Do you need to remove your fan clutch, but you do not have the special tool to remove it? Is it possible to remove it without the special tool? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.
There are several ways to remove the fan clutch without using a special tool. Here is a summary of the steps to one of those methods.
- Warm up the engine, then turn it off.
- Get a piece of paper and fold it until it is thick enough to jam between the pulley and the water pump.
- Jam the pulley with the paper.
- Rotate the fan to loosen the nut.
- Remove the fan shroud.
- Separate the fan from the water pump.
Let’s talk more about the method above of removing the fan clutch in the succeeding sections. Learn about a different way to remove the fan clutch without damaging the water pump pulley in the sections below.
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How to remove the fan clutch without any tools?
Here are the complete steps to remove the fan clutch without a tool.
- Spray penetrating oil into the nut of the fan. Let it soak for an hour or two. Spray it once more with penetrating oil and let it soak for two more hours. This will remove any rust on the bolt, which will make it easier to remove the nut.
- Run your engine until it warms up enough that the radiator fan will start to rotate.
- This is important to engage the fan clutch. You will not be able to remove the fan without a tool unless the clutch engages the fan. This is only possible when the engine is hot enough to activate the clutch.
- Turn off the engine, place your transmission in Park(P), and activate the parking brake.
- Get a piece of paper and fold it as many times as possible until it is thick enough to squeeze tightly between the water pump pulley and the surface of the water pump. This is to stop the water pump pulley from moving. Make sure that the paper is as tight as possible between the water pump pulley and the water pump.
- You can wrap the paper with a piece of rubber to make it grip the pulley better.
- Rotate the fan blade toward the direction of its natural movement. If it rotates counterclockwise, rotate it counterclockwise. Keep rotating the fan manually until it is almost ready to come off.
- Do not remove the fan completely yet.
- Remove the fan shroud. You can also remove the engine cover to make it easier to remove the fan slowly. Remove the fan shroud and the engine cover carefully. Underneath are the hot surfaces of the radiator and the engine.
- Continue rotating the fan and carefully separate it from the water pump pulley.
- Slowly lift the fan and avoid hitting the radiator. The radiator fins can be bent and reduce their effectiveness if you hit the radiator fins with the fan.
Free All Rust Eater Deep Penetrating Oil is available on Amazon through this link.
Removing The Fan Clutch
The most common way to fasten the fan is by using one large nut to attach it to the water pump pulley. However, some models use four bolts to keep the fan in place. This method above will not work on fans that use four bolts.
This fan is vital in keeping your engine cool. It pulls air through the fins of the radiator to more effectively dissipate the heat from the hot coolant. The coolant is responsible for taking excess heat from the engine and bringing it to the radiator.
The radiator takes away the heat of the coolant by passing air through its fins to dissipate the heat.
The proper way to remove the fan clutch is through the use of a fan removal kit. This kit includes a special tool to lock the water pump pulley.
Preventing the movement of the water pump pulley will allow you to disconnect the fan. The fan is connected to the water pump pulley.
Removing The Fan Clutch Without A Tool
It is possible to remove the fan clutch without a tool. However, as the steps above describe, it is not an ideal method. You can use the toolless steps above if you’re replacing the participating parts, like when you need to replace the water pump.
However, if you need to replace the water pump, you will not be able to proceed with a completely toolless approach.
Trying to repair your vehicle DIY means that you need to invest in some tools. Doing things without tools always involve risks—it could be a risk to you or to a component of your vehicle.
Risk Of Injury
You need to do the removal while the engine is hot so that the fan clutch will engage and allow the connective nut to loosen when you rotate the fan blade. If the engine is cold, the clutch will not engage the fan, and rotating the blades will not loosen the connective nut. The fan will simply rotate on its axis if the engine is cold.
However, operating in the engine bay while the engine is hot is dangerous. You risk suffering burns from touching any of the hot components of the engine or the radiator.
If the engine is hot enough to cause the clutch to engage, then the engine is hot enough to give you severe burns.
Lump Of Paper
The lump of paper is there to prevent the water pump pulley from rotating while you rotate the fan blade. Without the paper, the water pump pulley will rotate with the fan blade.
However, this method tilts the pulley to one side. The paper pushes against the pulley towards one side to create enough friction that will stop the pulley from rotating.
Tilting the pulley to one side could misalign the pulley. Misalignment of the pulley can lead to problems with the serpentine belt, causing it to wear unevenly.
How To Remove The Fan Clutch Using A C-Clamp
This removal process for the fan clutch is safer because it does not put you at risk of suffering burns, nor does it risk damaging any engine component that you plan to reuse later.
You can follow the same steps below and use a different tool to stop the movement of the pulley. Chains, straps, or other gripping tools can also prevent the pulley from rotating.
You don’t need to buy a special removal tool for radiator fans. That is likely a one-time use for you. However, you will need some tools that you can use in other tasks around the house or in repairing different parts of your vehicle.
The steps below make use of a C-clamp to arrest the movement of the water pump pulley, allowing you to remove the radiator fan.
A C-clamp or a G-clamp is a type of clamp that you commonly use in welding or carpentry. It effectively holds parts together while you bind them together or work on them as a unit.
Preparing For The Removal
- Park your car on even and solid ground.
- Activate your parking brake.
- Set your transmission to Park(P).
- Open the hood and let your engine cool.
- Remove the fan shroud using a plastic trim removal tool.
- Drench the bolt in penetrating oil and let it soak for an hour or two. Drench it once more with penetrating oil to dissolve and wash away rust. Let it soak for another two hours.
Tresalto Auto Trim Removal Tool Set is available on Amazon through this link.
Removing The Fan Clutch
The first objective when removing the fan clutch is to prevent the water pump pulley from rotating.
Most modern radiator fans no longer use electrical energy for power. Instead, the fan uses the rotational energy from the engine. The design aims to prevent overheating problems that come from a failing radiator fan motor.
The radiator fan uses the same pulley that powers the water pump. This design allows the radiator fan to rotate faster at higher RPMs, allowing it to better cool the engine.
- Use a breaker bar to loosen the tensioner pulley.
- You can take a picture of the serpentine belt before you proceed so that you will know how to put the serpentine belt back.
- Remove the serpentine belt carefully and set it aside.
- Clamp the pulley of the water pump. The C-clamp should be big enough to clamp the pulley along its diameter. Let one end of the C-clamp rest on a nearby pulley.
- Use a ratcheting wrench to loosen the bolt of the fan. You can support the C-clamp as you loosen the bolt to prevent it from rotating.
- Carefully remove the fan. Do not let it hit the radiator fins.
BESSEY TOOLS Drop Forged, C-Clamp is available on Amazon through this link.
WORKPRO Flex-Head Ratcheting Combination Wrench is available on Amazon through this link.
It is possible to remove the fan without a tool. However, there is a risk of injury to the user and damage to the pulley of the water pump. It is not a good idea to remove the fan without a tool unless you plan to replace the radiator fan and the water pump.
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