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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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  #1  
Old 07-18-2015, 07:38 AM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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Electric Cooling Fan Component Upgrade

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...+fan+oem+style

During the Fall of 2012 I replaced the mechanical cooling fan on my wife's 2000 528iT with an electric fan following Alex's DIY referenced above. I used his recommended components. At that time I ordered 2 sets of components because I also wanted to convert my car, also a 2000 528iT. I completed that conversion about a year later.

Last Summer while I was topping off the AC in my car, I noticed that the electric fan was not working. I found that the 30amp fuse that Derale had recommended to protect the fan, module and wiring had melted-yes not blown but melted-and had gotten so hot that it deformed the fuse holder. I thought that this incident was a fluke and replaced the fuse and holder-no more problems.

Three days ago the same thing happened to my wife's car. Not only was the electric fan not working because of the melted fuse, but the aux fan had quit too. She was also in traffic in town with the AC on. The car overheated, cracked the expansion tank and all the coolant came out. After the tow home, I replaced the expansion tank, refilled the coolant and drove to Autozone where I rented a Block Test Kit (Exhaust Gas Detection Kit). The test came out negative-no exhaust gasses in the coolant and no coolant in the oil. PHEW!!! Dodged that bullet (no blown head gasket) but I will replace the thermostat and all sensors that measure coolant temp. I am sure they all have sustained damage from the heat.

Now I realized that this fuse melting was not a fluke-it happened with 2 cars. So I called Summit Racing and asked if they had heard of this before. They said they had not and gave me Derale's number in Los Angeles. The Derale tech I spoke with knew all about this problem. He said that corrosion and/or a loose fuse (caused by vibration) in the holder had cause greatly increased resistance and/or sparking which resulted in the heat that melted the fuses.

He advised me to cut out the fuse and install an automatic resetting circuit breaker. It is part #16751. He said it was a much more durable part and I ordered 2 immediately and will not drive either car until this breaker is installed.

I would suggest that anyone running this Derale Fan Controller perform the same component upgrade. The Derale tech informed me that my wiring and the Derale Controller were fine. The circuit breaker is available from Summit Racing.
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2015, 09:35 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Good save. Did you notify Summit?
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2015, 10:22 AM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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Yes I did, Ed. They referred me to Derale.
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  #4  
Old 07-18-2015, 10:26 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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John, thanks for the heads-up. I would like to see how this breaker fits in with the adjustable range controller.
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  #5  
Old 07-18-2015, 10:56 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
John, thanks for the heads-up. I would like to see how this breaker fits in with the adjustable range controller.
Okay, I re-read and realized I had confused the relay with the fuse holder on the cable harness.
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  #6  
Old 07-18-2015, 12:28 PM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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John, thanks for the heads up. You sure dodged the bullet this time.
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2015, 02:56 PM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
Okay, I re-read and realized I had confused the relay with the fuse holder on the cable harness.
The part is listed on Summit's website under DER-16751. It looks like you can just cut the fuse holder off the harness, solder on one of those small circular connectors on each side and hook up the breaker. BTW I forgot to mention that that model breaker is rated for 25amps but really cuts out at a 35amps. It automatically resets once the surge is gone.


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John, thanks for the heads up. You sure dodged the bullet this time.
Yes Alex, I can still hear it wizzing past my ear in my dreams (nightmares).
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2015, 07:10 PM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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I forgot to mention that I pulled the aux fan connector on Nancy's car, sprayed it with Deoxit, reconnected and the fan worked fine.

I just love Deoxit!!!!!!
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  #9  
Old 07-29-2015, 02:26 PM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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UPDATE-Thought I'd make a final update to the above.

Today I installed the above mentioned circuit breakers in both my and my wife's cars. The breakers did not seem to be weather protected so I painted the seams with liquid electrical tape. Both electric fans are working fine and Nancy's car, much to my amazement, is OK. I went on an extended test drive in the 90F heat today and the coolant temps were totally normal-in traffic, at high and low speeds, with the AC on or off (it actually ran a bit cooler with the AC on as the aux fan ran at a higher speed).
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  #10  
Old 07-29-2015, 02:45 PM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnstern View Post
UPDATE-Thought I'd make a final update to the above.

Today I installed the above mentioned circuit breakers in both my and my wife's cars. The breakers did not seem to be weather protected so I painted the seams with liquid electrical tape. Both electric fans are working fine and Nancy's car, much to my amazement, is OK. I went on an extended test drive in the 90F heat today and the coolant temps were totally normal-in traffic, at high and low speeds, with the AC on or off (it actually ran a bit cooler with the AC on as the aux fan ran at a higher speed).
Good deal and good to hear all up and running.
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  #11  
Old 07-29-2015, 02:54 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnstern View Post
UPDATE-Thought I'd make a final update to the above.

Today I installed the above mentioned circuit breakers in both my and my wife's cars. The breakers did not seem to be weather protected so I painted the seams with liquid electrical tape. Both electric fans are working fine and Nancy's car, much to my amazement, is OK. I went on an extended test drive in the 90F heat today and the coolant temps were totally normal-in traffic, at high and low speeds, with the AC on or off (it actually ran a bit cooler with the AC on as the aux fan ran at a higher speed).
Say, John. I received mine a few days back and just want to be sure of something before I bolt it in. One of the two bolts is a reddish copper finish. "BAT" is marked next to it, in the base. Is that an indication that it should be bolted to the wire that's closest to the positive source? And that the other bolt (marked "AUX") should be on the wire leading down to the relay (and indirectly, ground)? Or does it even matter?

Hope this query makes sense.

Wally
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  #12  
Old 07-29-2015, 09:30 PM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
Good deal and good to hear all up and running.
Thanks, Alex. I feel like I've gotten rid of a large weight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
Say, John. I received mine a few days back and just want to be sure of something before I bolt it in. One of the two bolts is a reddish copper finish. "BAT" is marked next to it, in the base. Is that an indication that it should be bolted to the wire that's closest to the positive source? And that the other bolt (marked "AUX") should be on the wire leading down to the relay (and indirectly, ground)? Or does it even matter?

Hope this query makes sense.

Wally
Wally you are right (sort of). The terminal marked "BAT" (copper colored) should be connected to the ground wire coming from the fan. The fan's + wire should be connected to at battery + wire-power always on. This makes the fan's ground wire the + wire for the circuit breaker (replacing the fuse/fuse holder). The "AUX" (silver colored) terminal should be connected to the red wire coming from the Derale fan controller. When the Derale controller switches on, it is completing the ground circuit for the fan thereby switching the fan on.

Sorry to be so long and confusing. Completing the ground circuit is a nice, safe way of turning on an automotive component.
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  #13  
Old 07-30-2015, 10:51 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Thanks for that, John, now to find some connectors....
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  #14  
Old 07-30-2015, 05:07 PM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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Thanks for that, John, now to find some connectors....
Wally, I used those ring connectors with yellow plastic insulation. Those will take a 12 gauge wire-the wire at the old fuse holder.

Being anal about electric connections, especially in a car, I used a small torch to heat the insulation so I could pull it off with 2 pairs of pliers. I then slid a length of heat shrink tubing onto the wire, crimped on the ring connector and then soldered the connection. The the length of heat shrink got slid into place and a short burst of heat, both sides, and I had a waterproof, corrosion proof connection.

I then painted everything with liquid electrical tape, 2 coats. Doesn't look too nice but the whole thing is waterproof. Stuck it to the inner fender with double sided tape.

Will get back in a minute with a pic.

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Last edited by johnstern; 07-30-2015 at 05:25 PM.
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