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Clutch fan for flathead six

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  • Cool/Heat: Clutch fan for flathead six

    Was there ever a clutch style cooling fan offered that would bolt on to the 169 flathead six, a '51 in this case? I assume clutch fans probably didn't come along until the 60s, but did Studebaker offer one that would work on earlier engines? Or has anyone found one from some other make vehicle that works for the flathead six? The 440 in my Dodge Charger has a very good one and it seems like it would be a real benefit on a lower horsepower engine. Any ideas?

  • #2
    I'm not sure, but for someone with good machining skills should be able to make an adapter to fit. Without looking, I'm guessing the critical issue would be to determine if there is one that will fit in the space between the water pump and the radiator? I agree that it would be a benefit for the lower powered engine, but even with that benefit, it's still gonna be a low power engine. Key to these six-cylinder engines is to keep our expectations adjusted to the engine's capabilities. Adapt & enjoy.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    SDC member since 1975

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    • #3
      I would be careful about hanging excessive weight onto the water pump impeller shaft (without closely checking and evaluating).
      Perhaps a conversation with a good water pump rebuilder could offer some insight.
      That pump may well be able to handle it.....or it might not (being a design from the first half of the 20th century).
      You ask a good question.
      HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

      Jeff


      Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



      Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
        I would be careful about hanging excessive weight onto the water pump impeller shaft (without closely checking and evaluating).
        Perhaps a conversation with a good water pump rebuilder could offer some insight.
        That pump may well be able to handle it.....or it might not (being a design from the first half of the 20th century).
        You ask a good question.
        Great points, Jeff. Years ago, (before they up and moved to Mexico) I sold tooling and supplies to a company that rebuilt and refurbished everything from generators, starters, alternators, power steering pumps, and water pumps. When the original pump began to leak on my '55 truck, the production supervisor allowed me to "walk it through" the rebuild. That is when I discovered that there are different lengths of shafts for these pumps. As the worker doing the rebuild was about to press in the new shaft, I immediately saw that the new shaft was a good bit longer than the one that had just been removed. If that one had been installed the fan would have been about an inch into the radiator! Once I politely pointed that out... a correct shaft was chosen and installed. I felt bad for the employee doing the installing because the supervisor admonished him for not being more attentive...although he was observing the process with the rest of us and didn't notice it either until I spoke up.

        So, if the '51 Champion car uses a long shaft, perhaps a shorter shaft pump could be chosen to somewhat offset the overhung bearing load of a clutch fan. Additionally, since the generator doubles as the belt "idler tensioner," using the minimum amount of tension will go a long way toward bearing and seal life of the pump. This applies regardless of whether the additional load of a clutch fan is added.
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975

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        • #5
          I think you've made the most critical point, mentioning the space available for a clutch fan. My '51 Champion has barely three inches between the front of the water pump pulley and the back of the radiator core. I'd be very surprised to find a clutch, fan and mount that would fit in that small a space. But I'll keep hoping someone knows of one. Thanks.

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          • #6
            A Better Fixed Fan is your best option in over 85 degree climates given what has been said here. More Blades, more pitch will help unless the Block or Radiator are plugged.
            These little engines are not known for overheating with stock equipment, so other issues with the cooling system are likely.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              If you want better cooling, and to save wear and tear on the water pump bearing, and not have the parasitic horsepower drain, the obvious answer is to go with an electric fan (or fans). Less noise, too.
              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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              • #8
                I do NOT miss the noise my fan made, before I removed it...

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                • #9
                  Stude fan clutch is 2 3/4 appx mount to face. 1 1/2 face to fan mount. i think i would go electric. Luck Doofus

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