- Feb 17, 2007
- Clermont, Florida
Trying to make a long story short here. This is about my 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup, 3.9 liter V6, manual 5 speed transmission with 145,500 miles on it. A couple weeks ago I noticed my fan clutch was staying engaged for a longer period of time and was kicking in a lot more often. It is very hot here in Florida right now. I checked the fan and found a lot of wobble in the fan clutch itself. I replaced my water pump and radiator hoses back in February, radiator and AC condenser were replaced in March 2010 after I was in an accident. I had already replaced my original fan clutch a month before the accident, I first used an aftermarket TorqFlo from Auto Zone. It made a lot of noise and engaged way too often in warm/hot weather. I got a refund on it, the AZ store manager was great about it. A new OEM fan clutch was out of my budget at the time. I bought a used OE clutch off a 70,000 mile wrecked Dakota. It did OK until now. Since I had learned my lesson on aftermarket fan clutches, I bought a new OEM Mopar fan clutch at the Dodge dealer, list price is $153.00, they sold it to me for $120.00. I installed the OE fan clutch and thought all was well. This past Saturday I went on about a 50 mile round trip in the middle of the day. Our heat index was said to be 107 degrees, it was probably a lot higher than that and the heat coming off the pavement was probably 130 degrees. You could probably have not only cooked an egg on the sidewalk, you could add bacon, toast and grits to it too. I was in a lot of stop and go traffic, and the fan clutch kept engaging all the time. My temp gauge was creeping up and at one point was pointing straight up in the middle of the gauge range and I had less power from the engine. My temp gauge usually always rests right at 1/3 of the gauge range. My AC was not as cool when idling or driving slow in traffic either. Coming home at 60-70 MPH on the higway the temp gauge and AC were both fine. Temp gauge was OK at slower speeds on city and neighborhood streets too. My truck also ran warmer than usual yesterday when I made a 2 mile round trip to McDOnald's. So I thought there was a problem with my new genuine OEM Mopar fan clutch. This was not the problem. My truck has a regular blade fan and fan clutch on the water pump shaft, it is engine driven. It also has an electric fan directly behind the radiator. I checked my truck out further yesterday, my temp gauge was still too high just idling in the driveway after a short one mile round trip to McDonald's. I checked the radiator fan and it was not turning at all. I pulled the rad fan relay, jumped 12 volts to terminal 30 and still the fan was dead. I had code P1491, radiator fan relay curcuit stored after that so I removed the fan shroud and plastic panel under the front of the truck to get to the wiring for the fan to check it there. What I found is a mystery to me. The fan was unplugged from its electrical connector pigtail in the wire harness under the truck. The wiring from the fan side of the connector was caught back up under the radiator and wedged between the bottom of the radiator, condenser and the metal cross member underneath the radiator cradle/lower half of the radiator fan shroud. I had to wrestle the connector plug out from under the radiator, plugged it in and lo and behold, the e-fan works again. I also jumped 12 volts and ground to the fan by itself just to be sure it was OK, which it was. Truck ran for 10 or 15 minutes in the driveway, temp gauge was normal, just a hair above the first hash mark, it always runs cool because I have a 180 dgeree thermostat. My AC is nice and chilly now too. It was so cold in my truck while it ran in the driveway that when I turned it off and got out of the cab, condensation formed on my keys and key ring. I have never unplugged or removed my e-fan. I was in a wreck last March, the body shop replaced the radiator, condenser and some other stuff up front. They had to have been the ones to leave the fan unplugged. That was their fault. It was my fault for not noticing the efan was not running all this time since the wreck. How the truck ran for 17 months with no e-fan without overheating is a complete mystery to me. I am interested in your opinions. How can I drive the truck with only the fan clutch and blade fan for cooling, no e-fan at all, run it for 17 months in summer and winter too and not overheat the engine (or worse), not even get above normal temp on the gauge? In the 105,000 miles/5 and a half years I have owned my truck, I have flushed or the coolant has been changed/flushed out 4 times. I paid to have it flushed at 60,000 miles, twice it was changed due to accidents and then I put in new coolant again when I replaced my water pump earlier this year. Maybe that is how I got away with no e-fan for this long. What do you guys here think? Thanks.