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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 10-27-2011, 02:45 AM   #261
MJLavelle
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Have you driven it in the summer, or is this a new install? I realize it is still warm in Florida, but have you had it on long enough to see 100+ degree days? Also, will leaving the still functional pusher fan in place interfere with the airflow from this fan, or is it designed to work without one? I only ask because you mentioned removing yours.
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:03 AM   #262
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I assume those that did the swap are auto's.
How did your guys a/c perform in the summer?
Did it start blowing hot air from the lack of cooling the condencer when stopped?
What about your trans, any shifting issues?
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:06 AM   #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJLavelle View Post
Have you driven it in the summer, or is this a new install? I realize it is still warm in Florida, but have you had it on long enough to see 100+ degree days? Also, will leaving the still functional pusher fan in place interfere with the airflow from this fan, or is it designed to work without one? I only ask because you mentioned removing yours.
Quote:
Originally Posted by azshorty View Post
I assume those that did the swap are auto's.
How did your guys a/c perform in the summer?
Did it start blowing hot air from the lack of cooling the condencer when stopped?
What about your trans, any shifting issues?
I have been driving my car pretty much 5+ days a week since I did the swap. ZERO issues. The fan cools off everything sufficiently, temp gauge always dead center. Like I said, honestly THE best thing I did to my car. Smoother idle, no truck sound, less drag on the engine, weight reduction and no way it will explode and cause a lot of damage.

I had my stupid mechanical fan blow up TWICE! Of course I did change the engine mounts that were causing it, but the aux/mechanical fan combo is horrendous. And finally, I do have an automatic. Zero issues with the transmission locking up, lagging, etc. Just do it. The a/c works flawless as well.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:43 AM   #264
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I did drive in summer, and I even monitored the engine temp during very hot days. No problems at all, neither with engine temp nor with A/C.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:00 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by jzwu View Post
The biggest deterrent to me for this mod is I have to take off the Front bumper to take out the aux fan.
Its actually not as difficult as you may think. I thought the same till i did it. Really quick.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:30 AM   #266
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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?
hahaha.
It was a "working" BMW meet. Where we all meet up at Doug's (dmax) hometown local auto shop called IMG and worked on our cars at the shop under the careful supervision of the shop mechanics. I replaced my control arms/sway bar links and bushings, Jake replaced his f+r suspension/shocks, lots of NJ members came it to get codes read and interpreted, Manix replaced the entire cooling system on his M3.

It was a great day and we learned a lot from being our own mechanics and using professional shop equipment. Doug and everyone at the shop was really friendly and knowledgeable as well.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:45 AM   #267
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Originally Posted by azshorty View Post
I assume those that did the swap are auto's.
How did your guys a/c perform in the summer?
Did it start blowing hot air from the lack of cooling the condencer when stopped?
What about your trans, any shifting issues?
The only big black question mark that was never understood was:

Why did the BMW Steptronic Automatic cars all come with two fans up until around 2006?


The possible answer or best anyone could come up with was the Steptronic Automatic transmission required some extra cooling hence the extra fan.
But the question still begs is why did BMW abandon the fan in 2006 with the advent of the E90 and the E60 M54 engine facelift? Did they realize the extra fan was not required?

Terraphantm a while back found some pertinent information relating the relevance of having a second fan to regulate transmission temperature since M3 cars all have the two fans.

But that discussion was not followed up because candidates doing the swap are not doing it on an M3.

As for M54 engine transmission cooling and long term effects I can't say.

Kpeng is the only member I know whom has driven with this mod in his car the longest and he has driven his car daily for a number of years in the hottest/most humid place in the USA (Florida). Another member has driven for over a year in Phoenix Arizona, the hottest/driest place in the USA, with this mod and had no issues.

Both claim that they had no issue with engine temp or tranny temp in all that time so based on their experiences I don't think it will be an issue for anyone living and driving in cooler regions.


The AC compressor is not driven by the fan but it is driven by the fan belts. In theory the AC compressor should perform slightly better because we are removing about 5+ lbs out of the belt drive system when we remove the mechanical fan.


Said and done the entire DIY is 1000000% reversible if after a couple of days you find your car is going bananas. Even if you can't return/refund your electric fan after changing your mind you can sure sell it on eBay for easily what you paid for it.

Also the DIY pays for itself when you sell your old mechanical fan and aux fan assembly. Both on their own each are easily worth $75 to $100 and carry a high demand.
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Last edited by delmarco; 10-27-2011 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:17 PM   #268
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I did this a while back when my clutch fan went out and it was a great option. I haven't had any issues with temps and I DD my car in Socal and see plenty of 100+ days. Took me about an hour to complete the whole swap and i'm very glad I did.
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:40 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by delmarco View Post
Another member has driven for over a year in Phoenix Arizona, the hottest/driest place in the USA, with this mod and had no issues.
That would be me.

As noted before, I've driven a ways over 15,000 miles since doing this mod in Aug of 2010. This was done on my touring, which is a step auto. I've done plenty of manual "shifting" and really haven't noticed any issues.

I'd also done some tests via the OBC to monitor coolant temps during some 110+ days out here last summer and noted it in the DIY thread regarding this mod. Never was able to figure out a way to measure the tranny temp though.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:30 AM   #270
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:07 PM   #271
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Okay planning of doing this mod.

Reasons:
-I started to hear a scratchy/dry like noise (first thought) was maybe the belts or pulleys, don't know which ones.
-Second I saw that the fan wobbled, thus hitting the fan shroud (don't know if it's the water pump) ... lets say if it was, if I get this swap, would i still have to fix that?


Sorry I haven't really touched the engine.

btw car has 170,000 + miles
E46 328ci M52

Thanks in advance
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:59 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by mistik20071 View Post
Okay planning of doing this mod.

Reasons:
-I started to hear a scratchy/dry like noise (first thought) was maybe the belts or pulleys, don't know which ones.
-Second I saw that the fan wobbled, thus hitting the fan shroud (don't know if it's the water pump) ... lets say if it was, if I get this swap, would i still have to fix that?


Sorry I haven't really touched the engine.

btw car has 170,000 + miles
E46 328ci M52

Thanks in advance

welcome.

yeah but a new water pump as well when you do the diy. the pump is fairly easy to remover once you get the fan out.

here is a good write up:

http://www.bmw330ci.net/maintenance/completecoolant.php
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:06 PM   #273
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so you recommend for a water pump replacement?
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:15 PM   #274
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:21 PM   #275
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Has anyone just left the Aux fan in and used it too with the new electric fan as a backup? could it be wired to kick on only when the A/c is running? It takes longer to take out the Aux fan than swapping the mech for the electric anyday..
Just some random thoughts.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:31 PM   #276
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Has anyone just left the Aux fan in and used it too with the new electric fan as a backup? could it be wired to kick on only when the A/c is running? It takes longer to take out the Aux fan than swapping the mech for the electric anyday..
Just some random thoughts.
The BMW fan logic, wiring, etc supports one electric fan. If you want to leave the pusher fan in place and rewire it to a relay or something, have a blast. Popping the front bumper off, removing the fan, and putting it back sounds more daunting than it really is. Plus, by removing the pusher fan, you're giving more of the radiator cores direct access to cooling air.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:45 PM   #277
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I have already had to replace my front aux fan once and its not bad, just not fun.. I kinda figured removing the front fan would help airflow. Its gonna be my next mod with my underdrive pulleys..
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:58 AM   #278
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Most things I read have simply stated that the BMW electric fan is "plug and play" as a replacement for the mechanical fan in the automatic cars. To me this implied I just swapped them, but as I read through this thread I just need to confirm,

1. Manual cars did not come with an AUX fan.
2. When you refer to auto cars coming with "two fans" you are referring to the aux fan and the clutch fan.
3. When you swap the mechanical fan for the electrical fan, you cannot continue to run the aux fan and must remove it.

Am I correct in these three statements?
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:11 AM   #279
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Originally Posted by trive2 View Post
Most things I read have simply stated that the BMW electric fan is "plug and play" as a replacement for the mechanical fan in the automatic cars. To me this implied I just swapped them, but as I read through this thread I just need to confirm,

1. Manual cars did not come with an AUX fan.
2. When you refer to auto cars coming with "two fans" you are referring to the aux fan and the clutch fan.
3. When you swap the mechanical fan for the electrical fan, you cannot continue to run the aux fan and must remove it.

Am I correct in these three statements?
Yes.

The one exception is the M3, which has a clutch fan and an electric pusher fan.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:56 AM   #280
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I have a manual e46 (98/09) with two fans. On the first pages of this thread somebody wrote that the swap is not possible for before 98/10 cars and SPAL fan is the only option.
What is exactly the issue on these early models that makes the swap not possible?
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