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Hot Rods Replacing Fan With Electric Fans

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Carl Hungness, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. Carl Hungness
    Joined: Jul 16, 2018
    Posts: 27

    Carl Hungness

    I have a 1937 LaSalle and installing a 500" Cadillac engine. I don't have the dimensions of the (huge) radiator at hand but it appears as though I can either install two small electric fans or one large one on the back of the radiator. Will I still need a fan on the engine and a shroud over it? My preference is to not run a fan on the engine. I'm wondering if I can get by with the electric units.
     
  2. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 6,659

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    I've had good luck with Cooling Components shrouded fans.
     
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  3. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 948

    Joe H
    Member

    Electrics need to move 1200 or more cfm each, or 2500 cfm for a single, and even then it will be questionable due to the small grill opening. Just look at what Cadillac installed and the grill opening size, then figure out if an electric will work or not.

    Here are some deals on fans, https://www.surpluscenter.com/Engines/Engine-Accessories/Radiator-Fans/

    Be sure look at amperage usage so you wire accordingly.
     
    Roothawg likes this.
  4. I'll play the devils advocate, why do you not want to use a mechanical fan? HRP
     

  5. Unique Rustorations
    Joined: Nov 15, 2018
    Posts: 425

    Unique Rustorations
    Member

    I will add to HRP and say if you are not using a mechanical fan (a declutching fan would be my suggestion) then do your homework on the CFM needed and the controls and amps required to run it (or them) and how it will be controlled (I prefer PWM fans over just on/off switches imo) and in your case what charging system output will be needed. Good luck w the project. Randy


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  6. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,066

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    DeltaPAG
    https://deltapag.com/

    Small, high power, low amp draw, brushless (current brushless technology) motors, wing shaped blades.
    I have two rather than one on my radiator. Separately controlled.

    Mike
     
    Unique Rustorations likes this.
  7. Did GM build the Caddy with an Electric Fan? I don't think so and I bet it didn't overheat in stock form. Electric Fans in Hot Rods are un necessary if you know what your doing while building the Project. Plan ahead, do it right and use a shroud.
     
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  8. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,232

    badshifter
    Member

    Post this question on a street rod forum.
     
  9. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,743

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Since there's no industry wide standard method used for measuring cfm , you're at the mercy of the manufacturer when going by their numbers , that being said , traditional would mandate engine driven , ease of installation may mean electric , either way , a shroud makes a fan more effective , I don't think " stacking" fans is ever a good idea .
     
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  10. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,264

    Roothawg
    Member

    Yes you can get by with electric fans. You won't need both. If you run an electric fan, get the biggest single fan you can.

    If you run mechanical, stay away from flex fans. Use a good shroud and some sort of clutch fan. The mechanical fan needs to be close to the radiator though. Good luck with your project.
     
  11. `A proper steel bladed mechanical fan will keep a car cool,I have one on each of my cars, I used a 17" 6 blade steel fan from summit and never have any heating issues, I also have Walker Copper/brass radiators. HRP

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,270

    6sally6
    Member

    I have a single electric fan on my off-topic SBF and it only runs maybe 20% (just a guess!) of the time. Of course every combination will be different. Soooo most of the time it will NOT be running. (only when you need it the most!!:rolleyes:)
    Plan for a good electrical system=alternator.....and a good relay...and heavy enough wire because you can really tell when mine turns on!
    Tomatoes- Tomotoes.
    6sally6
     
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  13. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,884

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    I hate the appearance of, and the sound of, an electric fan. Nothing ruins the appearance of a nice engine compartment quite like an electric fan; or the first appearance of a rod pulling into a car show, idling through looking for the right place to park, with the electric fan running at full speed.
     
  14. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 454

    proartguy
    Member
    from Sparks, NV

    As usual there is every combination suggested as “the best”.

    My 429 powered ‘49 Cad had an electric pusher fan with a stock radiator which did not cool well. Changed to a engine driven flex fan, proper shroud and larger cross-flow radiator. Cools like a champ now and doesn’t sound like it has a leaf blower in the front.

    I have had very good luck with Flex-a-lite fans. There are many others that seem ineffective.

    1524AC2C-F6FD-4FC5-98B2-54302194183C.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  15. I have a good friend that was running one of those aluminum bladed fans on a high dollar 55 Chevy, it let go and ruined a radiator and did a lot of damage under the hood, I have run that same fan but now only run steel fans for my piece of mind. HRP
     
  16. The problem with the aftermarket fans is that actual performance is unpredictable. Some manufacturers do go so far as to have a table of static pressure versus airflow but the problem is it's pretty tough how to calculate static pressure loss through a radiator and air conditioning condenser ahead of time. I have two electric pullers plus one pusher and everything works fine up to about a hundred and five degrees ambient but I still don't burp the tank but my temperature gauge goes up pretty high.

    In my case I could not possibly put a water pump mounted fan on my car since the nose of the water pump is about 4 inches from the radiator. And my distributor is a half an inch from the firewall. I had to go with two fans initially with the water pump nose situated between the fans. A single large fan wouldn't fit.

    We all have our opinions on here but I think a radical old 49 Ford Coupe pulling in with the sound of electric fans is pretty cool.

    I have read elsewhere that a late model junkyard fan might be a better choice then an aftermarket fan if you can get everything to fit. Good luck and keep us posted.
     
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  17. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 454

    proartguy
    Member
    from Sparks, NV

    HRP, the fans I use have stainless steel blades and never had a failure on my cars since the mid-‘80s. I wonder if some failures are due to improper installation or incorrect spacer, bolts, etc.

    Aside from the type of fan my input is use a fan with a shroud.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  18. I don't have any idea how it was installed, all I saw was carnage and the blue steel arm and one blade missing and one hanging on with one rivet.

    It may have been that one in a million defect and I suppose it could happen to anyone, I just feel more comfortable using a steel fan like the auto manufacturers used back in the day. HRP
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
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  19. 8flat
    Joined: Apr 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,373

    8flat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I had a brand new flex fan come apart right before the 1-2 shift on a 454 when I was racing a guy, all hell broke loose. Cut up my radiator core and fan shroud, sliced up my rad hoses, oil cooler lines, tranny cooler lines, spark plug wires, some other engine compartment wiring, and a few other things.
    It was a horrendous sight. Rolling down the highway with every fluid known to man pouring out in a pile of steam....hahaha. I was dumb kid, didn't listen to the old guys telling me not to run a flex fan!
     
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  20. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,264

    Roothawg
    Member

    Plus they are hard to chrome.....
     
  21. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,884

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    I'm not sure I follow you on this. What I think of as the "nose" of the pump sits inside the pulley, and is a lot closer than 4" on my 30 pickup. Mechanical fan fits and works fine. 20200928_132925.jpg .
     
  22. Careful, the street rod guys here love the hideous chrome versions! Especially on a shiny aluminium radiator!

    (Don't make me post a picture:eek:)
     
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  23. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,232

    badshifter
    Member

    Will your generator provide enough amperage for that fan? Mine does....
    503620F8-5C6F-4AF9-88DF-1633BA179748.jpeg
     
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  24. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,037

    gene-koning
    Member

    Mechanical fans don't have to be close to the radiator if you have a good shroud. The 71-75 Monty Carlo's small block with the mechanical fan at least 12" from the radiator and never had an over heating problem, the fan shroud was a crazy long thing. that actually worked well. Gene
     
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  25. I would only consider a clutch fan. No offense, and maybe it's just me, but direct mounted fans are just ugly. Shoot me.
     
  26. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,884

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    I think probably it's just you. SO in this thread you've said you think a direct mounted fan is ugly, and the sound of an electric fan is "pretty cool". Okay.....
     
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  27. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,887

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like the way you think!
     
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  28. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 19,270

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Clearly the case of a street rodder wandering in here by mistake......
     
  29. A normal fan, clutch fan. And the clutch fan looks better :confused:. You're joking surely.
     
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  30. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 475

    KenC
    Member

    I've seen the same. there use to be a lot of fans made with riveted blades, even OEM stuff. They were steel, but multi-part. That is the type that seem to fail most often, independent of material.. I'll only use one piece stamped fans or that other non-traditional kind. No chances on radiator,hood or other damage from flying blades.
     
    olscrounger likes this.

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