89 2.3L radiator fan possibly not working

Tavis

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Sep 25, 2012
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89 LX 2.3L radiator fan possibly not working.

Was in a drive through for about 20min yesterday, after driving to the place for about 5 to 6 min. Temp slowly went up which is normal for my 89 and 93 LX 2.3L. What's not normal is that the fan didn't cut on about half was through the last "normal" temp mark. I didn't hear or notice it kick on.
The radiator is only a few years old. The fan relay module under the steering wheel is even newer, although the last time I recall it coming on I smelled melting plastic which I assumed was from the fan relay, but it was still working at the time. I have a new one I can try, but would like to figure out why it is melting the relay. Is there something else that may have went bad? And is there is a way to test things without having to drive it and let it idle?
 
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90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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Mar 2, 2015
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Usually when a relay melts its because of high resistance. Either a bad fitting connector at the relay pins or high amperage due to a bad fan motor.
 
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Tavis

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Sep 25, 2012
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OK, I confirmed that the fan is not coming on. I drove it a bit and let it sit until the temp gauge was in the middle of the top mark. Then the antifreeze started boiling over pretty bad so I shut'er down.

I have confirmed the fan works by connecting a 12v battery to the fan pins. Turns on and works fine.

Here's a couple pics of the fan relay under the dash. I've replaced the actual relay itself a few years ago.
 
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Tavis

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Sep 25, 2012
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That did the trick! Thanks!
Any idea what the metal connectors are called for this? I wouldn't mind ordering a few of them just in case.
 

Rcdgl

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Feb 19, 2018
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Suggestion. I also have an 89 four cyl coupe. I melted about three of the IRCM relay boards and the harness connector that attaches to it. The module is under the dash and switches full voltage and current to the fan up by the radiator, also runs the ac system.

My fix was to put two 30 amp relays in parallel up by the fan, wire tied to the fender. I wired them to the battery and only use the module to switch these relays. Seems to have worked for a four or five years now. The relay board can be taken out of the plastic box and swapped. The connector for the harness is sold as a repair kit in a couple places. Getting a new circuit board last summer was a pain.