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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #51  
Old 11-14-2013, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwonda View Post
Wait dude, wtf R.I.P. November 14th, 2013? What is that all about?
Mine went at 97K miles.

Got rear ended on the way home tonight from work. Photos in the OT thread. Pretty sure the car will be totaled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwonda View Post

On the other hand a single plastic fan blade has a very large surface area and shape that just happens to be designed for catching air, made out of a SOFT material with a density no where close to a pellet.

With that said, I CAN see now how a fan blade could be whipped off at the RIGHT moment to dent my hood...
When the blade comes off the rotational force gets converted to radial force. The outer tip of the blade has a relatively small surface area so it generates a pretty large PSI on impact.

Just as a point of reference, rail guns have fired a 1 inch cube of plastic through 12 inches of steel plate. Don't underestimate the power of the plastic!
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Last edited by dc_wright; 11-14-2013 at 09:56 PM.
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  #52  
Old 11-14-2013, 09:56 PM
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Ya I just checked out the OT thread before you replied thinking **** I hope its not so! I agree with you, it probably will be written off. But ask how much it will cost to keep it. When my '95 got written off it only cost me $500 to keep it, and it was great for parts. Maybe the extra money you'll get from it being written off will be enough at the right place to fix it. I don't know how attached you are to that one, but man I hate seeing a car go to waste when it can still drive fine. Anyways, I'm real sorry for your loss, I hope something good comes out of it for you.

And FUC* that Explorer!
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  #53  
Old 11-14-2013, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
Mine went at 97K miles.

Got rear ended on the way home tonight from work. Photos in the OT thread. Pretty sure the car will be totaled.



When the blade comes off the rotational force gets converted to radial force. The outer tip of the blade has a relatively small surface area so it generates a pretty large PSI on impact.

Just as a point of reference, rail guns have fired a 1 inch cube of plastic through 12 inches of steel plate. Don't underestimate the power of the plastic!
What is 12" of steel plate? Like a bunch of steel plates spanning 12", or just 12" of solid steel?
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  #54  
Old 11-15-2013, 04:23 AM
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12" of solid steel.
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  #55  
Old 11-15-2013, 07:37 AM
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What! No way, show me. The only thing I can think of penetrating that is water.
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  #56  
Old 11-15-2013, 10:27 AM
steev61 steev61 is offline
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1995 320i touring,overheating solutions --- Can anyone tell me how many screws hold the fan clutch in place I need to order the correct replacement,from a selection of three,I do not possess a manual,,many thanks
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  #57  
Old 11-15-2013, 11:57 AM
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Same as i told you in the other threads where you asked the same question: ONE. The fan clutch threads on to the water pump hub (LEFT-HAND threads). The fan bolts on to the clutch, and they all take three or four bolts. What three choices are you looking at, and where?
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  #58  
Old 11-15-2013, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwonda View Post
Humf, sounds rediculous. What mileage does this usually happen at? How does a plastic fan blade go through the insulation of my hood and dent steel? I guess I'll believe it if I see it.
There are plenty of threads online regarding BMW plastic fans grenading and taking out radiators, hoses, and hoods. It happens to all BMWs of this era, and it isn't a myth.







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  #59  
Old 11-15-2013, 05:07 PM
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Couldn't find any pics of E36's?
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  #60  
Old 11-15-2013, 05:50 PM
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It's hard to tell if you're being intentionally combative or not, but no, I couldn't find any photos of E36s. Regardless, the E36, E46, E34, and E39 all used the exact same fan in most instances, so if you're trying to prove me wrong and you still refuse to believe that BMW fans explode and dent hoods, it isn't working. This is why I previously stated that this problem is relevant for all BMWs of this era. I've grown tired of defending what is universally accepted as a legitimate issue with these cars. I appreciate a good skeptic, but you seem bent on resisting our suggestions which are based on years of historical evidence. We didn't make this stuff up.

You are coming off as someone who simply likes to argue, which I have extremely limited patience for. If I'm misreading your tone, I apologize.
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  #61  
Old 11-15-2013, 06:15 PM
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I'm just being skeptic, not trying to piss anyone off. Right now my skepticism would say that there are differences between E36's and other ones, regarding the fan and shroud. Perhaps what I am most skeptical about right now is single blades denting the hood, from these pictures how do we know that the fan didn't completely disconnect from the clutch, or perhaps just split in half. From the pictures you've found there seems to be a correlation with the body style no?
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  #62  
Old 11-15-2013, 06:22 PM
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I would also like to further add that upon doing some investigating on other boards where this seems to be a very common thing happening on 5-series, that the cause is a seized fan clutch! In these cases, replacing the fan won't help, and to me this makes much more sense than the plastic just becoming so weak the blades disconnect themselves, when everything else is working perfectly fine.
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  #63  
Old 11-15-2013, 06:25 PM
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Re: E36 Cooling System 101: What you need to know

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwonda View Post
I'm just being skeptic, not trying to piss anyone off. Right now my skepticism would say that there are differences between E36's and other ones, regarding the fan and shroud. Perhaps what I am most skeptical about right now is single blades denting the hood, from these pictures how do we know that the fan didn't completely disconnect from the clutch, or perhaps just split in half. From the pictures you've found there seems to be a correlation with the body style no?
Then your skepticism would be incorrect. BMW used the exact same part number on the E32, 34, 36, 39, 46, 53, and Z3 on everything from the classic M30 to the S54.

I've seen plenty of pictures showing the fan still on the clutch missing from 1 to all of its blades. It's a very real occurrence.

Be a skeptic, don't be obtuse. I agreed with you on the other cooling system argument, but this is getting a little silly.

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  #64  
Old 11-15-2013, 06:31 PM
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Ok, how about the fan shroud? Not that it really matters. How about the fan clutch? I think its important to identify why it is happening, and I think I know why.
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  #65  
Old 11-15-2013, 06:36 PM
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Here is a quote from bluebee on bimmerfest….

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Carufel View Post
The best protection against damaging the hood is replacing the fan and fan clutch before it happens.
I don't disagree.

But.

When I researched this (at the time of my cooling system leak), I was told by one of our suppliers that the fan almost never breaks 'on its own' - it's always as a 'result' of the clutch or the mounts.

So, the theory goes - you don't need to replace the fan (unless of course it shows evidence of wear). Likewise, if you 'just' replace the fan after it has disintegrated, you'll have the problem again ('cuz, the theory goes, the fan wasn't the problem).
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  #66  
Old 11-15-2013, 06:38 PM
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Here is another one:

It has never happened to me but from the threads I've read (most of which are crosslinked in that one pictorial cooling systems failure thread I already referenced), it seems the cause of the problem is generally:
The motor (or transmission) mounts are sagging
Or the viscous van clutch seized in the locked position
There are some who say it's more often the former than the latter, which means it's very important for you to figure this out or it will happen again to your newly repaired hood.

What was the cause of your fan blades disintegrating?
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  #67  
Old 11-15-2013, 06:41 PM
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You may also want to check out this board:

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39...s-related.html
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  #68  
Old 11-15-2013, 06:45 PM
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In every instance I've read about it seems that this happens right when someone decides to accelerate hard and has their rpms up, which fits well with a seized clutch. And in that last link I posted you'll notice the owner talks about noticing how he couldn't move his fan by hand when the engine was off, shortly before being on the road when his fan blew apart.

So do I have a point yet? Or am I still stepping on bible thumpers toes and we should just make sure we regularly replace our fans, and not mention the clutch or tranny and engine mounts.

Last edited by dwonda; 11-15-2013 at 06:52 PM.
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  #69  
Old 11-16-2013, 05:47 AM
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I guess with this kit I'd only additionally need to buy the fan, belts, and radiator cap? everything else would be covered?

http://www.bavauto.com/fland.asp?par...FQbNOgodChgAGQ


Also, should I get the fan clutch or is that unnecessary? Thanks!

My recently acquired 323is has 85k miles and as far as I know PO did nothing w/ cooling system... is this an easy enough attempt, realistically, for someone who has next to no experience on car maintenance? I don't want to spend lots of $$$ having the shop do it, and I'd like to become a proficient DIY'er...I figured this is probably a good place to start serious DIYing but am afraid to mess up my car~but the only way to become good is through practice...sigh. sidenote, I do have the bentley manual pdf.

Last edited by blk323; 11-16-2013 at 05:50 AM.
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  #70  
Old 11-16-2013, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by blk323 View Post
I guess with this kit I'd only additionally need to buy the fan, belts, and radiator cap? everything else would be covered?

http://www.bavauto.com/fland.asp?par...FQbNOgodChgAGQ


Also, should I get the fan clutch or is that unnecessary? Thanks!

My recently acquired 323is has 85k miles and as far as I know PO did nothing w/ cooling system... is this an easy enough attempt, realistically, for someone who has next to no experience on car maintenance? I don't want to spend lots of $$$ having the shop do it, and I'd like to become a proficient DIY'er...I figured this is probably a good place to start serious DIYing but am afraid to mess up my car~but the only way to become good is through practice...sigh. sidenote, I do have the bentley manual pdf.

Don't buy the fan clutch right off. Just test the one you have by taking a rolled up newspaper, and (slowly) stick it into the moving fan. It should shred the newspaper. If it stops the fan, then the clutch is going and needs replacing.


As a side note, you should only do this with a new fan, as if it's an old one, odds are the fan will snap off blades.
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  #71  
Old 11-16-2013, 07:46 AM
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Right, right odds say the fan blades will rip off. Should I go do this in my car and take a video and post the results? Hey should probably mention the car should be warmed up for that test.
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  #72  
Old 11-16-2013, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwonda View Post
In every instance I've read about it seems that this happens right when someone decides to accelerate hard and has their rpms up, which fits well with a seized clutch. And in that last link I posted you'll notice the owner talks about noticing how he couldn't move his fan by hand when the engine was off, shortly before being on the road when his fan blew apart.

So do I have a point yet? Or am I still stepping on bible thumpers toes and we should just make sure we regularly replace our fans, and not mention the clutch or tranny and engine mounts.
This what it looks like when it happens. When it happened I was backing slowly into my garage so no high rpms, fan clutch was good (still running same), engine mounts are good, and there was no contact with the fan shroud. The fan is made from polycarbonate which exhibits work hardening, becomes embrittled, and eventually fails at the point of highest stress, which happens to be near the fan blade root.
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  #73  
Old 11-16-2013, 06:05 PM
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a

Last edited by dwonda; 11-16-2013 at 06:21 PM.
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  #74  
Old 11-16-2013, 06:09 PM
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How would a seized clutch cause the fan to break? It should be able to run at 6500+ RPM and still not come apart, unless it's brittle.
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  #75  
Old 11-16-2013, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
How would a seized clutch cause the fan to break? It should be able to run at 6500+ RPM and still not come apart, unless it's brittle.
Because even when the clutch is hot, it should NEVER totally lock to the engine speed, there is always slippage due to the air resistance the fan is experiencing. Especially when rapidly accelerating your rpm's from low to high, this would put a lot of stress at the base of each blade.

Your car's fan clutch should never get that close to being fully locked anyways. Last summer I noticed when I would let my car sit and idle for a few minutes, my fan clutch was heavily engaged because when I start accelerating my car sounds like a semi truck accelerating, its VERY noticeable, and it would quickly die back as the clutch cooled. I don't think this should ever happen though if your auxiliary fan is functioning properly, which mine isn't, doesn't work at all.

So that is why a seized clutch will cause the fan to break.
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