Exploding Fans - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 1:46 PM Thread Starter
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Tom
 
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Exploding Fans

Has any of you guys seen a fan explode? Like totally disintegrate? I had never seen it until yesterday.

Took my truck to get it weighed, turned onto a state highway off of a county road and goosed it a bit. It was spinning a little on the 2-3 shift but the governor is set to shift at 5,500 and the rev limiter is set at 6,000. It didn't hit the limiter. Loudest bang I've ever heard, shrapnel and smoke everywhere. I thought at first the engine had let go but that wouldn't explain the holes in the hood. Plus it was idling just fine and the oil pressure was good.

I couldn't pull to the side of the road because there's no shoulder and a ditch at the edge of the road. It's a really busy two-lane so blocking it isn't an option but there's a spot I can get across the ditch about a half mile up the road. The smoke trail is unbelievable and I knew there's was no water in it because the windshield was covered in it so I shut it off and coasted. I had plenty of momentum to make it to where I needed to be, though. Too much momentum it turns out because when I got there I hit the brakes and nothing happened. No brakes. I made the turn but before I could get on the parking brake I ran through a fence. Punched a hole through the passenger fender and left a pretty good scrape down the side.

What a freaking ride.

I get myself composed and check the damage. The fan is gone. Not a trace. The clutch is there and seemingly unhurt, as are the bolts that attached the fan. All four of them. But not any proof that a fan had been bolted there....WTF???

When the fan came apart it of course took out the shroud and hoses but it also took out the transmission cooler lines, explaining all the smoke. The brake proportioning valve sits on a crossmember directly under the radiator and it wiped that out too. I guess I should feel lucky it didn't take out a front tire.

The only proof I have that the fan ever existed is the damage it left behind. I've never seen anything like it.

It was a brand new Derale fan. 18Ē reverse rotation, rated to 8,000 RPM. I'll be calling them in the morning. It caused an easy couple thousand dollars damage and damn near killed me. I know it was tight and the clutch was fine because I had checked them right before I left because the water pump is seeping a little out of the weep hole and I grabbed the fan to check the bearings. All good at that point. 5 miles later...not so much.

Less than a thousand miles on the engine, fan, GM serpentine setup.

Dammit.

70 Camino...Roller

69 Malibu Stock 307, Reverse Manual TH350, 4,500 Stall Edge Converter, 4.56 Spool 35 Spline 12 Bolt

76 C20 VortecPro 496 628HP 655 lb/ft TH400 Edge Converter, 4.10 14 bolt

Last edited by Tommy the Cat; Oct 13th, 19 at 2:03 PM.
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post #2 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 1:57 PM
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Dan
 
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Re: Exploding Fans

Derale not going to make you happy. Oh, "that's never happened before".

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post #3 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 2:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Exploding Fans

I'm fully expecting that, honestly.

70 Camino...Roller

69 Malibu Stock 307, Reverse Manual TH350, 4,500 Stall Edge Converter, 4.56 Spool 35 Spline 12 Bolt

76 C20 VortecPro 496 628HP 655 lb/ft TH400 Edge Converter, 4.10 14 bolt
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post #4 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 2:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Exploding Fans

I'm trying to post pics but can't figure out how on my phone. I need to find a teenager to do it for me.
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70 Camino...Roller

69 Malibu Stock 307, Reverse Manual TH350, 4,500 Stall Edge Converter, 4.56 Spool 35 Spline 12 Bolt

76 C20 VortecPro 496 628HP 655 lb/ft TH400 Edge Converter, 4.10 14 bolt
Tommy the Cat is online now  
post #5 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 2:34 PM
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Re: Exploding Fans

Had 2 different flex-a-lite's do that, but they were plastic and electric so damage wasnt to bad.

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post #6 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 2:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Exploding Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by bh10 View Post
Had 2 different flex-a-lite's do that, but they were plastic and electric so damage wasnt to bad.
Six blade steel on this one. I'm a "mechanical fan only" guy but this shook me pretty bad. Someone could've been killed. If I had a 'glass hood, who knows where it would've gone. It went right through the steel hood.

Does Lakewood make an explosion proof shroud?

70 Camino...Roller

69 Malibu Stock 307, Reverse Manual TH350, 4,500 Stall Edge Converter, 4.56 Spool 35 Spline 12 Bolt

76 C20 VortecPro 496 628HP 655 lb/ft TH400 Edge Converter, 4.10 14 bolt
Tommy the Cat is online now  
post #7 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 2:54 PM
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No pics or it didn’t happen 😈
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post #8 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 3:05 PM
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Re: Exploding Fans

Tom, what is the truck?

Glad this didn't turn into an accident.

Although it's unlikely, if something on the road got kicked up into the fan, it's damage could have caused it's destruction in a instant at that RPM.

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post #9 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 3:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Exploding Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1sikride View Post
No pics or it didnít happen 😈
I'm trying. I'll get them sooner or later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul bell View Post
Tom, what is the truck?

Glad this didn't turn into an accident.

Although it's unlikely, if something on the road got kicked up into the fan, it's damage could have caused it's destruction in a instant at that RPM.
The truck is the '76 C20 in my signature. The road was clean and clear. Beautiful Colorado fall day, gone awry. It would be really difficult for anything to get into the fan from the bottom with the crossmember under the radiator.
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70 Camino...Roller

69 Malibu Stock 307, Reverse Manual TH350, 4,500 Stall Edge Converter, 4.56 Spool 35 Spline 12 Bolt

76 C20 VortecPro 496 628HP 655 lb/ft TH400 Edge Converter, 4.10 14 bolt
Tommy the Cat is online now  
post #10 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 4:29 PM
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Man glad nobody got hurt, I've never seen that only hole I ever seen was from a clutch on a freinds 69 boss mustang when the clutch put a hole through it


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post #11 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 4:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Exploding Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelrick View Post
Man glad nobody got hurt, I've never seen that only hole I ever seen was from a clutch on a freinds 69 boss mustang when the clutch put a hole through it
That scares the crap out of me. If a fan can cause that much damage imagine what flywheel and clutch could do. I will definitely have an explosion proof bellhousing on any stick cars going forward.
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70 Camino...Roller

69 Malibu Stock 307, Reverse Manual TH350, 4,500 Stall Edge Converter, 4.56 Spool 35 Spline 12 Bolt

76 C20 VortecPro 496 628HP 655 lb/ft TH400 Edge Converter, 4.10 14 bolt
Tommy the Cat is online now  
post #12 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 4:38 PM
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Re: Exploding Fans

I have had clutch fans exit the engine compartment but usually the clutch was at fault and it happened at less than 40 MPH not getting into it.
3 failed clutch fans that exited the vehicle and multiple repairs from failed electric fans all original equipment on stock vehicles. and multiple failed clutches.. which is not such a big deal if you catch it soon enough.
Middle of the desert in Arizona is not a good place..Had that happen also. Hate clutch fans.

I run nothing but Ford Flex fans on my engines. And I have personally tested them to sustained 6500rpm engine RPM with the fan being over driven.

Shifted one of my small blocks at 7600 on a daily basis with Ford Flex fans.
Blades are offset and are not noisy like evenly spaced fan blades.

I hate to hear your story of the fail as it does suck and will probably make you gun shy of that setup.

I am gun shy of all clutch fans. I was left stranded too many times.
Not really stranded but forced to take the Nike Express.
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post #13 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 5:05 PM Thread Starter
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70 Camino...Roller

69 Malibu Stock 307, Reverse Manual TH350, 4,500 Stall Edge Converter, 4.56 Spool 35 Spline 12 Bolt

76 C20 VortecPro 496 628HP 655 lb/ft TH400 Edge Converter, 4.10 14 bolt
Tommy the Cat is online now  
post #14 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 5:06 PM
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Re: Exploding Fans

Lost a couple big block clutch fans I refuse to run them period.
Rather get where Im going than be "correct". Sheesh...

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post #15 of 83 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 19, 6:02 PM
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Re: Exploding Fans

I had a Six Blade Stainless Steel one let got in my Blazer going up a freeway on ramp. Doubt it was anything close to 4k, took out the Radiator, Belts, Cracked the Fan Shroud. When I change the engine, I'm going to Electric Fans.....SC had an article in the November Issue that looked very promising. I need to upgrade the Alternator anyway.....

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