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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I thought this looked like a great place to find some answers..

I have a 2005 Subaru Outback, and I am planning a 600 mile move tomorrow. I was checking my fluids and noticed my driver's side fan which I think is the a/c condenser fan, was melted. It looks like the like motor was slightly crooked and the fan popped off and melted. The passanger fan is completely in tact and works fine. I'm wondering if this is something I need to fix before hand or can it wait? I am wondering if these fans have anything to do with cooling the engine itself or if it's mainly an A/C thing, which I will obviously not be using this time of year.. I'm going to try to figure out how to post some photos..

Thanks in advance for any advice you all may have.
 

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1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
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If the Fan melted off the Motor, the Motor is gone. Both fans Cool the engine as well as operate under AC to cool the condenser which are sandwiched together ahead of the fans. Probably a good idea to replace them before the long trip you describe.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Dito. The driver side fan is the primary fan. Unless you want to run a risk of overheating, replace it. Check salvage and Subaru parts. CarQuest or Oreilly's may be able to get an aftermarket replacement like Siemens. Might try a NAPA as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your imput guys, so will I need to replace the whole housing unit or just the motor and the fan?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Super hot! I'm thinking it's been like this awhile now though, that piece is melded on there good..

What's the name of these parts exactly so I can know what I'm searching for?
 

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1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
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If the motor melted out of the support you should replace that as well. It maintains the safe distance needed from the radiator to prevent damage to the radiator since the fans flex a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for your help everyone, was able to order a whole new unit with 2 day shipping for 80 bucks! Saved close to a hundred dollars! Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Actually, one more quick question I guess.. I'm wondering what could have caused this in the first place so I can avoid this happening again.. Did I do something wrong or do these things just "slip out" like that somehow? I never hit anything or did any crazy off-roading or anything like that..
 

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Hard to say for sure, but some thoughts . .

The fan motor is held to the support frame by three hex-head screws. One of these is clearly visible at the right side of the motor, in the 4th photo (see attached below). However, the screw head on the left side is not visible while the threads on the other side are.

It looks as if the plastic frame where the left side screw fits broke, leaving the motor somewhat loose on that side. (This could either have inadvertently happened when someone was working on the car, or from abnormal fatigue.) With the motor able to move, when the fan motor was turned on, the blades pulled the motor over toward the right. A blade then might have caught against the back of the radiator, or on the frame (probably on the part to the right in the photo), stopping the blade from turning. The blower fan is held to the motor shaft by the single nut. It might have started to slip, causing the center of the fan hub to heat up and eventually melt or break. At the same time the motor itself would have become hot due to the excess current flowing through the struggling motor. When the fan blade hub broke, the whole fan dropped down onto the motor, causing the melting of the hub area seen clearly in the first and second photos.

What I can't identify is that piece of what looks black plastic stuck to the upper inside of the hub of the fan in the first two photos. It looks as if it might be a part of the motor, but I believe that's metal. Or it could be a piece of the support frame. If it's from the frame, then a different scenario might be that a piece broke off and became jammed between the inside of the hub and the motor, with the same ultimate outcome. (Although that might not have led to the motor being skewed to the right.)

Did you have any work done on the car in that area, such as the timing belt, accessory drive belt, cooling system? It could have been something done quite some time ago.
 

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Looking at the photo of the fan where it shows the outer layer melted off, it appears the motor itself got hot and melted the plastic. At least it didn't start a fire. This may have been caused by a bolt slipping out and the fan eventually coming off and resting where you found it. Without a turning fan, there isn't sufficient cooling for the motor not to mention the extra load trying to turn a stationary fan. It could have started with a failed bearing in the motor. Can you rotate the shaft by hand?

Does the motor still operate? You can hotwire it to a battery, doesn't matter which pole to pin, the motor will turn both directions, just connect ground to one and batt to the other.
 
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