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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)

E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 02-11-2007, 12:18 PM
Peter Bratke Peter Bratke is offline
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Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Mein Auto: 1990 325i
E30 Heater Fan Speed

I'm struggling with the fan speed control on my '90 325i. The heater/AC fan only works on the highest speed setting. I have the four speed switch. I've pulled out the switch and tested it, and it seems to work fine for all settings. The blower fan unit obviously works, since it works at the highest speed. There must be something in between the switch and the blower. Is there some kind of voltage regulator that limits the amount of power to the fan, based on the switch setting? Any help would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2007, 01:22 PM
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BahnBaum BahnBaum is offline
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Location: Havre de Grace, MD
 
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Mein Auto: 1 - 4.20hp, 1 - 420hp
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Bratke View Post
I'm struggling with the fan speed control on my '90 325i. The heater/AC fan only works on the highest speed setting. I have the four speed switch. I've pulled out the switch and tested it, and it seems to work fine for all settings. The blower fan unit obviously works, since it works at the highest speed. There must be something in between the switch and the blower. Is there some kind of voltage regulator that limits the amount of power to the fan, based on the switch setting? Any help would be appreciated.
Your blower motor resistor needs cleaning. It's relatively easy, you should be able to do a search on this site and find some diy instructions.

Alex
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2007, 06:15 AM
PPusher PPusher is offline
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Location: Amarillo, Texas USA
 
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Mein Auto: 1991 325iC
I am having that exact same trouble with my '91 325i.
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2007, 07:17 AM
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BahnBaum BahnBaum is offline
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http://e30.bmwdiy.info/blower-resistor/index.html

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  #5  
Old 02-12-2007, 07:35 AM
PPusher PPusher is offline
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Location: Amarillo, Texas USA
 
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Mein Auto: 1991 325iC
Thanks BahnBaum!
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2007, 08:07 AM
Peter Bratke Peter Bratke is offline
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Location: Virginia
 
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Mein Auto: 1990 325i
Vielen Dank. BahnBaum. Found the same DIY article minutes before you posted the link. Going to give it a shot next weekend. I'll try to clean the resistor before buying a replacement.
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2007, 09:01 AM
PPusher PPusher is offline
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Location: Amarillo, Texas USA
 
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Mein Auto: 1991 325iC
Well, I went right out tom the car and did it. Fan control works like a champ now. Clean springs, and contacts with small tooth brush, and light soapy water. Dried well and bada bing!

Thanks again for the link.
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2007, 11:39 AM
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BahnBaum BahnBaum is offline
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Every e30 owner learns this routine at some point.

It's like a secret handshake.

Alex
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  #9  
Old 02-12-2007, 03:40 PM
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Heresy_Act Heresy_Act is offline
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Location: Ottawa, On
 
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Mein Auto: '88 e30 325is
Mine stopped working for a day or two. I went through a construction zone, the car got rattled a bit and it's been working fine since.
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2007, 08:31 AM
tifxs tifxs is offline
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Location: Boston
 
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Mein Auto: '00 540i, '86 325es
Quote:
Originally Posted by BahnBaum View Post
Every e30 owner learns this routine at some point.

It's like a secret handshake.

Alex
I tried it this morning, since my wife is having the same problem with our e30, but had major issues gaining access to the two bottom bolts on the cover, so I didn't get very far. Does anyone have a tip on getting access to the remining two bolts? I took off the little shelf holding the wires, but still couldn't get them out of the way. It probably doesn't help that I was doing it in 10 degree weather, but I don't have a garage.

So close! Any ideas?

(At my old job, I could drive my cars onto the shop floor and do all the work inside, but alas, not anymore.)
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2007, 09:04 AM
Peter Bratke Peter Bratke is offline
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Location: Virginia
 
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Mein Auto: 1990 325i
Only had an hour last night but managed to pull the resistor out an clean it. Fan Speed 3 came on for a few seconds but stopped working, so I'm optimistic that the resistor is my problem. I'll try it again. May invest the $25 in a new resistor. On my ohm meter, the resistance on all 3 springs reads the same.

As far as getting to the lower bolts, I only had a little trouble with the passenger side one. You can't get the whole cover out of the way without disconnecting other part, but you should be able to get is so you can swing it up and out of the way of the blower unit.

One thing with the E30 sedan, having the battery in the trunk, makes the empty battery shelf in the engine compartment a very convenient place to leave and forget your tools (until you hear a rattle when driving).
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2007, 10:57 AM
oldbmr oldbmr is offline
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Location: Milton
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 55
Mein Auto: 86 325es
What type of wrench are you using? I used a combination wrench to get all the top ones out then switched to a socket with short extension for the bottom ones. As far as getting the wires out of the way, did you cut the nylon zip ties off the bundle? They're very rigid if you don't. Once I cut the ties it made them a bit more flexible and bought me that tiny bit of extra room I needed to get the cover off. And yes, you gotta love the little built in tool tray
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2007, 02:09 PM
tifxs tifxs is offline
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Location: Boston
 
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Mein Auto: '00 540i, '86 325es
Using a small socket, and I couldn't get in there. I guess I will cut the zip ties--that makes sense. The thought didn't even cross my mind. (It was too cold to think!!!)
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  #14  
Old 02-13-2007, 03:49 PM
ctim ctim is offline
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Location: Rolla
 
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Mein Auto: 1991 318i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Bratke View Post
Only had an hour last night but managed to pull the resistor out an clean it. Fan Speed 3 came on for a few seconds but stopped working, so I'm optimistic that the resistor is my problem. I'll try it again. May invest the $25 in a new resistor. On my ohm meter, the resistance on all 3 springs reads the same.
When this happened to me I cleaned the crap out of the resistor and nothing... Sometimes these cars just want something new. I'd say just buy the new will cause it will fix it.
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  #15  
Old 02-14-2007, 08:51 AM
Peter Bratke Peter Bratke is offline
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Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Mein Auto: 1990 325i
Replaced my blower resistor with a new one, blower works like a charm now. Just in time for our next east coast cold front. Amazing how much faster you can do this repair the second time around. Took me over an hour to pull the resistor out and clean it the first time; last night I popped the new resistor in and had everything put back together in about 20 minutes.

Thanks again, everyone.
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  #16  
Old 09-23-2008, 05:11 PM
Northsea Northsea is offline
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Location: illinois
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 1988 325is
Just replaced heater fan

'88 325is
Old one rattled and banged at speeds above 1 (broken outer ring on squirrel cage fan). Bought used online for $40. Had to use a gear puller to adjust the width between fans so it would fit in the slot and then, after repositioning a dozen times, got it all back together. New one runs, very quietly, at 4. Nothing else. Appears that a new resistor pack is in my future as well. For the time being tho, 4 is fine.

As to the nasty little screws at the bottom of the plate, I used a socket with a 2" extension, which I loosened with a pliers around the shaft of the extension. I dropped both into the engine and retrieved both with my new lighted, telescoping, magnet. Wonderful toy. Almost makes up for losing fan speeds 1 - 3.
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