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History History Question: Electric Fans

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Clik, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Clik
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,827

    Clik
    Member

    I think there'd be a market for a more mechanical looking electric fan. I don't mind them being electric but they look too...I don't know...toy like. Sort of like the looks of a GM style alternator vs an early Mopar. The Mopar just looks cooler and more mechanical.
     
  2. This 283 engine in a 32 cabrio was about to get an electric fan in the mid 60's. Previous owner was devising a system and had a thermocouple type device, relay, rheostat somewhat wired up for an electric fan. Don't know what he was going to use for the actual fan, but he was certainly working on it.
    If you notice, that small, cut down fan buried at the bottom of the radiator is still an issue at lights and traffic. I need to do something modern and for me, it will be a zippers high mount water pump before an electric. image.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  3. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,877

    Ned Ludd
    Member

    Hey, that was my first car! though mine was the small pick-up truck version we had here. My dad said I could use the spare wheel to transport take-away meals in.

    The Minor has a two-blade steel fan. Interestingly, the Mini had a mechanical fan, too. Because of the transverse engine, the radiator sat at the left-hand end of the engine and drew air out of the wheel well. That meant that the distributor was right behind the grille: one wouldn't think it was designed by people who live where it rains a lot. The first prototypes had the engine the other way around.
     
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,340

    squirrel
    Member

    The reason modern electric fans are used in many rods, is because they don't take up much room, since they have a flat motor. The early ones used a normal motor, and took up more room than a mechanical fan. The little import shown above had the radiator somewhere besides in front of the engine, so it could not use a mechanical fan. The Corvair had a mechanical fan with a wild belt setup...it would have been the perfect candidate for an electric fan, if GM had figured it out yet.

    Would the hot rodders of the 60s used todays parts if they could have? sure! Does that make it "traditional" today? no way!
     
  5. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Going forward, this "if they would have had it then" bullshit should be grounds for banning. Of all the steaming crocks of self-justifying crap we regularly get on here, this ones the steamiest.
     
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  6. Tell us how you really feel! :D HRP
     
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  7. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Their is nobody more '50s traditional than I. After loosing an engine to overheating I mounted an electric fan on my roadster. After I almost lost another engine to overheating I put the overflow on. I justify both by telling myself that if my roadster had been built in the '50s instead of my building it in the '80s the owner would probably have updated it. And the Chevy generator does just fine running the fan and the everything else. Although on my roadster their is not much else. The fan is always on after overheating once or twice because I forgot to turn it on in traffic. It's hell growing old.
    As for hot rods in the '50s running them I've heard that Grabowski ran an electric fan off of an early import on the Kookie Kar although I've never seen a photo of it with one.
    Gary




    IMG_0045.jpg
     
  8. Clik
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,827

    Clik
    Member

    I have the engine in my Henry J set back quite aways is the reason I asked.
     
  9. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,391

    porknbeaner
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    LOL that is a cooling fan, mostly Bogarted by the driver but sometimes the passenger could sit close enough to get some (or give some). :D

    I don't know of a delivery truck that *I have had apart or worked on that had an electric fan, but it makes good sense. Perhaps one could work on a 24V system, like many bigger trucks had.

    I am not sure that the average automotive charging system would have supported a fan, at least not one that would have done anything other then be in the way. Remember this if you are old enough, it was a common thing for cars to have the lights dim at a stop light and that was not always a car that was wore slap out.

    *I certainly haven't worked on as many as some of the fellas have.

    LOL I am not against electric fans I run them often and probably will continue to do so. That said lots of lemmings go over the cliff but there are always a few that don't and they keep the tradition alive. :D

    Note to @steel rebel your car has got it in spades electric fan or not. Something that we don't often think about is how far did the hot rodder of yesteryear actually drive. I mean hell you could be the fastest guy in the valley easy no one from the other end of the valley ever ventured into your town.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,340

    squirrel
    Member

    Historically...a Henry J with a serious engine setback probably was a race car that didn't need a fan. If you want to put an electric fan on it, and make it look right, you could rig up something using an old motor and an old fan blade. Should be fun! If you just want to drive a neat looking old hot rod, then do whatever it takes to make it work. Don't worry too much about it.

    The original question was about history, not about what you should or should not do today. They are separate questions.
     
  11. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,505

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    pulling over to the side of the road and having your radiator boil over is traditional. electric fans are not.

    it is 2015, do whatever it takes to drive your car. unless you are driving something like an A-V8 roadster with all early Ford parts and proper vintage speed equipment I don't see where it really matters.
     
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  12. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Don't get me wrong, this isn't about electric fans, T-5s ect. ect. ect. This is about exactly what it says. IMO, using "if they would have had it then, they would have used it" on a "traditional" hot rod forum as justification for ANYTHING is BULLSHIT. There, now its clear to everyone EXACTLY how I feel about it.:rolleyes:
    If you want to run _______ on your car, that's fine, its none of my or anyone elses business. But don't don't try to sell it as "traditional" with the justification that"if they would have had it then, they would have used it". That's an insult to everyones intelligence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  13. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,289

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    i thought electric fans were there so the blind could tell if it was a street rod........
     
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  14. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Shit George your sounding like me. I do agree with you though go ahead and put what you want on your rod but don't try to pass them off as traditional. Yes somebody might have used an electric fan, disk brakes or an alternator on their rod in the '50s but they are not traditional so just suck it up and don't try to call it traditional.

     
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  15. Kevin Lee
    Joined: Nov 12, 2001
    Posts: 7,403

    Kevin Lee
    Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Somewhere I have an old issue of Hot Rod, Hop Up or some other little book with a little flathead powered roadster running dual electric fans. Essentially looked like a couple of heater or dashboard fans mounted side-by-side behind the radiator. It was interesting.

    But if you're fishing for justification to run a modern electric fan or even dress one up with a wire birdcage you might be missing the point.

    Good luck!
     
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  16. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,458

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Speaking of the wire birdcage thing, where is that post or article on here that was talking about it (as well as lamenting the need for it)? I remember reading it last year but I can't find it now.
     
  17. I have to agree that trying to find justification for modern equipement is missing the point. When I bought my car off the HAMB I was going to go all out and try to reproduce an early 60's altered race only car. It had front disc brakes, electric fan, coil overs etc. Time restraints and my uncontrolable habit of buying other cars to flip and put into the project (I still have them all) stopped my plans cold. I ended up keeping all the new stuff and dropped in a healthy SBC. I would never try and pass it off as traditional. It is fun and I drive the hell out of it. It will probably never really fit in here but that's life. The best I can do is traditionally styled and that may be stretching the truth a little.
    DSC06144.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  18. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Gary, I ALWAYS sound like you, you know that!:D The only thing we disagree about is vertical windshields on T-buckets!:p
     
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  19. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Jim, that new avatar is REALLY cool!
    "reading the plugs at the track" avatars...the new flat black. I'm in!:D
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  20. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,340

    squirrel
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    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  21. Clik, I am looking forward to seeing that Henry J, what ever way you decide to go.
     
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  22. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,391

    porknbeaner
    Member

    LOL listen to you guys. I got an older friend that builds things the way that he likes and lets the chips fall where they may. One day we were talking about digital gauges and I had said that I didn't care for them. he asked if they weren't traditional enough for me and I said only if tradition has to do with what I like or don't like. he laughed and said, "I'll tell you beaner, if we had had them back when I started building cars we would have used them." So I asked how come he didn't have them in a Merc he was building and he just said, '"Well this is a traditional build." Enough said as far as I was concerned.

    We could talk all day about what would have been if it could have been but the point is that is wasn't because it didn't exist. if someone wants to run something they should as far as I am concerned, build it and let the chips fall where they may. No justification needed. I mean hell if you are trying to build something and build it a certain way because I might not approve otherwise what on earth does then even say about you?
     
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  23. By reading this thread I really don't think on here intends to execute an electric fan in this manor, but it has been done.

    electric fan.jpg
    That being said, I am an extreme stickler for traditional stuff especially on my own car. But if it consistently runs hot with a mechanical fan I do have an plan for running an electric fan on my car and not have it stand out. I may run into trouble as I plan on keeping it 6 volt as well, but time will tell.
     
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  24. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,059

    Squablow
    Member

    That's where I'm at, too. If you want to use modern stuff, go right ahead, but don't try to call it traditonal with that weak excuse. Better to just keep your mouth (and hood) closed if you do.

    However, I'm glad the OP asked this question because it's interesting to read about and it's always better to ask than to just do it without research.

    I'm no expert on the subject of engine setback, but is there a big drawback to mounting the radiator close to the engine on a car with big engine setback? Would the grille opening need a shroud?
     
  25. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    I'd move the rad back as well. Why the hell not, the idea of moving the engine back is to get more weight on the back wheels, why wouldn't you move the rad back as well??
     
  26. I honestly believe that a lot of overheated engines running mechanical fans was because the use of the cheap aluminum flex fans,they never were efficient in moving air.

    Plus they are notorious for flying apart.

    [​IMG]
    I prefer mechanical fans but I will only use a steel bladed fan that moves a lot of air.

    I have the fan below on all my cars except the Red Deuce sedan,it still has a electric fan & it won't be there much longer. HRP

    [​IMG]
     
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  27. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,391

    porknbeaner
    Member


    I probably shouldn't mention this but as tradition goes neither one of the fans shown are totally traditional, traditional in concept as they are mechanical but not traditional as in what was available.

    I think that the original question has been answered, and it comes down to if one wants to run one or is building a show piece or a driver.
     

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