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The radiator fan fix

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02 Jun 2009, 08:35 pm
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Default The radiator fan fix

Recently I decided to replace the fan on my wife's 03 PT which did not work on high with a/c engaged. Before replacing it, I decided to open the fan motor and take a look at what could be the problem.

I found that inside the motor, there are four carbon brushes that ride along what I call a "spindle". One of the brushes was more than 3/4 worn out and not making any contact on the "spindle" surface. I thought swapping out brushes would do the trick and guess what? IT DID!

I tested it directly to a 12v source and it was fine. I then reinstalled it on the car, turned on the a/c and wow, what a difference. The a/c is super cold and it fixed my idle issue. I took a picture of the brushes inside the motor for all of you to see and try on your own PT.

This was a zero cost fix because I used a carbon brush from another small motor I had lying around. I found 12 carbon brushes on ebay for about $8 to change out all 4 brushes inside the motor to avoid this problem again. So, as long as its not a fuse,relay or other electrical problem, this fix may solve the issue of buying a motor or complete fan assembly.
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Old 07 Mar 2010, 01:11 pm
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Question Re: The radiator fan fix

03ptmom, thanks for the heads up. How easy is it to replace the brushes? Please advise, as I have absolutely no electrical experience. Which brushes on Ebay would be the right ones to purchase? Is there a part number or size I need to look for? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07 Mar 2010, 09:31 pm
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Default Re: The radiator fan fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by 03PTMOM View Post
Recently I decided to replace the fan on my wife's 03 PT which did not work on high with a/c engaged. Before replacing it, I decided to open the fan motor and take a look at what could be the problem.

I found that inside the motor, there are four carbon brushes that ride along what I call a "spindle". One of the brushes was more than 3/4 worn out and not making any contact on the "spindle" surface. I thought swapping out brushes would do the trick and guess what? IT DID!

I tested it directly to a 12v source and it was fine. I then reinstalled it on the car, turned on the a/c and wow, what a difference. The a/c is super cold and it fixed my idle issue. I took a picture of the brushes inside the motor for all of you to see and try on your own PT.

This was a zero cost fix because I used a carbon brush from another small motor I had lying around. I found 12 carbon brushes on ebay for about $8 to change out all 4 brushes inside the motor to avoid this problem again. So, as long as its not a fuse,relay or other electrical problem, this fix may solve the issue of buying a motor or complete fan assembly.
This would have made a great tutorial with pictures and directions, nice fix
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Old 08 Mar 2010, 12:05 am
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Default Re: The radiator fan fix

You do know that you replied to a post that is over 9 months old!
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Old 08 Mar 2010, 06:56 am
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Default Re: The radiator fan fix

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Originally Posted by azphotog View Post
You do know that you replied to a post that is over 9 months old!
I never knew that there was a time limit on replying to posts.....LOL
If anyone out there has a part number or ordering information for the brushes, I would appreciate the info.
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Old 08 Mar 2010, 06:02 pm
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Default Re: The radiator fan fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by 03PTMOM View Post
I thought swapping out brushes would do the trick and guess what? IT DID!
What process was used to connect? (silver solder?)
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Old 08 Mar 2010, 07:36 pm
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Default Re: The radiator fan fix

Excuse me for not posting. My wife decided to sell her PT because of the constant maintenance required.

I do not have the part number for the brushes anymore. However, the brushes I first purchased did not last long because they were of different material than the stock ones.

I eventually went to a junkyard opened up a radiator fan from a dodge neon I believe and used those brushes. They are very similar to the ones on the PT. I first cut off the stock ones as close to the brush as possible, I then crimped a spade connector on the end of it and the opposite spade connector on the new brush end. That's it!

The fan worked on low and high after this fix, as well as the A/C. Its cost maybe $3 to to this. Free if you use the 5 finger discount.

Caution: Make sure you don't lose the springs the brushes use, otherwise you will need a new motor or make an ingenious piece to replace it.
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Old 20 May 2010, 09:35 pm
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Default Re: The radiator fan fix

I am a former commercial electrician with a lot of experience working on motors (the "spindle" part that the brushes contact is called the commutator, by the way ). So there I was, minding my own bushiness when my wife's like, "you need to fix the cruiser - the A/C isn't working!" So I put my beer down go out and expect to have to recharge the system an maybe replace the receiver-dryer and orifice tube. I hook my pressure gauge to the high and low side and was surprised to see the psi way too high, so I run a garden hose on the condenser. Instant fix. Then I realize the frigin fan isn't working. After I test all the fuses and relays, I go under the car and jump 12 volts directly to the fan motor. Low speed worked, but not a thing from the high speed. Wonderful, now I have to take the fan out and tear it apart. Turns out, I had EXACTLY the same problem. One of the brushes on the high speed circuit was worn slap out. So then I look into getting a new or refurbished fan motor - almost $200!!! Hell no! Not for something as simple as a worn brush! So I look on google for some replacement brushes and was astonished to find that someone else had the exact same turn of events - wife's car, a/c, fan motor, worn out brush - I mean I can't believe it! It seems like it's a common problem, so when I acquire some replacement brushes (most likely from a pick-and-pull) I will make a comprehensive video tutorial from start to finish of the procedure and post a link here.
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Last edited by re11ik; 20 May 2010 at 09:59 pm.
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Old 21 May 2010, 11:04 am
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Default Re: The radiator fan fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by re11ik View Post
I am a former commercial electrician with a lot of experience working on motors (the "spindle" part that the brushes contact is called the commutator, by the way ). So there I was, minding my own bushiness when my wife's like, "you need to fix the cruiser - the A/C isn't working!" So I put my beer down go out and expect to have to recharge the system an maybe replace the receiver-dryer and orifice tube. I hook my pressure gauge to the high and low side and was surprised to see the psi way too high, so I run a garden hose on the condenser. Instant fix. Then I realize the frigin fan isn't working. After I test all the fuses and relays, I go under the car and jump 12 volts directly to the fan motor. Low speed worked, but not a thing from the high speed. Wonderful, now I have to take the fan out and tear it apart. Turns out, I had EXACTLY the same problem. One of the brushes on the high speed circuit was worn slap out. So then I look into getting a new or refurbished fan motor - almost $200!!! Hell no! Not for something as simple as a worn brush! So I look on google for some replacement brushes and was astonished to find that someone else had the exact same turn of events - wife's car, a/c, fan motor, worn out brush - I mean I can't believe it! It seems like it's a common problem, so when I acquire some replacement brushes (most likely from a pick-and-pull) I will make a comprehensive video tutorial from start to finish of the procedure and post a link here.
Excellent! Look forward to seeing it my fan was replaced but most likely Chrysler installed the same crappy fan again, so I rather replace the brushes next time.
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Old 21 May 2010, 04:56 pm
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Default Re: The radiator fan fix

Any decent real hardware store will have an assortment of various size replacement carbon brushes.
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