Ok, here is my findings:
1) If I disconnect the 2 connectors in the white plastic sleeves and short the two together (the male part of the connector that has the exposed metal by touching them to themselves), I get no fan action.
2) If I disconnect the plug on the thermo housing (which btw does not have 2 wires, but four. one blue, one red, and 2 brown), then BOTH fans turn on at the same time. I don't think this is correct, right? And once I plug it back in and they stop, if you manually turn one of the fans, the other one moves a little bit as well. It did not do that before I did this test, as I was able to spin each fan independently and not have the other one move.
Let me know what I need to try next. thx!