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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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fan blade destroyed the radiator

I had my first bad day with my car. I jumped on it off the line in 1st and 2nd and then the weird engine noises began. I shut it off and coasted to the side of the road. A little smoke from under the hood and coolant everywhere.

It seems one of the fan blades came in contact with the radiator and put a hole in it.

When I put A/C on this engine, space was at a premium. I found the water pump on a 302 isn't the same as a water pump on a 289. The oem fan spacer was too long. I couldn't install the fan to the upper pulley. I used the thinnest spacer that allowed the fan to clear the crank pulley. It resulted in a 1/2 gap between the fan blades and the radiator. I thought it was too close. The only way I can get more clearance is to install a thinner radiator.

The current aluminum radiator is a 2 pass unit, 20 1/4 tall x 18 3/8 wide. The core is 2 3/8 inches thick. Is it possible that a thinner core with more passes would have the same cooling performance?

Is it normal for a fan to flex like this? (it's a 50+ year old Ford Oem 6 blade used for 289's with A/C.)

Thanks


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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 06:22 PM
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

It is likely that the motor mounts have failed or are very soft and need replacement. Check transmission mount also.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowan View Post
It is likely that the motor mounts have failed or are very soft and need replacement. Check transmission mount also.
Wow! That isn't the answer I was looking for. The engine/trans/mounts were all installed new in the last year and a half with a little over 1100 miles on it all.

I don't see any movement of the engine when I rev the engine in neutral. You have more experience and know how than I do so I will investigate this possibility. Thank you.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 03:59 AM
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

Also bolt a fan on the water pump and check for bearing play by moving the blades side to side. I would find wear that way every 2-3 years on the race car when it was using a heavy clutch fan.

Dennis

65' Stang Street/Strip. Dart 434W NA, Victor heads, G101A 4 Spd, 4:56 rear gear, on 93 octane pushing 3550lbs. [email protected]
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 05:54 AM
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

Remove the fan completely and use an electric "puller" mounted on your new radiator..........you're welcome!!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 09:38 AM
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marauderjack View Post
Remove the fan completely and use an electric "puller" mounted on your new radiator..........you're welcome!!
That's exactly how I fixed "my" situation.

Dennis

65' Stang Street/Strip. Dart 434W NA, Victor heads, G101A 4 Spd, 4:56 rear gear, on 93 octane pushing 3550lbs. [email protected]
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 12:55 PM
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marauderjack View Post
Remove the fan completely and use an electric "puller" mounted on your new radiator..........you're welcome!!
A manual fan can also eat 30+ horsepower... and that is NOT a joke.
Highly recommend an electric fan. Make sure it has a shroud that covers most of the radiator.

Good Luck!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 03:44 PM
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

The only time I've ever had a problem with the fan and the radiator the motor mounts had come lose and allowed the motor to move forward a small amount.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis111 View Post
Also bolt a fan on the water pump and check for bearing play by moving the blades side to side. I would find wear that way every 2-3 years on the race car when it was using a heavy clutch fan.

I'll do that. This is a great time to check these types of things. Thanks
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

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Originally Posted by n2omike View Post
A manual fan can also eat 30+ horsepower... and that is NOT a joke.
Highly recommend an electric fan. Make sure it has a shroud that covers most of the radiator.

Good Luck!

30 hp is a lot of hp. It seems this might be a good solution. There are a lot of options out there. Can you or someone make a recommendation of what I should get? Thanks
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

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The only time I've ever had a problem with the fan and the radiator the motor mounts had come lose and allowed the motor to move forward a small amount.

The first thing I noticed was the deep gouge. I agree with your assessment. Now, I need to figure out how to lift the engine and remove them.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 04:36 PM
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

This is what I have on the mustang. It's a BEAST for its size! Not very thick, either... only about 3-1/4". Fits a 65-66 mustang radiator like a glove. Would also work just fine on yours. Be sure to use a relay and large wiring, as it draws a solid 20 amps of current.

If you choose something else, study the current draw. Some fans might be larger in diameter, but don't have nearly the power of the above unit. You'll also want to check thickness and shroud size. The Derale below will definitely keep the car cool.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/der-16926

Good Luck
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

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Originally Posted by n2omike View Post
This is what I have on the mustang. It's a BEAST for its size! Not very thick, either... only about 3-1/4". Fits a 65-66 mustang radiator like a glove. Would also work just fine on yours. Be sure to use a relay and large wiring, as it draws a solid 20 amps of current.

If you choose something else, study the current draw. Some fans might be larger in diameter, but don't have nearly the power of the above unit. You'll also want to check thickness and shroud size. The Derale below will definitely keep the car cool.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/der-16926

Good Luck

That looks like a good unit. Thanks for the recommendation. At 23 amps, it will make the alternator work full time, which will use some HP (not as much as the fan though).



I have 4 1/2 inches from the radiator frame to the end of the water pump shaft. My current radiator (at the core) is 2 3/8 inches thick (3 inches at the tank) so I'd need some more room unless I can get a thinner spacer. (I'll spend time taking some more measurements tomorrow)


Do you recall how thick your radiator is?



Thanks for the link,
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 08:32 AM
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

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Originally Posted by 65merccyclone View Post
That looks like a good unit. Thanks for the recommendation. At 23 amps, it will make the alternator work full time, which will use some HP (not as much as the fan though).

I have 4 1/2 inches from the radiator frame to the end of the water pump shaft. My current radiator (at the core) is 2 3/8 inches thick (3 inches at the tank) so I'd need some more room unless I can get a thinner spacer. (I'll spend time taking some more measurements tomorrow)

Do you recall how thick your radiator is?

Thanks for the link,
My radiator is a 3-1/4" thick, dual core aluminum unit. Standard mustang width and height.

I only have around 3-3/4" or so from the radiator to the nub on the water pump. The Derale 16926 fan is only 3-1/4" thick, so it gives me about a half inch of clearance between the water pump and fan.

With the power and amp draw of this fan, I recommend using 10 gauge power wire, a relay, and very good, preferably soldered connections.

As for amp draw, I HIGHLY recommend the 3G alternator upgrade! These came on early 90's model Taurus, etc. They are EASILY adapted to older cars, and put out 130 amps... even at low rpm. I got one out of the boneyard back in the day for $30, and am still using it. Runs EVERYTHING... electric fan, water pump, fuel pump, headlights, etc... even at an idle without discharging. It's a wondrous piece of engineering. lol If you get one from the boneyard, it has a metric tightening bolt. You'll probably want to get that with it. Also, grabbing the wiring pigtail makes life easier as well.

p.s. It sounds like you have some bad measurements... Either that, or you are leaving the spacer in place while taking them. Remove the spacer off the front of the water pump before getting the tape measure out!

Good Luck!

Last edited by n2omike; 04-28-2019 at 09:14 AM.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: fan blade destroyed the radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by n2omike View Post
My radiator is a 3-1/4" thick, dual core aluminum unit. Standard mustang width and height.

I only have around 3-3/4" or so from the radiator to the nub on the water pump. The Derale 16926 fan is only 3-1/4" thick, so it gives me about a half inch of clearance between the water pump and fan.

With the power and amp draw of this fan, I recommend using 10 gauge power wire, a relay, and very good, preferably soldered connections.

As for amp draw, I HIGHLY recommend the 3G alternator upgrade! These came on early 90's model Taurus, etc. They are EASILY adapted to older cars, and put out 130 amps... even at low rpm. I got one out of the boneyard back in the day for $30, and am still using it. Runs EVERYTHING... electric fan, water pump, fuel pump, headlights, etc... even at an idle without discharging. It's a wondrous piece of engineering. lol If you get one from the boneyard, it has a metric tightening bolt. You'll probably want to get that with it. Also, grabbing the wiring pigtail makes life easier as well.

p.s. It sounds like you have some bad measurements... Either that, or you are leaving the spacer in place while taking them. Remove the spacer off the front of the water pump before getting the tape measure out!

Good Luck!

I wish I had that much clearance in front of the engine. My car is a 65 Merc Comet/cyclone (original engine was a 289) but has a bored out 302 in it now. Could Mustangs might have a longer engine bay?

You are correct regarding the spacer. I needed to install a full 3/16 spacer to get the pulleys to align properly. I took my measurement from the end of the water pump shaft (farthest point forward) to a straightedge I had taped to the radiator frame.

I think a higher amp alternator would be a good choice with an electric fan. I appreciate the specific model recommendation. Thanks

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