Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 10, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

Got the car out on the road and noticed the temp was hovering around 200 degrees. New high volume H20 pump and copper 4 core radiator. Engine is newly rebuilt (454). The temp outside is around 65 degrees so when it ramps up to 90-95 things will get much hotter. The only thing I can think of is the clutch on the fan may be getting old and in need of replacement.
Is there a way to test it? I turned it by hand and there is resistance.

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 10, 10:18 PM
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

My neighbor tries to stop the fan while it's turning using a heavy shop rag, not recommended!!! If the car is up to temperature, shut it off while someone watches to see if the fan free-wheels. If it does, probably time for a new one.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 10, 12:40 AM
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

I always thought that if after you turn off engine, if the fan keeps spinning then the clutch is bad.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 10, 01:52 PM
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

Quote:
If the car is up to temperature, shut it off while someone watches to see if the fan free-wheels.
Wrong.....the engine can be up to temp, thats fine, doesnt mean the clutch engages
I dont know the temp, but considerring the temp idoit light is 235 deg, I would imagine the clutch would be up there somewhere.

I did some digging of info yrs ago...boiled down to the clutches very rarely fail if ever...the bearings do....has it play in the bearings?

Once you get upto 20/30 mph there is far more air going thru than the fan ever will put thru.....If it still runs hot the temp gauge is either out or something else in the cooling system is not working....or have a crome/polished sump/tappet covers...to much polished stuff that retains heat...which is why car manufactures for a 100+ yrs have black/painted sumps and radiators.
More heat is disipated thru the oil than thru the cooling system.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 10, 03:24 PM
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

I read here a couple of years back to roll up some newspaper and try to stop the fan.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 10, 03:34 PM
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

I've failed a few on my 72 BBC- my experience is that the clutch locks up then fan no longer "freewheels". Engine pinging from the increased fan load is the first clue ...seems a bit odd it has that much effect..
So..if its cool and locked solid its toast..never had one fail in the other direction i.e. freewheel when hot ..
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 10, 05:11 PM
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

This is how I test them.

After driving for a while, I'd say 30min, and with the engine off spin the fan over with your hand. It should not turn over more than 1 revolution. If it does it is bad.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 10, 06:53 PM
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

Belt squealing at higher RPM and taking the bearings out of the water pump.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 10, 08:47 PM
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

Quote:
I always thought that if after you turn off engine, if the fan keeps spinning then the clutch is bad.
Quote:
I read here a couple of years back to roll up some newspaper and try to stop the fan.
No offence meant but theres a lot of ppl out there that read hear stuffand never varified it...most old wives tales

Quote:
After driving for a while, I'd say 30min, and with the engine off spin the fan over with your hand. It should not turn over more than 1 revolution. If it does it is bad.
I had a 'theory' when I put my new one in...because of stuffed bearings....that something like that 'should work' but never noticed any difference...but I never had running hot issues....runs max 170 (low due to the fuel I run)...it just free wheeled and still does like normal...
Im bloody sure temps have to get up (like I mentioned above) around 220 or something.

Also note there are several types for different applications
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 10, 04:27 PM
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 10, 08:58 PM
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

Yep its on utube..got to be correct
We have saying in NZ "yeah right"
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 10, 08:04 AM
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

Have you checked your thermostat? What is the actual opening temp? I would think going down the road with an outside temp. of 65 degrees the engine would be operating at what ever degree thermostat you have.
What is the temp. when you are stopped, say in slow traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rad454 View Post
Got the car out on the road and noticed the temp was hovering around 200 degrees. New high volume H20 pump and copper 4 core radiator. Engine is newly rebuilt (454). The temp outside is around 65 degrees so when it ramps up to 90-95 things will get much hotter. The only thing I can think of is the clutch on the fan may be getting old and in need of replacement.
Is there a way to test it? I turned it by hand and there is resistance.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 10, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

I have a 160 degree thermostat in the car and after reading up on the subject here, realized that the t-stat does not determine engine running temp. Didnt know that. So, the fan is probably working, the t-stat should be a 180-195, and I am considering changing over from a 4 core copper radiator to an all aluminum radiator. Found one that is an aftermarket factory replacement for $248.00. Heard good things about their ability to cool.

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 10, 10:58 AM
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

On a thermal clutch fan at first start up you should feel the fan pulling air for about 3-5 seconds, also the thermal doesn't engage the clutch until 190* and above... So if your temp is high then check to see if the clutch/fan is pulling lots of air threw the grill or just pop the hood and you can feel it.

On a non-thermal clutch fan will be pulling lots of air at idle no matter how hot or cooled its is then free up at a certain rpm.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 10, 12:24 PM
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Re: Can you test a clutch fan for proper operation?

But Skeeter, how would a non-thermal clutch free up? Are you talking about a fan without the clutch, just a straight bolt on item?

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