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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 09-26-2014, 11:29 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Fort Lee, NJ
Posts: 335
My Ride: 2005 330xi
DIY: E-box fan replacement

Thanks to some of the other threads on issues I've been having, I was able to diagnose the issue and fix it.

I've been having a whine or cricket noise under the hood randomly while I drive, so my first thought was to replace the water pump. Didn't solve the issue. There would still be the random whining for a minute then silent. Eventually my climate control just stopped working. No power at all except for button backlight. I popped out the climate control as suggested to make sure all the connections were secure. I checked fuse #28 and it was burnt, so I replaced it with another 5amp fuse. I started the car and within a few seconds of driving it, the fuse popped again and the CCU shut off again.

After some research I found out the e-box (electronic box) has a fan/blower that is attached to the same fuse. I took it out and discovered that it was indeed the fan that failed which was causing the fuse to blow. A temporary remedy was to disconnect the fan and the CCU will function properly.

I ordered the e-box fan/blower from Pelican Parts, but finding the exact part number from Real OEM to match with the exact part from Pelican was a pain. I had to order twice and pay a restocking fee because the first fan had a different pin connection, and the second one was reversed (probably for right hand drive). I decided to just pop the case open and switch the good motor from the new fan into the case of the old fan and it worked like a charm. Too bad it costs more than it should for a tiny little motor.

Here are the tools you'll need

BMW screw driver
Torx wrench
Scissor or knife
Tool to fish cable from the bottom of the e-box

Open up the e-box with a torx head

In my 330xi, the fan power is in the back, slide the connector up and out of the e-box slot holding it in place. Disconnect the cable. You can push the cable down to the bottom of the e-box so it'll be easier to pull out later.

Use the screwdriver to take off the cover below the steering wheel. There is also one twist knob above the throttle. Disconnect the OBD by sliding a blue latch out. Disconnect the floor light. You will see the blower and cover on the left.

With the screwdriver, unscrew 3 screws to take off the cover. One on top, two on the bottom. Be careful not to drop the screw behind the carpeting, I lost one down there forever. Cut the ziptie and unscrew the blower from the cover.

Before installing the new blower, test it by connecting it right on top of the e-box with the power cable and turn on the car. Replace with new blower onto the cover and fish the power cable through the cover. Now screw on the cover back onto the car, making sure the power cable is inside the e-box.

Now you might want to use a hook or something to fish the blower's power cable up and reconnect the power and slide it back to the e-box's slot to hold it in place.

Cover the e-box with the torx head and you're done. No more whining!
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:18 PM   #2
OEM ///Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 482
My Ride: 2002 330Ci Conv.
Nice DIY; thanks for sharing. Replaced mine about five years ago and it recently started making noise again. Agree with you on the price of the e-box fan, and as opposed to replacing it again, decided to see how much of an impact cleaning/re-lubing the bearings would have since it was still functioning.

It's been a few months, and so far so good. For anyone interested, here's a DIY for disassembling the motor housing and cleaning the bearings: http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=206764. Might be a decent alternative and worth a shot if the fan hasn't completely failed.

UPDATE: Cleaning/re-lubing the bearings added an extra 5 months of life to mine; YMMV.

DIYs help you save money with repairs; let www.bmwpnpc.com help you save money with the parts.

Last edited by SilberVogel; 12-16-2014 at 02:26 PM.
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