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is THE most interesting man in the world!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, on the way up to FOTB my car started to overheat on the traffic-packed 101 fwy. We all pulled over and checked it out and all seemed alright. No problems until we reached that same area on the way back and it happened a few more times. I opened the hood to inspect again and found that the fans were NOT coming on. We check a few things and all of a sudden they are working again. Great, intermittent failure. Since I don't have my fluke and test equipment with me, we continue on, watching the gauges carefully. I get it home and I suspect that the resistor assy for the fans may have a bad connection. I unplug it to find this:





Apparently the connection may have been poor, causing excessive heat or maybe the resistor pack got too damn hot. Either way, I raced to my local Ford dealer for the resistor assy. and the wiring harness for the fans. They had a new resistor assy., but the harness will be here the next morning. Total cost is $32.00 for the assy. and $60.00 for the harness. Easy fix too. Check your connections. Maybe a little dielectric grease on them too. Here is a pic of the location of said resistor assy. I have circled the area and you can see my temporary fix so that I can get to work tomorrow.



The insulation on the wire was brittle and melting as well as the rear of the plug.
 

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Re: My fan problem-possible fire hazard

I think the main problem with this is that the header heat builds up and forces the connector to melt of fail and crack. Wrap this connection in heat tape or a reflective hear material will help as well. Battery acid also has a way of making its way onto this connector as well.....strange.
 

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Re: My fan problem-possible fire hazard

On this one, it appeared to have started inside the connector, probably from corrosion. This connector sees a lot of water, as it seems to flow into the hood and over the fan shroud.
 

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Re: My fan problem-possible fire hazard

it is corrosion. it will build up on the connection and make the resistance higher and/or cause it to arc across the bad connection. thats what probably made it melt. It happened to me with my fog lights
 

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Re: My fan problem-possible fire hazard

If you have no electrical problems to speak of or if you have as above and subsequently replaced/fixed the problem I highly recommended that you use dielectric grease on all of your electrical connectors.

As stated above, corrosion can/will build-up on a connector causing the resistance to go up which increases heat build-up.

On both of my new cars, formerly a 1990 Mustang and currently a 2001 Focus, as soon as I brought the car home I located as many connectors as possible (under the hood - fan, fuel injectors, headlights, main harness connectors, o2 sensors, temp. sensors, etc., fuel-tank, underbody, and even the PCM inside the car) I used dielectric grease and never had a problem.

A small 1.5 oz. tube will run you $8-15, but it's worth it.
 

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is THE most interesting man in the world!
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3,514 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: My fan problem-possible fire hazard

I checked my connectors again today and it's happening again. I did use dielectric grease on them and check them regularly. Looks like I'll go through about one a year.


Parts dream sheet: Idler pulley, tensioner pulley, resistor pack, and harness.
 
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