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Electric fan swap ??

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by opfor2, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. opfor2

    opfor2 1/2 ton status

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    Hi all,

    I’m thinking about upgrading my cooling system from the stack fan & clutch to a hi performance electric fan such as (http://www.flex-a-lite.com/auto/html/monster-electric.html) I’ve read a lot of the post about this subject but I’m still wondering if it’s worth the expense, time, and effort. I’m also curious, if it will help cool the engine any better than the stock fan set up. I’ve never had a cooling problem, but I have been told that an electric fan would cut down on the ware and tare on the water pump and increase your horse power and possibly give you a little better gas mileage. Any honest answers would be helpful.

    Dan..
     
  2. mouse

    mouse 1/2 ton status

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    That looks like a pretty nice electric fan setup. I have never had problems with the factory fan keeping things cool. Back 10 years ago when I was drag racing, we ran an electric fan on a high compression engine, and it had problems keeping things cool. It does give back some hp, and keeps things cleaner under the hood-less space for the electrics, better access to the motor. Other guys I raced with had similar problems with the high compression race motors.

    For a truck, an electric fan has other advantages too. With a remote "on/off" switch you can turn it off when entering deep water/mud and keep the fan from destroying itself.

    By the way, how much are those bad boys?
     
  3. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    go to the tech section and read the windstar fan swap. 95-98 windstar van fan swap is a 90% drop on for chevy trucks.
     
  4. opfor2

    opfor2 1/2 ton status

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    I looked under the Tech section but I couldn't find a article on the Windstar fan swap.
     
  5. tx_sub

    tx_sub 1/2 ton status

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    try me now

    i put the url in the name spot and the work in the url spot :dumb:
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2005
  6. opfor2

    opfor2 1/2 ton status

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  7. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    ( FORD WINDSTAR ELECTRIC FAN ) in the tech section :cool1:
     
  8. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

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    you want an honest answer?
    stick with stock.
    these things arent race cars and 1/4 horsepower at the rear wheels isnt worth the aggravation.

    i will say that the fans you picked are nice, and a buddy has them on his truck about 3 yrs now.

    but as for the single 12's 14's etc.... i have had no good luck. i lost both fans on a trip out once and my old man got a kick outta me bolting up my old flex fan on the middle of the trail. i've burnt out haydens and permacools. all run off relays.

    i see no need. use a good shroud and stay outta 5' deep water
     
  9. mxfireman

    mxfireman 1/2 ton status

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    I went dual electric and I wish that I had kept all my stock stuff. When I pull a trailer up a grade on a hot day I will over heat. It wasn't worth the little bit extra fuel mileage. Overall it cost me a little over 30K. LOL I went and bought a 3/4 ton Dodge to pull my K5 around. :D
     
  10. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I have to agree with most...running the stock setup is really about your best option unless you absolutely need to be able to turn the fan off for water crossings etc.

    I don't tow or anything, and a single stock electric fan (engine never gotten hot enough to activate the second fan) has done great for me so far. BUT TPI lets me control that primary fan how I want, so it was more of a gadget/interesting swap for me. I did it for the heck of it, not out of necessity.

    Running an electric fan "correctly" (relays, switched ignition power, fusible links, etc) adds a fair amount of wiring, complexity, and cost that the stock fan doesn't.
     
  11. tx_sub

    tx_sub 1/2 ton status

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    fixed link, see above
     
  12. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Well, I'll add yet another voice saying stick with stock unless you have a good reason to do electric. I may go to electric myself, even though I much prefer stock, but that is because I want to raise the tcase up and that sends the front of the engine down. It's either build a new custom shroud or go electric, and electric will also let me tilt the core support back to gain better visibility. But even with all that "supporting reason", I'm loath to loose the simple dependability and functionality of the stock clutch fan setup.
     
  13. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    Here's my electric story for my old 79 k10 dd/trail rig, mild 350.

    The stock fan clutch was siezed and was robbing horsepower & mileage, so I went to a 2-fan electric system with the punch-thru-the-fins mounting system. Freed up noticable horsepower gain (by my Ass-o-meter) and about 2mpg (or 20%!!) It would keep it cool *most* of the time, but under heavy load, like towing a U-Haul up a pass in 95degree July weather, or out on the trail in the summer, it would still overheat... and after a year of bouncing around the fan mounts managed to puncture 4 holes into my radiator.

    I pulled the fans, put in a 19" Flex fan and JBWelded the radiator wounds. Better than the electrics, but still overheated on the trail. Put a stock shroud around the flex fan and I NEVER again saw more than 210 on the thing, even on 100degree trail rides into the mountains!

    The same $30 Flex fan, $12 Spacer, stock shroud is what I'm running on my high compression 383 stroker in my '81, and I've yet to see anything above 210 degrees on it.

    :bow: -> Flex fan+Shroud
    :surepal: -> Electric Fans
     
  14. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I've run electric fans for a couple years now. Mine are stock ones out of GM cars. Uses the same motor as a blower motor. I used to think my electric fans sucked for cooling my motor because it'd overheat running obnoxiously high RPM (say 4500-5500 for about a mile at 3-5mph) in loose baseball-sized rock. It'd never get hot on sand. Well, to humor my Dad, I put my stock fan and shroud back on (3 core radiator) and it overheated just as bad.

    The only problem with running electric fans is that you must be competent to wire it up, build a bracket system so you don't ruin your radiator/recycle hot air, and it requires a larger than what your carbureted rig came with alternator.


    Benefits to electric fans:
    Huge improvement in room to work on the motor. No more shroud in the way. Can turn off the fans so you can hear the motor run.
    You'll probably never have to replace the water pump again.
    Easy to change belts.
    Can turn them off when in deep water (I like bodyline deep water).
    Can turn them off when in high-rpm situations in mud where the fan would just grenade if it hit a rock.
    Can turn them off in the morning for much faster warm-up.
    Not at the mercy of the clutch fan as to temperature... if you want it cooler in preparation for a hard romp put the electric fans on then turn them off just before romping around.
    Greatly improved throttle response. It's kind of like comparing a 454 to a Ford 460 in the throttle response category.
    Moderately improved gas mileage... the less you need to have the fans on the better the gas mileage... I notice a ~.75mpg increase in gas mileage.
     
  15. opfor2

    opfor2 1/2 ton status

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    Hey all,

    Thanks for all the good responses. Some very good information and valid points were made. I think that I'll stay with my stock fan and fan clutch set-up.

    Dan...
     
  16. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    This has been discussed many times before. I did mine cheap using junkyard fans and fabbing a shroud out of sheet metal. I haven't had any cooling problems. It is also nice to have a quieter engine that warms up faster in the winter.

    The only other point I wanted to bring up is that the air conditioning works better at idle than with the stock fan because the electrics still have max pull while you are sitting still in traffic with the engine at 800rpm.

    I run my fans on seperate relays so that in case any part fails, I should still be able to get partial cooling to get me where I need to go.

    IMHO, running electric fans without a thermostat is lame. A switch is fine for cutting them off during water crossings or turning them on manually for cooling between runs through the mud pit, but for regular driving, it should be automatic. I wired mine to run whenever the A/C compressor is on as well.
     
  17. santana

    santana 1/2 ton status

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    I'm with blue85 on this one. I did mine using two fans off Furd Tauruses from a wrecking yard. These have a 2 speed motor, I fabbed up an aluminum shroud and mounted it with the fans to the core.. Mine are wired to come on like this: fan #1 is on at low speed with the ignition, fan #2 is set to come on at low speed with the t-stat and both come on at high speed with AC or manual switch at dash.. Last summer the temp never reached 190* in the middle of the summer (115* in AZ). and this winter the t-stat rarely activated the #2 fan.. I'm very happy with my setup and the difference in hp and mileage was noticeable plus it looks much cleaner and open under the hood..
     
  18. mouse

    mouse 1/2 ton status

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    Jerry, Lets see some pics!
     
  19. gone huntin

    gone huntin 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    What about this, has anyone added an electric fan as an auxillary to the stock fan? After my 'burb was converted to R134a it (a/c) just doesn't cool well at idle. I want to add an electric fan between my radiator and the stock fan. At first I thought this would cut down the cooling capacity of the stock fan, but then I saw a Dodge Durango that had this setup from the factory. Any thoughts?
     
  20. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    My opinion, I wouldn't go "halfway".

    I'd either get an electric setup that would do everything, or try to make my mechanical setup work better.

    Already have to get a fan, wire it up, make a mount for it, why not get all the benefits from electrics instead of JUST better (perhaps) AC? Just my thoughts.
     

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