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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys! First time poster that's been lurking for a while. I picked up an '02 9-3, and I'm in the process of addressing issues.

I have no low speed for the cooling fan. It's getting power to the relay, and you can feel it click, but the fan never comes on low, which sounds like the infamous failed resistor problem.

I am looking at replacing it with a 100w 0.2 ohm wirewound resistor from Amazon. I'm planning to cut the connections at the old resistor, and route new 12 gauge wires up to the grille area and mount the resistor to the metal part of the bumper.

Before I do this, am I missing anything? Any other recommendations?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. The fan works on high (only), and cycles on and off.

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Hi guys! First time poster that's been lurking for a while. I picked up an '02 9-3, and I'm in the process of addressing issues.

I have no low speed for the cooling fan. It's getting power to the relay, and you can feel it click, but the fan never comes on low, which sounds like the infamous failed resistor problem.

I am looking at replacing it with a 100w 0.2 ohm wirewound resistor from Amazon. I'm planning to cut the connections at the old resistor, and route new 12 gauge wires up to the grille area and mount the resistor to the metal part of the bumper.

Before I do this, am I missing anything? Any other recommendations?

Thanks!
You can also try swapping the high speed and low speed relays to be sure. But if it's clicking, then it's likely ok. The other thing is if you mount the resistor to the bumper instead of on the fan, it could be annoying if you ever need to remove the fan such as to replace the radiator. Somewhere on the fan shroud may be better just where it's still getting airflow for cooling. Otherwise, it's a solid plan.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did swap the low speed relay with one of the identical relays that's used for headlights (not the orange high/low lamp relay). Didn't make a difference.

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Discussion Starter #7
Just wanted to post an update. I installed the new resistor and now have functional low speed. I decided not to remove the fan assembly. I'd recommend removing it, as it was certainly more difficult due to the lack of space to work.

I decided to relocate the resistor to one of the more accessible parts of the fan shroud where it will have good cooling airflow from the fan, and is also further from the catalytic converter. I fashioned an aluminum plate to mount the resistor to. I applied thermal compound between the resistor heatsink and mounting plate, as these resistors get very hot.

20191112_113950.jpg
 

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You'll have to keep us posted on how that works out. My dad did the same thing on my 1997 900 with a similarly large resistor from Amazon. It lasted about a year, which was better than nothing, but still disappointing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Will do. Its hit or miss when it comes to quality control. They can last many years or 15 minutes.

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Discussion Starter #10
Just wanted to update. The resistor lasted about 4 months. I believe the heat from the nearby exhaust catalyst led to its early demise. Doubt they are as robust as the original.

This time I extended the wires to a location in front of the radiator. I also used in line connectors to allow for quick replacement, if need be. No more dealing with limited access.

I cut my mounting plate to allow it to slide behind the existing slot near the center of the grille. Its attached with a short screw and nut. The wires are clear of the hood latch.

We'll see how long this one lasts. If it dies, I'll look for a higher quality resistor.


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I did the similar mod and my resistor lasted about 2 months. I have since rewired them and now have 2 resistors in parallel to help dissipate the heat by not generating as much. I mounted the resistors to the top of the bumper reinforcement. It's been working now for well over 12 months.
 

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I'm curious about this interesting topic.
I thought there were 2 versions of the fan available - 1 that had a single fan, and the other that included 2 fans.
Logically - I would have thought that a single fan model would have had 2 speeds, and the dual fan model only a single speed - as the second fan would cut in to provide extra support ie high.
So the next question to the brains trust is this - Can you replace a single fan model with a dual etc?
I know that in Aust (also SoCal and Texas) hot temps are of concern - because we don't want our engines stressed.
Also - interesting work on the heatsinks!
 

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There were no dual fan configurations in the NG900 or 9-3, only a single fan. Models without air conditioning only had a single speed fan.
 
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