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Exploding Fans?
#1
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patgreen
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While reading at the Studebaker Turning Wheels site I noticed a reference to the famous Packard exploding fans.

The poster declared that fifties Packard fans frequently split apart firing bits of shrapnel.

As often happens, the poster was absolutely positive....

Is there anything to this, and--if so--what?

Posted on: 2014/5/17 12:54
When two men ride the same horse, one has to be in the back...
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Re: Exploding Fans?
#2
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HH56
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Interesting. I've read a fair amount of Packard literature and don't remember ever hearing that one.

Unless it was a deep secret or something that started to happen after Packard documentation was gone, don't believe there were any bulletins on that problem or any campaigns. Not even any advisories to check fans if a car came in for service-- other than a caution or reminder not to reinstall any fans if they had been removed and were seen to be bent or otherwise damaged. We don't have access to all the Stude issued bulletins to see if they said anything so can't rule out a mention there.

If there was something, don't remember reading about it in any of the many Packard books so unless one of the well versed Packard historians that post here could confirm the story, I would be inclined to not believe it.

There were some fan revisions in the early 51-4 models period to improve noise issues and cooling and the like but nothing indicating there was a big problem. Even the revised fans were for cars exhibiting specific problems & not a general replacement.

Posted on: 2014/5/17 14:35
Howard
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Re: Exploding Fans?
#3
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Owen_Dyneto
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Never heard about it, never saw anything in the Packard or later Studebaker-Packard service letters about it. Never heard of a fan failure that wasn't caused by something else. I suspect your poster's source was the same one as the air-suspension on the 55/56 cars and the 200 mile per gallon carburetor that was squelched by the oil companies.

Posted on: 2014/5/17 17:30
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Re: Exploding Fans?
#4
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patgreen
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I mentioned it because it was on the Studebaker club site in a discussion of which and whether Packards were decent cars. No one needs that kind of "help".

Don't normally go there; this was from a search.

Posted on: 2014/5/17 22:00
When two men ride the same horse, one has to be in the back...
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Re: Exploding Fans?
#5
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Kevin AZ
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Is there a link to the exploding fan?

Posted on: 2014/5/17 22:59
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Re: Exploding Fans?
#6
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PackardV8
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I've never heard of an exploding fan on ANY car in my 40+ years of wrenching on junk.
Some 10 years ago both a Packatd and Stud publication ran a lengthy article on 1965 v12 Packards and minivan exp. models that was bogus info. It caused major flurry of uproar in this forum ad well as AACA forum.
There are many DELIBERATE bogus claims made thru out the ENTIRE auto industry.

Posted on: 2014/5/17 23:12
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
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Re: Exploding Fans?
#7
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patgreen
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Quote:
SAFETY CONCERN!!!!....This is probably a good time to reiterate to Packard V8 'newbies' that if You are looking to buy one of these cars, check the condition of the factory fan blades before You go sticking Your head under the hood with the engine running. Packard had a serious safety issue going on during those years concerning engine cooling fan blades 'cracking'. (Hairline cracks, radiating from the fan's hub around the metal rivets that hold the two fan halves together.) Back in the day, many of these defective Packard V8 fans were replaced under warranty, but many more were not ever replaced. This safety concern includes '55-'56 Packards and Clippers, '56 Studebaker Golden Hawks, and '55-'56 Nash Hudson 'Senior' models. A fan blade could literally fly right off one of these engines as it is being reved up.


More here:http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?78241-1955-Packard-Clipper-Constellation-price

Posted on: 2014/5/18 16:46
When two men ride the same horse, one has to be in the back...
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Re: Exploding Fans?
#8
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Ross
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Read through some of the posts in a couple of places and could smell the hot steel of an axe being ground.

Observations: 1)have been around these cars for forty years and have never heard a discussion, even among those who were oldtimers THEN about this problem.

2)When Packard had the problem with the Dana axles in 56 it was documented and addressed in the service letters; that is how "campaigns" were made known. Can someone find a service letter on this? There was no other mechanism I'm aware of to get special information to the field.

3) That said, I have seen a 56 Clipper blow off a fan blade with devastating results to the fresh air duct. A skull would not have stopped it. So I have gotten in the habit of examining fans closely for cracks before I paint them--and have found them rarely on Packard and Studebaker fans. I believe this comes from bending and that most probably from using the fan to turn the engine whilst adjusting points etc.

4)Just went back and checked and they used the same fan 54-55-56. The earlier 51-52-53 style was used on 54 with air, oddly enough.

Posted on: 2014/5/18 21:39
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Re: Exploding Fans?
#9
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Owen_Dyneto
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Just back from a large car show today. We had about 9 or 10 Packards present. Fortunately the song birds, low-flying geese as well as the attendees and their cars managed to avoid the hail of flying fan blade shrapnel as the Packards started up to leave the field.

Posted on: 2014/5/18 22:25
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Re: Exploding Fans?
#10
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Owen_Dyneto
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Ross, I haven't checked the parts book and don't know if it's even shown there, but if memory serves when the Korean war critical metals controls were implemented Packard (along with others) was required to reduce the content of copper material in the radiator core and to compensate they made a corresponding change in the fan blade pitch or size. Years back when this was common knowledge these fans, used in 1952 and 1953?, were sought out by those with modest overheating situations on other year cars to increase air flow. Somewhere there is some sort of notation about this in the TSBs or other factory documents.

Posted on: 2014/5/19 9:08
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