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Fan and shroud removal tricks

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by kearnsclan, Mar 17, 2010.

    kearnsclan guest

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    Good Morning ,

    I am planning on doing some work that requires taking off the clutch fan and shroud assembly.

    Have the needed tools and have seen a bunch of the DIY's on the process. ( reverse thread on fan, etc.)

    Any tricks to the procedure I should know on removing and reinstalling the fan/clutch assembly and fan shroud.

    thanks a bunch
    • Member


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    Open end wrench for the fan clutch (thin enough to fit) and a rubber mallet to tap the wrench. Ive gotten it off with 3 wacks. lol The fan shroud has these special plastic fasteners in the top corners, you gotta pull the center pin out of them and the fasteners come right off. You will also have to remove the expansion tank, for that you will first have to remove the outer rim/clip of the bleeder screw, then the hoses, then the connector for the coolant level.

    Don't drop the fan!! any damage can lead to failure at driving speeds, the fan will explode and take out your hoses, radiator, hood etc.

    If the fan and clutch look old REPLACE THEM, Not to expensive even from the dealer. Worth the piece of mind.

    And don't forget to bleed the system after you fill the coolant back up.

    Any questions?

    kearnsclan guest

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    fan & shroud removal tricks

    Thanks Mr Whorse for the reply!!!
    and thanks for allowing me to ask questions....

    I have seen some DIY info that give info about recirc pump and rad tubing in bottom of shroud that have to released from the shroud. I appreciate your info. I figure once the shroud and fan are free, they are lifted out together, being careful not to drop the fan as it come out.

    My goal is to allow for me to change idler pulleys and serp belt. 2001 540i 6 spd @ 85k miles.

    Also to raise engine slightly and change out motor mounts. Is it acceptable to lift the engine by placing jack under oil pan, with piece of wood to spread load ?? Tranny mounts replacement to follow.

    Eventually, I will change out VC gaskets and upper timing cover gaskets as I find oil in the spark plug wells on pass side and see many 540 owners suggest UTC gasket replacement while in the area.
    On the UTC gasket, is taking the vanos solenoid out a tricky issue that I should avoid? Any suggestions here?

    Have timing chain tensioner on my 'do list' also.

    Any other preventative maintenance issues or procedures I should consider here.

    Appreciate any help and am willing to learn.

    vtx guest

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    Just been looking through my bookmarks this morning and found this:


    Used those tips successfully when doing my belt drive overhaul and water pump replacement.

    Some more tips:

    - Don't get cheap and try to make that tool out of aluminum. I had no choice (stores nearby had no steel bars, somehow), and the tool I made barely withstood the torture - and my car is usually squeaky clean and without any rust (Sun Belt, not Rust Belt).

    - Put a liberal amount of anti-seize mastic onto the thread before you put the fan back. It will not fall off because normal engine rotation tightens it, but you won't even need the tool next time. Been driving it since December 2008, didn't fall off for me.

    - It is tricky to put it back, just takes patience, that's all. I think was able to hold the fan with one hand and get the nut on with another.

    - Pulleys can only be bought with tensioners, as a complete assembly. Careful ordering them separately, because some sites will gladly sell them to you if you try to look them up by "system" and not part number, but they won't fit (ask me how I know).

    By the way, I was really ****ed when new tensioners I installed started making squeaking noise upon cold starts (cold being anywhere below +15C/60F), and I think I'm not alone. Wonder what sources produce those squeaky pulleys. I'd appreciate if you post your experience after you're done with the replacement.

    kearnsclan guest

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    Thanks for the info. Very helpful !!
    I have made my WP pulley holder out of flat steel bar and practiced with it until I was comfortable with it.
    Have taken my fan off and reinstalled as you suggested. I used a 1" wide piece of webbing ( from a old tie down I used for motorcycle transport) about 18" long. Wrapped the webbing around the fan nut so when I positioned the fan on the pulley shaft and pulled the webbing, the nut spun on the threaded shaft.
    Like you, I only bump-snugged up the fan nut. That way I can take it off again without the wp pulley holder being needed.
    I will report back any info on the pulley replacement when I have it done.

    thanks again.


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