Fridge fan

Not the best picture as it's straight on - here's another from http://www.fan-and-blower.com/axial-fan-ebmpapst-bg2012/

Fridge fan

I believe the one in my Bosch fridge freezer is on its way out as it's sporadically making a loud grinding noise as if it's become unbalanced / started rubbing against something.

There is a spare motor available but I'm wondering, if I order it, how I detatch the fan and re-attach it to the new motor's shaft. The fan seems to be crimped on with a metal collar, but is in a recessed area in the centre of the plastic blade assembly that can't be easily reached. The collar isn't a continuous ring - it's a few mm gap short of a full circle.

I believe the plastic fan may no longer be available so I don't want to risk breaking it by jabbing around with bottle-nosed pliers. Is there a standard name for this kind of mounting? What do I use to do it neatly?

I appreciate that the answer may be "just pull it off, and push it on!"

EDIT: here's a (bad, but hopefully not too misleading) drawing:

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


You need a pair of retaining ring pliers.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • Use the retaining ring pliers to remove the retaining ring.
  • Pull the blade off the shaft.
  • Push the blade on the new motor.
  • Use the retaining ring pliers to install the retaining ring.
  • You've taught me something new there - thanks! - but the ring in question doesn't have the grab points that those pliers seem designed for. I've added an (ahem) 'technical drawing'... Commented May 31, 2016 at 7:38
  • 1
    @topomorto I've added an image that shows a close-up of the tip of the tool. Slide the tip of the pliers into the gap in the ring, open the pliers to expand the ring, and work the ring off the shaft.
    – Tester101
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 10:18

I believe Tester101's answer applies when the metal retaining ring or circlip engages in a slot in the metal drive-shaft of the motor.

In your case it looks to me like the metal split ring merely squeezes tight the split end of the plastic fan hub causing the plastic to grip the much smaller metal shaft.

In other words, try leaving the metal clip in place and just pulling the fan hub off. If it requires too much force (risking breaking something), you'll have to remove the metal clip.

In the past I have removed that type of metal clip by levering it off with a small screwdriver or similar tool. There is a chance of damaging it - but this is only a problem if you don't have a replacement. In that case you can improvise with twisted wire.

  • I actually did find - and ordered - a fan too so that I can muck around. I'll report back! Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 10:47
  • In the end I did have to take this approach - the plastic fan on its own was tight enough that I had to separate the inner 'lips' with a screwdriver a bit. On the other hand the new ring had a slightly different pattern of 'teeth' which looked like it might have worked with a special set of pliers - who knows! Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 21:37

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