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DIVORCED FAN CLUTCH

  
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DIVORCED FAN CLUTCH

 
weels1886 weels1886
New User | Posts: 11 | Joined: 02/13
Posted: 02/18/13
07:59 AM

Hi all,
I've subscribed to CHP forever, but have never used the forum 'till now.
Here's my situation. I have an '04 2500HD I use to plow snow in the winter here in northern NY. It overheats very easy while traveling at highway speeds and sometimes while plowing on a day that's 40 deg.F or more. The plow blocks any air from coming through the grill to cool and because of that, the fan clutch doesn't see enough heat to engage the fan.
I was thinking of running a couple of electric fans off the engine sensor, which would work, but with the road salt coming through with the air, I'm not sure they'd live a very long life, plus the plow motor drags the alternator (140 amp) down pretty good already. A friend of mine suggested running the fan all the time like we did with the older cars. Now that sounds like a great idea to me and I'm thinking of doing it. I just wanted to see if anyone else has done this or heard or seen it done. If so, it would be awesome if there was something off the shelf you could swap out or bolt on to get the fan locked in continuous. Anyone ever hear of that? Otherwise, I'll take it off the truck and butcher something together to make it work.
I'm not really concerned about losing a little gas mileage. In the summer, it's driven back and forth to work mostly, which doesn't add up to much. Sorry for the long-winded post, but thanks for reading it. Any help or ideas would be awesome.
Thanks - Weels  

zman123 zman123
Enthusiast | Posts: 531 | Joined: 06/08
Posted: 02/18/13
09:38 AM

I divorced my mechanical fans years ago and use electric fans exclusively in both my car and truck. No problems. If you want a little extra corrosion protection silicone connections and where the wires enter the fan motors.  

zman123 zman123
Enthusiast | Posts: 531 | Joined: 06/08
Posted: 02/18/13
09:45 AM

the snow plow motor is only going to use amperage when you are actually moving the blade up or down. As long as you have an alternator that will keep the battery charged you should be good. Add up all of the amperage draws (headlights, heater fan, cooling fans, snow plow motor etc.) using a multi-meter to see if your alternator will handle the load.  

weels1886 weels1886
New User | Posts: 11 | Joined: 02/13
Posted: 02/18/13
11:01 AM

Thanks zman.
I killed one alternator so far. When doing area clearing, you're lifting the plow a lot while banking up the snow. If you watch the voltmeter on the dash, it spends a lot of time below 12 volts when working it like that. As far as salt corrosion, it's a double edged sword. You drop the plow as low as you dare while driving to get as much air in as you can, but along with it is the road salt. It eats everything it can. I've replaced all the steel cooling lines (Trans, oil, power steering - still waiting for brake lines to fail) at least once so far. The fans would be a slick deal, but I was thinking if I could just get the existing mechanical fan to spin all the time, it would save a lot of work, money and more parts to fail.
Thanks for your help.
- Weels  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Enthusiast | Posts: 448 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 02/18/13
11:19 AM

lets look at the basics....

what does the coolant look like???  rusty..  if so..  remove thermostat and flush with water..  replace the water pump as there won't be any impeller blades left..

does it hold coolant pressure...  bad cap....???  

does it have a new thermostat..    you did not say which of the motors it might have..  the thermostat on most of these is a special version that when open blocks a second opening.. changing the flow...

does the fan belt tensioner actually exert enough tension to properly spin the water pump and alternator.. i have run into a few that were stuck and the water pump and alternator would not spin at the proper speed under load..

are the radiator fins clogged with dirt preventing air flow????   can you spray a hose thru..  and wash the dirt out??

is the fan clutch actually working???    does it cycle on with the opening of the thermostat when the hood is open and you are measuring the temp of the coolant as it flows into the radiator...  it should turn on and off.. allowing the fan to freewheel.

thermostats leak the wax out when exposed to overheating... not leaving enough wax to expand and force the thermostat open.

fan clutches just fail .. is the coiled spring in the center covered with leaked silicone lube???

water pump impeller blades just rust away when coolants are blended improperly..

radiator caps fail to hold 16 pounds of pressure and the coolant boils over 40F cooler than it should... 3 degrees increase in the boiling point for each pound of pressure increase...


there is no reason if the items above are working properly that the truck should over heat.. unless there is an exhaust restriction or reducing fuel flow leaning out the motor...

radiator pressure testers can be borrowed with a deposit from many parts stores... the adaptors for these model trucks may have to be borrowed in a separate kit..

you could also depending on which motor you have ... have hidden coolant leaks...  leaking heads.. leaking head gaskets...  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Enthusiast | Posts: 448 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 02/18/13
11:25 AM

before you go hog wild..   can you print this test and run it... might take 5 minutes...
when one has serious charging system or voltage issues...   this will locate and allow you to narrow down the problems...



~~~~~~~~~~~

VOLTAGE Drop Testing

~~~~~~~~~~~  

weels1886 weels1886
New User | Posts: 11 | Joined: 02/13
Posted: 02/18/13
02:39 PM

The coolant system is healthy. This has been going on since it was new. It overheats because the plow blocks all the airflow. This is a common problem with plow trucks.
Thanks.
- Weels  

weels1886 weels1886
New User | Posts: 11 | Joined: 02/13
Posted: 02/18/13
02:46 PM

The voltage drops off due to the high current demands of the plow motor (basically a starter motor). Also, with little air flowing through the engine compartment, along with constant high current demands, the alternator gets hot too. The battery is plenty big. It's the biggest top post I can fit in there. I think its around 1150 CCA. The electrical isn't really an issue, but I don't want to add any more motor loads to it. That won't help it.
Thanks.
- Weels  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Enthusiast | Posts: 448 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 02/18/13
06:26 PM

well..  i can still see a few ways to fix this...

got any friends with a machine shop?????

create a spin on fan adaptor for a flex fan...   there are REVERSE DIRECTION FLEX FANS available in many sizes and blade lengths...

in order to get the fan adaptor really tight on the stub.. you will want to use the outer tool that holds onto the pulley bolts to hold the water pump pulley solid while you tighten it..


i would really like you to run the voltage drop test.. only takes a few minutes..  i know that you know that i must be WRONG but i have been fixing cars for a living for 30 years and you would NOT believe how many i have fixed with that 5 minute test..

with 140 amp alternator.. you might also want to verify the size of the alternator cable is large enough to handle the load..

is there room for a second battery to share the load??? some GM trucks had that as an option..

since its still winter.. is the snow coming up and filling the ac condenser also blocking the airflow into the engine??  i am taking that the super cold air flowing thru the radiator is what you are talking about cooling the fan clutch thermal spring..   how about popping a glob of wheel bearing grease over the coiled spring to slow down the reaction to the cold..


so.. now that i am confused sitting here on the beach in the sunshine..

is the cold preventing the engagement of the fan clutch.

or..

is the plow blade really preventing the ram air through the radiator..



see the 4 holes around the front of the pulley..     those are going to be needed to lock the fan blade adaptor tight.. either with some kind of flange with some of those bolted in..  or bolting the spacer directly to them...


this is an 18 inch reverse rotation six bladed fan...  i think there are 7 blade reverse direction fans also available with longer blades to move more air... i will have to look...



there may be a different water pump for your or a similar application that will accept a fan blade without a clutch..

or increase the battery count.. the alternator output..  the alternator wiring..

i don't have a current enough water pump catalog to help this out and i don't know which of the motors you might have....  

electric cooling fans don't run all the time.. only after the thermostat opens and then only for 30 to 45 seconds ...  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Enthusiast | Posts: 448 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 02/18/13
06:52 PM

851 852
Flex-A-Lite - Belt-Driven Fan Spacer/Adapter
Part # 852
Screw-On
Thread Pitch 30mm X 1-1/2 Inch
Left Hand Thread
Quantity Per Vehicle: 1
Part # : 852   |  Line: FLX

Part# 851,  852
for Ford, GM and some
Chrysler applications.
Part# Thread Pitch Thread Direction
851 30mmx1.5 Right Hand rev. rotation
852 30mmx1.5 Left Hand std. rotation

This spacer/adapter replaces
the fan clutch and hub
by simply screwing onto the
water pump. The fan bolts
directly to the new spacer
adapter. The motion of the
fan tightens spacer/adapter
and may require additional
spacing.
The spacers are 1½" thick.


edit... oh.. i saw a powermaster 48290 alternator that will also fit your truck ..225AMPs..  

weels1886 weels1886
New User | Posts: 11 | Joined: 02/13
Posted: 02/18/13
08:32 PM

Thanks Wayne.
Yeah, the clutch simply isn't seeing much temperature other than the under-hood temp. The plow blade blocks any air flow past the hot radiator to heat the clutch, so it just sits there and waits for the heat that never comes. What you're showing me in the pictures is kind of what I had in mind. I remember running those flex fans on my older cars when I was younger. I never had a cooling problem with them. Yeah, they probably kill a little horsepower and burn a little more gas, but I'm after reliability.
If and when I get a day off and don't need the truck ready for plowing, I'll pull the fan off and see exactly what I need. I was thinking of making a plate to replace the coil in the clutch just to be engaged all the time, but if I can get something like what you're showing, that would be a sweet deal.
No room for another battery, I wish there was. The air filter hogs up that area on my truck. I think some of the diesels have them, but I'm running the 6.0L gas engine. The truck has the plow prep package from the factory which included the 140 alternator, among other equipment. I believe the charging system is healthy. It's just that certain plowing applications where you're "stacking" a lot of heavy snow have you raising the blade a lot without much time in between lifts. Also the defroster fan is usually running on high - mostly to dump some heat from the cooling system! So far the charging/battery system is keeping up. I run an LED roof beacon light to cut down on power. I just don't want to add to the burden. I'll run the test when I get a day off and let you know what I see.  

pepsi10 pepsi10
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 02/13
Posted: 02/19/13
02:24 PM

weel1886

  The trucks with the Plow Package have a special Front Bumper. There is an opening in the front when you have the plow up or down air will still be pulled through it.
I had a 2002 2500 HD GMC SLE 6.0 gas. that I had the plow package option.
  I also ordered the truck with a dual alternator set-up and a dual battery system...It wasn't only for the Diesel, it was a cold country option also. I live in Western Mass. I knew I would never plow with it but I towed a 38'-42' (2) car trailer. I wasn't going to worry about the lights going out.
  That also has a special front bumper. There is an opening for air to move through the front of the vehicle even when the plow is in the up/down position. Back in 2003 myself and 3 friends went to run the western NHRA circut. I pulled a 42' 2 car trailer up and down the TiTons, over the Rockies, and the engine temp never went over 210* the Trans. Temp was at 165*-180*.

  I saw many early GM vehicles with the water pump problems and 5.7 didn't have a 2 stage thermostat as Wayne stated. But when GM started using the 100,000 mile Orange Coolant water pumps, and thermostats, and heater cores were being eaten up by it. I don't think going to electric fans is going to fix your problem.

  Try this: Have the engine running, block the front of the radiator. You want the coolant temp to rise enough to get the fan to pull more air. You should hear the fan change speed. If you have a hand held RPM meter or radar gun.

Bob Aka pepsi1  

weels1886 weels1886
New User | Posts: 11 | Joined: 02/13
Posted: 02/19/13
08:26 PM

Hi Bob,
I've always suspected that orange antifreeze was the axis of evil too. Our '98 and '99 Tahoes both had coolant leak issues until I tore them down for head and intake gaskets and re-filled them with green. So far, no leaks. The '98 is closing in on 250k miles. This is the first time I've heard anyone with the same opinion of the red coolant.
I have a bigger plow on this than some folks. It's an 8 foot fisher and the top has a curl or chute on it. Any air that gets near it gets blown over, under or around it. You can see it like a wind tunnel test when it's snowing and you're driving above 45 mph.
Also, I know there was a TSB about these clutches a while back. I'm a stubborn type when it comes to mechanical failures. If I find out a failure is a common - cause failure that everyone else is experiencing, there's no way I'll replace the part with a stock replacement. I hate replacing parts only to have them fail again a year or so later. I try to fix the cause so it can't happen again. The truck is 9 years old, it's paid for, not a real pretty looker, but I'll drive it 'till it costs too much to fix. It was my first new vehicle purchase and I doubt I'll ever buy another one. I'll stick with the old iron from now on.
Thanks Bob.
- Weels  

weels1886 weels1886
New User | Posts: 11 | Joined: 02/13
Posted: 02/19/13
08:34 PM

225amps? Wow!! I could almost weld with that!!!
I looked at my build sheet this morning when I got home and the alternators they used for the plow-prepped trucks were actually 145amp units instead of 140's. I have a 160 on an an old '78 k10, but too much screwing around for me to make it fit the '04. I wonder how much those Powermasters cost.
- Thanks Wayne.
- Weels  

Bobs427 Bobs427
New User | Posts: 12 | Joined: 02/13
Posted: 02/19/13
09:51 PM

weels1886, it would not hurt to put in GM's Coolant Sealer Tabs. They use it on all their production line vehicles. That crap they used ate a lot of parts. I saw trucks with 2,500 miles on them replacing water pumps.  

  I'll give you a little background on myself. When I retired from DuPont as an engineer, I did consulting work for a couple GM dealers and a Ford Dealer. So I saw what went on. I was able to get into high enough places in the GM network, to get answers not BS. It won't hurt to use those sealer tabs. I like to crush them before I use them. (I've been having a login problem for awhile. So you may see me as a couple different names...LOL...  
  If your changing over make sure you have the correct pulley size also...
I built my truck as a truck. Like I said it went out west with a loaded 42' 2 car trailer and it never missed a beat.  (I was hoping we didn't have to hit the scales. 4 older guys out for their last HuRah). There was 50 lights on the trailer alone, not including the bars that ran across the top and bottom of the tail gate. You would have to have been blind not to see this trailer....
 
  What rear gear ratio is in your 2500. Mine had a 4:10 with the Slip traction G-80 option. I did most of the driving. That pulled in O/D. I only used the Tow Haul mode when I started off on a slope. I got 15MPG on the whole trip. 7,400 miles.
  That truck had 34,000 miles on it. It saved my life. 4 years ago a drunk and drugged up punk hit me Head on. I was stopped. He hit me hard engogh to kick the frame and knock the transfer case and the left side wheel assembly completly off. I was pushed back 26'. As I said that was a GMC 2500HD with an 8' box. It was at a stock height. If it wasn't for the safety features of that truck I would have been killed or possibly killing him. He walked away. I was left with a mangeled left leg. If I was rolling the 45MPH speed limit I would have driven over him. They guesstimated he was going 80-100 MPH. That was my retirement truck. Enough of that.

Bob Aka-pepsi1  

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