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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 10-23-2011, 07:30 PM   #241
jzwu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ribri02 View Post
The sound a mechanical clutch fan makes when fully engaged. It sounds like a freakin semi-truck at a green light.
Weird. I have a mechanic fan and never heard any such sound. Is this common? Or my mechanic fan never engaged?
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:40 PM   #242
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For me, it happens (or happened) when outside temps are 90+ and taking off from a stop. In other words, you'll only notice it in the summer in stop and go traffic.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:00 PM   #243
steve.325i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidjake View Post
Steve, just do the swap already. Take my word for it....

LOL !! Thanks Jake ... considering it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarco View Post
Do you still consider the fan swap after reading thru all these pages? Let me know because I may be road tripping it out to Ontario soon and would bring one up for you.

Thanks Olaf. Awesome offer. I am still on the fence but will let you know. The weekend was to busy for me to do much more digging.

Top two pros (imo) for electric:
1. I would never need to R&R that damn clutch to the water pump to get to the front of the engine. As I said, threading it back on is a wicked PITA.
2. Quieter - as I stated, I believe this is due to the fan blade design & not the drive type ... but I could be wrong.
Re: the comment that the electric retro reduces stress on water pump bearing ... well I argue that with two points:
a. a $40 water pump every four years does not offset the price differential between a new mechanical clutch & the cost of the electric retro.
b. The stress on the water pump bearing from the serpentine belt (again imo) would exceed the inertial forces on the bearing from the fan clutch.

Cons include:
1. Price
2. you need to remove the current aux fan. Jake, do you have any pic of how things look with the aux fan removed? Meaning, can you tell that something is definitely missing?

Things I consider and disregarded:
1. More horse power. Nope flat out do not believe it. The mechanical cooling will be more efficient that mechanical to electrical (alt) back to electrical conversion. Blade design will have some impact, but not enough to compensate for the loss of power in the conversions AND still be enough to be noticed.
2. Smother acceleration at low rpm. Yeah, well maybe, but can you notice it with an automatic? That's why the put the fan clutch in there in the first place. Older domestic cars have a direct connection!!
So I think I am leaning against the electric retro ... not just because I am cheap - really !! you should see a couple of the guys I work with - but we are talking about a $150+ delta here.

There are my two cents. Geesh, almost a rant ! Please feel free to ridicule me

Last edited by steve.325i; 10-23-2011 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:25 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by steve.325i View Post
LOL !! Thanks Jake ... considering it.

Thanks Olaf. Awesome offer. I am still on the fence but will let you know. The weekend was to busy for me to do much more digging.

Top two pros (imo) for electric:
1. I would never need to R&R that damn clutch to the water pump to get to the front of the engine. As I said, threading it back on is a wicked PITA.
2. Quieter - as I stated, I believe this is due to the fan blade design & not the drive type ... but I could be wrong.
Re: the comment that the electric retro reduces stress on water pump bearing ... well I argue that with two points:
a. a $40 water pump every four years does not offset the price differential between a new mechanical clutch & the cost of the electric retro.
b. The stress on the water pump bearing from the serpentine belt (again imo) would exceed the inertial forces on the bearing from the fan clutch.

Cons include:
1. Price
2. you need to remove the current aux fan. Jake, do you have any pic of how things look with the aux fan removed? Meaning, can you tell that something is definitely missing?

Things I consider and disregarded:
1. More horse power. Nope flat out do not believe it. The mechanical cooling will be more efficient that mechanical to electrical (alt) back to electrical conversion. Blade design will have some impact, but not enough to compensate for the loss of power in the conversions AND still be enough to be noticed.
2. Smother acceleration at low rpm. Yeah, well maybe, but can you notice it with an automatic? That's why the put the fan clutch in there in the first place. Older domestic cars have a direct connection!!
So I think I am leaning against the electric retro ... not just because I am cheap - really !! you should see a couple of the guys I work with - but we are talking about a $150+ delta here.

There are my two cents. Geesh, almost a rant ! Please feel free to ridicule me
Here's something for you to think about :

The visco is never completly disconnected , so driving at hwy speeds you still have it putting more load on the engine.
With the electric it's duty cycle is set to 0% when going faster than 30mph(or something like that)
The load is also not constant (it ranges from 0 to 94% duty cyle) meaning that it is more efficient that the visco.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:42 PM   #245
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve.325i View Post

Cons include:
1. Price
2. you need to remove the current aux fan. Jake, do you have any pic of how things look with the aux fan removed? Meaning, can you tell that something is definitely missing?




Sort of...the only thing is you won't see the aux fan thru the grills but instead you will see the support beams/angled bars for the radiator.

This manual car in the picture below you can see the angled bars thru the kidney grills where as on a steptronic/auto car you will see the aux fan thru the grills.




Here are some pictures below from Nervous' DIY. So you can get an idea of how easy this is. AND more importantly how reversible it is if you change your mind and want to switch back.














I am so glad I had to mess with mech fan removal for LAST time!





Now, need to cleanup the crap off the condenser and begin to assemble back.

Ok, job's done!





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Last edited by delmarco; 10-24-2011 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:45 PM   #246
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Hey, this is my car!
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:26 AM   #247
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:20 PM   #248
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Thanks for the pics Olaf.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:39 PM   #249
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^ he got them from my DIY link which I posted in this thread.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:41 PM   #250
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... which are my pictures
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:28 PM   #251
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... which are my pictures
I noted that they were Nervous pictures...
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Old 10-25-2011, 02:05 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by steve.325i View Post
LOL !! Thanks Jake ... considering it.

Thanks Olaf. Awesome offer. I am still on the fence but will let you know. The weekend was to busy for me to do much more digging.

Top two pros (imo) for electric:
1. I would never need to R&R that damn clutch to the water pump to get to the front of the engine. As I said, threading it back on is a wicked PITA.
2. Quieter - as I stated, I believe this is due to the fan blade design & not the drive type ... but I could be wrong.
Re: the comment that the electric retro reduces stress on water pump bearing ... well I argue that with two points:
a. a $40 water pump every four years does not offset the price differential between a new mechanical clutch & the cost of the electric retro.
b. The stress on the water pump bearing from the serpentine belt (again imo) would exceed the inertial forces on the bearing from the fan clutch.

Cons include:
1. Price
2. you need to remove the current aux fan. Jake, do you have any pic of how things look with the aux fan removed? Meaning, can you tell that something is definitely missing?

Things I consider and disregarded:
1. More horse power. Nope flat out do not believe it. The mechanical cooling will be more efficient that mechanical to electrical (alt) back to electrical conversion. Blade design will have some impact, but not enough to compensate for the loss of power in the conversions AND still be enough to be noticed.
2. Smother acceleration at low rpm. Yeah, well maybe, but can you notice it with an automatic? That's why the put the fan clutch in there in the first place. Older domestic cars have a direct connection!!
So I think I am leaning against the electric retro ... not just because I am cheap - really !! you should see a couple of the guys I work with - but we are talking about a $150+ delta here.

There are my two cents. Geesh, almost a rant ! Please feel free to ridicule me
IMO, you missed one very significant pro... and one of the reasons that I did this swap.

Peace of mind, knowing that you won't have a fan grenade itself and take out your radiator hoses, radiator, possibly belts, and damage your hood. These components easily covering the $150 delta you'd noted.

Last edited by rbalazsi; 10-25-2011 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:44 PM   #253
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IMO, you missed one very significant pro... and one of the reasons that I did this swap.

Peace of mind, knowing that you won't have a fan grenade itself and take out your radiator hoses, radiator, possibly belts, and damage your hood. These components easily covering the $150 delta you'd noted.
You caught me ... and you have a valid point.

I didn't actually miss it, I just couldn't really quantify the actual chances of it happening. AND I assume that the chances of an electrical fan suffering from the same demise must be equal without more knowledge into the exact cause of the fan blade failure.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:52 PM   #254
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^ he got them from my DIY link which I posted in this thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nervous View Post
... which are my pictures
Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarco View Post
I noted that they were Nervous pictures...
Ok, sorry guys. I shoudl not have only thanked Olaf. My bad.

Olaf, yes, I did realize that you pulled the pics from Nervous's post that Jake referenced. Actually when I was typing my reply, I thought I might get called out on it, but I didn't want it to turn into a thanksgiving prayer where I started to thank everyone down to my grade one teacher.

Honestly - thanks to the OP & all contributors. Lots of info in this thread & links to others.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:52 PM   #255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve.325i View Post
You caught me ... and you have a valid point.

I didn't actually miss it, I just couldn't really quantify the actual chances of it happening. AND I assume that the chances of an electrical fan suffering from the same demise must be equal without more knowledge into the exact cause of the fan blade failure.
I only realized after I had help Jake with his swap that the mechanical fan (clutch and all) by itself weighs almost twice as much as one entire electrical fan assembly. If I remember correctly it is also lighter than the Aux fan assembly as well and the electric fan is encased in it's assembly housing so if it explodes I would assume the broken blades would most like only take out the radiator and get trapped within the assembly cage.

But said and done the electric fan blades are is so light relative to the mechanical and thin I can't see those blades causing any type of serious damage.

I think my biggest appeal for doing it is that it is reversible and if I decide to keep it I can sell my original fan parts for at least 50% the cost of the entire retrofit.

Also KPeng has been driving hard under the Florida heat with the electric fan swapped into his car for almost 9 years and 150,000 miles now with no incidents or overheating.

If that is not advertisement for a convincing argument the retrofit is safe I don't know what. Also I think when Solidjake did his car at the start of the summer it got me convinced. Him and I live in the same weather and traffic zone so I knew the type of heat and daily congested NYC traffic he drove thru this summer to understand that it is ok.
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Last edited by delmarco; 10-25-2011 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:58 PM   #256
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The biggest deterrent to me for this mod is I have to take off the Front bumper to take out the aux fan.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:01 PM   #257
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The biggest deterrent to me for this mod is I have to take off the Front bumper to take out the aux fan.
hahahahah. I hear you.

You can use the time to upgrade to an M-Tech bumper and clean all those leaves out.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:50 PM   #258
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So I have to ask about the pic in your sig Olaf ... what did you guys break so bad that all three of you had to go to the shop to get it fixed?
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:07 AM   #259
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You caught me ... and you have a valid point.

I didn't actually miss it, I just couldn't really quantify the actual chances of it happening. AND I assume that the chances of an electrical fan suffering from the same demise must be equal without more knowledge into the exact cause of the fan blade failure.
While I admittedly only did a quick search, I've not ever seen a post showing an electric fan taking out a radiator, nevermind the belts, hoses, & hood. Some of the earlier electric fans did have issues; but I can't find anything for anything recent.

Further, the clutch fan blades are much more rigid and from what I recall, made of a harder plastic as well, there really wasn't any bend (give) in the blades at all. When the fan fails, seemingly due to failed clutch, it turns at the same RPM as the engine, I don't see how the electric fan would exceed it's rated speed.

Lastly, another potential cause, bearing on waterpump going or possibly even bad motor mounts causing more movement of the engine, and hence the fan, potentially causing it to make contact with other engine bay components is a non-starter with the electric fan.

All I know is that I've had this mod done for about a year and a half now and driven well over 15000 miles in the Phoenix area without incident. Glad to have done the mod.

Last edited by rbalazsi; 10-27-2011 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:04 AM   #260
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Well i got myself a carbon hood .. big bulge on it from my fan grenade

Reason it explodes is because the fan moves inside the housing which is attached to the radiator , once it makes enough contact it will blow up.
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