Sunday, 31 August 2014

When fans get out of control !

On a bright and clear Sunday morning I was coming home from a swap meet in 'Fred' my 1947 Studebaker M5 pick up, all seemd OK until I got to within sight of my house - BANG !!  'That sounds expensive", I thought. I rolled to in front of my house and got out to see steam coming up from the bonnet, and green coolant pouring out from under the truck. I was right, it was expensive. One of the fan blades decided to catch on the edge of the upper radiator tank, bending, then slicing through thirteen radiator tubes. In disgust I just walked away, I wasn't going near that radiator hissing steam and spitting boiling water. Below is what I found the next day, and when I pulled the radiator out. I ened up having to cut the fan blade with a grinder to get it out !

Removal of a radiator from an older car is generally not a big issue, there is usually plenty of room to get at bolts and manouver it up and out. However, when an M5 pickup is fitted with a Cadillac engine, space is at a premium, especially with an aircondiioning compressor mounted on the top of the engine. After much weeping and gnashing of teeth I managed, with help, to remove the radiator and fan assembley. The realised it would have been much easier to have removed the front grilles first - arrr the blessing of hindsight!

I decided to change the original installation by replacing the viscous fan drive with a direct pulley drive, adding a fan shroud and not reinstalling the back up electric fan on the front of the radiator. My decidion to got his way was after much research and finding this sight on the net;   check it out, a lot of really interesting stuff about engine cooling, not as simple as sticking an electric fan onto the fron of the radiator.

Anyway, building fan shroud shouldn't be too difficult, should it ! It was definitely a two pipe problem. (this was a saying an old boilermaker I worked with used to use when I was an apprentice, (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth ;-)
Based on another one of his sayings, 'a pipe gives a wise man time to think, and an idiot something to stick in his mouth'.

Measureing up.

Taking shape.

Nearly finished.
The sealing tape in place just before installation.

It fits !!!!  Now just to hook up the hoses and test run the engine.

Before I did test a road test I chained down the left hand side of the engine by bolting a shackle through the engine mount conneting it to a fairly solid steel chain then welding the chain to the chassis. The large Caddy engine has a huge amount of torque and tends to lift up on the left hand side under load which had me concerned as there is only 20 mm, (3/4") clearence between the fan blade tips and the shroud opening edge - so far so good. The cooling of the engine seems to be working well - with an infra red thermometer it read 80 degrees C after a run.

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