BMW Bavaria (E3) Heater Blower Replacement

BMW E3 Heater/Blower in the engine compartment of a 1972 BMW Bavaria
BMW E3 Heater/Blower in the engine compartment of a 1972 BMW Bavaria

The heater blower in our 1972 BMW Bavaria suddenly decided to stop working. This car doesn’t have air conditioning, so I don’t know if the setup is different on an AC equipped car. It does seem to be the same on non-AC E9 coupes.

I dreaded having to repair it, because I thought I’d have to take the console apart to get to it.

BMW E3 Heater/Blower assembly

It turned out that the blower is easily accessible, mounted under a flap just in front of the windshield in the engine compartment. Removing the flap gives access to the blower, held in by just 3 screws. The protective grid over the fan is held in by friction – the edge of the grid goes into a groove in the bracket that holds the fan.

BMW E3 Heater/Blower motor

I asked the Senior Six mailing list about alternative replacement motors but I found one on eBay that looked like an exact replacement, except for the mounting bracket.

The cutout for the motor on each bracket was exactly the same shape, though the case of the motor itself was different between the original and the replacement. That didn’t make any difference – the new motor and fan fit onto the old bracket, held by four clips. Bosch, the manufacturer of the motor, even went so far as to balance the fan. On the new fan, you can see wire clips on some of the fan blades.

BMW E3 Heater/Blower mounting bracket

The eBay seller advertised the blower as a VW NOS heater fan with the p/n 90157132032. Usually when I enter something like that in Google, I get a hit – this time, no deal.

The box the replacement fan came in shows a VW/Porsche number. Maybe a professional can figure it out.

Porsche part number for heater/blower assembly