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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 12-10-2012, 07:58 PM
bimcwe bimcwe is offline
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Question Idler Pulley replacement without taking out the fan out?

Is there anyway to replace the Idler Pulley without taking out the radiator fan/shroud out? Apparently you need a special tool to remove it, and I certainly don't have said tool.
Going by :
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Last edited by bimcwe; 12-10-2012 at 08:00 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2012, 09:05 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimcwe View Post
Apparently you need a special tool to remove it, and I certainly don't have said tool
Do a search for "BFH" and you'll find a special substitute tool.

Or, you can make your own or buy the tool for about $3.
- How to make your own BMW cooling system overhaul fan clutch nut counterhold tools (1) (2)

BMW_Fan_Clutch_Counterhold_Tool_CAD_Template_to_sc ale.pdf
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Last edited by bluebee; 12-10-2012 at 09:06 PM. Reason: Added CAD template
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  #3  
Old 12-10-2012, 09:51 PM
Yurekk Yurekk is offline
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No, there is not enough room to do it with the fan on. You probably don't need the tool to remove the fan, I removed mine using hammer method. Secure the wrench on the fan nut and sharply hit with a hammer, this should loosen it.
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2012, 09:57 PM
bimcwe bimcwe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Do a search for "BFH" and you'll find a special substitute tool.

Or, you can make your own or buy the tool for about $3.
Where have you seen this mystical $3 tool o_o. Or did you mean $30?
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  #5  
Old 12-10-2012, 10:09 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Originally Posted by Yurekk View Post
Secure the wrench on the fan nut and sharply hit with a hammer, this should loosen it.
Isn't the thread on this nut reverse? So caution not to hammer the nut on tighter?
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  #6  
Old 12-10-2012, 10:25 PM
bimcwe bimcwe is offline
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I'm probably going to buy the tool. The sound coming from my car due to this is ridiculous and a little embarrassing lol. I just haven't had time to fix it Q_Q. Anyone willing to link me to the correct tool?.. there seem to be quite a few variations.
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  #7  
Old 12-11-2012, 08:02 AM
TannerT TannerT is online now
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I just made mine out of a scrap price of aluminum about 1/8" think took 20mins and was free

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  #8  
Old 12-11-2012, 08:13 AM
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That has got to be the worst DIY video ever. Who shot that thing... Moe, Larry and Curly?
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  #9  
Old 12-11-2012, 08:32 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimcwe View Post
Where have you seen this mystical $3 tool
Umm... er ... it was in the thread I pointed you to?

There are MANY (many many many many) ways to hold the water pump and loosen the fan clutch nut (all explained in gory detail if you just click on the link I provided). No sense repeating it here.

Me?

I just use the right tool - and it comes off in a split second.

Here's a picture of my M54, with the proper tools lined up.


But, trust me, if I give you a link, it has the answer you seek.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bimcwe View Post
Anyone willing to link me to the correct tool?..
Did you even click on the link we already provided you which contains the answer to all your questions?
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  #10  
Old 12-11-2012, 09:58 AM
bimcwe bimcwe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Umm... er ... it was in the thread I pointed you to?

There are MANY (many many many many) ways to hold the water pump and loosen the fan clutch nut (all explained in gory detail if you just click on the link I provided). No sense repeating it here.

Me?

I just use the right tool - and it comes off in a split second.

Here's a picture of my M54, with the proper tools lined up.


But, trust me, if I give you a link, it has the answer you seek.



Did you even click on the link we already provided you which contains the answer to all your questions?
Going to be real with you and admit I didn't see the tiny hyperlinks in (1) and (2) haha. Thanks man.
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Last edited by bimcwe; 12-11-2012 at 09:59 AM.
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  #11  
Old 12-11-2012, 09:58 AM
bimcwe bimcwe is offline
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Not sure how I double posted but it happened.
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  #12  
Old 12-11-2012, 10:52 AM
VP VP is offline
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After managing to force my 1-1/4 inch open end on that fan nut, and doing my best to hold it all from turning, I just paid the $50 for the tools and keep them in my toolbox. Well worth it if you're going to be doing DIY's along the way.
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  #13  
Old 12-11-2012, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by VP View Post
After managing to force my 1-1/4 inch open end on that fan nut, and doing my best to hold it all from turning, I just paid the $50 for the tools and keep them in my toolbox. Well worth it if you're going to be doing DIY's along the way.
I bit the bullet and bought a set off ebay. And they do see the light of day every now and then. I've even loaned them out to others in the area. It's not a one time use kind of deal.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:40 PM
Yurekk Yurekk is offline
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Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Isn't the thread on this nut reverse? So caution not to hammer the nut on tighter?
Yes, it is reverse, so clockwise will loosen it.
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  #15  
Old 12-11-2012, 08:23 PM
bimcwe bimcwe is offline
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So

And I should be all set?
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Last edited by bimcwe; 12-11-2012 at 08:30 PM.
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  #16  
Old 12-11-2012, 10:41 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Correct!
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  #17  
Old 12-12-2012, 12:24 AM
bimcwe bimcwe is offline
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Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Correct!
Thanks
Anything I can do to alleviate the exceptionally loud squealing that only seems to let up a bit after she heats up... the tool won't come in for about 4 days.
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  #18  
Old 12-12-2012, 09:51 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Back to square one. Because if you could reach the pulley, you could get a squirt of oil in there to quiet it down short term. But have to get the bolt out to do that.
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  #19  
Old 12-13-2012, 02:48 PM
bimcwe bimcwe is offline
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Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Back to square one. Because if you could reach the pulley, you could get a squirt of oil in there to quiet it down short term. But have to get the bolt out to do that.
Lol guess I'll grit my teeth, put my hood up and drive fast
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  #20  
Old 12-13-2012, 07:41 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by bimcwe View Post
Going to be real with you and admit I didn't see the tiny hyperlinks in (1) and (2) haha. Thanks man.
No problem.

We go to a ton of trouble to create links to the answer of every question ever asked on the E39 forum (many of which are the same for the E46), that sometimes I get short with people who don't click on the links.

Good luck - you have MANY options, as evidenced in that thread.


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  #21  
Old 12-15-2012, 04:55 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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If you have a ratcheting box end wrench it is possible to change the pulley without taking the fan out.
This is the one I have:http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....e=snapon-store
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  #22  
Old 12-15-2012, 09:42 PM
Vtguy325i Vtguy325i is offline
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I had to replace mine as well, and i did it without removing the fan shroud. If you put a wrench on the fan bolt and turn it a little, it will release the tension on the belt enough to pull it out. Im not gonna lie, it was a pain in the butt unscrewing the bolt that way, but it only took an hour and a half start to finish. Good luck im sure with the tool you ordered it will be a piece of cake.

Last edited by Vtguy325i; 12-15-2012 at 09:43 PM.
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  #23  
Old 12-15-2012, 11:10 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Originally Posted by Jimmys 530i View Post
If you have a ratcheting box end wrench it is possible to change the pulley without taking the fan out.
This is the one I have:http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....e=snapon-store
Very intersting that you replaced a 325 with a 330 of not too different a build date. So I'm guessing the reason was to upgrade to the 330? Smart if so.
I bought my car new the month after your 330 build date and decided to spend the extra $7000 for the 330 because I knew it was worth the extra thrill. No regrets!
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  #24  
Old 12-16-2012, 05:26 AM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Very intersting that you replaced a 325 with a 330 of not too different a build date. So I'm guessing the reason was to upgrade to the 330? Smart if so.
I bought my car new the month after your 330 build date and decided to spend the extra $7000 for the 330 because I knew it was worth the extra thrill. No regrets!
The 325i cannot compete with my current 330ci. Once I drove a 330ci at work, I had to get one. 6 speed > 5 speed
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