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Unread 02-10-2013, 08:14 PM   #1
N2Fix
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Fan clutch ate my radiator...AGAIN! Please help!

A few months ago I installed a Napa ZJ fan clutch in my 1998 XJ. A short time later I was towing an empty boat trailer and the fan clutch ate the back of the CFS three-row radiator. A bit of research led me to worn-out engine mounts. Those were replaced with a pair of Napa engine mounts and I replaced the transmission mount at the same time. Problem solved! So I save my pennies and after 3 short months of adding coolant to a leaky system on a regular basis, I installed my new radiator Friday night. At the same time, I installed a new Napa fan clutch; this time I went back to a standard-duty XJ part, number 272318. I didn't want to run the risk of the slightly taller ZJ part wreaking havoc under the hood again. This morning I picked up my brand new boat trailer and brought it home. All good! I put the boat on the trailer and brought it home, but I heard an odd sound when I pulled away from a stop light. Yep, the forward edge of the fan clutch hit the radiator. The good news is it does not appear to have cut into the tubes; it's not leaking. Yet.
The GVW of the loaded trailer is about 4500 pounds, so it's not as if I'm towing a 42' Yellowfin.
I hope someone can shed a little light on what is going on. I'm getting way too good at keeping Radiator Barn in business.

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Unread 02-10-2013, 11:10 PM   #2
MJR
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Is it the blade or the clutch that hits? I'd look for bent sheet metal or other reason there isn't enough clearance.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 12:46 AM   #3
N2Fix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJR View Post
Is it the blade or the clutch that hits? I'd look for bent sheet metal or other reason there isn't enough clearance.
It's the clutch that hits the radiator.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 06:12 AM   #4
Kevin108
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I had this issue with mine after installing a SYE and removing the t-case drop. I installed new motor mounts and a new transmission mount and still rubbed. I ended up removing the plate that goes across the top of the radiator and elongating the holes where the radiator's top studs come through. This lets me lean the radiator forward about " and seems to keep it from rubbing.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 11:38 AM   #5
psychoteen101
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Where in the radiator is it making contact? Closer to the top or bottom? Bad trans mount may cause it to hit, but it would be the lower part of the fan hitting it if anything. Have somebody in the jeep with it running and in drive, hold the brakes and tap the gas and watch how much the motor is moving. Bad motor mounts/trans mount will cause it to move excessively.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 12:31 PM   #6
Tru2Chevy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychoteen101 View Post
Where in the radiator is it making contact? Closer to the top or bottom? Bad trans mount may cause it to hit, but it would be the lower part of the fan hitting it if anything. Have somebody in the jeep with it running and in drive, hold the brakes and tap the gas and watch how much the motor is moving. Bad motor mounts/trans mount will cause it to move excessively.
OP stated that new motor mounts and trans mount were installed a few months ago, after the first incident.

- Justin
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Unread 02-11-2013, 03:10 PM   #7
Kevin108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychoteen101 View Post
Have somebody in the jeep with it running and in drive, hold the brakes and tap the gas and watch how much the motor is moving.
I tried this before modifying the header panel on mine. It didn't move noticeably with this test.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 08:36 PM   #8
N2Fix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru2Chevy View Post
OP stated that new motor mounts and trans mount were installed a few months ago, after the first incident.

- Justin
That's true Justin, but just because they're fairly new doesn't mean they haven't already failed. Reason I say that is because I stomped on the throttle on the way home from work and I could hear it rub. And, that's without anything in tow. I'm going to check the movement of the engine tomorrow when I have some daylight to see by.

My new plan of attack, brought on by frustration, is to drop the coins into some Brown Dog mounts and ditch the fan clutch in favor of a second electric fan.
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Unread 02-12-2013, 09:26 AM   #9
Azzy
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What kind of mounts? I had some Omix rubber wear out super quick last fall. Sounds like you are putting enough of a strain on the XJ when towing that a combination of items is moving.
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Unread 02-12-2013, 09:55 PM   #10
Kevin108
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I think I went with Rock Auto motor mounts and a Quadratec trans mount.
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Unread 02-12-2013, 10:15 PM   #11
Carves
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Just in case ..

Top and Bottom ... radiator mounting rubbers, condition ??


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Unread 02-12-2013, 11:17 PM   #12
Kevin108
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On mine, I was dealing with a new radiator.
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Unread 02-13-2013, 11:35 AM   #13
Azzy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin108 View Post
I think I went with Rock Auto motor mounts and a Quadratec trans mount.
Neither oc them make the mounts... Could be defective or worn already. Break out the flashlight and inspection mirror.
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Unread 02-13-2013, 06:06 PM   #14
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Also check the actual block mounts themselves, sometimes the bolts will shear off in the block which could allow movement still with new mounts. If thats the case go for the full set of brown dog mounts with block brackets. I didn't have the cash/feel like spending it on the entire kit at the time, I use the BD rubber mounts and they aren't going anywhere. They are still stiff but the jeep drives great a lot more sporty, I wouldn't go with the poly mounts at all. But definately check the block, they are known to shear off inside of the block bosses.
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Unread 02-13-2013, 10:03 PM   #15
N2Fix
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I spent the evening working on the fan issue. The motor and tranny mounts all are intact. After that, I began my e-fan install. All I can say is: Which e fan are you all using??? I picked up an XJ fan from Napa today. There is no way that it will fit between the radiator and the pulley that spins the fan clutch. I like the dual e-fan idea, but I am not seeing how it fits.
As it stands now, I have elongated the two holes on the plate that sits over the rad so it can be tilted forward. A short but aggressive test drive, and the fan clutch is not rubbing on the radiator. A temporary fix, but it works for now. Now for the margaritas.
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