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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 10-24-2008, 08:18 AM
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Wink Removing Radiator Fan - Automatic

Hey Guys,

I was looking into the Wiki on the Thermostat Replacement which seems easy, but I had a few questions regarding the Radiator Fan. Wiki says that it is different from an Manual... Any advice to how different it is?
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2008, 08:25 AM
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The manual uses an electrical fan that just lifts out after you remove two torx screws. On automatics, it's a mechanical fan attached to the water pump shaft. To remove it, you need a special tool that holds the water pump pulley in place allowing you to fit a thin 32mm wrench and turn the reverse-thread bolt holding it on.

If you already have a thin 32mm wrench, then you can get away with holding the water pump pulley in place by using a long flat bladed screwdriver and wedging it between the water pump pulley bolts and laying it against one of the idler pulleys. If you don't already have a 32mm wrench, then you might as well just buy both together on eBay for about $25. Search for 'bmw fan tool'.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2008, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
The manual uses an electrical fan that just lifts out after you remove two torx screws. On automatics, it's a mechanical fan attached to the water pump shaft. To remove it, you need a special tool that holds the water pump pulley in place allowing you to fit a thin 32mm wrench and turn the reverse-thread bolt holding it on.

If you already have a thin 32mm wrench, then you can get away with holding the water pump pulley in place by using a long flat bladed screwdriver and wedging it between the water pump pulley bolts and laying it against one of the idler pulleys. If you don't already have a 32mm wrench, then you might as well just buy both together on eBay for about $25. Search for 'bmw fan tool'.
Thanks!!

Would this one do fine:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Water...mZ120321296005
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Last edited by simmonsinc; 10-24-2008 at 08:33 AM.
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2008, 08:59 AM
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Yep
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2008, 09:57 AM
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Just wanted to touch base -

I really think I can do this - but what I am a bit nervous about is removing the fan. It seems like that is the hardest thing to do it this situation. Any advice if I was to do it without the tool?

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  #6  
Old 10-24-2008, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by simmonsinc View Post
Just wanted to touch base -

I really think I can do this - but what I am a bit nervous about is removing the fan. It seems like that is the hardest thing to do it this situation. Any advice if I was to do it without the tool?

You're nervous and you want to try it without using the proper tool?

You need a thin 32mm wrench. Period.

Just hit it a few times with a deadblow hammer and it will loosen. It is reverse threaded.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2008, 11:35 AM
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You're nervous and you want to try it without using the proper tool?

You need a thin 32mm wrench. Period.

Just hit it a few times with a deadblow hammer and it will loosen. It is reverse threaded.
Hey Scott,

I've been able to pull of a few things in my day... 32mm will be used. I was more focused on having to purchase the the bmw tool for the waterpump. Easy up there.
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:58 PM
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You need a thin 32mm wrench. Period.
You can also buy a 1 1/4 wrench from any Napa, works the same.

Turn the wrench to the right to loosen it (toward the drivers fender). Once you break it loose it comes right off. Then you have to remove the fan shroud to get enough room to work. Spend the extra $40 and replace the belts while you are at it!
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2008, 02:03 PM
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You can also buy a 1 1/4 wrench from any Napa, works the same.

Turn the wrench to the right to loosen it (toward the drivers fender). Once you break it loose it comes right off. Then you have to remove the fan shroud to get enough room to work. Spend the extra $40 and replace the belts while you are at it!
Thank You Smolck - You always come through. Can I get the belt at Auto Zone or should I go with BMW?
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:16 PM
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Thank You Smolck - You always come through. Can I get the belt at Auto Zone or should I go with BMW?
autohausaz.com
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  #11  
Old 10-24-2008, 02:25 PM
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hey guys! since we are in the subject... i am changing my thermostat and water pump this weekend and i will be flushing the coolant as well. I flushed the coolant last month and it seems like i did it wrong... the old owner was using preston on the car so the color of the fluid was green. when i flushed it, i replaced the coolant with the BMW coolant which is Blue. I broke the transmission thermostat so i had to redrain the radiator and resovior to replace the broken thermostat, i did this a week later after the initial flush when i got the part. When i bled the coolant out the fluid was still green, which means that i didnt bleed it completely the first time around. What did i do wrong? i followed the DIY step from the link http://www.bmw330ci.net/maintenance/coolant.php

looking back to the steps, i was confused on how long i was to run the heater for, at 91 degrees at the lowest speed? was i suppose to have it running the whole time? the reason why the coolant was still green is, i believe, because i did not completely bleed all of the old coolant from the heater core. If anyone can enlighten me on this please help!!!!

Sorry for the long write up!
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  #12  
Old 10-24-2008, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by viloria9 View Post
hey guys! since we are in the subject... i am changing my thermostat and water pump this weekend and i will be flushing the coolant as well. I flushed the coolant last month and it seems like i did it wrong... the old owner was using preston on the car so the color of the fluid was green. when i flushed it, i replaced the coolant with the BMW coolant which is Blue. I broke the transmission thermostat so i had to redrain the radiator and resovior to replace the broken thermostat, i did this a week later after the initial flush when i got the part. When i bled the coolant out the fluid was still green, which means that i didnt bleed it completely the first time around. What did i do wrong? i followed the DIY step from the link http://www.bmw330ci.net/maintenance/coolant.php

looking back to the steps, i was confused on how long i was to run the heater for, at 91 degrees at the lowest speed? was i suppose to have it running the whole time? the reason why the coolant was still green is, i believe, because i did not completely bleed all of the old coolant from the heater core. If anyone can enlighten me on this please help!!!!

Sorry for the long write up!
I thought you had to have it on 91 and on Max... Anyone have any ideas...
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:31 PM
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was i suppose to have the fan running during the whole process? do i turn the thing off at certain point when i am doinig the bleeding process????????
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:35 PM
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was i suppose to have the fan running during the whole process? do i turn the thing off at certain point when i am doinig the bleeding process????????
Key in ON position, engine not running, fan on during the whole thing.

Also, just making sure, you're mixing coolant 50/50 with distilled water prior to pouring it in, right?
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:41 PM
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No, i was pouring coolant then distilled water, which i repeated until it was full... was that wrong? i got a second shot at this before the winter so please enlighten me! Oh yea by the way, i saw your site KrisL....very impressive! definitely like all of the mods on the 330i!
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by viloria9 View Post
No, i was pouring coolant then distilled water, which i repeated until it was full... was that wrong? i got a second shot at this before the winter so please enlighten me! Oh yea by the way, i saw your site KrisL....very impressive! definitely like all of the mods on the 330i!
Well, that's a 'close enough' way to do it. No harm really, it'll mix just as well in there - I was just making sure you weren't using 100% coolant. I mix it first myself so I don't end up in a situation where it gets topped off with one and I still need to add the other to make 50% .
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:51 PM
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Thank You Smolck - You always come through. Can I get the belt at Auto Zone or should I go with BMW?
Bought mine from auto zone. Gatorback I think. $25 or so
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:55 PM
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Oh Ok! Dodged another bullet there! i thought i F'd up. Just out of curioousity, if i had the heater running the whole time and there is no coolant running in the system...wouldnt this cause harm to the cooling system? what happens during this time?
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:56 PM
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I bleed mine by starting car, heater on full blast (blowing to the windshield), and then fill the reservoir till it comes out the bleeder screw. Cap off and done. Done it that way on 4 different 3 series, haven't had any of them overheat yet....
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:00 PM
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Oh Ok! Dodged another bullet there! i thought i F'd up. Just out of curioousity, if i had the heater running the whole time and there is no coolant running in the system...wouldnt this cause harm to the cooling system?
No. Is there any harm to your garden hose when the water is turned off?
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:02 PM
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pretty straight forward Smolck... thanks! i was going to bleed the coolant off first then replace the thermostat, belts, and water pump... would it ham my car if i have the heater running the whole time? itll probably take me an hour to romove and replace the old parts
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:02 PM
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No. Is there any harm to your garden hose when the water is turned off?
One of your better analogies......
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:05 PM
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sounds good guys! and great analogy KrisL! out of curiousity... what do you guys do for a living becasue i am a cost accountant and i pretty much sneak in to this site to just read up on e46 issues. i have a hard time keeping it a secret so do you guys log in to this site while working aswell?
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:06 PM
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pretty straight forward Smolck... thanks! i was going to bleed the coolant off first then replace the thermostat, belts, and water pump... would it ham my car if i have the heater running the whole time? itll probably take me an hour to romove and replace the old parts
Your battery will be dead by the time you're done.

Replace all the parts (make sure you remove the coolant bleed bolt from the engine block too). Fill car with coolant until it is 'full'. Then, turn on the heater. The level will go down... top it off. Shouldn't take more than 5 mins with the heater on.
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by viloria9 View Post
sounds good guys! and great analogy KrisL! out of curiousity... what do you guys do for a living becasue i am a cost accountant and i pretty much sneak in to this site to just read up on e46 issues. i have a hard time keeping it a secret so do you guys log in to this site while working aswell?
Dear boss: I'm a good multitasker!

I'm a Technologist, formerly IT Acquisition Integration guy for a pretty large company out here.
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