Radiator fan clutch brand preference?

AZjeff

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2002 Xterra got hot stopped in traffic for 10 minutes a couple of weeks ago. Temp went to normal as soon as I started moving. Antifreeze full, radiator not dirty, no leaks or indications the pump is going bad. I tried to get the X to overheat again or at least get hot enough to get the clutch to lock up and and it just freewheels with a bit of resistance. I let it sit and idle for 20 minutes and it didn't overheat. The thermostat is a bear to get to so I'll change the fan clutch first. best OEM price I've seen is $137, Rock Auto has them from $25 to $65. The only brands I recognize are Hayden and Beck/Arnley. Anyone have any likes?

 
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Only brands I am familiar with is Hayden and US motorworks. We had tons of trouble with Hayden. Switched to USMW and were happy with them.

Then suddenly we started getting ones that were just too agressive. People were complaining about the noise.

Went back to Hayden and they seem to have improoved.
 

JHZR2

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Someplace I read that Autozone Durslast ones were decent, as in the manufacturer that supplies them.... but as always, YMMV...
 
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Want the best, go with an OEM unit. I have used Hayden before on my Fords and they worked fine. I have been told to stay clear of Four Seasons as I see them offered at Rockauto. I doubt its your thermostat. Make sure your radiator and condenser fins are clear of debris before committing on a new part.
 
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You have a very good chance of getting an OEM part in the Beck Arnley box. As said above, they don't make anything - just rebox parts and sell. I have gotten geniune toyota parts every time and a a great price off Rock Auto but then again others have gotten not so good named parts. It is a risk I would take.
 

AZjeff

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I realize OEM is likely the best choice but sometimes 2nd best is good enough, especially at 1/3 the price. I tried the rolled up newspaper test earlier (just had to do it) when it was fully up to temp and the fan stopped fairly easily. When operating properly how hard should the clutch lock up?
 

AutoMechanic

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I’d go with OEM for something like that. The Beck and Arnley is usually good but it really depends on who manufacturers it originally and gave it to them to put in their box and name. The Hayden I’ve never used so I don’t know on those. Usually Duralast isn’t bad either maybe something to look at.
 
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I have used Hayden thermo clutches on my classics.
They have worked well to help cool those high compression, iron headed big blocks, but haven't seen many miles...
 
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A lot of people bash Hayden, but I have had good luck with them. Before you replace a fan clutch though, be sure it is not actually a radiator plugging up. A plugged radiator will not allow enough heat through to engage a thermal fan clutch. Some people replace a fan clutch multiple times insisting the new units are faulty when in fact it is the radiator that is the problem.
 

AZjeff

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Before you replace a fan clutch though, be sure it is not actually a radiator plugging up. A plugged radiator will not allow enough heat through to engage a thermal fan clutch.
Are you referring to plugged up inside or outside? The outside is clean and there's no visible deposits looking in the fill hole.

Thinking about selling the Xterra and want it to be right but don't see the need for the most expensive option.
 
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My personal experience on my 2004 Trailblazer:

Replaced July 2009 with Oreilly's Hayden/Behr - 36,000 miles
Replaced again June 2013 under Oreilly's warranty - 101,000 miles

Currently still working with 206,000 on the truck. I'm not sure how much longer I'll have this truck but if I had to replace again, I would go with the Hayden or Beck/Arnley.
 
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Are you referring to plugged up inside or outside? The outside is clean and there's no visible deposits looking in the fill hole.

Thinking about selling the Xterra and want it to be right but don't see the need for the most expensive option.
Could be either. If it is plugged inside, not enough hot water runs through the radiator to heat up the air going through the fins enough to cause the thermal clutch to engage. If the fins are plugged up, there may not be enough airflow to get hot air to the thermal switch, especially if the clutch does not sit close to the radiator.
 
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