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  • 01-04-2011, 11:33 PM

    Cutting blades is kinda risky

    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 (project for life)
    00 540is 6spd (daily driver)
  • 01-04-2011, 12:26 PM

    Concours to Jim, - pts for bubbling :)

    K-Bud ([email protected])
    Baltimore, MD
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    Roadfly Member #71563 est. 06/03
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  • 01-03-2011, 10:31 PM

    I did it because I didn't like the noise (m

    from the mechanical fan. There is a few HP to be had but you won't feel it. My background is electronics so building a controller was easy.
  • 01-03-2011, 09:53 PM

    Re: Answers for both of you (m-long)

    Okay, I like the electric fan idea. Is there a noticeable reason to install one? Do you actually feel a difference, increase in available power, etc? Any particular reason you chose to build a controller and not simply use on of the many aftermarket units? Many people don't like electric fans but they have proven extremely reliable and most every car produced now has one. If the benefit is tangible I would do this as well. RT
  • 01-03-2011, 11:35 AM

    Yes, I did my own (m

    Don't do the insides. When they are stripped the insides will get cleaned too. It's just for looks.
  • 01-03-2011, 11:10 AM

    Re: Powdercoating is more durable than paint, however(

    JimLev...Thanks for the information.

    Did you PC your own VC's? They look great. I'll have to take mine to a shop to have them chemically stripped (dipped?). The business I plan to take them to is "Advanced Powder Coating" in Portland Oregon. I'll give them a call before I head over to ensure they have the knowledge/know how to perform this task.

    I noticed that the interior of my VC's were painted with whatever BMW used but was flaking. I do not plan to have the interiors PC'd but will any finish be required? Or will the raw magnesium be satisfactory?

    It seems to me that the color/paint/powder coat is really for looks and nothing else?

    Thank you again.

  • 01-03-2011, 11:01 AM

    There is plenty of room between the back of (m

    my radiator and front of the fan as it is mounted now. I could have mounted the fan directly on the back side of the radiator core and had all kinds of room however I wanted to use the shroud to keep the stock appearance and for better cooling efficiency. I really didn't know what the stock fan CFM was so with my fan mounted in the shroud all of the air the fan pulls will be sucked thru the radiator.
    There are bigger fans available that you could mount directly to the core and probably leave your shroud in place.

  • 01-03-2011, 10:51 AM

    LOL, I'd have to shoot you if I told ya...j/k (m)

    This post by edjack may describe it better.
  • 01-03-2011, 06:49 AM

    Re: Answers for both of you (m-long)

    Well, you've got me thinking of whacking all of its blades off except for the two that are diametrically opposed to each other. I always wanted a single prop blade Skyhawk cessna when I was little, here's the closest chance I'll ever get, lol. A single blade SkyTweetie BMW.

    I am going to ask a few friends (DIYers) who have M52 engines in their 3-series if they got an extra fan lying around (just in case I screw it up and/or the balance is off enough to make more noise than before). I guess what appealed to me about the electric fan was having some sort of control over when it runs. Either me switching it on manually inside the car, or tripped by a temp sensor (probably better). I really like your setup. Clean and neat, and looks OEM to me (except, haha, for the stub of the threads where the fan clutch screwed in).

    I've stared at your electric fan pics real close, and I know my engine is closer than yours, but I could almost swear I could fit that same setup in my shroud. Once I get around to doing this fan blade chopping thing, I am going to take some pics with everything out and then with it in, put some measurements in the pics on the depth and width of room that I have with the fan clutch and oem fan out, also do the shroud room I'll then have, and then you tell me what ya think.

    Thanks for the pics and advice!

  • 01-03-2011, 12:44 AM

    I have no words to describe

    the time and money u spend and the attention to detail. are u some sort of government super engineer? lol

    ur da man!

    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 (project for life)
    00 540is 6spd (daily driver)
  • 01-02-2011, 07:12 PM

    Answers for both of you (m-long)

    Euro, I don't think I'd run without a fan even though in 99.9% of the time it wouldn't be an issue. If you did get into a situation where you were in stop and go traffic and it was hot your Aux fan would kick in. The 0.1% time would be if your Aux fan failed and you then had no cooling, your engine would be toast. You could turn on your cabin heat, but that most likely wouldn't be enough. If you pulled over and shut the engine off you would be OK.
    As far as an electric fan goes with an I6 you would need a very slimline fan because your engine is longer than the V8.
    Now here's an interesting experiment for you to consider. Chop off a few blades of your plastic fan. This will make it quieter because there is less air flow. As long as you have blades that are opposite each other you can cut some off (4) and not effect the balance.
    If you do it let us know how it turns out.

    RT, the cooling fan I used is a Flex-a-lite 116, it's 16" in diameter about 3.5" thick. I made brackets for it so I could mount it in the fan shroud with a filler plate so all of the airflow would be pulled thru the fan. I made a PWM speed controller with a settable min speed and a bypass switch just in case the electronics failed. I flip the switch and the fan runs at 1/2 speed. I've never had to use it.
    In the summer with the AC on its speed is usually 1/4 to 1/3 of max. It will pull 1450CFM at full speed.

  • 01-02-2011, 02:04 PM

    Re: Launch control module to receive OK from NASA (m


    Have a sort of a dumb question: a few weeks back when that thermostat housing blew on me, I had to take the fan clutch, fan and shroud off and still run the engine with the stuff off so that I could check the new housing for leaks.

    What made me stop and kind of gawk at was then I started the car without this stuff on, and stood back about 10 ft from the car, the car was nearly dead quiet, like some sort of electric vehicle or something. Now, i know the fan clutch is not bad (it is new, and I tested it, plus the car sounds exactly the same with the old, OEM fan clutch (that is still good) I took out).

    In my climate, with temps between 10F winters and about 75max in summers, do i even need this damn fan since I mainly only do autobahn driving, and I can't remember ever sitting in traffic over the past year? Or, even better, given how narrow the amount of room I have in front of my engine (compared to you V8 guys), could I rig an electric fan that I can control from the inside of the car??

  • 01-02-2011, 12:37 PM

    Re: Launch control module to receive OK from NASA (m

    Gotta ask, what electric fan and controller did you use? Does it work well? Even in summer heat? All alloy engine and all.... RT
  • 01-02-2011, 11:09 AM


    Make sure your powder coater does know how to coat magnesium and can give you references of the work he has done on Magnesium engine parts.
    It's not enough for them to say they have been in business for decades and understand the coating industry. LOOK at the pwork if possible of something that has been in service over some time. Also some of these valve covers are quite thin and aggressive "sand" blasting can destroy them. I have heard chemical stripping is better for the metal but does leave oils and moisture that must be baked out before the coating porocess

    Don't even ask how I know to advise you on this.

    New valve covers are 400+ not including gromets and gaskets with a discount....again don't ask!

    Also care must be taken with threaded parts and other areas and I would not coat the inside period.

    I am not a coater and know nothing about the process. I do have experience with a coating job gone wrong.

    I would stick with the standard silver color or possibly black. Other colors look good but potential buyers may no0t appreciate youir creative inspiration.

    00 540 sport 6 speed
  • 01-02-2011, 10:03 AM

    Launch control module to receive OK from NASA (m

    Just kidding, it's the PWM controller for my electric radiator fan. I took the plastic fan and it's clutch off a few years ago. I didn't like the jet engine sound on hot summer days when the AC was on.
    A thermistor in the radiator core will adjust the speed based on temp.
  • 01-01-2011, 11:07 PM

    What is that box with heatsinks next to ur abs?

    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 (project for life)
    00 540is 6spd (daily driver)
  • 01-01-2011, 10:58 PM

    Here's a color idea>>
    Ed in San Jose. BMW CCA member since 1987 (Nr. 62319). Golden Gate Chapter. '97 540i 6 speed. Build Date 3/97. Aspensilber over Aubergine leather.
  • 01-01-2011, 10:19 PM

    Powdercoating is more durable than paint, however(

    When you PC magnesium you have to be sure they are very clean and dry before you PC them. They can outgas over time and cause the PC to bubble. Make sure there is no oil on the inside and let them bake at 350░F until they stop smoking. Let them cool and wash them down with Dawn or anything that will cut grease/oil. Then bake them again to outgas them a 2nd time. Now your ready for the powder.
    Mine have a few small bubbles in them, look near the + battery cap.

  • 01-01-2011, 02:54 AM

    Powder coated valve cover pics?

    I have searched threads of the past to see photographs of powder coated valve covers but none of them appear.

    Does anyone have new photographs they can share? I am removing the VC's tomorrow and want to send them to be powder coated.

    How does the PC hold up over time? Will I be doing this again in another year?



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