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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-18-2011, 08:49 PM
e36Jeff e36Jeff is offline
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engine fan hit radiator

During a shift under heavy load(fancy way of saying I was flooring it) it would appear my engine fan hit my radiator and broke every blade off. Thankfully, it didn't damage anything on its way out. this fan was brand new, so it wasn't the fan. The engine mounts are about a year old, I think the transmission mounts may be the originals (I was planning on replacing them this spring anyway). Any ideas as to what else could have caused this? This is on a '98 328is.
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2011, 09:11 PM
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ethereal45 ethereal45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e36Jeff View Post
During a shift under heavy load(fancy way of saying I was flooring it) it would appear my engine fan hit my radiator and broke every blade off. Thankfully, it didn't damage anything on its way out. this fan was brand new, so it wasn't the fan. The engine mounts are about a year old, I think the transmission mounts may be the originals (I was planning on replacing them this spring anyway). Any ideas as to what else could have caused this? This is on a '98 328is.
Could be a bad bearing in the water pump.
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  #3  
Old 02-19-2011, 08:10 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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If your fan and motor mounts were relatively new, I'd say it's a bad water pump bearing. But really, bad motor mounts would have been my first guess if you hadn't replaced them so recently.

Also, I would think that even if the transmission mounts are the originals, the motor mounts should be able to keep things in check enough to prevent that much movement, so I'm thinking the tranny mounts don't have anything to do with it. I'd take your drive belt off and see if the water pump pulley has any slop. There's really only a few things it could be.

The only other things I can think of as even a remote possibility would be if you kicked debris up into the fan from underneath the car, or if your radiator was loose, etc. That stuff seems less likely, though.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 02-19-2011 at 08:12 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2011, 03:52 PM
e36Jeff e36Jeff is offline
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The water pump is only 2-3 years and ~30-35k miles old, but it is the oldest part that could be causing the issue. I was actually planning a cooling system overhaul(radiator, expansion tank, pump) this spring/summer, I'm starting to get too paranoid that the expansion tank is going to break every time I go to take the cap off.

I'm guessing bad water pump bearing is not one of those things I can put off till warmer weather.

Last edited by e36Jeff; 02-19-2011 at 03:55 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-19-2011, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by e36Jeff View Post
The water pump is only 2-3 years and ~30-35k miles old, but it is the oldest part that could be causing the issue. I was actually planning a cooling system overhaul(radiator, expansion tank, pump) this spring/summer, I'm starting to get too paranoid that the expansion tank is going to break every time I go to take the cap off.

I'm guessing bad water pump bearing is not one of those things I can put off till warmer weather.
Did you go with an OEM replacement? I know that some other popular model waterpumps like Graf/Bosch, etc are of questionable build quality. I've heard alot of horror stories about premature failure from "off-brand" pumps.
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  #6  
Old 10-06-2012, 08:46 AM
vicious95 vicious95 is offline
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This happen to me yesterday. Not cool cuz the blades actually hit the radiator on their way out and broke it .
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  #7  
Old 10-06-2012, 01:40 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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The plastic at the base of the fan blades fatigues with age. Because the fan is pulling air into the engine compartment the blades are continuously being pulled forward. As they separate from the hub they have a nasty tendency to make contact with the radiator and other parts around the shroud before they separate completely. The loose blades sometimes get caught between the radiator and the remaining blades on the fan for a few revolutions which tears up the radiator too.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:19 PM
e36Jeff e36Jeff is offline
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I had forgotten to update this with the final fix. The bearing of the water pump, which was newish and OEM was not quite perpendicular to the body, inducing an extremely minor wobble in the fan, not enough to look like an issue at idle, but when the engine was at high RPM, could induce an impact between the fan and the shroud at the top of the radiator, which would the shatter the blades off the fan. That water pump shattered 3 fans. I replaced the engine mounts after the first fan, the fan clutch and transmission mounts after the second, then the pump after the third. The error in the bearing was slight enough that it took me 5-10 minutes of comparing the old and new pumps to figure out what was wrong.
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  #9  
Old 10-07-2012, 09:45 PM
vicious95 vicious95 is offline
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Well I replaced my radiator and no more clutch fan for me. Only aux fan and it works just fine no over heating
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  #10  
Old 10-07-2012, 09:49 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Best of luck...
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  #11  
Old 10-07-2012, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by vicious95 View Post
Well I replaced my radiator and no more clutch fan for me. Only aux fan and it works just fine no over heating
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Best of luck...
2 points:

1. It is no longer summer.

2. You haven't yet been caught in bumper to bumper traffic, have you?
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  #12  
Old 10-07-2012, 10:16 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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When the consequences of overheating an E36 are so incredibly high, removing one of the cooling system components has never seemed like a wise idea to me. It relies too heavily on everything else to be working absolutely perfectly.
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