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Replaced My Radiator Fan Motor

So this happened about a year ago, but I just happened to think of it again, and figured I’d share this little wrenchventure with you guys.

I discovered that the radiator fan on my ’95 Mustang was only working on high speed. Instead of the low speed fan kicking in to help keep water temp down below the halfway mark on the dash gauge, temperatures climbed almost to the “H” mark before the fan would come on. I found that the CCRM was energizing the low and high speed fan circuits when it was supposed to, but the motor itself would only operate on high speed. The rest of the fan assembly was fine, I just needed a motor.


Advance Auto had two “CarQuest” brand options: the 35166, or the 35170. The 35170 was for Mustangs built before 1/95, while the 35166 was for from 1/95 on. Since my car had a February 1995 build date, I had them order up the 35166.

When it came in, I stopped by the store to pick it up, only to find that the shaft was wrong. I needed the earlier style after all. But looking over the rest of the motor, I didn’t like how it was constructed. Instead of having stamped steel mounting tabs, they were flat and flimsy-looking. And instead of the plug being built into the motor housing, there was a sloppy-looking pigtail hanging off the side. So instead of having them order up the one with the correct shaft, I decided to look elsewhere first.


RockAuto lists only three options: A VDO PM9007, and two Four Seasons -brand motors with part numbers identical to Advance’s “CarQuest” offerings. Again, the 35170 was for “before 1/95”, and the 35166 “from 1/95”. The VDO pics appeared to show the correct shaft, as well as the OE-style stamped mounting tabs and integrated plug, but there was no mention of a mid-year change.

Preferring not to have to deal with the hassle of shipping in case the pictures were wrong, I decided to check other parts stores in my area. AutoZone unfortunately had only one motor option (unless I wanted to replace the entire fan+shroud assembly). But the one motor they could get was in fact the VDO PM9007. So I had them order it up, and once it came in, I gave it a good look-over.


It was exactly as the pictures described. Correct shaft, OE-style plug, and mounting tabs. Perfect drop-in replacement. I installed it and have no issues to report as of yet after one year in the car.


Kinda makes me wonder what owners of later models can do if/when theirs goes bad. I guess I just happened to be lucky that there was a discrepancy in the build date cutoff, and that the only one available was the right one for me. I guess they’re probably stuck with the cheapo Four Seasons replacement, unless they want to replace the whole fan+shroud assembly, or see about rebuilding the electric motor...

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