Yeah, you're right, buying a new fan assembly is probably the best way to go. I'm just being cheap, because I just saw the price you bought it for in your link is no longer current, they have since raised the price to $19.49. I guess that's not much difference, but I was hoping not to have to put much money into an old card (the fan assembly cost is probably half the card's value).
I do wish I'd just drilled a hole for lubrication instead. I admit I was initially reading this thread on my phone and only saw OP's post, I didn't read further because my phone screen is small, so I didn't see the idea about drilling holes for lubrication until I pulled up the thread later on my PC. I think drilling holes is definitely the safer way to go. Those small components aren't soldered to the board very well and didn't take much force to knock off.
EDIT: Just found this for $12.39, think it will work?
Main difference I see is it has an extra inline connector, but that might even be a good thing.Edited by GnatGoSplat - 2/5/14 at 2:07pm