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Old 01-11-2019, 07:11 PM   #1
TJMack
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Default Check your fan blades

I finished putting in a new pitman arm and drag link and tie rod parts so I wanted to try it out, naturally. Everything went fine for about 10 miles or so. Then BANG!! Something broke and the car started to shake. I was going about 45 MPH.


Thinking the worst, I pulled over and got out to see what had broken in my newly completed job. I left the engine running and it idled OK. I looked things over as best I could at the side of a busy road and could find nothing.


I got back in and started down the road, and the shaking got worse as I sped up. I limped it slowly home and shut it off. Upon opening the hood I found that one of the fan blades was missing.


I must be blessed. The blade didn't go through the hood, the radiator, or anything else. It lay in the pan under the radiator hose. If it had gone in any other direction I would have had a mess on my hands.


Isn't it a bitch how things entirely unrelated to a job your working on can happen at just the right time to make you suspect of what you've done??


The moral of the story is CHECK YOUR FAN BLADES. One of them may be ready to let loose and cost you a bunch of money. Don't plan on being as luck as I was.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:18 PM   #2
TerryH
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

I am assuming that must have been an original fan blade. It is known that those will almost certainly fail over time, so folks are constantly warned about them, and to replace them with a new, solid cast, one piece aluminum one. You are very lucky that did not through your hood, or worse, come apart while you were tinkering with the engine.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

You are a lucky guy!! A "mail slot" in the hood is not an easy thing to repair.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

I had an original generator pulley break a chunk out of it while my car was idling in the garage. It didn't hit me or my car but put a nice dent in the garage wall. I don't know if it would have killed me, but it sure would have hurt.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

This is very timely and concur with Terry in post 2. I had a later style 4 blade fan installed by prior owner and only noticed a crack in one blade near the hub when changing water pump. The crack was under paint build up, and this should be on an inspection check list.
Have had good results with the alum. 2 blade fans on multiple cars..
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

Mine won't break!
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

Here is a photo of the remains of a water pump that was destroyed when an original two bladed fan failed.
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File Type: jpg IMG_4866.jpg (55.4 KB, 192 views)
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

When I got my first Model A, the fan had been brazed up and was badly cracked again. I couldn't wait to get that thing off there so I could drive the car. I certainly wasn't even going to start the motor till it was gone.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

I just received an aluminum cast one from Brattons that will replace an original on my truck. The (very interesting) 95 year old guy I bought the truck from said the originals were best and you'll be able to see the cracks before they break. I didn't really buy that and would rather be safe and replace it after hearing stories about the damage the originals can cause.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

Back in 1959 I was driving my '30 Tudor back from Virginia up to Massachusetts. Ran most of the way at about 50 mph. On the Wilbur Cross Highway in Connecticut I felt a big bang and the car shook violently. Pulled over and shut her down. Yes, the fan (original) had shed a blade. It left a divot in the hood, took a swipe out of the radiator (but fortunately didn't actually cut any tubes), and cut the upper radiator hose. So, being an enterprising young man traveling with a full tool box, I cut off the other blade, taped up the radiator hose and finished the trip. And immediately replaced the fan with a stamped one - that's what was available at the time. I didn't know of any cast aluminum replacements back then. Bottom line - these things do indeed break. I was lucky, actually, that it happened under non-life-threatening conditions.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:11 AM   #11
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

Quote:
Originally Posted by 160B View Post
Here is a photo of the remains of a water pump that was destroyed when an original two bladed fan failed.
Picture looks very familiar. I think a lot of Model A owners can tell the same story, and have seen the same results. Enjoy.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:13 AM   #12
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

Can one replace the fan without removing the water pump?
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:19 PM   #13
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

On 1930 & 1931 cars it is possible to replace the fan if you detach the radiator support rods and pull the radiator forward. However, it may be necessary to do some fitting work on the fan, so I recommend that you take the pump off.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:53 AM   #14
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

Been there and done that. Fan let go on my 29 Roadster several years ago and put a nice smile in my hood, in addition to scaring me to death. Having an original fan replaced on a 28 Phaeton I'm doing over for a friend to sell.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

The title of this post should be, "Do Not Run An Original Fan!" No matter how pretty one might look, there is no way of determining the remaining fatigue life of an original fan. Original 2-blade fans had a fatigue problem when the Model "A" was new. The 2nd generation single-thickness fan did not solve the problem. Even the 4-blade fan is dangerous because of its age.



Don't let this happen to you!
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File Type: jpg Fan Blade Thru Hood xxkb.jpg (9.8 KB, 88 views)
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:51 PM   #16
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Bidonde View Post
On 1930 & 1931 cars it is possible to replace the fan if you detach the radiator support rods and pull the radiator forward. However, it may be necessary to do some fitting work on the fan, so I recommend that you take the pump off.
Agree with Bob B's posts. The vendors sell new bolts that have nuts on them to look original so the pump is easier to remove or just buy replacement hex head bolts to replace the studs in the block if appearance isn't an issue. The new repro alum fans are within balance plus light weight. Some suggest the 4 blades provide no more cooling capacity than the 2 blades and others like the plastic multiblade repops. Put teflon or other thread sealant on the bolts.

Last edited by duke36; 01-13-2019 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:07 PM   #17
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

Hello,


because I readed this posts, I buyed a new aluminium-fan. It is not possible, to loosen the old pulley.


Must I loosen the water pump housing or what can I try?


Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

When I got my car it had a two blade fan... Actually it was a four blade fan with two blades hacksawed off. LOL. It was also micro cracked on some rivets. Needless to say I use a new aluminum two blade now.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:24 PM   #19
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

Werner,

Try something like this.


https://www.brattons.com/fan-knock-off-tool.html
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:33 PM   #20
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Default Re: Check your fan blades

Hi,

I know this tool. But there is too less room between Radiator and pump shaft.
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