E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 02-24-2011, 09:48 AM   #1
rfier
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Broward County
Posts: 230
My Ride: 99 BMW 323i E46
Michanical or Electrical Fan

I have a 99 323i manual 5 spd e46 and I have been doing allot of reading because i had to replace my a/c compressor fan and i noticed that allot of manual cars don't have the Mechanical belt driven fans they have electrical fans and my question is, I have a perfectly good working mechanical fan, would there be a benefit to switching to an electrical fan and why didn't my car come with one ... was it just because of the production date?
__________________
Graphic Designer: Will do photo edits for free (when i have time) shoot me a PM

BMW 99 323i e46: EE Halo Lights, Custom Pipe Style CAI, White Corner & Side Lights, Flat Black Grilles, Short Shift Kit, Aluminum Pedals
Coming Soon: H&R Sport Cup Kit, M3 Front Bumper, MTech Rear Bumper, GTR Style Hood, E-bay Headers, Rear LEDs, 18s, Magnaflow Muffler, BMW E46 330i M54 3.0L Engine
rfier is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 02-24-2011, 10:09 AM   #2
rhm325i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 97
My Ride: 02 BMW 325i
i assume because of the production date. if your fan works i wouldnt worry about it. plus you would need a new fan shroud and a thermoswitch, also your harness might not even have the connectors for an electrical fan or the thermoswitch.
rhm325i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2011, 10:21 AM   #3
rfier
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Broward County
Posts: 230
My Ride: 99 BMW 323i E46
I was under the assumption that i would remove not only the fan assembly but the A/C Compressor fan as well and replace it with the electrical fan via the plug for the ac compressor fan ... but i see you logic in not fixing whats not broken ... i just wanted to know what the benefit is in having the electrical vs mechanical
__________________
Graphic Designer: Will do photo edits for free (when i have time) shoot me a PM

BMW 99 323i e46: EE Halo Lights, Custom Pipe Style CAI, White Corner & Side Lights, Flat Black Grilles, Short Shift Kit, Aluminum Pedals
Coming Soon: H&R Sport Cup Kit, M3 Front Bumper, MTech Rear Bumper, GTR Style Hood, E-bay Headers, Rear LEDs, 18s, Magnaflow Muffler, BMW E46 330i M54 3.0L Engine
rfier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2011, 10:37 AM   #4
Drewfus2101
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 626
My Ride: N/A
Quote:
Originally Posted by rfier View Post
I have a 99 323i manual 5 spd e46 and I have been doing allot of reading because i had to replace my a/c compressor fan and i noticed that allot of manual cars don't have the Mechanical belt driven fans they have electrical fans and my question is, I have a perfectly good working mechanical fan, would there be a benefit to switching to an electrical fan and why didn't my car come with one ... was it just because of the production date?

Have you looked at your car? All manuals should only have a single electronic fan behind the radiator.

I have no idea what you are talking about with a A/C compressor fan. Only auto trans cars came with a mechanical fan. It bolts to the water pump and sits behind the radiator. Auto trans cars also have a electronic fan that sits on the front of the radiator to push air into it.
Drewfus2101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2011, 10:42 AM   #5
alpine325i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 245
My Ride: Alpine 2001 325i
I had both fans when I was an auto... converted to 5 speed and removed the mechanical fan as it was not necessary to cool the transmission anymore (auto runs much hotter then standard). I have had no issues with heat since removal even with ac on in the summer. Main reason for removing was to free up some drag on the engine that was caused by the mech fan. Hope that helps a little
__________________
WTB: KOSEI K1'S 17X8.5
alpine325i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2011, 10:46 AM   #6
rfier
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Broward County
Posts: 230
My Ride: 99 BMW 323i E46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewfus2101 View Post
Have you looked at your car? All manuals should only have a single electronic fan behind the radiator.

I have no idea what you are talking about with a A/C compressor fan. Only auto trans cars came with a mechanical fan. It bolts to the water pump and sits behind the radiator. Auto trans cars also have a electronic fan that sits on the front of the radiator to push air into it.
On one side i have this:

On the other side i have this:
and there are two radiator looking things stacked one in front of the other

And i have a Manual Transmission

And this is exactly why im confused because everyone is telling me im wrong that only automatics have this... then why do i have it if im not automatic.
__________________
Graphic Designer: Will do photo edits for free (when i have time) shoot me a PM

BMW 99 323i e46: EE Halo Lights, Custom Pipe Style CAI, White Corner & Side Lights, Flat Black Grilles, Short Shift Kit, Aluminum Pedals
Coming Soon: H&R Sport Cup Kit, M3 Front Bumper, MTech Rear Bumper, GTR Style Hood, E-bay Headers, Rear LEDs, 18s, Magnaflow Muffler, BMW E46 330i M54 3.0L Engine

Last edited by rfier; 02-24-2011 at 11:00 AM.
rfier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2011, 11:08 AM   #7
Solidjake
Zero. Leaks.
 
Solidjake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 23,109
My Ride: 2002 330i
I've seen a few manuals with the dual fan setup. Keep it or get the electric fan
Solidjake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2011, 11:12 AM   #8
Hector45
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Buford, GA
Posts: 596
My Ride: 2002 OB 330i
Main things you need to worry about with the mechanical fan is the water pump, if the bearing goes it can tear the fan apart, and two the motor mounts, if they allow too much play, when the engine torques the fan can hit the shroud and fly apart.
Hector45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2011, 11:28 AM   #9
rfier
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Broward County
Posts: 230
My Ride: 99 BMW 323i E46
ok sorry im dumb ... just to clarify, I can either keep the A/C Condenser Fan and Mechanical Belt Driven Fan or remove both of them and have just one Electrical Puller Fan in there place and it would free up room, Engine Drag, Stress on the water pump, and reduce noise... right?
__________________
Graphic Designer: Will do photo edits for free (when i have time) shoot me a PM

BMW 99 323i e46: EE Halo Lights, Custom Pipe Style CAI, White Corner & Side Lights, Flat Black Grilles, Short Shift Kit, Aluminum Pedals
Coming Soon: H&R Sport Cup Kit, M3 Front Bumper, MTech Rear Bumper, GTR Style Hood, E-bay Headers, Rear LEDs, 18s, Magnaflow Muffler, BMW E46 330i M54 3.0L Engine
rfier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2011, 01:37 PM   #10
Drewfus2101
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 626
My Ride: N/A
Quote:
Originally Posted by rfier View Post
ok sorry im dumb ... just to clarify, I can either keep the A/C Condenser Fan and Mechanical Belt Driven Fan or remove both of them and have just one Electrical Puller Fan in there place and it would free up room, Engine Drag, Stress on the water pump, and reduce noise... right?
Interesting. I've never seen or heard of anyone with that setup. To answer your question, yes. Read this thread. I just did the conversion on my auto, and that part number worked perfectly. Have not had any problems in the first week.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...fan+conversion
Drewfus2101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2011, 02:28 PM   #11
Iceman00
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: FLA
Posts: 2,851
My Ride: E90 6MT
On my last Z3, I HAD a mechanical fan. At least until it failed and exploded, and took out my radiator. It was essentially a free fan delete mod. The major issue is the water pump bearing (as someone mentioned above) and to make sure they are in good shape. Otherwise unless you are looking to free up a few hp, leave it alone.
__________________
Yolo420swag360noscopeboomheadshot

Last edited by Iceman00; 02-24-2011 at 02:30 PM.
Iceman00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2011, 02:23 AM   #12
ScareySteve
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 6
My Ride: 1999 BMW 323i
You're probably better off with the mechanical one anyways... I have a 99 323i with an electric fan and I actually just replaced it about two hours ago.

...WAY easier than I expected. I'm gonna take it out for a drive tomorrow to make sure it's working properly.

The problem with the electric fans is that they are notorious for getting stuck in the high speed position (which is why I just replaced mine). Since there is no relay, the whole fan unit has to be replaced when this happens.

You know what they say... more electronics means more can go wrong.

Last edited by ScareySteve; 02-26-2011 at 02:26 AM.
ScareySteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2011, 03:40 AM   #13
Elwin
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 263
My Ride: 330i ZHP
On the manual you have electrical. On Automatic you have Electrical and mechanical. This is done to cool down the automatic transmission heat exchanger. If you replace mechanical with electrical - you will kill the automatic transmission. If you replace electrical with the same dual fan as on automatic while having a manual you just get better cooling assuming that your viscosity clutch on mechanical fan is working.
Elwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2011, 05:11 AM   #14
Megalocnus
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,200
My Ride: 05 330i ZHP/MT
^ Negative.
As mentioned above - there are some (early model) E46 BMWs with manual trasnmission AND dual mechanical/electric fan setup. Including mine.
There are also several people here who have exchanged their dual fans for the single electric puller fan and their automatic transmissions aren't dead yet.

-

OP if your electric puller fan is broken, it may be worth replacing both your fans with the singe electric fan. This one will not be in front the radiator as your current one, it goes behind it. Part# 17117561757. This is Bosch fan, double if you need Bosch or Siemens.
Megalocnus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2011, 05:49 AM   #15
jeffmr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: US
Posts: 113
My Ride: 2003 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpine325i View Post
I had both fans when I was an auto... converted to 5 speed and removed the mechanical fan as it was not necessary to cool the transmission anymore (auto runs much hotter then standard). I have had no issues with heat since removal even with ac on in the summer. Main reason for removing was to free up some drag on the engine that was caused by the mech fan. Hope that helps a little
That's good to know. I have usually had a really difficult time getting the mechanical fan back on when I do any work in there.
jeffmr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2011, 11:21 PM   #16
gumanov
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 50
My Ride: 2001 325Ci 5-speed
Sorry to bring back a somewhat old thread, just wanted to add that I also have a manual tranny with a dual fan setup..

Was doing research on how to replace the thermostat, and noticed some people claimed that ALL manual transmission E46's have a single electric fan behind the radiator. NOT true.
I own a 2001 325Ci 5 speed, production date 08/2001. It has two fans, one electric in front of the radiator and the other is attached to the water pump, behind the radiator.

Considering replacing the mechanical fan with an electric one, but also keeping the front AUX fan; would that be ok? Would like advice from someone who has done that..?
Thanks
__________________

2001 325Ci 5spd
2004 330Ci ZHP 6spd :)
gumanov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2011, 11:56 PM   #17
jzwu
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,315
My Ride: 2005 BMW 330Cic
I think the problem is there is only one electric fan plug so only one fan can be connected even if you have two fans in thete.
jzwu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2014, 06:30 PM   #18
PeteyEsco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 84
My Ride: '02 325xiT
I just took my newly purchased '02 325xiT to a mechanic. He recommended the first thing I do is replace my mechanical fan to an electric. He warned about it failing one day and becoming a grenade.
PeteyEsco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2014, 06:36 PM   #19
David McMahon
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Suffolk, UK
Posts: 1,435
My Ride: 15/Dec/98 E46 328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteyEsco View Post
I just took my newly purchased '02 325xiT to a mechanic. He recommended the first thing I do is replace my mechanical fan to an electric. He warned about it failing one day and becoming a grenade.
Lots of stories about it, can also put a nasty inverted dent in your bonnet (hood)
__________________
David McMahon is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use