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Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors?
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mppickett
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:47 pm    Post subject: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

BANG! Somewhere around 5600 rpm (hmmm, thought I'd set the rev limiter to 5200), I heard a large bang and saw my oil filler cap take off across the road behind me. The engine was running fine but the generator light came on so I knew it had to do with the fan belt. Pulled over and looked in the engine bay to see the alternator sitting at an angle, the alternator stand broken in half, a nice 2 inch hole in the top of my shroud and the alternator belt completely untouched (gee, I saved $10). Evidently I did not have one of the balanced, TIG welded fans in this engine.

So, anyone who has gone through this, I could use some advice. I need to buy a good doghouse shroud, fan, alternator stand and alternator. After reading about alignment and balancing woes, I'm wondering if there's a magic purchase of a pre-balanced alternator/fan set to be had. I don't plan on super high revs although the engine seems to really like the 5000s. I don't have the valve train to support more than that. However, I don't want to have another exploding fan adventure so a 7000 rpm fan would be welcome. Any suggestions on sources for good bundles or individual parts?

Many thanks,
Mike
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ALB
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:09 am    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

Hey, it's me (haven't quite made it to bed yet). I wrote you on SOC. What's the big bracket on the left side of the engine for?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:44 am    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

Berg fan.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:13 am    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

Thereís also vendor racin jason here on the site that welds them up.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2209927

Iíve gotten a couple from him, and know quite a few others that were happy with them.

Maybe try running your belt a little looser. 5600 rpm didnít cause the explosion. If you had the belt fairly tight, gear changes likely weakened the crimps, then it finally let go. Thatís why the serpentine systems arenít the best to use on high strung engines because they donít slip. Youíre lucky you only tore up what you did. Iíve seen blades go through deck lids and cause damage to other things outside the car.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:32 am    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

btw the louvered plate under the generator stand is in the wrong position
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

I just use good old German fans.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:08 am    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

Ohio Tom wrote:
I just use good old German fans.

On a stock engine... sure.

But on a fast reving engine, just miss a shift and BOOM.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:13 am    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

That fan was turning a lot more that 5600 rpm.......more like 10 or 12K

Folks use to adjust the belt slack to slip when you hit the big numbers.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:45 am    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

At least your oil cooler didn't take a hit. I'd be pretty happy about that
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

I rev motors to well past 7,000rpm.
I also run a power pulley on anything built for high rpms.
Only ever seen one (Empi) fan explode.

I do as suggested and keep the belt tension on the loose side for this reason.
Also a good idea to run a "power rated" belt (Kevlar jacketed) so they can slip and not tear up.

More than one way to skin a cat...
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:29 am    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

I've seen several stock fans grenade, you don't have any broken fins so that's cool.

I've been using welded fans from CIP1 , power pulleys and loose belts on my buggies for years

brad
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:49 am    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

ALB wrote:
Hey, it's me (haven't quite made it to bed yet). I wrote you on SOC. What's the big bracket on the left side of the engine for?


Hey Al, thanks for the tips on SOC. The big bracket is a Gilmore AC compressor bracket. Due to a very long drive in our old 911 cabrio (black leather interior and black top) during a hot, NC day, Marianne now requires that any car I build must have AC. Truth be told, I love riding top down in hot weather with cold air on my face and knees!

Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

I'm surprised there wasn't more damage. Everything failed gracefully.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
Thereís also vendor racin jason here on the site that welds them up.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2209927

Iíve gotten a couple from him, and know quite a few others that were happy with them.


Quite a mess, but less damage than I've see with other 'exploding' fans; cracked cases, broken fins on the heads, punctured oil cooler, etc.

I give a X2 for Racin Jason. I've purchased a couple fans from him as well. Good guy and great work, especially for the money. As far as generator stands, look for an original VW vs. the Chinese ones. Not that the latter won't hold up in your application, but why tempt fate twice.

And FWIW, the oil deflector plate is in wrong. Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

heimlich wrote:
I'm surprised there wasn't more damage. Everything failed gracefully.


My thought, too. You were lucky, some fan explosions do some serious damage.

Fan always spins much faster than the engine, even with a "power pulley".
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

X2 on the Berg fan. Not only are they welded, but also balanced.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

Thanks so much for the advice, guys. Berg welded/balanced fan ordered. I'll pull together the rest and start my plan to get back on the road!
Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Type 1 Air Cooled Cooling Fan Explosion - Replacement Vendors? Reply with quote

Ive seen quite a few of those aftermarket alternator stands break taking out the fan with them. You can usually tell because there is less damage. When the fan goes at 6K that is when oil coolers and fins get taken out.

Aftermarket backing plates add to the issue causing stress due to their incorrect positioning of the alternator/fan assembly

Ever since I saw my first one Ive been using used stock units. I like the OE one that CB sells, wonder if its just as good as the OG parts.
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