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  1. #1
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    [Sherlock] Electric Water Pump

    I was playing around with an allegedly functional 335i water pump trying make it sparkling new.

    Soon it evolved in a serious and meticulous process of stripping the unit to bare metal.

    I was curious why those damn hand grenades fail.

    Note: You can ruin it, as I did. When opening the cap, you need to pull very hard as the magnet will have it`s fight.

    One thing I noticed after opening it up. It is not 100% watertight. There were salt like deposits all-over.

    As a protection for this, all the electronics are covered with a transparent insulator, as a soft glue part dried.

    At first I believed that the deposits were the cause of failure, but then I thought about that water insulator, which also acted as a heat insulator, trapping heat inside.

    This problem will run forever as there is inadequate cooling to the electronics. Making the aluminium shell look like an air-cooled cylinder might work, but I doubt.

    The PCB is on the front of the pump, where hot water circulates, and builds heat inside. A better approach would be to position the electronics in the back and provide appropriate cooling.

    Electronics are made by Continental, or maybe the whole assembly, as the middle plate had their logo and part numbers.

    Pictures will follow in the next day as this operation took some time.




    P.S It would be lovely to have a lesser version of the pump to establish the differences.

    PS2. There was a web page with a guy transforming this water pump into an aircraft propeller, but I am unable to find it at the moment.

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    As I am not allowed to edit my post, I have found the new EWP proposed by Continental:

    http://www.conti-online.com/generato...eet_ewp_en.pdf

    So, they moved the electronics from the front to the back, and provided some form of passive cooling.

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    I am about to change out my second water pump in 48000km.
    Is this continental PDF the upgraded pump released in 2010?
    What about the VDO? Is it better than the BMW ?
    Would be cool ro know what works this specific pump I have lasted 10'000 mikes only. Click here to enlarge

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    VDO, is an Automotive group owned entirely by Continental.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Scufi Click here to enlarge
    VDO, is an Automotive group owned entirely by Continental.
    So is the VDO unit the way to go or just get BMW upgraded or are they the same thing?

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    I do not know if BMW switched to the new units, which are entirely different (lowered power consumption was the first thing I noticed, apart from the design).

    I sent an email to Conti, but no answer at this date.

    BMW does not produce the majority of parts. They rely on 1st Tier suppliers.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Scufi Click here to enlarge
    As I am not allowed to edit my post, I have found the new EWP proposed by Continental:

    http://www.conti-online.com/generato...eet_ewp_en.pdf

    So, they moved the electronics from the front to the back, and provided some form of passive cooling.
    You have a 10 minute limit.

    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale
    : http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...r-kit-for-sale

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge attachment/upload menu
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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    ^ WTF?

    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale
    : http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...r-kit-for-sale

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    135i 2008 under 30.000 miles as the donor car.

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    I disassembled mine when it failed, and the beige part had a bunch of hairline cracks. Definitely a cooling issue.

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    Garbage!! Will the new pumps fit the N54?
    John 3:16


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    The beige part is actually cooled by coolant.

    The majority of electronics fail at about 120 degrees centigrade, so I believe there are instances when the inside temperatures reach or even surpass this threshold.

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    The link posted above shows a pump with a power dissipation of 50 to 110 watts. The N54 pump is 400 watts (that's a lot of power - more than 1/2 HP!). The link specifies the flow rate up to 1800 l/hr. The N54 pump is 9000 l/hr. While similar in design, these are not the same pumps and are definitely not interchangeable.

    The beige parts is the motor's rotor. It appears to be part of a brush-less DC motor.

    Another thing to remember is the pump is on the cold side of the radiator, so it sees the coolest water possible. If your car is targeting a head temp of 90 or 95 C (typical under any real load), the water on the cool side of the rad is substantially cooler than that. I'm not saying heat isn't at fault, but the temperature of the water entering and existing the pump should stay below the upper temperature specified for the "military" range of operating temperature for electronics of 125C. (assuming electronics in this operating temperature range were used)

    Considering how much more effective water is as a heat transfer medium compared to air, and considering the high power of the N54 pump, I would say the electronics had to be mounted to the water side of the pump to adequately cool them.

    If there is a heat problem, I would think it would be caused by the pump dissipating 400 watts and not having a low enough thermal resistance to the water to keep the temperature of the motor and electronics down. Moving the electronics to the rear of the pump and away from the cooling effect of the water is going to make the problem worse, as the air temperature inside the engine bay is high, and air is so much less effective at transferring heat than water.

    Despite the less effective thermal transfer properties of air, if the problem is heat, maybe some louvers cut in the plastic engine tray to try to get more cool air flowing over the pump would be an improvement in the temperature of the pump. This could increase longevity if heat is killing the pumps.
    Last edited by ajm8127; 01-14-2013 at 11:23 AM. Reason: spelling

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    You missed one important aspect. The electronics module are encapsulated first by a thick "goo" and then by plastic,which is glued onto the aluminium plate. Basically I see three heat insulators.

    Another thing, is that water travels on the central area, which is made of delrin, and has no contact on the other side with the electronics what so ever.

    The pump is rated as 400W but as it is self adjusting and that power is mostly encountered for a short period of time.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Scufi Click here to enlarge
    You missed one important aspect. The electronics module are encapsulated first by a thick "goo" and then by plastic,which is glued onto the aluminium plate. Basically I see three heat insulators.

    Another thing, is that water travels on the central area, which is made of delrin, and has no contact on the other side with the electronics what so ever.
    My point is the water side of the pump will be cooler than the side without the impeller. Unless I am not understanding the picture you took, it looks like the electronics sit right next to the impeller housing.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Scufi Click here to enlarge
    The pump is rated as 400W but as it is self adjusting and that power is mostly encountered for a short period of time.
    Right, but the link you posted is clearly a much less powerful pump. It's not fair to compare that pump the the N54/N55 pump, they are two different designs.

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