Author Topic: I wouldn’t say it was the sh!t hitting the fan - more like the fan hitting...  (Read 199 times)

Offline BruceK

...something that would not budge, causing it to explode in a shower of brittle yellow plastic pieces all over the engine compartment and my garage.


So, finally got my car reassembled enough today to try starting it.  It started, ran for 3 seconds and I cut it off because this happened.   I’ll take everything apart do a postmortem but I can tell you I was absolutely sure the fan was not contacting  anything when I assembled it.   Yes it was very close to the breather coming out of the timing chain cover but there was clearance there.     I’m thinking the fan flexed once it got some rpms and then decided he didn’t like the breather all that much. 
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 01:32:37 PM by BruceK »
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline MPlayle

Ouch!  I hope you were not hit by any of the flying pieces.

Offline BruceK

Nah. I was sitting behind the wheel starting the car.  So, happiness that the car started on first try lasted for about 2.5 seconds.  ;D
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline jedduh01

Bummer: 

my bet is an dropped wrench or screwdriver into the shroud  = forgotten about

Ive Been there done that myself... Happens

Hopefully nothing wrecked the rad either. 

Offline BruceK

The soft aluminum (brand new!) radiator took some hits, but is not showing any leaks.  Yeah, could be user-error like a screwdriver.  I'll find out. 
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline BruceK

By the way, this was a brand new fan.  But it was the non-genuine fan (as MS calls things).  I think the original OEM yellow plastic fan might have just bent instead of exploding.   Something to think about when ordering a new fan 
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline BruceK

Well, I tore it down and there was no dropped bolt or misplaced screwdriver that caused the fan to explode.   Although it did not touch the breather when I spun it by hand during assembly, it seems that it barely hit the breather when the engine started  as I thought.  So it must have flexed just that little bit when it got spinning at engine speed.  And as soon as one blade broke it hit another blade and started a chain reaction I am guessing.  The “non-genuine” fan really is made of cheap nasty plastic - the savings can’t be worth it over the genuine article. 

I’m not exaggerating when I say the cheap fan broke up into at least 30 different pieces - found one piece about 15 feet from the car on the other side of the garage. The aluminum radiator seems okay, but I’m going to reinstall the old 2 core radiator and the metal tropical fan I pulled out 2 months ago. That combo has worked well in the heat and the metal fan is too thick to use with the thicker aluminum radiator.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 11:36:17 PM by BruceK »
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline 94touring

Interestingly enough my aftermarket new fan barely nicks the breather on a couple blades on the tips.  I just assume it will wear itself down but maybe an explosion is in my near future too.  You had the spacer in place? 

Offline Scargo

  • Active members
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Total likes: 0
  • Karma: 0
    • Virginia Beach, VA.
Was the fan installed the correct way around?

Offline BruceK

Interestingly enough my aftermarket new fan barely nicks the breather on a couple blades on the tips.  I just assume it will wear itself down but maybe an explosion is in my near future too.  You had the spacer in place?

Yup. And I even fitted a washer for each bolt between the pulley and the spacer just for another 16th of an inch as extra insurance.   Next time I think I would consider gently profiling the tip of the fan blades if they were that close. 
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 09:03:21 PM by BruceK »
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline BruceK

Was the fan installed the correct way around?

Yes,  I was careful to make sure of that.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline 94touring

On the bright side you're getting really good at working on the cooling system.

Offline 94touring

Fyi Bruce, go get yourself a long flat head screw driver if you don't already have one.  I grabbed one from harbor freight that's about 2 feet long.  Makes the lower rad hose clamp very easy to tighten. 

Offline BruceK

On the bright side you're getting really good at working on the cooling system.

Haha.  Very true.  I’ve done about 4 radiator installs and removals over the past several days.  Lots of do-overs for one reason or another.

I’ve got a BF screwdriver that I use for that - but thanks for the advice.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline MiniDave

I uses some silicone lubricant paste on the hoses, they go on and come off easily then, even years later. I also use screw clamps with a hex head on them, then a 1/4 drive socket and long extension makes it easier to do and undo the clamp
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline tsumini

Having seen my share of turbine blade fractures I would say that BruceK is right that it is knockoff from hitting something (breather tube apparently was closest). Plastic being flexible the airfoil will untwist from the root when accelerating with the aero loading. Curiously, with the fan on "correct way" slightly increases the twisting load. A reversed fan would have less twisting due to fan speed but probably not enough to prevent "explosion"
It will also lean forward i.e. towards the engine under aero load further exacerbating the breather clearance.
Plastic usually are very flexible and flexure in this case is the enemy. If I were going the plastic route I would check flex and get the very stiffest you can find. The steel fans will have very little aero flex at the relatively slow engine speed compared to an axial flow turbine engine speed.