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Guest Anonymous

Installing 320i (e21) electric fan in a 2002. By: Lyle Thieme

Tools:

* About 12’ of gauge wire.

* (2) 1 1/2” X ¼” bolts with matching nuts, lock washers and regular washers (stainless steel is the way to go i.e. NO RUST)

* (2-4) 1 ¼” X 1/16” self-tapping sheet metal screws.

* Female and male and crimping pliers.

* Inline fuse holder and fuse (20 amp or less) (Water tight one if possible)

* A drill and various bits.

* Various metric sockets and wrenches.

* Screw drivers (all sorts).

* Toggle switch and grommets (optional).

* Cold Beer and a radio.(optional)

Parts:

* New or Used 320i a.c. condenser fan. (7 401 361 556)

* 320i fan switch. (61 311 364 272) (91 Celsius) (NOTE: BMW also makes a 99 and a 82 degree switches)

Project:

Reason for doing this: Better cooling, quietness, maybe some horse power (less drag on the engine), installed a aluminum 320 radiator and found out the stock fan might hit the radiator, take your water pump off with ease, bored………

First, start out by getting an a.c. condenser fan from a 320i/is (e21). Either new or used will do, if you buy it used make sure it works before installing it, same goes for new, you never know. The fan should come with a bracket that mounts to the top of the fan (approx. 2” wide X 12’’ long.), and some rubber mounts. Also, don’t forget to buy the temperature sensor/switch as well. The temperature sensor/switch can be purchased in different settings, 91c, 86c, or 81c. Depending on how soon you want the fan to turn on is up to you.

Next, remove the stock fan and take the radiator out. After stock fan and radiator is removed, the a.c. fan needs to be installed. The factory has already put the top mounting holes in the front for us (see picture 2 the circles in red). Now is the time to make the marks on the bracket that mounts to the top of the fan. Put the fan where you want it to be mounted (another person helping is nice) and mark the bracket through the factory holes. Remove fan. Drill the marks on the bracket (I used a 1/2” drill bit. Reinstall fan with stainless steel bolts, nuts and washers.

Now, look at the picture below and notice where the other mounts are. The circle in red is where the self-tapping screws go.

I only used one of the side mounts, but as you can see you could use both of them. The fan came with another mount opposite of the red circled one. But, I only used that one.

(Picture 1) Circled in red is where I used 1 ¼” X 1/16” self-tapping sheet metal screws. Circled in green is one of the other mounts on the fan.

Picture 1

image001.jpg

Having fun yet? I thought so. Anyway, you need to find a place on your engine or radiator to install the temperature sensor/switch. If you have aluminum 320i radiator

(Shown below) there is already a place to install the sensor/switch (on the bottom drivers side of the radiator). Might work the same way with a brass early radiator, but I am not sure. If you have a stock 2002 radiator, you are going to have to install it either in the stock temperature sensor/switch housing or some where else where water temperature can be detected.

The factory has already put the holes in the front for us (see picture 2 the circles in red).

(Picture 2) Circled in red are the top mounting holes. Circled in green is where the stock temp. sensor is.

Picture 2

image003.jpgsrc>

Figure 1

Wiring for the temperature switch is not too hard to understand. REMEMBER the switch is used for “tripping” the ground, NOT the positive battery power. The 320 fan came with wires and a plug. One of the wires is red (positive (+) the other is black

(negative (-). What you want to happen is, when the temperature gets to a certain point (depending on the switch you have) the switch will close and cause the fan to turn on.

So, what is going to need to be done in order for this to work is, a wire AND a fuse need to be run from the fans positive (red) wire to the battery. Then the negative (black) wire goes from the switch to a wire, and then to a ground (some wear on the body of the car).

Basically that’s about it, hook it all up as written and try it out. Remember though, the switch activates as a switch for a ground. In other words, it doesn’t want electricity going through it.

The use of the toggle switch works like this. You can mount it anywhere in the cabin of the car that you want! You can use any toggle switch they you want (metal, plastic, gold, silver, aluminum, platinum, lighted, glow in the dark, etc, etc).

The toggle is used to turn the temperature switch on even if it fails.

In order to do this, you need to run an additional wire from the ground on the switch to the toggle switch (this may or may not require drilling of the firewall (NOTE: if drilling is done “USE A GROMMET SO THE WIRE WON’T SHORT OUT IF ITS CUT BY THE FIRE WALL!!!”). So, the toggle will act as if it where the switch it’s self and turn the fan on. (MORE ON THIS TO COME!!)

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Guest Anonymous

they are ideal for mounting in a 2002. As noted in Lyles Faq...the bottom 2 require virtual no modification and the top 2 require that you bend them @ 45 degrees to mount on top nose support. very clean looking.

FWIW I only drilled 2 holes in my entire e21 fan installation.

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Guest Anonymous

DSCF0029 resized.JPG

URL: http://www.02fanatic.com/modules.php?set_albumName=album05&op=modload&name=02gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php

Nice FAQ, but my fan is quite different than the e21 fan. Mine mounts much differently. Well, I'll either have to figure something else out, or keep searching for the e21 fan that I KNOW I have at a buddies place.

Thanx,

Al

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Guest Anonymous

DSCF0029 resized.JPG

URL: http://www.02fanatic.com/modules.php?set_albumName=album05&op=modload&name=02gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php

You'd be surprised! The local BMW wrecker wants $125 for an e21 fan(crack heads), and another yard says they don't have any. The local pick n pull doesn't have any e21's at all. I got my Volvo fan for next to nothing, and I'm SURE I've got an e21 fan in a buddies garage. I just have to wait for him to come home from Arizona. If I don't find mine, I may take you up on your offer.

Thanx,

Al

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Guest Anonymous

better equiped then ours.

I can't remember the last time I went to the pick in pull (we have two)and didn't see an e21, we are also now starting to see e30s and e28s in addtion to the e12s and e21s.

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Guest Anonymous

DSCF0029 resized.JPG

URL: http://www.02fanatic.com/modules.php?set_albumName=album05&op=modload&name=02gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php

The problem here is that guys either want HUGE money for parts because they're in a BMW, or they look at e21's as old shit, and squish them almost immediately. I haven't seen an 02 in a boneyard for a few years now. I guess the other explanation is that most guys are still driving e21's. They don't rust as quickly, and therefore don't hit boneyards so much.

Al

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Guest Anonymous

should you get rid of the stock 2002 mechanical thermostat in these conversions? isnt the theory of electric fans that

a)water always flows through radiator, fan only needed when car not moving that fast

as opposed to

b)traditional set-up, fan always turning so water has to be stopped from going through radiator occasionally to keep engine temp up?

or do you keep the stock thermostat and have essentially 2 temperature switchs?

cheers

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Guest Anonymous

It is integral in ensuring your car reaches optimal operating temperature in a short amount of time.

On a side note I know certain cars will astually run hotter without a thermostat as they need a restriction to slow the flow of coolant to best utilise the heat exchange in the radiator.

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