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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 07-01-2014, 06:19 AM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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My new fan shroud "mod"

No more removing shroud to get to fan. And taking and installing the fan is now a cinch.
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2014, 06:28 AM
BioGuy BioGuy is offline
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Your 'mod' was to remove the shroud?

the shroud does two things- directs and funnels the air through the rad core, and provides some minimal protection if the fan blades were to grenade. Apparently you are not worried about either of those, right?
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2014, 06:54 AM
Bennt771 Bennt771 is offline
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Looks like it did grenade.....
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  #4  
Old 07-01-2014, 06:58 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I think this is a WONDERFUL test of what's possible!
Please do keep us informed, as we can learn from the risk you're taking, especially if it's possible to get home, without a fan clutch, when/if it fails on the road.
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 07-13-2014 at 10:58 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2014, 07:32 AM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BioGuy View Post
Your 'mod' was to remove the shroud?

the shroud does two things- directs and funnels the air through the rad core, and provides some minimal protection if the fan blades were to grenade. Apparently you are not worried about either of those, right?
I am not because there is no fan to grenade.
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2014, 07:44 AM
five.two.five five.two.five is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
I am not because there is no fan to grenade.
Are you running an electric fan?
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:50 AM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by five.two.five View Post
Are you running an electric fan?
That is the plan..right now I have been running without a fan or fan cluth 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.
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2014, 07:57 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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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...
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2014, 08:09 AM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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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...
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.
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  #10  
Old 07-01-2014, 08:26 AM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Looking at this JEGS 16-inch universal electric fan for $88:

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  #11  
Old 07-02-2014, 06:11 AM
BioGuy BioGuy is offline
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Interesting ideas.

I am thinking about going 'fanless' on mine.

Hey- as long as your temps stay in the right range, it's all good, right? Go for it.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2014, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
I have been running without a fan or fan clutch
I've been running on just water for a while, not as an experiment, but, just because I was losing coolant for a while so I figured I might as well use water, and, then, I bought the fluid, but, never put it in when I replaced the components.

Been going like that for about a year now ... (no winter to speak of out here) ... been meaning to get to it ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I used a coping saw and trimmed out a piece
Now that my shroud is broken due to the expansion tank connection, I might do the same, for the next time I need to replace the belts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Air flow: many many cars have no fan shroud and the air is still adequate to cool the underhood
Do you still have the belly pan?
I removed mine so long ago, I don't even know where I put it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
The fan blade grenading is a problem in V8 (bad engine mounts), not I6.
Hmmmmmmm.... that's interesting.
I will check the record to see if it's only the I6 that disintegrates.
If so, that is another indicator that it's not the clutch seizing.

See also:
- What could cause a BMW fan blade to explode or disintegrate (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & should you go electric (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
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.
The pictures in those threads show holes in the quarter panel and hood, so, this is very true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
I used metal snips to cut the shroud
Now why didn't you tell me that when I had to replace all my belts long ago!
Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
I am doing an experiment here..
I love experiments. It's how we all learn from you!

If I had thought ahead, I'd run a before and after KTMP reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
I am running OBD2 reader to check the exact coolant temp.
I guess there are two ways to monitor the temp:
a) OBD (mine doesn't tell temperature though)
b) DTS reading on the cluster

But, would it be a problem given the location of the DTS?

See also:
- What is the temperature of the coolant when the thermostat opens under normal conditions (1)
__________________
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; 07-02-2014 at 08:53 AM.
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  #13  
Old 07-02-2014, 12:10 PM
nooobuuu nooobuuu is offline
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This seems like a bad idea, how often are you changing the fan?
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  #14  
Old 07-02-2014, 04:24 PM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Update: One week now running with no fan clutch and fan. Almost 90 degree weather today..in LA traffic. Lots of stop and go with an hour commute. Coolant temp never budged the middle line. OBD reader I have highest reading was 97 degrees.
I am running on Prestone Anti-Freeze 50/50 mixed.
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  #15  
Old 07-02-2014, 04:28 PM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Some benefits of running fan-less. Extend the life of your water pump. Engine works less to power the fan. No worrying about the fan exploding and ruining your hood, radiator and other components.
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2014, 04:32 PM
teklord69 teklord69 is offline
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Apparently, the fan is not needed on these cars.
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Last edited by teklord69; 07-02-2014 at 10:04 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-11-2014, 09:39 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
Apparently, the fan is not needed on these cars.
This is wonderful information, especially for those who, in an emergency, aren't yet home, who just need to limp home w/o having to make a towing/repair decision on the spot.

I, myself, have run a few experiments which go counter to commonly held wisdom here ... so I appreciate not only your fresh sense of adventure but also your bravery in reporting contrary information here so that we vicariously benefit from your "risky" behavior!

In fact, (embarrassing to admit), I am still running tap water (100%) in my radiator, even though I bought a few gallons of the green stuff, but the tap water was working so well, that I left it in (so far ... but I'm planning on replacing it with 50:50). [The blue-coolant proselytizers must be shaking their heads in dismay!]

As for the age-old fan-shroud-or-no-fan-shroud removal question, I just happened to notice this post over here, which I reproduce for others to benefit:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Belts / Tensioner s/ Idler Pulley Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Just to re-confirm, there are some who say you don't even need to remove the fan pulley to replace the drive-system belts, tensioners, and idler pulley; but I listened to the rest of the folks and removed the fan pulley.

I was almost completely done with the entire job, when I threaded the fan pulley back on crooked ... but if you use the cn90-patented fan-clutch-nut-install-trick, you should definitely be able to do the entire job on the I6 E39 with the fan shroud intact.

In the end, I busted my upper radiator hose bleeder (in the very last step!), so I had to remove the upper-radiator hose (using the documented trick of ever-wider screwdrivers). As I removed the upper hose, I was surprised at how very little coolant dripped out. Maybe I lost a lot of coolant in the fountain that occurred by breaking the upper bleed screw, but what must have helped is the fact the car was on ramps. Point is, I recommend removing the upper radiator hose for additional access.

One more thing related to room. I have mechanical tensioners, which do not need the pulley removed (you gain nothing by removing the pulley because the pulley isn't sold separately for mechanical tensioners apparently and the pulley isn't how you loosen mechanical tensioners anyway). The mechanical tensioner pulley is held on by a T50 Torx bolt. None of my Torx wrenches, once fit on the pulley, would accept the socket-set handle with the fan shroud in place. I don't know much about hydraulic tensioners, but, they sell the pulley separately and you may need to loosen that pulley to remove the belts.

Therefore, if you have hydraulic tensioners, you "may" have a similar problem with room for the Torx bit (or is it an Allen bit as some say for the hydraulic tensioners) holding the pulley in place - if it needs to be removed.

So, my summary to your question about access is:
- You certainly do NOT need to remove the radiator shroud to replace both belts and (mechanical) tensioners on the E39 I6 (nor the alternator)

However:
- You might need slightly more room if you have hydraulic tensioners depending on the length of your torx/allen bits?

And: (in hindsight)
- You will gain some room without losing too much coolant by removing the upper radiator hose (car on ramps)
- You will certainly get more room by removing the fan shroud (but you can easily break nipples)

Good luck. Please snap some pictures and let us know what can be improved.

PS: What type of tensioners do you have? Mechanical? Hydraulic? Both?
EDIT: Nevermind. I see you have mechanical tensioners from this response on another thread.

__________________
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; 07-11-2014 at 09:43 AM.
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  #18  
Old 07-19-2014, 04:46 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Another user reported today that one can drive pretty far in the summer without the fan clutch on the vehicle ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Driving WITHOUT Fan or Fan Clutch

See also:
- How long can you drive your BMW E39 with the viscous fan clutch removed (1)
__________________
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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  #19  
Old 07-19-2014, 05:53 PM
pshovest pshovest is offline
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ahhhhhhh........the fan drops out the bottom without having to booger up the shroud.
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