With what you have already spent in replacement parts, you could already have installed a brand new electric fan.
When running in mud and water you want for the fan to turn off so that it doesn't propel itself into the radiator. If you just yank out the fan clutch and replace it with a spacer, install a flex blade fan, (they are of a two-piece unit), one that the fan blades will flatten out if they ever come into contact with said mud and water.
But heck, with that kind of money do it right, I would follow the advice of these kind people by installing an electric fan from a Taurus and installing a remote fan switch to kill the power to the fan when you run through the heavy stuff.
Your sarcasm is not lost on me, but is always appreciated.
I know I'm looking to do things in a slightly unconventional way, that's why I'm asking the questions. When a buddy of mine and I were talking earlier today, he brought up the idea and it sounded intriguing so I figured I'd let nature run its course.
At this point, my only planned wheeling trips are local and at a private farm that won't have me out for very long, or long enough to make me overheat. I'm starting to lean into letting bygones be bygones and moving to the e-fan this fall.
As I indicated in a previous post, I can get a new e-fan from RockAuto for a respectable price (compared to local sources). I may read up some more, develop my plan, and just go down the e-fan route. It's just so d**n frustrating that she won't keep cool. She did fine for over a year, then after 1 specific trip she started running hot. Now no matter what I do, she won't settle down and play nice. Women.