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Thread: Update to this thread. Fan installed & starter fixed

  1. #1
    Speedster Member Charlie D's Avatar
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    Update to this thread. Fan installed & starter fixed

    After driving my '55 President State Sedan a few times one of the biggest hassles I am still having with it is the water temperature at idle. Drive down the road at 60mph or so and the temperature gauge stays in the middle or just above the middle of the normal range. When I stop to fill up with gas I keep it idling because the other big hassle is a starter that will barely turn the engine over when it is hot. In the few minutes it takes to fill up, the needle will move to the top or just above the normal range.

    I am considering installing a 6-volt electric 16" pusher fan in front of the radiator to try to move more air through the radiator at idle. I doubt if the generator at idle will keep up with the electrical needs of the fan. I am thinking it would have to idle quite a while before it could discharge the battery very much. I am just wondering if anyone on the forum has run a pusher fan and if it helped much at idle.

    Thank you,
    Charlie D.
    Last edited by Charlie D; 09-04-2018 at 12:28 AM.

  2. #2
    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    Are 6-volt pusher fans even available?
    Paul
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

  3. #3
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    Do you have a fan shroud? If not, that would probably be the first thing to install.

    My LIMITED understanding of a pusher fan is that:

    1) it can be loud
    2) when its not on, it restricts airflow

    From what Ive read, pushers are the least-desired solution.

    But Im sure other much more experience people than me will chime in.

  4. #4
    President Member 55s's Avatar
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    Six volt systems did work when they were new, and the cars kept cool.

    Look for bad/ corroded ground straps, weak battery, possible weak starter. One of my solenoids was not providing full current.

    There are several threads on this - I know because I've been there...

  5. #5
    Speedster Member greyben's Avatar
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    I've found it typical that the gauge indication will rise while at idle probably because the sensor is at the rear of the engine and the water pump isn't providing a lot of flow. Whether it's a problem depends on how much it rises.

    Considering all the work that's been done on your car it's a shame not to have it run reliably. Assuming you've done all the usual suspect things to the starting system it is suggested you remove the starter from the car for a good inspection.. if not already done verify the condition of the starter gear. It should have minimum wear on the teeth. Also check that you have the correct starter bolts. These are specific and not a standard shoulder size.

    Next disassemble the starter. Carefully check the bushings for any wear or end play on the shaft. Check the brushes for wear and replace if necessary. Now the critical check. The Delco Remy starters used on the 51-55 V8s were notorious for developing drag problems between the armature and field coils. To develop maximum torque the gap between the two must be as small as possible, but they must not touch. Carefully inspect the field coils (That's the outer unit) for ant signs of wear or contact. It will probably appear as a shiny or scuffed spot distinctly different from surrounding area. A relatively easy fix can often be to remove a small amount of material in this and the surrounding area with a small grinding wheel on a drill. If you need to be more elegant you could probably have a machine shop machine it out, but you really only want to remove metal in the contact area. This takes a little guess work so it may need to be repeated. Removing and replacing the starter is not a fun job, but neither is trying to start a stalled vehicle with a bad starter.

    I had this problem with a '52 that about drove me nuts until an old Studebaker mechanic gave me this advice. I also recall a number of references to this in TW back in the 80's. I've been fortunate with my '55 in that it's starter seems to function well when hot albeit a little slower than when cold.
    American iron, real old school
    With two tone paint, it sure is cool

    Its got 8 cylinders and uses them all
    With an overdrive that just won't stall

    With a 4 barrel carb and dual exhausts
    With 4.23 gears it can really get lost

    Its got safety belts and I ain't scared
    The brakes are good and the tires are fair.

    Tried to sell her, but got no taker
    I"ll just keep driving my Studebaker

  6. #6
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    Your water pump may be at fault. A few years ago there were a lot of them on the market, manufactured with incorrect tolerances. 8-9 years ago, I installed one on a friends car and the measurement between the rear of the impeller and the water manifold was so bad it had to be moved almost .070, It never gave a hint of trouble afterwards.
    64 GT Hawk (K7)
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  7. #7
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    I'm sure your fan is the right one, and installed correctly, but over the years I have seen a few fans installed backwards. They sure don't pull much air with the blades curved the wrong direction.

    The only time I see a dragging starter is when the drive end bushing is worn and letting the armature drag on the field pole shoes. I would never remove metal to try to fix this, but new bushing will fix it right up. Also make sure the battery is in good condition.

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    I run a 6 volt fan front side of rad on my 50 Hudson 8. Have it on a switch and use it in traffic. Makes a difference and is very quiet. Often forget to turn it off. Nothing wrong with 6 volt system if everything is close to how it should be.
    Kim

  9. #9
    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    Don't forget that rebuilt engines tend to run hotter at the beginning of their new lives as all new parts have to break in. If you have not made them yet, I would wait for a few thousand miles more to ascertain the situation. Also, temperature gauge readings may sometimes be off base and, as they are inexpensive now, I'd recommand the use of an infrared thermometer before dealing with any modifications. As for the starter problems, I would check the continuity of the circuit with an ohmeter first. These symptoms might be caused only by a bad engine ground.
    Nice day to all.

  10. #10
    Golden Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    I quickly read over the entire thread, so I might have missed something, but...check your idle speed. It is possible (especially in heavy traffic, and very hot days) to have the idle speed set too low for the engine fan to move enough air to keep up.
    John Clary
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  11. #11
    President Member 2R5's Avatar
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    As earlier mentioned ...a shroud is the best way to go


    Home of the Fried Green Tomato

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    1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire

  12. #12
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Yeah But... ALL 1953 to '55 Studebakers have shrouds unless modified.

    I think for whatever reason this Water Pump is NOT doing it's job, I would measure the clearance between the back wall of the Water Manifold and the Impeller Blades.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  13. #13
    Speedster Member Charlie D's Avatar
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    Thank you for your suggestions

    Gentlemen,

    I appreciate the comments and suggestions. The battery cables from and to the battery are 1O. I think they do a pretty good job of getting current to the starter because of how well it turns the engine over when cool.

    The engine was very tight right after the rebuild but last fall’s 500 mile round trip to the Branson Orphan Car Show went a long way to seating the rings and loosening the engine up some.

    I do have the shroud installed. It appears as if it comes about 1/2 inch from the fan blades.

    I usually disconnect the positive cable from the battery post when not driving it. If I keep it hooked up over a period of a couple of weeks it will drain down somewhat. I have sanded and cleaned the hookup point on the water manifold where the positive cable hooks to the engine. I have taken the starter bolts out and sanded and cleaned the back of them and the torque converter housing to try to make sure there is good continuity between the starter and the engine block.

    I think I will double check the resistance between the starter, through the block and to the positive post on the battery. I will then check the resistance between the starter and the negative post on the battery. I am guessing the reading on the ohm meter should be pretty low?

    The last time I went to fill up with gas I left it idling. When I got home and in the garage I shut the engine off. It was not over 200 degrees and I waited five minutes or so and tried to start it. It turned the engine over very slowly, about one cylinder per second. I hit the switch to run the electric pump for 3-4 seconds and tried again. Once again for about 5-6 seconds it was cranking very slow. Then an interesting phenomenon happened. It suddenly speeded up to normal fast cranking speed and the engine started immediately. When I took the positive cable off the battery post it was very hot. I think that would indicate a lot of amperage going through the cable.

    As a few have suggested very eloquently I think this points to the starter binding up. If it were in the electrical starting circuit I do not think the engine would instantly go from very slow cranking to normal cranking in a split second.

    I have attached a picture of the engine compartment. Once again thank you for the suggestions on the starting situation. I will be trying to contact kamzack about his 6-volt fan.

    Charlie D.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    It DOES certainly look like everything in there is in Better than GREAT shape!
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  15. #15
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    Sure wish all my cars looked that nice under the hood. I never use ohms to check starter problems. A wire the size of a human hair can show 0 ohms, but not carry amps. I would probe the battery posts to check voltage, then do the same while cranking the engine. If it drops to less than about 5 volts, then the battery is too small, too bad, or the starter is drawing too much. A hot post connection means it heated up from a poor connection, or the battery is bad, or the starter is drawing too many amps. I have an ammeter with various buss bars, so it can measure up to 400 amps. Between the voltage readings and amp draw, a person can pinpoint the problem.

    Another test that might help is to shine the headlights on the wall and see how much they dim as you start the engine. Do this both cold and hot, when it has the problem.

    I check voltage drop to check for poor connections. Probe the + battery post and the starter body and check for voltage drop while cranking the engine. It should have less than about .1 volt drop. Do the same for the - post and starter post.
    Last edited by TWChamp; 07-05-2018 at 05:57 PM.

  16. #16
    Golden Hawk Member mbstude's Avatar
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    I've posted about this before. After this many years, the starter armature has probably "swelled" and is out of round. Several people I know have taken the armature and had a couple of thousanths shaved off on a lathe. That usually fixes the slow-start-when-hot problem.

    Found a thread where Jerry Kurtz went into a little more detail. http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...arter-problems

  17. #17
    Commander Member JimKB1MCV's Avatar
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    Charlie
    One way to qualify your starter would be to install a known good starter and see if that cures your slow-crank condition.
    Was your starter rebuilt while you engine was being overhauled?
    I think I tend to agree with Matt, it is sounding like there is a starter problem.

    My President water temp will tend to creep up under excessive idle time on a hot day. I suspect a Tulsa hot day is somewhat warmer than a Maine hot day. Something I haven't done is to clean my water jacket passages, something I would expect would have been included in your overhaul.

    how did the trunk mat project you started earlier this year work out?

  18. #18
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    "Once again for about 5-6 seconds it was cranking very slow. Then an interesting phenomenon happened. It suddenly speeded up to normal fast cranking speed and the engine started immediately."

    This would make me think it's faulty battery or bad connection, but without voltage and amp readings, this is still a guessing game.
    You might also want to check for voltage drop across the two starter relay terminals while it's slow cranking.

  19. #19
    Speedster Member Charlie D's Avatar
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    Thank you guys for all the feedback. My late 55 President State Sedan parts car has the starter in it. The guys in the local club have provided me with some recommendations for local repair services. I may have both of them worked on and sale one later on. It will be a while before I can report how things came out as I am recovering from a rotator cuff surgery. Almost everyone said, including the surgeon, I was looking at 5-6 months and I am starting to believe them. The surgery was three months ago and I see the surgeon tomorrow. I am hoping she will release me for strengthening therapy. I have recovered most of the range of motion.

    The trunk mat project had to be put on hold with everything else on the Studebaker. I am very excited however about its progress. Steve Remick has the original trunk mat in his '55 President State Sedan. He sent me several photos of it and I had started working on a pattern to have a mat sewn up for my car but injured myself about half-way into that. I was pleasantly surprised at how close the color of the material I bought to use was to his. The pattern however is not the same. The material in his showed a distinct diagonal pattern and the material I have shows a distinct horizontal and vertical pattern in the weaving.

    I can hardly wait until I can get back to tinkering on things.

    Charlie D.

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    Along with checking and repairing any corroded, loose, funky connections.
    Are the battery cables new ?
    The cables can look good but be corroded inside.
    If you are going to get new cables, 1/0 is good, 2/0 would be better.
    Move the ground from the manifold to the starter mounting bolt.
    South Lompoc Studebaker

  21. #21
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    When I first brought my 51 Champion home I tackled the “slow starter” and gradual battery drain. I believe it’s under a post “Starter Solenioid” here.

    My issues were with a faulty old solenoid, but after a new battery, starter switch and lightening up to a 10W-30, I bought a “Battery Tender Jr.” and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Instant starts, digital circuitry guaranteed to not overcharge the battery and easy to read status lights. They are amazing for our seldom-driven cars.

    Now I plug in every night, just like a Tesla!

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    PM sent
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    Speedster Member avantibngrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWChamp View Post
    "Once again for about 5-6 seconds it was cranking very slow. Then an interesting phenomenon happened. It suddenly speeded up to normal fast cranking speed and the engine started immediately."

    This would make me think it's faulty battery or bad connection, but without voltage and amp readings, this is still a guessing game.
    You might also want to check for voltage drop across the two starter relay terminals while it's slow cranking.
    If cable or connection is getting hot, you are loosing power right there. No cable or connection should get hot at all. There is resistance there and the (I^2)*R is rejected as heat and the I*R is a voltage drop on the way to the starter. So that heat means you have less than 6 volt at the starter. I have 15 antique tractors, most are 6 Volt. First thing I look for when they turn slowly is any hot connections. I hope that helps.

  24. #24
    Speedster Member Charlie D's Avatar
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    Fan installation – I screwed up, again!!

    I got a 16” MaraDyne 6 volt fan in today. I looked at some of the pictures of the restoration work and discovered the radiator support had a brace welded across it. I knew I could not mount the fan with that there. I went out and removed the upper radiator air deflector and got a very unpleasant surprise. The core of the radiator measures 24” wide and 14 ½” deep. I wish I would have taken the 15 minutes to get this off before I ordered the 16” fan.


    I was able to save messing up again by noticing that a 14” would not work either. Monday I am going to see if I can ship the 16” fan back and get a 12”. Carl Purdy has warned me about running tie straps that come with the fan through the core itself as the directions call for. He said he had problems when they came loose and damaged the fins on his radiator.


    Since the radiator support is tied into the fan shroud and the inner fenders I cannot see a problem with grinding the support off and mounting the fan using metal straps from the support to the fan. It also looks like I will need to remove the lower valance and possibly the center grill to get good enough access to the radiator support to mount the fan correctly.


    I plan to pull power from the 12 gauge wire going to the horn relay. That will go through a 6 volt fan relay and on to the fan. I plan to use a toggle in the dash to turn the fan on only when I need it. I thought about not posting this because it is such a stupid mistake. I have tried not to withhold all the other blunders that I have made on the car over the past seven years so why try to hide a perfectly mistake riddled reputation.


    Charlie D.

    100_0977.jpgDSCF7178.jpg

  25. #25
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Most electric Mods I have seen use tiny little Fans sometimes Two, using one almost as large as the Radiator Height seems to me like overkill.
    Have all the non-mod Cooling System "Fixes" recommended here, been tried and failed?

    FYI: I have something I see that you should check.
    Most of that style Rad. Cap I have stocked and sold were for 3/4 Inch newer car Radiator Necks, a '53 to '55 has a 1 Inch reach, so it will not work, I would check that just in case.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  26. #26
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    FWIW I had a similar hot start problem. The engine would snap to life when cold however when hot as you describe about a cylinder per second. I changed starters, battery, cables to no avail. It was suggested to me to when the engine was hot try to turn it over by hand at the fan, if it is stiff that would indicate an internal problem, it took greater than 50lbs of torque to turn the engine by hand when hot however only minimal when cold. The engine was removed and completely disassembled to find the rod bearings severely scrubbed indicative of no or insufficient oil getting to them. (from original assembly the engine had 12 hours running). Further in to the investigation it was found that the main oil passages were mostly blocked with debris and starving the rod bearings of oil. After the minor surgery the engine was re assembled with new rod bearings, the hot starts are now in the past.

    A quick test is to turn the engine over by hand when hot to determine how much resistance.

  27. #27
    Speedster Member Charlie D's Avatar
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    Update! The starter situation appears to be fixed!!

    Gentlemen,

    Thank you for all your advice and suggestions. I took the starter off the ’55 President State Sedan parts car and my car to Shorty’s Electric here in Tulsa. My starter checked out and they put a new field coil in the parts car’s starter. He said both were ready to go.

    I cleaned and painted the parts car’s starter making sure that no paint was on anything touching the converter housing. I sanded all the area around were the starter would bolt to.

    Dan Manko had suggested checking the connections and that is what I did (at last). Many of you had probably assumed that I had already done that. Plus, I had made sure they were all done well during the restoration. Every connection was checked and I think the culprit was the frame to engine ground strap. I put a socket on the screw that secured one end and it was loose, only finger tight. There was some rust looking residue on that end of the strap. I took a die-grinder with sanding disc and cleaned the strap, motor mount, and engine where the strap would fasten to. The strap was reinstalled tightly.

    I made a gas run of 26 miles and when I returned I let it idle without the pusher fan that I have installed. When it was at the top of the normal range I turned it off and waited five minutes or so before trying to start it again. When I turned the key, the starter whirled and the engine fired right up. I was a happy camper!

    Charlie D.

    100_1097.JPG100_1182.jpg100_1194.JPG100_1204.jpg

  28. #28
    Speedster Member Charlie D's Avatar
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    Another Update! A pusher fan was installed.

    Gentlemen,

    I decided to go ahead and install a 6 volt pusher fan. I ordered a MaraDyne 12” fan off eBay for $65 and free shipping. The support rod that runs in front of the radiator was in my way and I thought about cutting it off but John Kimbrough cautioned me not to. I decided a work-a-round could be done with a 2” strip of 20 gauge galvanized metal that a friend gave me. This was pop riveted to fan.

    The places where the ¾” deep notches needed to be cut were determined and tin snips took care of those. A nice surprise was that tie straps could be put around the rod and the bent out notches to hold the fan in place while the installation was completed.

    Some silicone suction hose with heat resistance to 350 degrees was slit and put on the metal to protect the radiator core. Brackets were made out of the 20 gauge metal and bolted to the fan and pop riveted to the radiator support bracket.

    A 6-volt fan relay was installed near the radiator. The power was pulled from the 12 gauge wire at the horn relay. An inline 20 amp fuse was used. A toggle switch was installed under the dash near the momentary switch for the electric fuel pump.

    It may be too late in the summer to properly test its effectiveness but I used it a little today when I made a 26 mile fuel run. It was only 87 degrees when I made the run but I know that even in the upper 80s when I let it idle to fill it with gas the needle will go above the normal range. Today I turned the fan on while filling up and the needle went to about 2/3 up the normal range. I knew that it was helping a little.

    When I got home I wanted to test the starter when the needle was at least to the top of the normal range. It started to climb and when it got to near the top I turned the fan on. The needle stopped rising but neither did it fall any. I turned the fan off and it went up a little more. My conclusion, after this short test drive, is that the fan is going to help at least a little at idle. I hope I will have to wait until next summer to see what it does when the temperature is closer to 100 degrees.

    Charlie D.
    100_1112.jpg100_1144.JPG100_1151.jpg100_1164.JPG100_1173.JPG100_1178.jpg100_1180.jpg
    Last edited by Charlie D; 08-15-2019 at 09:46 PM.

  29. #29
    President Member Noxnabaker's Avatar
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    I didn't see this thread before but coolingfan, radiator & such interests me, & I didn't read many answers either...
    One thing I've learned the hard way thou is that if there's room enough behind the rad for the fan it's much better to place it there due to the fact that when it's in the front it blocks some air from cooling the radiator good enough.
    Been there, sour result, done the change...


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  30. #30
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    I replaced the stock nos 170 thermostat with a Moroso hi flow 160 and the pverheat solved. Seems that the higher flo rate was need at idle.

  31. #31
    President Member lelshaddai's Avatar
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    My 51 Commander was overheating in AZ. I had the radiator rodded out and it solved the problem, even in 105 degree days.
    51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
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  32. #32
    President Member Noxnabaker's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention what also happend on the german autobahn; airpressure pushed the fan's center ate a hole in the rad... & the result of that was max 70 km/h & stopping for water every 30 km + the ferry to Sweden a day later.


    Josephine
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  33. #33
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Even here in KY, prolonged idling will cause the Studes' temp gauge to climb, but not peg. But in the desert, prolonged idling will cause it to peg. When I lived in the desert I installed 16" pusher fans on all three Studes, in front of the AC condenser. When caught in traffic and moving less than 10 MPH or at standstill, I'd flip the switch to thru the pusher fan on, and turn off the AC. I'd also use it at gas stations when re-fueling. The pusher would keep the temp gauge from pegging. When I mover back to KY, now almost 20 years ago, I eventually removed all the pusher fans. If I were going back to live in the desert, I'd install 16" pusher fans again, before leaving KY to head that way.

    The pusher fan will work, and will even push enough air through the AC condenser to help cool the radiator.

    Of course, if improperly installed, all sorts of bad things can happen, i.e. the fan could grind a hole in the radiator or AC condenser if mounted too close.

    Not sure how a 6V pusher fan would work though. All my Studes were 12V, and converted to GM, 1-wire alternator.

    I ASSue you have a 3-row radiator?
    Last edited by JoeHall; 08-14-2019 at 05:35 PM.

  34. #34
    Speedster Member Charlie D's Avatar
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    Joe,

    It does have a 3-row radiator. The little 12" 6 volt pusher fan probably only pushes a third or so what your 16" 12 volts did. But it does move quite a bit of air through the radiator when the engine is off and the fan engaged. I am trying to link another thread concerning replacing the water pump to this post. This is my third try so hope I push all the right buttons this time. After the water pump replacement and adjusting the clearance between the impellers and the race in the manifold I have had the car out in 90+ degree weather three times.

    The water pump appears to have reduced the water temperature about 13-18 degrees. And at idle and stop & go traffic the pusher fan another 8-10 degrees. The bottom line is it has stayed within the normal range which is good for my car. The most important thing is the confidence I have in shutting off the engine to refill or run into the post office and knowing it will fire back up.

    Now, to see if I can get that link to work??

    Charlie D.

    https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....rheating-issue
    Last edited by Charlie D; 08-15-2019 at 09:59 PM.

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