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c2dab

Smith Sandcar Cooling Fan Issues

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While out on a ride this past weekend my cooling fans stopped working. I tested the fans by wiring them directly to the battery and both worked as expected. 

From there I moved to the fan switch and relays. Fan switch tested okay, but when I got the relays I found that the plug shows signs of heat and had melted a bit. See pic. I am not the original owner of this car, but as you'll notice in the pic there are 2 relays. One is being used and the other is not (maybe a backup)? 

I'm running an Odyssey PC 925 battery that did fail around the same time, but I can't think of anything that would link that to the fan issue. I've checked all grounds and they are secure. Has anybody encountered anything similar or know what might have caused it? 

The car is a 2012 Smith Sandcar w/ a Honda 3.5 Turbo. Thanks!

Cooling_Fan_Plug.jpg

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Melted for sure, Can u set it up for each  fan to have it's own relay? Two fans on start up draw more than one standard relay can handle.  Check your grounds on the fans also. May need to run a heavier wire 10 gauge is good.

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I could wire them separately, but I'm wondering what would have caused this after all these years with no issues. Is it possible a bad relay could cause it to melt like that?

The fans do run all the time and have their own switch. I have always started the car and then turned on the fans once it's running.  I did a quick check of the grounds to make sure all were tight and all looked good. I'll do a closer inspection this weekend though. The power and ground wires are 10 gauge.

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35 minutes ago, c2dab said:

I could wire them separately, but I'm wondering what would have caused this after all these years with no issues. Is it possible a bad relay could cause it to melt like that?

The fans do run all the time and have their own switch. I have always started the car and then turned on the fans once it's running.  I did a quick check of the grounds to make sure all were tight and all looked good. I'll do a closer inspection this weekend though. The power and ground wires are 10 gauge.

Is each fan on its own switch or do both fans come on at the same time?

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It is a single switch. Both fans come on at the same time. 

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Just now, c2dab said:

It is a single switch. Both fans come on at the same time. 

2 fans is too much for 1 relay. Buy 2 relay pigtails and wire in the other relay. What size fuse is on the supply 12V side of the relay?

My guess for the melting of the plug is excessive draw on the power wire with a failing connection from corrosion or a lose spade connection. Replace the relay as well for good measure.

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2 hours ago, JM PRO said:

2 fans is too much for 1 relay. Buy 2 relay pigtails and wire in the other relay. What size fuse is on the supply 12V side of the relay?

My guess for the melting of the plug is excessive draw on the power wire with a failing connection from corrosion or a lose spade connection. Replace the relay as well for good measure.

Yep.  Follow the automakers' lead on this one: 1 relay per fan.  

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As stated above, definitely wire in another relay, one per fan. Big fans can draw above 50amp in rush each. I also dont like those style relay/sockets. I've had the same problem melting the socket due to loose terminal connection on the pin.

I like to use these sealed relays...

https://www.prowireusa.com/p-513-sealed-relay-kit.aspx

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I have had fan/relay challenges several times.   I have two spal fans each on their own relay.     I have a fan that triggers on at 175 degrees and one that triggers on at 185 degrees.    I have problems with the relay for the 185 degree fan melting at the base connector.   I replaced the fans and I still had the problem about a year later.     Maybe I need better quality relay bases/relays?    Open to any suggestions.

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A worn out fan maybe drawing more amps than when its new. Put a amp clamp on it to measure amperage and make sure its drawing the amps its spec for. 

Otherwise melting connectors is usually high resistance connection. Aka bad connection. Think if it like a 100w light bulb in the circuit generating heat. 

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Thank you all for your responses. I did check it last night and the fans hit 40 amps at startup, but drop to 20-21 amps consistently while running. Sounds like 2 updated relays may be the way to go.

Does anybody have an recommendations for someone who does quality sandrail wiring in Phx. I have a couple of other things I'd like to have updated as well. I'm in Queen Creek, so the East Valley would be preferred. 

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12 hours ago, travelah said:

As stated above, definitely wire in another relay, one per fan. Big fans can draw above 50amp in rush each. I also dont like those style relay/sockets. I've had the same problem melting the socket due to loose terminal connection on the pin.

I like to use these sealed relays...

https://www.prowireusa.com/p-513-sealed-relay-kit.aspx

+1 loads of trouble with standard relay sockets. The sealed sockets hold up much better. 

 

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12 hours ago, JGSturbo said:

 

+1 loads of trouble with standard relay sockets. The sealed sockets hold up much better. 

 

A little dielectric grease on the outside of the relay and around the wires, then some shrink tubing over it helps a ton as well.  

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I will 3rd sealed relays. Sand does evil things to open connectors. Exact same thing happened to my Sand Limo years ago. Melted the connector into a ball way worse than yours. Also check all grounds.

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I just thing they're making those sockets out of cheap plastic and loose contacting connectors. I had a fuel pump relay lose its output wire in the middle of the dunes. THought I can out of fuel lol. Finally found the wire fell out and bam rescued. When home dumped standard relay sockets for the sealed style, never happened again. 

Everything in a sealed box, no sand inside.

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