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Old 08-27-2018, 08:11 AM   #1
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Glencoe , Oklahoma
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Fan clutch

Thought I would share this discovery here. I was replacing my fan clutch on my 1986 345. I had installed an AC Delco unit a while back and it failed this summer. I decided to just buy the Oreily heavy duty unit. Turns out the part numbers and units are the same. I thought this might save someone some time in the future. I had to wait quite a few days for the AC Delco to arrive it wasn’t stocked locally. On a side note what have people done to keep these rigs running cooler? My fan clutch engages constantly feels like I’m driving a dump truck!
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:32 AM   #2
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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This thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f159...-181002-6.html

tells the story of installing this radiator:

https://superiorradiator.net/shop?ol...ine-oil-cooler

plus some other modifications, with good results.
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:38 PM   #3
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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Thanks for the links. I have a NOS radiator that came with my rig I may just swap it soon. I planned to do the radiator when I did some work to the engine but I really would like it to run cool for our next trip.
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:53 PM   #4
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The fan issue has been discussed before, when GM sent these chassis to Airstream there was no AC, therefore the radiator was standard as was the 5 blade fan. You need to upgrade the radiator to a 4 row with larger tubes and install a 7 blade fan. Problem solved. Regards, Bob
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Old 08-27-2018, 03:58 PM   #5
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Alliance , Ohio
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Well I for one don't get the Ralph Lauren link, but has anyone used the radiator from Superior radiators? Looks like a drop in.
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:48 PM   #6
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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Thanks for the advice Bob.
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Old 08-27-2018, 08:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mehes View Post
Well I for one don't get the Ralph Lauren link, but has anyone used the radiator from Superior radiators? Looks like a drop in.


I originally copied and pasted a link to the “no more recoreing locally” thread, not sure where Ralph came from.
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:00 AM   #8
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Trying again with the link:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f159...ly-181002.html
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Old 08-29-2018, 11:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ1965 View Post
Thought I would share this discovery here. I was replacing my fan clutch on my 1986 345. I had installed an AC Delco unit a while back and it failed this summer. I decided to just buy the Oreily heavy duty unit. Turns out the part numbers and units are the same. I thought this might save someone some time in the future. I had to wait quite a few days for the AC Delco to arrive it wasn’t stocked locally. On a side note what have people done to keep these rigs running cooler? My fan clutch engages constantly feels like I’m driving a dump truck!

Not all fan clutches are equal!


This is one situation where you definitely get what you pay for. I went through the same issue. I solved my problem with the installation of the "third" fan clutch.



Originally, I thought I would save some money and get a fan clutch at Autozone. And so, I went through the first "pain in the ass" job of replacing the fan clutch. Took a trip to Yosemite and the fan clutch was engaged probably 90 percent of the time. That was one noisy trip!


So next I bought a fan clutch from Napa Auto Parts. And of course went through the second "pain in the ass" session to replace the fan clutch. This one seemed to engage 50% of the time and most of the time it engaged was at the wrong times.


I then did some research and found out that what seemed to be the same units from the same manufactures but made in different countries were actually made to different specs.



I then went to a real auto parts store, where I now buy most of my auto parts, and purchased an OEM AC Delco unit. One more "pain in the ass" install and I finally had a fan clutch that worked properly.



In the end, it cost me double what I would have spent if I had just bought the AC Delco part to begin with, plus three installs, plus two trips with fan clutches that made me want to take my 12 gauge to the engine!
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:08 PM   #10
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Menomonee Falls , Wisconsin
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I'm not too impressed with our current auto parts stores. I'm putting on 2, 14 inch high volume electric fans on the backside of the radiator. I got it boiled and tested, painted, and two fans sit side by side. My fuel injection kit has a fan mode . I won't need a shroud, no drag on the pulleys, water pump, belts. They are super quiet, move a ton of air, and if one goes out, I got other and they can be purchased at a parts store anywhere. I think I save about 10 horsepower too. Clutch fans are not designed to run indefinetly. They are balanced, but they do put a strain on the front of the waterpump. And they're loud. Especially when right next to you. So we'll see how the electric fans work. I've had them on my cars instead of clutch fans, and they work really well. I am also going to put electric fans on my tranny/oil coolers. One 8 incher per cooler. Wired in with the radiator fans. Should keep everything cool. I'll set them to come on at 190 degrees. DJ
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:18 AM   #11
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Glencoe , Oklahoma
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I decided to go with a similar setup. Two fans in front of the condenser pushing with the clutch fan as backup. I changed the water pump and installed a new 180 degree thermostat as well. It has been cool outside for all of my test drives but the temp stays at 180 consistently. I used a temperature operated thermostat to control the fans. The bonus is no more engine drag and noise!
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:12 PM   #12
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
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I was thinking of putting my fans on the front of the radiator, and leaving the clutch fan as a backup too. But, in talking with my speed shop guys, they recommend using the fans as pullers. I kinda think it's a horse apiece. I got the rad out, so it's way easy to mount them on the backside. As for keeping the clutch fan, well I figured it's just another drag on the waterpump, and I got twice the air movement with my electrics. But I'm glad to hear it works well for you. Two 14 inch fans will move a lot of air. Plus, I'm putting 6 inch fans on my trans cooler,and my oil cooler. So, I think I'll be covered. DJ
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:10 AM   #13
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Glencoe , Oklahoma
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You should be fine especially with the external coolers. I moved my oil cooler external but I left the trans cooler on the radiator. I may remove the clutch fan eventually depending on how things go? I’ll try to remember to update this thread when summer arrives. The Oklahoma heat will test a cooling system!
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Old 01-04-2019, 06:05 PM   #14
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Menomonee Falls , Wisconsin
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Hey,
When I had the trans rebuilt, my guy told me that the coolers you get from parts store were barely able to keep something our size cool. He sold me this cooler 150.00 which used on big stuff, busses, box trucks etc etc. the biggest killer of a trans is heat. An on a motorhome, your always working the trans, even just rolling down the road. Wind drag. The radiator internal cooler, he said was a joke. Made for your average car. Something to consider.
I got a 50 caddy, with a 500 CID and a pretty rumpity cam. Stock 50 s radiator. The engine is stuffed into that place. The waterpump end, is a 1/4 inch from the radiator. I got a 16 inch electric fan on it. It'll start overheating unless I turn on the fan. Once on, it'll stay cool. The rad is made for the stock 331 CID . They work really well. DJ
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