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How to…ZETEC 2.0 Radiator Cooling Fan Assemble Replacement

My DD is a 2002 ZETEC with 166k miles of mostly highway driving. This is a dual fan electric cooling system. One of the fans was starting to make a squealing sound several months ago and figured it was time to change it out before summer got here.

The auto part stores are wanting $200 and didn’t even check out the dealership. So I went to eBay and found several between $90 - $130. I looked at these but decided to go with RockAuto.com. I have used them before and am impressed with the quality, and the cost was comparable. The bill came to about $130.

On a scale from 1 – 10 this job is a 3. Very straight forward with only 5 steps.. The assemble is removed from the bottom so it does require jacking up the car. OK enough of the preamble, let’s get going.

Here's the new one. Again, RockAuto.com has not let me down.
 

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Next is to remove the negative side of the battery. Whenever working electrical stuff it's a must. Take 2 extra minutes now to save yourself hardach later. I didn't do this awhile back and spent 6 hours finding out what I did. Pay me now or pay me later. [bash]

I also mark my batteries with a Sharpie when installing new ones. Old age seems to cloud my memory.[thankyou]
 

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Raise the hood and disconnect the 2 power plugs located on the d-side. I removed the 2 plastic screws from the cold air intake and moved to the side. My big hands could not get to the plugs otherwise. Here's what they look like on the new one. There are several clips holding additional wiring to the fan assemble but removed them from underneath car. [strongman]
 

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Ok now let's get underneath the car. There are 4 tangs, 2 on each side that keep the fan assemble in place. The bottom 2 are just guides and the top 2 have overhangs that need your assistance. I did the d-side first and then the p-side. I turned the fan assemble on it's side and rested it on a block of wood to keep from stressing the wires. Remember we have some wire loom clips to disconnect.
 

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Another tool I use for troubleshooting electrical problems is a clamp on amp meter. Remember it's a 12 volt electrical system but amps and watts are the consumer's. Anyway, I was interested in how the new fans were doing on the system.

Car at idle = 13 amps
Car at idle with low beams on = 29 amps
Car at idle with Hi beams on = 31 amps
Car at idle with heater fan on #4 = 37 amps
Car at idle with heater fan on #4 and Hi beams on = 49 amps
Car at idle with A/C on and fan speed at #4 and both radiator fans running = 60 amps.

I took these same readings back on Dec 20th when I got my meter.
Car at idle = 15 amps
Car at idle with low beams on = 32 amps
Car at idle with Hi beams on = 33 amps
Car at idle with heater fan on #4 = 62 amps
Car at idle with heater fan on #4 and Hi beams on = 75 amps

Back in august I had 92 amps with the A/C on and fan speed at #4.

Another indication the fans were heading south. A higher amperage draw for these fans would indicate to me a bad bearing.[popcorn] [popcorn]
 

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Hm... let me ask you a newbie question. The fans are not running when the engine is at idle. Well not at idle, but what i mean is that fans turn on when they need to turn on. So i don't really understand how this electrical test works to test the fans if they are not really on ??
 

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Hm... let me ask you a newbie question. The fans are not running when the engine is at idle. Well not at idle, but what i mean is that fans turn on when they need to turn on. So i don't really understand how this electrical test works to test the fans if they are not really on ??

Sorry for the confusion. I got these numbers after taking the car for a ride and getting it hot.
 
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