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Last night, my 1986 spider threw the belt and the cooling fan disintegrated. I need to replace it and am wondering two things:

1. Can I replace the existing cooling fan (and shroud) without removing the radiator?
2. if I put an electrical fan in FRONT of the radiator, I no longer need the old fan and shroud? And how difficult is it to install the wiring and thermostat?

I'm thinking that if I have to remove the radiator (#1), this might (#2) be a cheaper and better fix.
 

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You might be able to change the fan and shroud without removing the radiator.

If you want to keep your car original just replace the fan and shroud but, When my fan went in my 1973 GTV I went for the electric fan behind the radiator. My cars radiator had a drain plug at the bottom and as luck would have it a giulietta thermostat or fan switch as we call it here fitted perfectly.

If you ditch the old setup you also get a few more horses and your car wont overheat in trafic.

Just be sure to use a relay in the circuit and heavy gauge wiring..

Best of luck!!
 

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Last night, my 1986 spider threw the belt and the cooling fan disintegrated. I need to replace it and am wondering two things:

1. Can I replace the existing cooling fan (and shroud) without removing the radiator?
Maybe, but it will take more time, and you will lose more skin than if you had removed the radiator first.

2. if I put an electrical fan in FRONT of the radiator, I no longer need the old fan and shroud? And how difficult is it to install the wiring and thermostat? I'm thinking that if I have to remove the radiator (#1), this might (#2) be a cheaper and better fix.
Sure - many Alfa owners have gone that route. As others have written, there are several advantages to electric fans. However, I doubt it will take less time and money than simply bolting in a new mechanical fan. I'm not trying to talk you out of doing an electric fan conversion (I have done this job on both my 105's) - I'm just reacting to your expectation that it will be cheaper.
 
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