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Engine Fan dieing a slow death

Has anyone ever seen an engine fan do this?
It's swelling up and cracking in two places and it wasn't this bad a few years ago. It's weird... apparently the aluminum is corroding and swelling up from below the surface.
From the back side it looks like the corrosion started where drilling was done to balance the fan.

This is probably the original fan in my '87 911 turbo. It has around 130,000 miles on it.
Guess I better look for a nice used one and keep it below 5000 rpm before this one explodes and takes out the fan housing.

Here's a few pics and the swollen corrosion crack is at 12 o clock and another smaller one that is swollen but not cracking yet is over around 9 o clock.

Anybody have an engine fan they want to sell?

thanks.





Old 04-15-2014, 02:14 PM
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I can't help you with sourcing a new one, but there is no way I would run the car with that on there. It is a question of when, not if, it will disintegrate.

Gotta be some at Hershey, I would think.

Note to self - check fan on my 88 tonight.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:30 PM
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Jim, you probably don't want to spend this kind of money right now(recall you mentioning that in another thread recently), and I imagine you have already looked at these, but I bought one of these Vertex aluminum fans about 4 years ago - very high quality.

Porsche 911 11 Blade Fan Alternator Fan Brand New | eBay
Old 04-15-2014, 03:03 PM
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Thanks for posting that Ronnie. Thats the best price I've seen on an ebay aftermarket fan. Too bad I have to pay Florida state sales tax on that one but it's good to know you've had good luck with one.

I have to replace the one I have.. no choice there if I want to drive the car and not risk this one exploding.
I'll look for a good used one too. All new ones are aftermarket now.
Old 04-15-2014, 03:24 PM
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I had bought my replacement fan from Vertex.... Great quality!!
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:31 PM
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The fan isn't aluminum, it's magnesium.

Magnesium corrodes from the inside out and bubbles like that.

Pretty much a lost cause to weld as it either welds properly or rejects and spits the bead out or catches fire.
Old 04-15-2014, 06:05 PM
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The Vertex one is aluminum.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:15 PM
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OK, I thought the fan was aluminum.
In that case a used original one probably isn't a good idea because it might do this again someday. Maybe it's Florida humidity.

The Vertex fan is cast aluminum and new so it's sounding more and more like the better choice. Vertex is 90 miles south of me in Miami so I'd probably have it the next day.

This one can find a place on a shelf or wall.
Old 04-15-2014, 06:19 PM
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wow bummer that's weird

PM me your cell and if I see one @ Hershey (thank Wifely for unknowingly booking our trip to the parks there for kids' Apr break on the verysame Sat as the event... passive love!)

I'll call you and if you want me to snag it / ship to you I'd gladly

gotta question the failure mode tho - looks like it originates from that mark in the back (I've not yet had one off to view - knock Woodrow...
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:28 PM
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Thats called denting corrosion. Quite a few different types of metals are susceptible to it. In this case it's caused by impurities or porosity in the magnesium which causes it to corrode from the inside out. The corrosion products are larger than the base metal so it causes it to swell and then crack. My fan shroud has a couple small spots on it like that. When i got it powder coated it stopped them from getting any larger. Stock new factory fans are clear coated for the same reason. Not sure what the coating is though could be something as simple as wax.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:43 PM
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The balancing holes have sharp edges, this enables stress cracks, then the corrosion sets in and it bulges out.

Although I'm not a metallurgist, I think that is what happens.
Old 04-15-2014, 08:05 PM
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Hey Jim,

I'm not sure all Vertex fans are this way, but the one I was fitting this weekend has a small radius at the base of the stub for the outer pulley. That radius didn't let the first shim sit flat. Had to machine the ID of the first shim a little larger to clear the radius, now the outer pulley bolts solid to fan. The stock fan has a relief machined in that area just for that purpose.

If you set a couple of shims on, then lightly install the pulley, you can see the light through the shims.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:26 AM
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Yeah it sucks... I could have bought a factory Porsche brand new fan for $313.50 plus commercial rate priority mail shipping that is around $10 from a Porsche dealer in Oregon...
Oh well, I forgot to call them first, I forgot about them and bought an aftermarket rough finish sand cast aluminum one from Vertex and I don't like it. Guess I'll sand it to a satin finish or something now so I can tolerate it.

There are 16 fans in the Porsche dealer warehouse in Germany.

The salvage yards I called charge $350 for a used one when they have one can you believe it?

i need a beer.
Old 04-27-2014, 12:51 PM
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Jim, sorry about recommending the fan seeing as you don't like it. Have you asked Vertex about a return? If you tell them you are not satisfied with it I bet they would take it back.
Old 04-27-2014, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFairman View Post
Yeah it sucks...Guess I'll sand it to a satin finish or something now so I can tolerate it.

The salvage yards I called charge $350 for a used one when they have one can you believe it?

i need a beer.
I hear ya!

I bought the housing and fan, seems the previous owner badly cracked the housing and just powder coated over it, then mis-installed the fan, let the outer pulley wobble and had to weld it up and file down the stub and slot!
What a mess!

I've got it all fit now, so I'll live with it. Probably do the same and sand the fan blades down to a satin, maybe powder coat silver afterwards.
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie's.930 View Post
Jim, sorry about recommending the fan seeing as you don't like it. Have you asked Vertex about a return? If you tell them you are not satisfied with it I bet they would take it back.
That's alright, it's my own fault I didn't call the dealer in Oregon. I did call the Porsche dealer in West Palm and that was a mistake because they told me there are no more fans and Porsche stopped making them. They're bozo's here at the west palm dealer and they have ridiculous prices on parts. That's why I just went and ordered one from the place in Miami that starts with V and bought an aftermarket one. I thought that's all that was available now.

Then someone sent me a link a Porsche dealer in Sarasota, Florida that had them for a good price and that made me think of calling the dealer with the great prices in Oregon and then they told me there's 16 of them in Germany and they would have to order it. That could take a week or two because I've bought things from them they had to order before. Nice thing is they just include what you order with the stuff they have to order from Germany every week so they don't charge you anything extra for the shipping from Germany.

I havn't bothered calling the place I bought it from in Miami maybe I will. At the same time I don't want to spend any more on the whole fan thing and I think I'll like it more if I just sand and polish it into an easy to maintain satin finish.
Old 04-27-2014, 06:17 PM
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OK, but I'm really dismayed about the fan - hate recommending something that turns out to not meet the expectations I set. I'm even wondering if perhaps mine was not, in fact, a Vertex branded fan as mine was smooth cast aluminum that even had a clear-coat sprayed on the blades. I know I bought it from an eBay vender around 5 years ago, and thought it was Vertex, but maybe I am not remembering correctly. I have ridiculously high standards for fit and finish (just ask my friends who get a laugh out of it), and know I would not have been happy with something that was rough cast in appearance. Or maybe they are making them with less care now. Regardless, really puzzling.
Old 04-27-2014, 06:39 PM
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FWIW, the latest batch of fans from the factory look like cr@p, IMO. The hub is nicely plated yellow zinc, but the design is a little different than original and the mag looks like it was cast from shop sweepings. Top it all off and it looks like Fritz shot it with a rattlecan of Krylon. :-(
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Last edited by TurboKraft; 04-28-2014 at 11:44 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 04-28-2014, 11:44 AM
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Factory quality isn't what it used to be.











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Old 04-28-2014, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboKraft View Post
Factory quality isn't what it used to be.
So when is the billet, flow optimized, TurboKraft fan coming out?
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:36 PM
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