Fan Troubles Plague All the Cars from the British Isles (Post #436) 1/24/2014

That heading is probably a stretch but when I was a kid, the last thing you could expect to fail on your 1965 Pontiac Tempest was the iron cooling fan. You were more likely to lose a finger than it to fail in any way.
“Got Lucky” was the title of the text I received from JagGuy. His initial comment was, “Even metal radiator cooling fans fail.” He sent the following two pictures.
Cooling fan on JagGuy’s Mark I Jaguar.
The “Lucky” part. Only slight damage to the radiator.
His text to me was in response to one of my recent posts, Radiator Cooling Fan Cracked Again. In it I mention the options to replacing your radiator fan. One of them was finding a replacement fan made of metal. JagGuy had replaced his crappy plastic fan with this aluminum one. He also mentioned that Jaguar actually started making fans out of a different type of plastic. These “black” colored fans don’t suffer from the same type of failure as the crappy “white” ones.
He was very worried that he would be repairing his radiator due to this recent failure. Its entirely likely that the fan blade failed due to metal fatigue from flexing. He was in the process of putting electric fans on.
So in short, you really can’t escape fan failure. You can only hope it doesn’t destroy something else in the process. 
The exchanged ended as such.

JagGuy: “$20 fan with 200,000 miles on it. I want my money back!”

Okierover: “They just don’t make things like they used too.”

It’s true…they don’t make things like they used to. 
Thanks for reading, and Happy Rovering.

Garage Day: The Long Awaited Electric Fans Post (Post #433) 1/15/2014

The electric fan conversion is complete!

Over the weekend I employed The Evil German Dude and the newly named Paparazzi Ford (Butch) to assist in the install of the electric fans. As this will be a somewhat lengthy post let me start by saying, thank you Frank. Without you this project would have been completed but would have been no where near as freaking awesome as it turned out.

Butch, thank you for taking WAY too many pictures photo-chronicalling this project. Butch said we should do some video blogging. I think he is on to something. He was none too happy about being relegated to the camera for this project but he cheerfully took pictures through out the 8 hour event.

If you don’t get together with your friends and do projects like this, I feel sorry for you. You are seriously missing out on some of the best stuff you can experience with friends. I’ve known and worked with these two guys since June of 2000 and their friendship is something I cherish deeply. We always have a really good time together. Man Bonding Time or as the Evil German Broad says, “babysitting Frank so I can watch football.” is some of the best stuff in the known universe.

I’d also like to thank the Evil German Broad for preparing us the delicious meals and reporting the scores in the Seahawks/Saints game for us. Mrs. Okierover was actually a little put off when she offered me breakfast that morning and I declined because as I said, “I get to eat breakfast at Bettina’s.”

Evil German Broad

Not only are Garage Days at the Evil German Dude’s a culinary treat they are educational. EGD’s education in Germany and his experience in fabricating make projects like this an educational event. I don’t think there has been a Garage Day where I didn’t learn something from him.

This is a Huge Post

This project started at 0930 and didn’t get wrapped up until 1830. We took three breaks, one for breakfast, one for lunch, and one to weld up the exhaust leak. Butch and I mostly watched the whirlwind that is the Evil German Dude. It is his shop and only he knows where all the entrances to his secret earthquake generation lab tools are located. Overalls are not required but highly recommended. Two of the three of us (the smarter ones) were wearing them. So sit back and put on your reading glasses, you are going to need them for this one. Continue reading “Garage Day: The Long Awaited Electric Fans Post (Post #433) 1/15/2014”

Radiator Cooling Fan Cracked Again (Post #426) 12/30/2013

I was under the hood looking for my power steering leak and noticed my cooling fan was cracked. This is the third failed fan. So annoying.

As you know or may have read, if the cooling fan fails while you are driving down the highway catastrophe ensues. My understanding is it destroys most everything under the hood. I’ve even heard of a bonnet damaged so much it had to be replaced.

My options are… Continue reading “Radiator Cooling Fan Cracked Again (Post #426) 12/30/2013”

Radiator Repair Part Duex or is it Troi (Post #397) 10/6/2013

Why am I counting in French?
In Cherokee it is tsoi (pronounced “joey”).
In German it is “Dieses mal war zu viel”.

And in any language it is “one too many times”. I went back to Osborn Radiator for the repair. It is also the only place in Oklahoma City who still repairs radiators. As they have told me before, everyone else just wants to replace them.

Radiators are fairly inexpensive on modern cars. A radiator for a 2010 Ford F-150 XLT 4WD with a 4.6L SFI 8 cylinder is just 270.00$(US). That’s less than half a radiator for a Range Rover Classic.

Click through to read the rest…

I get that its from England and all that but wow. I have thought about replacing the Range Rover Classic radiator with one from another model of automobile preferably one with electric fans.

But this time  it was just a leak, so off to Osborn. This leak surprised me with it’s location on the driver’s side. I was fully expecting it to leak on the passenger side where it has been weeping on and off for a year.

I had a problem with where the shroud and the big mechanical fan happen to come into contact. This as you can well imagine is NO BUENO. The fans on the Classic are prone to explode when they become damaged or start to crack. The “fan explosion” is legendary in the damage it causes. Think replacement hood, replace radiator, replace fan shroud, replace hoses, etc… Needless to say it is bad.

I have a clearance issue I have shown before. I had wedged a piece of wood under the radiator to prop the radiator up away from frame piece the lower hose had been coming in contact with. So this came to mind when I decided to fix it with a rubber spacer. i was kicking myself for tossing the bushings from the old shocks. They would have been perfect.

I shaved them down a bit as I thought the original rubber bits I found at O’reilly’s were too tall. It was a total guess but it turned out to be correct. I slipped them over the guidance pins on the bottom of the radiator.

I fitted the radiator and the fan and holy crap! it fitted perfectly. I didn’t have to wire the radiator back or fiddle with the fan shroud. Perfect fit.

Here is the radiator in place with the proper gap.

This moved the radiator up away from the mount you see there. And when I’m bouncing down the back roads of Oklahoma I can be assured that the radiator will not be banging the fan shroud and fan together and the radiator on the bracket. I am very pleased.

So…one more item down that I don’t have to deal with. The coolant is replaced too. I did have a bit of trouble getting the air bubble out. After a couple of runs to work, I got it all sorted out.

I also have started thinking about electric fans again. I even went so fart as to find a set of dual electric fans from a 1999 Ford Contour at Dollar Auto Salvage. As I pulled up I didn’t have much hope for this yard. It was tucked off the road in Choctaw, Oklahoma. But they had the majority of a large school bus filled with fans that had been pulled off various cars. And a HUGE amount of rat poop. The yard man said it had gotten cold so the snakes had probably moved out. I had boots on so I wasn’t worried too much having a Copperhead chomp on my leg. But it was interesting the yard man made mention of it.

I’ll be checking the fitting and sorting out the electrics in the coming weeks and months. I’m sure the Evil German Dude, who provided the above German translation, will be happy to help me get the electrics done the way they should be. I’m thinking separately wired fans with dual speeds.

That way one fan can fail and I wouldn’t lose all my cooling. And when the AC is on the fans would go at half speed to assist the front fans. There is a lot to research first. But that’s the current thinking.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Osborn’s Radiator (Post #270) 10/8/2011

I pulled up to Osborn’s on Friday afternoon in my Civic after schlepping it through the Capitol Hill neighborhood on Oklahoma City’s south side during rush hour. This part of town is also known as “Little Mexico” as a good portion of the city’s Hispanic population live and have businesses here. I remember cruising around this part of town with some of my “city friends” back in the day (1980-1981). There were no Hispanics then, only the Czechs who had settle this part of OKC. Se han ido todos.

I took the Range Rover’s radiator out of the boot and carried in. The first thing Terry said was, “That’s off a Range Rover.”
I was stunned!
I said, “How did you know that?”
He replied, “I’ve seen three of them before.”
I countered with, “I’m impressed. Really impressed.”

I showed him the leak and the failed brass fill plug. He said, “No problem, the earliest I can get it for you is tomorrow morning.” I told him next week was fine, no rush. We started talking about the game tomorrow and he explained why two people were wearing Texas Longhorns shirts out in the bay. They were working on their dirt track racer. When I pulled up and saw the burnt orange clad folks I thought, this isn’t going to go well, as I was wearing my OU polo. But Terry told me they coach the little league Moore Sooners but were from Texas and route for the Longhorns on Saturdays.

I was very keen to find out this next part so I asked him “why so many shops were closing down?” I mentioned my hypothesis about the EPA and the advent of the plastic tanked radiators. He shrugged it all off with a point to the vat. “Naw, I’ve got a machine for that over there for the plastic tanks, people just don’t stay in business. We’ve been here 75 years, my grandfather ran this shop, then my dad, now me. It’s a specialized business. If you asked me to do anything else I’d tell you I can’t. Radiators aren’t something you just do. Aluminum welding, or brass like yours, some plumbers try it but its usually not right. We’ve been here along time and ain’t going anywhere.”

I really liked the guy and was impressed. I told him the radiator wasn’t all that old, but it might need a cleaning… He cut me off saying, “I’ll take care of it.”

I often worry about having others work on my Range Rover or do work for Range Rover. Osborn’s put that to rest right away. Customer service was first rate. I’m looking forward to getting my radiator back.

More on that when I get their call.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

I’ve always wanted to do this (Post #268) 10/7/2011

I’ve always wanted to do this.

TULSA, Oklahoma — People driving westbound on I-44 near the Lewis exit were warned to be on the lookout for zombies Thursday.

So far no zombies have been reported in the area. Nice touch on the end of that report.

That’s classic. Well played.

Thursday night I pulled the radiator out of the Range Rover Classic. As I reported to you last, the radiator has developed a leak. I knew it was leaking a bit around the fill port but it has since developed a crack to the inside of that and was leaking a decent amount of coolant. Also I was completely unable to remove the fill plug. My attempts jacked it up pretty good too. Brass just doesn’t hold up well. Perhaps some copper lube when it is reinstalled.

I reported also that there were no radiator repair shoppes in Norman, Oklahoma. So far to my knowledge I am correct. Jennings Garage advertises that they are a “radiator shop”. When I called them they said they stopped working on radiators and now only “swap them out”.

This lead me to speculate about the reasons these shops have gotten more scarce. I am betting a dollar on some sort of regulation, either the E.P.A. or some other. I’m sure the vat of acid and associated chemicals must be a nightmare of paper work for a small shop. I will ask Osborn’s Radiator Shop today when I stop by and drop off my radiator.

The removal reminded me that I wanted to swap my mechanical fan for a set of electric ones. My research has found that a late 1990’s model Ford Crown Victoria’s fan assembly works. Now I need to find one. I will first get some measurements and then go shopping at the Pull-A-Part or the Ford “breakers” (salvage) yards in Oklahoma City.

Apparently I can buy a new one in the range of 95 – 150$(US) plus shipping. I’m hoping the breakers yard will part with one for less than 50$(US).

I’m glad I found this detailed measurement drawing. I am skeptical that it will fit. But I’m willing to try anything once. The associated fuel savings is reported at 2-3 miles per gallon. Even if it is one mile per gallon I think it is worth it.

I’ll post some pictures of the damage next week along with some detailed measurements.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering. Oh…and BOOMER SOONER! Beat Texas!