Question about 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier
How do you replace the radiator fan motor on a 1998 cavalier?
Normally, the fan will not spin at the same RPM as the engine. This is
the purpose of the fan clutch. On the fan clutch sits a little thermal
spring that engages the clutch to spin the fan at the same rpm as the
motor when the motor gets hotter than normal.
Being able to hold onto the fan while the motor is running, is normal (not recommended, but normal).
You can test the clutch by heating it and then trying to spin the fan while the motor is off. If it is still easy to spin, you could have a bad fan clutch, or you didn't heat it enough. It is kind of a crappy way to test.
You not having cooling issues leads me to guess that your clutch is alright. But I don't know what type of climate you live it, nor do I know in what condition your clutch is.
They can actually be difficult to replace. Easy theory, but actually doing the job may be harder than you think. They are threaded onto the water pump pulley (just one big threaded stud). To remove you need to either be really crafty, or you need a wrench designed to hold the pulley in place while you loosen the clutch and fan assembly. No, the pulley drive belt is not enough to keep the pulley from turning (it will either slip or you will turn the crank of the motor).
Usually they are on there pretty tight! When I replaced my water pump on my truck, I could not remove the fand and clutch from the water pump while in the truck (I had to remove my radiator shroud and remove it all in one piece) then I had to weld the old water pump impeller to the casting to keep it from spinning then broke it loose with a 2ft breaker bar! Seriously.
Once you get the old one off, remove the fan and bolt it to your new clutch unit. Then thread it on the water pump.
Posted on Jun 25, 2008
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