unnecessary to remove the flaps. And I found it very easy to remove them, which I did when following instructions above. You just slip up the tab, and pop them out.

Do you know about http://realoem.com/bmw/ Irrespective of where you buy, their catalogs are among the most complete, and the best for obscure part numbers. Moreover they have all the exploded diagrams.

Last edited by Rob_in_LA; 05-06-2012 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:42 AM   #164
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Probably have to replace my fan in my 323 Ci and I've been looking into the no 64-11-3-453-729 / 64113453729 blower.
It seems like it is listed as a part for right hand drive cars for Europe (UK) and some Asian countries.
But for the X3s it's both for right/left hand drive cars made for "all" markets.

http://bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/64113453729/
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/partxref....=E46&lang=enUS

This doesn't "hurt" if it fits "normal" USA and European left hand drive cars but interesting nonetheless.
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Last edited by steifan; 05-17-2012 at 03:43 AM.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:20 PM   #165
antoniostarr
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Bring it on back! I just replaced my blower motor but the replacement its spinning either. Do I have to put the cover back on in order for it to work?
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:41 PM   #166
Rob_in_LA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antoniostarr View Post
Bring it on back! I just replaced my blower motor but the replacement its spinning either. Do I have to put the cover back on in order for it to work?
The cover does not have any electrical switches that I recall, so the short answer is now. Congratulations on the blower replacement, I would prefer to put a clutch in Alfa Romeo than do the blower again. It would be less work.

It seems like you have some other things to replace too. Before you go further, have you done an 'aliveness' check on the new part? You know. Put 12V to it, and check that you get motion?

R.

Last edited by Rob_in_LA; 08-08-2012 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:50 AM   #167
antoniostarr
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@Rob actually the job was really easy following this DIY and removing the motor from passenger side. What really sucks is the fact that I found my problem and it wasn't the blower motor. The connector on the FSR is not staying securely plugged into the FSR! Today I have to take a closer look an possibly replace the connector. Maybe this will help someone else and save them time.

Thanks!
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:20 AM   #168
Rob_in_LA
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I am glad that you found your problem. The fans don't last forever, and especially not south of the Mason Dixon line, so you will probably benefit from the replacement. BMWs don't seem to take the heat all that well. I am now replacing all my cooling hoses and expansion tank because the plastic parts have become brittle. BTW, the passenger side fan removal does not work for all models. There is a fan with removable squirrel cages available from BMW dealers for around $500, that gets around the rocker cover and fuel rail removal problem. I went the more direct route and just pulled everything thing off the the top of the engine.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:18 PM   #169
HAMMAN
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Hi brothers,

thanks for this great topic.

i have just cleaned the blower fan and fixed it back but now i got two problems.
first: there is horrible sound and vibration when I increase the blower fan speed.
second: the air pressure coming from the duct became very less.

thanks and waiting for your comments.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:44 PM   #170
Rob_in_LA
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Sounds like the fan blades are out of balance. They are balanced at the factory, with little metal weights that get clipped to the outside. Sorry to say it but you probably need a new one. The plastic gets brittle over time, and the bearings wear out especially in hot places so you are probably due for one anyway.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:53 PM   #171
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^What he said. Your fan is severely out of balance. Much like the wheels on your car.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:36 PM   #172
MrAdventure
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitaniumCranium View Post

Dumb question - The fan only chirps intermittently, so I want to try just lubing the blower. I was going to use lithium grease, with a straw tube applicator. Do I need to remove the blower to get to the bits that need to be lubed?
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:42 PM   #173
paraklas
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Th fan has 2 bearings (one per side) which are covered by the plastic blades. A combination of dust and wear/tear makes them noisy. Spraying grease wont do any good, and if it does, it will be for a very short time. The following method has been suggested by another member in UK; you can remove the fan entirely, blow compressed air to remove any dirt, hold it vertical then apply a few droplets of thick motor oil (i.e. 15W50). While in vertical position, apply 12v to allow it to spin and draw the oil inside the bearings. Repeat for the other side. Of course you need to be careful as it spins VERY fast with 12v straight out of a car battery. Given the trouble to do the above, a new fan sounds much more logical (unless you really can't afford a new unit)
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:14 PM   #174
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Thanks and some notes for the next guy

Thanks to Paraklas, TitaniumCranium and others who have contributed to this thread. The collective instructions and insight from this thread have shrunk this DIY from 6 hours (Paraklas thanks for leading the charge) to 20 minutes as witnessed in my garage yesterday. I had more trouble removing the IAT which I decided to do while the cabin filter housing and engine beauty covers were off (325Ci).

The 20 minutes is not an exaggeration either. If you're familiar with the E46 engine bay and you've read what's been posted here, this is a 2/10 on the difficulty range where 1 is putting air in your tires.

Redundant notes (may not contain the entire sequence as mentioned above) but I felt were worth mentioning again to make it (stay) easy for the next guy :

- Run the wipers and take the key out when it reaches its farthest, topmost travel. This will save you some headaches with the rest of the steps. You can disconnect the battery after this (I did).

- Remove the engine beauty covers. Seems small, but gives you a lot more clearance considering there's not enough room to begin with.

- The plastic DME shield doesn't need to come off. Remove the clips and tilt it forward, just enough to remove the firewall cover that houses the blower.

- After removing the firewall cover, the blower cage has another cover on it. Two metal clips at the bottom, two plastic clips (molded to the cover itself) at the top and a screw also on the top center. There's tabs on the left and right side of the cover which will help you to remove it.

- Right (car's right) blower cage needs to go. Three screws and it comes off.

- Blower is now exposed. Pull the metal tab that straps the motor in and the entire assembly comes off. Hold on to the metal strap after you unclip it - nothing holds it to the saddle when it's not clipped and can fall into the abyss. If you've done everything else above, the entire assembly comes off and out without making contact. You won't have clearance issues if the blower exits towards the right (car's right).

- If you find yourself having to force anything in or out, take a break.

- If you're using 64-11-3-453-729 (blower on the E83 X3), it will come with a new saddle. This new blower's body is slightly different and won't sit on the old saddle, so replace it. The saddle has 4 screws. If you're using 64-11-8-372-797 (blower specific to the E46), you can use the old saddle, obviously. Note that 64-11-3-453-729 is a $100 part, 64-11-8-372-797 is a $470 part, both BMW-branded with their logo. I went with the X3 blower and it's just as strong and quiet as the outgoing unit, sans the squeak.

- Note the orientation of the saddle when you take it out and replace it, but don't stress too much because it can't be installed backwards. The saddle is also "keyed" so there's no way the new blower will be installed on it incorrectly or out of alignment.

- Be VERY CAREFUL when removing or reinstalling screws after you remove the blower cover. I put a rag down there just to be safe and used magnets attached to the shaft of my torx bit whenever I could.

- From what I could tell, my new blower unit didn't have removable squirrel cages, however even as an entire unit there was still enough room.

I didn't include more pictures as the ones from Paraklas (page 1) and TitaniumCranium (page 5) are all you need to get this done.

Good Luck and thanks again for the DIY.

Lots of space to remove and replace :

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Old 09-08-2012, 06:33 PM   #175
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Huge thanks to cvx5832 for providing his driveway, tools, and know how on this job. Saved me a lot of time and money. The X3 blower motor absolutely works in a later E46 (ZHP here) and it is only a bit over 120 dollars (part # ending in 729). The chirping is totally gone. In fact it seems more quiet all around. I can be sane while I drive now!
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:37 PM   #176
cvx5832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalZman View Post
Huge thanks to cvx5832 for providing his driveway, tools, and know how on this job. Saved me a lot of time and money. The X3 blower motor absolutely works in a later E46 (ZHP here) and it is only a bit over 120 dollars (part # ending in 729). The chirping is totally gone. In fact it seems more quiet all around. I can be sane while I drive now!
Thanks too man. It feels good to be wrenching on a Saturday morning. Good E46 therapy..

Enjoy the quiet ride.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:18 PM   #177
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My local dealer is telling me I need part number 64119204154 blower unit for a 2002 325i. Price $585.

Will the xxx729 part number work just as well??
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:30 PM   #178
cvx5832
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Originally Posted by xd40c View Post
My local dealer is telling me I need part number 64119204154 blower unit for a 2002 325i. Price $585.

Will the xxx729 part number work just as well??
In a word, yes. If you want more confirmation than that, go through the thread and read the various confirmations from members who have successfully installed that part.

It works, but if the dealer is installing it for you, they'll tell you it doesn't work because the motor saddle/cradle are different, and that it's a part for the X3.

Just make sure you get a new motor cradle in the box (it's included) and you'll be fine.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:49 PM   #179
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Good job with this DIY!
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:02 AM   #180
xd40c
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Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post
In a word, yes. If you want more confirmation than that, go through the thread and read the various confirmations from members who have successfully installed that part.

It works, but if the dealer is installing it for you, they'll tell you it doesn't work because the motor saddle/cradle are different, and that it's a part for the X3.

Just make sure you get a new motor cradle in the box (it's included) and you'll be fine.
Thanks for the quick reply. I've had the motor out before, it really is pretty simple (I didn't say quick...). Beleive it or not, I have gone through this entire thread. But since I didn't see the part number I was given at the dealer, I thought it wise to ask first.
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