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5 Series DIY
Knowledge Is Power! ~ The place for do-it-yourself threads on a variety of topics. Start a thread describing a particular job (oil change, cooling system overhaul, brakes, shocks and springs, etc.) or search for one you need help with!

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Old 03-12-2011, 01:34 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25,236
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I should mention, as an update, that I used the rawhide trick a few months after my posts above (when my cooling system blew up) and everything worked out perfectly!

I gotta' thank cn90 for this great idea.

Just for the record, notice Rexgo used dental floss for his cn90 fan clutch nut trick:
- Rexgo's '97 528 Cooling O'haul

An advantage of the rawhide is that it's easy on the hands; an advantage of the dental floss is that there's no need to tape it on.
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Last edited by bluebee; 03-12-2011 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:33 AM
LarryBrown LarryBrown is offline
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Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 2003 525i, 1989 735i
Just split the fan shroud.

This is a nice idea, but much better: split the fan shroud so that the top can be removed easily. Then you have room to work and see.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:49 PM
slantyboy slantyboy is offline
Resuscitating Touring
Location: California
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 03 525iT, 02 540iT, 90mx5
great tip CN90!
i just replaced my fan clutch and this was such an invaluable tip.
for those on the electric fan camp, this fan clutch keeps air over all plastic parts which prolongs the pliability of the hoses.

btw, how viscous is the clutch fluid suppose to be?
neither my old one nor the new one (non-OE) are spinning as freely as these guy's videos below.
these guys are able to stop the fan with a finger.

i am able to spin the fan when the engine is off but there is resistance. and when idling, there is no way i can try what these guys have shown.
although i did notice in both videos, they have V8's and mine is an I6.

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Old 10-08-2012, 12:20 PM
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mr magoo mr magoo is offline
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Location: south of Boston
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 124
Mein Auto: 2000 528i
Thank you. Simple genious

Thank you for posting this simple solution. I tried it and it worked perfectly on the second try. ON my first try, I wound the string to pull in the wrong direction. Otherwise it was one pull and done. It was so refreshing to get something to work this well during a cooling system rebuild where I received a dented radiator in a perfect box, broke a thermostat bolt using a torque wrench, dropped the PS reservoir nut into the abyss, and discovered a crack in the bleeder vent after all was installed. Oh yeah, my work was interrupted by rain 3 times.
I can't wait to pass this trick on as mine.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:37 AM
BarryM BarryM is offline
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Location: Hayling Island
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Mein Auto: Alpina B10 V8
Spent loads of time reading up on how to repair the cooling system and wondered if this would be needed.

Very pleased to say I used this idea with string and it was very easy so many thanks CN90
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:46 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25,236
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Originally Posted by BarryM View Post
I used this idea with string and it was very easy
I must agree this string idea is fantastic!

Anyway, I came here just now to cross reference an interesting test by Teklord69 who has been driving a while now, as a test, without any fan clutch whatsoever, and, who has "modified" his fan shroud, for each on/off of the fan clutch itself:
- My new fan shroud "mod"
Please read the suggested threads and add value, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:56 PM
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JDeGraff89 JDeGraff89 is offline
Otto Zwei-Punkt-Null
Location: Omaha, NE
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,519
Mein Auto: 12- 2002 530i Auto,
This trick will be incredibly useful. Thanks for the post. I will be using this tomorrow when I do my fan clutch.
Current: 12/16/2002 530i Auto Titangrau/Standardscwarz

R.I.P. Otto, 04/17/97 - 02/02/15 You'll be missed my drunken Bavarian friend.

"Owning one of these cars is much like owning a two year old child. It's annoying most of the time, but if anyone tries to take it from you'll kill them." J. Clarkson.
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Old 12-27-2014, 08:36 PM
Chris1449 Chris1449 is offline
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Location: Virginia
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 323Ci
I know this is an old thread but I am new to this forum and just discovered this tip. I must say after 1/2 hr of frustration trying to thread the fan hub back on the water pump, this ingenious idea worked in about 2 minutes. Thanks for the excellent idea for getting this fan back on!
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:33 AM
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musa musa is offline
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Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 606
Mein Auto: 528ia , X5 4.4 S, 335i cp
I just used this trick today...a "mood" saver!

E39 528ia, E53 X5 4.4 Sports, E92 335i coupe
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