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31-57 radiator fan exploded. Need new one.


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  Hello ladies and gentlemen,  Some of you may remember me from the Oklahoma buick meet last year in Oklahoma. I had a 31-57 at the show and my 3 year old daughter enjoyed the show as much as my wife and I. Well we have not drove the car much at all this year due to covid  shutting down car shows and other things.  Yesterday my daughter begged me to take her out in the old buick and the weather was probably as cool as we were going to get for July so we charged the battery, fired her up and pulled out down the road. My daughter grinning from ear to ear. About 8 miles down the road the car got a vibration. At first I was thinking a tire going down and then we heard a loud bang like metal against metal. I eased of the throttle and coasted into a gas station. Antifreeze pouring out from under the car. I raise the hood and find a fan blade missing. It broke off and sliced up the radiator. Upon further inspection I find that 2 other blades are cracked and about to break as well. Looking at the metal break it appears there have been hair line cracks in the blades for some time as a portion of the cracks are rusty instead of being clean shiny metal throughout the entire break. Has anyone ever had anything like this happen before? Know what causes this failure? And most importantly does anyone out there have a fan assembley that would be correct for a 31-57? I have very limited internet access so if anyone has any ideas, or has a fan assembly please call me . Shawn 918-607-3923 or email me at seldredge76@hotmail.com. Thanks guys.

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Did it dent the hood too ?   I had a Ford with a dent in the hood right in line with the fan, which served as a reminder to inspect the fan blades frequently.

It could have been worse. This Dodge suffered  major damage from a fan breaking.  Fan, water pump, hood, fender all damaged.

 

 

 

Edited by Oregon Desert model 45
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Sorry to hear about your breakdown. At least you weren't on the Peking to Paris route. Looking at your photos the bolt circle where the fan  attaches to the hub looks almost the same as my 1929 Buick. 1929 parts seem to be much more plentiful than 1931 parts. Someone may have a spare .

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Shawn:

So sorry for the fan failure. I know how enthusiastic you were about having your car to the nationals. I was the judging team captain. We spoke at some length about your car.

Now we need to get you a new fan!

 

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From 1928-51 Master Parts List book                

Group 1.356 Fan assembly                   

Part      214644              1929 121-129

Part      214645              1929 116;  1930 -40

Part      1254095            1931 -50

Part      1250529            1931 -60

Part      1268798            1932 -50

                       

Group 1.359 Blade, fan             

Part      211596              1929 121-129;  1930 -50 -60

Part      1254706            1931 -50

Part      1242532            1931 -60

Part      1268716            1932 -50

                       

Very little commonality between years and/or models                 

But that is not say will not fit

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Some may be surprised to learn that years ago,  I gave half of my spare fan to Jack Gerstkemper when he needed a replacement for his father's 1931 50 series Roadster. 

I will see if I still have the other half.  Stay tuned...

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  • 1 month later...

Ok guys I have found a fan similar to the 31 buick fan. It is off of an early ford V-8 flathead. the blades need cut down but the hub bolt pattern is the same. Below are some pictures. This leaves me with some questions. 1. Is the oil in the hub both for shaft lubrication and balancing?  2. I can use a cut off wheel to cut the replacement fan down to the correct length, But how do I go about balancing the fan before putting in back on? Obviously I would prefer to have the correct fan but if one is not found you improvise. Any suggestions are welcome.

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Is there a machined casting inside of the stamped sheetmetal hub that can be removed ?

If so, then you should consider replacing it with a machined hub with modern permanently lubricated bearings .

Below is photo of the new hub I machined for my Buick and drawing of the machined part.

Some of those dimensions may different for 1931, so use this drawing as reference.

Kevin

machined fan hub.jpg

Fan Conversion #3 - Drawing-X2.jpg

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To balance the blade, do like you would for your lawn mower blades.  there is a very low cost balancer that you set the center hole on the device and the heavy side will tilt down.  The oil is not part of the balance as centrifugal force will spin the oil to balance.  I highly recommend the bearing replacement as failure on the bushing and oil system is very prone to seizing up and throwing the whole assembly through the radiator.  

 

Bob Engle

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21 hours ago, Oregon Desert model 45 said:

Is there a machined casting inside of the stamped sheetmetal hub that can be removed ?

If so, then you should consider replacing it with a machined hub with modern permanently lubricated bearings .

Below is photo of the new hub I machined for my Buick and drawing of the machined part.

Some of those dimensions may different for 1931, so use this drawing as reference.

Kevin

machined fan hub.jpg

Fan Conversion #3 - Drawing-X2.jpg

I had something  similar done to my previous  fan hub. It was crude looking and squeeled a bit like the bearing was damaged when it was pressed in. Would you be willing to machine one for me if I sent my fan hub to you? If so what would you charge?

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Don't know the series, plate is missing, but its a small model. Detroit Buick, not a McLaughlin. 

The fan looks like the pic you posted.  Price is right. I'll PM you. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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