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Thread: Radiator Fan | Smoke and Burnt Smell | 1998 MGM GS

  1. #1

    Unhappy Radiator Fan | Smoke and Burnt Smell | 1998 MGM GS

    I've been off the forum for a while. Not so now as of today! Briefly, if one can be brief in such matters, my '98 Mercury Grand Marquis GS filled with burnt smoke just as I parked today. When I lifted the hood and turned the engine off, burnt smoke was coming from the "center" of the radiator fan and all that is there in that assembly. I least I was able to get it home. I let it 'cool' off and checked the radiator fluid ( perfect level ) and started it up very briefly. Seems ok but I know it's not. My take on this crazy is that when it kicks into cooldown mode, something is seizing up as I could clearly "see" the damn smoke pouring out of the center of this assembly.

    Off the top: What comes to mind in this matter? Is there a clutch in there? I do have the FSM, but have not studied yet and frequently it's difficult to see. What are the major components in that assembly and where and how do I begin to find what needs replacing? At least my '98 is safely parked and I am not stranded across the Bay some where. With this arthritis and bad back there is always a way, with some help, but I need to know where to start with this. The only other strange anomaly is my silly gas gauge goes far upwards beyond the fill point in a strange way, and this has never occurred before. It will go down to 3/4 of a tank full and then shoot all the way up to beyond full. Not sure if these are related though.

    Best wishes;

    _Hacksaw

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    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    2 decades of DDing Box Panthers, now in a Whale VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Agreed, it sounds like the bearing(s?) ate themselves on your fan.
    Also, a new fuel sending unit sounds right, but you can potentially get it cheaper (if cost is a concern) if you buy the whole hanger assembly with pump/sender.
    https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/...assembly,10147
    Vic

    ~ 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - new DD
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning summer 2020, I finally have an engine
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - Rotting Retired Winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    You will also need to make sure that both high and low fan circuits are not powered at the same time or the new fan will be burned up pretty quick too.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
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    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
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  5. #5
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    should just be a pair of relays for that. Probably worth replacing them if the fan smoked. It would have drawn a lot of current and the relay won't appreciate the abuse.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

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  6. #6

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    My deepest thanks to all who are helping me with this mini-meltdown. At 4 am. and unable to sleep, the idea came to me when I was looking at parts on Rock Auto that there is that control module for this fan, probably under the hood in one of those black box assemblies. I wondered *if* I could remove such module on a temporary basis ( best to replace it as well in the end ) and then I could still drive my car around to the parts store or market. Now this would be to give me some wiggle room with all of this coming at me only. What are your thoughts on this as a temporary measure.

    _Hacksaw

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    Forgive my ignorance on this-
    Did the 98 come with a clutch fan, plus an electric fan that came on with the AC? Or am I thinking of 96?

    Could you install a clutch fan temporarily while you fix the electric fan? I would hate to see you overheat the engine
    ..

  8. #8

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    @Massacre: Good question/s. I'm on page # 03-03-15 of the FSM for this vehicle. I also would prefer *not* to melt my engine. Let me start by asking some basic questions.

    #1. Is the cooling of this radiator all done from this housing on the "back" of the radiator? Excuse my ignorance in this matter as I have not had to deal with one like this before vs. my old '85 Dodge Diplomat, which is now in recycled heaven, resting peacefully.

    Question #2. Is *all* cooling done by this radiator fan assembly?

    #3. Is this cool down cycling ( apparently 2 speeds ) done at idle, part of the exact same cooling process?

    So I am starting to think that *if* I shut down this electric cooling fan, it may indeed toast my engine? Are there ( 2 ) fans working in this picture or just ( 1. ) doing double duty?

    I'm going to take this very slowly as I treasure this car and it looks beautiful with 110k on the clock.

    _Hacksaw

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    "First God made man, and then there was the car..."

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    My question was do you have only the electric fan?
    Or do you have both an electric fan + a clutch fan?
    Clutch fan mounts to the water pump pulley. It should be fairly obvious
    You could just purchase a stand alone electric fan and get rid of the factory stuff
    ..

  10. #10

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    Sorry to misunderstand anyone so soon in this thread. The answer to your question is 'No". I have a serpentine belt on this beast. Nothing else coming from the water pump. So apparently I have just the electric cooling fan assembly on this V-8. I can triple check it tonight in the dark here with my tactical flashlight, however I belive it's the 'simple' electric assembly that apparently cools all of the engine if I am correct? If so it's critical that I proceed *very* carefully with this so as not to endanger this wonder vehicle. I'm going out now to check it to make 101% certain. Good, just got back in. This is pretty straight forward. It's all electrical this cooling radiator fan assembly, and as intimidating at it may appear, has only two screws to get at it once one removes the coolant reservoir. Famous last words now: Maybe this might be easier than I thought it would ( grin ).

    Sincerely;

    _Hacksaw
    Last edited by _Hacksaw; 10-09-2020 at 01:01 AM.

  11. #11

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    My selection of replacement Radiator Fans' has been narrowed to this VDO / CONTINENTAL OEM replacement from Rock Auto as per the suggestion on the thread: https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/...+assembly,2181 Would someone confirm for me that this should ( provisionally ) slip right in, after the usual life and death struggle/s? My intent is to also replace that now heat-hardened connector. It's probably welded on and deeply corroded. It must have a number or name to it and yet if I do replace it I will have to splice it into the existing harness I believe as per the Ford Motorcraft version at the bottom of this fan replacement list ( they include one in the assembly I see ).

    What other parts should I order to do this well so nothing goes bonkers down the road in the next 100k miles? There is some relay I belive with all of this that turns this off and on. If it's in the ECM I should not worry about it. Again I deeply appreciate your assistance, suggestions and advice with all of this. My back will be killing me along with my swollen hands, but I want to move forward, however doing so w/o having to worry about a corroded connector etc. as I run it through the carwash as much as I can, so lots of dielectric grease on *any* electrical connection.

    _Hacksaw
    Last edited by _Hacksaw; 10-09-2020 at 04:56 AM.

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    If it were me I would go with the Motorcraft unit.
    ..

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    There's also the option to replace with a 2-wire fan that uses a large resistor for the low speed and completely prevents the both channels on smoke failure.
    Get a 2001-2003 electric fan and F8AB-AA-14370 pigtail. Replace the current connector with the new pigtail and plug in the newer fan. It mounts exactly the same.

    pigtail is eBay only at this point. I think I got the last one that was in the dealer network when I did the F150 dual core radiator swap in my 93.

    The fan is only about $10 more so only about $25 more with the newer connector, and I don't have any issue with the Dorman fan I have (cheapest I could find at the time). 5 years now and no issues.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  14. #14
    2 decades of DDing Box Panthers, now in a Whale VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Correct, a '98 only has the electric fan. There is no mechanical fan. I believe the early 4.6 panthers had a mechanical fan, but I don't think any of them had both electric and mechanical.

    Sly, that's good info on the newer fan being less self-destructive (if I'm understanding you right). Looks like a simple enough swap for me. JY should be a good source for that pigtail (well, in the Detroit area anyway).

    '98 connector:


    '02 connector:


    The fan bearing on my '98 squeaks a little, I think this may be the route I go to replace it.

    Also:
    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    ...I don't have any issue with the Dorman fan I have (cheapest I could find at the time). 5 years now and no issues.
    To live in that Texas heat and not have problems is pretty good for Dorman part.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 75214CON1__ra_p.jpg   FA70162-Connector__ra_p.jpg   620680_3__ra_p.jpg  
    Last edited by VicCrownVic; 10-09-2020 at 03:07 PM.
    Vic

    ~ 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - new DD
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning summer 2020, I finally have an engine
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - Rotting Retired Winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic

  15. #15
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    95-97 I think had electric and clutch. The clutch fan was the primary cooling, electric was for AC and I think it would engage if the engine got too hot. For a bit people thought the cool free power trick was to just yank the clutch fan and force the ECM to turn on the electric fan for panic cooling. I guess it works but personally I think its a stupid idea. Not enough power gain to be worth the extra abuse on the engine and cooling system.

    don't know if the 98 pump has the threaded snout for a clutch, but if it does not I expect you could swap it for the older pump and get a shroud and fan assembly from an older car to upgrade the reliability of the cooling system. I did electric fans for a while, when it failed and caused the engine to overheat and blow a hose when I had no tools and no way of getting any I put a clutch fan back on the car.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    Thanks for the confirmation, I knew there were a couple aero years that had both type fans. I know some of the mid 90s cobras also had trouble with their electric fans melting and I think their solution was a different AC condenser.
    ..

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    2 decades of DDing Box Panthers, now in a Whale VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    I definitely did not know that. I wouldn't be surprised if you could swap the later cars to that setup.
    Vic

    ~ 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - new DD
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning summer 2020, I finally have an engine
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - Rotting Retired Winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic

  18. #18
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VicCrownVic View Post
    Also:
    To live in that Texas heat and not have problems is pretty good for Dorman part.
    I do have that dual core F150 radiator in there and 24 plate trans cooler... so everything stays pretty cool without a lot of effort.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  19. #19

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    I'm back with all of this. I had to cancel my order with Rock Auto ( they still hit my card but we shall see...) and bought the VDO / CONTINENTAL OEM version and picked it up today using our now deserted subway system in warm sunny weather out here. Just perfect for car work. As for this plug in female connector that mates with the fan now. I can see a hole in the new assembly. Is this to allow a screwdriver in to 'release' this connector? I could not see one in the dark on the original the other night. I do *not* want it to break so maybe there is an easier way to do this.

    Will I have to remove the radiator reservoir and just move it to the side ( I suspect so ) and how much of a struggle will that be with my car? I just pray that I do not have to disconnect it! So despite everything, things are looking good for tomorrow afternoon with this despite my terrible back and bad hands. I'm going out now to attempt to start my car and move it to the other side of the street as we have a monthly sweep zone in effect Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and I have to work around this. Dman broken City machines just blow more dust around, especially if one just washes their vehicle. But let me let that all go.

    Out the door now to see if I can start my car w/o it going up in smoke and then make a quick move to the other side of my street. See what happens as I may have to just leave it right there where it is and pray it all just 'works' tomorrow.

    Breaking News: I was able to start it but it starts to burn and I didn't want to push it, so work begins tomorrow where it's parked. It does have a small hole to get at that connector clip and I will use it then. My back is already killing me. This will be a painful experience so I need to use what pain medications I can locate here. That reservoir also has one ( 1 ) screw holding it in place, so no problem there also. Geez, this brings back all sorts of car memories, especially when I was able to remove the transmission on my old '68 Chevy Nova by myself and replace the broken throw-out bearing and clutch many years ago. Talk about pain and total anguish.

    _Hacksaw

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    -- M. Scott Peck MD., Psychiatrist and Author
    Last edited by _Hacksaw; 10-12-2020 at 02:39 AM.

  20. #20
    2 decades of DDing Box Panthers, now in a Whale VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    If you just need to move across the street, unplugging the fan and moving the car is probably fine. Make sure it is running for the least amount of time possible. I've never removed the connector for the fan, but there usually is some sort of tab to be pressed to release the connector. I'd have to take a look at mine later to figure out the connector and that reservoir.
    Vic

    ~ 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - new DD
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning summer 2020, I finally have an engine
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - Rotting Retired Winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic

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