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BMW E46 – How to Replace Cooling Fan

BMW E46 – How to Replace Cooling Fan

Difficulty:  Medium
Labor:  3 hrs
Parts Cost:  $200 -/+

This is a DIY for all the pals out there with worn out cooling fans! Let’s get some work done.


Tools

  • Set of sockets.
  • Set of wrenches.
  • Set of screwdrivers.
  • A 32mm fan wrench..
  • Coolant pump counter-hold tool.
  • T-25 Torx socket.
  • Needle-nose pliers.

Steps

1
Remove the expansion rivets from the intake air duct.
  

From the top of radiator, use a fathead screwdriver to pry the rivets up, then using needle-nose pliers, pull the rivets out.

2
Remove the intake air duct from the radiator support.   

You can do this by by lifting it out from the intake air housing duct

3
Disconnect the electrical connectors.  

Moving to the right side of the fan shroud, start disconnecting the electrical connectors.

4
For electric cooling fan models on the engine side, or ones with a belt-driven cooling fan.  

For the engine model, lift the shroud with the fan out from the engine compartment.
And for the driven belt one, leave the shroud in the engine until you unscrew the viscous coupler from the coolant pump.

5
Unscrew the viscous coupler from the coolant pump.  

Unscrew the couple and remove it from the engine compartment along with the fan shroud.

6
Remove the fasteners Installing the engine side electric cooling fan.   

In order to separate the viscous coupler, remove the fasteners then Install the new fan on your shroud and reinstall the fasteners.

7
Lower the fan into your engine compartment.   

Once the two are joined, lower the fan and and slide it unto the radiator mounts then connect the electrical connectors at right side of the cooling fan. Install the expanding rivet and Torx screw. Then install the intake air duct the just like you removed it & reconnect the battery negative cable.

8
Assemble the viscous coupler to your fan and torque the fasteners to factory specs. (Driven Belt Model)  

For installing the E46 belt-driven cooling fan, lower the fan shroud and the fan into the engine compartment then slide the shroud into the mounting tabs on radiator. Screw the cooling fan onto the coolant pump in a clockwise direction. Once tight, use a 32mm wrench and torque the viscous clutch to specs. Then connect the electrical connectors at right side of the cooling fan. Install the expanding rivet and fastener and install the intake air duct and.

9
Assemble the viscous coupler to your fan and torque the fasteners to factory specs. (Electrical Fan Model)  

f your E46 model has the electric cooling fan mounted at the front of your radiator you have to remove the front bumper in order to replace the cooling fan. After the front bumper is removed, you will start by working in the trunk. Disconnect your battery negative cable and cover your battery terminal so the cable does not accidentally come in contact with the disconnected cable.

10
Disconnect the cooling fan electrical connector.  

Working in the engine compartment, disconnect the connectors by removing the connector from the mount and squeezing the release tabs on the side to separate.

11
Remove the 4 plastic screws.  

Remove the 4 screws using a Phillips screwdriver, then remove the fan cover in downward direction. Then remove the 4 fan mounting nuts and the fan from the radiator.

12
Feed the harness through the hole at the top right corner.   

When removing the fan from your radiator support, feed the hardness and work slowly so it does not snag. Feed the electrical connector through the opening in the radiator support.

13
Place the radiator fan on the support.  

Place the fan and attach it using the four previously removed nuts. Then install the fan cover using the removed expanding rivets. Install the front bumper in reverse order of installation, and reconnect the battery negative cable. And you’re done!

Sources

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E46/29-WATER-Cooling_Fan_Replacement/29-WATER-Cooling_Fan_Replacement.htm

http://www.impee.co.uk/radiatorfan_change.htm

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