Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog Tech Info Tech Forums
 
Follow Pelican Parts on Facebook Follow Pelican Parts on Twitter Follow Pelican Parts on Instagram Follow Pelican Parts on YouTube Follow Pelican Parts on Pinterest Follow Pelican Parts on Tumblr
  Search our site:    
View Recent Cars  |   Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    
 >  >
BMW E39 Cooling Fan Replacement
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Cooling Fan Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$250

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Set of sockets 8mm, 10mm, 13mm, wrenches, screwdrivers, 32mm fan wrench, coolant pump counter-hold tool

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan/Wagon (2001-03)
BMW 528i Sedan/Wagon (1997-00)
BMW 530i Sedan (2001-03)
BMW 540i Sedan/Wagon (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Cooling fan(s), viscous clutch, drive belt

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine.

Performance Gain:

Car will cool down again

Complementary Modification:

Change serpentine belt.

The engine cooling fan helps to maintain a constant engine temperature. It draws air past the radiator cooling fins, which in turn cools the engine coolant. An electric fan mounted on the front of the radiator. The fan final stage is mounted to the fan and is controlled by the DME (engine control module). An additional belt-driven cooling fan with a viscous clutch is attached to the engine coolant pump. On this fan, the fluid in the viscous clutch is affected by engine compartment temperature, which in turn controls fan speed.

When replacing the engine side cooling fan you will want to work with the engine cold and disconnect the batteres negative cable. Disconnecting the negative battery cable will prevent the electric cooling fan from starting while being serviced. The fan could start at any time and personal injury can occur, don't skip this step.

Working in trunk, disconnect battery negative cable and cover battery terminal so cable does not accidentally come in contact with disconnected cable. See our tech article on battery replacing for notes on disconnecting and reconnecting battery.

Removing the cooling fan shroud differ slightly between 6 and 8-cylinder models. I separated the procedures by engine size.

Models with 6-cylinder engine:
Using a flathead screwdriver, remove coolant expansion tank vent screw.
Figure 1

Using a flathead screwdriver, remove coolant expansion tank vent screw. (green arrow)

Then unclip and remove the coolant expansion tank mounting clip.
Figure 2

Then unclip and remove the coolant expansion tank mounting clip. (green arrow) Unclip by squeezing the two retaining tabs together and pulling up. Lift the coolant expansion tank out of the shroud. It mounts to the bottom via plastic tab. Once out of the lower mount, move it toward the engine enough to loosen the hose clamp, then remove the hose from the expansion tank. Place a drain pan under the radiator to catch any coolant that spills from the hose.

Next, you will have to loosen the viscous cooling fan nut.
Figure 3

Next, you will have to loosen the viscous cooling fan nut. (green arrow) You will need a 32mm wrench and a counter-holding tool.

Using a 32mm wrench (yellow arrow) on viscous coupler hex, loosen in clockwise direction while counter-holding (green arrow) the water pump pulley.
Figure 4

Using a 32mm wrench (yellow arrow) on viscous coupler hex, loosen in clockwise direction while counter-holding (green arrow) the water pump pulley.

If you cannot loosen viscous coupler from coolant pump, there is a special tool to counter-hold coolant pump, available here Part #PEL-TOL-3008.
Figure 5

If you cannot loosen viscous coupler from coolant pump, there is a special tool to counter-hold coolant pump, available here Part #PEL-TOL-3008.

Working at the top corners of the cooling fan shroud, remove expansion rivets (green arrows).
Figure 6

Working at the top corners of the cooling fan shroud, remove expansion rivets (green arrows).

Use a trim panel tool to lever out the expansion rivet center, then pull rivet out of cooling fan shroud.
Figure 7

Use a trim panel tool to lever out the expansion rivet center, then pull rivet out of cooling fan shroud.

Now, you can unscrew the viscous fan coupler from coolant pump and remove from engine compartment with fan shroud.
Figure 8

Now, you can unscrew the viscous fan coupler from coolant pump and remove from engine compartment with fan shroud.

If replacing fan blades: Note position and direction of fan blades.
Figure 9

If replacing fan blades: Note position and direction of fan blades. Then remove three 5mm Allen fan blade fasteners (green arrows). Install new fan to viscous coupler and tighten fasteners.

When reinstalling the shroud, be sure the vent hose is properly routed along the top of the radiator.
Figure 10

When reinstalling the shroud, be sure the vent hose is properly routed along the top of the radiator. I have seen these hang in front of the radiator. This can result in broken fan blades and a broken shroud. When installing, lower the shroud into engine compartment, then reconnect vent hose and tighten hose clamp. Lower fan into engine compartment, then screw cooling fan onto coolant pump in a counter-clockwise direction (left handed thread). Once hand tight, use a 32mm wrench and coolant pump holding tool and tighten. Install shroud, be sure it is flush and vent hose is properly routed. Then install expansion rivets. Install intake air housing and check operation of cooling fan. Top up coolant if any leaked out while hose was disconnected.

Models with 8-cylinder engine:
Using a flathead screwdriver, unclip all four air filter housing retaining clips.
Figure 11

Using a flathead screwdriver, unclip all four air filter housing retaining clips. (green arrows).

Once you release all the clips, unscrew the mass air flow sensor electrical connector (green arrow) by rotating it counterclockwise and pulling it off sensor.
Figure 12

Once you release all the clips, unscrew the mass air flow sensor electrical connector (green arrow) by rotating it counterclockwise and pulling it off sensor. Then disconnect the intake air temperature sensor by pressing the wire release tab and pulling the connector (yellow arrow) straight off the sensor.

Then lift up the air cleaner to access the 10mm fastener for the air duct and remove it (red arrow).
Figure 13

Then lift up the air cleaner to access the 10mm fastener for the air duct and remove it (red arrow). Then remove the breather hose from the intake air duct by pulling it straight off (green arrow), then loosen the hose clamp (yellow arrow) and remove the intake air duct with air filter housing lid from engine.

Using a flathead screwdriver, remove coolant expansion tank vent screw.
Figure 14

Using a flathead screwdriver, remove coolant expansion tank vent screw. (green arrow)

Then, unclip and remove the coolant expansion tank mounting clip.
Figure 15

Then, unclip and remove the coolant expansion tank mounting clip. (green arrow) Unclip by squeezing the two retaining tabs together and pulling up.

Next, you will have to loosen the viscous cooling fan nut.
Figure 16

Next, you will have to loosen the viscous cooling fan nut. (green arrow) You will need a 32mm wrench and a counter-holding tool.

Using a 32mm wrench (yellow arrow) on viscous coupler hex, loosen in clockwise direction while counter-holding (green arrow) the water pump pulley.
Figure 17

Using a 32mm wrench (yellow arrow) on viscous coupler hex, loosen in clockwise direction while counter-holding (green arrow) the water pump pulley.

Working at the top corners of the cooling fan shroud, remove expansion rivets (green arrows).
Figure 18

Working at the top corners of the cooling fan shroud, remove expansion rivets (green arrows).

Use a trim panel tool to lever out the expansion rivet center, then pull rivet out of cooling fan shroud.
Figure 19

Use a trim panel tool to lever out the expansion rivet center, then pull rivet out of cooling fan shroud.

If you are only replacing the viscous cooling fan, you can now lift the shroud enough to slide it out.
Figure 20

If you are only replacing the viscous cooling fan, you can now lift the shroud enough to slide it out. If you need to remove the shroud, follow the remaining steps.

If replacing fan blades: Note position and direction of fan blades.
Figure 21

If replacing fan blades: Note position and direction of fan blades. Then remove three 5mm Allen fan blade fasteners (green arrows). Install new fan to viscous coupler and tighten fasteners.

Lift the coolant expansion tank out of the shroud.
Figure 22

Lift the coolant expansion tank out of the shroud. It mounts to the bottom via plastic tab. Once out of the lower mount, move it toward the engine enough to loosen the hose clamp (green arrow), then remove the hose from the expansion tank. Place a drain pan under the radiator to catch any coolant that spills from the hose.

Now, you can remove the fan shroud by lifting it up and out of the engine compartment.
Figure 23

Now, you can remove the fan shroud by lifting it up and out of the engine compartment.

When reinstalling the shroud, be sure the vent hose is properly routed along the top of the radiator.
Figure 24

When reinstalling the shroud, be sure the vent hose is properly routed along the top of the radiator. I have seen these hang in front of the radiator. This can result in broken fan blades and a broken shroud. When installing, lower the shroud into engine compartment, then reconnect vent hose and tighten hose clamp. Lower fan into engine compartment, then screw cooling fan onto coolant pump in a counter-clockwise direction (left handed thread). Once hand tight, use a 32mm wrench and coolant pump holding tool and tighten. Install shroud, be sure it is flush and vent hose is properly routed. Then install expansion rivets. Install intake air housing and check operation of cooling fan. Top up coolant if any leaked out while hose was disconnected.

Auxiliary cooling fan:

To replace electric cooling fan mounted at front of radiator you will have to remove the front bumper. See our tech article on Front bumper removing. Then remove both front headlight assemblies. See our tech article on replacing your headlight assembly. Working in trunk, disconnect battery negative cable and cover battery terminal so cable does not accidentally come in contact with disconnected cable. See our tech article on battery replacing for notes on disconnecting and reconnecting battery.
Working through right side headlight opening, loosen air duct intake pipe hose clamp.
Figure 25

Working through right side headlight opening, loosen air duct intake pipe hose clamp. (green arrow)

Then, remove two intake air duct 10mm fasteners (green arrows) and remove duct from vehicle.
Figure 26

Then, remove two intake air duct 10mm fasteners (green arrows) and remove duct from vehicle.

Working at the front of the radiator duct, remove four 8mm fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 27

Working at the front of the radiator duct, remove four 8mm fasteners (green arrows).

Working at the top of the radiator duct, remove three Christmas tree style push in clips (green arrows).
Figure 28

Working at the top of the radiator duct, remove three Christmas tree style push in clips (green arrows).

Pull the top of the radiator duct away from the top of the radiator support, then remove the duct in a downward direction.
Figure 29

Pull the top of the radiator duct away from the top of the radiator support, then remove the duct in a downward direction.

Disconnect auxiliary fan electrical connector, remove connector from mount and squeeze release tabs to separate.
Figure 30

Disconnect auxiliary fan electrical connector, remove connector from mount and squeeze release tabs to separate.

Now you can remove the four 13mm auxiliary cooling fan fasteners.
Figure 31

Now you can remove the four 13mm auxiliary cooling fan fasteners. (green arrows)

Slide the cooling fan down out of the radiator support and remove from the vehicle.
Figure 32

Slide the cooling fan down out of the radiator support and remove from the vehicle.

With cooling fan removed, clean any debris from cooling fins and radiator support.
Figure 33

With cooling fan removed, clean any debris from cooling fins and radiator support. You can see all the leaves and dirt I had to remove from my vehicle. Place radiator fan on support and attach using 4 previously removed nuts. Install fan cover using previously removed expanding rivets. Install front bumper, reconnect battery negative cable and check operation of cooling fan.

Bookmark and Share
Comments and Suggestions:
Dave H Comments: This was a very well done step by step procedure. I found it very useful. One comment, Fig 28 shows a tool being used to remove the plastic retention clips. This method will damage the clips. Look carefully and you will note a small plastic pin in the center of the clip. Use a tool to push the clip through and out. Put your hand under the clip to catch it. This pin when inserted expands the clip to retain it.
May 30, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The subject vehicle in this tech article did not have expanding rivet clips in step 28, it had christmas tree style, which that tool is designed for. I think you are seeing a reflecting in the clip. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mrpooch Comments: My 323i E36 1999 is making me scream. Bought new water temp sensor. Everywhere I looked where told it not. Please help with a good photo or info as I am going mad looking for it.
January 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I do not have a photo to share. The sensor is mounted below the intake manifold. There are three sensors, it is the most forward.- Nick at Pelican Parts  

  Search our site:    

View Cart & CheckOut | Project List | Order Status |  Help    

 

[Home] [Customer Service] [Shopping Cart] [Privacy Statement]
 [Contact Us] [About Us] [Shipping] [Map to our Location] [Careers]

Copyright © Pelican Parts Inc.

Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:06:01 AM