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engine cooling for 1986 Chev van


jhughes's Avatar
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07-22-03, 08:23 AM   #1  
jhughes
engine cooling for 1986 Chev van

I have a 1986 Chev G20 van that I use to tow with. The cooling system is easily able to handle normal cooling when not towing but has a hard time keeping up with towing. I do not hear the fan coming on when hot and have tried 3 Hayden thermostatic fan clutches to no avail. The rad has been recored, 180 degree thermostat, and a Stewart high performance water pump have been installed. When I took my orignial thermo clutch and manually moved the bi-metal strip to the on posistion, the cooling system seems to handle difficult situations like long hills with a/c on. The issue seems to be finding a thermo clutch that will turn on when it should. I have read that factory clutches come on a little hotter that would be ideal. Does anyone have good results from a certain manufactrurer of thermostatic fan clutches?

 
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07-22-03, 08:28 AM   #2  
Joe_F
Yup, a stock AC Delco fan clutch for the application should be fine.

I also hope you have installed a tranny cooler!

The vehicle must have a towing package, heavy duty brakes and cooling from the factory to be able to handle a towing load. If it doesn't, it won't last.

 
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07-22-03, 08:56 AM   #3  
jhughes
Thank you for your quick reply. Indeed, I have installed a tranny cooler. What about my comment regarding factory clutches coming on when very hot, some suggest 200+ degrees, instead of 195 or so, thus starting to cool earlier? Thanks

 
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07-22-03, 09:08 AM   #4  
Joe_F
OEM clutches fit better, last longer and don't sound like an airplane like some aftermarket clutches.

Install the Delco clutch and you're good to go. Make sure to get the right one.

 
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07-22-03, 10:06 AM   #5  
knuckles
Buy the 'severe service' fan clutch from your local GM dealer.

If the parts man looks at you like you're an idiot, tell him it's for a van with a numerically high rear axle ratio (3.73 or higher).

 
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07-22-03, 10:34 AM   #6  
Joe_F
Such is quite true. No need to buy it from the GM dealer, AC Delco sells you the same thing at a lower price.

However, you MUST have a heavy duty cooling system for starters to tow properly. As well as heavy duty brakes and suspension.

You can determine if the van was originally equipped with that by looking at the broadcast sheet/sticker with all of the option codes. "V08" should be one of them. That's the option for heavy duty cooling.

 
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