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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 07-26-2016, 03:01 AM   #1
asma123
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Clutch fan keeps breaking

Hey guys I recently got a new e46 2002 m3. I believe the clutch fan was replaced not too long ago (blades broke) so I had a shop replaced the blades with another ones from the Autowrecker. They didn't charge me for it so I can't complain but what gives. The second set of blades broke again. I was inspecting it and it looks like it somehow touched the upper radiator hose. Not all blades are broken but they do have signs that they've rubbed against the rad hose.
Iirc the engine mounts were replaced last year and they haven't really had a lot of use.
My question is are the clutch fans all the same and interchangeable for all e46 engines? I looked at my other m3 (this one has no issues) and I noticed that the nut for the clutch fan has a slight gap and is a tiny little bit closer to the front. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:17 AM   #2
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When you change the clutch fan you should change the water pump. It runs on the Wp shaft and a wobbly shaft causes irregular rotation. Also never get used cooling parts.
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:11 AM   #3
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Transmission mounts?
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:33 AM   #4
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Engine mounts are suspect. An M3 with an automatic tranny?????
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:44 AM   #5
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Engine mounts are suspect. An M3 with an automatic tranny?????
??

M3 has a mech fan.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:26 AM   #6
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M3 has both fans - BMW determined it needed the extra cooling along the same lines as the automatic Non-m3's needed extra cooling.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:52 AM   #7
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This is a manual m3. Transmission mounts were also changed. It seems motor mounts would be the issue since I heard it break when I wot it so
I'm not sure. Like I said I believe motor mounts were replaced last year.
I also tried spinning it by hand with the engine off and it does have a small clearance of about 1 inch or so

Last edited by asma123; 07-26-2016 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:39 PM   #8
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have someone rev the engine while you watch it. also, have someone slip the clutch with the parking brake on to get some torque on the engine while you watch. in either case, you'll be able to see the fan touch and the engine move. it is allowed to move slightly but not enough for the fan to make contact. i'd strongly recommend doing this test and then assessing the engine mounts.
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:00 PM   #9
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waterpump
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:16 PM   #10
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IDK if it would apply to an e46, but if the fan on my e36 ever goes I'll spend the extra for the fan off a diesel. The blades are connected to a ring around the outer circumference.
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:37 PM   #11
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I'll have someone rev it up while I check movement. Maybe I'll take a video.
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Old 07-27-2016, 02:11 AM   #12
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I had my fiancÚ step on the gas but it was getting kinda late and the car was too loud so I could t quite get it to where I wanted. It didn't quite move it seemed pretty solid. I looked closer at the space between the fan and the rad hose and it just too little probably 1/2" or 1/4" inch gap I took a couple of pics



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Old 07-27-2016, 02:35 AM   #13
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I didn't realize you had a broken blade. Running it like that will absolutely destroy your water pump. Is there any play in your water pump right now?
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:25 AM   #14
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Clutch fan keeps breaking

I think your upper radiator hose is on backwards. The long part should be towards the thermostat. I don't know if it is possible but...

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Old 07-27-2016, 11:11 AM   #15
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^if someone installed none OEM hose on old fittings, would be my guess. Looks backwards based on that photo.
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:14 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by peytonracer4 View Post
I didn't realize you had a broken blade. Running it like that will absolutely destroy your water pump. Is there any play in your water pump right now?
No so far it seems good. I haven't really been using this vehicle
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:30 AM   #17
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No so far it seems good. I haven't really been using this vehicle
It's not. The balance is off. The bearing on the water pump is wearing excessively and will give out. At this point to avoid future issues and properly address the current situation you prudently need to replace fan blades, clutch fan, upper rad hose and water pump.

The viscous clutch fan and water pump share a common shaft. Therefore the operation of one will affect the operation of the other. If the clutch fan bearing wears, then the clutch fan will wobble. The vibration of a wobbling fan will in turn cause the water pump bearing to wear prematurely and eventually fail also.

Similarly a worn water pump bearing can cause a clutch fan bearing to fail for the same reason, vibration being transmitted from one bearing to the other. When replacing a worn or damaged water pump, it is practice to replace both since either one with a worn bearing will affect the life of the other. That is why the fan clutch should be replaced when a water pump is replaced. It is never good practice to use an imbalanced or broken fan blade as this will accelerate wearing of one or both bearings.
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Making sense of INPA, EDIABAS, NCSExpert, NCS Dummies, DIS/GT1, EasyDIS, & Progman

Download a clean working copy of BMW Standard Tools that includes the special tests for E46 (3 Parts - RAR File format) Refer to the link above for the correct cable and install directions
BMW Standard tools Part 1
BMW Standard tools Part 2
BMW Standard tools Part 3

Last edited by BMW-North; 07-27-2016 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:03 PM   #18
Yewzer B Lewzer
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Originally Posted by BKMrSteel View Post
^if someone installed none OEM hose on old fittings, would be my guess. Looks backwards based on that photo.

Yah I looked at several photos and it looks to be different from OP's hose.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:12 PM   #19
asma123
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Good eye. The hose is backwards but that still doesn't explain the fan being so close to the engine. On my other m3 I have a huge clearance.



I just want to order a new one but I want to make sure I get the proper one. It seems the nut on my good m3 is longer than the nut on the one with the broken blade. My question was if all e46 use same clutch fans or different ones.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:36 PM   #20
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Yes the m3 uses a different clutch fan

https://www.turnermotorsport.com/c-1...d-fan-clutches
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BMW-North E46 Electric Fan Guide

Making sense of INPA, EDIABAS, NCSExpert, NCS Dummies, DIS/GT1, EasyDIS, & Progman

Download a clean working copy of BMW Standard Tools that includes the special tests for E46 (3 Parts - RAR File format) Refer to the link above for the correct cable and install directions
BMW Standard tools Part 1
BMW Standard tools Part 2
BMW Standard tools Part 3
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