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Tricks for removing a condensing unit fan blade

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

Sometimes these condenser fan blades are real hard to get off. Most homeowners and myself do not own a fan blade puller. Most of the time fan blades are easy to get off using the method below. I use this method all the time. Please keep in mind that the condenser fan motor is bad and you are not worried about saving the fan motor only the fan blade. We do not want to damage or bend the fan blade.

1. Sand the existing shaft with sand cloth to remove the rust if any of the shaft is sticking up out of the top of the hub.

2. Use WD40 on shaft and lock nut. Loosen lock nut on blade with an open end wrench. If the lock nut is stubborn and will not come loose, hit the top of the blade hub a few times lightly with a hammer to help the WD40 vibrate into the threads. If the lock nut or allen screw will still not come loose then you might need to apply some heat with a torch.

3.  Cut the existing motor shaft off using an electric hack saw (SawsAll) or hack saw. It is tough going using a hand driven hack saw. It is much easier cutting through the shaft with an electric Sawsall with a metal cutting blade.

4.  Once you have the shaft cut off from the motor. Take the blade and lay it down on some concrete. Take a deep well socket 2″ to 3″ deep and position the socket underneath the hub on the fan blade and on the concrete. Take a hammer and drive the shaft out. When the shaft gets down below the top of the hub use a 3/8″ extension to drive the shaft out of the hub. If you mushroom the top of the shaft you might need to drive the shaft back out from the other end a little bit and use a metal file to file away the mushroomed metal so the shaft can be driven out of the hub.  I use this method all the time. This should work. If you have any comments please comment below. We will be happy to answer any questions. Please email us if you have a question. Our email address is: support@arnoldservice.com Below we have a YouTube video made by grayfurnaceman which shows how to remove the condenser fan blade with a fan blade puller. Thanks to grayfurnaceman for making this informative video.

6 thoughts on “Tricks for removing a condensing unit fan blade

  1. The puller tool can be found on amazon for about $30-$40 cheaper than the supply houses here in Santa Rosa County, FL. I will be purchasing one soon because I have used them before and they take all the effort, blood, sweat and tears out of the game. However, my method of fan motor pulling works every time no matter how old the fan and blade are and no matter how long they have been together. All you need is a hard surface ( truck bed, driveway, concrete steps) No wooden decks or the customers wooden steps…yada yada. soak your motor shaft and the set screw with penetrating oil.
    I carry an electrical etching tool in my vehicle and this aids in breaking up the rust from between the blade collar and the shaft. I also take my steel hammer and tap the blade collar from the side a few times lightly and rapidly before attempting the last part just to make certain I have gotten as much of the shaft to blade as free as possible. All that only takes a matter of 3 minutes. Lastly, Take a brass or steel punch that is obviously smaller in diameter than the motor shaft….. and with the blower motor housing on its side(set screw side facing up) or CFM simply setting on the previously mentioned hard surface……use short and rapid hammer strokes straight down onto the punch while carefully keeping the punch in the center of the shaft. Physics will show you immediately that it doesn’t give a damn about gravity as you watch the blades rise up and off of the motor shaft..,.5-8 minutes and you’re done.

    1. Thanks so very much, Mr. Mosley for giving your method for taking fan blades off. I appreciate your time in writing this! I hope it will help others. Steve

  2. I have a vintage hv fan that the blade won’t come off. I tried prying it with a hammer, putting wd40 and nothing!! I want to save the motor, and the blade! Help please?

    1. Hi Skyler! Sorry, but the only thing that I can suggest would be a fan blade puller like they sell on the following page: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008HOSLES?tag=amz-mkt-chr-us-20&ascsubtag=1ba00-01000-org00-win10-other-nomod-us000-pcomp-feature-scomp-wm-5&ref=aa_scomp I am sorry that I can not be of more help. Steve

    2. Wish I would have found this sooner…spent a couple hours trying to get mine off with a gear puller and a pry bar…did nothing but bend the blades and arms. This little process took less than 10 minutes …now to straighten everything back out :/

      1. Hi Mike! Yes, sorry that you did not see this sooner. If there is a next time I hope our post will help you out. God bless you. Steve

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