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Old 07-23-2003, 08:16 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 1,193
Fan cut into radiator, probable cause?

The E420 left me on the side of the road yesterday morning. In one and a half years this is the first time I've had to post on tech help since the car has been pretty trouble free. I was driving in traffic, very slow (QEW in rush hour means 10mph max in someplaces) when I heard a very juted thunk and then steam started pouring out from under the hood. I quickly pulled off the highway (by the time I got off the low coolant light had come on, but engine temp had not risen eyt)and turned off the car. While I waited for raodside assistance I watched all the coolant empty out of the car under the front bumper. It wouldn't have been so bad except for the four or five people who made a point of slowing down to laugh at me on the side of the road. Anyways, car was towed to the dealer yesterday where it still sits. You can clearly see a circle cut into the back of the rad where the fan faces it in about the same size as the center part of the fan. It looks like the fan jumped forward, cut the rad and then went back to where it should be.

Any ideas on the cause of this. It will be repaired under Signature Class (Starmark in US) warranty, but I am pretty leary that if it happened once it may happen again.


Jason Priest
1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:04 AM
brookspw's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 551
I'd rather be sitting on the side of the road in my Mercedes than driving down the road in their Hyundai Sonata / Kia/ Corsica / Tracker / Escort.

Fan bracket broke?
1994 C280, dark green metallic
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1991 190E 2.6, Black
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2003 Chevy Tahoe LT, Redfire Metallic
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:13 AM
Posts: n/a
I'm not intimately familiar with the arrangement of the V8's, but it is either the water pump shaft broke if the fan is on the pump, or the fan shaft broke. When this happens the fan will suck into the radiator.

In the sixties I saw a fan bore completely through a radiator when the water pump shaft broke at high RPM. They could not have bored a cleaner hole at a machine shop.

The good news is that you shut it down before overheating occurred.

Good luck,
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Old 07-23-2003, 11:48 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Houston
Posts: 2
I had a similar problem with my 94 E420 ... for some reason the lock (small metal piece) on the fan clutch opened up and busted the radiator. The dealer just had to cut the piece and throw it away and said i should be ok with a new radiator.
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:42 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 1,193
You were dead right as usual Larry. Fan shaft broke and the fan sucked into the rad. I guess I am lucky I was driving at very low speeds (almost idle) when it happened. On a positive note I am getting a new rad and fan shaft under the warranty.

I'm just wondering how usual this is, and should I expect it to happen again? Is there anything I can do to prevent it in the future?

Thanks guys!!
Jason Priest
1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:50 PM
Diesel effcient
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Diesel
Posts: 72
On there was a guy who's s600 fan actually shattered putting pieces allover under the hood. I took out my rad on the e420 and noticed my fan clutch metal strip was broken, and after reading this post I see that the metal strip busted my rad too. This is crazy.

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