One thing that I always
wanted to change is the 4 blade engine fan. It's so big and heavy, it just robs
the motor of much needed power. I've been always interested in Viscous coupling fans, so , off to the
wreckers..... again. While at the wreckers, I found on the Volvo 340, the viscous coupling fan was a near
perfect fit. There is plenty of room from the backing plate to the outer edges of the fan blades, to fit
behind the radiator. The fan is just 1 cm smaller in diameter, but has 2 additional blades, plus is lighter
than the original.
Of course, this wasn't going
to be a straight forward conversion. The 4 bolt holes on the Volvo backing
plate didn't line up to the bolt holes on the water pump. The solution to this, was to remove the blades
from the Land Rover fan and weld what was remaining of the center piece, to the Volvo backing plate.
The measurements had to spot on, the welds had to be the same size and equally balanced. This was a lot of
work, but it was well worth it as the fan, later, rotated evenly on the water pump. One obvious improvement
that I noticed with the viscous fan, is that the motor reaches operating temperature faster.
Another area that I wanted
to improve, is under vehicle protection from road grime. From
I had no intentions of using Land Rover's original mud flaps because they simply don't protect enough area.
Also, I had no intentions of drilling more holes into the frame and compromising the zinc coating.
At first I tried rubber mud flaps from a road trailer, but it was no great improvement over originals.
The best material that I could think of and was readily available to me was, conveyer belt. I was able to
pick up several meters of 10mm thick conveyer belt, that is double reinforced with nylon cord.
Starting at the front, I
wanted the mud flap to long and wide enough to fully protect the foot wells from
any road spray from the front tires. The mud flap was cut the same width as , the distance from the outer
edge of the frame rail to the inner side of the outer wing panel. On the frame side, I had to cut the radium
arms and the lower part of the steering gear cover. On the outer wing side of the mud flap, the rock sliders
were cut out including the lower lip of the outer wing panel.
As for the length, I wanted the mud flap to be long enough to stop road grime spraying up onto the
bulkhead outriggers, the fuel tank and the under seat tool box. But, not so long, that it would get caught
up with the front tires while four wheeling and get ripped off. So, the length ,is just guess-timation.
To help hold the front mud flap in place, I placed a small piece of aluminum over over it, when I bolted it
into place. ( I used three/four longer bolts for the lower mud shield as the anchoring point.)
Moving to the back wheel
wells, the mud flaps were more straight forward to make and install. I cut the
mud flap as wide as the upper rear tub and when I reached the lower floor, I cut the mud flap even wider
so that it reached all the way to the frame. The length of the rear mud flap is 51 cm, so that it hangs nearly
inline with the rear tow hitch. Then I made a simple "L" bracket, bolted it to the upper portion of the mud
flap and pop riveted it, to the upper rear tub floor.
As you can see to the right,
the rear mud flaps fill the rear wheel well completely, protecting the rear
member from road grime. Also you can see that I replaced the rear quarter panel support bar with 4mm X 15mm
aluminum stock. Actually, the location of this support bar is perfect, as it acts as a stop for the mud flap,
holding it in place against the rear cross member.
Going backwards here, I
forgot to mention the mud shields that I made. The original mud shields were
few years old and were rusted through. I saved the rear tub flooring for just this thing. There was just enough
good aluminum left, that I was able to make two front mud shields. They were easy to replicate. It makes me
wonder why Land Rover never made the mud shields out of aluminum ?
When I installed the mud
shields, I pop riveted them to the upper bracket . Down against the bulkhead, I
placed a washer between the bulkhead and the mud shield, before I pushed the bolts through. This has left a
small gap, so that water can pass between them without collecting grime. Once again a generous coating of
asphalt undercoating was applied to the panels.
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