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Discussion Starter #1
My 84 spider's radiator fan is always on, no matter how cold it is, and it spins really fast at high rpms; tons of fan noise. With the motor off, I can't turn the fan. It seems to be seized. Is this normal? I just want to know so I can either stop worrying about it, or start fixing it.

Thanks,

Sam
 

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Are you sure your fan is electric. On Euro Spider electric fans became factory fitted from S4 1990 model year.
A mecanical driven fan is driven by at the belt which drives the water pump and generator. Is should not be able to move when engine is off.
Erik
 

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Open the hood of your '84 Spider and note that the radiator fan is directly driven by your engine. It will spin only when the engine is on, and its speed will vary in direct proportion to the engine speed. The higher the engine revs, the faster the fan spins. When the engine is off, you will not be able to turn the fan, since it requires that you turn the engine. As far as noise, I would suggest that you see if there is an Alfa mechanic (a reputable one) near you or contact the local Alfa Romeo Owners Club chapter if there is one near you. The fan does make noise, but being loud to the point where it is intrusive does not reflect a typical experience.

Best regards,
 

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If the car has A/C doesn't it have an additional (electric) fan? If so, I think there is a relay or two on the inner fender to control it. Perhaps a relay is stuck 'on'? Or perhaps it is set up to run for a while until the radiator has cooled off?

And I will have to admonish my fellow Bb members - no one has chastised Sam for violating the forum's unwritten rule about posting photos. (you have to)

Sam - we likes photos. Of your Spider will do. If there is a good looking female in the photo that'd be better.
 

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If the car has A/C doesn't it have an additional (electric) fan? If so, I think there is a relay or two on the inner fender to control it. Perhaps a relay is stuck 'on'? Or perhaps it is set up to run for a while until the radiator has cooled off?
Yes, for a '84 Spider with air conditioning... The additional electric fan is in front of the radiator and it does stay on, even if the engine is turned off, until the rad is cooled... And it is noisy. However, that is not what the author of the thread seems to be describing. The electric fan does not (typically) come on when it is cold, and he is saying that he cannot get the fan to turn on when the engine is off...

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The electric fan does not (typically) come on when it is cold, and he is saying that he cannot get the fan to turn on when the engine is off...
Right. So if Sam is hearing the A/C electric fan and it is running all the time (even when the engine is cool) then something in the A/C fan's power supply is faulty. And if he is trying turn the engine driven fan by hand (with the engine off...) because he doesn't know about the A/C electric fan in front of the radiator then, umm, what were we talking about again...?

But he still hasn't posted any photos...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, I get it now. My car is the non ac version, thus it has no electric fan, only the belt driven radiator fan. My question has been answered about the fan staying in direct drive with the motor. Apparently there is no clutch mechanism for it. (is there such a thing?) So it looks like everything is normal then. Sorry I didn't mention I don't have ac or electric fan. As far as the fan noise is concerned-I plan on installing a louder exhaust to mask it a bit.

Thanks for the responses,

Sam
 

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Apparently there is no clutch mechanism for it. (is there such a thing?)
Yes. The device is called a fan clutch. It basically a temperature controlled fluid coupling that increases fan speed based on temperature (up to the speed that the water pump is turning, of course). Quite common on American V8s and such. The Alfa Spider, with a plastic fan, was never fitted with a fan clutch.

Speaking of the plastic fan, it is considered a consumable item and should be replaced every decade or so (the blades can fly off resulting in a lot of damage). I've read about fans with a missing blade or two that howled like a banshee.
 

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A thermostacially activated fan culutch for a direct drive fan is a little too sophisticated for our old Alfa Spiders. Sometimes the Aux electric fan on A/C equipped models will run all the time the ignition is on because the heat sensor on the fan shroud is defective or it stopped working and a cheapo PO rigged the fan motor relay to be direct drive constantly the ignition is on. A sure fired receipt for having to buy a new Aux electric fan down the road.

Robert
 

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Termo regulated electric Fan Kits, like Kenlove, suited to the car make and model can be bought. Probably some of the specialized Alfa parts suppliers have them.
Erik
 
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