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Fan clutch replacement?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by genuitybits, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. Jan 8, 2010 at 10:22 PM
    #1
    genuitybits

    genuitybits [OP] Member

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    I went in for a state inspection today and I believe they tried to take me for a fool with telling me I need to have a tune up, drain/fill (MT) transmission and differential, when I already replaced the usual wear items (sans O2 sensors--I really do not care as long as it passes emissions at this point...I have just a little over 101,000 miles, base model pre-runner 2x4 with a 2RZ-FE). Less than a year ago, also I drained and filled both those items and went full synthetic. What I call BS on is the fact that they failed to point out my leaky axle seal leak, and that led me to believe they did not even check the fluids but just looked at the high mileage and year (2000) and made assumptions.

    They did make a note and say that my (mechanical) fan clutch wobbles, has a little play, and that the bearing has failed. They quoted me almost $230 for the part and $90 for the labor. (They also quoted $45 each for the labor on drain/fill of the fluids...what kind of BS is that?). If I had to replace it, I would go only OEM and I would not trust them to procure the part nor to install it.

    I tried rocking the fan clutch back and forth and I see no "play" or wobble that they speak of nor do I feel it. As far as when the fan is engaged, I hear no abnormal noises and I am very keen with noses in vehicles. The guy also said something about how replacing this will get rid of the noise I have. I was thinking to myself, what noise? I am quite the shadetree and weekend DIYer, but seeing how they are trying to milk me out of $500+ of which more than half of what they said I need to get done is complete and utter crap, I am thinking this fan clutch business may be right up that alley.

    So my question is, is there any way to tell if this is really going bad? I hear no noise and see nor feel no play. I did notice that with the vehicle completely off, if I try to spin (move) the fan with my hand, it feels like it is a bit seized? Is this the usual feel or is it supposed to spin easily? I wished I would have paid attention to this when I first got it. I have a non-Toyo with a mechanical fan too and I notice when I try to spin it manually like that, it is much tougher. Is this any indication?

    Is this a typical maintenance item? How many miles does this typically fail? Anyone notice any trends?

    Thanks
     
  2. Jan 9, 2010 at 4:53 AM
    #2
    rustyshakelford

    rustyshakelford Well-Known Member

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    i just recently replaced mine. it cost 112 at autozone. when mine was hot, you could stop the fan with your fingers (not a recommended way to check it) when the motor is hot you can shut the truck off and see how easy it is to spin it. it should be hard because the heat is supposed to activate it.

    on changing it, its 4 bolts then you have to swap the fan to the new clutch. pretty easy, but i replaced my radiator at the same time and had alot of room to work

    hope thats a little more clear than mud

    brett
     
  3. Jan 9, 2010 at 8:57 AM
    #3
    genuitybits

    genuitybits [OP] Member

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    Thanks Brett :)

    I figured it would cost less--I think they were just looking to make more money! Is this completely aftermarket or was it actually the OE brand? Anyone know what brand is the OE?

    How about when your engine is completely cold? Should it be super easy or hard? Mine feels hard when it is completely cold. I have not tried to see what it is like when it is hot or immediately after shutting down the engine after some spirited driving.

    Did yours wobble? Was there play? What prompted you to replace it?
     
  4. Jan 9, 2010 at 9:02 AM
    #4
    HBMurphy

    HBMurphy Ban Pending

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    Having worked at a company that used to make aftermarket for majority of the aftermarket... you may consider OE. Just saying.
     
  5. Jan 9, 2010 at 9:26 AM
    #5
    genuitybits

    genuitybits [OP] Member

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    Yeah, I have seen first hand what the difference between aftermarket and OE is when I replaced the wheel cylinders for the rear brakes. The quality was not the same, but plus it was much stuffer in terms of pushing in the piston and even as small as something like the air filter element...aftermarket was just not the same. The fitment and everything was not the same--then I always see that you have to perform hacks on it to get it to fit right or go in. It was twice as hard for me to put the shoes back on with all the springs and crap on the aftermarket wheel cylinders versus the OE ones. It's just the stealership pricing that does not appeal to me also, but I know where to get them online for less. I have not looked yet for the fan clutch though, but seeing the $230 price tag from the shop's quote, I know I can get it for less but also get a genuine part.

    A local stealership chain here has one of it's locations in one city and another one in an adjacent city. For just the serpentine belt for the Matrix, one place sold it for $65 while the other place sold it for $30 but they were all in the same stealership family. Go figure that one out, but where the $65 one was located, it was in a more upscale neighborhood. Even the veternarian in that city marks up quite a bit. This same stealership in the upscale area had a 100% markup for the price of a breather valve from an online OE parts reseller. If it was 100% with that even for the stealer that was selling the serpentine for $30, how much profit are they making on that?

    @HBMurphy: Have you had to replace yours?
     
  6. Jan 9, 2010 at 9:31 AM
    #6
    HBMurphy

    HBMurphy Ban Pending

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    I have never replaced a fan clutch other than other peoples. I'm as cheap as the next guy but as a guy I know reminds me when he says "I can't afford to buy junk!" - Buy it right the first time and you won't have to replace it in a year.

    There are some good aftermarket parts - sometimes just by luck.
     
  7. Jan 9, 2010 at 9:34 AM
    #7
    Afwrestler1986

    Afwrestler1986 Well-Known Member

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    I have over 164k miles on my 01 v6 fan clutch and have yet to experience any problems. But as said earlier, it should be hard to move after the engine heats up, and easy to move when cold. If you are not hearing any noise from it and you are not overheating i would say you are fine.
     
  8. Jan 9, 2010 at 9:47 AM
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    HBMurphy

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    That's right - no wobble too.
     
  9. Jan 9, 2010 at 10:08 AM
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    dually

    dually Low and slow

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    I have one Im willing to sell... PM me.
     
  10. Jan 9, 2010 at 10:08 AM
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    Tacozona

    Tacozona Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100%. Well said.
     
  11. Jan 9, 2010 at 11:03 AM
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    rustyshakelford

    rustyshakelford Well-Known Member

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    when mine was cold, it still took some doing to get it to spin. it wasnt loose by anymeans. i also noticed that just ideling the motor, i could tell alot more air was being blown in my face when standing on the drivers side under the hood.

    i bought one that had a lifetime warranty. its not that bad to change it if it goes bad but when it does, i dont have to buy another one.

    my truck had 210k on it. i recently bought it for a 3rd vehicle to use at the deer lease, but now daily drive it because i like it so much.

    do you have a scan gauge? it allowed me to see exactly what the temp was. my factory gauge doesnt hardly ever move but the scan gauge will show a 30 degree swing. is it running hot

    brett
     
  12. Jan 14, 2010 at 5:57 PM
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    genuitybits

    genuitybits [OP] Member

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    Okay, finally got around to testing the newspaper trying to stop the fan method after the day's work commute. The fan was pretty much unstoppable and tried to cut up my newspaper. Also, after killing the engine and letting the fan stop on it's own. I tried to manually spin it. It was hard but not too hard. It felt solid and not sloppy or flimsy. As I mentioned in the first post, no wobbles or play as claimed by the car clinic place where I got the inspection.

    So bottom line, they were spinning FUD and trying to BS me to the cleaners and out of $500+. Thanks all for the replies. +1 for shadetree mechanic knowledge ;)

    @Brett: What is this scan gauge you speak of? Can you show me a picture or product name for it? Are you referring to an OBD2 scanner?
     
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