DIY: Fan clutch replacement *PICS* - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #1 of 25 Old 26th July 2010, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
Torquey5
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DIY: Fan clutch replacement *PICS*

For those with paranoia panicking or on the verge of nervous breakdown over their time ticking fan clutch, no worries. No worries. This DIY is a very simple process that will help almost anyone swap out their fan clutch with absolute ease.

I too was once a paranoia beast owner thinking that the upcoming heat season would for sure kill my fan clutch. I did some research on the ways to test your fan clutch such as poking/trying to stop at the fan with the end of a 11ft broom stick while the car is running. I didn't find that method too useful for me so I said what the hell and just ordered a new fan clutch, and also because I don't know if the previous owner had it replaced or not.

Getting down to business:

Ordering the new fan clutch:

BMW E39 M5 Fan Clutch (11527502804)

This is by far the cheapest place that I've found, even my local BMW dealership was charging around $200, and that's with employee discount. Plus they don't have it in stock and you'd have to wait for it to come in.

Tools needed:

- 1 1/4" open end wrench. This is a rather large size and you can easily find it at any local car parts/tool store.
- Allen key or hex/star key. It's actually allen but I didn't have the right size but hex/star key set worked just as well. Unfortunately I don't remember the T size, but it's one of the smaller/medium ones.

IMPORTANT: The fan clutch nut has reverse thread so you have to unbolt it spinning it to the right.


A few pictures before the swap:


Brand new fan clutch:




1 1/4" wrench:



Step 1:
Using the 1 1/4" wrench, fit it over the old fan clutch nut and give it a quick hard yank to the right. The trick here is to do it fast and it will knock it loose, after that you simply unscrew it until the whole thing comes off. Carefully navigate the fan up and out of the engine bay. This is what my fan/fan clutch looked like:





As you can see it was VERY dirty, but the fan clutch seemed to be in good condition. Here are 2 up close pictures of the fan clutch:





Step 2:
Unbolt the 3 allen screws using one of the earlier mentioned tools. These are pretty easy to remove, shouldn't take more than 2-3 minutes. After I removed the fan clutch I decided to give the fan a good cleaning using car wash soap. I also decided to clean the dirty fan clutch as I'm keeping it simply because it looked okay and I may need it for whatever reason in the future.

After everything was cleaned, screw on the new fan clutch onto the fan.

Make sure you put the fan on the correct way as the original position:






Step 3:
I knew the re-bolting of the fan clutch would be a PITA because I knew there is very limited space where the fan bolts up. It's an awkward position so take your time. The trick here is to use spin the fan blades to hook the thread and when it finally grabs it's all gravy from there. Use your 1 1/4" wrench and give a quick yank to the left to tighten the nut.


*pops open beer*



******************************************
Special thanks to Cal @ JLeviSW for providing assistance
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2003 Titanium Silver ///M5

Last edited by Torquey5; 26th July 2010 at 07:26 AM.
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post #2 of 25 Old 26th July 2010, 07:48 AM
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Thanks for sharing the write-up, Dan! How long would you say the whole process took?

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post #3 of 25 Old 26th July 2010, 08:49 AM
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post #4 of 25 Old 26th July 2010, 08:56 AM
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post #5 of 25 Old 26th July 2010, 03:05 PM
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Regarding the 'quick hard yank to the right', has anyone else had success with this, or got any other suggestions than using the 'correct' tool that holds the saller bolt heads?
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post #6 of 25 Old 26th July 2010, 03:29 PM
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You should probably replace the fan at the same time. It is subjected to continuous and substantial mechanical and thermal stress cycling and is potentially subject to eventual failure as a result...especially if it has ever been nicked, etc. (especially since it is only ~$50 from Tischer).

Current stable:

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Last edited by CSBM5; 26th July 2010 at 03:31 PM.
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post #7 of 25 Old 26th July 2010, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 100%Cocoa View Post
Regarding the 'quick hard yank to the right', has anyone else had success with this, or got any other suggestions than using the 'correct' tool that holds the saller bolt heads?
Mine was on too tight so I had to find the tool. You can see a picture of it and P/N here: http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c1...n/twinhole.jpg

I just took measurements, and drilled/grinded a piece of steel like so: http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c1...n/IMAG0083.jpg


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post #8 of 25 Old 26th July 2010, 05:38 PM
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You'll get a good idea if your old clutch has been replaced by the date code on the data plate. Your new one was made Jan 22, 2010.

Many of the parts have a date code on the sticker or stenciled on the part. I just found out that the lower oil pan on my MY 2000 was made in November of 2003. Don't know yet if that is from an engine change or it was replaced because of a stripped oil pan plug, which is why I had it out. Also found I've got a 2007 radiator. Need to clean the tag on the fan clutch and see what I can see. Greg

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post #9 of 25 Old 26th July 2010, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M55555 View Post
Thanks for sharing the write-up, Dan! How long would you say the whole process took?
I know you're a busy guy and all, I'd say around 30 min including washing/cleaning the stock fan



Quote:
Originally Posted by reds2 View Post
Are you sure that's the right number? I get 11527830486 for the M5.

Pretty sure that's the correct link:

BMW Fan Clutch
OEM Reference 11527502804
This will fit the following models
  • 530i 1993-1995
  • 530it 1993-1995
  • 540i 1993-2003
  • 540it 1992-2001
  • 740iL 1992-2001
  • 750iL 1987-1998
  • 840ci 1994-1997
  • 850ci 1994-1997
  • 850csi 1994-1995
  • 850i 1990-1992
  • M5 2000-2003




Quote:
Originally Posted by 100%Cocoa View Post
Regarding the 'quick hard yank to the right', has anyone else had success with this, or got any other suggestions than using the 'correct' tool that holds the saller bolt heads?

Or you can take something and give it a swift knock to the wrench. If you have the wrench on there and just tried to turn it that won't work, the pulley/belt will flex along with it so you have to smack the wrench really quick to the right to loosen the nut.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
You should probably replace the fan at the same time. It is subjected to continuous and substantial mechanical and thermal stress cycling and is potentially subject to eventual failure as a result...especially if it has ever been nicked, etc. (especially since it is only ~$50 from Tischer).
I thought about it, but got conflicting answers. I gave my fan a good look after washing and it appeared to be in great condition with no chips/cracks, etc.

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post #10 of 25 Old 27th July 2010, 01:16 AM
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Arrow Replace your fan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquey5 View Post
I thought about it, but got conflicting answers. I gave my fan a good look after washing and it appeared to be in great condition with no chips/cracks, etc.
The resultant "Grenade-Effect", with shrapnel from the fan wreaking havoc all
over the engine bay and hood is due to severely degraded plastic fans. The
fan clutch locking up only preceded the event by generating higher loading of
a hardened, brittle fan. Buy a new fan, then compare it's soft, flexible blades
to those on the old one and you will be quite surprised.

Really is cheap insurance.

Regards,
Alan
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