You need a special thin and long 32mm wrench to release the fan blade. It is a reverse thread on the back of the fan clutch. Then you can get the fan and shroud out. This isn't a trivial exercise because you can easily put a hole in the radiator. Have you done much work on Beemers? If not, it may be best to find a mechanic with recent BMW exp. A hole in a Beemer radiator will run about $300.
Haven't did any on BMW. Figured it out and made special tool for holding fan. Wasn mechanic few years ago so My Snap on 32mm came out of retirement. Thanks for the info. Needed to be sure that I was heading in correct way.
Actually, if you are mechanically inclined and know the specs, anyone with moderate knowledge and proper tools can rebuild an engine in a BMW or Chevy alike. I've never worked on a "bemmer" (beemer is the motorcycle) until my wife blew the engine on our '97 528i last year. The only thing I wasn't able to do was set the timing, because I didn't have the correct tool to align the VANOS to the cam. All told it only took me 23 hours, including running for parts, and the book called for 20. If you've pulled even just a few cars apart and they ran afterward...go for it! It's fun learning you can do more than others think you can and even more than YOU think you can!
Ok, I've had to remove my radiator 3x because the transmission cooler was leaking. It's easy. 1st, make the tool to hold the water pump pulley 10mm bolt heads. You need a piece of steel the exact same measurement as a wooden paint stirrer, same thickness, same length, same width. Measure the centers of the two hex bolt heads you have to hold. With a 3/8 drill drill those two holes in your newly acquired steel paint stick. then notch out a section between the holes where the shaft of the bolt you're removing would go. And there, you now have a tool that will go around the bolt heads to hold them. Next find yourself a craftsman 1.25 open end wrench. That's inch a quarter for the math challenged. 1.25in is .25 away from 32mm. It will fit just fine. Hold the two protruding 10mm hex bolt heads with your new tool, slip the 1.25" wrench over the fan nut, yes there's enough clearance, and turn the nut clockwise because it's left handed thread. Use anti sieze compound when you reattach the nut, Don't overtighten it when you re-install it. Chances are something else WILL leak and you'll have to come back to take this very nut off again. But now you have the tool. For a detailed picture of the special tool, just google: BMW special tools. A nice picture of it will appear. It looks like a steel paint stick with two holes at the end of it. BTW, there are a lot of BMW special tools! hahahahahaha
As is always the case, pay no attention to the idiots that answered it before when they self described they've never worked on one before. They're not helping at all. They think they are, and it gives them a warm fuzzy feeling to hand out "advice" they know nothing about!