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Tomcat

New viscous coupling too stiff

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I just replaced my viscous coupling, I kept hearing a slight rattle at idle and turned out to be the bearing in the old coupling. The axial play was shockingly bad! So I make my way to eurocarparts and get what they have in stock, the EIS budget option. I fit the part right there in the parking lot and as soon as I turned on the engine, it becomes clear something's not quote right. It's moving way too much air. It's not that it's locked, just way too stiff at the lowest/cold setting. You can definitely hear it, either when revving from idle or driving down the road above 2000rpm. I got one of the chaps out and had him acknowledge there is something amiss, so I can come and exchange the part later. Now, apart from the noise, I did notice a slight drop in coolant temp at motorway speeds. If even that semi-fake needle got moving, there's definitely too much cooling.

 

I took the coupling off to inspect it, thinking that I can maybe adjust the little thermal spring, but it looks like that valve is maxed out. This stiffness is actually the lowest setting, with the valve completely closed and irrespective of the position of the spring. With the spring action, it can only go stiffer. So my suspicion is, this is a generic part that is in no way tuned to work with an M54, even though the spec says it clearly: good for an M54 B22 engine. But because it 'kinda' works, they're selling it as good fit for our cars.

 

I haven't decided what to do yet, I'm hoping upon hope it's just a breaking-in thing so I don't have to mess about with refunds or exchanges. What are your experiences on replacing the clutch fan?

Edited by Tomcat

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Honestly never heard good things about EIS stuff. The problem is I think that part of the thermo coupling mechanism means it will disengage or reduce the speed at least when it rotates past 2,500RPM. I believe if the fan locks into the fully engaged position it can cause the fan blades to explode with the force so... 

 

Personally I would be getting that EIS one removed and returned and pick up a better quality one. I just ordered the Behr one earlier today for £80. 

Edited by chicaneuk

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I had this with a GSF one on my E36, it was so stiff when cold I thought the fan was going to explode, I gave it a few days and bottled it, went back and exchanged it for the premium brand, that worked fine. It should free up within a few seconds and not sound like a prop plane taking off when you rev the car.

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Ok, so it's a common issue then. I'll get this returned and go for a brand name.

 

It baffles the mind how they can get away with it. It's not like a budget bushing or joint that fails after 5k, but which is at least fit for purpose for a while.

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Agreed. Not sure how they're able to get away selling this tat. But again, certainly I would always avoid anything made by EIS - I've only ever heard bad things about their stuff.

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7 hours ago, Tomcat said:

Ok, so it's a common issue then. I'll get this returned and go for a brand name.

 

It baffles the mind how they can get away with it. It's not like a budget bushing or joint that fails after 5k, but which is at least fit for purpose for a while.

 

Because they sell to the unknowing non-mechanic folk out there, that don't know better, but see they can get '35%' off online, so think they've got a bargain etc!

 

The only thing I find ECP useful for is their TripleQX oil and Mann filters and even then, I generally buy them via eBay as they're cheaper than their online store, even with the bullshit discount they offer!

 

;) 

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I do buy from ECP for the convenience but generally I do only try and buy known-to-be-trusted or better than average brands as a minimum! Everything about dealing with them at retail is a miserable experience though, certainly at my local branch. Either incorrect parts in boxes, long queues, slow service, demotivated / grumpy staff, and the stock in the show room is never correct or replenished.. always big gaps in the displays, etc. It's abysmal.

Edited by chicaneuk

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3 hours ago, chicaneuk said:

 Either incorrect parts in boxes, long queues, slow service, demotivated / grumpy staff, and the stock in the show room is never correct or replenished.. always big gaps in the displays, etc. It's abysmal.

How strange - I've experienced all of these elements at my local ECP, long wait times in particular... ! I always swear I'll never return, but for some things I always do! 

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There's a few pictures online of fans that have exploded and taken various important bits out with them - for example, the radiator! Scared me enough into finally changing what I assume the previous owner put on as a cheap fan for a Hella Behr fan coupling, which is much quieter.

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Yep, let's agree ECP is a necessary evil. Take a Behr radiator, factor in the 30% discount (you would be mad to buy at any less!), and you get a brand name part at about the same price as ebay or your favourite online store. The advantage to buying from them is you don't have to wait. I had no problems buying in this way, it's when I get daring and buy a bl**dy EIS part.

 

Anyway, happened to find a brand new Beru coupling on ebay, we settled for £35 posted so I'm happy. Part number corresponds and it's an OEM brand, on some models at least. This particular one was listed for an X3, but it's good for us too.

Edited by Tomcat

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6 hours ago, The Spooner said:

There's a few pictures online of fans that have exploded and taken various important bits out with them - for example, the radiator! Scared me enough into finally changing what I assume the previous owner put on as a cheap fan for a Hella Behr fan coupling, which is much quieter.

  

This is the reason mine now has a Meyle coupling fitted, a previous owner had fitted a no name one and it caused the fan to explode taking out the radiator, aux belts, fan shroud, underbonnet insulation and putting two small dents in the bonnet and punching a hole in the underguard, you can just make out the carnage in the picture below; 

001.JPG

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Sorted. The Beru one is perfect, it even has the BMW part no. stamped on the side.

 

Just to clarify a few things, yes it's stiff out of the box and will loosen up after couple minutes. Correct drag is when it spins half to three quarters of a turn by hand (from cold). Also,  it's not possible to stop it with a rolled up paper, but it's loose enough so you will not hear fan noise over the engine when you throttle it. I'm hoping this will be useful to folks, I remember reading some conflicting advise about that on the forums.

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Interestingly I fitted a new viscous fan coupling yesterday (Behr) as well and found on first fire up, it did click in to running at higher speed for about 5-10 seconds before clicking back off and running normally. Was fine on each restart after that so probably just fluid moving around to wherever it needed to go after transport! 

Edited by chicaneuk

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5 hours ago, chicaneuk said:

Interestingly I fitted a new viscous fan coupling yesterday (Behr) as well and found on first fire up, it did click in to running at higher speed for about 5-10 seconds before clicking back off and running normally. Was fine on each restart after that so probably just fluid moving around to wherever it needed to go after transport! 

 

Yeah, same here. I gather that's perfectly normal after months of sitting on the shelf. 

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