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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-06-2011, 08:03 AM
mmorningstar mmorningstar is offline
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Fan Clutch Tool Question, need one, in central PA

Anyone in Central PA know where to buy a fan clutch removal tool? I need to change the thermostat this weekend in the wifes E46, it's auto, so I need a fan clutch removal tool, I know I can source them on Ebay for about $40 but I really need to do it this weekend, so I'm trying to source one locally, any advice on where to buy one. or an alternate to make my own?
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2011, 08:14 AM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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No need for that tool, search this forum and you will find out how to remove it using a large 32mm wrench and a large hammer.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2011, 09:24 AM
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Courtesy of.......well.........ME! Also, if you can't find a 32mm wrench, NAPA sells a 1 and 1/4" wrench (what I have) and it works just fine too.

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  #4  
Old 01-06-2011, 09:34 AM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Courtesy of.......well.........ME! Also, if you can't find a 32mm wrench, NAPA sells a 1 and 1/4" wrench (what I have) and it works just fine too.

Came in sooo handy when I was doing my cooling system and pullies .
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2011, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Nando779 View Post
Came in sooo handy when I was doing my cooling system and pullies .
Glad to help. I have only met 2 BMW"s that this method didn't work on, and both had been overheated and had seized water pumps. So that is less than 5%. Should work for you! And here is a tip, when re-installing the fan, don't worry about torquing down the fan nut, it is reverse thread and can't come loose. Also, a smear of anti-sieze on the threads is a GREAT investment in making future repairs easier.
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2011, 01:02 PM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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I have a gen-u-ine SnapOn fan clutch tool for BMW, but you'd need to drive from State College to the Lehigh Valley to borrow it. As others have said, any thin wrench about 32mm ought to work just fine. The threads are reverse.
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A bimmer with forced induction should have a proper manual gearbox. Anything less is like french kissing your sister.
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  #7  
Old 01-06-2011, 01:26 PM
mmorningstar mmorningstar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Glad to help. I have only met 2 BMW"s that this method didn't work on, and both had been overheated and had seized water pumps. So that is less than 5%. Should work for you! And here is a tip, when re-installing the fan, don't worry about torquing down the fan nut, it is reverse thread and can't come loose. Also, a smear of anti-sieze on the threads is a GREAT investment in making future repairs easier.

you da man! It took one tap on the 32mm with a 5lb sledge and it was free, totally painless and easy, if I had my thermostat it would have been done in about 20 minutes, picking it up tomorrow. Thanks so much to all.
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2011, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mmorningstar View Post
you da man! It took one tap on the 32mm with a 5lb sledge and it was free, totally painless and easy, if I had my thermostat it would have been done in about 20 minutes, picking it up tomorrow. Thanks so much to all.
All props go to Scott ZHP as he was the one who enlightened me on this technique.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2011, 02:23 PM
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  #10  
Old 01-10-2011, 08:05 PM
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Over in the E39s, we make our own fan clutch tools ...
- How to make your own BMW cooling system overhaul fan clutch nut counterhold tools (1) (2)

In fact, we make a lot of our own tools ...
- How to make your own BMW thrust bushing tool (1) or buy them (1) (2) or improvise (1)
- How to make your own BMW car ramps (1)
- How to make your own BMW subframe & differential bushings tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW oxygen sensor removal tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW single-VANOS solonoid socket tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW camber & toe-in alignment tools (1)
- How to make your own BMW hella headlight adjusters (1) (2)
- How to make your own BMW rtab removal tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW upper timing chain locking tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW flywheel locking tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW cylinder head bolt removal tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW cam locking nut tool (1)
- How to make your own BMW crankshaft holder tool (1)
- How to make your own alignment tools to adjust toe-in and camber (1)
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  #11  
Old 01-16-2011, 01:19 PM
Darth Emphatic Darth Emphatic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Courtesy of.......well.........ME! Also, if you can't find a 32mm wrench, NAPA sells a 1 and 1/4" wrench (what I have) and it works just fine too.

Is that an automatic or a manual? I found your method and tried it out, but accidentally cracked the connector to the thermostat from the upper radiator hose. It just seems too tight in there, it might be because I only have an adjustable wrench (I have been looking for a skinnier one size 32mm or 1 1/4" wrench, but have had no luck locally). Now that the hose connect is cracked i am just going to remove it and try this again on the nut. I have an automatic by the way.
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  #12  
Old 01-17-2011, 05:56 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Emphatic View Post
Is that an automatic or a manual? I found your method and tried it out, but accidentally cracked the connector to the thermostat from the upper radiator hose. It just seems too tight in there, it might be because I only have an adjustable wrench (I have been looking for a skinnier one size 32mm or 1 1/4" wrench, but have had no luck locally). Now that the hose connect is cracked i am just going to remove it and try this again on the nut. I have an automatic by the way.
At the time of the video my car was an automatic.
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Quote:
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #13  
Old 01-17-2011, 07:32 AM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
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IIRC, only Bimmers with autotrannies have the mechanical fan sticking out the front of the engine. Manuals have an electrical fan that slides out oooh, so easily.
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  #14  
Old 01-17-2011, 07:45 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Originally Posted by jcourcoul View Post
IIRC, only Bimmers with autotrannies have the mechanical fan sticking out the front of the engine. Manuals have an electrical fan that slides out oooh, so easily.
Not quite all of them. Some of the early model 5 speeds have a manual fan. Anything 02 and newer (that I have seen) has only the electrical.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #15  
Old 03-26-2011, 12:10 PM
TerraPhantm TerraPhantm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott ZHP View Post
I have a gen-u-ine SnapOn fan clutch tool for BMW, but you'd need to drive from State College to the Lehigh Valley to borrow it. As others have said, any thin wrench about 32mm ought to work just fine. The threads are reverse.
Scott - any chance you'd be willing to let me borrow that? Lehigh Valley isn't too far from me. Or do you know the part number for the snap-on tool?
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  #16  
Old 03-26-2011, 02:08 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Courtesy of.......well.........ME!
I love that video!

Every time I see it, I just wonder at your ingenuity.


Me? I use the $20 fan counterhold tools.


Since all the tools are free to work on the bimmer, I use whatever the Bentley says to use (but source it from Ebay or Harbor Freight or Sears or a bicycle shop as explained in the fan clutch tools DIY).


But, others use tools just as ingenious such as plumbing tools:


And, there are PLENTY of other ingenious alternatives (e.g., garage door opener, Lowe's $3 bars, plumbing tools at Home Depot, etc.), all with pictures and diagrams and prices in the thread I referenced already.



- How to make your own BMW cooling system overhaul fan clutch nut counterhold tools (1) (2)



And then again, there those who use unorthodox methods:


But, as stated, the hammer and 32mm method works just as well:
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  #17  
Old 11-16-2011, 06:21 PM
Ricardo567 Ricardo567 is offline
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How to replace the Fan Clutch easily on BMW 3 series

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmorningstar View Post
Anyone in Central PA know where to buy a fan clutch removal tool? I need to change the thermostat this weekend in the wifes E46, it's auto, so I need a fan clutch removal tool, I know I can source them on Ebay for about $40 but I really need to do it this weekend, so I'm trying to source one locally, any advice on where to buy one. or an alternate to make my own?
Easy fan clutch remove

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  #18  
Old 11-17-2011, 11:28 AM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Originally Posted by Ricardo567 View Post
Easy fan clutch remove
That was the most painful video I have ever seen. I couldn't get through more than a minute before I had to turn it off.
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  #19  
Old 11-17-2011, 02:47 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is online now
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That was the most painful video I have ever seen. I couldn't get through more than a minute before I had to turn it off.
Really....that sh!t induces vertigo....
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