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I'm attempting to replace the motor of my attic fan. I've disconnected everything else, but I noticed after I removed the nuts on the support bars that I can't pull the fan and motor through the opening because the supports get in the way.

The supports appear to be attached with the kind of bolts that I'm not going to be able to remove without causing irreparable damage.

It's important that I remove the whole assembly as I need to measure the distance between the center of the fan and the motor to ensure when I put it back together, there aren't any collision issues.

The only other alternative I'm seeing is to go on the roof and remove the metal shell on top of the fan so that I can pull it out that way. Is this the normal means of removal or can this be safely removed another way?

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  • so you could push the fan and motor assembly forward as you've removed the nuts from the support bracket but can't remove the whole assembly as it won't fit through? could you push the assembly forward, remove the just the motor component - i imagine you are just replacing the motor and not the fan as well as the motor. – Fresh Codemonger Apr 16 at 23:47
  • @FreshCodemonger Edited to address your comment. I unfortunately can't do as you proposed because I need to see the whole assembly to measure distances between the fan and the existing motor so that I match those when I do the motor replacement. – Pyrotechnical Apr 17 at 16:10
  • Can the fan be detached from the motor? If so you might get the motor out with the fan detached. Once the fan and motor are out you can reassemble them and take your measurements. – David D Apr 17 at 19:11
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When I've replaced motors in the past I replace with the exact part if you went with that approach you shouldn't have to worry about clearances but it would be painful to work within that constrained space.

It doesn't look like this fan is designed for serviceability from the inside but there are a lot of things like that so it doesn't surprise me that you can only remove from the roof.

A couple other thoughts.

It looks like you could pull the whole fan into the attic (minus the exterior wall cap portion). Depending on how the exterior portion is attached you might be able to somehow secure the exterior portion from falling out and then detach the whole fan assembly from the inside and pull it through. This might save you a trip onto the roof but you'd still probably need one trip to resecure the wall cap portion.

You could also cut the vertical supports 1/2 way and then scab a new piece of metal that is drilled and bolted to the original overlapping the cut. This would give you future serviceability.

I am not sure what approach I'd take. Depends on if you plan to keep the house, your kids will inherit it, how hard the roof access is, your siding details, cost of a full new unit, availability of parts for the current unit. This won't be the last time the fan motor dies.

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