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I wanted to check and see if you folks could tell me how close my cooling fan should be in relation to my radiator on my 68 with the 289 engine in it. As far as I know, I have the stock 68 radiator and to me the fan seems a little overly close to the radiator.
 

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I wanted to check and see if you folks could tell me how close my cooling fan should be in relation to my radiator on my 68 with the 289 engine in it. As far as I know, I have the stock 68 radiator and to me the fan seems a little overly close to the radiator.
Just how close is it? Is that spacing consistent top and bottom? How confident are you in the condition of your motor mounts? If there's a proper shroud in place the fan blades should be half-in and half out of it for maximum efficiency. Some folk who don't run a shroud will say they want the fan as close to the rad as they can get it. The danger of being very close is that if even one motor mount is loose or goes bad engine torque/vibration (especially at start-up or under hard acceleration) may cause things to get chewed up. I've read plenty on this topic and minimum 1/2" clearance but not more than 1" seems what most feel comfortable with generally. Many say 1" is their target.
 

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I'll have to get back to you on what the actual spacing is. I have to get it back on the car first. I had to take it off to get the water pump off and that's when I started wondering if it was too close. It was a total pain to get off and out and it's been even more difficult to get back in.
 

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After FINALLY getting my fan bolted back on I was able to a couple of pics showing the current spacing of my fan to radiator. Talk about a royal PITA, there has to be a better way to install the fan onto the water pump.
 

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Whenever I'm doing any fan work I always tape a piece of cardboard to the radiator to keep from banging it up. Never really had an issue installing/removing a fan, I remove the fan, spacer, and bolts as a unit and use a ratcheting wrench. If you have a shroud, unbolt it and lay it forward onto the engine to get at the fan bolts.
 

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Necessity forces me to have the fan bolts 3/8 inch away from the radiator on a Sunbeam Tiger. Motor mounts are now over a decade old. Never any contact with the radiator. Water pump changes require radiator removal.

So 1 inch is plenty good.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Whenever I'm doing any fan work I always tape a piece of cardboard to the radiator to keep from banging it up. Never really had an issue installing/removing a fan, I remove the fan, spacer, and bolts as a unit and use a ratcheting wrench. If you have a shroud, unbolt it and lay it forward onto the engine to get at the fan bolts.
See, that's one of the reasons that I keep thinking mine might be a little close. I couldn't even get my ratcheting wrench on the bolts until I had already screwed them in a good bit. No chance I would have been able to use a ratcheting wrench to take it off, because I would never have gotten my wrench off the bolt (it would have been trapped by the radiator).

I have to admit, I kind of took the water pump/fan off in an unorthodox method. I actually unbolted the water pump from the engine BEFORE I took the fan off. Just for future reference, this is NOT a good way to do this. :grin2::grin2:
 

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That looks way too tight. All you need is a thinner spacer...of course you would have to pull the pump again, lol...or at least the radiator!
 

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I remove the fan, spacer, and bolts as a unit and use a ratcheting wrench.

The fan, spacer and bolts must be inserted and removed as a "unit". You can't get the bolts out if the radiator is only 1" away.


I couldn't even get my ratcheting wrench on the bolts until I had already screwed them in a good bit. No chance I would have been able to use a ratcheting wrench to take it off, because I would never have gotten my wrench off the bolt (it would have been trapped by the radiator).

I made my own "fan wrench" specifically for removing/installing the fan bolts. A 25 cent pawn shop wrench and a piece of metal from the rack at Tractor Supply or Lowes or Home Depot is all it takes. The wrench is longer than half of the fan diameter so my hands are not between the fan and radiator getting chewed up.
 

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The fan, spacer and bolts must be inserted and removed as a "unit". You can't get the bolts out if the radiator is only 1" away.
Um, isn't that what I said? You quoted me and repeated what I said...
 

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Too Close

Looks too close to me. I'd go with a shorter spacer and a fan shroud for cooling. Fan should be half in, half out of the shroud for best "pull".
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The fan, spacer and bolts must be inserted and removed as a "unit". You can't get the bolts out if the radiator is only 1" away.





I made my own "fan wrench" specifically for removing/installing the fan bolts. A 25 cent pawn shop wrench and a piece of metal from the rack at Tractor Supply or Lowes or Home Depot is all it takes. The wrench is longer than half of the fan diameter so my hands are not between the fan and radiator getting chewed up.
Now that wrench is definitely ingenious. I may just have to test out my new welder to come up with something like that.

Another fan spacing question to go along with this. If the fan is too close, would that make the car run hotter than normal? Or is it more of a safety kind of thing to have it further away (keep the blade from running into the radiator)?
 
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