Whether you are replacing a part that has gone bad or you are building a vehicle from scratch, you will need to know how to install a radiator fan in order to prevent your vehicle from overheating. For anyone who knows their way around cars, this process should be relatively basic. For everyone else, here is a step-by-step guide to installing a radiator fan.
Step 1: For Electric Radiators, Disconnect Electrical Wiring
Once you have parked your car in a safe area, pop the hood and locate the radiator. Once you have found the radiator itself, look to see if your radiator fan is electric or driven by a belt. If it is electric, you will need to disconnect the electrical wiring before continuing. Look on the back of the radiator and you should find a set of electrical wires protruding. Follow these wires until you find a place to unclip them.
Step 2: Remove Radiator Fan Shroud
Once the electrical wiring is disconnected, you will need to remove the radiator fan shroud before continuing. Using a wrench and/or ratchet and socket set, remove the bolts connecting the shroud to the radiator. Once you have removed all of the bolts connecting the shroud to the radiator, lift the shroud straight up and off of the radiator to expose the fan. When you are removing these bolts, be sure to keep them on hand and well-labeled so that you will be able to use them when you reinstall the new radiator fan.
Step 3: Remove the Old Fan
Next, you will need to remove the old, malfunctioning fan from the radiator. To do this, use your wrench and/or ratchet and socket set to remove the bolts securing the radiator fan housing to the radiator. On some radiator models, this will be as easy as loosening a few bolts and removing the old fan. On other vehicles, however, you will need to disassemble the fan clutch and fan assembly before you will be able to remove the old radiator fan. In either case, you will simply need to loosen a series of bolts to access the old fan and remove it. When removing these bolts, be sure to keep them on hand and well-labeled so that you will be able to use them when you reinstall the new radiator fan.
Step 4: Replace Radiator Fan
Once you have purchased a new radiator fan that is compatible with your model of radiator, insert it into the space where the old radiator fan was previously installed. Use the bolts that you unscrewed in the previous step to secure the new radiator fan in place. Once you have done this, reattach the fan clutch and assembly if necessary. If not, simply reattach the fan shroud using the bolts you saved from earlier steps.
Step 5: Reattach Electric Wires and Test
If your radiator was electric, reattach the electrical wiring in the back of your radiator. Once you have done this, lower the hood of your car and test to make sure the new radiator fan is working properly. In the days and weeks following this new fan's installation, carefully monitor the running temperature of your car to make sure the fan is working properly.