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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 09-19-2007, 12:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Radiator Fan

So I noticed one day that my radiator fan was not running when it should be. I popped the hood to see that it was impacting a radiator hose running across the back topside of the radiator fan housing, when it would hit this it would stop running. So I assumed one of the blades had been heated up or bent somehow, because it looked like only one blade was hitting the hose. So I took at zip tie, wrapped that around the fan blade and a different radiator hose, forcing the blade to bend in the other direction, and let it sit over night. I turn on the car the next day (after removing the zip tie of course), and the fan works perfect, no problems, no hits, great! So i drive it for another three days and while I'm sitting at a stop light it feels like my whole engine starts to shake and shudder violently. I thought I had lost all oil and it was about to seize up or something. Well the blade that I had bent had snapped off and now the unbalanced spin of the fan had some nasty effects on the motor while spinning. So I set out to replace the radiator fan without the BMW tool (who wants to pay $20 for some special tool anyway), and that of course doesn't work, I break the pulley, now I have to replace that and buy the tool. Ok, I get everything I need, replace the fan, pulley, all of my belts while I'm in there, couple other things, looks good, put it all back together. So I go to drive to see my girlfriend in MI, I'm in NY have to pass through Canada to get there, doesn't my fan break AGAIN at the border? I'm next person to go through and the car breaks down, heat almost past the red, at the border. Anyway, I pulled to the side and ripped the fan out right there and drove the rest of the way without it and have been ever since. The car can't sit in a line long but other than that it's fine. However, I would prefer that my car be fixed properly so I ask you here at the forum to give me an idea of WHY it keeps breaking? Possibly bad motor mount causing the engine to shift, throwing the fan into the radiator hose? It runs fine for awhile and then sometime later I see it's hitting again and the fan breaks. Any ideas? Let me know. Thank you
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you replaced the fan clutch? Also, it sounds like your radiator hose needs to be moved out of the way. What kind of E36 do you have?
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's a 1994 BMW 325IS Standard. The clutch? Could you elaborate further please? Thanks
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Does anyone have any more thoughts on this?
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The fan clutch, also known as the fan coupling:

RealOEM.COM * BMW E36 325is COOLING SYSTEM-FAN/FAN COUPLING

(labeled #2 in that diagram)
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I understand what you're referring to now, do you have an idea why that would make the fan hit the radiator fan housing tho? I have a parts car I could get one off of, but it doesn't entirely make sense to me as to how that would make the fan jump up. Thank you for the additional info.
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Old 09-26-2007, 10:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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most likely it's bad motor mounts, i'd say leave the fan off, and if you're worried about over heating, you can use a low temp thermostat and fan switch as well as some water wetter, i've had my fan off for a year, I've also done various auto-x events and driven the car hard in the heat, i've had no problems
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Old 09-27-2007, 11:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok that confirms most of what I had guessed so far, thank you. I've actually had the fan off for about two months now seeing as how the second time it broke was when I was an hour and a half away from home AT THE BORDER to Canada on my way to see my girlfriend in MI. I decided that doing eighty the whole way would cool the fan down enough and I just wouldn't do any daily driving til I fixed it. Then after driving it I realized I was having no problems at all so I left it as is. The only time I'm expecting to have a problem with over heating is on a hot day in a traffic jam but luckily that hasn't happened so far. What is water wetter?
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Old 09-28-2007, 03:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marknhl
Ok that confirms most of what I had guessed so far, thank you. I've actually had the fan off for about two months now seeing as how the second time it broke was when I was an hour and a half away from home AT THE BORDER to Canada on my way to see my girlfriend in MI. I decided that doing eighty the whole way would cool the fan down enough and I just wouldn't do any daily driving til I fixed it. Then after driving it I realized I was having no problems at all so I left it as is. The only time I'm expecting to have a problem with over heating is on a hot day in a traffic jam but luckily that hasn't happened so far. What is water wetter?
it comes in a bottle, you pour it in with your coolant and distilled water and it increases the cooling capacity of water, helps your engine run cooler, and it works very well
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I had the same problem. Mine was either a warped fan shroud or the mounts on the radiator. Either way, I replaced just about everything in my front end.

After all the replacement, I have an extra fan and clutch that are absolutely brand new. The clutch was on the car for about 30 minutes. I paid $130 for the clutch and $30 for the fan. Both are brand new and I don't need them anyomre, so if you're interested, shoot me an offer.

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