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Failing fan clutch?

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by Cubey, May 17, 2019.

  1. Cubey

    Cubey Full Access Member

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    It's always something, huh?

    The E350 is running warmer than usual suddenly today. I stupidly didn't move the electrical temp gauge from the F250 so I'm going by the dummy gauge. It is climbing up about half way at highway speeds. The fan shouldn't be very easy to turn by hand when its at 200F+ or does it always have some give? The fan is turning but if maybe its slow, its possible. If i let off the throttle for a couple minutes, it drops quite a ways. The radiator is full so it's not that.

    So... fan clutch? Or worse, failing water pump?
     
  2. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    When the can clutch locks up, it shouldn't be easy to turn, if at all. If not locked up, it will turn fairly easily.
     
  3. Cubey

    Cubey Full Access Member

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    It had some resistance, but it wasn't super tight. It was maybe 10 minutes max cooled down after an hour or more on the highway. After I felt that, I immediately started it and saw it turning. So i guess the clutch is getting weak. The warmer (mid-upper 80s) temps probably helped it show up today.

    After that stop when I posted that, it was doing much better, until I stopped again to figure out my route, due to the rest area being closed that I had gps set to. Then it was running warmer again. It never got beyond mid way. If stay around 50-55 it stays cooler.

    I hauled ass today (miles wise, not speed), trying to minimize my night time exposure to the shit weather forming.

    I almost to my several month stop in SD, at most about 2 weeks from now. Less than 200 miles. And its about to cool back down again. So, hopefully it will hold out. I won't be driving much for 3-4 months. I will see about replacing it this fall, I guess.
     
  4. Cubey

    Cubey Full Access Member

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    Oh and is there any way to really test is in vehicle? I'm guessing not.

    At least it doesn't look too hard to change. I just have to get the rental tools to do it. If it comes down to me not being able to for some reason, I can always outsource it to a shop.
     
  5. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    Drive it until it gets to operating temperature and see how easy it is to turn the fan compared to when it's cold. I've seen some say that their fan clutches don't lock up until a higher temperature. Maybe around 220? I can't remember right now. Some people have done something to permanently lock the clutch so they don't have to worry about this.
     
  6. Cubey

    Cubey Full Access Member

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    That's what I did but maybe it had cooled down by the time I checked it. It is much cooler today and its running cooler/normally. Maybe it was just a combination of factors. I might have had a strong head wind, plus some average hills, plus mid-upper 80s.

    I will invest in another water temp gauge before I try replacing the fan clutch. Or maybe I'll even just wait until I'm back at the truck next February and just move it over from it. It's going to be cold by the time I'm driving this thing much, after 2 weeks from today. And the next 2 weeks won't be much either, 250 max.
     
  7. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    That strong headwind may have been the biggest part of the whole thing. That can make your engine work enough harder to make it run warm. Especially with the big frontal area that you have with a camper.
     
  8. Cubey

    Cubey Full Access Member

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    Yeah, I think that was it. There was a strong wind from the west, blowing east. I29 in KS/IA/SD heads northwest a lot and west too in places. So yes, I think it was just fighting an awful headwind, 15+mph. If it was the fan clutch, you would think the temp would climb fast when I exit the freeway and come to a stop. Quite the opposite.

    On the plus side, I'm getting 9.5ish hwy mpg despite the wind. The 80psi I bumped up the rear tires to from 65 probably helped. Not too horrid for a 4.10 rear end, that probably needs an oil change desperately. Thats on my to-do list this fall as well. That's a pretty easy job, just a bit messy.

    I'm sure the transmission needs it as well, but I hate dropping oil pans, so I'll probably get a transmission shop to do that.
     
  9. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    I don't usually think it's too bad of a job. I just take my time and remove the bolts slowly so that one corner drops first. I let the fluid drain out ob that corner. Then I hold the pan back up against the transmission while removinging the rest of the bolts. It seems to be the least messy method for me.
     
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  10. Cubey

    Cubey Full Access Member

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    Ok no, its still climbing to mid way with less strong or no headwind if I get up to 65 and stay there. At full operating temp, the fan doesn't take much effort to move by hand but spins immediately with the engine running. It's turning, but not like it should, I guess.

    It looks like the worst of the job will be having to drain the radiator part way to get the fan shroud out, since the upper radiator hose blocks it from coming out.

    Any suggested fan clutch brand?
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  11. Cubey

    Cubey Full Access Member

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    Yeah, I just hate such messy jobs in such tight spaces, since it would be sitting at ground level.
     
  12. Antigrav1117

    Antigrav1117 Registered User

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    Mine went out- it did that, temps run up and down. When I checked it cold, it turned easily. I cranked the engine let it warm up, shut it off and rechecked- a bit stiffer but still easy to turn. Put on the new one- man..it's LOTS stiffer even when cold. That was my problem.
     
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  13. Cubey

    Cubey Full Access Member

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    Here it is at full operating temperature.

     
  14. Golden Helmet

    Golden Helmet Full Access Member

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    You can get a new Motorcraft clutch from RockAuto for $52, that's what I did and it's been good so far.
     
  15. Cubey

    Cubey Full Access Member

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    Not from what I can see. It doesn't show up. These are the 4 I see for 85 E350 6.9

    Part number?

    Screenshot_20190519-112906_Chrome.jpg
     

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