Stock '99 cooling fan junk?

Lincoln Continental

  1. Sincoln

    Sincoln Active LVC Member

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    Had an oddball death rattle that sounded like it dropped a rocker arm or something. Turns out the driver-side cooling fan has a serious issue as it's making the ruckus. Are these units typically reliable? Or is there a known defect? Car has around 86k.
     
  2. Svets96

    Svets96 Well-Known LVC Member

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    From my experience I never had problems with mine. Due to just age/mileage and being an electrical component anything can happen. You can do one of 3 things depending what is rattling/rukus sound you have, replace the whole unit, replace the fan relay, or replace the cooling motor/motors. They are small electrical motors that are in front of the front cam cover.

    You can get the fan relay at Tasca Ford parts: Cooling Fan for 1998 Lincoln Continental | TascaParts

    Rockauto has a Motorcraft cooling fan unit available. Autozone and Napa also have them in stock, but are a little more money.

    Keep updating with information.
     
  3. Sincoln

    Sincoln Active LVC Member

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    Had no idea the motor by itself was replaceable, but it's definitely out of sorts of mine. Almost like a contact brush broke free, and is getting knocked around. Might go used just to have an extra motor for 2nd fan in case that goes south too.
     
  4. Svets96

    Svets96 Well-Known LVC Member

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    Its a pretty easy replacement, that you can do yourself to save even more money. Just watch how it comes apart and place new motor in.

    Remember to unhook the batter when you do replace. As extra precaution not to burn anything out or blow a fuse.
     
  5. Sincoln

    Sincoln Active LVC Member

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    Got lucky and found an entire shroud assembly locally for $40. The right-side fan is seized, but left side appears OK, which is the one I actually needed. Almost went with a RA motor for roughly the same price, but figured it was worth a gamble having a full assembly on-hand for parts. Really surprised by the heft of the unit. Probably weighs as much as a fender.
     
  6. Svets96

    Svets96 Well-Known LVC Member

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  7. Sincoln

    Sincoln Active LVC Member

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    Junk yard motor was a bust. While trying to get fan blade off, it knocked some rust loose off inside of the casing, which the magnets just pull in.

    If anyone runs into either of their fans failing, you are probably better off getting the motor new. If you do go used, look through the vent holes on the back of the motor. If you see rust scaling on the inner edges through the holes, don't bother. While the case can technically be separated, getting back into place and staying there is probably not going to be fun, unless you have a mig handy.

    Also, FWIRW, both motors combined are rather heavy and bulky. WHY they didn't just use the Mark VIII fan here is dumbfounding, as that fan alone can probably save almost 8 pounds off the nose.
     
  8. Svets96

    Svets96 Well-Known LVC Member

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    Sorry to hear about the venture being a bust. With an electric component you are probably better off getting new. That way its fresh.

    I agree with you about Lincoln using the Mark VIII fan on the Continentals. Been less weight and easier to replace.

    Where are you located in Ohio? I'm in Youngstown area.
     
  9. Sincoln

    Sincoln Active LVC Member

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    Yeah, looks like Ford went with the large motor set up in some other cars as well. Real head scratcher. I have a mid 90's Legacy winter car that's riddled with rust that just hit 194k miles and still has a flawless cooling fan. Another oddity is Ford running mechanical fans on their other RWD platforms. Those outright steal HP and slow engine response. I'm north of Akron.
     
  10. Svets96

    Svets96 Well-Known LVC Member

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    Its crazy I know. I hear ya about the mechanical fans, my F-150 has one and its an '06. Don't know why they did that type of stuff either. You almost live down the street from me, if you think about it. I-76 is a straight shot both ways. Very cool.
     
  11. Sincoln

    Sincoln Active LVC Member

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    Was casually reading a complaint site for these cars, and one had mentioned their passenger side fan motor caused a fire. Wondering if it locked up and overheated the wiring.... You'd think they would have a fuse in-line somewhere to stop that.

    Anyhow, any reading this, might want to keep a periodic eye on your radiator fan motors, specifically abnormal noises when running (mine sounded like a rocker let go when hood was down), or excessively stiff movement (unhook battery or disconnect fan, engine cold) of the fan blade by hand. The motors have a decent amount of torque for their size, and CAN spin the blade despite rust accumulation getting sucked into the magnets and dragging in the tight clearance between the inner assembly and magnets, though they'll obviously run hot and incur more amperage draw to spin.
     
  12. Sincoln

    Sincoln Active LVC Member

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    Been years since I saw a Mark VIII fan in person, so was looking at images online. Looks like it uses roughly the same size motor, same mounting tabs on the motor, and same/similar 3 pin connector as the main/first fan on the Continental, and same/similar fan blade attachments. Main physical difference seems to be the lack of the pigtail to the second fan and obviously the fan shroud.

    Wondering if they went with the dual fans on these for quieter operation? I noticed while still noisy, the air pump for the bags are quieter than the Mark VIII, though these were years apart in design, so improvements might have occurred. FWIW, in theory, it looks like the fan motor itself could be a direct swap to the Continental shroud, which could probably have the secondary fan/shroud omitted via dremel.
     
  13. FlaOkie

    FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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    Out of curiosity I checked the wiring diagrams I have for a 2002.
    It shows two separate fan relays.
    One relay has a 60A fuse on the power feed to the relay contacts.
    The other relay has a 30A fuse on the power feed to the relay contacts.
    When the contact(s) close, the power goes to the motor(s).
    The individual relay coils are separately controlled by the PCM.

    Don’t know if the `1999 is setup the same, but most likely it is.
     
  14. Sincoln

    Sincoln Active LVC Member

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    So, what would the implication be? That it's a 2 speed set up for both fans? i.e. 30 amp for low, 60 amp for high?

    While looking at Mark VIII literature, it looks like they improved the design by '98, by increasing the fan cfm or outright speed vs. earlier units. These Continental fans/motors are later, so a possibility they are on-par with the Mark VIII?

    FWIW, someone looking for a dual-fan set up in say a bigger V8 or higher hp 6, 4 cyl. etc. might be able to use something from these cars, especially when the motor can be bought new for $40 and mounted to a Ford shroud/fan blade.
     
  15. FlaOkie

    FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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    The fan motors are both two speed (two sets of windings).
    The 30A fuse comes out of the low speed fan relay and is wired to the low speed windings of both fan motors.
    The 60A fuse comes out of the high speed fan relay and is wired to the high speed windings of both fan motors.
    I assume the BCM monitors the coolant temperature sensor and turns on both fans for either low or high speed as required.
     
  16. Sincoln

    Sincoln Active LVC Member

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    Ah, OK. My main fan motor has 3 wires total, and it's pigtail only has 2 wires feeding the secondary motor. Was thinking ground, motor one 12v+, and follow through ground w/motor two 12v+. Are you saying '02 has two 12v+ and ground per motor?
     
  17. FlaOkie

    FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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    Yep---
    Each fan has one 12VDC+ for low speed - one 12VDC+ for high speed - and one ground.
    Wire for low speed is RD/OR
    Wire for high speed is OR/LB
    Wire for ground is BK
     
  18. FlaOkie

    FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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    I finally got my CD version of the service manual working again.
    This is a screen shot of the '02 fan wiring schematic FWIW.
    fans2.jpg
     
  19. Firebrian

    Firebrian Active LVC Member

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    Fwiw my 1997 Lincoln Continental went 230k miles and 12 yrs on the original cooling fans/motors. And my 2002 is now at 81K miles and 17 years old without an issue.
     
  20. Sincoln

    Sincoln Active LVC Member

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    My '99 had been in an accident in '16, and was technically totaled out (rebuilt title, ran a carfax on it). Guessing the current book value of $3-4k with 84k miles was low enough to not cover bumper/hood paint, a new grill, and the fiberglass header core support. I bought it mostly fixed, for next to nothing ($650 :cool:), and had the remainder corrected (new correct color hood, clean headlight lens). Anyhow, it's possible the fans were on during impact, and sent a shock wave through the assembly, and a brush let go, etc. A used fan shroud assembly with both fans had too much rust at the very bottom of the casing, which the magnets just pull into the windings, which apparently seizes them. A local yard had an '02 and despite most of the engine compartment being untouched, someone went straight for that shroud assembly. So they can be an issue. And if they seize, a fire is possible.
     
  21. Sincoln

    Sincoln Active LVC Member

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    Well, I deserve a solid F- for ignoring my own advice. Needed to get exhaust work and tires needed a bead sealed, so had car out getting work done to it. Thought, "Ah, that fan motor should be OK for now, it can wait a couple days to get replaced". I stopped to get an avatar pic after getting everything done, and left it running while trying to figure out the phone's camera (never use it). Then I smelled something no one wants to smell coming from their car..... electrical burning. Popped the hood and that motor was smoking. Shut engine off, let it cool for 5, then unplugged the fan connector and got it home; stayed around the O in normal, thankfully it cools good enough while moving and only a mile from home. Fan motor was locked tight.

    Lesson to be learned is do not ignore these fan motors :eek:
     
  22. Svets96

    Svets96 Well-Known LVC Member

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    Damn dude! Glad nothing happened. Please make sure you get new motors, last thing you need on your mind is fire. Then you 'll be good to go.
     
  23. Sincoln

    Sincoln Active LVC Member

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    Yeah same here. Could smell it at least 10' in front of the car while running. Was a small cigarette-like stream of smoke after car was turned off, so probably caught it quick enough.

    Still amazed they don't have some sort of built-in fusible link or something. The main fuses almost seem to be rated too high, as a lock-up should be causing a serious amperage drain. Or maybe it's because they only use one fuse per set of fan speeds? Checked manual, and it only has a single 30 and 60 amp like the '02 posted literature posted earlier. Bet if it had dual 15 amp and dual 30 amp, it would have tripped one/both for the single fan, while allowing secondary fan to run. 30/60 amp single fuses with one dead fan and one good fan, are seemingly absorbing some of the current draw of the bad motor. Shouldn't take a full on short to ground or both fans failing at the same time to pop them.

    Someone completely oblivious to their car and how it's running might actually park it in their garage on a hot day, close the door, and end up with a serious fire 30 minutes later. Unless smelling the electrical burn beforehand, or hearing something wonky, they'd never know as the secondary fan running by itself is enough to keep the engine in the NORMAL range, even with A/C on. OBDII doesn't even care if the fan is disconnected. I have no codes on the car, no warnings, nothing except the all important phone disconnection and the SOS center.
     
  24. FlaOkie

    FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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    A quick check seems to indicate that the fuse ratings seem OK for the wire sizes and lengths.

    My service manual shows the “auxiliary relay box” that contains the fan relays is located in the front of the car in the grill/radiator area -- right in the area the car was hit.

    It could be the relay box had been ripped out and had to be replaced or re-mounted and re-wired.
    Just a guess – in repairing this area, it could be someone mis-wired the relays -- wiring the 30A side to the 60A fuse.

    One internet mention of a problem with the fan does not make it a design flaw or a “common” problem for this platform.
    The car was hit, and it is very likely the problem is related in some way to that hit.
     
  25. Sincoln

    Sincoln Active LVC Member

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    Far as I can tell, actual damage was limited to the grill and part of the bumper cover, with some minor cracking at the fiberglass front lip of the original hood. Looking behind the grill, the fiberglass for the header support was cracked, and someone cut a small section out (directly behind the grill top crossover cover /emblem; upper middle mounts gone). Might have had the passenger head light assembly replaced, can't tell, but it didn't match the driver's side headlight when I got it.

    Everything else looks to be correct, original and unmolested, including bumper, horn, AC condenser, radiator, wiring up front, etc. which are all in the area or easily damaged. No upper support or frame rail damage. No airbag deployment. Replacement hood lined up w/o issue and matches the fender gap, nicely, though driver-side fender needed minor adjustment to match the gap (hood is from an '02, but matches with same BQ color code) and the hood height rubber stoppers needed lowered a few twists.

    Doesn't pull, tires have good tread and even wear, etc. Had it safety inspected (ironically, the same day) and everything checked out safety-wise. The only thing they could find issues with are the rear brakes (which I already knew) and the end links for rear sway bar are bad.

    I read on a consumer complaint site someone did indeed have a fire that was caused by a fan motor:
    1999 Lincoln Continental Engine And Engine Cooling Problems
    Considering the fan itself was smoking out a vent hole on mine, I 100% believe the complaint in the link.


    My manual said nothing about relays other than whatever is in the fuse box under the hood, near the battery. AFAIK, a fuse should still pop if too much draw. My thinking is the fans *should* have separate fuses to protect each, separately. Much easier for a fan to pop a 15 amp under duress, than a shared 30 amp.

    I'll look closer to see if it has the aux. relay box though, so thanks for mentioning it FlaOkie :)
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018

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