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fans, mech or elec? what do you run?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by classicdreamer, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Merlin
    Joined: Apr 9, 2005
    Posts: 2,546

    Merlin
    Member
    from Inman, SC

    Yep but i only run the elec when it's needed. I also run a shroud but when traffic is heavy the extra fan is helpful.


    I've run them both ways and never had any issues.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  2. classicdreamer
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 592

    classicdreamer
    Member
    from nyc
    1. A-D Truckers

    great information guys. I do appreciate it! Seems like the consensus is for mech due to ease and reliable. I like the idea of running a pusher on the face of the radiatior. Does this have any concerns with airflow?
     
  3. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    I'm into nostalgic looking engines. The electric fans first became popular in the late 70s. I know that was 30 years ago but that's not nostalgic enough for MY tastes. I drove to Memphis for the Street rod nationals in 1980. It was over 100* everyday for over a week. (283 behind an original 36 Ford non pressurized radiator with a mechanical fan and zero problems) I walked by the Walker Radiator booth twice (it was air conditioned inside) while I was there both times there was a crowd around trying to get replacement motors for their electric fans. I was 1500 miles from home and thought how would I get home if it were my car? That did it for me. I know that they are more reliable now but that doubt will always be there.

    [​IMG]

    To me this looks just as bad on the other side of the radiator. I hate to walk by a car and see that da-glow warning tag grabbing my eye from behind the grill. (Don't people realize that a shot from a flat black rattle can will avoid that?)

    It's only my personal opinion but electric fans make me think that the builder is lazy and took the easy way out. I can say that because I am lazy. I'm too lazy to redo my roadster that has one for a backup that does work in heavy traffic. I keep the hood closed at nostalgia shows because I'm embarrassed.

    This is another one of those no win discussions. Either they are OK with you or you don't like them. You can talk till you are blue in the face and I'll never put an electric fan on my car for any reason. My buddy has tried.:D The younger guys grew up seeing them all over and have accepted them as normal. I didn't and don't.

    I really find it odd to see one on a car or truck that came from the factory with a mechanical fan on the exact same engine??? Why? Fear? Have the young guys all read about overheating problems and are convinced that they will have them too and over build to prevent a perceived problem?

    I'll shut up now.:D
     
  4. classicdreamer
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 592

    classicdreamer
    Member
    from nyc
    1. A-D Truckers

    Tommy you have hit the nail on the head. I didnt even realize this. It makes sense to me now on my thinking. Thank you.

    "The younger guys grew up seeing them all over and have accepted them as normal. I didn't and don't." I am a younger guy and guy up in a time when radiators were cooled by electric fans. Hell I never owned a car until now that did not have electric fans.

    "I really find it odd to see one on a car or truck that came from the factory with a mechanical fan on the exact same engine??? Why? Fear? Have the young guys all read about overheating problems and are convinced that they will have them too and over build to prevent a perceived problem?" Yes Yes and Yes. I think all the online reading for the younger guys have instilled this perception that electrical is better. But truth of the matter is that cars have been using mechanical fans since Day 1.

    Mechanical fan it is.

    Now which fan blade is the best? OE? other performance light weights? Do lightend pulleys make a difference?
     
  5. I run electrics for one reason and one reason only. I'm too lazy to build a proper fan shroud.

     
  6. 454navyss
    Joined: Oct 11, 2009
    Posts: 351

    454navyss
    Member

    i have electric fans on everything i own, i have never had a problem with them. and it frees up HP
     
  7. Diavolo
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 815

    Diavolo
    Member

    For me it has to work first. Once I got that nailed down, I worry about asthetics. That being said, without a shroud, with proper spacing, you are not going to have a very efficient cooling system. It may work, but does it work well?

    Flatheads are known for making hot water and they don't idle high enough to keep the fan pulling in high traffic. Not the same engine or vehicle, but something to be aware of.

    Since you have decided on a mechanical fan, get one off a stock vehicle with a clutch. If that doesn't work, then consider electrical again. Again, go with a stock replacement. I have a lot of confidence in the engineers working at the factory, even more than the small business guys.

    As soon as I get other things hammered out, I'm going electric.
     
  8. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,460

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Does anyone know why, on the mechanical fans with more that four blades, that the blades are not spaced evenly around the perimeter of the fan? Is it some kind of noise-reducing deal? Balancing would definitely be more difficult.

    FYI, I've got mechanical on mine, used to have a 40 Ford pickup with an LT-1 that I had a four-core custom radiator and electric fan on. It never got hot, but when the fan kicked in the noise was kind of annoying. Never had any fan failures in the five years I had the truck.
     
  9. Frosty21
    Joined: Jan 25, 2007
    Posts: 958

    Frosty21
    Member
    from KY

    There was also a guy killed locally by the rivets in his flex fan failing. Stabbed him in the chest.

    I don't trust electric fans. Too many components to fail for me. Mechanical clutch fan with a shroud is the way to go. For apperances sake I'm running a clutchless 4-blade on my 307, but it shouldn't get hot with a 4-core radiator and a gutted engine bay.
     
  10. R Frederick
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 2,658

    R Frederick
    Member
    from illinois

    I have no choice, my radiator tank is too low or my engine is too high to run a mech fan.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Mr poopy pants
    Joined: Dec 3, 2005
    Posts: 112

    Mr poopy pants
    Member

    Just another thought I was looking around a local salvage yard yesterday I think the oldest car there was about early 70s what I did notice that all the cars had electric fans and shrouds I was amazed at the tiny radiators most cars seem to have 2 electric fans stacked and thermostatically controlled. Next time your looking for car parts at your nearest yard check out and see how these newer vehicles are cooled youll be surprised as I was...........
     
  12. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage

    but would it be that most of those cars if not all of them were transverse mounted engines?
    so the issue of running a mechanical fan wasnt much of an option?

    just a thought

    and as with most automotive MFG's..all that fan has to do is work until the warrenty runs out..after that its your problem..i cant build a hot rod around that mantality
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  13. Mr poopy pants
    Joined: Dec 3, 2005
    Posts: 112

    Mr poopy pants
    Member

    Mmm I think you right they were probably mostly front wheel drive, but I did see a couple of Beemers and a Mercedes that were rear wheel drive they had electric fans,

    I was looking for a good fuse panel for 56 chevy pickup ( Mechanical 4 blade fan )
     
  14. Frosty21
    Joined: Jan 25, 2007
    Posts: 958

    Frosty21
    Member
    from KY

    I think the reason for electric fans in new vehicles is simply to fail.
     
  15. 33 5 window coupe
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 121

    33 5 window coupe
    Member

    i have a punched out 327,i run both in heavy trafic works better.
     
  16. ffr1222k
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,166

    ffr1222k
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have electric on everything I own. I usually get an OEM fan from the local Pull-A-Part. The late 90's Ford T-Birds, Taurus and some of the smaller econbox Fords have a fan that moves more air than almost any aftermarket electric fan. Locally they are around $15.
     
  17. Mr poopy pants
    Joined: Dec 3, 2005
    Posts: 112

    Mr poopy pants
    Member

    thats a great idea FFR.....since looking around they certainly are plentiful and cheap.........plus you can .....ahem.."borrow" all the necessary screws and brackets and relays wiring etc ......
     
  18. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    Is this from personal experience or are you repeating what you have read? I heard all the horror stories about flatheads too but when I built mine late in life using an original unpressurized Ford radiator and original Ford fans, I had to install thermostats to get the engine up to normal operating temps. It will idle all day long in 90 degree weather never getting up to 200.

    The other often repeated story is that they will over heat with out thermostats or flow restriction washers. It never happened to me.
     
  19. I have an '88, '87, and my buddy has a '96, all mech. My dumb buddy took his perfectly functioning fan off yesterday and put on an electric.
     
  20. I run a 7 blade clutching fan that I pulled off a mid 80s Cherokee, bolted right up to my 283. Still need to build a shroud but it works just fine. really pulls a lot of air.
     
  21. mac762
    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
    Posts: 676

    mac762
    Member

    I like the idea of having an electric fan wired to a thermostat so when it's hot when you turn the motor of it continues to be cooled. Have you ever watched your mechanical water pressure gauge when you turn your motor off? It will go up 10 or 20 degrees, at least mine will.
    My flex fan works so well that in the winter it won't let my damn motor warm up. I freeze my ass off on the way to work.
    I think an elelctric fan is better for your motor because it lets your oil come up to temp faster.
    Another thing about a fan wired to a thermostat. My Buddy kept having a problem with his battery dying when his car would sit for a while. So he hooked up a battery tender. Just by chance he was walking by the garage and he heard something going in there. The summer heat was making the fan run in the garage. :)
    Just some more thoughts on electric fans.

    PS I catch myself leaning over the flex fan all the time and it scares me even though I have a good brand of fan, I'd hate to take a blade to the face.
     
  22. chop32
    Joined: Oct 13, 2002
    Posts: 1,077

    chop32
    Member

    Ive always run a mechanical fan, and fortunately havent had one come apart on me. Ive got auxillary electric fans on the cars that tend to heat up in traffic.
    Im a little gun shy about relying primarily on an electric fan as I have had one stop working in traffic (just a stuck relay, luckily).
    I like the simplicity of having the fan on a thermostat, but I dont care for the idea of the fan coming on after the car is shut down and possibly running down the battery.
    That being said, there are always times where you just dont have enough room to run a mechanical fan. There are also times (in my opinion) that you shouldnt run one, such as on a traditional car where the fan cant be hidden from view. Ive got one sandwiched between the grill and the radiator on my '32 pickup that you have to look closely to see, but there is no way Ill run one on the channelled A coupe (with an A grille shell) that Im currently building.
    Just my 2 cents.
     
  23. nail-head
    Joined: Jan 22, 2007
    Posts: 293

    nail-head
    Member


    I'll take a redhead over a blonde, but I'll take a brunette over both.


    I've got a one piece plastic flexfan on my nailhead at the moment...it got up to about 220 when I had to sit in traffic a long time in Austin during the Roundup, but it stays around 160-190 in "normal" stop and go traffic.

    I'm running the original three row radiator (re-cored) with tranny cooler built in and OE reproduction shroud, but I'm going to upgrade to a new 4 row radiator and separate tranny cooler and see what happens (my switch-pitch tranny goes into high stall when my foot's on the brake, I think that might be contributing to my cooling problem).

    I don't want to run an electric unless I absolutely have to...doesn't fit my traditional taste.
     
  24. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    Some people like electric, some like conventional. One can rationalize one over the other, but irrationally.

    One jalopy I have electric fan, the other has regular fan. Both work good.
     
  25. barnescole
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 138

    barnescole
    Member

    a QUALITY electrical fan works fine, the 25 dollar swap meet special probably wont cut it. i run an electric fan primarily, never had a problem.
     
  26. I just wanted to put in my $.02. I run an electric fan on my 37 chevy pickup for a couple of reasons, (1) hot cam 327 that really likes to spin and I don't trust a mechanical fan at 6500+ rpm and (2) at speeds above 30-35 mph a mechanical fan is just spinning away for no reason as there is more then adequate airflow through the radiator, just burning more fuel. Now I know, hot rods aren't about MPG but I like to drive my truck and if I can get 12mpg instead of 10mpg that lets me drive it that much more.

    I also have had electric fans that just wouldn't do the job and in that case nothing beats a mechanical fan with a good shroud.

    I don't really think that electric fans have to look bad either. I ditched the stupid finger guard plastic thing that came with this Spal fan ($10 swap meet find) and built a steel one that looks much more the part (at least I think). Cools great, even idling in traffic on a 105 degree Sacramento day.

    [​IMG]

    Jaysin
     
  27. loosrp
    Joined: Jan 16, 2010
    Posts: 7

    loosrp
    Member

    Anyone running a good thermostatically controlled clutch fan? They don't look the coolest but you have the best of both worlds, clutch engages only when needed. The type Im talking about has the exposed bi-metal spring on the front. Never get the heavy duty cooling replacement ones, they run locked all the time..or seem to.
     
  28. deuceman32
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 340

    deuceman32
    Member

    Prettymuch anything I'm going to build now will have a mechanical fan because the look is in character with the car. But any fan system properly set up with quality components is going to do the job and last. If you are looking for that last horsepower I suppose electric would be the way to go.

    The SBC in my 32 mordor will wear a GM clutch fan 1970 LT1 style on a raised water pump, in a shroud. I will not use an aftermarket flex fan, period. 3 failures in years gone by cost me 3 plastic shrouds, 2 rad cores, 1 battery and a lower rad hose. 2 of these failures were at the dragstrip on the start line. I have never known the GM stuff to break.
     
  29. mac762
    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
    Posts: 676

    mac762
    Member

    The SBC in my 32 mordor will wear a GM clutch fan 1970 LT1 style on a raised water pump, in a shroud. I will not use an aftermarket flex fan, period. 3 failures in years gone by cost me 3 plastic shrouds, 2 rad cores, 1 battery and a lower rad hose. 2 of these failures were at the dragstrip on the start line. I have never known the GM stuff to break.[/QUOTE]

    Never say never, my Dad's GM clutch fan came apart and took out a nice four core radiator at about 120mph. My Brother was driving.
     

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