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Advice On Mechanical Fan Delete For Triple-Core Radiator

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I'm two days out from leaving for The Vintage, and as the temp here in Boston has crept up, the tii is running hot -- 2/3 of the way up the gauge. The thermostat doesn't appear to be opening. I've swapped t-stats, no change. I'd hoped to prophylactically address all cooling system problems (as per my book) by ordering a new radiator. I tried this two ways ways: I ordered a Mark Presendorf radiator (I love the one in my E9), but then as you know Mark went AWOL. Then I ordered a used triple-core radiator from Jeremybd (Brandon here on the FAQ), but my mechanical fan hits it. Since there was nothing obviously wrong with the radiator that was in the car, I let it ride. Obviously this was a mistake, and now I'm running out of time.


This tii has a newly-installed a/c system with a 12" Spal pusher fan mounted in the nose of the car. It is wired to both a thermostat switch and a mechanical switch. I put it in for the a/c, not for cooling, but now I'm thinking...


Can I delete the mechanical fan to make room for the triple-core radiator and just run with the Spal? Again, the Spal is a 12" pusher mounted in the nose of the car, in front of the a/c condenser. I have always been extremely leery of mechanical fan deletes, since, if the electric fan dies in traffic, you're SOL.


I'm starting to look at taking the E9, which ain't hardship, but I really wanted this to be the maiden voyage of the tii.

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Is the 3/4 on the highway or at idle?


One can be fixed by an electric fan, the other can not.


If it goes to 3/4 and just stays there without creeping higher... thats probably ok too.


How old are the engine mounts?


I had the SAME issue with my tii (and yes the nose has been replaced) with the mechanical fan hitting the radiator. I got a set of Ireland Engineering urethane mounts, problem solved.


02 radiators, as soon as they age dont deal well with modern traffic. I solved with a 3 row radiator and a 2002 Turbo oil cooler. The temp gauge hits half way and never moves.

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Can I delete the mechanical fan to make room for the triple-core radiator and just run with the Spal? Again, the Spal is a 12" pusher mounted in the nose of the car, in front of the a/c condenser.


Yes, you can delete the mechanical fan, in fact I'm a little surprised you haven't already


Jgerry2002 brings up some valid points though.

Edited by AceAndrew
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3/4 of the way while running on the highway. Thermostat is not opening. 


I'm not looking at the mechanical fan delete as a way to use the electric fan. The electric fan is in there now. I'm looking at the mechanical fan delete as a way of fitting the triple-core radiator that's sitting right here in my garage but won't fit.


Yes, this car has been hit in the nose and the nose and fenders have been replaced. It's not a problem of the engine rocking forward on the mounts and the fan hitting the radiator; the fan hits the radiator when I try to install the radiator. I suspect the nose was not put on correctly. I can try to pull the whole drivetrain further back on all of the mounts, but I'm running out of time.



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BUY A new BMW THERMOSTAT - stop swaping used


have it "boiled and rodded " by an old school local radiator shop

remove the air conditioning

(cristssakes yer in boston!)

eliminate all that heat producing, cooling blocking stuff, please

i know you have all that A/C hose making technology but ship that stuff to AZ.

Do your car a favor.

stock 'tropic ' fan should do the trick

just my $20.02 opinion




Edited by c.d.iesel
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You can get a few cm of space if you loosen the transmission mounts and adjust the engine mounts together. It won't take long, maybe an hour tops to adjust. But it sounds like the radiator is really thick. Is it based on stock tanks or early brass E21 tanks? Or is it custom?


Older engine mounts will cause the motor to sit closer (statically). Do you have a E12 mount or the standard 02 mount on the driver side? You can get a little extra space with a fresh drivers side mount, and I like the thicker 5 series mounts. 02 ones are almost always broken inside. Another quick change part.


Deleting the mechanical fan can be a bit problematic. A puller fan is MUCH more efficient then a pusher (front mount) fan. The 12" Spal may work ok, but I'd be worried about total CFM. Check the spec. Spal usually has a pdf online for this with that detail. Most people grossly undersize the electric fans so they work too hard burning out relays and fan motors over time. At least you are not trying this with an ancient condensor fan. But you'd have to test. Driveway check, then go sit in Route 9 traffic during rush hour to be sure.

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I liked the "try it and see what happens" advice. 


Pulled the mechanical fan and tried to drop in the triple-core rad. It barely fits, maybe 1/4" clearance to the nose of the water pump.


As per c.d.'s advice, called local radiator shops. They can't guarantee that quick turnaround.


I am so pissed off at myself for having backed myself into this corner. The Mark Presendorf radiator was supposed to check off the radiator box, but... we all know the name of that tune.


I'll secure the triple-core and make sure that curved piece is blocking the engine mount from rocking forward, but it's looking more and more like I'll be spending time in the E9.

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Ha, thats why washers were invented... or perhaps reach in for shorter bolts...I seem to remember many interior bolts being the same size bolt, but shorter length.


Did YOU know that you can't just pull the red fan and put the same bolts through the water pump hub because then they're too long, hit the body of the pump, and seize it? Answering that age-old question "what IS that smell?"


This is not going well...


That radiator sounds plugged if the Tstat isnt opening. Just caught that too. So I think you've more than diagnosed the issue.


Time to kludge it together. You have some parts, maybe not ideal... but when push comes to shove it's just an old car demanding your respect and attention. You'll get through this. Really.


I just went upstate to get my Tii set for a 2 hour highway drive to Saratoga Spring Vintage. Of course I had a loose wheel bearing, shifter linkage coming part, belt slipping. Always on the jack stands to the last minute the day before.

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Ok, mechanical fan is out, triple-core radiator is in, about 1/4" to 3/8" clearance, drove round the block, slammed on the brakes 5 times, not hearing/seeing any impingement, heats up to temperature, thermostat opens up, temperature climbs, I can turn on the electric fan and the temp comes back down.


Of course at the moment it's overcast and 60 degrees.


Tomorrow it's supposed to be 83.


Decision tomorrow, then.

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