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Old 03-29-2012, 02:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fan clutch question

I think I need a new fan clutch. I heard something rattling under my hood and found what turned out to be the lower piece of the cable (pigtail??) bouncing in and out of my fan. The lower piece of the cable was still plugged in and the bracket was still screwed into the frame but the other end of the cable that goes into the fan clutch is gone. I'm being told that I have to buy the entire fan clutch assembly. I want to know if just the pigtail can be replaced. A mechanic who looked at the lower piece that I removed to keep from damaging my fan said that I needed a fan clutch and that I will need to buy the entire assembly/part. He said that most the time, the fan clutch freezes up and the cable is ripped out when that happens and usually you don't find out about it until your a/c compressor burns up and you lose your ac. I'm not doubting his advice but I think the cable may have been messed with by another person who replaced my water pump and that might have been how it got whacked by the fan. Not for sure though....just maybe.
Obviously, I am completely ignorant about this and I apologize for the improper terminology. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Replaceing the water pump will not damage the fan clutch.

The wires that are going to the clutch are known to get in the fan and get cut. Yes you will need to buy a new clutch if the wires are completly gone from the clutch. Even if some length of wires are still on the clutch and you could splice it back together, most likely you would not be able to keep the wires out of the fan. A new clutch has a stiffiner on the wires and if installed correctly will keep the wires out of the fan.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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One of the first deficiencies I discovered, via this board, is the fan clutch pigtail assembly issues. Upon inspection, I found the pigtail assembly on my truck mangled and loose, but not yet totally destroyed. As indicated by papaduck, if there are wires still sticking out of the fan clutch, you can splice on additional wire and add the original connector(if it still exists!) and you're back in business. Do a quality couple of splices ( solder with shrink wrap and maybe a little spray waterproofing) to extend the wiring/pigtail down to where the original connector is located. If the original connector is destroyed, you can use a small trailer connector and change the connector on the frame/original wiring harness to match. "Weathertight" connections would be the "best/factory" way to go, but most hobbiest/part-time/shadetree guys haven't gotten to those yet(I think). The biggest issue is, after it is repaired, how to keep it from happening again, since the factory method for fastening the wiring pigtail is pitifull! Here is how I fastened mine after repairing the wiring aspect ( I've learned a "quick/it'll do for now" repair will always come back to "bite me", so I'm getting kinda focused on fixing stuff only once as I get older)! I taped the pigtail wires together with two layers of vinyl tape which made the wires/pigtail stiff. I layed the wiring in the small trough designed to hold the wires in the shroud. I then took a piece of 1/16" thick aluminum and cut a couple of small strips, drilled small holes in the strips, drilled matching holes in the edge of the shroud trough and attached the strips over the wiring to the shroud with SS nuts, bolts and lock washers to "capture" the wiring in the trough. At first i figured I'd just use tie-wraps, but, you know with the heat off the radiator and engine, they would get brittle and break. Maybe that's what the factory used and we know how well that worked! The repair/re-engineer was several years ago and is still rock solid. I can attempt to post a picture if anyone is interested. It takes a little time do do this repair/re-engineer, but then your done and it is a heck of a lot cheaper than putting on a new fan clutch, and if the wiring/fastening issues are not addressed, it'll be happening again! Good luck
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info Jay and Duck. After reading both your replys, I now understand exactly what the mechanic was talking about when he mentioned securing the wiring/pigtail properly. I love this truck but have only had it for a short time and have spent quite a bit on repairs because I've had to pay somebody to do them. I'm going to have to learn to do some of it myself if I want to keep it. More importantly to me, I want to do it myself so I know that it's done properly...of course after I learn how. I'm hoping that the guy I'm taking it to now will take pity on me and help me learn how to do the basic maintenance and basic repairs. Otherwise, its so long Diesel. And that sucks, because I love the sound of that motor and turbo....and I haven't even done anything to it yet! And Jay, if you could post a picture of the way you secure the pigtail, I would appreciate it. Thanks again guys.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'll try to post a picture tonight. Does there appear to be any "motorheads" in your neighborhood? If so, stop by and visit with them. The kind of stuff we are talking about on this issue is "generic" repair and not diesel specific. Hanging out and asking questions is how I got started on this stuff ( a loong time ago). Most people are helpful and enjoy "sharing" what they know. If you were closer, I'd say "stop by" because there is usually a couple of us "wrenching/thinking/bs'ing/bleeding" (though I am getting use to wearing gloves lately) at my backyard shop on Saturdays. One can get quite a sense of satisfaction from doing your own repair/improvements/modifications as well as saving money. Also, you may gather from some of the threads on the board, you may very well do as well as some of the "pros" in your repair/trouble shooting/learning experience! Good luck!
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here's the picture of what I was trying to explain ( a picture is worth WAY more than a 1000 words from me!). It had been several years since the repair and I thought I remembered using SS bolts, but it isn't the case. But, not alot of rust/salt/mud issues for me here in North Texas. OK, here goes my first photo post attempt!
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1993 Ford F350, 7.3 IDI PS, built auto, gooseneck puller
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey Jay!!! Thanks for the picture. I was hoping that you would get it posted. That definitely helps me see what I need to do. I'm buying the fan clutch tomorrow and going to try and get it put in on Friday, with the help of a friend or two. You know where I am so if you ever need anything down here just let me know. Take care.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you have to go the route of replacing the fan clutch and want to do it yourself be sure to get your self a clutch fan wrench set from any generic auto parts store. For the $30 it will make your life a lot easier. Of course if you have to do that I would also look in to an electric fan set-up instead the giant one that the factory put on. It is a little more efficent and wpn't rob your engine of a few HP. Good luck....
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey Ba, I appreciate the advice. I was just getting ready to leave my house and go pick up the fan clutch. What type of alternative to I have and what type of cost am I looking at to do the modification. And is it appropriate and adequate for my truck? Thanks and take care.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyO View Post
Hey Ba, I appreciate the advice. I was just getting ready to leave my house and go pick up the fan clutch. What type of alternative to I have and what type of cost am I looking at to do the modification. And is it appropriate and adequate for my truck? Thanks and take care.
I think the clutch fan goes for about $200 and the electric fan should be around $500 if I am not mistaken. The electric fan reduces drag on the motor which in turn would increase HP and MPG, a minimal gain in each, but none the less it all helps. The fan that comes on our trucks is huge and quite bulky. It does the job, but it does make the engine a little less efficent.

I would personally do the upgrade to the electric fan, but my no means is it a bad move just to put back the regular fan clutch. Good luck.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If the fan clutch is working there should be very little drag on the engine versus electric fans. I can hold my fan still with the engine running and the clutch disengaged so I don't think that will rob any horsepower to speak of. The aftermarket electric fans will not move as much air as the stock fan so if you are hauling in warm weather you may want to stick to the stock setup.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, I did it. I removed the old fan clutch and put the new one in this afternoon. I felt pretty good about it until I drove off in my truck and realized that the a/c is not blowing cold air. The a/c was working fine when the pigtail got caught in the fan and torn up. A mechanic at a performance diesel shop told me not to use the a/c until I replaced the fan clutch. I did not use the a/c. Is there a possibility that the lack of cool air is related to the fan clutch replacement? Also, what is the purpose of the fan clutch? I think it is to help cool the engine, but that's about all I know.
Thanks for all the advice and pointers. I do appreciate it!!
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