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The question, initially posted May 23, 2005, was:
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Fan Blade Balancing?
#1430259 Mon Nov 15 2021 09:21 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,971
S
'Bolter
Saw an episode on youtube where a builder cut down his fan blades by an inch. He then mounted them in place and the motor ran smoothly. I was of the impression that once you removed metal from a fan blade it should be balanced. Seems strange.
Spoke to my neighbour who is an expert on everything and he said balancing was unnecessary. He is a nice guy but unless he knows the answer he will make up one. He also broke two crankshafts on his diesel Land Cruiser over the years. He is now on his fifth rebuild.


"Sedgewick"
1949 Chevy 1/2-Ton
1989 Caprice

Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1430262 Mon Nov 15 2021 09:35 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 5,313
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
If you cut the same amount off of each blade, then there probably wouldn't be a need to rebalance it. The outer portion of the blade has the most effect on balance, and if it was OK beforehand, it'll probably be OK afterwards.
Now if you cut one blade out of 4, then it would definitely be unbalanced. I have a fan that one blade broke off and they cut the opposing blade off to get it back in balance.


Kevin
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos [flickr.com]
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
Busting rust since the mid-60's
Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1430265 Mon Nov 15 2021 09:42 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 10,664
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
It’s done fairly frequently in the hotrod world. They use a template and etch a fine line with a scratch awl. Cut a little short and sneak up on the line with a abrasive wheel. No issues.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2) “Emily”
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe “Clarence”



"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!
USAF 1965-1969 Weather Observation Tech (I got paid to look at the clouds)

Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1430270 Mon Nov 15 2021 09:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 132
D
'Bolter
Poured or hammered metal has inconsistencies, so nipping a little off the edges could throw it out of balance but we can’t be too certain how balanced it was from the factory. If you put it back on and hear vibration I guess you’ll know.

Last edited by DES57; Mon Nov 15 2021 10:01 PM. Reason: Changed molded to hammered

1957 Chevy 3200
PS, A/C, Tilt column, Rebuilt 350, Rebuilt TH350, Reupholstered Bench Seat, sound proof/insulated
Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1430271 Mon Nov 15 2021 10:08 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 5,313
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
Most fans are pressed sheet metal and any inconsistencies in thickness would be pretty minor. Again as long as the same amount is cut from each blade, then no problems.


Kevin
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos [flickr.com]
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
Busting rust since the mid-60's
Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1430319 Tue Nov 16 2021 02:15 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,250
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
I won't even attempt to straighten a bent fan blade, let alone start whittling on one.
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
klhansen #1430332 Tue Nov 16 2021 04:33 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,836
R
'Bolter
Originally Posted by klhansen
I have a fan that one blade broke off and they cut the opposing blade off to get it back in balance.


The same thing happened years ago on the '46 truck my Dad had. Ran it for years with a 2 bladed fan.


Rich

'47 Loadmaster [stovebolt.com]

1947 Chev. Loadmaster

1959 Chev. Viking 40

Genie: "I am the genie from a magic lamp and I have the power to grant you three wishes."
Me: "I want to be rich."
Genie: "OK, Rich, what's your second wish?"








Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1430334 Tue Nov 16 2021 04:49 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 262
J
J M Offline
'Bolter
I would have to agree with Jerry. Fan blades can come apart, and you don't want to be in the area when they do.
Jim

Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
J M #1430349 Tue Nov 16 2021 01:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,401
M
'Bolter
Originally Posted by J M
I would have to agree with Jerry. Fan blades can come apart, and you don't want to be in the area when they do.
Jim

Yep, my in his 30's cousin did a total nut and bolt down to bare frame on a M38 Jeep. Built a nice Buick V6 for it and it was a nice rig. While leaning over the front and with a hand on the throttle linkage a fan blade came off. A few days later I was at his funeral.

RonR


1951 3600 with Clark flatbed, T5, 4.10 rear
1970 340 Duster
1990 5.0 V8 Miata (1990 Mustang Gt Drivetrain)
1951 Farmall Super A



Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1430355 Tue Nov 16 2021 04:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,250
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
Back in the 1950's it was common for the dirt track racers to shorten the fan blades on flathead Ford race engines. One night in Nashville a blade broke off as a driver revved his engine up. It hit a pit crew member in the sternum and pretty well destroyed his rib cage. He survived, but he was never able to work again.

If you want a small diameter fan, buy one.
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1430363 Tue Nov 16 2021 05:12 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,102
B
'Bolter
Had a fan blade come off my '60 way back in 1970's. It went down, put a small nick in the l.h. frame rail. Vibrate you off the road.


BC
1960 Chevy C10 driver 261 T5 3.73 dana 44
1949 GMC 250 project in waiting
1960 C60 pasture art
Retired GM dealer tech. 1980 - 2022
Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1430366 Tue Nov 16 2021 05:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,608
T
Crusty Old Sarge
I had a flex fan ruin the hood on a freshly painted 57' Belair. No more flax fans...


Craig

Come, Bleed or Blister something has got to give!!!
59' Apache 31, 327 V8 (0.030 over), Muncie M20 4 Speed, GM 10 Bolt Rear... long term project (30 years and counting)
Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1430374 Tue Nov 16 2021 06:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,435
J
'Bolter
Cutting blades shorter should have nothing to do with it coming apart. If it's coming apart, it will do it with longer blades due to the mass, short blades have less.
Use a lawn mower blade balancer once you start cutting them shorter.

Last edited by Joe H; Tue Nov 16 2021 06:11 PM.
Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1430379 Tue Nov 16 2021 06:25 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,250
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
Draw to an inside straight in a poker game- - - - -those odds are only 32:1 against you!
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1437490 Sun Jan 16 2022 01:45 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 1,444
F
'Bolter
Sedgewick In the olden days if you lost 1 blade you had to break off the opposite one just to get home,cause it shook so bad !

Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
J M #1439016 Thu Jan 27 2022 12:32 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 244
F
'Bolter
Originally Posted by J M
I would have to agree with Jerry. Fan blades can come apart, and you don't want to be in the area when they do.
Jim

Had one come through the hood of my 69 (Not Chevy). I twisted that engine over 8K and it shot a blade right off the fan. Wish it would have gone down vs up, but it was a fun discussion every time.

Last edited by Justhorsenround; Thu Jan 27 2022 01:46 PM. Reason: Removed the Ferd word

1966 C-10 Step Side. 283, 4spd, 3.73 gear. 60K miles prior to restoration. 507 Paint Code. Currently in 10,000 pieces.



Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1439598 Mon Jan 31 2022 06:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 160
R
'Bolter
I realize this is an old post but thought I would add to it In 1958 Chevrolet issued a "RED" memo warning not to rev the 348 with three dueces while sitting still for fear of a fan blade exploding. Since then I have seen two case of stove bolts launching fan blades thru the hood, both with no modifications. So it has been my practice to never stand in line with the fan when running an engine. Hope this keeps someone from getting hurt.

Re: Fan Blade Balancing?
Sedgewick #1439675 Tue Feb 01 2022 01:31 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,452
E
'Bolter
Works for aircraft propellers, too!

Ed


'37 GMC T-18 w/ DD 4-53T, RTO-610, 6231 aux., '95 GMC running gear, full disc brakes, power steering, 22.5 wheels and tires.
'47 GMC 1 ton w/ 302, NP-540, 4wd, full width Blazer front axle.
'54 GMC 630 w/ 503 gasser, 5 speed, ex fire truck, shortened WB 4', install 8' bed.
'55 GMC 370 w/270, 420 4 speed, grain, dump bed truck from ND. Works OK.
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