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Fan clutch, how do you know when to replace it?

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Old 06-21-2009, 10:41 AM   #1
clawhn1
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Fan clutch, how do you know when to replace it?

i took it to a mechanic with 40 years experience...before he even opened the hood he started it up with me in the car, 93,4.0 explorer pushrod

and he immediately said my fan clutch is going out, said its running to fast, he hears a whooshing noise..

said it will be from $150-300....said its a emergency before it destroys everything

but this guy works at a junkyard, so is he right?

also , the engine is quiet like it was 15 years ago, i hear no pinging or clicking noises, and when we test drove it he said one of my cylinders is not working causing the heavy vibration idle and slow acceleration?

then he said that using a k&n air filter like i did for 10 years has ruined my engine and told me to buy a new truck?

he said the kn filters let to much dust in and that its a grinding compound that scratches the engine and causes more blowby? said to switch to wix filter premium

i cleaned the kn filter every 6 months and it was hardly dirty but my throttle was smothered in cake like carbon crap and the intake tube and manifold had wet oil in it about a teaspoon and he says this is from excessive blowby and my engine is ruined?

yet it runs great and real fast until my clutch or differential went out last week..still needs to be fixed

does this guy sound right or not?

im going to be switching to 410 gear this week for $650, and buy a new fan clutch and new tps but he says my engine is ruined and that im wasteing my money?

when you start it up, you see about a 1 second white smoke come out of the exhaust but then its clean...do i need a new truck?
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Old 06-21-2009, 12:13 PM   #2
nitro71
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You need to slow down and fix one thing at a time.. Take your mechanics recomendations under advisement and do some research on here.

I don't know how to trouble shoot a fan. If you start the engine and it's spinning fast and you don't have heating issues I'd "guess" it's fine.

I question how he can know from test driving that one cylinder is down. You need a compression check to tell that. Sluggishness could be a lot of things. Concentrate on one topic at a time.

KN air filters are not going to ruin your engine. I do think the Wix is a better filter.

It sounds like you need to clean your intake system. I'm usure how to do that. Ask for help on that specific topic.

Oil in the intake? I have no idea. Others will have to address that.

Why in god's name would you switch to 4.10's right now when you don't even know if your engine is good.

White smoke usually indicates water in there somewhere, black would be oil. Someone else will have to further address that.

Break this problem down into small parts. Start with the white smoke and the oil in the intake as those might be serious problems.
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Old 06-21-2009, 12:26 PM   #3
Maniak
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IMHO...

never go back to the guy....

While I do agree that the k&n filters can let more dirt through, especially if they aren't taken care of, its not reason to say "buy a new truck". We went 355k miles on our motor before we rebuilt it.. In our case, the issues were heads and a spark plug that broke which caused a ding in valve seat. We did switch back to a paper filter on the new motor, mostly because I'm in southern AZ and would rather err. on the side of clean air than more power.

2ndly... Even brand new fan clutches can make it roar on startup..
A fan with damaged ends will roar too.. We run a Hayden Sever Duty fan clutch which spins at 30% even when its disengaged.. You can always hear the fan. We went this way to help keep the engine cool in the Southern Az heat.

Do you feel the heavy vibration at idle? If you had a cylinder not running, you will now it. If you had damage to the engine a compression test would tell you. If anything, you "might" need a tune up..

Now, for the smoke.. r u sure its "white" and not very light blue? Also, do you get it on every startup, or only after its been sitting overnight or all day?

~Mark




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Old 06-21-2009, 12:39 PM   #4
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when i bought my truck it would shake/vibrate from about 45-55 and only then. i had a misfire in the 7th cylinder.
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Old 06-21-2009, 11:30 PM   #5
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Wooshing when starting up the 4.0 OHV is perfectly normal, especially a cold start.

When a fan clutch goes bad, you'll know it. It'll either sound like you're at the airport and your Explorer is ready to take off, or it will be really quiet and the temperature gauge will start going up, up, up...and hopefully you notice and turn it off.


Cotton-element filters like a K&N do not ruin engines. Maybe if you ran it dry or something, you'd have a problem.


The oil in your intake is by design from the factory. The rubber hose from the oil filler neck/passenger side valve cover to the intake tube allows vapors to be burned in the engine rather than vented to the atmosphere. Some "oil" will make its way onto the walls of the intake tube, intake manifold, etc. as a result of this.

It's a VERY common misconception by those who DON'T understand these higher performance parts that the oil in the filter can "blow off" the filter and make it's way into the intake or engine. Even if it DID, it wouldn't harm anything.


If you want to fix up your truck, read up about it on this site and do some of the very basic, extremely well known things that WILL improve the performance and make it run better. MAS cleaning, plugs, wires, even just being sure to use 5W-30 oil, all help to make the 4.0 OHV run smooth.




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Old 06-22-2009, 03:26 PM   #6
black91EB
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Originally Posted by clawhn1 View Post
i took it to a mechanic with 40 years experience...before he even opened the hood he started it up with me in the car, 93,4.0 explorer pushrod

and he immediately said my fan clutch is going out, said its running to fast, he hears a whooshing noise..

said it will be from $150-300....said its a emergency before it destroys everything

but this guy works at a junkyard, so is he right?

also , the engine is quiet like it was 15 years ago, i hear no pinging or clicking noises, and when we test drove it he said one of my cylinders is not working causing the heavy vibration idle and slow acceleration?

then he said that using a k&n air filter like i did for 10 years has ruined my engine and told me to buy a new truck?

he said the kn filters let to much dust in and that its a grinding compound that scratches the engine and causes more blowby? said to switch to wix filter premium

i cleaned the kn filter every 6 months and it was hardly dirty but my throttle was smothered in cake like carbon crap and the intake tube and manifold had wet oil in it about a teaspoon and he says this is from excessive blowby and my engine is ruined?

yet it runs great and real fast until my clutch or differential went out last week..still needs to be fixed

does this guy sound right or not?

im going to be switching to 410 gear this week for $650, and buy a new fan clutch and new tps but he says my engine is ruined and that im wasteing my money?

when you start it up, you see about a 1 second white smoke come out of the exhaust but then its clean...do i need a new truck?
If your fan clutch is bad and "whooshing" on startup, I would think that it would be locked up, not freewheeling, in which case, it wouldn't be an emergency, it would just suck down your gas milage and power a little bit. If it were freewheeling, the temperature would rise as Anime stated. I've never heard of a fan clutch "destroying everything", you would have to have the fan separate from the clutch and chew up the radiator or something similar.

As for the K&N, I have one on my '96 mustang, and my dad and brother run them as well. If you maintain it properly, cleaning and reoiling on the recommended schedule, you should have zero issues. The only issue I know of is some filters Turbocharged or Supercharged engines not retaining the oil due to the air being sucked through them at a much higher rate, but all the instances I have heard of had been with high-performance engines, not stock. (Haven't heard anything about this recently, maybe K&N fixed the issue)

Rough idle is typically caused by a miss, he does have that correct. However, a miss can be caused by many many things, including a bad wire, bad spark plug, malfunctioning injector, faulty coil, bad valve, all kind of different reasons, and none of the above would cause me to get a new vehicle. My mustang was so horrible when I bought it it was dangerous to drive, but a set of wires and plugs fixed it right up. Also, 4.0's are notorious for Idle Air Control Valve (IAC) and Mass Air Meter (MAF) problems, search for threads on how to clean those, maybe it's something extremely simple.

One has to wonder about the expertise, motivations and credibility of a mechanic that tells you to "buy a new truck" based on his seat of the pants observations, rather than qutoing you a estimate on fixing what are not much more than normal tune up problems. I would highly recommend either taking your truck to a different mechanic, maybe even the dealer if you trust your local one, to get a second opinion, or search this forum to get more information about specific things to check. After all, if your doctor told you you had cancer, wouldn't you get a second opinion before doing anything drastic? I know I would.

Hope this helps




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