Visc. Clutch vs Electric Fan - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old May 28th, 2008, 10:01 PM
snurp
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Keith Kuboske
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Visc. Clutch vs Electric Fan

Need to replace the fan clutch on my 94 D-90 as it continues to overheat and all things point that way as the fan can be stopped when vehicle is hot . Was concerned about the issue of the clutch problem arising again and would consider getting electric fans instead. What model flexalite would be needed? Is this the better solution of the two?
Thanks for all the help!!!
K Kuboske
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  #2  
Old May 29th, 2008, 08:05 AM
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Charles Galpin
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The flexalite 210 fits like it was made for the truck. When I used them, I wired it wth a 3 way switch so I could force them off, on, or via a thermostat. Search the forums for more info but you can get a VW thermostat that trips at the right temperature and replace the A/C thermostat with it.

In my opinion, replace the clutch. Why? It should last another 10 years, and if that was the only problem then your done. If there are other issues, the e-fans just mask them, or delay them, but eventually they will cause damage worse than if you address them now (yes the e-fans work that well). At least in my case this was what happened. The e-fans are also more electronics to go wrong.

If you have a valid reason to go electric (like a engine conversion with higher cooling requirements or space issues) they are well worth it though.

charles
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  #3  
Old May 29th, 2008, 08:56 AM
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Keith Kuboske
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No special needs for cooling or space, just have read and heard of multiple failures of the fan clutch sometimes within months of replacing. As I will probabaly have to have the dealership to install, it gets expensive quickly. Has the problems with these clutches been resolved?
k kuboske
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  #4  
Old May 29th, 2008, 08:59 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Why dealer install? Go to autozone and get a generic fan removal kit (you can rent). It's an easy job with the right tools.

charles
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  #5  
Old May 29th, 2008, 10:00 AM
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Chris Davis
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Fan clutches are not something that the dealer needs to install--they are an easy DIY. They should last a fairly long time and are not prone to too many failures except by age. They are a "consumable" that every 10 years or whenever you need to replace.

My opinion on electric fans, however, is opposite of Charles. I know tons of people using them and have not heard of failures any more often than fan clutches--just the opposite, actually--I have never seen one fail although I am sure they do.

The are vastly superior for any engine on hot trails since you are idling so much (mechanical fans turn slower at idle) and the electric fans don't have any problem keeping your engine cool. You can shut them off for water crossings. Mine, like most people I know, are on a temp sensor for and completely automatic operation with an override switch (mainly for water crossings). I wired my 210 model up such that each fan is independently wired/fused in case one goes out, the other will work. IF one failed (5 years and counting), you can usually find spares or be able to get one in a day from most Checker Autos and other auto dealers. They take less power to run than mechanical fans from your engine, but you will have a higher load on your alternator (which in turn also puts a little more resistance on your engine.).

IMO, get a Flexlite:

Advantages: Switchable, keeps engine cooler under idle, superior air flow/cooling, less engine drain, more engine compartment room to work on truck, no more fan clutches to worry about.

Negatives: One more electric component. Then again, you are replacing a mechanical one that DID fail...Little more cost, slight install hassel (there is a good write up on this page to walk you through it, though).
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  #6  
Old May 29th, 2008, 10:04 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Not knocking e-fans or flexalites - I ran them for a while and they worked very well. Everything Chris says is true.

One more data point though - when on, they are LOUD.

hth
charles
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  #7  
Old May 29th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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I have twin Kenlows on my series. They are excellent.
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  #8  
Old May 29th, 2008, 12:45 PM
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I also run the Flex-a-lite fans too. Not mentioned here though is that it really clears up a LOT of room in front of the engine. Makes maintenance in that area sooooooooo much easier.
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  #9  
Old May 29th, 2008, 02:31 PM
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steve
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FYI-you can get thin bike wrenches that fit the nut for the clutch prefectly at any bike shop.

You can always keep the fan clutch and add a pusher fan on the front of the rad if you dont have A/C.
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  #10  
Old May 29th, 2008, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin
Search the forums for more info but you can get a VW thermostat that trips at the right temperature and replace the A/C thermostat with it.
charles
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...gen+thermostat is the thread Charles is refering to. Now I thought that the thermostat for the A/C was actually to force the A/C electrical fan to start when the engine was overheating..... I guess I'm glad I read this threat as I thought I had a fail safe for the engine overheating.... I will check if there is a way to have the two options: use the thermostat to start the A/C fan around 92 Celcius to increase air flow _and_ prevent the A/C compressor from starting around 108 Celcius.
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  #11  
Old May 29th, 2008, 04:36 PM
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Does anyone know of a step by step write up on replacing the fan clutch. I have the part, but have been too chicken to try it...
I can change my oil & plugs though
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  #12  
Old May 29th, 2008, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burke
Does anyone know of a step by step write up on replacing the fan clutch. I have the part, but have been too chicken to try it...
I can change my oil & plugs though
It's easy, you can figure it out.
- undo the fan shroud (yes but twisting it, you can remove it without removing the fan/anything)
- use your wrench to undo the fan/clutch assembly. There are two types of fans: serpentine vs. not-serpentine engines (4.0 vs. 3.9L) -> clockwise vs. anticlockwise; do a search to know which way you should turn, basically, you need to turn in the _same_ way your engine would make the fan turn)
- remove the fan / fan clutch assembly
- the fan is "fragile" pay attention at not braking it
- undo the 4 (6?) bolts that hold the fan to the clutch
- follow the steps in reserve order to put everything back together (might want to to put the shroud at the same time as the fan this time?)

There is probably a write up in the FAQ with pictures on this site....
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  #13  
Old May 29th, 2008, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonLand
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...gen+thermostat is the thread Charles is refering to. Now I thought that the thermostat for the A/C was actually to force the A/C electrical fan to start when the engine was overheating..... I guess I'm glad I read this threat as I thought I had a fail safe for the engine overheating.... I will check if there is a way to have the two options: use the thermostat to start the A/C fan around 92 Celcius to increase air flow _and_ prevent the A/C compressor from starting around 108 Celcius.
The nice thing about that switch is that it's compatible with those used in some VW's. You can put in a lower temperature switch, and have the fans come on around 170 or so if you want. Of course, when I did it.... the brand new switched failed 3 days later and I just have the damned things turn on whenever the truck is running.
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  #14  
Old May 29th, 2008, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis

--I have never seen one fail although I am sure they do.

Mine failed on a trip to the beach and I didn't realize it untill i got back a week later and 500 miles later.
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  #15  
Old June 3rd, 2008, 09:53 AM
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Keith Kuboske
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Does anyone know the difference in the Visc. fan clutch that Atlantic British sells for $139 vs Rovers North $199 vs Land Rover OEM at $400+? Does not seem like that there would be that many manufactures of these clutches...still have not decided which way to go on the fan yet.
Thanks,
K Kuboske
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  #16  
Old June 3rd, 2008, 10:21 AM
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Dealer markup would be a big one.
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Can't you feel 'em swimmin' around?
You got fins to the left, fins to the right,
and you're the only bait in town.
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and you're the only girl in town.

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  #17  
Old June 3rd, 2008, 02:24 PM
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I have found that British Pacific usually has the same or better prices on most maintenance stuff. For instance, that fan clutch is 129 and they charge actual shipping. however, I really like Atlantic British and their website, tracking, prices, etc.

Not sure what to say about Rovers North website and prices
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  #18  
Old June 3rd, 2008, 03:29 PM
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Would these e-fans be viable for a turbo diesel as well? I really like the idea of turning the fans off for water crossing. I've been stung by the flailing clutch fan hitting water and shredding the radiator before. I'm curious as to what the metrics are for air throughput on engine versus electic fan.
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  #19  
Old June 3rd, 2008, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander
Would these e-fans be viable for a turbo diesel as well? I really like the idea of turning the fans off for water crossing. I've been stung by the flailing clutch fan hitting water and shredding the radiator before. I'm curious as to what the metrics are for air throughput on engine versus electic fan.
Sure. For a TDI get a Taurus fan. Cheap and moves a tons of air. Way more air than the engine will ever need and a perfect size for the radiator.

Here is a write up for my 200TDI, http://www.landroveraddict.com/smf/i...topic=369251.0
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  #20  
Old June 3rd, 2008, 04:37 PM
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mark kellgren
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90
Sure. For a TDI get a Taurus fan. Cheap and moves a tons of air. Way more air than the engine will ever need and a perfect size for the radiator.

Here is a write up for my 200TDI, http://www.landroveraddict.com/smf/i...topic=369251.0
John,
Thanks for the info. I can't however take you seriously when your avatar is a pink D90.....
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