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I replaced mine recently and I did not have to remove the fan shroud or anything else (aside from the fan bracket), for that matter. Keep in mind; I DID NOT, replace the whole assembly but just the fan itself.

Reviews for the VDO dual fan assembly; seem to indicate if you remove the fan brackets, you can replace just the fans working from the bottom of the car (reusing the old fan shroud). Maybe, others can chime in; if they have done the whole fan/shroud replacement.

Here is a diy; showing the removal of the radiator and fans; you can see what is involved (fenders and bumper removed; along with the radiator support).

http://newbeetle.org/forums/technical-modifications/58189-radiator-swap.html

As for a brand quality fan(s); I would go with VDO and the pricing is similar to your aftermarket TYC brand you listed. It maybe, more cost effective; to replace the whole thing with the shroud/dual fans installed and both fans are probably worn out, after 17 years of daily use! VDO is the oem brand for VW and supplied the fans to the VW factory.

You can look up the single or whole fan assembly here:

VDO_ATE Online Parts Catalog


VDO FA70174 Radiator Fan Assembly

https://www.google.com/search?q=FA7...&ie=UTF-8#q=vdo fa70174 radiator fan assembly

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw...a70174&geo_id=10232&poi=&crdt=0&ul_noapp=true
 

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fans

you can remove just the fan itself it's only 3 torx screws and the power plug then it comes out through the bottom. Remove the rain splash shield under the car for better access to the screws. You might consider changing both fans since they're the same age and so the other will fail soon right after.
 

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Chiming in - how about the larger fan?

Is it also possible to replace the larger fan (driver's side) on a 99 Beetle without taking off the front bumper? I just called to get a quote to replace just the larger fan, and it seems $500-$600 is a standard price in my area.
 

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Check out this video: here is the way; that he did it: (keep in mind; there is usually more than one way to do things):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMCoLTQWrgY

For the right hand/passenger side smaller fan; I did that on my 2002 Turbo S 1.8T and it didn't have to remove anything, except for the fan bracket (removal from the bottom).

Here is another video; showing a full radiator disassembly and how the fan/radiator is set up. This is not required but good; to get a visual sense of how things are put together/apart.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM0yo407rTw
 

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yes

Is it also possible to replace the larger fan (driver's side) on a 99 Beetle without taking off the front bumper? I just called to get a quote to replace just the larger fan, and it seems $500-$600 is a standard price in my area.
Yes , I did both of mine through the bottom. Actually I removed them, repaired them and put them back in. Hope you have small hands and thin forearms..LOL :D
 
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