Broken fan - What Now

Rubble

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 2, 2022
Posts
19
Reaction score
2
Location
Calgary Alberta Canada
Hi All I have an 04 Gen III.

Started getting a weird vibration through the entire car the other day. It was intermittent and did not matter if the car was moving or not. I suspected some sort of balance issue with the cooling system in the belt or the pulleys related to it. (Sorry I am not technical) The internet is a wonderful thing and soon I discovered posts with the same symptoms I was getting. All indications were that it was a cooling fan issue. Perhaps a crack or a piece breaking off the fan causing it to go out of balance. I got out the flashlight today and rotated the cooling fan and it took me approx 1 minute to discover a piece missing off the outside end of the fan blades. I am pretty sure this is the issue.



So....what now ?

If anyone of the viper experts can suggest the most efficient and cost effective solution to my problem I would appreciate it.

Thanks
Rubble
You must be registered for see images attach
 

Viper Specialty

Legacy/Supporting Vendor
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Posts
5,732
Reaction score
62
Location
Cape Coral, FL
We can track down and replace your fan blade if it comes down to it. A pain in the ass for sure, but cheaper than a full replacement if you can find one.
 
OP
OP
R

Rubble

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 2, 2022
Posts
19
Reaction score
2
Location
Calgary Alberta Canada
Hey Dan, thanks for the quick reply.

Are you suggesting that just the fan and not the whole assembly can be replaced ?

Thanks
Randy
 

MoparMap

VCA National President
VCA Officer
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Posts
2,466
Reaction score
291
Location
Kansas
Do you think it would be possible to rebalance what you have or would that be more cost and effort than it's worth? It's missing a piece, so seems like it could potentially be "easy enough" to add some material back to get the balance back (like wheel weights on a wheel), but given the design of the fan I'm not sure how realistic that idea is.
 

Viper Specialty

Legacy/Supporting Vendor
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Posts
5,732
Reaction score
62
Location
Cape Coral, FL
Hey Dan, thanks for the quick reply.

Are you suggesting that just the fan and not the whole assembly can be replaced ?

Thanks
Randy
Yes. The best route is always to replace the whole thing, but thats only if you can find one and not have it cost a fortune.

I have tracked down and installed replacement blades before. It's not cheap, but its cheap... er.

See what you can find first, it's always an option.
 

Viper Specialty

Legacy/Supporting Vendor
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Posts
5,732
Reaction score
62
Location
Cape Coral, FL
Do you think it would be possible to rebalance what you have or would that be more cost and effort than it's worth? It's missing a piece, so seems like it could potentially be "easy enough" to add some material back to get the balance back (like wheel weights on a wheel), but given the design of the fan I'm not sure how realistic that idea is.
You would never want to do this. The blade is breaking apart, not just unbalanced.
 
OP
OP
R

Rubble

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 2, 2022
Posts
19
Reaction score
2
Location
Calgary Alberta Canada
Hi all thanks for comments and feedback. In my opinion repair or rebalance of the fan blades is not the way to go for several reasons

My question is can you just replace the plastic fan assembly ? The part that has the blades with the frame or is that part of a larger assembly that would need to be replaced. With the goal of Also keeping total labour and parts costs to a minimum
Thanks
 

MoparMap

VCA National President
VCA Officer
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Posts
2,466
Reaction score
291
Location
Kansas
You would never want to do this. The blade is breaking apart, not just unbalanced.

I guess I meant also reinforcing that break while rebalancing. Like putting a metal strap across where the piece is missing, but being careful to do it in a way that wouldn't throw off the balance.

Hi all thanks for comments and feedback. In my opinion repair or rebalance of the fan blades is not the way to go for several reasons

My question is can you just replace the plastic fan assembly ? The part that has the blades with the frame or is that part of a larger assembly that would need to be replaced. With the goal of Also keeping total labour and parts costs to a minimum
Thanks

My understanding is that theoretically speaking at least the fan is balance with the fan motor, so they tend to advise against it, at least in the service manual. That being said, I believe that is exactly what I did when I found out my fan module was bad. I had a relief valve sticking open that was causing the steering rack to be bypassed all the time and constantly boiling my fluid. I put a salvage fan module in it and swapped my fan over to the new module. So far hasn't given me any trouble. I'd probably look at Don Scharf and see what they might have for salvage parts first.
 

99RT10GTS

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 24, 2022
Posts
439
Reaction score
101
Location
Tennesse
This is a great time to shitcan the hydraulics and go to a Gen 4 electric fan option. There is a reason why Dodge did not use the same fan setup in the 08+ cars.......... Eliminate the leaking lines, broken/hard to find fan modules........
 
OP
OP
R

Rubble

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 2, 2022
Posts
19
Reaction score
2
Location
Calgary Alberta Canada
Yes I see that option debated on some forums. Some say the HYD is a superior and more efficient system but has some draw backs. I have had zero temp issues. Temp is right on all the time. So hesitant to change that. Just trying to fix the broken fan and move on
Thanks
 

Viper Specialty

Legacy/Supporting Vendor
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Posts
5,732
Reaction score
62
Location
Cape Coral, FL
Yes I see that option debated on some forums. Some say the HYD is a superior and more efficient system but has some draw backs. I have had zero temp issues. Temp is right on all the time. So hesitant to change that. Just trying to fix the broken fan and move on
Thanks
Hydraulic Fan is far superior. It has a bad reputation due to the sheer number of techs and owners who dont understand it and/or half-ass repairs or do other stupid stuff, and end up creating problems that never would have occurred otherwise... combined with bogus tune files, overspeed issues, and the occasional fracture due to the same + age + rock damage... and here we are.

Fix the hydraulic, fix it right, and dont worry about it.
 

aacrewchief

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 9, 2010
Posts
41
Reaction score
3
Location
Tulsa, Ok.
I had this exact issue a few years ago on my ‘06, I found a brand new fan assembly unit and replaced it myself, fairly easy job if you are mechanically inclined. From what I understand, each fan assembly is balanced individually from the manufacturer as there are minor imperfections in the manufacturing process of the plastic so the fan itself has to be balanced after it’s installed on the complete assembly to make sure it will be vibration free. I’d be cautious of just trying to install the fan blades only on your existing unit as you won’t have any way of balancing it. Anyway, just my 2 cents worth.
 

Viper Specialty

Legacy/Supporting Vendor
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Posts
5,732
Reaction score
62
Location
Cape Coral, FL
I had this exact issue a few years ago on my ‘06, I found a brand new fan assembly unit and replaced it myself, fairly easy job if you are mechanically inclined. From what I understand, each fan assembly is balanced individually from the manufacturer as there are minor imperfections in the manufacturing process of the plastic so the fan itself has to be balanced after it’s installed on the complete assembly to make sure it will be vibration free. I’d be cautious of just trying to install the fan blades only on your existing unit as you won’t have any way of balancing it. Anyway, just my 2 cents worth.
Blade is balanced. Motor is not. Shaft diameter is insignificant from a balance standpoint.
 
OP
OP
R

Rubble

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 2, 2022
Posts
19
Reaction score
2
Location
Calgary Alberta Canada
Thanks guys for all your feedback I really appreciate the comments. Any suggestions on where to purchase the parts would be appreciated.
 

ToothLess

Enthusiast
Joined
May 21, 2023
Posts
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Denton TX
Im dealing with this exact issue as we speak, Lucky for me, the local shop here in DFW was able to find a complete assembly, my fingers are crossed until it arrives because it is already a week late. I didn't have any luck finding a replacement in my search. EBay had a couple of them for the $1,500 range, or reach out to BSP Motorsports in Frisco TX. That's the shop I use for my car, and they were able to get one on order much cheaper.
 

Viper Specialty

Legacy/Supporting Vendor
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Posts
5,732
Reaction score
62
Location
Cape Coral, FL
Im dealing with this exact issue as we speak, Lucky for me, the local shop here in DFW was able to find a complete assembly, my fingers are crossed until it arrives because it is already a week late. I didn't have any luck finding a replacement in my search. EBay had a couple of them for the $1,500 range, or reach out to BSP Motorsports in Frisco TX. That's the shop I use for my car, and they were able to get one on order much cheaper.
And that may also be why its not showing up. "much cheaper" and "G3 Hydraulic Fan" no longer go in the same sentence.
 

99RT10GTS

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 24, 2022
Posts
439
Reaction score
101
Location
Tennesse
And that may also be why its not showing up. "much cheaper" and "G3 Hydraulic Fan" no longer go in the same sentence.

^^^This^^^ plus all the leaking issues is a good reason to upgrade to an electric fan setup. Why do you think Dodge went back to electric for the Gen 4+ cars?
 
OP
OP
R

Rubble

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 2, 2022
Posts
19
Reaction score
2
Location
Calgary Alberta Canada
Hi guys thanks again for all feedback Yeah I don’t think we can settle the elec vs hydraulic debate. Each corner seems to have staunch supporters. To note they also used hyd system in some grand cherokees as well. Not sure what that says. But there you go. Again personally for me it has worked great. I cannot blame picking up a rock and breaking the plastic fan on the entire system. Zero leaks constant temp zero maintenance so gonna stick with it. I was just looking for most inexpensive way to fix. So…according to two dodge dealers in Canada. entire assembly on back order. Est delivery 2-4 wks. My cost in Canada with core and taxes about $1300 for part alone. Was hoping to get away with just replacing fan but that is not avail. Also labour to remove and replace fan prob brings it closer in cost to R&R whole assembly. I did not ask service what est is on R&R the assembly but I’m gonna say 3 hrs ? Does not look like I’m getting away with much less than $2k to fix. If I say it quick it doesn’t sting as much
 

MoparMap

VCA National President
VCA Officer
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Posts
2,466
Reaction score
291
Location
Kansas
It's actually super easy to take the fan assembly out. Once you pull the air box the radiator is wide open to deal with and the fan module comes out pretty easy at that point. The main annoyance would just be dealing with the fluid and stuff.
 

Viper Specialty

Legacy/Supporting Vendor
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Posts
5,732
Reaction score
62
Location
Cape Coral, FL
^^^This^^^ plus all the leaking issues is a good reason to upgrade to an electric fan setup. Why do you think Dodge went back to electric for the Gen 4+ cars?

Cost, not performance. Simple as that.

Leaking issues are blown way, Way, WAY out of proportion. 30 minute fix every 10-15 years if you know what you are doing... but courtesy of morons who dont, they become disasters, and the system gets blamed for the incompetence of techs and owners.

I have never seen a group of guys spend so much time and money creating new and interesting problems, or just not solving anything, as the Viper crowd does.
 

Viper Specialty

Legacy/Supporting Vendor
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Posts
5,732
Reaction score
62
Location
Cape Coral, FL
So simplistic electric over a complicated hydraulic system? I'll take the simple solution for $100 Alex..................
You can do what you want... but if you think that a single O-Ring that seeps every 10-15 years is more problematic than 2 relays, 2 motors and a bunch of wiring... you would be mistaken. Complication? Its literally ONE extra hydraulic hose, ONE rubber line, and a Motor assembly different from the standard PS system, but removes two motors, two blades, two relays, a bunch of fuses and a host of wiring in the process. Thats not "complicated" its just different.

And lets not forget... a pair of 1/8HP electric motors versus a 10HP hydraulic motor? Zero comparison on which one cools better. I can easily install and control whatever fan I want, and I would never consider removing the hydraulic system.

I seriously don't get the hate, aside from people being afraid of what they don't understand. I have serviced countless Gen-3's, and can count on one hand the number of issues [and still have fingers left] with hydraulic fans over the years aside from the O-Ring seep, and in every other case, it was due to stupidity of technicians before I got it, or physical impact with something that broke the blades or shrouds.

Did everyone just forget all about the failing Gen-1/2 electric motors, cooling problems, PDC meltdows, etc? Does everyone think the same thing isn't going to eventually plague G4/5? It will, just give it time.

And dont even get my started on the aftermarket fan controller that will be required for G3 due to changeover and the host of unreliability, hassles and hacking THAT will cause.
 
Last edited:

Viper Specialty

Legacy/Supporting Vendor
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Posts
5,732
Reaction score
62
Location
Cape Coral, FL
This is the big plus to me.

Also, Grand Cherokees of the same era used a hydraulic fan.
Yep, they sure did, for the big engine towing package equipped vehicles. It eliminated the cooling system issues without penalty.

Let's be honest, the world has changed... NOW. With the advent of Electric Assist steering racks in New vehicles, deletion of Hydraulic power steering systems, and more powerful brushless motor designs and improved control systems coupled to smaller and smaller engines while at the same time the "big air inlet look" is in style... Hydraulic cooling in passenger vehicles no longer makes the sense that it used to. Back in the early 2000's, it was "free power" to run a huge fan system that could handle anything you needed it to on any sized engine. Now that the pumping system is gone from many vehicles and motors are improved to close the gap, we won't see those systems again outside of heavy equipment where Hydraulic systems are native and the cooling power is needed.

But, for an analog vehicle like the Viper with a traditional Hydraulic rack, a tiny front radiator opening area, a huge engine, and a normal electrical system... it was 100% ideal in every way. Personally, I think it's one of the most unique features of the Viper in any generation, and it's rare to see in general because it WAS costly to implement back then.
 
Last edited:

MoparMap

VCA National President
VCA Officer
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Posts
2,466
Reaction score
291
Location
Kansas
I went what I thought was the "best of both" with my hydraulic setup. I originally bought an AN line kit to fix my leaking fitting issue, but really didn't like the way it routed. I think I actually got sent a truck kit instead of the car, but either way I still wasn't really a fan and saw no need to replace all the other hoses and fittings in the system that weren't leaking. The only thing I ended up using from the kit in the long run was the adapter to convert the pump to an AN outlet. I had a local hydraulic shop braze an AN fitting to the end of my stock hose and have been super happy with the setup ever since. Gives me a more solid connection at the pump with little worry of leaking but still maintains all the stock routing and hose sizes. I'm guessing the only reason they really used a quick connect fitting was for ease of assembly at the factory as it would be a simple "plug it in on the line" type of installation vs something requiring a wrench to install.

I have seen one other potential issue with the hydraulic fan module as far as "added complexity", but no idea how common it might be. It does add an extra relief valve to the system as well. I went round and round with my car constantly putting new pumps on it because I thought I had no pressure due to extreme steering effort. Finally bought a test kit and started looking and found that the pumps were fine (well, until I likely boiled them to death with overheated fluid at least), but the relief valve in the fan module for the steering rack was stuck open and constantly bypassing fluid. The fan worked okay, but when the fluid bypasses the rack it also bypasses the cooler and was getting way too hot and taking out pumps. Originally tried to salvage the valve with a light polish, but ended up having to buy a replacement motor. I still agree that it's a perfectly fine system and would never consider changing it out, it just took a little extra work to understand it and know how to properly diagnose issues with it.
 

GTS Dean

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 22, 2000
Posts
3,849
Reaction score
243
Location
New Braunfels, Texas
I'll say that on heavy equipment - hydraulic cooling fans are preferred. They are load sensitive and throttle up and down seamlessly. All the machines have robust hydraulic systems with multiple pumps - steering, implement, cooling and some have full propulsion provided by hydrostatics. Massive heat exchangers keep oil temperatures in check.

The Chrysler engineers probably figured there was a lot of wasted fluid energy capacity with only steering input and running another fan motor was an easy option. Especially when the G2s were somewhat commonly frying fan relays.
 

Attachments

  • CAT man avatar.jpg
    CAT man avatar.jpg
    15.5 KB · Views: 6

MoparMap

VCA National President
VCA Officer
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Posts
2,466
Reaction score
291
Location
Kansas
For what it's worth, it was also used on Mercedes vehicles at the time, who happened to own Chrysler. So it was likely another case of "parts bin special" to some degree. I actually found a website for a college senior project where a team was investigating issues with the manufacture of the units at Valeo and trying to come up with solutions to address failure rates. Looks like it might not be on the web anymore, but was kind of neat as it showed some of the inner workings of the fan motor unit. It's basically just a hydraulic pump that you feed backwards though, so not like it's rocket science or anything.
 

Viper Specialty

Legacy/Supporting Vendor
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Posts
5,732
Reaction score
62
Location
Cape Coral, FL
Hydraulic fan motors are literally contained in every piece of heavy equipment out there, and any heavy-duty application out there where direct drive is either undesired or impossible.

And yes, the design of a motor is very similar to a pump, in the same way that an electric motor and generator are siblings.

The Valeo units had failure points linked to the faulty internal valve in older versions, fluid descrepancies, and of course the reluctance of OEM's to install fluid filters of any type. All problems were solved or avoidable by 2004 if you knew better... problem was, lots of people didn't, and Chrysler screwed themselves with internal document mistakes.
 

ToothLess

Enthusiast
Joined
May 21, 2023
Posts
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Denton TX
And that may also be why its not showing up. "much cheaper" and "G3 Hydraulic Fan" no longer go in the same sentence.
Ebay was a $1,500 ballpark. The local shop was able to actually get them at List price of $900 that's what i meant for cheaper. Parts are here now and going on the car this week. I'm with you on leaving the system as it was designed. To me changing that up with electrical just sounds like a potential nightmare. Just wish the blades were replaceable.
 

Viper Specialty

Legacy/Supporting Vendor
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Posts
5,732
Reaction score
62
Location
Cape Coral, FL
Ebay was a $1,500 ballpark. The local shop was able to actually get them at List price of $900 that's what i meant for cheaper. Parts are here now and going on the car this week. I'm with you on leaving the system as it was designed. To me changing that up with electrical just sounds like a potential nightmare. Just wish the blades were replaceable.

The blades are replaceable.
 
Top