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Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers Questions related to non-modified 1995-2001 Explorer, Mountaineer, Ranger and '02+ Sports and Sport Trac. Problem solving, maintenance, TSB, service bulletins, owner reviews, specifications.

Fan clutch removal problems!

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Old 07-30-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
Pericles
El Paso, TX
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Lightbulb Fan clutch removal problems!

I own a 1999 Explorer with a 4.0L SOHC engine, now that I need to replace the water pump again I can't take the fan off. I know it has a left hand thread, i've done it 2 years ago, but i think i really tighten it real good now i can't take it off! I used a home-made tool, basically a metal spatula cut to the size of the fan nut, just like the picture shown, but this year the darn thing broke off. Believe it or not, that spatula worked fine to remove the clutch.
Last night I put some wd40 oil in the thread, didn't work. Any ideas will be appreciated as i'm really frustrated with this.


I forgot to tighten a bolt on the water pump pulley, that fixed the rattling for now, but still struggling to get the fan and clutch assembly off the vehicle.


here's another picture:

Last edited by Pericles; 07-30-2009 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:01 PM   #2
BrooklynBay
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I've moved your thread to the stock 95-01 section.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:34 AM   #3
Spdrcer34
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I used the 'free' rental tool from AutoZone a couple weeks ago to pull a fan/clutch. I couldn't get 1 of the 2 fans off that I was working on. The wrench on the fan nut kept widening, and spinning on the nut. When it comes time to replace the water pump, I don't know what I am going to do.

Ryan




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Old 08-06-2009, 01:52 AM   #4
jlsparky7
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PB blaster and a propane/cutting torch. Just soak overnight with pb then heat it up.




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Old 08-06-2009, 09:26 AM   #5
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Use caution since PB Blaster just like WD-40 is flammable.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pericles View Post
I know it has a left hand thread
Are you sure it's a left hand thread? I'm 99% positive the 1st gens at least had right hand threads. And with the way the fan turns it would make more sense to have a right hand thread. There should be a sticker right on top there that says what it has.




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Old 08-06-2009, 09:44 AM   #7
Turdle
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Molded into the plastic shroud, right near the battery it says

" fan clutch right hand thread"


edit
actually says

" RH thread on fan clutch"
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:37 PM   #8
coopa
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old thread but valuable

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynBay View Post
Use caution since PB Blaster just like WD-40 is flammable.
Heat + PB Blaster is a good combination, but I'd recommend using the heat FIRST and then when you spray PB on the heated parts it should soak into the threads or whatever.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:45 PM   #9
coopa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spdrcer34 View Post
I used the 'free' rental tool from AutoZone a couple weeks ago to pull a fan/clutch. I couldn't get 1 of the 2 fans off that I was working on. The wrench on the fan nut kept widening, and spinning on the nut. When it comes time to replace the water pump, I don't know what I am going to do.

Ryan
I just used the rental tool from AutoZone. The large squarish one (58mm) has to be held in position then the other one (36mm) can be used to loosen the nut on the fan clutch. When I got the two wrenches properly positioned I used a dead blow hammer on the 36mm one and it came loose pretty easily. Getting the two wrenches properly position depends upon how you are going to whack the smaller one (Are you righty or lefty?). I used my left hand to hold the big 58mm wrench firmly around the four bolts on the pulley and made sure the other wrench was at an angle where I could whack it without hitting A/C related stuff.

coopa

P.S. I had to return the 1st tool set to Auto Zone because the 36mm wrench was "spread" to 39mm and would not grip the clutch fan nut at all. Probably because a previous user tried to loosen a LH threaded clutch fan as if it were a RH thread...or vice versa.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:01 AM   #10
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Remember that as the engine turns it tightens the fan nut. So you want to turn the fan nut in the opposite direction to which the water pump pulley will spin when the engine is running.

If the fan nut spanner you have is to loose on the nut then bash it closed more with a 4 lb hammer. Or if you like you can make your own fan tools, here's one of mine.

This one holds the pulley still by its bolts, it was made from high tensile scrap steel and an angle grinder.





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Old 06-17-2014, 08:49 AM   #11
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Smile I love homemade tools!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sedition View Post
Remember that as the engine turns it tightens the fan nut. So you want to turn the fan nut in the opposite direction to which the water pump pulley will spin when the engine is running.

If the fan nut spanner you have is to loose on the nut then bash it closed more with a 4 lb hammer. Or if you like you can make your own fan tools, here's one of mine.

This one holds the pulley still by its bolts, it was made from high tensile scrap steel and an angle grinder.

I was thinking of making one of these myself. The tool that I rented from Autozone and was bent was the other tool, the 36mm spanner that is used on the clutch fan nut itself. With a strong tool like you built the clutch fan nut can be turned with any 36mm open end wrench or 1 7/16" which is a hair larger than 36mm.

I got mine off by using a couple of blows with a dead blow hammer that is designed not to rebound when you whack something with it, but a 2 or 3 pound ball pein hammer would probably do the trick as well.
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:42 PM   #12
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It is definitely a RH thread. I took mine off the other day on my 99 4.0 SOHC. I went to harbor freight and got a strap wrench pair for about $6. I sprayed the nut with WD40 and let it soak overnight. Put the strap wrench around the pulley, got a big crescent (1 7/16 is the size I heard) and it came off with no problems. If you have the alternator still in place, you can rest the handle of the strap wrench on that so you can get more leverage. I have never used the tool from Autozone so I can't speak to that method.
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:13 PM   #13
rb142
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These can go either way. Most seem to be RH, but not all. Sometimes the pump can be replaced with one with the other thread. The factory manual for mine clearly states LH, while the fan shroud states RH (and it is definitely RH). You have to check the particular vehicle. None of the sources are always correct.

In this case, the OP has previously had it apart and he says it is definitely LH thread. I think it's a safe bet he knows what he has (may or may not be original).

As for getting it off, penetrating oil, heat, and impact (used in some combination) are the choices. An air hammer can be useful too if you have access to one. Let the PB Blaster soak in for a bit, then smacking the wrench with a mallet should eventually break it free.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:51 AM   #14
kythri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rb142 View Post
In this case, the OP has previously had it apart and he says it is definitely LH thread. I think it's a safe bet he knows what he has (may or may not be original).
OP is wrong. The 4.0L SOHC has a right-hand thread on the fan clutch. I just removed mine this past weekend.

Given that the OP couldn't get the fan clutch off, last remembered performing the repair two years earlier than his/her post? Notice that OP didn't come back and confirm/deny.

Also, it's a 36mm fitting, not 1 7/16. Use the right tool for the job. Some idiot prior to me used the wrong size, so the fitting on mine is all munged up because of that.

1 7/16 is 36.5125, so I can understand things being close, but, this is a relatively modern vehicle. While I know from experience that there's some SAE stuff on the rig, the majority is metric. Start with metric, only use SAE if it doesn't fit right.




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Old 06-19-2014, 01:23 PM   #15
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I recently had to remove the fan to do the timing cover gasket on my 5.0. Got two different wrench kits from Advance; in both cases the smaller wrench was labeled 36MM, but actually measured out between 38 and 39MM. Both just slipped around the nut. Finally got it broken loose with a 1-7/16 combination wrench we happend to have laying around. PITA!




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Old 06-19-2014, 05:08 PM   #16
coopa
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1 7/16" 36mm take your pick

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobflood View Post
I recently had to remove the fan to do the timing cover gasket on my 5.0. Got two different wrench kits from Advance; in both cases the smaller wrench was labeled 36MM, but actually measured out between 38 and 39MM. Both just slipped around the nut. Finally got it broken loose with a 1-7/16 combination wrench we happend to have laying around. PITA!
I had the same experience with tool rented/borrowed from Advance AP. The difference between 36mm and 1 7/16" is insignificant, especially since a regular combination wrench is likely to be considerable beefier (thicker) than the tool from Advance. Advantage (pun intended) 1 7/16". I learned a long time ago that there are several inch (SAE) equivalencies compared with mm wrenches, with the caveat that if the substitute wrench is a little bigger (13mm compared to 1/2") you might round off a really tight nut or bolt, but most of the time it will be OK. I recently purchased some of those ratcheting combination wrenches and was disappointed that the SAE set has a 7/16" and the mm set has 11mm. Dupllcation. Oh well, at least I'll still have one when I lose the other.

The homemade fan pulley holding "wrench" pictured above in this thread should be pretty easy to replicate, in fact I'm going to get my favorite welder to make one for me out of some scrap steel. I'd do it myself but he's a wizard and cheap to boot. The tool in the Advance AP set is marked 58mm and if you look around the web for this tool you'll find in listed as 57mm, 2 1/4", 2.3", and perhaps other. The point is for the job it's designed to do precision is not an absolute.
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