I tried to clean my exhaust fan. Everything went well and I was able to remove the engine from the holder in order to clean it.

However, some parts were stuck together, so I tried to remove them. It took a bit of time and force, but I was able to remove the nut from the bolt.

However, first it didn’t change anything and then, it didn’t even come apart. I also noticed I broke a little black thingy and I don’t know what it is useful for. And now, I am not able to put the nut on the bolt..

I don’t care about cleaning, I just want to put it back now..

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  • You're going to have to give us some more information. What's the black thingy? More pictures might help.
    – JACK
    Aug 6 at 19:08
  • @JACK That's the issue: I have no idea what it is. All I can say is that it's made of metal. As for the pictures, everything relevant is in it. The other side is just the fan itself and I can't see where it "connects". If you have any idea which part I should take a close pic of, I will be happy to provide it!
    – NicolasSC
    Aug 6 at 19:11

2 Answers 2


The black thingy is called an e-clip and it does look broken. It is used to keep things in place on shafts, to keep them from moving. Should be a little circle cut into the shaft where the e-clip goes. Be careful since they are springy and will go flying never to be seen again(good thing they are cheap).

The threads on the nut and/or the bolt are probably damaged. Just go to your local hardware store with the nut and buy a few more. Might get lucky and the new nut will clean the threads on the bolt enough to go on.

Pick up a few e-clips at the same time, so you do not spend hours looking for that one. E-clips should be used only once anyway.

  • LOL I didn't even notice the E-clip in the picture.
    – JACK
    Aug 6 at 19:17
  • @JACK I am surprise he still has it. They are very hard to catch.
    – crip659
    Aug 6 at 19:30

A- is the slot in the bolt, for you to use wrench when screwing the nut

B is more of a question, is it a scratch or crack

C- is a safety device to keep the fan from becoming loose. It slides over the bolt.

Repair the bolt beginning of the tread

Use "file" in 45 dgr angle and go all the way arround. That should restore the tread begining.


  • I was able to put the bolt back. B is just me who remove some dust by moving C. As for C, I don't get how it should hold. On my other post, I am trying to figure out how to make the nut closer to the washer, but I don't see how C would help me do that. diy.stackexchange.com/questions/254257/…
    – NicolasSC
    Aug 6 at 20:45
  • @NicolasSC you are mistaking, the nut does not ties down the fan
    – Ruskes
    Aug 6 at 20:48
  • You are probably right, but I still can't see why the nut was on top of the washer and there is now a space. And can't figure out where the e-clip comes from.
    – NicolasSC
    Aug 6 at 20:52
  • @NicolasSC look at my photo, it shows where the "washer" goes, you push it in the slot and it snaps in place.
    – Ruskes
    Aug 6 at 20:54
  • I will trust you, let's just hope the fan won't fall on my head haha
    – NicolasSC
    Aug 6 at 20:56

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