Tech Article Title Author Date
Installing an Electric Fan Kit got_root? - joe/zyxt and A4Anthosh  2001


During our trials and tribulations we found that some of SPR's instructions didn't quite tell the whole story for us lame first-timers. We thus decided to take a lot of pics and write up an Electric Fan Kit Installation For Dummies. The first kit we did took us most of the day to install, as we spent a lot of time and a few phone calls figuring things out that weren't covered in the SPR instructions. The second kit we did the next day only took us about 3 hours, and we weren't hurrying. So, some of the pics and/or text below were lifted from SPR's instructions, but most are our own.

I also recommend reading all the way through these instructions before starting the install.


Stuff needed:

Phillips and Flat head screw drivers
Torx 15-30 drivers
Hex wrench set
Metric Socket Set with Extensions
Vice Grips and 2 pennies
Jack and Jack Stands
1 bucket
1 Bottle of G12 Coolant
1 or 2 friends to help
zip ties (always good to have around)
electrical tape



--Jack up the front of the car
and secure it on jack stands, as you'll be crawling under it. Never use the factory jack for support when working under a car unless you'd like to be substantially thinner than you already are.


--Remove the front wheels


--Remove plastic underbody cover
There are 10 "half-turn" screws involved: 3 metal screws along the front of the cover, 3 metal screws along the back, and 2 big plastic screws on the inside of each wheel well. They only take about a half turn each to remove them, but feel free to turn them all you like. After removing the screws, the big plastic cover will pretty much fall on your face. Slide it out and set it aside.


--Remove screws holding bumper in
You first need to remove the two small fog light grills. They just snap out. In the space next to each fog light, there is a big, long torx screw going straight up into the car. (These torx screws actually hold the bumper cover onto the bumper supports inside.) Remove the torx screws. Next, in each wheel well, there are two 6mm hex screws to remove as seen in this picture: After removing all 4 hex screws, and the two large torx screws that were up front next to the fog lights, that's it for the screwing. The bumper can now slide around a little.


--Remove bumper
This one's a bit tricky the first time you do it. It's a bit tricky the second time too, but never mind that. To add to the trickiness, we failed to get any good pics of the bumper removal, so you'll just have to visualize. But there really isn't anything to take a picture of except for a couple of greasy guys pulling on an expensive bumper. In fact, this part is so difficult to explain that I'll just cheat and copy SPR's instructions:

From SPR's instructions
From the front, push bumper inward while pulling downward at the end of the bumper starting with the driver's side first. Repeat on the passenger side.

Got that? To help you visualize, we did take some pictures of the clips that hold the bumper in:

The bumper slides around on rails inside those clips, so you have to get the rails derailed. It actually involves quite a bit of force, so we really had to man-handle the bumper to get it off those clips. After you get the bumper off, you'll need to unplug the wiring harnesses from the fog lights. Then you'll need to disconnect the washer fluid hose. To do this, use the vice grips and 2 coins to clamp the hose closed. Then disconnect the hose. Set the bumper aside.


--Remove rubber air dam flaps, temp sensor brackets, A/C condenser brackets

In the pic above, you can see that there are 3 rubber air-dams/flaps. The largest one on the right directs air into the intercooler. Ignore that one. Remove the other two. They just have one screw each.
Then, along the bottom of the A/C condenser there is a thin metal tube with a little sensor suspended from it. Remove the screw from each of the two plastic brackets that hold this tube on, and let the whole assembly hang down out of the way. (Just ignore the fact that we didn't remove it... pretend we did.) Then remove the two brackets (two screws each) that hold the A/C condenser on.


--Remove A/C condenser

There is a little electrical plug in the left side of the condenser. Unplug it. You can then remove the condenser itself. It just slides up and out. Carefully swing it around and set it aside, being sure not to damage the two rubber hoses that are still connected to it. In the above pic you can see the two hoses connected to the bottom. You do not want to remove those. That would be a Bad Thing.


--Open coolant filler cap and drain radiator

At this point you need to get a bucket and drain the radiator. First, open up the coolant filler cap on top of the coolant reservoir. Then, on the bottom right side of the radiator you'll see a little red screw. This opens up the drain valve. Open it. Did I mention you should put a bucket under it?


--Remove upper and lower radiator hoses

After the radiator is drained, you can then remove the radiator hoses. They are on the right side of the radiator, top and bottom. Each hose is held on by a little metal clip which you barely see in the above pic. Slide the clip off the hose using your choice of tool. We went with a flat-head screw driver. You can then slide the hoses off of the radiator. It can take quite a bit of force and/or jiggling to get the hoses off. After removing the hoses, you might need to unplug a little wiring harness right above the lower hose. Josh's MY2001.5 didn't have this harness, but my MY2000 did. Then you'll need to remove the two plastic clips that hold the top of the radiator in place. In the above pic the clips have already been removed.


--Remove radiator

As our illustrious model Josh demonstrates above, slide the top of the radiator out, then up. It can be a little tricky to get out due to the plastic hose mounts. After removing it you may want to dump out the excess coolant that is still in the radiator.


--Remove fan/pulley assembly from engine

This part is a bit tricky. You'll need to use an 8mm hex attachment on a ratchet to get this bolt out. SPR's instructions said 6mm, but we found it was 8mm on both of our cars. As you can see in the pic above, it's a very tight fit to get the ratchet in there, so there's not a lot of room to move. As you crank on the ratchet the whole pulley will try to turn, foiling your plans to unscrew it. But screw it you shall! You'll notice that Audi conveniently left a notch along the body of the pulley housing in which you shall insert something long and strong... like a hex wrench! In the pic above you can see our long and strong hex wrench slid in between that notch and through the pulley via one of its many holes. You can just see the other end of the hex wrench sticking out the other side of the pulley. After removing the bolt from the back of the pulley, you can slide the whole fan/pulley assembly off. It might be easier if someone holds the belt tensioner loose when you do this.


--Disassemble mechanical fan
from pulley and attach custom adapter to pulley. Unscrew the 3 bolts from the back of the pulley that hold the fan onto it. Remove the fan and attach the custom hexagonal metal adapter plate back onto the pulley using the same 3 bolts.


--Attach pulley assembly to engine

Now attach that pulley back onto the engine. In the pic above you can see the spring loaded belt tensioner to the left of the fan pulley. You'll need to hold this tensioner loose with a wrench in order to get the pulley back on.


--Splice fan wires

Now you'll need to splice your new fan's wires in with the existing auxiliary fan's wires. The pic above shows the completed result. The location of the wires to splice into were in a slightly different location between Josh's MY2001.5 and my MY2000. The pic above show's Josh's car. When splicing the wires, be sure to get them twisted together well, and crimped into the butt-connector very tightly. There's not much slack in the wires, so you'll have to keep your work tight. After splicing the wires together, be sure and wrap some electrical tape around it all to help hold it together and insulate it. If you feel motivated, you might even want to solder the wires together for a better connection. Or maybe even use some removable connectors rather than the butt-connectors. Your call.


--Mark fan mounting points, drill, screw

Now you just need to mark your 3 mounting points for the fan brackets, drill some small pilots holes, and screw them in. The pics above show the completed results. You can see the 3 silver mounting brackets and where we screwed them in.


--Test the fan and reassemble everything
You should probably test it before you get everything completely back together. We re-assembled everything back to the point where we got the radiator put back on and radiator hoses connected. We then briefly started the car up and turned on the A/C to get the fans spinning right away. As soon as you verify that the new fan does indeed come on along with the auxiliary fan, turn the car off as you haven't yet refilled the coolant. You can then re-fill the radiator using a 50/50 mix of distilled water and G12 coolant. Then just re-assemble everything in the reverse that you took it off.