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1932 Buick Model 50 w/ straight 8 - cooling fan intermittently hits radiator?


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I have a 32 Buick Model 50 with a straight 8.   I was driving the car home when all of a sudden there was a loud racket under the hood and the motor seemed to be pulling harder (and it died).  I cranked it back up, no noise.   I went out to start it the other day and it idled fine, then the racket starts up again.  It sounds like the cooling fan is hitting the radiator but I couldn't find any radiator damage or signs of contact.   The shaft for a pulley is tight when I handle it, but I can move the pulley.  

 

Would these be indicative of a water pump issue, or is this too little information?

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Please do not start your car till you have this sorted, that fan WILL destroy your radiator. Their is no water pump behind the fan on your '32. It is on the right side of the motor behind the generator / dist. The fan hub used a small reservoir and oil pump to lube the fan blade shaft. You need to check and fill it with oil often, makes a mess under hood. Yours is most likely beyond repair. Most replace with sealed bearings in a new housing goes under pully and can not be seen. PM me with your contact info will walk you thru it.

 

Best,

Jim

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If you think it's the fan assembly, Loosen the fan belt  and spin the the fan blade If it seizing up, you should be able feel it.  As a precaution, I would suggest that you remove the assembly and take it apart to check the internals.  I think I may have a spare assembly if you want to stay original.  The sealed bearing fix is much better.

 

Bob Engle

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If the assembly is fine your best option would be to machine a new groove for the bolt to hold the whole lot back an extra 1/4" or check the tightness of the bolt holding the fan shaft. 

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On 3/1/2021 at 10:49 AM, bearestir said:

“there was a loud racket under the hood and the motor seemed to be pulling harder (and it died)........................ It sounds like the cooling fan is hitting the radiator but I couldn’t find any radiator damage or signs of contact.”

 


Let’s see : all of a sudden 3 things happened

1) there was a loud racket under the hood, and

2) the motor seemed to be pulling harder, and

3) it died

 

The sound was like the fan hitting the radiator, but since there was no damage or signs of contact, then it is my deduction that there was no contact. You just quite simply can’t drive the fan into the radiator with absolutely no damage whatsoever. Particularly if the racket accompanied increased drag on the engine and it died. So it must be caused by something else. Right ?

 

On 3/1/2021 at 10:49 AM, bearestir said:

I cranked it back up, no noise.   I went out to start it the other day and it idled fine, then the racket starts up again.  

Would these be indicative of a water pump issue, or is this too little information?


It is my opinion based on 60 + years of fiddling around with various machinery, that, particularly in that the intermittent racket is also associated with a significant drag on the engine, you are getting a warning of an imminent catastrophic failure of some/thing or/accessory component. Something is damaged. You gotta find it, Bryce - SERIOUSLY ! Don’t drive it at all until you get this figured out. You can figure , and deduce from partial dismantling. Take the help southpaw Jim has offered first. Then if further diagnosis is needed, and you want to take on some risk, you can have someone start yo engine while you stand ready with stethoscope or a “listening rod” to check a pre-determined sequence of contact areas. Or you start the engine while someone else, brave and experienced , sticks his face in the machine . But , like I said, it may SOUND like the fan is hitting the radiator, but without the obvious telltale evidence, THAT AIN’T WHAT IS GOING ON !     -    Carl 

 

 

Edited by C Carl
Had to type in first quote (see edit history)
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My "noise" was in the form of a loud BANG while drivig at about 40 mph. Then a thumping/scraping sound. Car was running but poorly untill on the 5 mile return trip it finally quit and I had to get towed.

 The bang was the water pump input side bearing seizing on the newly machined shaft. It was spinning in the cast iron housing.

The thumping/ scraping sound was the fiber timing gear being chewed up.

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