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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 05-12-2011, 06:59 PM
daw daw is offline
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Aux Fan Replacement DIY

I recently replaced the aux electric cooling fan. I looked at another DIY for this and I had a few questions that weren't clear to me so I thought I'd try to do one as detailed as I could. Hopefully this will be helpful to somebody. It's actually pretty easy. Figure about 3h if you go slowly. There are a few things to have on hand before you start. The small grills that are next to the fog lights on each side are each held in place by 2 plastic clips. I found these easy to remove without breaking them, but they're cheap (less than 30 cents each) so you might as well get 4 to have on hand just in case. Part #: 51 11 1 908 077. Also, there is a plastic cowl in front of the fan that is attached at the top with 3 similar plastic clips. These are harder to get out without breaking them. I replaced them with 51 11 8 174 185. These are slightly different from the ones that are there originally, which are flush at the top. I couldn't find a part number for those. In addition you will need a T50 socket. I read somewhere that a T45 is the size, but at least on my car, it's a T50. You also need an assortment of small metric sockets.

The first thing to do is either disconnect the connectors to the headlight bulbs or simply remove the bulbs. I found it easier to do the latter. I put them in zip lock bags to keep them clean.



There are 4 screws that hold the headlight assembly in place, 2 at the top and 2 at the bottom. The picture below shows them removed.



At this point, the headlight assembly just slides out the front. If you ever wanted to clean the headlight assembly clear plastic, now's a great opportunity. I did that job in the past with the lights in the car. What a wast of time. Much easier to just pop them out since it's so easy to do. Here's what it looks like with the lights out.



The next thing is to remove the 2 small vents that are next to the fog lights. Each is held by 2 plastic clips that you have to remove. You pry out the inner piece and the the whole clip comes out. I found these easy to remove, but they're cheap and you might want to have some on hand. Once these 2 clips are out, the vents are held in by little clips molded into the vents themselves, which you have to push in to get the vent out. I've tried to show the clips in the pictures.







This shows the small vent out. There are 2 small screws that are now seen which attach to the duct(s) which need to be removed. (The screws that hold the fog lights don't need to be removed).





The next thing is to deal with the wheel well covers. To get the bumper off. You need to remove the lower 2 screws and one upper. See picture to see which ones.



You need to remove the wiring to the fog lights. On the passenger side, you can reach down behind the bumper and unplug it. You can see it in the picture.



On the driver's side, however, you can't reach behind the bumper in the same way since the air vent is in the way. So what I did was completely remove the lower wheel well cover on that side so I could unplug that fog light before removing the bumper. If you wanted, you could pull the bumper out and unplug it then.

At this point, the only thing holding the bumper on is the 2 T50 bolts.



Once you remove these, the bumper slides out. Have a blanket ready to put the bumper on. The bumper is very light and easy for one person to handle. This is what you see.



The next thing to remove is the air duct on the driver's side. It's held by 3 bolts. I removed the 2 inner ones and just lifted it up a bit.

The next thing to remove is the plastic cowl with the 2 kidney openings. There are 3 small plastic clips on the top. These are harder to remove since they are flush on top. Have 3 spares to replace them with.



Then there are 3 bolts on the front. Where the right lower bolt would be is another plastic clip which holds the wiring in place.



The wiring connector attaches to the cowl and is removed as well. At this point the cowl comes off. This is what you see.



At this point, 4 bolts hold the fan on. Remove these and put the new fan in. I noticed that the new plug for the wiring didn't have a little square piece that holds it to the cowl. So, I drilled a small hole next to the square hole and held the plug in place with a zip tie.





Now it's just a matter of putting things back. I hope this helps.
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2011, 11:39 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daw View Post
I recently replaced the aux electric cooling fan
Very nice.

I'll add this to the bestlinks:

Here's what was there:
- How to test the cooling system auxiliary electrical fan (1) (2) & a DIY for replacing the auxilliary fan (1) & the infamous fuse 75 (1) & the aux fan relay (1)

I'll add your link to the DIY link:
- How to test the cooling system auxiliary electrical fan (1) (2) & a DIY for replacing the auxilliary fan (1) (2) & the infamous fuse 75 (1) & the aux fan relay (1)


Question: Is 'this' the DIY you were referring to initially?
- DIY for replacing the auxilliary fan (1)

Last edited by bluebee; 05-12-2011 at 11:41 PM.
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2011, 04:21 AM
daw daw is offline
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Yes, that is the DIY I was referring to.
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  #4  
Old 08-13-2012, 04:31 PM
dlysinger dlysinger is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i
Thank you for the instructions. Everything went practically flawlessly.

The part number for the 3 clips for the fan cowl, referenced above in IMG_3389.JPG, is 51-11-1-944-537 (at least that is what matches what was installed in my car - 1998 528i).

I broke the clip referenced in the picture IMG_3387.JPG. The dealer is ordering this for me. I believe the part number to be 61-13-1-373-669. I hope it's correct, as it costs five dollars!

Thanks again!!!
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  #5  
Old 08-14-2012, 05:14 AM
daw daw is offline
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You're welcome. I'm glad it went well.
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2012, 03:57 PM
194449 194449 is offline
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I knew about SleekBMW's DIY write-up but not this one by Daw. They're both good and this one has additional pics. Bookmarked for future reference.

I pulled my aux fan awhile back just to clean all the bug carcasses out of the rad fins. Probably had a quart worth of that stuff in there.... Also had a bird skull, some chewing gum foil, a cig butt.....
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  #7  
Old 06-18-2019, 04:01 PM
e39s e39s is offline
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I just did this on my 530i that was experiencing a failed aux fan. The AC will be ice cold while driving at speed, but when idling or in traffic you'll notice the air going warm. This is the typical aux fan failure I've experienced.

Here's the DIY in 4K:

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  #8  
Old 07-07-2019, 09:03 AM
famous_blue famous_blue is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i 5sp. Sport Pack
Thanks so much for posting! I just completed it without a hitch (except for all of the broken little plastic tabs!). A/C works again!
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