Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Flex-a-lite Electric fan question

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by opfor2, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. opfor2

    opfor2 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    Posts:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ventura County, CA
    Hi all,

    I’m considering switching out my stock engine driven fan and clutch set up on my 1990 Blazer K-5 with a 350 eng to one of these two Flex-a-lite electric fans (links below), the 295 or the Monster fan # 280. My question is did anyone of you install one of these fans in your Blazer and how did the install go. Was it a direct replacement for the stock set up or was there some fab work involved? Also, I would like to know who well the electric fan operates compared to the stock set up. Any info would help me at this time.


    Monster #280 Fan: http://www.flex-a-lite.com/auto/html/monster-electric.html

    #295-27” Electric fan: http://www.flex-a-lite.com/auto/html/27inch-electric.html


    Thanks for all the help :laugh:
     
  2. MNorby

    MNorby 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Posts:
    6,126
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    Powell, Wy
  3. mccomas

    mccomas 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Posts:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fayetteville, NC
    I run the flex-a-lite in my rig. I am very happy with it and it provided full coverage over my entire radiator. i used some stock angle aluminum from home depot and was able to use my stock fan shroud mounting locations at the top and bottom... it was a very clean install and keeps me cool all the time. during the last week we have seen temps at 100 – no issue… it does seem to draw a few amps but nothing off the hook

    [​IMG]
     
  4. greg mgm

    greg mgm 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Posts:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pine Cove (near Idyllwild) CA
    I installed the 295's in my 78 454 truck. The install went OK, and I used aluminum similar to what mccomas used. The fans are great around town, and heavy traffic is no problem, the temps stay low. I also upgraded my alternator to a 140 amp, but you dont really have to. Unfortunately, on the freeway it runs hot, but possibly there's another problem causing this. A radiator shop owner I know told me the fans cant keep up the cooling at freeway speeds, and to change it back to an engine driven fan. Not what I wanted to hear. PS- hey mccomas, can you run the freeways (long distance) and keep the engine cool?
     
  5. retroblazer

    retroblazer 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Posts:
    281
    Likes Received:
    148
    Location:
    Gustine
    Fans

    I thought that once the vehicle was at highway speeds the fan didn't really matter.
     
  6. greg mgm

    greg mgm 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Posts:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pine Cove (near Idyllwild) CA
    Thats what I thought too.
     
  7. camok5

    camok5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Posts:
    959
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Buellton, Ca
    I am running the 295 in my blazer and it works ok, it does draw alot of amps but if you have a larger alt. its no big deal. I do not like the control box that came with it, it made the fan turn off and on all the time (annoying) plus it blew fuses alot. I changed the thermo controls to just run the fan at full speed when over 180 degrees. The mounting brackets that came with it dont really fit a blazer so be ready to fab your own (not that hard). Over all the fan is just ok and I am not sure its worth the money. The stock fans really arent that bad and if you are dead set on a electric fan then try a cheaper one that doesnt come with the controll box or alot of people around here are running ford taurus fans.
     
  8. rcamacho

    rcamacho 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Posts:
    1,324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    WA
    I used to run an electric fan in conjunction with a mechanical clutch fan. Best of both worlds for cooling unless you're looking for the power boost associated with ditching the mechanical. If you go full electric, make sure it covers the full radiator core else you will end up with some hot spots in the radiator and reduced efficiency.
     
  9. Boondocks

    Boondocks 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Posts:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I do not remember the model of Flex-a-lite fans I installed in my 72 K5. But, they installed with no problems and no fabrication. The provided brackets bolted to the top and bottom rear lip of the radiator.

    Only thing I don't like is the controller with the sensing bulb running in the top hose and the unit is not sealed.

    I have since located a unit from Centech that mounts in the cab and uses the signal for the temp gauge, plus it has an A/C override circuit and is adjustable.

    I installed that in my 03 Tacoma DD and it made a very clean install. Only wires running to the engine bay are fan power.
     
  10. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,979
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    Fans don't matter at freeway speeds. None of them pull air in at over 60MPH. I can't tell you what they do pull at, but I know with *no* fan, 25MPH on flat ground at around 75* is enough to keep my engine at 195*.

    Looking at Mccomas' fans, (no offense) the design is wrong. Short of the shroud immediately around the fan blades, there should be no plastic covering the radiator fins. That's how cooling was designed stock, and how the radiator will work most efficiently especially while moving. In the picture shown, cooling at freeway speeds is definitely hindered.

    Going to edit this: the manufacturers of some stuff might have a "dished shroud" to increase velocity, but that seems a bit counterproductive. That could be based on engine bay flow characteristics, or it could simply be that the shrouds are easier/cheaper to cast solid.?

    Keep in mind that there are quite a few variables in the cooling system, so covered cooling fins could only be part of the problem, or may not be a problem at all, depending on the setup.

    You can look at the stock GM electric fan setups to see that later on they figured this out, or needed it, and other manufacturers "dished" the shroud so that it fed the air through the fan cutouts at speed, instead of having the plastic directly against, and blocking, airflow over the coolant fins.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2005
  11. supernaut

    supernaut Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Posts:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah, your fan does jack at freeway speeds, if i remember right, it's designed to overrun at higher rpm's. your over heating problem is somehere else.

    Your mechanic probably suffers from the dissaprove-of-anything-but-stock syndrome. don't blame him. it's common and not usually fatal. just pat him on the head and give him a cookie.

    I have a dual electric fan set-up. I think it's flexalite, i hvaen't been driving it for about a year due to a whipped trans. I'll have to check when i get home. I love the no power sapping advantage. the mount is crappy, i blame myself for not fabbing something better. that will be fixed soon. I don't like the temperature sensor that goes into the top rad hose. the inline fuse set up is actually melting...it's a 30 amp fuse. so i've got problems there too, I need to get an ohmeter and see if i've got a ****ty connection somewhere and if not, upgrade the fuse and wire and make sure my alt can put out the pimp amps needed.

    all in all i am glad i made the change and after a little trouble shooting and preventative maint i'll be cooling like an icebox.
     
  12. kyser_soze

    kyser_soze 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Posts:
    3,180
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    KC Missouri
    That mechanic must have "forgot" about the fan clutch on the fan when he said that. :doah:

    If you can't cool off at highway speeds with an open grill it's not the fan, your radiator might need rodding out, or the thermostat, or the water pump.

    I have had a flex-a-lite in my truck for 7 years and the only problem that I had was a little corrosion on the controller connections, which was taken care of with a little sanding and some dielectric grease. I also mounted the contoll box inside a radio shack project box to keep water and dust off of the controll box.
     
  13. camok5

    camok5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Posts:
    959
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Buellton, Ca

    The temp sensor is junk, I replaced mine with one that goes in the thermostat housing. As for the melting wires and fuses I had that same problem and found out later that flex-a-lite recalled there relays because it was causing this problem. I bought a better relay setup through summit and dont have problems with it anymore.
     
  14. original balzer

    original balzer 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Posts:
    4,660
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    roosevelt utah
    i had a problem with an electric fan that wasnt the fans fault it was too good a shroud at freeway speeds the air is pushed in way faster than the fan can handle it creates a air cussion or pocket in front of the radiator see i built my shroud and didnt leave a gap for traveling air to pass by the fan to fix this i simply cut a few 1/4" wide slits around the fan ring of the shroud so that forced air could blow by the fan (sort of like a pressure relese vent) dont know if this helps of confuzes you more need a better explaination?

    balzer
     
  15. mccomas

    mccomas 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Posts:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fayetteville, NC
    my rig never sees temps over 195 in any driving condition...
     
  16. greg mgm

    greg mgm 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Posts:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pine Cove (near Idyllwild) CA
    Concerning the comment about the plastic shroud covering the fins (not being dished enough) , there's rubber flaps in the flat areas on those flex a lites, that open up at freeway speeds to let more air through, but close at slow speeds so the fans can only pull air through the rad, which should help a lot.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2005
  17. supernaut

    supernaut Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Posts:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    thx for the tip! i'll start with that and save some diagnosis time.
     
  18. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,979
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    Ahh ok, (regarding the flaps) that's exactly what GM ended up doing on some of the Camaro electric fan setups. Can't see them in the pictures.
     
  19. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Posts:
    9,095
    Likes Received:
    144
    Location:
    california
    I COMPLETELY disagree with both of you guys (no disrespect). When I installed the part #295 in my blazer I noticed about 10* cooler running on the highway. If I had no fan my temps would get wild, even at 60mph.

    If the main point is that air traveling at 50-60mph comes in faster than what the fan can pull then........

    My Dodge Cummins will also disagree with those statements. My Ram Cummins has enough power to pull most of my trailers over the average hill at 50MPH+. I wouldn't be able to climb those hills without the monster fan that it has. My temp heads strait for hot, until the fan clutch locks and pulls a huge amount of air through the radiator and brings it back down.

    I've found that if you have a powerfull fan(s) you WILL indeed notice a difference in temp going fast. If you have a weak fan(s) then, or an easy engine to keep cool, then you won't notice a difference at high speeds.
     
  20. opfor2

    opfor2 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    Posts:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ventura County, CA
    he Flex-a-lite recall on the fuse holder:

    WARNING :

    READ THIS TO ELIMINATE POTENTIAL ELECTRIC FAN CONTROL MODULE FAILURE, IMPROPER ELECTRIC FAN OPERATION, OR WORST CASE THE FUSE BODY MELTING OR CATCHING ON FIRE!

    DATE-August 11, 2004

    FUSE HOLDER PROBLEM - Flex-a-lite has become aware of inconsistencies in the fuse holder we have purchased included with your Flex-a-lite electric fan. Enclosed is a new fuse holder and fuse assembly that will resolve this problem.

    PRODUCTS AFFECTED-The Flex-a-lite product affected by this fuse assembly is the Flex-a-lite electric fan model number 270, 280, 282, 290, 292, 295, 298 sold from May 2002 to July 2004 which included the fuse assembly produced by Che Yen Industrial Co., Ltd.. Products were sold through automotive retailers, mail order, and performance distributors.

    HOW TO REMEDY THE PROBLEM - Flex-a-lite is providing a new replacement fuse holder assembly to you at no charge (part# 31282), and STRONGLY recommends you install the new fuse holder and fuse assembly IMMEDIATELY. Failure to replace this old fuse holder could result in severe damage to include a car fire.

    Use the hole in the back of the new fuse holder to mount the assembly next to the battery positive, (+) terminal.
    Make sure there is a good crimp between the wire and connector by using a wire crimping tool. DO NOT USE pliers or Vise-Grips to crimp terminals to the wire. Discard old fuse holder and fuse assembly.







    [
     

Share This Page