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Ford Electric fan UPDATE!! PICS!!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mofugly13, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    !!!UPDATE BELOW!!!


    Since I got my blazer I've been running the flex fan it came with and no shroud, which it didn't come with. The temp has always been fine while I am cruising but in traffic on a hot day the needle starts to climb. This didn't really worry me until I put a brand new crate motor in. Now I don't want ANYTHING to happen to my shiny new mouse, ESPECIALLY something like overheating 'cause I don't have a shroud. So, after pullin' to the side of the highway a couple of times to let the truck cool down or wait until traffic picked up, I decided I nedded to do something about my situation. I went to a cheesy little junkyard here in San Fran to find a shroud that would fit. I wanted a two piece because I didn't want to have to pull the radiator to get it in, or back out later if I had to. No such luck at this small yard. I also looked for an electric fan while I was at it, but his yard pulls the radiator of any vehicle that come's through the gate before they put it on the lot, so fans and/or shrouds are usually missing or busted up and tossed in the back seat. Well, then one day a couple weeks ago on this very board I read about the half price sale at pick and pull. Cool, so I went to the pick and pull in Oaktown and got me a sweet two speed fan out of a Mercury Sable, think I paid $18.00 total including the $2 admission. "Saweeet!" says I. Then I got on the net and started reading up on these fans and how different people wired them up, alternator upgrades, relays and all that jizz, uh, er, jazz. Everywher I read, folks are saying that these draw 40-50 amps running and one writeup I saw even said that on high speed, measured with a clamp-on ammeter, the fan drew over 100 amps on startup! "Good God" says I. I'm thinking I'm going to be needing a $200 alternator and some #2 wire to hook this thing up. "Hmmmm, maybe I ought to go back and look for a shroud. But, HELL NO!! I've already got this sweet fan and the connector for it and the temp switch from the donor vehicle. I'm an electrician! I know motor control! I can make this thing work!" This is all inner dialogue by the way. So, I get to looking at the wires that feed this puppy. The ground is a #12, the low speed wire looks to be a #14, and the high speed wire looks to be a #10. Aint NO WAY fords gonna let 100 amps go through a #10 wire. I know that #10 is good for something like 35 amps max AC current (I'll have to dig out my NEC to be sure). I'm not sure about DC though...maybe someone can help me on that.

    But to get to the point. I dug out my made in china fluke knockoff multimeter. It will only measure up to 20 amps DC, but I said "What the hell" and tried it anyway. I have a few 7.5 amp/hour 12v gel cell batteries in my garage, so I hooked up the meter in series with the low speed wire on the fan, and then to the high speed wire, then for shits & grins I measurd with the low speed wire to (-) and the meter between the (+) and the high speed wire. Heres what I found:

    low speed- 14A startup, 7-8A running
    high speed- startup was off the scale, 18A running
    the reading was completely off the scale when I measured amps through low speed/high speed wires on both startup and while running. The leads on my meter started getting pretty warm after a few seconds.(but not as hot or as fast as when I tried to measure the current to the starter on my toyota pickup!)

    So, this leads me to think that my 30A relays will be just fine to run the fan the way I want. And my stock alternator will probably be just fine, especially since my heater doesn't work and I have just a low buck CD player w/ no amp. I'm going to have low speed come on constantly at vehicle startup and when the temp switch closes, it will switch to high speed. Since the fan will already be spinning when high speed kicks in, there will be very little curent inrush on high speed. I'm going to try and borrow an ammeter from work that will measure higher currents so I can get some real numbers instead of the off the scale readings.

    So, I just finished mounting it to a "custom" fan shroud that I made out of a speed limit sign. I should have it in and finished in a week or two. I'll try and post pics when it's done. Anyone have any comments of additional insight?? I'm all ears /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif I hope some of the info I've provided will take some of the mystery out of the "Well, I heard it draws 50 A while running" heresay. But If I'm wrong or have made a mistake somewhere, someone speak up and let me know. Like I said, I'm all /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Update!!!!

    I installed the fan! The flex fan is in the spare parts box. I have the relay wired to an ignition hot at the fuse block. When I turn the key the fan and starter motor are fighting for current, so I want to use an oil pressure switch to turn it on after the motor is running. The high speed is switched manually at a toggle on the dashboard. I only use it whil cruising slowly up steep grades like the one on the way to my hunting cabin. I like it. I want to control the high speed with a thermo switch, but have to find the on/off differential of the ford switch I pulled from the Sable I got the fan from. Even on low speed I can feel it sucking air through the grill. It stays cool while I idle in traffic too. Heres some photos:

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG] Lemme know what you think. When I figure out how to link to my photo hosting site witout needing a password, I'll post that, there's a few more photos there. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  2. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Re: Some lowdown on forrd electric fans (much rambling first tho\')

    [ QUOTE ]
    So, I just finished mounting it to a "custom" fan shroud that I made out of a speed limit sign.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    A represenative from your local law enforcement agency will be there shortly to ask you about misappropriation of state property /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Take plenty of pics and stuff.
     
  3. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Some lowdown on ford electric fans (much rambling first tho\')

    Cool! Thanks for the investigative effort! I had my doubts after reading some of the hype abut amp draws of these fans, then looking at the factory wiring on a few newer vehicles. I just hadn't gotten around to actually testing to remove the doubts.
     
  4. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: Some lowdown on ford electric fans (much rambling first tho\')

    [ QUOTE ]
    The ground is a #12, the low speed wire looks to be a #14, and the high speed wire looks to be a #10. Aint NO WAY fords gonna let 100 amps go through a #10 wire.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yuo mean like the way GM runs 3 or 400 amps through the battery wire to the starter? /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif That wire isn't rated for anything NEAR that capacity, but since it is supposed to be for very short periods, they thought it was good enough. (anyone else ever let their starter crank for a bit then felt that cable?)

    Not belittling your research, just letting you know in some cases the wires can be used in applications WAY over their ratings. You are right though, in something like that, a larger wire could have been used (if necessary) with no real penaltys, unlike a starter wire that would probably have to be 4 times the stock diameter.
     
  5. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    Re: Some lowdown on ford electric fans (much rambling first tho\')

    Length of the wire has something to do with it too, a really short wire could carry a lot of current. But it sounds like your steady state tests are pretty valid. Some of the problems with reports on current draw may have to do with guys measuring both wires together. Age of the fan motor might mess with some of this too.
    Thanks for the info.
     
  6. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Re: Some lowdown on ford electric fans (much rambling first tho\')

    Does a GM starter really draw 300-400 amps? Gawd damn!! That may be the inrush/startup current, but I cant see it drawing that much continuously. But I really don't know, never measured it. I think most auto batteries supply around 135 CCA. Why would a started draw almost four times that? Sounds like bad engineering. But I do know that cranking the starter over and over and over when a motor won't start is bad juju for the battery/cables/starter. But like I said, I dont know. I do know the starter on my toyota 4-banger draws 70-90 amps though. On another note, like you said, the starter only draws current for 1-5 seconds, then it's done (on an engine that fires up properly).

    The fan is running continuously, so the wire must be sized accordingly. A #10 wire has an ampacity of 40-55 amps depending on the type of insulation. (This is according to the National Electric Code, which does NOT apply to automobile wiring, but the conductor properties tables are sometimes helpful).

    I really would like to get ahold of an ammeter that will measure up to 100 amps or so. If/when I do, I'll post some real numbers for the ones that were off the scale when I first measured. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: Some lowdown on ford electric fans (much rambling first tho\')

    [ QUOTE ]
    Does a GM starter really draw 300-400 amps? Gawd damn!! That may be the inrush/startup current, but I cant see it drawing that much continuously.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Ever wonder why the cool down period was so long between attempts to start, and why the run time was relatively short?

    Don't recall where I read that, but it makes sense. Take apart a solenoid sometime and look at how badly the current tears the innards (under the end cap) up.
     
  8. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Some lowdown on ford electric fans (much rambling first tho\')

    Somewhere sombody posted the hot ticket is the dual fans out of a 95 Windstare. They are built into a shroude that is just about the exact core size of GM radiators. The should is close enough in size that you cam ben some L brackets and bolt it right up to the sotck places. REAL sweet and factory looking when installed. Supose to be a comboned pull of around 4,000 CFM when both are running. Mid 90's mustangs and T birds also have some serious duty fans as well.
     
  9. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Re: Some lowdown on ford electric fans (much rambling first tho\')

    That's what I really wanted, there were no winstars at the piick-n-pull. I was bummed 'cause I've seen that setup and it really does look stock. Very nice! But since Ifound the two-speed ford fan, I decided to go with that. I'll be on the lookout for a winstar fan, though, and if I find one I'll probably swap it out. I've never been to pick-n-pull in San Jose, I'll probably check it out next time they have a sale.
     
  10. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Re: Some lowdown on ford electric fans (much rambling first tho\')

    UPDATED!!.......see first post /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  11. beater74

    beater74 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Some lowdown on ford electric fans (much rambling first tho\')

    looks like pretty red X's to me
     
  12. arq

    arq 1/2 ton status

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    is this what you all talking about??
    ford fan
     
  13. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    AAARRRGH! Sorry 'bout the red x's, I gotta get this photo posting thing down....
    I changed the red X's to links instead, hope you like!!
     
  14. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    Looks good /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    Let us know how it works /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    I do think a little bit of black paint on that new shroud would be a nice detail /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  15. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Yeah, I thought about that, but I kinda like the fact that you can tell I made it out of a speed limit sign. Besides, it has that sweet reflective coating which might look cool if I ever have to get under the hood at night. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    I still need to seal the sides up better 'cause they stand away from the radiator about 1/2". I had some leftover weatherstrip from when I did my doors, it looks like it will work perfect for that job. I wonder how it will hold up to the heat. But I only have about 7" leftover, so I'll have to find some more, I really dont wanna pay the $40 for a whole set to do both doors when I only need 3' or so.
     
  16. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    Heres what I did. One side of the Winstar fan is open too.
    I went to the local hardware store and bought a length of hot water pipe insulation which is made from a foam. Since its split down the length, you can roll it into a smaller diameter if necessary to make it fit and the foams natural expansion will keep it wedged in place. Holds up very well too /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif


    BTW, a friend of mine was arrested for posesion of stolen property when the local enforcement found a Stop and Speed Limit sign in his garage. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  17. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    BTW, a friend of mine was arrested for posesion of stolen property when the local enforcement found a Stop and Speed Limit sign in his garage. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Whoa! Really? My dad is a construction inspector at San Francisco International Airport and gets ALL kinds of street signs. Usually when they're removed for some construction project they just get tossed in the debris box. He brings some of 'em home, very handy to have 3/32" sheet aluminum around for projects such as this. Will definitely have to rethink the paint part tho' /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif Fuc% gettin' arrested for something that lame.

    Is the foam rubber insulation you're talking bout that black stuff? The job I'm on right now has LOTS of it around for insulating refrigeration lines. I'll grab some on monday. Thanks, Bro! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  18. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Is the foam rubber insulation you're talking bout that black stuff?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yep...Thats the stuff /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    BTW, The signs my friend had said stuff like "City of Los Angeles" or California Highways" etc. They usually dont sell their signs. However, I guess now days, construction workers can get them> So if they're not marked by some Government agency, your probably OK /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     

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