CJ7 Fan/Rad clearance..Fan hitting radiator - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-24-2016, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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CJ7 Fan/Rad clearance..Fan hitting radiator

Hey guys, i have an 85 cj7 with a 258. I was 4xing on the weekend and lost another radiator due to my fan hitting the tank and gouging it open. This is the second time now and can't afford having this keep happening. I lost the first rad about a week into owning the jeep. Afterwards i realized the grille mount wasn't in place…so I made a mount using some rubber bushings and a bolt through to keep it tight. So far that seemed to have fixed the problem..until this weekend when they met again. How much clearance is "safe" between the radiator and fan? I'm considering mounting the radiator inside the grille rather than outside, but I would rather not cut the grille. Any ideas how I can get some more space?

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post #2 of 10 Old 08-24-2016, 03:42 AM
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1976 CJ7 
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take some pix to start with. With everything stock, it shouldn't hit unless you have a broken or warn part, body mounts? engine mounts? trany mount? rotted frame twisting?
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-24-2016, 03:56 AM
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Add transfer case drop to the above list.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-24-2016, 07:42 AM
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And that's when I put the electric fan on! You could have the wrong water pump on and it is too close to the radiator.

I'm not sure about these modern Jeeps, but older Jeeps have adjustable braces running from the firewall to the grill shell. A little adjustment can move the radiator forward.


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post #5 of 10 Old 08-24-2016, 07:49 AM
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Ck you engine and tranny mounts as that's the cause most of the time.
Also make sure the body mount bolt under the grill is in place.

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post #6 of 10 Old 08-24-2016, 08:16 AM
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1984 CJ7 
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I have about 3/4" clearance between front of clutch fan and radiator, due to clocking D300 and pushing up. I've shredded one radiator due to worn motor mounts (as LG suggests) and another due to a worn water pump, check that there is no front/back play when you try and move the fan blades.

After fixing those issues it will happily bounce over rocks without any radiator damage.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-24-2016, 09:22 AM
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1986 CJ7 
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This issue comes up on the forum from time to time. All the suggestions above are great, and should all be addressed if necessary.
However one thing that often gets overlooked is that there were at least two configurations of radiators available from the factory as well.

One had the core set all the way to the front of the grill shell, presumably to accommodate the longer I6 drivetrain. The Spectra 2-row replacement is in this configuration.
The other has the core set flush with the back of the grill shell. Again, this is presumably the configuration used on the shorter I4 and V8 drivetrains. This also allows the core to be wider, giving room for 3 rows of down tubes.

These two images show the difference...

Spectra CU58 (2-row)

Spectra CU583 (3-row)

If the PO put a V8 radiator in front of an I6 drivetrain, it's very possible that there would not be enough clearance for a stock fan and clutch.

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post #8 of 10 Old 08-24-2016, 10:06 PM
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You can see that it's VERY close. The condition of the engine and transmission mounts are VERY important. Fan clearance is dependent on the alignment.

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post #9 of 10 Old 08-29-2016, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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So i tightened up one of my motor mounts (the bolts to the block were loose) did a bit more poking around just to find a support rods that go to the fenders didn't have bolts in it. Going to replace my body mounts also
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-30-2016, 01:20 PM
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1985 CJ7 
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Originally Posted by Benncalv88 View Post
... Going to replace my body mounts also
That project can be a lengthy one if the bolts rusted in place. Go easy on them to avoid breaking them. There are plenty of threads about removing rusty body bolts, but the general idea is 1) Avoid breaking the bolts, 2) Avoid breaking the captured nuts lose in their housings, and 3) If a bolt is corroded and won't turn, a variety of options can be used: Heat the bolt with a torch, sometimes repeatedly, to break the rust, weld a nut to the bolt head (this also heats the bolt), use an impact wrench for removal because the hammering action may help break the rust without breaking the bolt, use plenty of PB Blaster or similar penetrating oil, sometimes repeated applications days before you plan to remove the bolts, or a combination of these techniques. Simply using a big wrench with a long cheater bar to remove the stuck bolts is a good way to break the bolts. It's always a good idea to use new bolts if the old ones are in bad shape. Use some anti-seize compound on the bolts before installing them.

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cj , cj7 , fan , grille , radiator

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