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Mechanical Or Electric

  • Mechanical

    Votes: 92 38.3%
  • Electric

    Votes: 148 61.7%

  • Total voters
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Man this has been driving me nuts too. I like the reliability of the mechanical fan but I think electric fans look cleaner to a degree, not that they're not reliable either, just more to potentially go wrong. I can't decide between the summit rad/taurus fan setup or an original type of setup but I think I'm leaning towards an original setup, although I change my mind every other day. :mad:
 

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Fans

I tried a flex fan, then went to electric, then electric and a be cool radiator and the 350 was still getting hot at a stop. Changed gauges, thought I was goning to go nuts, turned out putting the temp sensor in the head was the "HOT" set up.... moved it to the manifold problem solved. DUH. Where is your temp sensor?
 

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Did you ever notice about 9 times out of 10 when someone posts "Running Hot" they have an electric fan?

They are used in a lot of newer V8 cars trucks whatever BUT those motors are usually controlled by a PCM or ECM which ever way you want to say it. Fuel injected with better water routing through the motor. The tune is probably the biggest factor of these being able to get away with such mediocre fans. The motor is always running at peak efficiency therefor cooler.

This isn't to say older carb technology can't run cool, it can, but your tune better be pretty good or it might run hot at idle or it might run cool at idle or hot on the highway. Slapping an electric fan on a radiator never guarantees it will solve anything. It becomes a band aid try and companies are making tons of money selling stuff people think they need.

I run a stock 3 row radiator with a shroud on my ZZ383 and now a clutch fan. No cooling issues here. Simple effective and with headroom for a poor tune if that be the case. No fuss no muss.

A mechanical fan with a clutch probably doesn't draw that much more power away from the motor as does drawing amperage from the alternator with an electric. I'm sure there's a little more loss with a mechanical fan but the benefits outweigh the penalty.

Did you ever see some of the puny radiators in the new sports cars? How do they do it with such small radiators with big inch or big HP motors and yours needs that Be Cool 30 row aluminum with jet engine fans for a mild 350? I really think it all has to do with tuning and keeping the motor at every load level and RPM range at max efficiency. Run without vacuum advance and you'll probably run hotter on the highway than the same motor with vacuum advance. Not to mention saving gas without ANY penalty of power contrary to popular backyard mechanic belief. Have your jets too lean and next thing you know you're forking it over all because of tune not because the cooling is inadequate.

I still don't fault anyone with an electric if they like the look or need the space. But an electric for the sake of an electric IMO just doesn't make sense to me.
 

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a big issue with first gens is the tiny engine compartment.once you pull all that air through that large by huge rad with that industrial size electric it has no where to go.instaiilng a cowl hood can completely solve cooling issues in a lot of cases.
 

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I just got done installing a Taurus fan on my father-in-laws 72. he has a jegs radiator, Taurus fan and we got a fan controller from Direct Current Control.
http://www.dccontrol.com/fancontrol.htm
We got the one at the top of the page for the Taurus fan. works perfect! Fan comes on gradually and does not spike the alternator and it was super easy to hook up! I think this is the best cheap setup out there!
 

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I just got done installing a Taurus fan on my father-in-laws 72. he has a jegs radiator, Taurus fan and we got a fan controller from Direct Current Control.
http://www.dccontrol.com/fancontrol.htm
We got the one at the top of the page for the Taurus fan. works perfect! Fan comes on gradually and does not spike the alternator and it was super easy to hook up! I think this is the best cheap setup out there!
After you ordered that controller how long did it take for it to arrive at your door? I ordered one over a week ago and have not even received an order confirmation or anything. I have heard that Brian can be VERY slow to ship these units out and even read a couple people that said it took 2 months before they got theirs.
 

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Factory clutch fan and shroud works for me.

Edit to add: I had overheating problems with mine running a flex fan and no shroud. The minute I installed a factory style clutch mechanical fan and shroud it went to 180 degrees (180 degrees therm) and has never moved higher. I'm running a 325hp 350 with the stock six cylinder radiator.
Odds are the difference was in adding the shroud.

I used to run a 17" electric puller, no shroud. It would overheat after a couple of red lights, and if it was heavier traffic, it would go over 200-220 and just keep climbing.

I got tired of having the concern and moved the electric to the front as a pusher, and put a flex fan and shroud on the backside. Works great, haven't seen it above 190 since. It will sit at 180 with the 180 thermostat, and creeps up a little, but not over 190.

When you are running aluminum heads, you do not want to see that temp start climbing over 200. That is my nervous boundary. They may take more, but that is where my internal warning comes on.
 

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I just got done installing a Taurus fan on my father-in-laws 72. he has a jegs radiator, Taurus fan and we got a fan controller from Direct Current Control.
http://www.dccontrol.com/fancontrol.htm
We got the one at the top of the page for the Taurus fan. works perfect! Fan comes on gradually and does not spike the alternator and it was super easy to hook up! I think this is the best cheap setup out there!
Yeah, that Taurus dual fan is the strongest CFM available. Something like 4150? They are definitely the way to go. Just be sure and have your electrical and relays done right for it.
 

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What mechanical fan?

Okay, how does one go about knowing which fan/clutch to use? I'm planning to add a custom-made shroud this summer and before I have one made, I should make sure I've got the ideal fan and clutch combination. Is there one that believers swear by . . .

Thanks,

Mike S.
Bon Aqua, TN
 

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Okay, how does one go about knowing which fan/clutch to use? I'm planning to add a custom-made shroud this summer and before I have one made, I should make sure I've got the ideal fan and clutch combination. Is there one that believers swear by . . .

Thanks,

Mike S.
Bon Aqua, TN
You need look no further than your GM High Perf. parts catalog. No one has spent the $$$ for R&D that GM did. Remember, they were on the hook for warranty costs, so there was no way they wanted you overheating your ride. 95% of the time the GM stuff works better than any aftermarket parts.
 

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bbc overheating

Just for the record I had a built 402 with a small radiator, four blade fan that stayed cool. Would climb to 195 if idled for long. Installed a aluminum head 496 with the same cooling system, it would overheat every time I drove it. Bought a Summit aluminum, 1" tubes, 2 tubes, changed to five blade flex fan, no shroud, engine runs at 160 all the time, can idle with no increase in temp.
Just my 2 cents. Gary
 

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For everyone just running the electric fans. Do you have them hooked on a shroud or right to the radiator. I had mine hooked to the radiator and I was overheating with 2 12" fans.


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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I will never go back to an electric fan, too many things to go wrong. I've tried both now over the years and every time a mechanical with a stock shroud wins..
We have a pair of 68's.

I have no room for a puller elect fan, so I run a flex fan with no shroud on my inline 6. It runs around 190 in mild weather, with AC on. I have seen it at 205 on the hottest summer day.

My son runs a large elect fan with built in shroud on his 330 HP V8. His temp hangs very close to the thermostat setting of 180.

Last summer, while traveling back from Goodguys Nashville, his elect fan quit working in a construction zone and with no air flow, it put him to the curb.

My car runs hotter but is very reliable. His elect fan is more efficient but has had a reliability issue.

Some argument is that all new cars use elect cooling fans. I tend to lean in that direction, when possible.
 

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It would be interesting to see the failure rate of OEM fans versus the aftermarket fans. I've used OEM electric fans on my cars for years without a failure.
 

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My son runs a large elect fan with built in shroud on his 330 HP V8. His temp hangs very close to the thermostat setting of 180.

Last summer, while traveling back from Goodguys Nashville, his elect fan quit working in a construction zone and with no air flow, it put him to the curb.
To be fair my fan did not malfunction my wiring did. I melted an insufficient inline fuse box. I did a road side repair and wired the electric fan straight to the battery and made it home fine.
 

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Mechanical fan and mechanical fuel pump. No worries about them going out or at least not that often for the mechanical fuel pump anyways. Never had an overheating issue and I have had over 25 cars. Never worry about them idling as long as you want them to.
 

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I have an electric 16 inch Spal...mounted to the Ron Davis aluminum radiator.

I have EFI which drives fan settings.

It almost never comes on except for prolonged idling...

My previous mechanical (18 inch flex and OEM SBC radiator shroud) never had any issues either, but I know it moved a lot of air all the time.

I've seen on my car, a 40 WHP jump when the fan belt came off on the chassis dyno...yes that includes alternator and waterpump...but I'm confident to say the fan was the majority of that.

The electric is just more efficient...
 
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