Wrangler 4dr Viscous fan for JK





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  1. #1
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    Default Viscous fan for JK

    I had the pleasure of owning two JK Wrangler, a Rubi and a Mountain - still has the Mountain. Lovely vehicles, until you hit a puddle of water or mud. The weak point - the radiator fan. I think if I blow hard enough on it, it will cease.

    I have tried by-pass switches, etc. The problem is if you disconnect the fan and you get stuck in a puddle of water, and you cannot switch your engine off, the engine will start heating up and you will eventually have to engage the fan. And if you do this ... it will most likely cease or brake off. Or I may disconnect the fan and forget about it. Well, that is my personal experience with both of my Jeeps.

    I have noted that you can mount a viscous fan onto the main pulley - it has a left handed thread on it. The problem is to find a small enough viscous fan to fit the space. It should also be a flexible and a cheap fan (easy to fix and/or replace). Nothing fancy. A Jap engine fan should be just fine?

    Why do I want to fit a viscous fan - just in case. a spare electric fan takes up too much space. Its use would be to cool off the engine just enough to get the softy-pants electrical unit to dry ground again or to get me home when the softy-pants fan decides to have another nervous breakdown again.

    Has anyone tried this viscous fan mod before?
    Last edited by Jean Kotze; 2011/04/14 at 02:33 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Hi Jean

    Never had the problem with mine, touch wood. I did find the last one didn't like water, but the fan was the least of my issues; not even sure if it was replaced in the end.

    Would probably be a worthwhile mod though; as a just in case. Would be interested to see the outcome.

    Cheers
    ^Strider^
    2012 JK Rubicon Unlimited
    AEV 4,5" SC suspension, Fox shocks, 37" Mickey Thomson Baja Claws, 5,38 diff ratios, Fuel Racing wheels, Warn Zeon 8 winch, AEV bumpers, AEV snorkel, AEV fuel caddy, AEV Heat Reduction Hood, Magnaflow exhaust, JW Speaker lights, Kleinn Train Horn

    Prev - JKU Rubicon 2010.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ^Strider^ View Post
    Never had the problem with mine
    Rephrase: Not yet....

  4. #4
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    Jean I've also spent the past few days researching. Some American forums are claiming a failure rate of 20% of the electric fan after water, mud etc.

    The stock fan is not water sealed, and ANY kind of water damage invalidates the warranty on the fan and the result which could cost in the region of R35k. Damage like this will also not be covered by insurance.

    I have spent a lot of time on overseas forums, and also did some homework locally.

    In SA I found two replacement fans, S type, much faster, more blades etc, but the fitment might be an issue.

    In the States I found the owners to be very fond of the Spal fan, but I have not been able to track it down in SA. There is also a company in the states that manufactures a aluminium replacement shroud that makes a lot of sense. American pricing for the complete unit is $300, Andrew (Zone Offroad) is investigating getting some units here.

    http://www.upiatv.com/detail.asp?PART=RS5200

    http://www.rdmoffroad.com/spal-16-pa...2v-puller.aspx

    Some more info here:
    http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=28233
    http://jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14968

    If you browse the overseas forums, or just search Google you will see a massive number of results, illustrating the problem is very well known overseas.

    I also enquired from Maritime Motors today what the effect on the vehicle warranty would be, and the answer from Jeep SA is as follows:

    The responds from CJDSA Technical saying we cannot stop you from fitting non-approved aftermarket accessories to your vehicle.
    In this case with a non-approved aftermarket engine cooling fan CJDSA cannot be held liable for any overheating or engine cooling fan and engine cooling fan wiring / controller related issues should he experience them.
    So sorry to tell you, that hardcore Wrangler aint that hardcore....

  5. #5
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    Default Trail Rated

    Hi,

    I thought Jeeps were trail rated.

    mmmm Maybe not wet trails?

    Jokes aside, I find this rather amusing, but not in a funny way.

    Surely this is a known problem that Jeep should be addressing for a vehicle whose primary purpose is offroad (trails?)

    Are you guys perhaps pushing these cars beyond spec conditions.

    The reason for my post - maybe some of the guys rushing out to replace viscous fans with electric ones should take note here, especially if they get their feet wet regularly.

    Keith
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 V8's
    NA TwinTurbo SuperCharger
    A V6 and an inline 4

    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

  6. #6
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    Fluffy,

    The problem with viscous fans are that they put additional strain or load directly on the engine, hence the electric fans make more sense. Electric fans are lighter, and also has various speed adjustments, and only pull power when needed. So, for general use, the electric fans are better.

    However, I am one of those people who believe that a vehicle should be fit for the purpose that they are sold. In this case, the Wrangler is really the only true Jeep in the army Jeep tradition, and should be the go-anywhere-at-any-time vehicle. Similar to the LC 70 and the LR Defender. And believe me, it is pretty capable.

    The only snag I have found to date was the electric fan, and then only in wet and muddy conditions. Now, it is common knowledge that water and mud are most probably the worst conditions for mechanical components, such as oil seals (diffs, gearboxes, engines), etc. However, we all know that you cannot avoid these conditions, and if we should avoid it, then why buy a 4x4? Even for viscous fans, it is recommended that you slacken the fanbelt when wading through water - so all fans, being electrical or mechanical, are prone to damage in these conditions.

    The Jeep fan is made of the best modern composite materials, and is tough and durable. The problem is with such material is that it is very brittle and can break easily, as it does not allow for much flex.

    What I am trying to figure out is a solution to overcome this shortcomming for whet/muddy conditions, without changing the standard Jeep spec (waranty). It is not good practice - from a waranty aspect - to replace the fan, but an additional fan can only help.

    The question as to whether we are pushing the vehicles beyond its designed specs is a very good one. When it comes to water/mud, you should have a look at the Jeep adverts. Especially the one where the little yellow Wrangler drives through mud and water, repeatedly. Is this then false advertising, or should we a Jeep drivers do more thorough research.

    The LR Defender has always had a wading kit, that LR recommends you use when wading through water or mud. This implies that the standard vehicle may be damaged in these circumstances and that you should make use of the kit.

    The Jeep, however, comes standard with diff breather extenstion, etc. and a wading kit is not available. Wading depths are also specified. However, most of the fan damage has occured within these recommended specifications, which begs the question as to the design of the existing fans.

    Most viscous fan vehicles have seperate fans for the air conditioning units, so you still have a back-up fan. However, most modern electric fan vehicles uses the same fan for both purpose, and herein lies the problem. (By the way, always switch your aircon off when driving through water or mud.) Modern viscous fans are also made of light-weight composites that will also break when it comes into contact with water whilst at high revolutions. The older, more flexible plastic fans seem to be better, but is heavier and puts more strain on the engine.

    Although this is a small issue, it can have very serious ramifications in the field, and it is therefore better to come up with a solution before venturing off-road.

    When wading through deep water, all vehicles will be prone to damage, and then you need to take the required precausions to protect fans, radiators, etc. In these situations it is better, were possible, to winch yourself through or to be pulled trough the water. But in some cases you simply have no other choice. Creating bow waves are also not always possible, as you sometimes have to crawl through water crossings with large boulders and rocks.

    I am not a good weather 4x4 enthusiast and I will not postpone my overland trip because of wet conditions, I therefore have to find an amicable solution that will suit my needs and that will also be acceptable to the manufacturers.

    But now back to my original question which was specifically intended for Jeep JK drivers- has anyone tried an additional viscous fan, or have any recommendations. Dirk, thanks for your input, I will discuss these options with my local dealer.
    Last edited by Jean Kotze; 2011/04/15 at 09:13 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Rephrase: Not yet....
    Thanks Dirk; still going to hold thumbs though. With my water damage the fan was the least of my problems ;-)

    Great explanation Jean keep us posted; would be great to find a proven solution and get the dealers opinion thereon.
    ^Strider^
    2012 JK Rubicon Unlimited
    AEV 4,5" SC suspension, Fox shocks, 37" Mickey Thomson Baja Claws, 5,38 diff ratios, Fuel Racing wheels, Warn Zeon 8 winch, AEV bumpers, AEV snorkel, AEV fuel caddy, AEV Heat Reduction Hood, Magnaflow exhaust, JW Speaker lights, Kleinn Train Horn

    Prev - JKU Rubicon 2010.
    Prev - JKU Rubicon 2008.
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  8. #8
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    Now I am so happy my Commander is fitted with the hydraulic fan. I wonder why the wrangler was not also fitted with it. It realy works well. But also I dont think we should be playing in water so deep that the fan can not be used. After all it's a 4x4 not a boat...lol.
    I work off shore so I can Play OFF ROAD..lol
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  9. #9
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    Angry

    Boat not 4x4?

    Look at this pic, this is what killed my fan.....
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Boat not 4x4?
    Look at this pic, this is what killed my fan.....
    .....a Hilux killed your fan

  11. #11
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    Default Amusing

    Sometimes I find cars warning and self protection systems downright amusing.

    Leave your seat belt off - bing, bing, bing, bing..............
    Leave your lights on - bing, bing, bing, bing..............
    Leave your keys in the ignition when you get out - bing, bing, bing, bing..............
    Leave your indicators on - tic, tic, tic, tic..............
    Leave your etc etc - bing, bing, bing, bing..............

    But if it overheats, silence, and you blow the motor.
    If the oil pump fails, silence, and you blow the motor.
    If the alternator fails, silence, followed by lots of silence.

    Come on car wake up, I know my seat belt is not on, want I dont know because I havent got time to see the little red light on an obstacle, is that your fan is faulty and you are about to self distruct.

    Not all cars, but many.

    Keith
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 V8's
    NA TwinTurbo SuperCharger
    A V6 and an inline 4

    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

  12. #12
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    Another train of thought, my Wrangler has 55000km on, cost dependent it might not be a bad idea to maybe recon/replace the fan every 10000 or 20000 km, I know I will be doing that now.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Another train of thought, my Wrangler has 55000km on, cost dependent it might not be a bad idea to maybe recon/replace the fan every 10000 or 20000 km, I know I will be doing that now.
    Dirk,

    My Rubicon's fan went at 54 000. It broke off from its mounting and we fixed it in the bush, the bush mechanic way. Fortunately no engine damage and it did not over-heat. I replaced the fan - approximately R 680,00. The engine started using oil after its 60 000km service - but that is a totally different issue still under investigation (8 months now).

    The Mountain's fan went at 5 200 km in wet weather whilst I was wincing myself out on a steep muddy incline. The fan motor ceased and blew a fuse. The engine over-heated but according the the local dealership no damage could be found. The dealer replaced the fan under warrantee. Took the Mountain in for its first service at 11 500 km - all well, no blown gaskets an no oil consumption.

    And as Fluffy stated, there is no warning lights/charms/bells to warn you, only steam bellowing from the radiotor bottle (as was the case with the Mountain).

    I gues replacing the fan regularly is a definate yes. Carrying a spare fan is cheap but bulky. Only other option is an additional small viscous fan.

    But most importantly is to find a good dealership to propperly fulfil their obligations under the warranty and maintenance plan.
    Last edited by Jean Kotze; 2011/04/19 at 09:34 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Does the Sahara CRD have the same fan problems with water?

    I don't understand the problem - Are you guys telling me that you cannot steam-clean the engine bay or chassis from underneath in from in case the fan gets wet?

  15. #15
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    Default mmm

    Quote Originally Posted by HeinrichC View Post
    Does the Sahara CRD have the same fan problems with water?

    I don't understand the problem - Are you guys telling me that you cannot steam-clean the engine bay or chassis from underneath in from in case the fan gets wet?
    Steam Clean the Engine Bay? It would be safer to jay walk on the N1 at rush hour.

    Keith
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 V8's
    NA TwinTurbo SuperCharger
    A V6 and an inline 4

    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Steam Clean the Engine Bay? It would be safer to jay walk on the N1 at rush hour.

    Keith
    I've steam cleaned many engine bays of my previous cars with no hassles at all I would think that it is not such a big issue; one obviously does this cautiously and not steam clean everything verbatim.

    I still don't understand the water issue with the fan, heck how much water goes through that fan when you drive in the pouring highveld rain?!?

  17. #17
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    I will post more info when I have it, but if I now understand correctly it is not the actual fan that failed, but the relay that kicks it into medium or high speed, the fan kept on operating in low speed only, causing the overheat.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    I will post more info when I have it, but if I now understand correctly it is not the actual fan that failed, but the relay that kicks it into medium or high speed, the fan kept on operating in low speed only, causing the overheat.
    Okay, that makes sense to me. Give us the an update when you get it...

  19. #19
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    From my experience I can tell you that I have been through some pretty deep water with no issues. (JK CRD) Might have been luck, who knows?

  20. #20
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    Does anyone know of any aftermarket device that will sound the bing-bing ala seat belt alarm upon overheating?

    I have to add that false advertising is not uncommon with the Jeep brand. Mine's radio clearly advertises RDS functionality that is however not operational. A Jeep thing?


    Currently enjoying my new platkar: Alfa MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde - she's a beauty!
    JKU Rubicon Pentastar
    JKU CRD (sold)
    XJ 4liter (sold )

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