Disintegrating fan - Bravo


4x4 Earth Contributer
Went for a wheel on the weekend with a few others in Wombat, didn't do any big mudholes , just the usual hub / bumper deep smaller ones and no problems occurred.

Then traveled from one area to another - , maybe 4-5ks, we have then started a climb up a reasonably steep ( easy/med) track and part way up I happened to glance down at the temp guage - And it was stuck to the top of the dial :eek::eek: - No odd noises, no clatter /rattle no nothing to indicate that something had gone wrong

Pull over the side of the track - yell for help over the radio and get out to find the vehicle bleeding coolant underneath , parts of the engine bay are coated in it.

Try to cool the radiator by pouring water over it, - no affect , get the cap off , no coolant ( in hindsight , not a lot of steam either ) and shut it down

It was still running nicely - And still starts and runs nicely atm so it isnt seized BUT I may have cooked a 12months old replacement head - Bravos do that !

Get a tow out and then a few hours later trailer it to home for inspection this morning.

This is what I found - below pics

Engine mounts appear to be ok, radiator panel does not appear to bent out of alignment or anything else looks out of whack to have the fan crawl into the radiator core

Q. Do Bravo Radiator fans disintegrate, anyone seen or heard of this .

Or are the marks on the fan consistent with the fan flexing forward in water ?
And did the fluid survive long enough to get me to the hill a few Kms away ?

Was a pretty good day up till then :D


  • IMG_5088a.jpg
    472.3 KB · Views: 163
  • IMG_5090a.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 156


Well-Known Member
Mate it looks like you've been given the ole girl a hard time, I come across a few of those plastic fan that have gone brittle with age. Broken them wrestling with em while fitting an engine. Would only take a stick or a stone to break one fin off and it'd take the rest out, whether thats the case with yours is only a guess but it's still a possibility.


4x4 Earth Contributer
Managed to find a few pieces of the fan blades , some parts were flexible, other parts while still flexible were more brittle.

Maybe it was a stick or stone as you suggest. I can't be sure as I heard nothing when the blades let go.

Today I filled the damaged radiator and with a bit of water pressure got only fine sprays of water from the damaged areas , not a huge amount of water so it may have been a water related incident , as it would have taken quite a while to bleed out too.

Either way its stuffed so replacement radiator and fan ready to go in tomorrow, and will be doing the timing belt ( due in 5K ) readjust the valve clearances, replace the water pump and radiator hoses and seal a small rocker cover weeping leak that it has while I'm in there.

Its also a good excuse to do a couple of other things as well............ needs a bit of TLC.

Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
Looking at the pics, I feel that the gap is big enough not to be an issue with fan blade flex / water . . . possible if the blades were that flexy, just feel they wouldn't be.

I reckon when they've let go they've flown forward and made those marks, bounced around the shroud a bit, maybe one got caught up for a sec . . . probably a brittleness thing from time / heat.
The shroud might contain the first broken one and then cause multiple contacts as they shear one by one, in about 0.25 seconds.

Just tried with all my strength to get my Ranger fan blades to flex to touch the radiator.
No way could I get it any closer than about 1-1/2 inches.

Good to see you at least taking advantage of the situ and doing the extra work, will be a good excercise anyway, and it'll be ready for more reliable work for you.


Well-Known Member
Same thing happened on my GQ, though I believe the our causes for the failure are quite different. I have no idea what caused yours, possibly manufacturing or age (not likely age though).
Cause for mine was the young bloke that had it before me, in his infinite wisdom tried to solve the over heating issue by welding the viscous hub locked so it always spun at the same speed as the engine. On a trip up north the fan blades broke off, piercing the bottom rad hose, destroying the rad shroud, unbalancing the whole thing and bending the water pump shaft.
Mine made a hell of a bang so I would think unless yours broke up in the water then it would have made a noise also, very strange.


Well-Known Member
That puddle might have had some floating crap on the surface that splashed up and took a brittle
blade out, which then fluffed the others. It could have happened at a reasonably slow speed muffled
by the water and the sounds of normal offroading or did you have the cello's a little high to hear it.:D


4x4 Earth Contributer
No cellos, even the handbrake was in mute mode at that stage ;)

So it all be a bit of a mystery to me.

Could be a brittleness thing, just picked up a fan from a same age unit and it seems to be quite a bit more flexible than the old one.

Possibly just a touch of water at the right moment, add one set of spinning brittle blades and then just deduct from wallet as required.:D

All be good by tomorrow I reckon