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Unread 03-01-2012, 10:05 AM   #1
rboggio1
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TJ Radiator Fan Upgrade

Hello everyone

I would like to share a recent experience with you.

My 2000 TJ with the 4.0L engine is pretty much stock. From the time that I took possession of this TJ the temp gauge has always read 210. In the summer sitting in traffic it would always drift above that mark. A/C---forget about it. (Although I don’t really use AC) I have the plastic tank, crimped stock radiator. Driving home one night the radiator gave up the ghost. Top tank split from one side to the other. My good part has gone bad; in my mind now it’s a good time to upgrade. For several years I researched this issue concerning the heat/cooling issue with Jeep. The solutions are wide and varied, marginal to extreme cost. To be honest with you I like driving my Jeep I don’t like my Jeep driving me. I am extremely frugal when it comes to upgrading good parts for upgrade sake.

Last summer I came across a forum post on JeepForum posted by Chris142 titled TJ radiator fan upgrade info.......2000-2006 TJ. He outlined his test with a “PickaPart" 10blade fan and fan clutch from a Ford Explorer.

Now that my TJ was busted I got extremely curious. I was going to upgrade to a 3 core metal radiator. Radiator Barn had them for about 190 bucks but the price is now hovering around $350 bucks. Not what I want to do. I found Oconee 4x4, they had them listed for around 190 bucks. Inadvertently I ordered the wrong one. When I started this project I had time, the transmission in my wife’s car granaded. Time was no longer the luxury. I could not wait for the exchange process to occur with Oconee. I bought an OEM radiator.

All that “wind” to get you here. I started thinking about Chris142 and his post. Researching/experimenting again, I went back to the idea of the 10 blade fan. The issue with Chris142 solution, you have changed parts for non-Jeep parts. (fan clutch) Not a big deal per’se. Unless you’re the person that gets that Jeep and are unaware that change was made. Then the nightmare begins, been a mechanic for too long tshooting that kind of problem. I started thinking, if the Ford fan clutch crossed to the Jeep so easily, the Jeep fan clutch would cross to the Ford. That eliminates the fan clutch to the water pump issue. What about the fan to the fan clutch mount? I bought a Dorman 620-112 (9) blade fan for $22 at advanced auto parts. Also pulled a Jeep fan clutch there in the store and checked the mount holes, they matched. Brought the fan home and mounted it to the Jeep Fan clutch with the mount bolts from the stock 5 blade fan. The only difference in assembly, I needed to put the fan shroud and fan in together. All the extra blades took away the ability to snake the fan/clutch in from the side. Everything else is just like Chris142 stated, A ton of air movement and quieter. The one thing I noticed immediately was the gauge, instead of idling at 210 degrees now the pin has moved to the left about 10 degree (on the dial). Driving it stayed there as well. Here in Virginia it’s still too cool to say it has definitively made a difference. There are immediate and noticeable differences even at 60 degrees ambient temperatures.

Should you want to stay with the Ford fan clutch I did research these three:
  • 922793 Torqflo $49
  • 2793 Hayden $43
  • 215166 Imperial $32

Thanks to Chris142 thinking outside the box! A little refinement to his fan/clutch scenario and you can have a 5 to 9 blade fan upgrade for approximately $20. (Unless you live in a cool state that has “PickaParts”, I so miss the PickaPart yards)

9-blade.jpg   stock.jpg  
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Unread 03-01-2012, 10:31 AM   #2
MFERNICO
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While it looks good, it is completely overkill. The stock OE configuration is more than capable of crawling around in 4LO in 100+ heat for hours while staying exactly the same normal temp.

Your problem was something clogged or crimped in the coolant system, not that you need more blades on the fan.

Your TJ is designed to heat up to 210, on the guage, and stay there while driving for however long.
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Unread 03-01-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MFERNICO View Post
While it looks good, it is completely overkill. The stock OE configuration is more than capable of crawling around in 4LO in 100+ heat for hours while staying exactly the same normal temp.

Your problem was something clogged or crimped in the coolant system, not that you need more blades on the fan.

Your TJ is designed to heat up to 210, on the guage, and stay there while driving for however long.
While I am generally a fan of the stock cooling setup, you may be going a bit far here. Remember it was actually the factory that came out with the 7 blade fan, probably still the best option out there if you could find one.
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Unread 03-01-2012, 10:50 AM   #4
Ross
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If the stock set up is working correct it should be more than adequate. When I was stationed at Fort Irwin (Mojave Desert) it was hot. I could crawl with the AC on in 120deg+ temps with no problems at all.
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Unread 03-01-2012, 11:30 AM   #5
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Same here in but while at 29 Palms. The newer models with the minicats and autos seem to have trouble staying as cool it seems....
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Unread 03-01-2012, 11:39 AM   #6
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I ran the Dorman 10-blade fan, and the Explorer 9-blade fan with the 922793 Torqflo and 2793 Hayden, and it was a waste of money & time in the long run. Those "heavy duty" fan clutches caused belt slippage above 3000rpms when the clutch was fully engaged, because it was too much resistance vs traction of the belt. tried the HD fan clutch with the stock TJ fan too. burned up two high quality belts. While the explorer fans (both of them) cooled better between 1500rpms to 3000rpms, even with A/C on, at idle they were inferior to the stock setup. At idle, the engine would get hotter and hotter, without or without A/C... none of this was acceptable to me.

I went back to stock. I outlined all that in Chris142's thread, and at least one other person saw the exact same results as I did.
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Unread 03-01-2012, 12:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimited04 View Post
I ran the Dorman 10-blade fan, and the Explorer 9-blade fan with the 922793 Torqflo and 2793 Hayden, and it was a waste of money & time in the long run. Those "heavy duty" fan clutches caused belt slippage above 3000rpms when the clutch was fully engaged, because it was too much resistance vs traction of the belt. tried the HD fan clutch with the stock TJ fan too. burned up two high quality belts. While the explorer fans (both of them) cooled better between 1500rpms to 3000rpms, even with A/C on, at idle they were inferior to the stock setup. At idle, the engine would get hotter and hotter, without or without A/C... none of this was acceptable to me.

I went back to stock. I outlined all that in Chris142's thread, and at least one other person saw the exact same results as I did.
I tried the Explorer fan with Torqflo clutch and had similar experience. Back to stock. Still wish I could get the 7 blade setup though.
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Unread 03-01-2012, 12:06 PM   #8
MFERNICO
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The 5-blade is completely adequate. Any cooling issues in the TJ is a cooling system problem other than the blade set up.
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Unread 03-01-2012, 12:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimited04 View Post
I ran the Dorman 10-blade fan, and the Explorer 9-blade fan with the 922793 Torqflo and 2793 Hayden, and it was a waste of money & time in the long run. Those "heavy duty" fan clutches caused belt slippage above 3000rpms when the clutch was fully engaged, because it was too much resistance vs traction of the belt. tried the HD fan clutch with the stock TJ fan too. burned up two high quality belts. While the explorer fans (both of them) cooled better between 1500rpms to 3000rpms, even with A/C on, at idle they were inferior to the stock setup. At idle, the engine would get hotter and hotter, without or without A/C... none of this was acceptable to me.

I went back to stock. I outlined all that in Chris142's thread, and at least one other person saw the exact same results as I did.
im glad i came back to read this quote. i recently went back to the stock fan set up when doing some hill climbing and my efan gave out on me. i had trouble with sensors in the past and was fed up. went back to the stock set up and couldnt be happier cooling wise. i started to read a little bit and started looking at the HD fans. im glad i didnt. sorry for the high jack.
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Unread 03-01-2012, 01:42 PM   #10
chmo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimited04 View Post
I ran the Dorman 10-blade fan, and the Explorer 9-blade fan with the 922793 Torqflo and 2793 Hayden, and it was a waste of money & time in the long run. Those "heavy duty" fan clutches caused belt slippage above 3000rpms when the clutch was fully engaged, because it was too much resistance vs traction of the belt. tried the HD fan clutch with the stock TJ fan too. burned up two high quality belts. While the explorer fans (both of them) cooled better between 1500rpms to 3000rpms, even with A/C on, at idle they were inferior to the stock setup. At idle, the engine would get hotter and hotter, without or without A/C... none of this was acceptable to me.

I went back to stock. I outlined all that in Chris142's thread, and at least one other person saw the exact same results as I did.
yup! I am back to stock ...
As 06 auto owner I was suspecting the minicats for quite some time to be clogging up (my engine was slightly hotter, using more fuel and more sluggish than I was used to) ... 2 weeks ago I got a P0431 during a tough long day dune trip ... I assume after clogging at least one of them I simply blew the contents of a minicat out ... lol!
And you know what? my engine is back to normal temps and gas consumption now and the slight pfft ... pfft coming lately from the exhaust manifold gasket is gone too.
Unfortunately the 80kmiles warranty does not apply here in the UAE ...
so I will make sure the other one gets blown out as well
There are ways to fool the post cat O2s ... will experiment a bit

(but then ... my LS1/4L60E swap parts are nearly complete now ... just waiting for next vacations to finally "do it")
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Unread 03-01-2012, 05:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimited04 View Post
I ran the Dorman 10-blade fan, and the Explorer 9-blade fan with the 922793 Torqflo and 2793 Hayden, and it was a waste of money & time in the long run. Those "heavy duty" fan clutches caused belt slippage above 3000rpms when the clutch was fully engaged, because it was too much resistance vs traction of the belt. tried the HD fan clutch with the stock TJ fan too. burned up two high quality belts. While the explorer fans (both of them) cooled better between 1500rpms to 3000rpms, even with A/C on, at idle they were inferior to the stock setup. At idle, the engine would get hotter and hotter, without or without A/C... none of this was acceptable to me.

I went back to stock. I outlined all that in Chris142's thread, and at least one other person saw the exact same results as I did.
Yep, pretty much the same with me. I went back to stock as well.
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Unread 03-02-2012, 09:42 AM   #12
rboggio1
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You all have helped remind me why forum writing is so fun.

After reading all the responses I am a little taken back.

First, let me say I am a fan of KISS (keep it stock stupid). I don't agree in the idea of “upgrading” for the sake of upgrading specifically when it comes to engine, transmission and driveline components. You can put all the bling you want on your ride, those are personal preferences. When it comes to modifying the reliability of your vehicle I always caution against. The majority of people don't understand the principles of how a vehicle works in the first place, let alone how that modification will “add” to its reliability.

Let me talk directly to a couple of the points brought out in the responses:

the conception my Jeep is supposed to heat up 210 and stay there.

I have to call you on that. Reality being I have a 195° thermostat. A thermostat is a regulation not a moderation device. In a properly operating cooling system the thermostat will open at 195° allowing the cooled water from the radiator to mix with the warm water in the water jacket of the block. If the system is working correctly the temperature of the water in the water jacket would not exceed 195°. If the water is consistently 210° the 195° thermostat has no effect. By practical definition the vehicle is overheating.

I have to call you on that. The conception is the stock cooling system is more than adequate:

the reality being Chrysler Corporation has acknowledged it has cooling system problems as outlined in their technical service bulletin:

Technical Service Bulletin, OEM 7 Blade Fan-HD Fan Clutch
2001 Jeep Truck Wrangler L6-242 4.0L VIN S SFI
Temperature/Check Gauges Light ON
Engine - High Temperature/Check Gauges Light ON
NUMBER: 07-004-01 REV A
DATE: Dec. 14, 2001
THIS BULLETIN SUPERCEDES TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN 07-004-01, DATED JULY 20, 2001.
SUBJECT:
High Engine Temperatures Due To Extended In-Gear Idling In Hot Ambient Temperatures

So let’s go ahead and put that rabid dog down now. Making an absolute statement is absolutely foolish.

The generalized assumption made here is I'm looking for cooling while off-road in a rock crawling:

the reality being I do very little rock crawling or off-roading. My issue is sitting on the capital Beltway at 4:30 in the afternoon not moving. Assumption is the deadliest enemy of all. Never ever come to a conclusion without challenging all of your facts.

Let me quickly go over the operation of an internal combustion liquid cooled engine and how temperature is regulated. In a four stroke engine during one cycle of the piston there is a fuel vapor explosion. The average temperature of that explosion is 1700°F. That temperature quickly heats the cylinder wall. For the next three strokes you have exhaust intake and compression which helped to cool the cylinder somewhat. There is an immediate need to transfer that heat away from the cylinder. So engineers built what's referred to as the water jacket surrounding the cylinder. We fill that water jacket with a “heat transfer fluid” the most abundant and cheapest of which is water. Don't be confused water is not the coolant; water is the heat transfer agent. Air is the coolant. The water serves a secondary function of heat moderator. In other words it helps slow the rapid heating of the cylinder and conversely helps to slow the cooling of the cylinder when the internal combustion stops. This allows the metal to expand and contract at a more consistent rate reducing the chances of cracking.

Now we need to regulate how cool water is brought in and hot water is removed. We do that with the thermostat. As you know thermostats come in varying temperature ranges that control their opening and closing. We cycle the heat transfer fluid out of the water jacket in into the radiator. The radiator function is to be a heat sink as well as a storage tank to increase the capacity of the heat transfer fluid. The radiator was not designed to be a convection style heat dispensation unit. In other words it has not been designed as a passive heat sink. It is designed to have forced air moving through it. Contrary to what you might think the forced air is the vehicle moving in a forward direction at a sustained rate of speed. When the vehicle is sitting still, obviously there is no air movement.

Enter the need of the fan. Any fan on a vehicle regardless if it’s electrical or mechanical is a parasitic drain on the engine. The fan by design is not adequate enough to move the appropriate amount of air through the radiator with the engine under load. The fan is designed to move enough air through the radiator to dispensat heat while the engine is in a no-load condition. As most of us know there are fans the bolt directly to the water pump pulley turning one-for-one with water pump pulley speed. Of course this hampers engine performance. To overcome those issues introduce the hydraulic fan clutch.

The fan clutch is a hydraulically operated unit that consists of a bimetallic spring, a valve and some hydraulic fluid. The bimetallic spring sets on the front of the fan clutch and reacts to the temperature between the radiator and the spring. As the temperature between the radiator and the spring increases the spring deforms and opens a valve inside of the fan clutch allowing the hydraulic fluid to engage the fan clutch. As the temperature cools the valve closes and the fan clutch disengages. The bimetallic spring moderates the temperature between the radiator and a fan clutch. The standard Jeep Wrangler fan clutch starts to engage 165° ambient temperature between the radiator and the bimetallic spring. Typically it starts to disengage a 180° ambient temperature between the radiator and a bimetallic spring. That's cooling system 101. There's a lot more science that goes in to an automotive cooling system but what I just described is the operation of the cooling system.

Let's talk about the fan clutch for a minute. The standard fan clutch while we use the word disengaged is not completely disengaged. All fan clutches regardless of their designation typically turn 20 to 30% of the time while they are in the disengaged state. While that's nice to know what you need to know is engagement. The standard fan clutch when engaged only turns the fan 60 to 70% of the rotational speed of the pulley. In other words it's not a one-for-one rotation. When you move up to a heavy-duty fan clutch the rotational speed increases to 80 to 90% of the rotation of the pulley. How much do you need is really dependent upon your application. How much air do you need moving through the radiator at no or low vehicle speed? There is a secondary consideration for standard versus heavy-duty or severe duty fan clutch and that his blade pitch in other words how much the blade is angled. Standard fan clutches typically are for a 1 1/2 inch blade pitch. Heavy-duty and severe duties are typically for a 2 1/2 inch blade pitch.

Now let's talk about application. If you're a rock crawler or off roading and your speed is typically 0 to 15 miles an hour that would mean:
  • low forced air rates through the radiator
  • constant fan clutch lockup
  • accelerated fan clutch wear

if you are a road warrior and your speeds are typically in excess of 30 miles an hour what would that mean:
  • hi forced air rates to the radiator
  • consistent fan clutch disengagement
  • diminished fan clutch wear

That's not my opinion it's just the physics of the way the system works. From all the replies the one that spiked my interest was the one about the fan clutch wearing out. When I read that response the author states; cooling was increased between 1500 and 3000 RPMs but the fan clutch was fully engaged. I can totally understand that the reciprocal being your engine was under a load at 3000 RPMs but wasn't moving fast enough to force air through radiator. In other words rock crawling or four-wheel driving. Makes all the sense in the world.

But I am a curious type. One post stated initially there had been something wrong with my radiator suggesting it was plugged or crimped. Had to think about that one for a minute. I had to think about it so much I went out and put the old five blade fan back on. In the ambient air temperature of 60° I went back to idling at 210. Put the nine blade fan back on, idling at 195 Test proof conclusive not enough air moving through the radiator.
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Unread 03-02-2012, 09:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rboggio1 View Post
the conception my Jeep is supposed to heat up 210 and stay there.

I have to call you on that. Reality being I have a 195° thermostat. A thermostat is a regulation not a moderation device. In a properly operating cooling system the thermostat will open at 195° allowing the cooled water from the radiator to mix with the warm water in the water jacket of the block. If the system is working correctly the temperature of the water in the water jacket would not exceed 195°. If the water is consistently 210° the 195° thermostat has no effect. By practical definition the vehicle is overheating.
I was under the impression that thermostats are really more about a minimum operating temperature not a maximum.
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Unread 03-02-2012, 01:20 PM   #14
Unlimited04
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Originally Posted by rboggio1 View Post
That's not my opinion it's just the physics of the way the system works. From all the replies the one that spiked my interest was the one about the fan clutch wearing out.
If you're refering to me, I made absolutely no comment about the fan clutch wearing out. I stated the HD clutches caused the belt to slip badly because they created too much resistance vs traction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rboggio1 View Post
When I read that response the author states; cooling was increased between 1500 and 3000 RPMs but the fan clutch was fully engaged. I can totally understand that the reciprocal being your engine was under a load at 3000 RPMs but wasn't moving fast enough to force air through radiator.
You have made grossly invalid assumptions about the driving conditions where this was tested. I thoroughly tested the setup, both off-road and on-road at speeds varying from 0 mph to 85mph, over several weeks, over varied temp conditions. With the engine at low loads, and the engine at high load. You can't get much more under load than trying to maintain speed in the rocky mountains at 60-65mph in 2nd gear, at 4500rpms, at WOT, in open loop, and losing speed. That was belt number one....

Quote:
Originally Posted by rboggio1 View Post
In other words rock crawling or four-wheel driving. Makes all the sense in the world.
What about when that setup overheats on the street idling in traffic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rboggio1 View Post
Put the nine blade fan back on, idling at 195 Test proof conclusive not enough air moving through the radiator.
The fan types are different. The stock fan sucks air through the radiator. The explorer fan does not - the blades are supposedly moving air sideways. Less sucking, more blowing...so to speak.

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Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
I was under the impression that thermostats are really more about a minimum operating temperature not a maximum.
Correct....
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Unread 03-02-2012, 01:22 PM   #15
rboggio1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
I was under the impression that thermostats are really more about a minimum operating temperature not a maximum.
Interesting you should point that out, This is one of those areas that is always a point of confusion. Remember a thermostat is a regulation device. In other words it is there to regulate the temperature within a certain specification. Thermostats provides several benefits especially on a computer controlled car. One of the goals of OBD and OBDII is to get the car up to operating temperature And into closed loop as soon as possible. The first benefit of the thermostat, it holds the water in the water jacket so it will heat more rapidly. The second function of the thermostat is to regulate the temperature of the water in the water jacket. That's why you always put the thermal end of the thermostat into water jacket.The goal is to maintain a operating temperature i.e. the temperature of the thermostat. With that in mind remember the engine is in part being controlled by a computer that expects certain variables to be within limits. Operating temperature is one of those limits. To be a little more specific the idea of open loop and closed loop comes to play. Open loop certain conditions exist to help the engine run cold. Once operating temperature is reached the system goes to close looped and different conditions exist to help maximize the efficiency of the engine. Exceeding the operating temperature will also cause a different set of conditions to exist as the computer tries to maintain or regulate efficiencies. Right now I'm talking about computer related events. There are also mechanical events the thermostat helps regulate. The ability to heat the inside of the vehicle is one of them. To allow the engine oil to get hot enough to evaporate condensation is another. The list is long and varied but the importance of the thermostat cannot be overstated.
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