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Engine Cooling Fan Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Engine Cooling Fan Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$ 100

Talent:

***

Tools:

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

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Engine cooling fan, viscous clutch, drive belt

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will cool down again

Complementary Modification:

Change serpentine belt

Early BMW X5 models utilize a mechanical engine cooling fan. Mechanical/viscous fan clutches spin between the radiator and the engine to help with engine cooling. A viscous fan clutch is as reliable as any other part of your cooling system, but they still fail. The viscous fan clutch is mounted between the radiator and engine. The clutch controls the fan speed dependent on the engine temperature by drawing air through the radiator cooling fins, thus cooling the engine coolant. When the engine is cool or at operating temperature, the fan clutch partially disengages the engine's radiator cooling fan, located at the front of the water pump and driven by the engine drive belt. Disengaging the fan saves power, since the engine does not have to fully drive the fan. However, if engine temperature rises above 90 degrees C (194 degrees F), the fan becomes fully engaged, drawing a higher volume of air through the radiator cooling fins. A common symptom of viscous fan clutch failure is engine overheating at idle or in traffic. If a viscous fan clutch is stuck ON, it will rob your engine's power and decrease fuel economy. Another potential symptom of your fan clutch being stuck ON in a cold weather climate is that the heating system doesn't deliver sufficient hot air. The bearings in the fan clutch can also fail, causing a noise or fan blades to come in contact with the fan shroud.

When replacing the engine side cooling fan you will want to work with the engine cold. When testing the engine cooling fan, start with the engine cold and allow it to reach operating temperature.

Remove the engine covers. See our tech article on engine cover removing.

Testing the cooling fan:

Clutch bearing free-play: Check the bearings for free-play by wiggling the fan back and forth. The tilt play of the bearing with a diameter of 120 mm: +/- 0.65 mm. If free-play is more than the specified amount, replace with new clutch bearings.

Spin test: With the engine cool and OFF, spin the fan blades by hand. If the fan free-wheels without drag (the fan blades will revolve more than five turns when spun), replace the fan clutch.

Function test: Use extreme caution when the engine is running. Do not stand in line with the fan. Do not put your hands near the pulleys, belts or fan. do not wear loose clothing.

Block the air flow through the radiator. Secure a sheet of plastic in front of the radiator (or air conditioner condenser). Use tape at the top to secure the plastic and be sure that the air flow is blocked.

Be sure that the A/C is turned OFF.

Start the engine and raise idle to 2,400 RPM. Within ten minutes the air temperature should be up to 88 degrees C (190 degrees F). Fan clutch engagement should have started to occur between 88 degrees to 90 degrees C (190 degrees to 194 degrees F). Engagement is distinguishable by a definite increase in fan flow noise (roaring). Fan speed will increase. Use an infrared temperature gun to measure the fan clutch temperature.

When the air temperature reaches 88 degrees C (190 degrees F), remove the plastic sheet. Fan clutch disengagement should start to occur at 60 degrees to 79 degrees C (140 degrees F). A definite decrease of fan flow noise (roaring) should be noticed. If not, replace the defective viscous fan clutch.

See the following steps for replacing your engine cooling fan on a M62 8-cylinder engine. Replacing the mechanical engine cooling fan on early 6-cylinder models is similar.

The engine cooling fan is located at the front center of M62 8-cylinder engines beneath the intake air ducts. You will have to remove the intake air ducts that attach to the mass air flow sensor to access the fan. Once the intake air ducts and engine covers are removed it is a snap to replace it.

First we have to remove the intake air duct that runs from the throttle housing (yellow arrow) to the mass air flow sensor (green arrow).
Figure 1

First we have to remove the intake air duct that runs from the throttle housing (yellow arrow) to the mass air flow sensor (green arrow).

Working at the fresh air intake, remove the four plastic rivets (green arrows).
Figure 2

Working at the fresh air intake, remove the four plastic rivets (green arrows). Use a pair of pliers (inset) to remove the center rivet. Once all center rivets have been removed, pull the duct up to detach it from the vehicle.

Then lift the duct up on the left side while detaching it from the duct (green arrow) on the right side.
Figure 3

Then lift the duct up on the left side while detaching it from the duct (green arrow) on the right side.

Working at the mass air flow sensor, loosen the hose clamp using a flathead screwdriver (green arrow).
Figure 4

Working at the mass air flow sensor, loosen the hose clamp using a flathead screwdriver (green arrow).

Working at the throttle housing duct, loosen the hose clamp using a flathead screwdriver (green arrow).
Figure 5

Working at the throttle housing duct, loosen the hose clamp using a flathead screwdriver (green arrow).

Next you will have to rotate the throttle housing duct up toward the left side of the vehicle in the direction of the green arrow.
Figure 6

Next you will have to rotate the throttle housing duct up toward the left side of the vehicle in the direction of the green arrow. This will detach it from the mass air flow sensor. Once detached from the mass air flow sensor, pull the duct off the throttle housing. There are two small hoses you have to disconnect in the following step. Be careful not to damage them during this step.

Working at the bottom of the intake air duct, detach the plastic line by squeezing the release collar (green arrows) while pulling the line off the duct.
Figure 7

Working at the bottom of the intake air duct, detach the plastic line by squeezing the release collar (green arrows) while pulling the line off the duct. Then pull the vacuum hose (yellow arrow) straight off the duct to remove it.

When removing the duct, be sure not to misplace the rubber duct seal (green arrow).
Figure 8

When removing the duct, be sure not to misplace the rubber duct seal (green arrow). The seal will either stay inside the duct or remain attached to the throttle housing.

To remove the engine cooling fan you are going to need a 32mm fan wrench (green arrow).
Figure 9

To remove the engine cooling fan you are going to need a 32mm fan wrench (green arrow). You will also need a tool to counterhold the water pump. There are universal style tools (yellow arrow) that work quite well on 6-cylinder equipped models, but won't work on 8-cylinder equipped models. You will need a more specific tool (blue arrow) for 8-cylinder engines. This is due to the bolt heads being flush with the water pump pulley.

Using a 32mm fan wrench (yellow arrow) on the viscous coupler hex, loosen the hex in a clockwise direction while counter-holding the water pump pulley (green arrow).
Figure 10

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

Working at the top of the cooling fan shroud, remove the expansion rivets (green arrows).
Figure 11

Working at the top of the cooling fan shroud, remove the expansion rivets (green arrows). The inset photo shows a rivet being removed. Use a trim panel tool to lever out the expansion rivet center, then pull the rivet out of the cooling fan shroud.

Now, you can unscrew the viscous fan coupler from the coolant pump in a clockwise direction (green arrow).
Figure 12

Now, you can unscrew the viscous fan coupler from the coolant pump in a clockwise direction (green arrow). The yellow arrow shows fan nut and water pump threads.

Once the fan is unscrewed from the water pump, remove the fan from the engine compartment with the fan shroud.
Figure 13

Once the fan is unscrewed from the water pump, remove the fan from the engine compartment with the fan shroud.

If replacing the fan blades: Note the position and direction of the fan blades.
Figure 14

If replacing the fan blades: Note the position and direction of the fan blades. Then remove the four 10mm fan blade fasteners (green arrows).

Separate the viscous clutch from the fan blade.
Figure 15

Separate the viscous clutch from the fan blade. If needed, lightly tap the viscous clutch on the nut (green arrow) with a soft-faced hammer to separate it. Install the new fan to the viscous coupler and tighten the fasteners. When installing, lower the shroud with the fan into the engine compartment. Screw the cooling fan onto the 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 the shroud. Be sure that it is flush with the radiator. Then install the expansion rivets. Install the ducts and the engine cover.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Kingy Comments: My engine has the three bolt visco hub.. is it best to update to the 4 bolt with new blades as well or just replace the three bolt hub
August 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Stick with what cam new unless the parts have been superceded. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
FEVER Comments: I was just browsing through this forum, but this is awesome... BMWs for Dummies lol
have a great day
February 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Paul Comments: Just change fan clutch myself using your steps, took me about 40 minutes including cleaning all engine. 0 experience. $33 for tools and $55 for clutch. Dealership price it $750.00. What I am missing here? Should I apply to mechanic position. :-
April 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Glad to hear. Hope you can do many more repairs yourself. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:25:11 AM