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Old 02-24-2018, 12:21 PM   #1
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s14 New Fan Clutch - Is it Defective?

So I had my original fan clutch replaced. One day it started to sound like a bus when ever I drove, and the noise of the fan spinning would increase and decrease with the RPMs.

Fast forward to after my mechanic replaced the fan clutch with an OEM fan clutch, and it continues to make that same sound that it did before, prior to replacing the fan clutch. My mechanic is saying that this is how it is suppose to sound, and he is saying that my fan clutch is working as it should.

I don't necessarily agree. Prior to my old fan clutch making the bus-like sound, it was quiet, and could never be heard as RPMs increased and decreased. He is saying I didn't hear it because my old fan clutch was not working.

With this logic, it would mean my old fan clutch didn't work and then worked suddenly one day because it makes the same noise my current one does.

I have read and seen on many videos that the noise should go away after this part is replaced. Is my new fan clutch defective, or is it behaving as it should?
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:43 PM   #2
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I have been having the same issue. I have a stock KA and my original fan clutch started doing exactly what yours did at around 197K. Replaced it with a duralast one and it didn't roar all the time but wasn't as quiet as the original. I never heard the original. Then replaced it with 2 oem ones and same thing. Nothing different. If I come off the highway to slower speeds I can hear them and have lack of power. If temperature is below 40F I don't here them but I hear them if the engine just gets close to normal operating temp. They all seem to be more sensitive.
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Old 02-24-2018, 07:41 PM   #3
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Right, I don't think they're suppose to make that noise. I got a second opinion from another mechanic and he says that the part is defective. So I'm taking it back to where I originally had the work done, and he said he'll have a new one ordered but he insures that it is going to behave the same way...

I'm thinking we're just getting unlucky and getting all the defective parts that Nissan has in stock. Or maybe it is suppose to sound like this, idk, highly doubt it though.

Any advice would help. I really don't want to go with electric fans.
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Old 02-24-2018, 08:56 PM   #4
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There are places near me with 8x to 12x clutch/fan assemblies for sr20 sitting on a shelf. it should be even easier to find KA stuff. You swap fans/clutches till it makes the noise you want...
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:33 PM   #5
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Yeah thats kind of my situation now. I'm gonna try another one. This one even has my belt squealing at higher rpms too.
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Old 02-25-2018, 12:28 PM   #6
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Props for wanting to keep the clutch fan, nothing beats it and most people do a shitty job at installing e-fans.
How is the temperature on your car behaving? When was the last time you replaced your thermostat? We have to remember that our fan clutches are activated with the temperature of the air that goes through the radiator. The temperature of this air is ultimately controlled by the thermostat.
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Old 02-25-2018, 12:50 PM   #7
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When a fan clutch goes bad, it will be constantly locked up (hence you hearing more fan noise). At higher rpms, when it finally starts to slip under rotational force, it will squeel like a slipping belt. The squeel at high rpm is your clue.

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Old 02-25-2018, 05:06 PM   #8
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Props for wanting to keep the clutch fan, nothing beats it and most people do a shitty job at installing e-fans.
How is the temperature on your car behaving? When was the last time you replaced your thermostat? We have to remember that our fan clutches are activated with the temperature of the air that goes through the radiator. The temperature of this air is ultimately controlled by the thermostat.
The temp gauge when the car warms up, rests right halfway in between cold and hot (not sure what temperature that relates to exactly). It doesn't fluctuate once the car is warm, the needle sits right in the middle.

I had the thermostat replaced recently, at the same time I had the fan clutch replaced. Here's a little back story if it means anything. I had the radiator replaced at the same shop with a new OEM radiator. Drove it for a few days and noticed that the temp gauge started to not rise. The noise from the fan clutch was not present at this time. Then one day after I had already driven the car earlier that morning, the fan clutch started making the loud whooshing noise that followed the RPMs.

I brought this to the attention of the shop, and he said that my fan clutch is not working properly as it is fully engaged, in which case it is 'over cooling' my engine so to speak. He said I needed to replace the fan clutch. So cool, I have him replace the fan clutch and he called me later that day and said that the temp gauge still wasn't rising after the new fan clutch had been installed. He looked at the thermostat and he said that it needed to be replaced as it was stuck open. Again, I said cool, go ahead and replace it. Now the gauge is working again as it should, but the sound of the fan clutch is still excessive, nothing like it had been prior to any of this.

Again I bought this to his attention. He said that this is how it is suppose to sound and operate. All parts are Nissan OEM replacements. I got a second opinion from another shop saying the exact opposite, and he is saying that the fan clutch is possibly defective and that I should get a replacement for this one as it is not suppose to sound like that.

Now IF in fact this is how it is suppose to sound and work, then it would mean that my old original fan clutch was not in need of a replacement and that it was only my thermostat that needed replacement, however it would not explain why it suddenly started making excessive noise out of no where, which continues with the new fan clutch. So I don't believe that this is the situation, but just for the sake of this argument, I am willing to consider it.

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When a fan clutch goes bad, it will be constantly locked up (hence you hearing more fan noise). At higher rpms, when it finally starts to slip under rotational force, it will squeel like a slipping belt. The squeel at high rpm is your clue.

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Thank you, this is exactly my understanding of it! Now, this part is new so I should not be having the symptoms and issues of failing fan clutch that I am currently experiencing. I can't keep shelling money out for this and it is becoming quite frustrating to say the least. I'm no mechanic nor am I super knowledgable about all this stuff, but I am not stupid. Maybe, just maybe I got a bad part. If the next one behaves the same, I don't know what I'm going to do next.
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Btaztic View Post
The temp gauge when the car warms up, rests right halfway in between cold and hot (not sure what temperature that relates to exactly). It doesn't fluctuate once the car is warm, the needle sits right in the middle.

I had the thermostat replaced recently, at the same time I had the fan clutch replaced. Here's a little back story if it means anything. I had the radiator replaced at the same shop with a new OEM radiator. Drove it for a few days and noticed that the temp gauge started to not rise. The noise from the fan clutch was not present at this time. Then one day after I had already driven the car earlier that morning, the fan clutch started making the loud whooshing noise that followed the RPMs.

I brought this to the attention of the shop, and he said that my fan clutch is not working properly as it is fully engaged, in which case it is 'over cooling' my engine so to speak. He said I needed to replace the fan clutch. So cool, I have him replace the fan clutch and he called me later that day and said that the temp gauge still wasn't rising after the new fan clutch had been installed. He looked at the thermostat and he said that it needed to be replaced as it was stuck open. Again, I said cool, go ahead and replace it. Now the gauge is working again as it should, but the sound of the fan clutch is still excessive, nothing like it had been prior to any of this.

Again I bought this to his attention. He said that this is how it is suppose to sound and operate. All parts are Nissan OEM replacements. I got a second opinion from another shop saying the exact opposite, and he is saying that the fan clutch is possibly defective and that I should get a replacement for this one as it is not suppose to sound like that.

Now IF in fact this is how it is suppose to sound and work, then it would mean that my old original fan clutch was not in need of a replacement and that it was only my thermostat that needed replacement, however it would not explain why it suddenly started making excessive noise out of no where, which continues with the new fan clutch. So I don't believe that this is the situation, but just for the sake of this argument, I am willing to consider it.



Thank you, this is exactly my understanding of it! Now, this part is new so I should not be having the symptoms and issues of failing fan clutch that I am currently experiencing. I can't keep shelling money out for this and it is becoming quite frustrating to say the least. I'm no mechanic nor am I super knowledgable about all this stuff, but I am not stupid. Maybe, just maybe I got a bad part. If the next one behaves the same, I don't know what I'm going to do next.
It's not unheard of for it to be slightly noisy. But when the engine is off, you should be able to spin the blade with feeling some resistance. My main deal is you said you hear squeeling like a belt slip at higher rpms. That tells me either your new clutch is already seizing, or the other option is your belt does have some slip and therefore the fan not being spun enough to cool. That's less likely as you only hear slip at higher rpm

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Old 02-25-2018, 07:23 PM   #10
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When the engine is off and cold, I can barely move the blade. There is a lot of resistance. I don't know how to really put a value or measurement to it, but as soon as i try to spin the fan, it stops. Same thing happens when the car is warm, which I guess is suppose to be the case.

Yeah without fail it starts to squeal at higher RPMs. The shop said maybe the belt has to be adjusted. We shall see what happens though. I would think if it were the belt it would happen at lower RPMs too, and even during start up. But it does not squeal in those scenarios.
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Old 02-25-2018, 07:33 PM   #11
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Hence why I said it's most likely the clutch. You should be about to move the fan with a finger, just with some resistance

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Old 02-25-2018, 08:44 PM   #12
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I had a nismo thermostat put in and at first it warmed up slower but would reach normal operating temp and stay there but lately its running cool most of the time and fan clutch is engaged even when its cool and its only little over a yr old and been replaced 3 times.
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:04 PM   #13
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I had a nismo thermostat put in and at first it warmed up slower but would reach normal operating temp and stay there but lately its running cool most of the time and fan clutch is engaged even when its cool and its only little over a yr old and been replaced 3 times.
Mine has been engaged too, even when its cold outside. These past two weeks in SoCal have been relatively colder, so theres no reason for it to be engaged all the time.

I take it you haven't had any other issues, like squealing?
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Old 02-26-2018, 04:58 PM   #14
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No other issues. Belts were squealing for some time but one was loose and its fixed now.
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Old 02-26-2018, 07:55 PM   #15
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So here's an update. Just had the fan clutch replaced with another OEM fan clutch, brand new...

Nothing changed. Still semi truck sounding increasing with the revs, still getting squeals at higher RPMs.

I guess I'll deal with this for now. If it gets annoying enough, I might buy a cheap aftermarket one from Pepboys just to cross examine it.
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Old 03-04-2018, 06:02 PM   #16
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Let me know if it ever gets fixed. Mine is really making more noise now even at 50F.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:31 PM   #17
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Let me know if it ever gets fixed. Mine is really making more noise now even at 50F.
Good news! I just got back from the shop and got the excessive noise fixed. So here's the story...

After having the second new clutch fan replaced and driving it around for a week, nothing changed and I couldn't take it any more. So I decided to take it to Nissan and just pay the $140 diagnostic fee and have them check it out just to be sure.

Nissan said that the fan clutch was bad and needed to be replaced. I contacted the shop that did the job and they said to bring it in and they'd replace it with another new fan clutch.

Who knew the 3rd time would be a charm. I had it replaced again, with another new OEM part, and the started it up and the sound was no longer present, and neither was the belt screech above 4k.

During the process of having it changed out, he noticed my power steering pump wasn't fully bolted down, so he tightened it. He said that is the reason I was hearing the screech above 4k, because it was previously loose. Idk if that had an effect on the fan clutch or not, but oh well.

He was also concerned because with the new fan clutch, the fan can be spun more now with less effort with the engine off, he thinks its a little loose comparatively. It does in fact have less resistance.

So right now I'm gonna keep my eye on the temp gauge and see if anything changes with noises as well.

I'm sure you've probably already done this, but make sure everything that is adjacent to the fan clutch is properly tightened. Doing that along with getting another part was the solution for me. Hope this helps! I'll keep you guys updated if anything changes for me.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:40 PM   #18
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The fan clutch should not be tight to turn at all. You should be able to move it with one finger, but feel resistance as you do so. And it sounds like even though it was a brand new part, the 20 something year old fluid in the clutch was bad on those parts.

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Old 03-08-2018, 09:09 AM   #19
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Glad you got it fixed
Fwiw, dealership have pretty crappy mechanics as well...
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:51 AM   #20
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The first two new parts you installed have probably sat on a shelf for 20 years lol. Faulty from the start.
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Old 03-09-2018, 05:03 PM   #21
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I would like to give it another shot at replacing it but its been over a year for the second oem fan clutch. I just kind of gave up because I had other issues to fix. Just had the steering rack sent off to be rebuilt because it wasn't coming back to center so the pinion was bad and it took 7wks now I think its starting to do it again but it seemed good at first. I'll ask the shop I got the oem fan clutch and see if the dealer will possibly give me another one under warranty. Otherwise I'll have to go try another duralast one.
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