Fan Shroud Options

Discussion in 'Jeeps with the Buick Heartbeat' started by mattywilz, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    I laid up the first fan shroud yesterday. Learned a few things, mainly what order to lay it up, the mold has to be flipped over to get the top and bottom parts completely covered and you have to wait a certain amount of time before you can turn the side you just laid up over, so the glass doesn't fall off the mold. Going to go out this morning and rough trim it and then pop it out of the mold.....see what we have :grin: Pictures later today.
     
  2. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    OK, another learning, always have new sharp air saw blades when trimming a new part. I ran out and had to use the one in the saw, man it fought me :spank: A new blade will only last for one maybe two parts, but it's so much easier to trim! So here's the first shroud, out of the mold and rough trimmed. Also laid up a replacement radio bezel for the 70-72 GS/Skylark. Long pants, long sleeve shirt, head sock, respirator, safety glasses, gloves, shoes make for a warm morning, hence getting up early and knocking the itchy stuff out early! Now I can go back to my Phoenix garage survival dress; shorts, tank top and flip flops! I'll run up to the store, get some new blades, do dome close trimming followed by a block and sandpaper to get the edges smooth. I'm really happy the way the little horizontal braces came out, they're thin cavities in the mold and I was hoping I'd get those filled 100% without any voids.
     

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  3. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    Trimmed up and painted :pp
     

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  4. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    OK Jeep guys, needs some input :laugh: I put the new shroud on the old radiator that was originally dropped off with the two broken shrouds. I noticed at the top, looking down, there appears to be a different gap side to side between the top of the shroud and the radiator. Then I took the one shroud I repaired to use as a plug for the mold, the red one, and again different gaps. I had another shroud that was in three big pieces, I put the side pieces on the radiator and again, different gap. Are they all like this? Can you look at your shroud if you have one mounted? I was unsure if I'd sell the shrouds if something was screwed up. At this point it's 2 out of two are different from side to side. See the pictures...... :Do No: If it's eaiser shoot me an e-mail at mltdwn12@q.com
     

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  5. randyre

    randyre Member


    As for me, I'm not trying to do a restoration, I just want functionality. I'd even take one of the prototypes just to do anything to improve airflow and cooling.

    Randy
     
  6. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    Randy, that's kind of what I was figuring. My shroud isn't a perfect 100% copy for a restoration. It's real close to a factory shroud though.
     
  7. swampedge

    swampedge Well-Known Member

    That's fine for what I'm doing. My truck has a 454 chubby in it now so it does not matter any more. If it hits the fan I will make another set of engine mounts so that the fan is centered correctly.
    Jim
     
  8. Macjeeper

    Macjeeper MAC

    Hello Craig,
    I've had at least 4 sets of fan shrouds,
    as far as I know Mopar remanufactured the Fan Shrouds in the 1990's,
    and they were always had gaps against the radiator.

    I'm concerned that they have always cracked in the same area,
    weaker on the top and bottom due to age, heat and a brittle tendency to break.

    Is there a way to laminate in, something stronger, maybe carbon cloth, mixed into the fiberglass
    cloths, in those areas, or something to strengthen the tops or bottoms.

    I'm curious if you build up the top & bottom, thicker material if it will prevent it.

    So far your build is very good, reman techniques are meticulous.
    Thanks for taking this on, wish I could drive my 1970 J-3600 Gladiator back to Tucson, AZ
    where I purchased the truck in 1991.

    Mac
     
  9. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    Thanks Mac :TU: I spent about 30 minutes out in the garage tonight (110 degrees!) with my new shroud, plus the busted up one I glued together for the plug and the pieces from a third shroud. I don't mind the gap, I can see the need, but I want them even. I'll sell the one I can make right now, but we're going to bolt the first one on to the vehicle this week and do a final check. It'll do if someone just wants a shroud instead of nothing, but I want to make a better product. I think I will take the pieces from the third shroud and piece it together and make another plug concentrating on making the top gap even. I really learned a lot doing this last mold in four pieces! I should have the new plug together by this weekend and then make a new mold. As for materials, I'm using vinyl ester resin, also know as Marine Resin. As strong as you can get without going exotic like carbon fiber or the expense of expoy resin. Resin is the biggest cost factor in making anything out of fiberglass. 5 gallons will run you about $160. More to come! The guy I got the shroud pieces from also has one from a similar year Jeep with a V-6, I may make one of those as well.
     
  10. Macjeeper

    Macjeeper MAC

    Hello Craig,
    How far will the resin go to build a fan shroud?

    You surprised me on the materials factor, to build a fan shroud + your time.
    What do you think your final cost per Shroud will be?

    Sounds like I'll have to work overtime, lol
    Thanks, Mac

    PS: Thanks for sweating for us in AZ, I bought my truck south of Tucson, AZ in 1991.
    I remember the heat, Leaded Regular Gas was 99.9 Gallon then,
    Drove to Yuma in my non-A/C truck, with wide windows open and sweltering....

    Now live near the S.F. Bay Area Delta and the Summer Fog is blasting cool air outside,
    Wish I could send some cool air to you!
     
  11. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    I haven't added everything up yet since I'm still expermenting with putting together a good final product. Yesterday, I used my 1st mold and laid up a few small repair sections so I can fix the other shroud I have. My two improvements will be to make the new mold line up better along the top edge so the gap is uniform and also make the next shroud a little thicker. I was comparing the stock shroud with the one I just made and the new one was about 70% the thickness of the stock one, so I'll add at least one more layer of glass, maybe two. That's the main thing that will affect the cost. The first shroud used about 1/2 gallon of resin. The new one will take probably 3/4 gallon. Then there's the activator for the resin, fiberglass mat, gel coat, PVA and some misc suppllies that add to the cost (mixing cups, brushes etc.) Labor to make a shroud from initial lay up to final trim is 3-4 hours. I still think I'll be able to make a good strong product and maintain a decent price. Like I mentioned earlier, I should have a good shroud plug completed this weekend and then I can make the next mold.

    The biggest cost doing this kind of work is the cost of the plug and the mold. With the shroud I'll probably havea bout $200 in both of them, so that's not too bad. My GS hood, that's another story :pp I'd have to sell 20 hoods to even get close to getting my material investment back. But, I do it as a hobby, even though I do have an offiical company I make these under (CT Fiberglass LLC) That's more for legal reasons. I enjoy making something from nothing or from a busted up part and selling them to people who appreciate the work.

    Yeah, the heat can be tough in the summer, but the fall and winter make it worth it. I used to race back east in the summer and then the car sat for the winter. Now I race in the winter and boat (though not enough) in the summer!
     
  12. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    Well, I got home today from work and hit the garage. Yesterday I laid up a few small sections in my shroud mold. I took these and used them to join the two sections of the other fan shroud pieces I had on hand. Came out pretty good. Of course there's lots of trimming, alignment and build up to complete. Once I get the new pieces glassed to the old shroud, I can start building them up to make them blend into the shroud. I think at this point I'll make the mold a little thicker around the trans cooler lines since that appears to be the weak link. I can add maybe a 1/4" to the thickness and it should take care of the breakage problem. I'm glad I got this much done this evening. After working 10 hrs, I have to force myself out into the garge even when the couch and TV call me :pp I also noticed on both top section shroud parts I had, the area where the little rubber bumper goes at the top of the shroud has bent away from the radiator over the years. Once I get this plug sort of secured, I'll cut that section and bend it back to vertical and reglass it to get it properly aligned. Should have a completed plug this weekend. I want to get the 1st shroud mounted just for a durablity test even though it isn't the final configuration. The guy that brought me the shroud parts will stop over Monday and we'll bolt the 1st shroud on and he can drive it a bit next week. More status up date shortly!
     

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  13. Macjeeper

    Macjeeper MAC

    Hello Craig,
    Would you be interested in my broken pieces from 2 fan shrouds for comparison(s)?

    The bottom always breaks first, then the top later. I don't have the bottoms for them.

    PM me if you want them sent to you.
    Mac
     
  14. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    Thanks man, I appreciate the offer :TU: I should be OK, I had two other side pieces and spliced it all together this past weekend. It came out nice. The top edge has a nice consistent gap. I have to do the final sanding this weekend and get it ready for paint so I can make the new mold.
     
  15. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    Well, I finished putting the other broken shroud together, I got it all sanded out and painted. I'm happy with the alignment on this one. Next weekend, I'll start making the mold dams, wax it and start on the new mold. :laugh:
     

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  16. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    I finished waxing the plug with mold release wax and built the 4 "dams" that are used to make the parting flanges this mold will require. My plan is to lay the new mold up this coming weekend. I'll start by laying up the two side pieces, then the next day remove the dams and lay up the top and bottom sections. :TU:
     

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  17. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    Well, it took all three days of my weekend, but I completed the revised fan shroud mold. I am very happy the way this one came out. The surface will barely need any sanding and buffing prior to use. Next step is to trim the edges to the final form, especially where all four parts of the mold join together. Get rid of the overlap fuzzies! The plan is to have a new shroud laid up by next Monday :beer
     

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  18. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Wow good job!
     
  19. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    Gelcoat is sprayed, waiting for that to tack, then lay up some 'glass :laugh:
     
  20. swampedge

    swampedge Well-Known Member

    Get it man! Good work.
    Jim
     

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