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318ti Cooling Fan

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by ranthony3036, Nov 12, 2014.

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    Hi Rob,

    I really enjoyed your book and I just purchased my 6th BMW a few weeks ago, a 1995 Boston Green 318ti with a manual and 177k for $1200. I got it as a winter beater (it came with an extra set of snows!) and hiking car here in Colorado and also out of nostalgia (my first car was a 1995 Boston Green 318i).

    I noticed it doesn't have belt driven cooling fan, only an electric fan. Is this right? I know you and your kids ran into problems with the electric fan....

    Also, the Pilot bearing is whining, so it will get a clutch job in the near future. Is it possible/recommended to do this job without a lift (i.e. with a jack and stands)? I've done a fair amount of fluid flushes, suspension, cooling system, and brake work and have swapped differentials, but this would be the biggest project to date.

    Apologies if I don't respond. I'm at McMurdo Station in Antarctica and plan on being in the deep field installing seismometers beginning tomorrow.

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    steven s

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    I believe I took your renewal over the phone. :)
    A shameless plug for 318ti.org.

    Any oil leaks? The oil filter housing is notorious to leak from the o-rings.
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    Yes it does use a electric fan to my memory for cooling. The transmission is a hard task to do on jack stands for sure since it will be a lot of awkward positions.

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    Hi folks. Sorry for the late reply; I was in the field for a few weeks. RAnthony, you're installing seisomometers, and I just got back from a survey dragging magnetometers around the bottom of San Francisco bay. I probably had better weather than you did.

    Yes, the 318ti has an electric-only cooling fan. On many cars they went electric-only because there wasn't enough room for a mechanical fan. I believe that on the ti, it's the other way round -- since it's basically an E36 with a four-pot, there's too much room -- the motor is too far back, and thus the fan would be a good distance from the radiator. I think. As per other columns of mine, my fan went intermittent due to a bad connector, my son drove it, it overheated in the tunnel under Boston, and blew its timing case profile gasket, so I sold it for short money.

    Never did a trani on one of these cars, but generally speaking, a lift makes transmission removal better on any car, and lack of a lift makes it harder on any car. I don't know whether the ti is particularly worse without one or not.
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    Can't speak for your 'ti, but I did a clutch job with my E34 on jack stands, & r-n-r'd my E30 trans on jacks a couple of times. I don't know why you couldn't do it. I wouldn't say it's the easiest though - quite helpful to be on a concrete floor, I got one of those contoured creepers to help with all the moving underneath, and get some coveralls or disposable clothes, all that crawling underneath you can't but help jamming into something that's hopelessly greasy.

    I used tall jack stands, I think they extended to about 2 feet high, and got the cars up in the air as high as they could be on the jack stands I had, fully extended. That takes a good-sized floor jack to have the height, and also took the precarious move of using some foot-long (or so) blocks of 8x8 & 4x4 to get the car jacked high enough for the stands at full extension. Getting it that high is a tricky, multi-stage process, so going slowly, extremely carefully, and with great caution is highly advised. If you have a serious floor jack that can do the full range of high stands, that's better and safer than having to use any kind of blocks, undoubtedly. I got the car up on 4 jacks, then raised each end a bit at a time - too much at once and you risk tipping the jack stands. Always seemed better to me to raise each end of the car in stages than to raise either side in stages, but either way requires caution.

    I bought a transmission adapter that fit to a regular floor jack, but some kind of transmission jack or support is helpful to keep from risk of transmission & input shaft damage.

    I found the BavAuto tool for pulling the pilot-bearing to be almost utterly useless, it just didn't have enough strength - had to borrow a mechanic friend's slide hammer with an expanding collet-thingy (you know, technical term ;) ) to extract the pilot bearing on the E34. The pilot-bearing tool might work fine on less-stuck pilot bearings. Wear eye protection underneath the car and be mindful of the path of tools and body parts for anything requiring force for breaking free bolts, etc. Don't know about your car, but loosing the clip to separate the shifter from the trans was a bit of a hassle on the E34 & E30.

    I think it would be a real challenge to try and do such a job with only the front up in the air - however, with a car high up in the air on 4 jack stands, it's imperative that everything is planted in place securely and the car's weight be evenly distributed - I placed my jacks just aft of the upward bend of the front frame rails and the rears outboard on the rear subframe. When wrenching, be mindful of how you're applying force and how much so as to not risk upsetting the car on the jack stands (which I didn't have a problem with for trans removals & installation).

    Even with the car on fully-extended jack stands, I found the extra height of the transmission jack meant I couldn't lower it enough to roll it out from under the car, so once free and lowered, it still meant shuffling the trans off the trans jack to extract it from under the car - ymmv with that, maybe yours would clear with it on jack stands at 2ft up, I wouldn't be able to say. The 12 ton jacks linked below go to 30" high, that extra height might ease access and removal, but the higher you go, the trickier it an be to get the car up.




    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/category_automotive jacks transmission-jacks?

    Unfortunately, jacks that go high are expensive:


    Antarctica, wow - safe travels!
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    Completely off topic but it reminds me of my first car, a '72 Pinto. My friends help me convert it from auto to manual in the street in front of my parent house (back in '78 ?) on jack stands. I think there were 4 pairs of legs sticking out from under the car from time to time. I think we did it in one weekend. We didn't have a trans jack. It was a good thing that one of the guys was built like an ox. He yanked them out and lifted the manual into place. The first time I ever drove a manual was when we dropped it down off the jack stands. Ah good times. I remember when I called a junk yard to get rid of the donor car and they asked if it was a complete car. I told them yes. The guy was not happy when he got there and the automatic pedals and other misc. parts were in the trunk. ;)
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