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Old 11-20-2008, 02:34 PM   #1
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is my fan clutch dead?

what's the best way to tell if my fan clutch is dead? i've read that if i can spin it with the engine off/cold and it rotates 5+ times on its own then it's toast.

what about if it won't spin at all on its own? when i push the blades, they will only move as far as i push them and will not continue on their own.

i have also noticed that if i grab one of the blades and push my hand toward the radiator then toward the engine i'm able to wiggle it more than i would think is ok. is the fan supposed to have that much (or any) play front-rear?

the reason i ask is because when i start my car, either hot or cold, i get an obnoxious squealing sound from the front for about 1 second then it dies out. everything works fine, it doesn't make any noise when i drive it, only when starting it.

i checked the power steering fluid and it was low so i added some, but it's still there. i believe the belt is new (looks new, guy i bought it from said he replaced it) and i sprayed it with some belt dressing but it didn't make any difference either. i figured if it was one of the other pulleys then the noise would continue/increase while driving, but it's only on initial start-up.

if it's the fan clutch then i'm just going to ditch the clutch fan and replace it with an electric fan, but i'd rather not do it now when it's getting colder out if i don't have to.

thanks guys

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Old 11-20-2008, 03:45 PM   #2
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turn on the jeep. look at the fan. if it is spinning it is fine, if not than it is broken. i've had this happen to me before. i like to drive in mud and water. when you drive through water the fan is spinning fast then it hits the water and still wants to turn fast but it is immediately slowed by the force of the water. when that happens the fan clutch burns out. did you go through any water or mud?

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Old 11-20-2008, 03:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vettefever5 View Post
obnoxious squealing sound from the front for about 1 second then it dies out.
What does the fan belt look like? And when was the last time you changed it?
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:50 PM   #4
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an electric fan is great especially for off roading. but if you like to go through mud or water, like i do, than make sure you install a manual on/off switch inside the jeep. when you are headed into water turn it off so it is not trying to force itself to turn under the water's pressure. when you come out turn it back on. the electric cooling fans usually have plastic blades which break off easily especially in the water situation. i am planning on installing one in my cj but, i am going to put in that switch. my husband has on in his tj and he didn't have the on/off switch, the blades only lasted 1 outing.
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:01 PM   #5
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the only time i went through mud was back in late october, and i haven't gone through any water holes... though it was more like muddy water (sig pic). it was fine after that.

it wasn't until the middle of last week when this started. we had a lot of rain and i hit some big puddles in the road and at the time i thought the belt must just be wet, but it hasn't been any better since.

it's a serpentine belt. i got the jeep in the beginning of october and the previous owner said he had changed the belt. it does look like it's newish.. no cracks, etc.

the fan must still be working... i drive it every day and it's never been hotter than ~210.
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:02 PM   #6
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an electric fan is great especially for off roading. but if you like to go through mud or water, like i do, than make sure you install a manual on/off switch inside the jeep.
good advice, thanks. that's the one thing i was worried about with an electric fan - how well it would hold up in water. if it's as simple as shutting it off beforehand then turning it back on after i think i can handle that.
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:05 PM   #7
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ya it is that simple. there is a trail guide on the jamboree i go to and he has an electric fan with a kill switch. he shuts it on and off as needed and has never needed to replace the blades.

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