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  #1  
Old 05-15-2004, 10:50 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: MA
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Fan clutch failure - Killed the radiator!!!

Never heard if this fan clutch failure.

Just put the car on the road (92 400E) everything was working well including AC. Got back home after taking family for ice cream, parked in driveway and all of a sudden the car starts to shudder violently and smoke out the front. shut it down and open the hood, and am loosing coolant.

Get out the trouble light and can see that the front of the fan clutch is torn up and ground into the radiator! Cant spin the fan now.

Anyone ever see a fan clutch take out a radiator???

I recall reading someone switching from the viscous clutch to an electric. Any info on doing that, or pointers to threads? I searched but cant find it now.

Well now need a new radiator and fan clutch or homebrew electric.

Paul

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  #2  
Old 05-15-2004, 11:02 PM
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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No, I've not heard of this. I have a 400E and recently replaced the radiator, water pump and fan clutch. the clearance is extremely tight between the fan clutch and the radiator. I suppose your cluch self-destructed and came apart. With the clearance being so tight, it is no surprise.

IF you are going to DIY I recommend putting the fan clutch on before the radiator. I had to REMOVE the lower radiator mount bracket to get enough clearance to insert my radiator with the fan installed, but there is just no way to get a wrench into the end of the fan with the radiator in place. Obviously, I reinstalled the mount once the radiator was in place... That being said, it was overall the hardest radiator I ever replaced. Knowing this trick may make your job easier. My 500 SL was a breeze to do!

Good luck!
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02 S500
92 500SL
92 400E (Sold)
87 300E (Sold)
83 300D Turbo (Sold)
75 300D (Sold)
74 240D (Sold after 20 years)
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2004, 11:19 PM
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Location: MA
Posts: 217
Thanks for the tip. I am planning on doing it myself - I dont think it will be worse than replacing the radiator in my 944turbo. The biggest problem is likly to be getting it out in the first place. Part of the fan clutch is wedged into the radiator - cant spin fan.

Any experience with Nissens radiators?? it looks like they are about $100 less than Behr (270- 316 for Nissens va 374 to 438 for Behr). I'd like to save the $100 since the dam fan clutch is about $500!

Paul
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  #4  
Old 05-16-2004, 07:53 AM
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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The originals were Behr. I would stick with them. On my 400 radiator I had a fitment problem. The parts house gave me one with an extra plastic flange that ran all the way down the left edge. I had to remove it with a hack saw. I probably could have exchanged it, but I needed the car back asap and it was identical to my original in every other way. Wrong end-cap perhaps?

It isn't all that bad of a job. You will need to loosen the A/C condenser and fans on the front of the car. I think they tilt forward a bit and then lift out of a slot in the bottom of the radiator. At that point they are just enough forward to clear the radiator. There is a little bracket underneath that supports an A/C line that needs to be separated. (The bracket separates, not the A/C line.)

There is a special tool that helps hold the fan pulley stationary while you use a hex wrench in the end of the fan clutch to R&R the clutch. My local independent MB shop was nice enough to loan me one for the afternoon. (They sold me the fan clutch.)

Regarding the fan being imbedded in the radiator. I have no experience there, but at least you don't have to preserve the old radiator. You can probably cut some of the tubes for access. I think there is spring wound up on the face if the clutch. That spring probably came loose and is what you see snagging the radiator.

Again, good luck with the project!

__________________
02 S500
92 500SL
92 400E (Sold)
87 300E (Sold)
83 300D Turbo (Sold)
75 300D (Sold)
74 240D (Sold after 20 years)
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