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Thread: Anyone experienced with flex fans?

  1. #1
    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Default Anyone experienced with flex fans?

    I just saw flexible fans in a Jeg's catalogue. They seem to deform at higher RPMS's as a mechanical compensation.

    I was thinking that this would be a great solution to do away with the failure prone fan clutches ?

    Has anyone tried these beasties?

    http://www.jegs.com/c/Fans_Mechanical-Flex-Fans/10115/10002/-1


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  2. #2
    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
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    DON'T!!

    They can be more flexible than you might think. I had one chew into the radiator on my '66 Mustang.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
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  3. #3
    Registered User Zforce's Avatar
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    Or chew into your fingers.
    1971 240Z hls30-17121 L28/E-31 SU's "B" 4-speed 3:70 gears.

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    Registered User palosfv3's Avatar
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    They should be banned for sale . Extremely dangerous especially when they start to fatigue crack and the blades go through things . This is the reason they were removed from cars in production in the mid 60's . Lots of stories of people and mechanics being severely injured or worse.
    Larry

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    Registered User 240ZGL's Avatar
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    Default

    They make a lot of noise too. A good size radiator is the key. I have one of the MSA 4 core radiators brass and copper. I never get past the mid way point on the gauge, even on a hot day and standing still. I'm using a stock plastic fan.
    HLS30-143697 1973 110 ORANGE
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    Who said they don't build em like they use to.


  6. #6
    Registered User Willoughby Z's Avatar
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    Potentially damaging and possibly dangerous, given the high rev. nature of an L engine, IMO.

    I've done this- rebuild an original (33 years/ 110k)-tedious but it lasted a few years.

    http://www.hammondsplains.com/newtec...ling/index.htm

    And I've done this, Bap-Geon (HAYDEN) FAN CLUTCH 2560 / alt. for: 130-0086 (Beck-Arnley) $43.01

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  7. #7
    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    Ran one on my 320 pickup for years. Never had a problem but a J16 engine doesn't rev like an L series. Fatigue crack? It was in as good a condition when I sold the truck 12 years after installing it......
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    I had one on my Z for years. I installed it after my original fan went through the original radiator and i didn't have access to stock replacement parts. I upgraded the radiator and installed a flex fan and spacer. The only issue I had was that it slightly "ticked" the A/C hardware at a certain RPM range. I ignored it and had no problems - ran it for years. When I pulled the Z out of storage a few years ago, I pulled the flex fan off and replaced it with a stock plastic fan & clutch. There were no signs of fatigue or damage to the flex fan after tens of thousands of miles.
    Dennis
    1971 240Z - Original Owner
    2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible

  9. #9
    Registered User Oiluj's Avatar
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    If your old fan is going, and you are not planning on keeping it perfectly stock, I'd go with electric fans. Less power draw from the engine and more efficient.
    Julio
    1972 240Z (in-progress, 95% complete)
    CZC# 15388

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    Registered User chaztg's Avatar
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    My 73 Z had a flex fan on it when I bought the car in '93. My mechanic immediately said to get rid of it, if I wanted to keep my fingers...I trusted him completely about that statement. Sure they may never wear out and not have a fan clutch, which can seize after a while and create a alot of fan noise, but flex fans are unsafe.

  11. #11
    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
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    ^^^ I agree with Oiluj. If not stock, I'd go electric.

    FAIW, I recently replaced my leaking OEM clutch with a lifetime-warranted AutoZone TorqFlo clutch. It seems to work fine. $40, as I recall.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

  12. #12
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    MSA said to stay away from them as well.....of course they want to sell you an electric one instead.

  13. #13
    beandip beandip's Avatar
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    You can rebuild your old clutch fan . The roar of the flex fan is obnoxiousness aside from the fact that they are dangerous on a
    hi reving engine.
    I'd rather die while I am living than live while I am dieing. CZC 1887 IZCC 12602 Member of NorthWest Z Car Club

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    Just curious...anyone here ever have a flex fan disintegrate or personally know someone who was injured by one? I'm not advocating for flex fans, but it seems that there's a great deal of second hand information about them and little first hand experience. The term "Urban Legend" comes to mind.

    As far as being more dangerous than the factory fan, I have first hand experience with my factory fan augering through my radiator that leads me to believe it wasn't too safe, either.
    Dennis
    1971 240Z - Original Owner
    2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible

  15. #15
    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    That and the fact that flex fans, or at least the one I had, state in the instructions what the clearance between the fan and the radiator shoud be. I'm thinking that if one flexed to the point that it damaged the radiator, those instructions weren't followed. As far as sticking your hand into one...well I've never done that with any type of automotive (or other) fan. My brother and I ran flex fans on other vehicles we owned back in the day and never had any of the problems mentioned above.
    Last edited by sblake01; 08-05-2011 at 10:05 AM.
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  16. #16
    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
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    Dennis, yes, a flex fan ate my Mustang's radiator! It started out with a faint "ting........ ting......" and then all hell broke loose before I could pull off to the shoulder to investigate.

    Steve, I can't remember how the fan was spaced, but I am an instruction-reader/follower sort of person.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

  17. #17
    240Z Series II-5 spd 4/71
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    I've had a Hayes flex fan on for many years...as you said, I've observed the flexing at high RPM and the blades don't seem to flex beyond the front plane of the fan. As far as extra noise, I've never heard anything usual.

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