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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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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  #1  
Old 12-12-2012, 07:54 PM
2k528i 2k528i is offline
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Can't get the fan nut loose

I've done the reading on how to remove the fan, I know it's a reverse thread but I can't get mine to break loose. The belt tension is not enough to hold it, it just slips.

I've sprayed it with PB blaster and let it set.. no luck.

You can't really put any pressure on the pulley because of the cheap plastic crap it's made out of... does anyone have any ideas?

The writeups make it sound like it should come loose so easily... I'm about to drop a tree on this car.

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  #2  
Old 12-12-2012, 08:09 PM
occhis occhis is online now
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You need to get the tool
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2012, 08:10 PM
2k528i 2k528i is offline
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I have a 32mm wrench...

what other tool is there?
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  #4  
Old 12-12-2012, 08:21 PM
occhis occhis is online now
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http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&s...2&tx=100&ty=55
Make sure you get the one that fits your car. They are not universal.
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  #5  
Old 12-12-2012, 08:25 PM
occhis occhis is online now
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I spent the better part of a whole day trying to get mine off. Tried different size screwdrivers to hold the w/p, tried fashioning a homemade tool.
Got the right tool and it came off in 10 seconds.
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2012, 09:31 PM
EthirtyMine EthirtyMine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by occhis View Post
I spent the better part of a whole day trying to get mine off. Tried different size screwdrivers to hold the w/p, tried fashioning a homemade tool.
Got the right tool and it came off in 10 seconds.
+1.

The right tool, for any job, is often the difference between a good experience, and a bad one.
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2012, 05:05 AM
2k528i 2k528i is offline
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why didn't i think of that....

thanks guys...
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2012, 06:56 AM
BadBrad BadBrad is offline
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I made one out of bar stock I picked up at Home Despot for well under $10.
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2012, 07:47 AM
rdl rdl is online now
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For me the trick turned out to be a little heat.

I'd soaked nut with penetrating oil the day before, banged on wrench with a BFH for a couple of hours & ruined my home make pulley holder, twisting it into a pretzel. In desperation I took the car for a drive to get the fan clutch hot. Two or three bangs on the wrench later, only restraint on the pulley was the belt, and the nut broke loose.

Worth a try, I'd say.
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2012, 07:59 AM
VA525FREAK VA525FREAK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
For me the trick turned out to be a little heat.

I'd soaked nut with penetrating oil the day before, banged on wrench with a BFH for a couple of hours & ruined my home make pulley holder, twisting it into a pretzel. In desperation I took the car for a drive to get the fan clutch hot. Two or three bangs on the wrench later, only restraint on the pulley was the belt, and the nut broke loose.

Worth a try, I'd say.
What he said ^^^
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  #11  
Old 12-13-2012, 08:36 AM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Long round screwdriver always works for me. The trick is getting the right diameter screwdriver and to know where to lodge the screwdriver on the waterpump bolts. Once you get used to this it works all the time.
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  #12  
Old 12-13-2012, 09:45 AM
boarditup boarditup is offline
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I use a square cross-section pry bar to hold the bolt heads on the back side while my son backed off the nut. Less than 5-minutes. FWIW - Craftsman pry bar set.
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  #13  
Old 12-13-2012, 10:51 AM
2k528i 2k528i is offline
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We made a tool here at work like the one you'd buy, great having a small tool room at work..lol anyway, I used a piece of flat bar stock and we drilled a few holes in it, was able to get it on one bolt and apply pressure to the other to hold the pulley rigid.... bingo, nut popped loose.

Now if I can just find that clip that popped off of one of my radiator hoses...

Thanks for the reply's everyone... you're the best.
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2012, 11:48 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Remember to put a dab of antiseize onto the fan clutch nut before reinstallation. The nut will come off easily the next time!
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  #15  
Old 12-13-2012, 02:42 PM
rdl rdl is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Remember to put a dab of antiseize onto the fan clutch nut before reinstallation. The nut will come off easily the next time!
+1 to that, absolutely.
Using Fudman's advice, mine now releases every time with just a light tap on the wrench. A far cry from the struggle the first time.

Something else that helps.
Ignore the specified torque of 45 N-m (33 lb-ft) and instead tighten with just a gentle tug to ensure the nut is fully engaged on the entire thread length. Given the reverse thread, the waterpump direction of rotation has the effect of automatically applying a tightening twist to the nut. There is no chance that the fan can spin itself off.

Some might worry that such a light torque could allow the clutch to wobble on the thread since it is not seated tight on the shaft. I've checked for that and found no movement; the fine thread has little clearance between male and female forms to permit wobble. I've been using this method for over 18 months with no ill effects. Further, IIRC several others on this forum have used the same light snug without problems for considerably longer.
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Last edited by rdl; 12-13-2012 at 03:48 PM. Reason: typo
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  #16  
Old 12-13-2012, 03:14 PM
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Nline6 Nline6 is offline
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Some how I was able to get mine off with a a pair of channel locks. Twice now, Ill buy the tool some day im sure, maybe the PO was the original owner and had it serviced at BMW, maybe they used anti seize? I didnt see anything on the threads though. I just hand tighten it on and let the engine torque it down for me. Came off without a issue. Lucky me I guess. Now on my E36, that sucker was near welded on! It was a fight for sure! BFH and a open ended wrench.
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  #17  
Old 12-13-2012, 04:18 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2k528i View Post
what other tool is there?
More than you would ever want to know about 'the tool' and the tool substitutes are here:
- How to make your own BMW cooling system overhaul fan clutch nut counterhold tools (1) (2)

BMW_E39_Fan_Clutch_Counterhold_Tool_CAD_Template_t oscale.pdf

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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 12-13-2012 at 04:19 PM.
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  #18  
Old 12-13-2012, 04:30 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Remember to put a dab of antiseize onto the fan clutch nut before reinstallation. The nut will come off easily the next time!
Just to give credit where credit is due, this tip originated with Cnn, not me! Thanx, Cam!
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  #19  
Old 12-13-2012, 04:48 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by occhis View Post
this tip originated with Cnn, not me! !
Another great tip from cn90 for reinstallation is this one:
- How not to put your E39 fan clutch back on (crooked fan clutch nut)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #20  
Old 12-13-2012, 11:28 PM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Another great tip from cn90 for reinstallation is this one:
- How not to put your E39 fan clutch back on (crooked fan clutch nut)
I found out that if you rotate the fan nut enough there is a point where it will settle on the shaft and stay there. Once its stabilized then slowly tighten it. No need for that string trick.
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  #21  
Old 12-14-2012, 03:56 PM
josemedeiros007 josemedeiros007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
More than you would ever want to know about 'the tool' and the tool substitutes are here:
- How to make your own BMW cooling system overhaul fan clutch nut counterhold tools (1) (2)

BMW_E39_Fan_Clutch_Counterhold_Tool_CAD_Template_t oscale.pdf

That's awesome. I always use a screw driver and jam it in between the pulley bolts, but now that you posted this template, I'll try and make one.
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  #22  
Old 12-14-2012, 04:29 PM
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bkgreene39 bkgreene39 is offline
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I never put any anti-seize, slides of like butter all the time.
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