14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

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Oilbrnr
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14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by Oilbrnr » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:48 am

So I ran my truck pretty hard for three days on the beach in Mexico last weekend. Temps ran fine(210*-215*) and I could hear the fan cycle as you'd expect.

Last night I drove from Phoenix to my home in Flagstaff and I decided to do a MPG test and Cat Scale the truck (9,260) with the Four Wheel Camper which is now a permeant fixture. I typically see 11.8 mpg indicated on this trip and this time I was hovering around 9.5 which I thought was odd. When I was almost to Flag (30* outside) I happened to look at the temp gauge and it was lower than normal. I changed the EVIC to show the digital temp and it was 185*. I kept an eye on it, and it would rapid fluctuate between 185 and ~200. Once in town temps returned to the normal 210*.

I didn't hear the fan in the cab, so it wasn't like if the clutch had failed that it was fully locked. If the thermostat is faulty, I suppose running cooler it would have a somewhat richer mixture, though 185* used to be a pretty normal operating temp for engines in general.

Thoughts? Any of you guys had a clutch go bad? 69k currently on the clock.

Oh, and hand calculated mpg via GPS (odo was only off by a little over 1 mile in 146) was 9.2
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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by SimonandSimonBeast » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:01 am

Let's see. 1 fan clutch on a '97 TJ. 1 fan clutch on wifey's '03 Trailblazer and 2 fan clutches on a '02 2500 Burb. Either I've had bad luck or beach riding is a bitch on these things (sand/salt air). It's been a while, but If I recall there was some intermittent weirdness before they had a full out failure sticking in the on position.

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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by Bill2014 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:16 pm

Slightly lower engine temps typically translate into more power and will increase emissions! The increase in power will show as higher mpg. You saw something quite different so you probably had something else going on to shift your mpg.

I've never had a clutch fan go bad - but the parts stores sell them so they must :D
None of my vehicles from the '70's had clutch fans, they were direct belt drive - my '80's vehicles had non-thermal clutches on the fans. All my modern vehicles with transverse mounted engines had only electric fans (no clutch).

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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by coder » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:26 pm

Here is an easy way to tell if your fan clutch is working correctly or not:

1) The fan clutch should stop spinning almost immediately when you shut the engine off, if it keep spinning the clutch is worn out.
2) With the engine off you should be able to turn the fan by hand, if not the clutch is locked up.

The fan clutch is a ware item I had to replace mine around 80k miles.
Last edited by coder on Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by RustyPW » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:33 pm

I've seen a couple of clutch fans go bad. Normally just lock up, and you can't spin them with the engine off. Seen 2 seized up at high rpm. One tried to go through the hood, and the other tired to go through the radiator.
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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by DamageWagon » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:02 pm

You can watch the fan at idle once it is warm and you’ve revved the engine to break the static hold and see if it is turning at engine RPM or slower.

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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by SimonandSimonBeast » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:19 pm

Also, look for any movement in the fan while off of course. You shouldn't be able to jiggle it at all. Also, look for silicone leakage on it. But, I do remember some period before full out failure that it stayed on more than it normally did during acceleration, especially after first start up. While it normally has some tension during "freespin" at speed and runs something like 1,500 rpm, it isn't too much a stretch that if it is starting to fail it could be getting more tension and running at a slightly higher rpm, giving you those results. It's cheap enough to replace it. Maybe your lucky and caught it before failure.

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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by Oilbrnr » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:59 pm

I didn't have time to investigate it today. Ran it around town a bit, but haven't done a physical check yet. I just have a feeling it is the clutch as it would explain the dramatic drop in MPG.
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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by cb1987 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:38 am

Oilbrnr wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:48 am


Thoughts? Any of you guys had a clutch go bad? 69k currently on the clock.

i think there was a batch of bad fans. my 16 had a bad one from day one. clutch was engaging when it wasnt supposed to. new replacement wasnt disengaging correctly either. i think it was just some type of malfunction of the viscous clutch. my 17 fan works perfect so im guessing there was just a small batch of defective fans

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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by Oilbrnr » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:34 pm

After some thought and investigation, I *think* the problem is the thermostat. I have a new assembly on order and will update this thread when I put it in.
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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by Bill2014 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:50 pm

Oilbrnr wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:34 pm
After some thought and investigation, I *think* the problem is the thermostat. I have a new assembly on order and will update this thread when I put it in.
:rockon: I was always suspicious of a faulty clutch causing your problem...
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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by Oilbrnr » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:17 pm

I was too, initially, but watching the temp gauge (and interior heater air temp) change extremely rapidly, kinda ruled out the viscous clutch. Besides, even if the clutch failed, a properly working thermostat wouldn't let the engine temps drop.
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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by waldo » Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:02 am

The fan on my 16 would sometimes roar for a mile or so down the road after a cold start. No rhyme or reason to it and it would eventually stop.
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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by olyelr » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:16 am

waldo wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:02 am
The fan on my 16 would sometimes roar for a mile or so down the road after a cold start. No rhyme or reason to it and it would eventually stop.
Mine has done that many times before. However its been a while now that I think about it. Hmmm.
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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by DamageWagon » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:36 am

That’s common in new fans. I’ve had it from OEM and Napa fans. I don’t think my Cummins has done it down to -5F though.

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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by Mule » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:38 pm

Did you get yours with the auto-eject feature?
Image

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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by Oilbrnr » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:02 pm

My thermostat housing finally shipped today (16 days after order). I'll report back when I get it in.
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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by RustyPW » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:09 pm

Mule wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:38 pm
Did you get yours with the auto-eject feature?
Image
Did it damage the radiator?
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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by Mule » Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:30 am

RustyPW wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:09 pm
Mule wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:38 pm
Did you get yours with the auto-eject feature?
Image
Did it damage the radiator?
That incident took out a lot of things. :lol:
Water pump, radiator, rad shroud, fan clutch, some wiring, power steering hoses...
Less than a year later, t-stat stuck...
Image

Now (been ongoing for a while, but getting worse) the heater core's plugged and not working well...
Upside, I haven't blown up a water pump in a while. :lol:

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Re: 14+ Possible Fan Clutch failure?

Post by RustyPW » Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:58 am

Mule wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:30 am
RustyPW wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:09 pm
Mule wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:38 pm
Did you get yours with the auto-eject feature?
Image
Did it damage the radiator?
That incident took out a lot of things. :lol:
Water pump, radiator, rad shroud, fan clutch, some wiring, power steering hoses...
Less than a year later, t-stat stuck...
Image

Now (been ongoing for a while, but getting worse) the heater core's plugged and not working well...
Upside, I haven't blown up a water pump in a while. :lol:
I've seen one that chewed a nice round hole in the radiator core, about half way through on a cheby truck. Another was sticking through the hood of a Suburban.
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