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Mack Bari
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152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Id like to start by thanking you guys in advance for your expert opinions. I love my e39 but my e39 doesnt seem to love me back these days. Heres what I drive:

2003 530iA SP/PP Mileage : 85000. Driving style: GRANDPA (gas price)

So about 2-3 months ago, I realized my fan clutch had some significant play and it was loose regardless of the temp of the car and almost about to spin out and make a hole in the hood amongst ruining the whole cooling system. Luckily I caught it whole investigating a LOUD VACUUM CLEANER sound followed by some throttle input at low speeds. I am sure some of the members here are very familiar with this sound. SO I BOUGHT A NEW CLUTCH And paid double from the stealership as it was an emergency. Upon installing, the noise was gone and the car ran great.

3 weeks ago, one fine morning i hear ticking sound from the same area and mind you everytime any thing ticks or rattles in that area MY HEART goes BLANK thinking of a dead vanos unit. Anyway, I inspect and find that some of the screws came off of the fan blade attached to the clutch and the fan blade was still from the older unit which had some chipped corners. SO i go back to the stealer and get a new one and installed.


TODAY THE FAN CLUTCH VACUUM SOUND IS BACK
. Same old sound and sloppy, slushy feeling when I press the gas. Seems like the rpms are not climbing as fast as it can almost making it seems like a tranny issue. BTW it was 106 degrees outside today and the issue appeared when I turned the ac on. Upon cooling down for a bit and turning the ac of the sound went away but it felt like the rpms were still sluggish to climb and the issue would return again tomorrow under those magical circumstances.

I did the inspection on the clutch and it does NOT have any play and it seems like it does have a little resistance and not as free spinning NOW WHAT I HAVE YET TO TRY IS THE DIFFERENCE IN RESISTANCE after parking the car over night.

My Qs are :

1.COULD IT BE THE AUX FAN THAT IS NOT DOIN ITS JOB HENCE MAKING THE CLUTCH WORK HARDER?
2. ANYONE SUGGEST I GO BACK TO THE STEALER AND ARGUE THAT THE ISSUE HAPPENED AFTER THEY WORKED ON IT AND THEY WERE THE LAST ONES TO TOUCH IT?
3. IS THE AUX FAN SUPPOSED TO COME ON AS SOON AS I TURN THE AC ON REGARDLESS OF OUTSIDE TEMP?

I was fixing to get ready for the Vanos seals and some 02 sensors and sway bar links but this issue needs to be adressed ASAP as I dont want a hole in my pocket or my hood.

any feedbacks would be greatly appreciated. I nhave searched and read a lot about fan clutches but not much to read about aux fans.
 

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Mack Bari
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152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just curious..some members here have mentioned that when the aux fan fails to kick in the clutch fan does most of the work. I have not replaced the aux fan yet maybe thats whats causing it? But why would the aux fan kick in at low rpms?
 

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mack, i think that the aux. fan is supposed to come on when you first start your car up, i think mine does anyway, but that may be because the a/c compressor is coming on with my car. (leaving the a/c compressor on when i kill the car.) anyhow, the fan clutch could possibly be faulty, just cause it's new doesn't mean it's fine. i hate to tell you that the best way to double check it is to get another one, but that may be my best advice. another remote chance is that the old fan -- either through being possibly being out of balance from the chips and such, or from the screws working themselves loose -- may have possibly effed up your new fan clutch. not for certain there though. i personally don't have volumes of experience with the fan clutches, just what i've read on here. i'm gonna be getting away from mine here soon, i ordered a zionsville kit for my 540it, so hopefully this is a problem i won't have to deal with myself. i would just check for the typical m.o., slack or slop in the fan, hard to turn, etc. other than that i'm out of good ideas here, hopefully someone else will chime in with more dazzling insight than me. (not to mention it's 2am :) ) good luck man, keep us posted. branndon.
 

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Mack Bari
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152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Branndon.. Thanks for the reply I concur with you on that. While the clutch fan is still pretty solid I think the efin blades messed it up. On the brighter side my aux fan seems to be working because this morning it was prety mild weather 70 degrees outside and the car was parked overnight.

I turned the ac on and the aux fan kicked in. Lets see how the story unfolds as we move on through the day. On the other hand the rattling noise seems to be the VANOS.

Man I am f****d big time now
 

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559 Posts
Don't get depressed mbari, if you're reasonably handy, the vanos appears to be a relatively easy DIY. Maybe another member in your area will join you and you two can do the job together. You'll just have to buy the beer. If I was down there, I'd gladly give a hand.
 

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Mack Bari
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152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks raymond. The beisan VANOS seal repair DIY should do it right? Before that thread every1 had to get their units replaced and it was 1500 bucks.

I am thinking ordering a new clutch and the Beisan kit and doing it all at once.

I am sure my buddy Brian McKinney would chime in and help me with it.
 

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yorkie power
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353 Posts
The fan clutch work at the dealer is guaranteed for 12 months.

Take the car to them for a free diagnosis.
 

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Thanks raymond. The beisan VANOS seal repair DIY should do it right? Before that thread every1 had to get their units replaced and it was 1500 bucks.

I am thinking ordering a new clutch and the Beisan kit and doing it all at once.

I am sure my buddy Brian McKinney would chime in and help me with it.
From what I've read, it's the seal that goes and the repair looks very easy. It just seems that you need some patience and to be methodical and slow in doing it. Call the Beisan people. I bet that they're real helpful. Good luck.
 

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Get new fan blades whatever you do. If the fail they will fling srappnel through the hood, radiator, hoses, belts or whatever else is in the neighborhood.
I am a little fuzzy on why you did not return to the dealer immediately upon finding the loose bolts you mentioned. They could have caused a catastrophic failure including radiator destruction.

The Aux fan should be running at all times if the AC is on and running except in the deep cold. The clutch fan will most assuredly be kicking on if the outside temp is 106 so that is normal operation, in addition the AC will be drawing much more power on a day like that so the car will feela little logy. As long as the clutch fan is not engaged constantly while driving at speed i think it is working normally.
 

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Mack Bari
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152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Get new fan blades whatever you do. If the fail they will fling srappnel through the hood, radiator, hoses, belts or whatever else is in the neighborhood.
I am a little fuzzy on why you did not return to the dealer immediately upon finding the loose bolts you mentioned. They could have caused a catastrophic failure including radiator destruction.

The Aux fan should be running at all times if the AC is on and running except in the deep cold. The clutch fan will most assuredly be kicking on if the outside temp is 106 so that is normal operation, in addition the AC will be drawing much more power on a day like that so the car will feela little logy. As long as the clutch fan is not engaged constantly while driving at speed i think it is working normally.
The loose bolts were found a month after the repair and I went to the dealer with 15mins a got a new one put in.

As far as the clutch fan kicking in during 106 degree weather,

1. the loud vaccum sound should not be normal right?
2. It should run simultaneously with the AUX FAX right?

BTW I appreciate your input.
 

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The loose bolts were found a month after the repair and I went to the dealer with 15mins a got a new one put in.

As far as the clutch fan kicking in during 106 degree weather,

1. the loud vaccum sound should not be normal right?
2. It should run simultaneously with the AUX FAX right?

BTW I appreciate your input.
That roaring sound that you are hearing is the Fan when it engages, At idle it is noticable but not crazy, however if the RPMs are increased it will get very loud, but it should quite once its been on for a few minutes or once you get rolling like on the highway. If you are hearing it while cruising then there is a problem. In traffic it should be cycling frequently on the highway you should not hear it at all.

The Aux fan is controlled by the cars ECM in your car i believe it is a variable speed setup as well. The clutch fan is controlled only by the temperature of the air blowing across it. If the air is hot enough the clutch engages and couples the fan to start pulling air. Both fans can and should be running at the same time on a hot day in traffic.
 

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BMW Nuthead
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2,388 Posts
the AUX fan seems louder and more noticeable while idling(not driving) The fan clutch is actually fairly quite with the hood down. Mack lets see what the dealer does, I still think we should repair your VANOS seals and change out the 02 sensors anyway. With the change in temps being over 100 now, the 02 sensors can read differently if they are old and worn out, hence the loss in power...
 

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The Vanos job is not for the faint of heart, Besian does a great job of laying out everything for this job but don't expect to do it in 2 or 3 hours. Plan for 8 to 10 and if you finish in 5 to 7 you will feel good about it. My son and I did both our cars a few weeks back. BTW, our vanos never made any sound even though both were shot. Mine at 50K and his at 100K.

The fan clutch sound you hear is probably new to you because the old unit was worn out and did not engage. At 106 with AC working the fan cluch should be engaged.
The are loud, sounds like a airplane propeller when you rev it up. Pulls lots of air and does it's job, cooling off an expensive engine. The electric aux fan will engage whenever you turn the a/c on.
 

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Mack Bari
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152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Vanos job is not for the faint of heart, Besian does a great job of laying out everything for this job but don't expect to do it in 2 or 3 hours. Plan for 8 to 10 and if you finish in 5 to 7 you will feel good about it. My son and I did both our cars a few weeks back. BTW, our vanos never made any sound even though both were shot. Mine at 50K and his at 100K.

The fan clutch sound you hear is probably new to you because the old unit was worn out and did not engage. At 106 with AC working the fan cluch should be engaged.
The are loud, sounds like a airplane propeller when you rev it up. Pulls lots of air and does it's job, cooling off an expensive engine. The electric aux fan will engage whenever you turn the a/c on.
Thanks for the clarification on the vacuum sound. Its just that I have never heard that sound until recently and its only at low speeds and goes away when I rev up. Now it makes sense why it might need to engage at low speeds when there is no natural air flow. BUT THAT SOUND IS SCARY NO DOUBT.

My Vanos is not making the ever so popular rattling sound heard from ZHP 330 owners. But i definitely feel an a steep decline in power and some hesitation. However, idle is as smooth as it can be. I am trying hard not raise my expectations too high as far as performance gains or rather restorations are concerned. But i hear very promising testimonials. How about the changes you noticed after the repair?

ONCE AGAIN THANKS FOR THE INFO.
 

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Used and Abused
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777 Posts
after a new vanos was in stalled in my car ...it felt like a new car. no more shaky start ups and no more loss of power. When i used to step on the gas it would feel like a old chevy now it feels like a Bimmer :)
 

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Used and Abused
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777 Posts
sorry did read that this was so old
 

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Mack Bari
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152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
First of all...very nice writeup and thanks for sharing. I ll will be doing the wp along with the vanos stuff this weekend and while at it may be some other tensioners and hoses as well.

I hope to have my bimmer back after this weekend its running like n old hyundai now.
 
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