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Loose fan kills

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 03GMCSonoma, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. 03GMCSonoma
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 300


    Here is an article from the Omaha World-Herald about a man who was killed by the fan on his S10 coming loose and killing him. I'm posting this to remind all of us to be sure everything is tight and ready to go when you are working on your cars. You never know. How sad.


    "COUNCIL BLUFFS -- A 50-year-old man died after a freak accident while working on his pickup truck.

    He was in his driveway about 5 p.m. Thursday, working on a 1990s Chevy S10 pickup truck when a fan blade from the engine broke loose and struck him in the neck, said a Sgt. in the Council Bluffs Police Department.

    Sgt. said he apparently was keeping the motor running with starter fluid and using the choke. As he bent over the engine, the blade dislodged and struck him, killing him almost instantly.

    Authorities were trying to determine how the blade came loose.

    His wife came home and found her husband on the driveway next to the truck, Dawson said.

    “A terrible accident,” he said.

    He also leaves behind a son."
  2. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    I have a friend who was driving his 50 Ford to Pigeon Forge and one of the fan blades fractured and put a serious gash in the hood. He said he thought a bomb went off. I would hate to see what would happen if that occurred in a hoodless hot rod.

    I still have a little scar on my forearm from a mechanical fan kissing it years ago while I was tuning an engine. Now I run strictly electric fans and no amount of hearing how they "look bad" will ever make me go back.

  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,852


    That could have well been a metal bladed aftermarket flex fan. I've lost blades off a couple of them in the past 30 years and have seen the damage that a flex fan did to the hood and under the hood of one car.
  4. I know a guy who lost a brother to that back in the 50's. Gruesome.

  5. metalmike13
    Joined: May 13, 2006
    Posts: 355

    from Glass City

    I was always taught when working on engines to stay out of line of the fan and belts. It is one of those things that you tend to get complacent with over time. Unfortunately it takes a tragic reminder such as this to bring attention to the things that we tend to take for granted.
  6. never forgot the time reving the stock car to 7500 with a crap flex fan the water pump shaft broke on the sbc andi got peppered with copper from rad, kinda went into shock, but no real damage to may body
  7. Bart78
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 717


    My uncle lost half of a couple of fingers in the fan of his 57 Buick.
  8. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,151


    Poor lady, to find him that way.
  9. I have seen alot of old truck hoods & inner fenders over the years that have holes in them from fan blades flying through them.

    Suprised how many old fan blades I see with cracks in them near the rivets.

    I won't stand in line with a turning fan blade.
  10. I have heard of several such accidents from fan blades over the years and have had a blade go while in 66 Valiant (225-6) and that made a mess of the hood, and snapped the water pump off and re-arranged the radiator.I also keep out of the line of the fan and belts. JW
  11. "T'RANTULA"
    Joined: Aug 6, 2011
    Posts: 661

    from Ohio

    I also wont stand in line with the fan. I got a riveted flex fan on my 55 and it makes me very nervous!!! I seen a clutch fan come off a derby car one time and went into the crowd, no one was hurt but its a chilling reminder.
  12. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907


    I've seen several early 50's Chev and GMC customer's pickup and panel truck hoods with the tell tale "slice" in them...Usually just left of the center, for some reason. The "slice" was usually just about the width of the blade..... Scary......

  13. i have seen a few model A 2 blade original style fans break and send pieces through the hood and into the fender. when i see an original with a crack near the center i replace the fan or weld it. i was also told that cracks start from, turning the engine by hand, using the fan.
  14. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,297


    I realize the danger factor from these posts, but how does one check the timing and stay out of the line of the fan & belts, especially checking total timing at higher rpm???

    Now thanks to you guys, I'm nervous doing this after 42 years of working on cars!!! (and rightfully so,I CAN see the danger)
  15. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 555

    from N.E. PA

    A few years ago during a demolition derby at our local fairgrounds, a piece of a fan broke off a car, and struck a young boy who was watching the action from the seats. The boy died as a result of being struck in the neck by the blade.
  16. I'm still a bug about standing inline with the belts, or in front or in back of a car while they're running. Something I learned in high school shop class and I still tell my kids the same thing.

    Any time I have a fan off a car, I look it over carefully, when in doubt, throw it out.

  17. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,193

    from NY

    I had one of those aftermarket flex fans come apart at 6500 on an OT camaro, luckily it only took out the shroud and didnt cut the radiator. I stick with factory clutch style fans now when I run a mechanical fan, no aftermarket stuff.
  18. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 22,323

    from Michigan

    [QUOTE="T'RANTULA";8141547]I also wont stand in line with the fan. I got a riveted flex fan on my 55 and it makes me very nervous!!! I seen a clutch fan come off a derby car one time and went into the crowd, no one was hurt but its a chilling reminder.[/QUOTE]
    That's from probably not tightening the bolts onto the water pump....
    Clutch fans spin at a lower rpm...
    I'd rather have one of those on a motor anyway...
    Stay away from those cheezy flex fans... Them things are fucking dangerous!!
    Never owned one, never will!....
  19. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 22,323

    from Michigan

    You should be able to get clutch fans at scrap yards for dirt cheap... Make sure you look them over for stress cracks and or bent blades before you buy one....
    It also wouldn't hurt to have them balanced... ;)
  20. chubbie
    Joined: Jan 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,318


    My friend "Jim" bought a '67 belv. II and i was glad to go for a ride when we took it off the trailer. stock 318 auto, NICE car in great shape! he steped it down into passing gear and wound it up...BANG SHIMMY SHAKE AND smoke and shit flying every where! i looked back and the road was full of oil and parts!
    a fan blade came lose, ripped the water pump off!! the fan went trough the radiator and took out the trans cooling lines.
    it didn't damage the hood, but most every thing was junk! cost him big bucks to put it back together

    I learned the hard way!! check your FANS
  21. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 22,323

    from Michigan

    I had to replace one on my '91 5.0L Fox car some years back because of stress cracks... Damn things are made of plastic...:mad:
  22. GregCon
    Joined: Jun 18, 2012
    Posts: 689

    from Houston

    John Lennon was killed by a loose fan.
  23. It is possible that the way he was trying to start the vehicle may have caused the engine to start briefly running backwards. On some "newer" vehicles the fans screw on, this could cause it to unscrew and fly off.

  24. Used to be a blue and white '55 Ford running around locally that had a big gash in the hood where a fan blade came off and went through the hood.
  25. olddrags
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 476

    from ky

    Ran a body shop at a GM dealer back in the 80s and 90s, saw several fan failures on the GMC Sonoma and the S10' , replaced several hoods.
  26. Offset
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 1,784

    from Canada

    I know a guy who suffered serious permanent brain damage from the same type of accident. In his case a blade separated from the mounting base on a stock fan, it was not an aftermarket unit.

    The posting above to stay out of the line of the fan and belts is a good piece of advice.
  27. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,293


    Actually I think it was a defective fan!
    OK, I'll give you credit, made me cuckle. Still, it's to bad things like the op story happen.
  28. jfg455
    Joined: Apr 22, 2011
    Posts: 171

    from NH

    my 50 GMC 2 ton has a slot cut in the hood from where a blade came off the fan. Those are some thick metal so I can only imagine what it would do to skin.
  29. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,309

    Model T1

    First post I saw this morning. Some scary reminders and great advice. Sadly, we won't remember to stand aside when working under the hood of a running vehicle. It's awkward and who knows where that blade is gonna go anyway.
    I can remember many loose or cracked fan blades. That is the best advice, replace or repair it immediately. And those plastic blades don't last long. Be careful with them.
    It ain't the safest hobby in the world but beats bull riding and a few other things.
  30. I was taking my car out years back and all of sudden it was running like crap took it home realize my fan blade was gone look in the street couldn't find it 3 weeks later was working on the car felt a burn in my arm and there was the blade jammed flush into the side of the battery

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