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EZSULMU

Fan got broken and hit the radiator

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Hello Everyone,

 

I have got an e39 523i M52TU, yesterday i revved up the engine to 6 rpm and suddenly somehow the fan hit the plastic cover and the fan blades got broken and hit the radiator which has in turn started to leak and needs to be replaced.


I wonder what was root cause? Is it fan clutch or water pump pulley or the water pump bearings? However, there is a good resistance when trying to drag the fan while engine is cold, so perhaps the fan clutch is ok? 

 

One more thing to mention, the engine had never overheated before, but there was a strange noise coming out from the fan, but not sure exactly the source of it.

 

Please advise and thanks in advance. 

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Edited by EZSULMU
Typo

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Ouch. That’s unfortunate mate.

 

If all the parts are original it’s probably a combination of a number of potential factors.

- a brittle plastic fan from repeated heat cycles

- a tired viscous coupling that isn’t operating correctly

- potentially (based on the mention of a noise you hadn’t heard before from that area) a collapsing water pump bearing that has thrown the fan into contact with the shroud

 

The above is based on my (limited) knowledge of the M54, but I’m fairly sure the front end of the M52 engines are of a similar design, so hopefully it should be correct. Most of the parts that are damaged are fairly affordable, and - based on some work I did recently to my own car - reasonably straightforward to replace. Get the remains of the fan and coupling off, then pull the water pump. It should be fairly obvious if the bearing has collapsed. Good luck!

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Was the car stationary or was it driving when revved?  If it was driving and in gear, worth looking at engine mounts. Maybe those are split, and under acceleration and load engine lifted. It's just one theory, but possible.

 

Another possibility- maybe fan was simply old and plastic gone fragile from all time being in heat. Can't imagine water pump bearings having that much play to allow fan touching the shroud.

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As above

 

It's age and failure really 

 

The Viscous fans, with age, get worse and eventually seize; fan explodes and sends shards everywhere. You're lucky you've not ruined your bonnet!

 

Time to replace the fan and viscous clutch (Behr via C3BMW); replace the rad (Behr or Nissens) again via C3BMW or BMWmotormec

 

I'd also replace the stat & water pump too for peace of mind; top & bottom hoses as well and do a full coolant flush & refill

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/bmwmotormec

https://www.c3bmw.co.uk/

 

* Edit: Ah; saw that you're Sweden based @EZSULMU - Speak to Schmiedmann for parts: 

 

https://www.schmiedmann.com/en/bmw-E39/spare-parts-smc1-catn-ol

 

 

Edited by d_a_n1979

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I'm certainly no expert, but interestingly you appear to have the fan shroud (or did prior to the incident !) that is specified for hotter climes than I would have thought you'd experience in Sweden. My 523i was built in June '98, but maybe your later TU engine had a different spec. for this item ?

 

Sorry I can't help with an explanation for the incident, hope you get it sorted at minimal expense.

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11 hours ago, CG172 said:

Ouch. That’s unfortunate mate.

 

If all the parts are original it’s probably a combination of a number of potential factors.

- a brittle plastic fan from repeated heat cycles

- a tired viscous coupling that isn’t operating correctly

- potentially (based on the mention of a noise you hadn’t heard before from that area) a collapsing water pump bearing that has thrown the fan into contact with the shroud

 

The above is based on my (limited) knowledge of the M54, but I’m fairly sure the front end of the M52 engines are of a similar design, so hopefully it should be correct. Most of the parts that are damaged are fairly affordable, and - based on some work I did recently to my own car - reasonably straightforward to replace. Get the remains of the fan and coupling off, then pull the water pump. It should be fairly obvious if the bearing has collapsed. Good luck!

The M52TU is rather quite similar to the M54. Thank you for the info!

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11 hours ago, Ray112 said:

Was the car stationary or was it driving when revved?  If it was driving and in gear, worth looking at engine mounts. Maybe those are split, and under acceleration and load engine lifted. It's just one theory, but possible.

 

Another possibility- maybe fan was simply old and plastic gone fragile from all time being in heat. Can't imagine water pump bearings having that much play to allow fan touching the shroud.

The car was actually stationary, thank you for the info!

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10 hours ago, d_a_n1979 said:

As above

 

It's age and failure really 

 

The Viscous fans, with age, get worse and eventually seize; fan explodes and sends shards everywhere. You're lucky you've not ruined your bonnet!

 

Time to replace the fan and viscous clutch (Behr via C3BMW); replace the rad (Behr or Nissens) again via C3BMW or BMWmotormec

 

I'd also replace the stat & water pump too for peace of mind; top & bottom hoses as well and do a full coolant flush & refill

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/bmwmotormec

https://www.c3bmw.co.uk/

 

* Edit: Ah; saw that you're Sweden based @EZSULMU - Speak to Schmiedmann for parts: 

 

https://www.schmiedmann.com/en/bmw-E39/spare-parts-smc1-catn-ol

 

 

Thank you so much for the info and mentioned parts shop!

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8 hours ago, Norseman said:

I'm certainly no expert, but interestingly you appear to have the fan shroud (or did prior to the incident !) that is specified for hotter climes than I would have thought you'd experience in Sweden. My 523i was built in June '98, but maybe your later TU engine had a different spec. for this item ?

 

Sorry I can't help with an explanation for the incident, hope you get it sorted at minimal expense.

Mine was built in 99, hmmm interesting, I haven't really thought like that about the shroud but you never know what the previous owners messed around with the car so maybe it was replaced before! My car went around 400k KM and I am the 4th owner :D

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As already said, I'd say that your fan clutch has seized and over-sped the fan causing it to shatter, it happened to my car and when the fan went it took the radiator, top hose, belts, fan shroud and some wiring with it, oh, and put some dents in the bonnet, smashed a hole in the undertray and took a chunk out of the header tank, it was carnage!

Edited by NWJW

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