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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 10-11-2007, 11:20 AM
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Fragzem Fragzem is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 540i/6, 1964 Wildcat
no BMW didnt help at all. I didnt even bother. Its 10 yrs old.. 123k miles when that happend.

If any of you have visited Zionsville Autosport's site to check out their radiators, they have picutres of the same catastrophe on someone else's car..
cept.. mine did more damange than that.

But its all good now. this Zionsville (knock on wood) is built FORD TOUGH.. Without the Ford part and actually pretending Ford was actually tough at all
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  #27  
Old 10-11-2007, 11:22 AM
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Fragzem Fragzem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
DIY info is here:
http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/199986

It is very long and has lots of details. Take your time to digest it.
That appears to be for the 528..This isn't a problem on the 528s. Only the V8 E39 and E38.

I did do it myself... its all rather simple remove and replace. nothing is difficult to get to. All ya gotta do is look for bolts and take em out
Getting the pulley off the fan clutch was a bit difficult.. not sure I remember how I tackled that one. I know it invovled a vice and a brass hammer and stuff.. wouldn't come off how it was supposed to, and since it had no fan on it anymore.. it was easy to take off in one piece.. ha
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  #28  
Old 10-11-2007, 01:28 PM
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ross1 ross1 is offline
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Wow, that's a nasty bit of damage there. Worst case scenario.
Did this not give some warning in the form of noise first?
Would I be correct if speculating that it also came apart at high revs?
Today I'm doing a water pump with a failed bearing that nearly came to this. I'll use your post as an illustration of why you shouldn't ignore funny noises.
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  #29  
Old 10-11-2007, 02:29 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Another cause the broken motor mount in the V8 540i according to my bmw guru mechanic.
The V8 produces alot of torque, so when the motor mount is broken, it allows the fan blades to hit the fan shroud and things fly everywhere.
This can damage the fan clutch as well.

So V8 owners....check your engine mount.
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  #30  
Old 10-11-2007, 02:42 PM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
The V8 produces alot of torque ...
Torque... ooohh - ahhh (insert your best impression here of Homer Simpson drolling!)

But seriously, that is one of the best things about the 540 - I love that massive torque in the 2000-4000 RPM range
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  #31  
Old 10-13-2007, 08:39 PM
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Gibber66 Gibber66 is offline
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Fan Clutch Explosion =
That's out of control! Sure hope BMW does something about that. That's way poor design.

Sorry to hear/see it.

Cheers,
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  #32  
Old 10-14-2007, 09:14 AM
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What a mess. :/
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  #33  
Old 10-22-2007, 04:02 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Hey Fragzem, Ouch, sorry to hear and see that.

How many miles on you car when this happened? I guess the fan clutch was never changed before this? Or you replaced the fan clutch before and this still happened?
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  #34  
Old 10-23-2007, 12:43 PM
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I can't remeber my mileage.. I know I bought the car with 122.5k on 3/30, this happened in July so... maybe 124-125k? I've got 128.9k on it now.

I'm guessing it was never changed before....... it, in fact, happened in my driveway. If you call 3,000 rpm high rpm, then I guess yeah, it happened at high rpm.

I had just got back home from the Hamptons earlier that day. I took it out at night to go to the store, it was fine. Got around the corner from my house and the fan became quite loud. Drove it around the block twice, couldn't figure it out, so I parked it at home. Took a look under the hood, didn't see anything unusual-it had sounded as if something was stuck in the fan- Closed the hood.

Got in the car to see if it was still getting as loud... rev'd to 3,000 rpm and BOOM.

So... those of you asking what the warning noises are.. well.. a very loud fan would be one.. but being that from the time it started making noise, to the time it blew up was a matter of 10 minutes or so... I don't think it'll be something you're gonna hear and say "Ok, I'll fix it tomorrow at the shop 20 miles away before it blows".. unless you're pretty damn lucky. In this case, preventive maintence is key.

Not that I didn't enjoy putting the Zionsville setup in my car anyway.. that thing is pretty awesome. However, I would've rather switched to Zionsville for the $1400 without the added cost of all the hoses, waterpump, thermostat, blah blah blah.

here are the zionsville pics after install.. never actually took any until today.

The relays (i bolted down with the power steering reservour bolts).. i thought it were a good location where air could get around em.


The radiator.


Note orange wire running to diagnostic connector for 12V on. I wish I had more wire loom but.. whatever.


Front view.. note not using the original overflow/return hose and putting steel braid over a straight hose looks 100x better.

Last edited by Fragzem; 10-23-2007 at 01:16 PM.
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  #35  
Old 10-24-2007, 02:35 AM
Morat Morat is offline
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Looking at those pics reminds of that scene in Apollo 13 were the astronauts get to see the service module for the first time since the explosion.

"All the way up to the heat shield!"
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  #36  
Old 10-24-2007, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morat View Post
Looking at those pics reminds of that scene in Apollo 13 were the astronauts get to see the service module for the first time since the explosion.

"All the way up to the heat shield!"

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  #37  
Old 10-25-2007, 07:08 AM
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What are the signs that your fan clutch is going? I have 125K on my E39 and would be SOOOO pissed if it disintegrates under the hood!
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  #38  
Old 10-25-2007, 07:12 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Lifespan of Fan Clutch is 100-150K.
Do a cooling oevrhaul, never have to worry about it for another 80K.
May be after 80K, you move on to another car so dealing with diffferent issues...
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  #39  
Old 10-25-2007, 07:31 AM
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burt540 burt540 is offline
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I did a cooling overhaul not too long ago, but didn't get the fan clutch replaced. Do I need to worry???
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  #40  
Old 10-25-2007, 07:33 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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BIG Yes, if you do not want your hood shattered.
The fan clutch has a lifespan of 100-150K.
Most of the time it fails by spinning freely so less cooling efficiency.
But once in a while it simply blows up.

You simply cannot push it beyond 125K. A new fan clutch is about $80-90....you will sleep well after $80-90.

same topic, this fellow just busted his radiator neck at 125K:
http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/e39/8680337-1.html
The more reason to do cooling system overhaul.

Last edited by cn90; 10-25-2007 at 07:58 AM.
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  #41  
Old 10-25-2007, 10:42 AM
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Fragzem Fragzem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burt540 View Post
I did a cooling overhaul not too long ago, but didn't get the fan clutch replaced. Do I need to worry???
YES you need to worry. That's exactly why I made this post bud!

Very scary issue right there.. Imagine if I had stuck my head under there to see what the noise was and BOOM!!?
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  #42  
Old 10-25-2007, 07:06 PM
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Before the "blow up" did you experience any symptoms that I can watch/listen for? Anything?
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  #43  
Old 10-25-2007, 09:08 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Why trying to save $80-90 for an imminent failure that can lead to $3000-4000 repair of the hood.

You need to look at Fan Clutch like Car Tires.....after let's say 40-50K miles, the tires are simply gone, you can't push them further. Actually you can but they will eventually blow up when they are bald with no hair!
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  #44  
Old 10-25-2007, 09:40 PM
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i say get rid of the fan and clutch and put in an eletric fan. no worries
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  #45  
Old 10-26-2007, 07:34 AM
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burt540 burt540 is offline
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After all of the feedback, I decided to bring the "5" to the shop this morning and get the fan clutch replaced. Better safe than sorry (besides needed an alignment done also). Any noticeable differences after it's changed out? Thanks for the help!
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  #46  
Old 10-29-2007, 12:38 AM
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Fragzem Fragzem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burt540 View Post
Before the "blow up" did you experience any symptoms that I can watch/listen for? Anything?
Yeah, for all of about half of a mile of driving the fan was very VERY loud.. sounded like a Freightliner coming down the street.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Why trying to save $80-90 for an imminent failure that can lead to $3000-4000 repair of the hood.

You need to look at Fan Clutch like Car Tires.....after let's say 40-50K miles, the tires are simply gone, you can't push them further. Actually you can but they will eventually blow up when they are bald with no hair!
Actually only paid $250 to get my hood some new metal welded in and entire hood re-sprayed. (I already had the paint tho) But the replacement of all those parts listed in my original post at the beginning of this thread... phew.. $2,400+

Quote:
Originally Posted by lild View Post
i say get rid of the fan and clutch and put in an eletric fan. no worries
That's what I did do. (http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/4236/1000469dp2.jpg)

Quote:
Originally Posted by burt540 View Post
After all of the feedback, I decided to bring the "5" to the shop this morning and get the fan clutch replaced. Better safe than sorry (besides needed an alignment done also). Any noticeable differences after it's changed out? Thanks for the help!
I wouldn't know what it'd be like once the fan clutch was changed.. because after mine blew everything to pieces, I switched over to a Zionsville Aluminium Radiator and Electric Fan kit. (http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/4236/1000469dp2.jpg) And you're welcome!
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Fan Blades Can Explode.. Read My Thread
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  #47  
Old 10-29-2007, 08:07 AM
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Got it replaced. No noticeable differences, but now I can drive with piece of mind!
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  #48  
Old 11-06-2007, 07:41 AM
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Fragzem Fragzem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burt540 View Post
Got it replaced. No noticeable differences, but now I can drive with piece of mind!
Peace of mind is what its all about, isn't it?
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Fan Blades Can Explode.. Read My Thread
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  #49  
Old 11-06-2007, 08:42 AM
Waveho Waveho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burt540 View Post
Got it replaced. No noticeable differences, but now I can drive with piece of mind!

Which piece??

(j/k )
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  #50  
Old 11-09-2007, 09:16 PM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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My radiator just exploded last night.

I should only point out that about a month ago one of the heater hoses leaked and was replaced. Maybe that was the warning shot!

At any rate, I got home OK. No high temp warning, nothing out of normal. Ride home was very leisure like, temps were in the high 60's (F).

Tomorrow is trash day, so I open the garage a couple of hours later, and then I noticed the blue/green liquid on the back of the garage towards the driveway. Surely enough, coming from under the engine:



The cap/top of the expansion tank was "wet", so I can tell where it came from:



I removed the fan shroud and expansion tank and I looked carefully at the hoses - they seem OK, with no visible leaks:



So, regardless if it was the expansion tank alone and/or the radiator, I am going to replace it all. Since I do intend to keep the car for a while, I am thinking about doing this the right way and get the Zionsville ($$$), and I am getting the SD package with the electrical fan, so no more chance of the OEM fan/clutch causing any future damage.
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