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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Thu, Sep-10-2009, 02:47:31 AM   #1
parad0x
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Default Troubleshooting the Clutch Fan E46 M3 2002 75k miles

Hey there guys, before I go in to replace my belt tensioner I wanted to troubelshoot my clutch fan which I think might possibly be faulty. Just want to state a few facts, and hopefully i can hear some of your guys thoughts on em.

After a 30 minute drive mixed highway/city, in 16 celcius/43 Farenheit temperature.
-------------------------------------------------------------
-With the engine fully cold and off, I give the fan a good spin and it probably turns about 1.5 full turns before stopping, very little resistance.
-With the engine cold, but runnin I use a magazine and can fully stop the fan.
-with the engine hot, and running I am able to stop the fan.
-When turning off the engine while hot, the fan spins by itself for about 4 seconds before coming to a complete stop.
-With a fully warmed up hot engine, and off, I am able to get about 3 full spins on it before it stops very little resistance.

Now my thoughts are that the clutch fan is faulty, I believe the resistance on the fan spinning is suppose to go up quite a bit when it is fully warmed up correct? In that with the engine off, the fan should maybe turn 1/3 the way and stop? 30 minute test drive should be plenty correct? But if it is faulty, then why isint it seized? wouldn't a clutch fan start to increase steadily in resistance ?? I mean mine is doing the exact opposite and the resistance is decreasing whats happening with it?
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Old Thu, Sep-10-2009, 02:51:42 AM   #2
deilenberger
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What happened to it is the coupling fluid has leaked out. The fan uses a temperature controlled viscous clutch (google it..) Think of how an automatic tranny torque converter works.. then think of a temperature controlled passage for the coupling fluid between the converter vanes..

Anyway - it's a common failure mode. It's actually fairly rare for them to lock up.. they do that if the bearing goes bad. More often - it fails just like you've described.
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Old Thu, Sep-10-2009, 03:20:00 AM   #3
parad0x
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ahh I guess i'll be needing to replace the fan coupling in that case... realoem says 11527831619 is the p/n# so guess i'll be ordering that, thanks for your very descriptive reply it gave me good insight as to what happened.

I guess while I am at it, is there any point in replacing the water pump or the thermostat? I heard the thermostat is electronic, so I would imagine any problems with the water pump/thermostat would throw a code right?

If there is a way to truobleshoot a water.pump would appreciate any feedback, I dont see any leaking of coolant fluid though. I will be doing the work myself as I do have a 32mm wrench/long screwdriver to hold the w.pump pulley, I will probably take this opportunity and replace the coolant though and my faulty hydraulic belt tensioner/pulley.


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Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
What happened to it is the coupling fluid has leaked out. The fan uses a temperature controlled viscous clutch (google it..) Think of how an automatic tranny torque converter works.. then think of a temperature controlled passage for the coupling fluid between the converter vanes..

Anyway - it's a common failure mode. It's actually fairly rare for them to lock up.. they do that if the bearing goes bad. More often - it fails just like you've described.
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Old Thu, Sep-10-2009, 03:24:31 AM   #4
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Your fan clutch sounds like it's gone.

Just replaced my fan clutch a month ago - don't go with the OEM unit - the "standard" Behr ones are supposedly more prone to failure than the Sachs clutch (alternative OEM part).

You may find this helpful:
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=281168

...but you'll probably want to skip the part about the motorsports thermostat unless you're in a really hot area.

-A
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Old Fri, Feb-17-2012, 07:30:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Troubleshooting the Clutch Fan E46 M3 2002 75k miles

Thanks for the info
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Discussing Troubleshooting the Clutch Fan E46 M3 2002 75k miles in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)