New Radiator Is Trashed

Well, I got the XR7-G together after all the work done to the engine and engine bay. I was taking it for a test drive on a country road when I decided to get on it a little and I heard a thump. Steam started coming from the engine bay and belt squealing commenced.

The original fan decided to let loose of one of the rivets and a fan blade became lodged in the newly recored radiator. The radiator is trash and the fan has two blades that look like folded plastic.

I am not sure what happened, the fan was junk or the clutch didn’t let the fan free-wheel enough under high RPMs. I only got it up to about 4500 RPM. It was running well too.

Oh well, time for a new radiator and fan. I don’t have time to wait for a recore. I think I will be ordering from WCCC tomorrow.


I ordered the radiator and fan, but WCCC is out of clutches. The one I have is new, but I am afraid to use it because it might be bent. I also have a funny feeling it may not be functioning properly and that is why this whole thing happened.

Can anyone recommend a parts house fan clutch that will work?

Crap Matt, that is horrible.

I’ve had almost the exact same work done on my 390 G that you have had done on yours.

My recored, original radiator has sprung a teeny tiny pin hole leak at the top at one of the soldered on straps and my rebuilt (0.30 over) 390 is running hot.

I also suspect that my new fan clutch is not working properly.

I am hoping my heat issues are a combination of the radiator not holding the proper pressure and a lousy fan clutch, but, I have also read that overheating is a chronic problem with bored out FE big block Fords, but I am really hoping that is not the case with mine.

I am thinking of either having my original fan clutch (which I kept) rebuilt, or going to a fixed fan plus (of course) having my original, recored radiator fixed.

Please keep us updated on your progress.

  • Phillip

I did a search on this forum and came up with this.
These can be found in most parts houses.

Thanks guys. I just needed to vent a little. I thought this segment of the project was over and everything was downhill for this year.

I tracked down a 2711 clutch fan (the one WCCC sells) and it is on the way. The 2710 seems to be the same clutch except about .3" longer. Everything should be back together by the end of next week.

By the way Phillip, thanks for that souvenir you sent. It is super cool!


^^^ You’re more than welcome Matt.

And you’re not alone in your G trails and tribulations :beerchug:

  • Phillip

On the 69 I had in high school I had to re-soldier the radiator tank every month or so due to leaks which got tiresome. I purchased a brand new three row radiator from the local Mercury dealer and installed it. 10 minutes after installing it I stomped on the gas pedal and broke the driver side motor mount, the engine shifted and the fan ate a 3/4" deep circle out of my brand new radiator! That was $130 shot (1978 dollars).

I had a 65 Mustang back in the mid-70’s, and had a small radiator leak in the top tank. My father said he could fix it right up with his newly acquired welding kit using acetylene/oxygen. “Sure, Dad, go for it”. A few minutes later was a dollar coin-sized hole; oops. Someone said a Maverick radiator was a good match, which went in as a replacement (thanks, Dad, for paying for that!) and had no issues since.

Well, there are some developments on this subject…

I was taking everything back apart waiting for the radiator and fan to come in from WCCC and I found something troubling. When the mechanic put the clutch for the fan back on, he didn’t install the centering bushing between the clutch and the water pump shaft. After delving deeper into things, this apparently let the clutch be mounted off center and caused the water pump shaft to vibrate out of the housing that it is pressed into. This allowed the whole assembly (pump pulley/clutch/fan) to move forward and trash the radiator.

After speaking with the mechanic, he is willing to take care of everything. I may be returning the stuff I got from WCCC. It all depends on how I feel about things. I know I shouldn’t have to pay for anything, but I also don’t want my mechanic to lose his shirt on the deal.

Maybe we will split the cost and he will provide all the labor. Not sure…

Sorry to hear that Matt - sounds like you have a definitive diagnosis on what exactly is going on and a mechanic willing to take responsibility, which is good!

Keep us posted.

  • Phillip

I would say you had a very bad experience. That bushing is often missing from fan clutch kits. The Hayden boxes are not sealed, and people open them at auto part stores resulting in lost bushings.

If it makes you feel any better I had nearly the same experience. In my case one of the fan blades cracked and the blade folded forward enough to dig into the radiator, resulting in a balled up mess of fan and radiator. I now carefully inspect each fan blade after bead blasting.

I would say you might be right Royce, but I installed this clutch last fall with the bushing so I know it was there. I checked the box for the new clutch to make sure it was in there.

Thanks guys. I will keep you posted. The engine bay is looking really good too.

I just happened to have these photos of the fan clutch that was on my G at my finger tips, so that I’d jazz up this thread with some pictures :beerchug:

  • Phillip

Sorry to hear of the carnage Matt, but it sounds like your mechanic has the right attitude. I’d let him make it right (they have insurance), but spend the $ with him on other stuff you need done (if you trust him, lol).

Not sure what you think I meant, but I am certainly not saying anything about your situation with regard to the missing bushing. I am saying that anyone buying one of those kits should make sure the bushing is there, as you have illustrated, it is mandatory.

I assumed you meant the bushing might have been missing from my clutch out of the box.

Well, I will be picking up the car tomorrow. It will have the replacement radiator and new replacement fan. He provided me with a used fan and is also getting my radiator recored, but I didn’t want to wait until that happened to drive it. I haven’t driven the car for a good 8 months and it is getting old. There is a local cruise-in Saturday that I should be at.

I am going to be doing a lot of washing and detailing tomorrow night.

Good luck Matt

::hands him detailing clay/spray::

Well, I picked it up today and it seems to be ok. I did a quick wash to get all the dust and smudges off of it. I plan on detailing the engine bay tonight for the cruise-in tomorrow.

The mechanic is getting the radiator recored and I offered to pay for half. He also did some nit-picky stuff for free, so I think he deserves it. Since he offered to pay for it, I am satisfied. I don’t need a guy to lose money for me to be happy.

I will get some pictures tomorrow.