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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okiedokie, who here has installed an electric fan on their 142-4-5 or 164? (Or any B18-20A-B-E-F engine really)

AND, what'd you use (Brand, model, size), experience or regret with the install and daily use?

I'm looking over my choices.

It appears my water pump is starting to seep, so, when I do get around to replacing it there's a good chance I'll ditch the engine-driven fan for an electric at the same time. I have a modernized charging system so juice isn't a concern.

How'd you sense the temperature? Mounting? Clearance?
 

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I used one of the Speedway branded cooling fans from Speedway Motors. They list different versions and I can't remember which one I purchased. It was fairly inexpensive, about $40. This is what it looks like:

Ventilation fan Electric fan Mechanical fan Fan Radiator

I attached two aluminum channels to the top and bottom housing of the rad with rivets and mounted the fan on the channels. Don't use the 'quicky' mounting method where you push long machine screws through the fins and clamp the fan to the rad core. With a cross flow rad, fan vibration will eventually cause the screws to move down until they are resting on the horizontal tubes and at that point you run the risk that vibration will cause fretting on the tube and eventual failue of the tube.

I did purchase the largest one which I could fit which I think was 16". That was probably unnecessary. After the install I was still running very hot at idle on hot days. Turns out the pratts who cleaned and pressure tested my rad when I did my restomod left the lower third of my channels plugged about midway across the rad. A trip to a more competent rad shop cleared the blockage and probably negated the need for the large fan. With a good rad a 14" would probably do the trick. If you go with Speedway, my experience is that their published current draw estimates are on the low side. I think they listed the running current on the fan at something around 4 amps so I fused it with a 5 or 7 amp fuse. The fuses kept on blowing on me and a test showed that the current was significantly higher than listed. I think I might be running a 15 amp fuse.

I have the fan set up in pusher mode. With the snout on the water pump, you are quite space constrained in your ability to run a fan in pull mode. I think Mishimoto and some others make some very low profile fans that might fit between the pump and the rad. They tend to be a bit pricey. Finding thickness dimensions to figure out whether they will fit in pull mode can be a challenge.

I have a Megasquirt conversion on my Djet so adding an output to control the fan based upon coolant temperature was fairly easy.
 

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Good info...no news for 142g, but for those reading along...without measuring, a 16" dia. impeller will probably take some time (est. 0.5sec.) to come up to speed, and during that time will pull a high "inrush current" (sometimes more than double the rated current, which is what he installed following the general rule of doubling the rated current)...this might be tough duty for a standard fast-blow fuse and explains why it blew...so this might be a good place for a slow-blow fuse of the same current rating...or, as long as the wiring is heavy gauge enough, simply bumping the current rating up to a value which doesn't nuisance blow is also acceptable.

142g; Too bad about the first Rad service place not getting it right...

Cheers
 

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I'm curious about this myself. Thanks to 142 Guy for summarizing his experience here.
After a 1/2 hour commute home mostly on city streets mine left a puddle after I parked it. Granted, this is August in Southern California but I'd still like to not have to worry about it.
Mathue- how is your radiator? Ever taken it to a shop?
 

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I'm curious about this myself. Thanks to 142 Guy for summarizing his experience here.
After a 1/2 hour commute home mostly on city streets mine left a puddle after I parked it. Granted, this is August in Southern California but I'd still like to not have to worry about it.
Mathue- how is your radiator? Ever taken it to a shop?
A puddle can be caused by two things. Overheating and overfilling of the rad or the expansion bottle. Liquid is not compressible so when it expands due to heating, if it uses up all the expansion room in the bottle (or rad) it will pop the pressure cap relief. When cold, the coolant in my expansion bottle is a nudge above the min line leaving lots of room for thermal expansion. If the cold fill level is at the mid point or higher and you encounter a really hot day, I expect that you are going to burp some coolant when you stop the car and turn off the engine. If you have not overfilled the bottle, then you may have a heat rejection problem and an electric fan might help. The primary cooling benefit of the electric fan would be in stop and go traffic. My mungo sized fan will move more air than the stock fan at idle. If the car is moving and the engine running at 2000 RPM or so I expect that the electric fan offers little or no improvement relative to the stock fan.

So, if your city driving involves a lot of slow speed crawling, the electric fan can improve things under those conditions. However, make sure your rad is not plugged up first and that your thermostat is working correctly. Otherwise, you will end up like me finding out that your hot running problem is not fixed by the electric fan. Also, I have seen coolant pumps where the impeller was so badly corroded that it was a wonder that any coolant was moving through the block.
 

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Another thing that might be affecting cooling. There are 2 types of impellers on water pumps. One has a cast impeller, typically OEM, the other has a stamped from sheet metal impeller, typically aftermarket. The cast impeller is known to provide better circulation at idle, so worth finding one when you go to change your water pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Awesome! Thanks for replying. I like how you mounted it on your crossflow radiator. I'll have to look and see if I can do similar on my topflow.
 

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I was doing some other stuff on the car this morning, so I decided to check the dimension of the mungo fan that I installed on the car. As best as I could measure by holding a tape measure up to the grill and eyeballing it, it is a 16".

This is actually my second electric fan. I put an electric fan on around 1978 (I have had the car for a while!) after the OEM viscous coupling fan lost a blade. The electric was cheaper and I didn't have to order and wait for a replacement from the dealer. I still have that fan in a box in the garage so I went and measured it and it is about 12.5" diameter to the blade tips - so 12" or 13"??? I used that fan for a number of years without issue, although I am north of 49 so the frequency of 35C+ days is probably a lot less than CA. Short point is that if I had been aware that my clean radiator wasn't really clean, my 12/13" fan would probably still be just fine. A 13" 0r 14" should do just nicely if your rad is in good shape and you don't have a significantly modified engine. I have a 1971 B20E which was as 'hot' as they came from the factory.
 

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If all you want to do is add an electric fan, Dakota Digital makes a decent stand alone control module. You route your water temperature sensor (or head temp) to the module and you can set a temperature for when the fan turns on. It can also send two different current levels (hi/low fan speed) if you add an additional relay. It's $134 but it more or less plug and play, with a little bit of wiring. This is probably the easiest, stand alone option I have come across.

https://www.dakotadigital.com/index.cfm/page/ptype=product/product_id=1207/category_id=403/mode=prod/prd1207.htm

You can get a new water pump pretty inexpensively from Rock Auto (~$30).
 
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