Update: Inexpensive PS pump/fan fix - North American Motoring


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Update: Inexpensive PS pump/fan fix

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Old 06-21-2007, 04:13 PM
MikeL MikeL is offline
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Update: Inexpensive PS pump/fan fix

FAN:
I had the opportunity to install the new fan I bought from Spal last night and everything looks good. The connector that came on the fan wasn't the same as the one on the car so I had to splice the correct one onto the new fan. The part number I ordered is VA32-A101-62A and the cost was $78.00 including shipping. For those who are **** about keeping their cars exactly stock, this isn't a solution for them as the Spal P/N is different on the MINI part. The MINI part is VA32-A103-62A. The A103 specifies the motor but the Spal rep. I talked to didn't know what the difference is. I suspect the MINI motor draws a little less current because the wires are a little bit larger on the new motor. It would be interesting to compare a working fan that is the right P/N to the one I have.

POWER STEERING PUMP:
Apparently the problem with the pump motors is that the brushes wear out. When I disassembled the dead pump motor, there was a huge pile of dust from the brushes inside and the brushes were worn out. I haven't fixed the pump yet but expect to do so in the next couple of days. I purchased a used one from a wrecked car that had 15K miles and I installed that last night. I plan to fix the old one and keep it on the shelf for use when the replacement dies.
Has anyone looked into the possibility of running a mechanical pump off the accessory drive belt instead of an electric motor? It seems like the problems and cost incurred with the electric pump offset whatever small gain could be had by running an electric pump.
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Old 06-21-2007, 05:33 PM
gizzer777 gizzer777 is offline
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Fan Fix

Good Job...
If you want to be ****...Mini chgs $160 for their fan! They will not even warranty it unless they plug it in and attach the 2 bolts! More $$$. I believe that $160 gets you a SLEEVE BEARING POS...geez!

Because of that policy, I had them flatbed it 125 miles to replace the siezed fan (still had roadside assistance) I'm sure that cost them a few $$!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeL View Post
FAN:
I had the opportunity to install the new fan I bought from Spal last night and everything looks good. The connector that came on the fan wasn't the same as the one on the car so I had to splice the correct one onto the new fan. The part number I ordered is VA32-A101-62A and the cost was $78.00 including shipping. For those who are **** about keeping their cars exactly stock, this isn't a solution for them as the Spal P/N is different on the MINI part. The MINI part is VA32-A103-62A. The A103 specifies the motor but the Spal rep. I talked to didn't know what the difference is. I suspect the MINI motor draws a little less current because the wires are a little bit larger on the new motor. It would be interesting to compare a working fan that is the right P/N to the one I have.

POWER STEERING PUMP:
Apparently the problem with the pump motors is that the brushes wear out. When I disassembled the dead pump motor, there was a huge pile of dust from the brushes inside and the brushes were worn out. I haven't fixed the pump yet but expect to do so in the next couple of days. I purchased a used one from a wrecked car that had 15K miles and I installed that last night. I plan to fix the old one and keep it on the shelf for use when the replacement dies.
Has anyone looked into the possibility of running a mechanical pump off the accessory drive belt instead of an electric motor? It seems like the problems and cost incurred with the electric pump offset whatever small gain could be had by running an electric pump.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:51 AM
dwgates dwgates is offline
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How many miles did it take for your brushes to wear out? Just looking for a general target to keep track of mine.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:34 AM
MikeL MikeL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwgates View Post
How many miles did it take for your brushes to wear out? Just looking for a general target to keep track of mine.
The car has 90K on it. I know the pump was removed at some point because they broke one of the tabs on the power connector but I don't know if it is the original pump or not.
FWIW, there is an electronic circuit inside the motor housing that also has the potential for failure. It is conformal coated which should keep brush dust and moisture out of the electronics but I wonder if some of the problems have been due to conformal coating being too thin.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:48 AM
MikeL MikeL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizzer777 View Post
Good Job...
If you want to be ****...Mini chgs $160 for their fan! They will not even warranty it unless they plug it in and attach the 2 bolts! More $$$. I believe that $160 gets you a SLEEVE BEARING POS...geez!

Because of that policy, I had them flatbed it 125 miles to replace the siezed fan (still had roadside assistance) I'm sure that cost them a few $$!
I did an autopsy on my old fan and it does have ball bearings but the one at the blade end isn't as protected as well as it should be. My car spent its previous life in Huntington Station, NY (where I assume they use salt on the roads in winter) and the fan was siezed because the bearing was completely rusty and water had found its way inside the motor. Supposedly the fan is sealed but apparently not well enough. Ideally the shaft and bearings would be stainless and there would be a seal at the blade end. But what do I know?
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:42 AM
gizzer777 gizzer777 is offline
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Apparently more than I did

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeL View Post
I did an autopsy on my old fan and it does have ball bearings but the one at the blade end isn't as protected as well as it should be. My car spent its previous life in Huntington Station, NY (where I assume they use salt on the roads in winter) and the fan was siezed because the bearing was completely rusty and water had found its way inside the motor. Supposedly the fan is sealed but apparently not well enough. Ideally the shaft and bearings would be stainless and there would be a seal at the blade end. But what do I know?
You know apparently more than I...I presumed they used sleeve bearings since mine froze at under 20k mi...they do not use salt here but they might as well have put a scoop on that fan since it is angeled towards the road and picks up anything kicked up at it. Ideally they would have used a totally different design IMHO!

I sold my Mini S but my GF still has hers....I think she is also getting ready to sell (2 cracked windshields, PS pump, window regulators, mushroomed mounts and a bunch of little stuff on an 05....) Not a good record to say the least (15k mi on her's) She loves her's too but is getting tired of the problems
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:18 PM
Mugami Mugami is offline
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btw the A103 and A101 .. just states how many turn on the Armature. Less turns = more power. Hence the bigger wires for the A101
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:45 PM
MikeL MikeL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizzer777 View Post
You know apparently more than I...I presumed they used sleeve bearings since mine froze at under 20k mi...they do not use salt here but they might as well have put a scoop on that fan since it is angeled towards the road and picks up anything kicked up at it. Ideally they would have used a totally different design IMHO!
I only know about the fan bearings and the pump because I tore them apart to see if they could be repaired. Since my car is out of warranty, I had nothing to lose. I am new to MINI ownership so I am pretty ignorant about them aside from what I have read on the forums here.
I agree with you about the design. I don't think they should have put the electronics package inside the pump motor where it requires a cooling fan and then mounted everything where it is exposed to the worst of the elements. Seems loony to me.
Hmmm, I wonder what it would take to separate the electronics package from the motor and locate it somewhere else where the air supply would be dry... or better yet, mounted on a proper heat sink where it wouldn't need a fan.

Quote:
I sold my Mini S but my GF still has hers....I think she is also getting ready to sell (2 cracked windshields, PS pump, window regulators, mushroomed mounts and a bunch of little stuff on an 05....) Not a good record to say the least (15k mi on her's) She loves her's too but is getting tired of the problems
I suspect that like most cars with a fanatical following MINIs take a certain type of insanity to own. I seem to suffer from that insanity since I also own an Audi.:impatient (Do I get points for trading an Audi in on the MINI?)
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:51 PM
MikeL MikeL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugami View Post
btw the A103 and A101 .. just states how many turn on the Armature. Less turns = more power. Hence the bigger wires for the A101
So the fan I have is actually an upgrade. Any idea how much difference there is between the motors? The fan I have is spec'd at 4 Amps. I have no idea how much current the OEM fan draws. I suspect the difference between the fans isn't much and that BMW had it "custom engineered" so Spal couldn't sell an exact replacement off the shelf. I see that kind of thing all the time.
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:18 PM
billie_morini billie_morini is offline
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thanks for the tips, MikeL.
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:56 PM
gizzer777 gizzer777 is offline
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No points for Audi either

Sorry, I had an Audi A4 with the Sludge problem...no points for Audi either. I do miss the Mini fun but not the headaches!!! (and wondering if it will catch fire in my garage with me sleeping!




Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeL View Post
I only know about the fan bearings and the pump because I tore them apart to see if they could be repaired. Since my car is out of warranty, I had nothing to lose. I am new to MINI ownership so I am pretty ignorant about them aside from what I have read on the forums here.
I agree with you about the design. I don't think they should have put the electronics package inside the pump motor where it requires a cooling fan and then mounted everything where it is exposed to the worst of the elements. Seems loony to me.
Hmmm, I wonder what it would take to separate the electronics package from the motor and locate it somewhere else where the air supply would be dry... or better yet, mounted on a proper heat sink where it wouldn't need a fan.


I suspect that like most cars with a fanatical following MINIs take a certain type of insanity to own. I seem to suffer from that insanity since I also own an Audi.:impatient (Do I get points for trading an Audi in on the MINI?)
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Old 06-23-2007, 01:56 AM
Mugami Mugami is offline
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difference is very minor.. the a101 is rated at 2.2a constant also 250cmf the a103 is at 2.0a constant and 230cmf. So yeah is an upgrade since its moving more air.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:57 AM
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norm03s norm03s is offline
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Mikel and Mugami, Thanks for that info.

It sure would be nice to refine this part of the MINI unfortunately all motors eventually wear out the brushes. Do they look like they can be replaced easily? What function do the electronics in the motor have? I like the idea about a heat sink for the electronics and to take that a little futher how about one on the motor housing and or ideas on getting more air flowing over the pump motor. This is of great interest to us long term owners and something that vendors should be looking at if they love these cars as much as they claim.
I don't like the constant vented mess around the fluid reservoir cap.
Anyone have thoughts about a power steering fluid cooler.
The Bentley manual says the electric pump power steering saves 3% on fuel usage.
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Old 06-23-2007, 11:17 AM
Mugami Mugami is offline
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If you think about it some of the best things to do .. is Heat wrap your exaust headers. The excess heat from these header is one of the major causes for the pump to overheat. the idea of the fan is to cool the motor by not only suppling are around the motor itself but to deflect or push away the heat being generated from the Headers themselfs. Ceramic coating and such does keep the heat down and the Pipes from changing color but not as good as a thermal wraping in my opinion.
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Old 06-23-2007, 11:43 AM
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I have a Jet-Hot ceramic coating on the header already. Think I'll craw under there today and see if I can envision a heat deflector of some type and maybe a way to evacuate some of that heat.
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Old 06-23-2007, 12:35 PM
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norm03s norm03s is offline
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This is interesting, brushless DC motors you can be sure they are expensive.
http://www.aveox.com/
click on, Military/Aerospace
then to "Power steering pump drive for Hybrid HUMVW. Per project requirements, both the brushless DC motor and controller are fully submersible in seawater for amphibious assault." That would be the ticket.
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:57 PM
snoopy snoopy is offline
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Hey MikL do you know who/or is it written on the power steering pump who the OEM manufacturer is? As I am trying to find a rebuild kit for it

Thanks
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:27 AM
MikeL MikeL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
Hey MikL do you know who/or is it written on the power steering pump who the OEM manufacturer is? As I am trying to find a rebuild kit for it

Thanks
I don't know the P/N offhand but the manufacturer is [FONT=Trebuchet MS]ZF Freidrichshafen AG[/FONT]. The biggest challenge to rebuilding the pump would be troubleshooting and repairing the electronics on one that had electronics problems. Seals, bearings and brushes shouldn't be too difficult to find. If that isn't enough information, let me know and I will get all the info off the pump.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:31 AM
snoopy snoopy is offline
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Thanks for that all the guys at the place that is trying to fix it for me told me if it is a ZF pump get the part number and they can get a kit for it.

Also thre problem is the "slow leak of death", outside of that it still works, just leaks a lot of oil. I am also thinking of getting a spare unit (second hand) out of the UK to have a back up for as well.

Last edited by snoopy; 06-25-2007 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:23 AM
MikeL MikeL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norm03s View Post
Mikel and Mugami, Thanks for that info.

It sure would be nice to refine this part of the MINI unfortunately all motors eventually wear out the brushes. Do they look like they can be replaced easily?
The brushes are relatively easy to replace. If you have replaced starter brushes, these should be no problem for you.

Quote:
What function do the electronics in the motor have?
The electronics controls the speed of the motor. I don't know if it is a PWM controller or not but the complexity of the system makes me think it probably is. I read somewhere that the motor runs at different speeds depending the speed of the car and how much the steering wheel is turned.

Quote:
I like the idea about a heat sink for the electronics and to take that a little futher how about one on the motor housing and or ideas on getting more air flowing over the pump motor.
A heat sink on the motor should help keep the electronics cool and it shouldn't bee too difficult to implement. If I were king, I would make the electronics separate from the motor but I understand some of the reasons why they placed it inside.
It might be interesting to put a thermocouple on the housing in the electronics area to see how hot things get.
Replacing the fan with the one available from Spal would add a little more airflow. I wouldn't replace the fan if the original is still working because as Mugami stated earlier, the increase in airflow isn't that significant.

Quote:
This is of great interest to us long term owners and something that vendors should be looking at if they love these cars as much as they claim.
I don't like the constant vented mess around the fluid reservoir cap.
Anyone have thoughts about a power steering fluid cooler.
The Bentley manual says the electric pump power steering saves 3% on fuel usage.
I don't know enough about the system to comment on whether the cooler would be worth the effort or not. Couldn't hurt though.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:38 AM
MikeL MikeL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
Thanks for that all the guys at the place that is trying to fix it for me told me if it is a ZF pump get the part number and they can get a kit for it.

Also the problem is the "slow leak of death", outside of that it still works, just leaks a lot of oil. I am also thinking of getting a spare unit (second hand) out of the UK to have a back up for as well.
I will try to remember to post the P/N info. Send me a PM if I don't post it by next week. Cost for a used pump in the USA ranges from $100 to $250.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:37 PM
snoopy snoopy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeL View Post
I will try to remember to post the P/N info. Send me a PM if I don't post it by next week. Cost for a used pump in the USA ranges from $100 to $250.
Thanks for that, also I an in Australia and a replacement/RMFG pump cost about $600 AUD over the cost in the USA/UK and with a small market BMW have the market tired up for replacement pumps and I am trying to get the aftermarket guys interested in fixing these.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:40 PM
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COR BLMY COR BLMY is offline
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On a related note

Mini Mania does now have a belly pan with a "duct" to the PS fan.

Last edited by COR BLMY; 06-25-2007 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:58 AM
MikeB035 MikeB035 is offline
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MikeL - where did you locate the used pump? I believe mine has failed - fan still turns on but no power assist and fluid is still there. I want to consider an economical fix as my car is out of warranty. Its an 04 MCS with 56k and I've had it for two months. Also, how hard is it to replace? I'm fairly handy just less inclined to do work anymore and I'm in Dayton Ohio which is about an hour from a mini dealer in cincy or columbus. Thanks for any insight! Mike B
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:57 AM
MikeL MikeL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeB035 View Post
MikeL - where did you locate the used pump?
I found mine on car-part.com. That is the best website I have found for used auto parts. It lets you search by state, region or nationwide.

Quote:
I believe mine has failed - fan still turns on but no power assist and fluid is still there. I want to consider an economical fix as my car is out of warranty. Its an 04 MCS with 56k and I've had it for two months. Also, how hard is it to replace? I'm fairly handy just less inclined to do work anymore and I'm in Dayton Ohio which is about an hour from a mini dealer in cincy or columbus. Thanks for any insight! Mike B
Yours has the same symptoms mine had but with 56K I wouldn't expect the brushes to be bad yet. It is pretty easy to replace. Here is how I did mine:

Tools and supplies needed:
10, 13mm sockets with ratchet and extension(s)
Medium side-cutters (6" or so) to remove the crimped hose clamp.
Floor jack and pair of jack stands
New hose clamp
Small screwdriver to release the tabs on the power connector
Medium screwdriver to install the new hose clamp
Drain Pan to catch the mineral oil
1L can of Pentosin CHF 11S
Optional: new O-ring for the high pressure line
De-greaser to remove spilled oil

Procedure:
1. Remove the two 13mm nuts that attach the fan bracket to the PS pump bracket

2. Disconnect the fan electrical connector and set the fan assembly aside.
** This would be a good time to check the fan to make sure it spins smoothly and easily.**

3. Remove the two connectors from the PS pump. - The small connector has one retainer that can be released by squeezing the tab toward the connector body. - The large connector has two tabs that need to be released by gently prying them away from the connector body. It is easy to break these tabs.

4. Remove the hose clamp from the hose that goes to the reservoir. Since it is crimped on it can be a PITA to remove. I have successfully at removed these by putting a screwdriver in the crimped area and prying the crimped area apart. YMMV

5. Remove the 13mm bolt that holds the high pressure line to the pump.

6. Position the catch pan to catch the oil that will spill when the hose is removed from the pump. - You may want to have some rags handy to keep the oil off the sub-frame. Clean up will be easier this way.

7. Remove the two hoses.

8. Remove the 13mm nut and the two 13mm bolts that attach the PS pump bracket to the sub-frame - The two bolts are visible (barely) at the rear of the sub-frame in the area of the down-pipe.

9. Drop the pump far enough to remove the wire retainer clip.

10. Remove the pump.

11. Remove the four 10mm nuts that hold the pump to the mounting bracket.

12. Installation is the reverse of removal.


The thing that was the most frustrating was the removal of the low pressure hose. Everything else was pretty straightforward. If you have everything ready to go, it should only take about 1/2 hour or so. Partly depends on how difficult it is to remove the hose clamp.

There are a couple of places that rebuild these pumps. The one closest to you is BBA-Reman. They are located in Taunton, MA and charge $200 to rebuild your pump. I have no personal experience with them though.
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