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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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  #101  
Old 02-07-2013, 04:12 PM
Schitzo Schitzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
Apparently the e53 fan & fan clutch have a re-designed fan, that holds the blades together, so the fan would not shatter as it does with the current model.
The 530 with diesel engine have a similar design AND 2 versions: for hot climate & for cold climate. The question is: does the diesel WP (which is different from the gasoline engine WP) have the same threads for the fan clutch as the gasoline WP? below is the exact diesel fan blade that does NOT shatter:
This is just a guess but I would think the thread is the same. I also think you could probably just bolt the diesel fan onto the gasoline fan clutch. I suppose the diesel fan is designed that way due to the higher NVH associated with those engines.
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Last edited by Schitzo; 02-07-2013 at 04:13 PM.
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  #102  
Old 02-07-2013, 09:02 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *****zo View Post
This is just a guess but I would think the thread is the same. I also think you could probably just bolt the diesel fan onto the gasoline fan clutch. I suppose the diesel fan is designed that way due to the higher NVH associated with those engines.
That's the 1,000,000 $ question. I guess only the guys from Europe could let us know. Because if you look at the diesel WP, it's a totally different design. So I would be skeptical to think they are similar. They could be, but I am not sure.
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  #103  
Old 02-09-2013, 11:27 AM
Schitzo Schitzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
That's the 1,000,000 $ question. I guess only the guys from Europe could let us know. Because if you look at the diesel WP, it's a totally different design. So I would be skeptical to think they are similar. They could be, but I am not sure.
If you do a google search using the terms, Euro, diesel, fan, and BMW, you find some E36 people have done this swap. i.e. bolting the diesel fan to their fan clutch.

There is also another question that needs to be answered, does the diesel fan move as much air as the fan for the gasoline engines? Diesels run much cooler than their gasoline counterparts hence my question.
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  #104  
Old 02-09-2013, 11:32 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Looking in realoem, there are 2 types of diesel fans: One for cold climates and one for warm climate. I suppose the one for warm climate will move more air.
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TMS underdrive pullies - Stewart WP - PSS9 - Beisan Vanos seals - Zimmerman cross-drilled & Akebono Euro - Deka 649 MF - 55w HID headlights - 35w HID foglights - Hualigan double din - ACS (rep) alu pedals - Euro central storage console - Breyton Magic Racing staggered wheels - M5 bumper - M5 steering wheel - Tint
Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
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  #105  
Old 12-02-2013, 08:06 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, another exploded fan today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > spot the hose
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  #106  
Old 05-08-2014, 10:00 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Another exploded fan today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Fan/Fan clutch went Kaboom; 03 540i; 55k
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Hyde View Post
Well last night I was on the way home, and just accelerating onto the highway when I heard a pop, and the sound of the car running over road debris.

At first I thought it was something I didnt see, but then when the check coolant warning came on, and liquid sprayed onto the windshield, I figured I just popped my radiator. It wouldn't have been a total shock, so I pulled over to check out the damage, and was pretty surprised to see the fan blade had torn itself apart, and took out the fan shroud, radiator, hood lining, and put a nice little dent in the hood in the process.

Being on the forums, I knew about the fan clutch problems, but I never expected them with only 55k on the clock. I figured if my radiator made it through the warranty period, that I'd replace the whole cooling system after that.

I just swapped to my winter tires this past weekend, and checked under the hood; nothing was amiss. There was NO warning noise, or anything out of the ordinary before the big pop. I checked the car out again this morning, and there is no play in whats left of the fan, but it was difficult to spin.

So if you guys are changing out your cooling systems, definitely do the fan clutch as well. I know some guys say they sholuld be done after 100k, but mine didnt make it that long.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Hyde View Post
Got the car back last week.

The list of replaced parts is pretty impressive, they ended up replacing 2 motor mounts, the fan clutch, fan, fan shroud, radiator, and expansion tank. MY S.A. believes the mounts caused the whole thing, but the fan clutch was changed as well due to damage. You were on the money about checking out the mounts cn90, very good advise.

The only thing that wasnt changed was water pump. I would have paid them to do it, but the car was fixed before I was informed what the cause was, and I hadnt had a chance to tell my SA that Id want to replace other parts as well.

My SA wants me to talk to his manager about the hood damage, so Im waiting to see what comes of that.
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  #107  
Old 05-22-2014, 01:30 PM
five40 five40 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
These threads are scaring the crap out of me. My engine runs smooth even at high rpm, so my engine mounts may be alright, but the shifting is pretty clunky, so I ordered both sets of mounts last night and will do them probably next weekend. And I'll take it easy esp in 1st gear till I do.

I thought my fan clutch had failed (10k miles old), (newspaper test), but I may not have got it quite warm enough, because yesterday running around I would notice when the car was warm, and I took off after starting it, I could hear the fan increase with rpm for the first gear or so. Seemed like I couldn't hear it after that. Then when I got home, I let it idle for a bit and it passed the newspaper test with flying colors. The blades also feel pretty good and flexible, for whatever it's worth. So maybe the clutch fan is ok.

But these pics of blades through hoods are terrifying, esp when we may not even need the damn thing, not to mention horsepower, mpg, water pump wear, etc. I am really leaning toward the delete, but it feel like installing an electric fan is a little over my head. What to do, what to do...more reading I guess.
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  #108  
Old 05-25-2014, 08:12 PM
aspensilver540 aspensilver540 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by five40 View Post
These threads are scaring the crap out of me. My engine runs smooth even at high rpm, so my engine mounts may be alright, but the shifting is pretty clunky, so I ordered both sets of mounts last night and will do them probably next weekend. And I'll take it easy esp in 1st gear till I do.

I thought my fan clutch had failed (10k miles old), (newspaper test), but I may not have got it quite warm enough, because yesterday running around I would notice when the car was warm, and I took off after starting it, I could hear the fan increase with rpm for the first gear or so. Seemed like I couldn't hear it after that. Then when I got home, I let it idle for a bit and it passed the newspaper test with flying colors. The blades also feel pretty good and flexible, for whatever it's worth. So maybe the clutch fan is ok.

But these pics of blades through hoods are terrifying, esp when we may not even need the damn thing, not to mention horsepower, mpg, water pump wear, etc. I am really leaning toward the delete, but it feel like installing an electric fan is a little over my head. What to do, what to do...more reading I guess.
The support for electric fan creation in these forums is impressive. JimLev is the patron saint of electric fans, and I'm sure if you get stuck he or others will help. there is also a ton of explanation on the topic, just do a google search for 'electric fan JimLev'
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  #109  
Old 05-26-2014, 06:25 AM
five40 five40 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aspensilver540 View Post
The support for electric fan creation in these forums is impressive. JimLev is the patron saint of electric fans, and I'm sure if you get stuck he or others will help. there is also a ton of explanation on the topic, just do a google search for 'electric fan JimLev'
Yeah Jim has been super helpful to me so far. Right now, my fan is flexible, and seems to be operating correctly, so this may not be my most pressing matter.
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  #110  
Old 05-26-2014, 08:06 AM
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Well where's jimLev? I've been trying to wire my fan for 2 years!


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  #111  
Old 07-02-2014, 08:56 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This thread today shows that you can run in California summers without a fan!
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > My new fan shroud "mod"
Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
No more removing shroud to get to fan. And taking and installing the fan is now a cinch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
I have been running without a fan or fan clutch on 80 degree weather and with AC on with no overheating. Relying mostly on the AUX fan to cool radiator. But yeah the plan is to get another shroud and fit an electric fan into it eventually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Haha, I did the exact same thing, removing the fan blade is a piece of cake from now on.
I used a coping saw and trimmed out a piece exactly as shown the photo above by teklord69.

- Air flow: many many cars have no fan shroud and the air is still adequate to cool the underhood (example Nissan pick-up truck etc.)

- Protection: if one keeps up with maintenance (Fan Clutch, fan Blade at ___ miles), no need to worry about this. The fan blade grenading is a problem in V8 (bad engine mounts), not I6.
And even with good fan shroud, the fan blade slices through it anyway, so for the sake of argument, the fan shroud offers no protection at all.

So this mod is for the win lol...
Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
I used metal snips to cut the shroud like that lol

I am doing an experiment here..The reason I cut it is because I am running with no fan. So far so good and I am running OBD2 reader to check the exact coolant temp. Again on hot Socal weather and AC on, running without a fan has not overheat my car at all.

Now just in case..I have my fan and 32mm wrench in the trunk and I can easily slip it in the shroud if needed. But so far it is not needed.

My car will run like this until I source an electric fan and another shroud and will take my time fitting it together.

See also:
- What is the temperature of the coolant when the thermostat opens under normal conditions (1) & what could cause a BMW fan blade to explode or disintegrate (1) & should you go electric (1)
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  #112  
Old 08-18-2014, 07:44 PM
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Another exploded fan today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > E39 I6 clutch fan explosion
Quote:
Originally Posted by energizedmortal View Post
Car cranked but would not start. Battery, alternator, and fuses were okay so I replaced the crankshaft position sensor (original at 180,000 miles). If you have long skinny arms you can reach and replace the crankshaft position sensor from the top without removing anything.After replacing the crankshaft position sensor the car fired right up. A few seconds later the fan clutch blew up! Luckily the hood was open and I shut the car off immediately. Only the fan clutch and fan shroud were ruined. I looked at my receipts, it was a Sachs fan bought in September 2010 40,000 miles ago. Then I saw the make of the fan blades..."uro parts" Ordered a Behr fan clutch and Behr fan blade this time. I have the original crankshaft position sensor and fan clutch if anyone wants to perform an autopsy pm me I'll mail it out to you.
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  #113  
Old 08-18-2014, 09:19 PM
1hander 1hander is offline
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electric is the only way to go with this problem... the argument has been made that lack of maintenance is to blame for this ...to a certain extent it is true, we drive old cars and most of the parts are 10-14 years old, something has to give...

electric electric electric...for those that say the fans are too loud for the their taste....the flexalite fan controller starts the fan at the 60% power at the fan on temp setting that you set...and for the a/c circuit it runs the fan at 60%...you can just barely hear it from the cabin and from outside its not really all that noticable, the auxiliary fan is much louder

alot of the aftermarket fan clutches absolutely do not have the right lockup and reease points... so when mine fan exploded, i went with a dealership oem behr unit and the new bmw fan still exploded about 2 weeks later, i dont know why but that was it for me...its electric now and i dont even think about it anymore..
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  #114  
Old 08-19-2014, 06:31 AM
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energizedmortal energizedmortal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1hander View Post
electric is the only way to go with this problem... the argument has been made that lack of maintenance is to blame for this ...to a certain extent it is true, we drive old cars and most of the parts are 10-14 years old, something has to give...

electric electric electric...for those that say the fans are too loud for the their taste....the flexalite fan controller starts the fan at the 60% power at the fan on temp setting that you set...and for the a/c circuit it runs the fan at 60%...you can just barely hear it from the cabin and from outside its not really all that noticable, the auxiliary fan is much louder

alot of the aftermarket fan clutches absolutely do not have the right lockup and reease points... so when mine fan exploded, i went with a dealership oem behr unit and the new bmw fan still exploded about 2 weeks later, i dont know why but that was it for me...its electric now and i dont even think about it anymore..
Did BMW have anything to say about their oem behr unit exploding two weeks later- faulty clutch, blades or motor mounts?

My original fan clutch and blade were at 140,000 miles and working fine when I replaced it. My sachs clutch, water pump and motor mounts are still in good shape since 140,000 at 180,000 now. The $20 uro parts blades I put on the sachs fan clutch may have been my issue. With that being said, I hope to keep this car as long as possible and will not rule out cost effective working upgrades that may increase the car's lifespan.

Last edited by energizedmortal; 08-19-2014 at 08:47 AM.
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  #115  
Old 08-19-2014, 07:23 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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OK,

Let's clear things up a bit.

1. Fan Clutch going kaput.
The Fan Clutch in the I6 engine should last up to 140K-160K or so. When it fails, it simply free-wheels.
The Fan Blade is another story, being made from plastic, it is prone to breakage after 140K-150K or so.
But these issues are unusual in the I6 engine.

The V8 has a different issue: broken engine mount will cause engine lifting and the fan blade will hit the shroud ---> $3K damage.


2. Behr vs Sachs.
Many parts in the BMW were made by Behr dating back to 1996 and those years up to 2003.
Recently Behr parts are sub-standard, I would not touch Behr parts now.

3. Electric vs Mechanical:
For those who say "electric is the only way to go", it is a false statement.
I have Volvo and Honda at home and yes they are electric because the engine is mounted in the transverse manner.

For my BMWs (E39, E53), they still have stock Fan Clutch, Fan Blade, never have issues with these things yet.
As long as you check their condition/operation, and pre-emptively replace them every 140K or so, I don't see the need to spend money, time/effort to switch to electric. Now if the car comes from factory with electric, then it is fine.
Don't over-think the Electric vs Mechanical issue, each system has its own issues.
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  #116  
Old 08-19-2014, 08:19 AM
1hander 1hander is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by energizedmortal View Post
Did BMW have anything to say about their oem behr unit exploding two weeks later- faulty clutch, blades or motor mounts?
nope... nothing at all...i showed it to them, i even went to the general manager but lets face it why would they give a **** about my 14 yoear old car problems
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  #117  
Old 08-19-2014, 08:58 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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@1hander,

Did you check your V8 motor mounts?
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  #118  
Old 08-19-2014, 11:57 AM
1hander 1hander is offline
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oh yeah ...they are new ... the way I drive if I had a broken mount i would know it in a heartbeat ..when I bought it I could feel the engine lifting from broken mount
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