electric vs mechanical fan?

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LaGrasta
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electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by LaGrasta » Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:15 pm

I switched my 1963 Ford Falcon from the mechanical to an electric for two reasons. First, I have a very small I6 engine, 170ci and was hoping to free up some hp. Second, I sit in traffic a lot here in OC and when I'm at idle, the mechanical fan works at it's worst. At speed, it works best, but the engine doesn't need a fan above 30mph anyway. With an electrical it works when you need it most and not at all when you don't. What are your thoughts?
1998 Astro, 224,000 miles

K&N air filter
TruCool trans cooler
2" Overland lift & 15" BFG Terrain, 3.73 gears
JET Performance SCU-2000 (Speed Control Unit)
Gabriel Ultra shocks, rear AirLift bags & sway bar
iPOD, CD, DVD, Dutch door mounted 12s, 400w
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Re: electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by Water Boy » Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:55 pm

I'm sorry to inform you that you have posted in the wrong forum.
Were you looking for ...
http://www.ford-forums.com/ford-falcon/
or perhaps...
http://www.tffn.net/phpBB3/
or perhaps...
http://www.falconregistry.com/index.cfm
:-k :-k :-k :yawinkle:
I was told getting my beauty sleep was a waste of time.

1990 Astro (Z motor) mostly original @ 343,584 miles (552,944.8488960001 Canadian) (03/2008). Bad startup puff. Starting to spray for skeeters. Gone 06/07/08.
1993 Astro with a bad W motor. Parked next to a chicken coop in Talking Rock GA
I'm 'tween Canton and Holly Springs (North NorthWest of Atlanta GA)
I haul bottled water everyday- between 500 and 2500 pounds (226.796185 and 1,133.980925 Canadian) INSIDE the van.

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Re: electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by LaGrasta » Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:41 pm

Don't be sorry. I only used the story on my '63 as an experience and reference to these types of swaps.

Do you have anything relevant to offer on the subject or only here to police?
1998 Astro, 224,000 miles

K&N air filter
TruCool trans cooler
2" Overland lift & 15" BFG Terrain, 3.73 gears
JET Performance SCU-2000 (Speed Control Unit)
Gabriel Ultra shocks, rear AirLift bags & sway bar
iPOD, CD, DVD, Dutch door mounted 12s, 400w
Draw-Tite Dual Port Hitch System, hitch-mounted bike rack (4), hitch-mounted cargo tray, Thule roof-mounted cargo box

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Re: electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by peter » Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:34 pm

:D :D

Now now, gurlz! I think ole waterboy just wanted to make sure you were in the right place is all... :goodman:


An engine driven fan at idle is still a pretty efficient air-mover, as long as the following criteria are met.

#1 Your clutch, if so equipped, is working properly

#2 You are running a shroud.

In addition, the engine-driven fan will still move more air than most electrics at higher rpms. In other words, when towing while driving thru hilly areas, an engine-driven fan (clutched or not) is purdy darn hard to beat! A propeller fan moves an incredible amount of air at 0" static pressure. The big-a$$ blades and deep pitch assure that the sucker will suck like there's no tomorrow.
"Just keep swimming..."
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Re: electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:18 am

If you want to do a cheap electric fan, go with a Taurus 2 speed fan from a 3.8L car. Both Lockdoc and I run one. Mine so far has worked awesome and I only ever use low speed. Bill wired his up with a controller and it rarely ever kicks on and if it does it pulls enough air to cool at low speeds. These fans are almost as big as our radiators and already have the shrouds.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

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Re: electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:56 pm

Here are pics of my install. I currently have the fan wired such that it comes on in low speed with ignition power and I use a switch to turn it off for deep water crossings or faster engine warm-ups.

Original electric fan setup (which didn't cool enough)...

Image

Mounting the Taurus fan to the aluminum shroud...

Image

Image

Image

The 3 relays are used to control the fan(s). Since the Taurus fan draws as much as 70 amps on start-up, I wired 2 30 amp relays in parallel. The 3rd relay controls the tranny cooler fan.

Image

Image
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

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LaGrasta
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Re: electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by LaGrasta » Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:19 pm

Wow, what a difference removing the original fan and shroud; they're enormous. The electric is such a space saver. I have to say, my Astro has never really had heating problems except when the stat failed. I guess I was only questioning the effiency of the mechanical fan at idle. Maybe I shouldn't mess with it if it ain't broke!
My Astro a/c is amazingly fantastic, the best of any car I've ever owned. No electric a/c fan? I don't recall seeing one.
I have recently installed a large tranny cooler, so I'm most certainly diminishing heat in that respect which should help heat issues overall as well.
1998 Astro, 224,000 miles

K&N air filter
TruCool trans cooler
2" Overland lift & 15" BFG Terrain, 3.73 gears
JET Performance SCU-2000 (Speed Control Unit)
Gabriel Ultra shocks, rear AirLift bags & sway bar
iPOD, CD, DVD, Dutch door mounted 12s, 400w
Draw-Tite Dual Port Hitch System, hitch-mounted bike rack (4), hitch-mounted cargo tray, Thule roof-mounted cargo box

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Re: electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:57 pm

Honestly, the mechanical fan setup is the best way to go. It'll cool exceptionally well as long as the clutch is good. I switched to electric so I could install a hydraulic pump and have access to the serpentine belt setup which is not stock.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

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LaGrasta
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Location: Mission Viejo, CA

Re: electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by LaGrasta » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:48 pm

Do you think there might be any mpg saving by removing the drag of the mechanical fan?
1998 Astro, 224,000 miles

K&N air filter
TruCool trans cooler
2" Overland lift & 15" BFG Terrain, 3.73 gears
JET Performance SCU-2000 (Speed Control Unit)
Gabriel Ultra shocks, rear AirLift bags & sway bar
iPOD, CD, DVD, Dutch door mounted 12s, 400w
Draw-Tite Dual Port Hitch System, hitch-mounted bike rack (4), hitch-mounted cargo tray, Thule roof-mounted cargo box

LiftedAWDAstro
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Re: electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:06 am

I never saw any. I would have to say any savings from the mechanical fan will be replaced by extra current draw through the alternator.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

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Re: electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by Meterpig » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:42 am

I dug up this thread because...

Well, I can't leave well enough alone. But moving on. I get really annoyed with the constant fan noise. Like my 4runner (I make that comparison a lot by the way) it runs when cold and "Turns" at all speeds. I have seen where some have mounted the summit version on the front-but how does that work with a tranny cooler? It seems the Taruses are popular. Is there a step by step write up to put one in?

The other reason is working on the front of the engine with stock fan and shroud is a painola. There is just too much stuff in there.

Thanks.
What do you think of my quest to swap transfer cases to the venerable BW4472?
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=9962

Photos including tear down for intake gaskets (PITA)
http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-xSjRG/i-bHzD6cz

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Re: electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by crazyvanman » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:19 am

Got caught in a traffic jamb in Death Valley over the summer. Outside air temps topped out at 114. I could not keep van cooled even with no A/C. Ended up doing a bit of hiking and photography till sunset and traffic died. I was fully loaded and towing a loaded trailer, but she had never even got warm until i got stuck in that mess.
I could not find anything wrong with the cooling system including fan clutch and neither did the GM mechanic.
So i assumed it was just not all that efficient in stop and go (mostly stop) traffic.
I have decided to replace the water pump with a high output pump, replace the radiator with a larger unit, and was considering the e-fan swap.
After reading all the posts here and other sites, it seems clear as mud, whether the e-fan has any pluses.
To further muddy the pool, i was leaning to a dual fan, dual switch e-fan system to avoid the problem encountered with wife's Audi when her single unit left her stranded outside of Vegas.
I spend 75 to 80 percent of my time driving in wilderness areas at appx 10 mph or less and am a big believer in redundancy.
So am i going to be able to accomplish anything with the e-fan? Oh yea i was also going to a remote trans cooler, and possibly oil too. :peep:
91 Astro EXT; never liked GM till i stumbled into this van. Free just for dragging it out of a field. Ran like a scalded cat, had 53K miles and completely rusted out brake lines. Been all over North America, lots of fire roads and no roads; fully loaded and towing constantly. Average 21 mpg. I recently (by accident) found out she now has 265,886.4 miles without so much as a tuneup, and only 1 oil change. And still no leaks. MAN I LOVE THIS VAN !

!994 Safari AWD

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Re: electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by LaGrasta » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:33 pm

This again!…

My van stays cool, no problems now or ever. BUT, somewhere along the way the van has become oh, so loud. It screams running down the road. I asked the tranny shop, after their r&r if it could be the trans and they said no. I took it back to the AC shop and asked them, they said it could be the fan clutch. They swapped it, but no change at all. I checked it myself, spins free when cool. Well, it doesn't actually spin, more like it moves, with friction. I'm told that's okay.

Now, once again, I'm considering swapping to an electric. I picked up a brand new Flex Fan Black Magic set up for next to nothing. Prior to my swap, I think I might disconnect the fan and drive it for a short run, if quiet, I'll know for sure it's the fan set up.

Hmmm, I wonder if they put the fan on backward, possible?
1998 Astro, 224,000 miles

K&N air filter
TruCool trans cooler
2" Overland lift & 15" BFG Terrain, 3.73 gears
JET Performance SCU-2000 (Speed Control Unit)
Gabriel Ultra shocks, rear AirLift bags & sway bar
iPOD, CD, DVD, Dutch door mounted 12s, 400w
Draw-Tite Dual Port Hitch System, hitch-mounted bike rack (4), hitch-mounted cargo tray, Thule roof-mounted cargo box

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Re: electric vs mechanical fan?

Post by AstroWill » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:38 pm

Probably not related, but some of the older mechanical fans run the opposite way. I had this happen with a FSC, it was a late 90s K1500, was hit in the front before I bought it and when they replaced the fan, they used an older fan. It was quiet at idle, and until the clutch kicked in, then it sounded like a freight train running down the highway.

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