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Hot Rods Turning An Electric Fan Sideways

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Carl Hungness, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. Carl Hungness
    Joined: Jul 16, 2018
    Posts: 65

    Carl Hungness

    My '37 LaSalle has a 500" Cad engine in it that has never been completed. The engine was installed 30 years ago, not finished.
    The engine is solidly mounted in the vehicle and it looks like a nice installation.
    The problem I've just encountered is: The height of the water pump-fan center line is
    about 7" up from the bottom of the radiator. Height of the radiator core is 22 3/8".
    Consequently, with a 15" fan (aftermarket) just clears the radiator bottom tank and
    the crank pulley, the fan is too low. The bottom blades are running below the radiator tank by about half an inch.
    I thought about installing a smallish electric fan above the mechanical fan.
    But I may be forced to install a 'full size' electric fan which I'm not fond of at all. I don't want the noise and much prefer the mechanical.
    I found a Flex A Lite fan that measures 21" wide x 17" tall. My radiator is 16 7/16" 22 3/8". The fan moves 3000 CFM, probably just enough for the 500" engine.
    I'm thinking about mounting the fan vertical rather than horizontal, and looking for
    suggestions. Hopefully here's link to the fan I'm looking at.
    My radiator 'cradle" makes the whole plot challenging. It looks like a piece of channel iron and at first blush you'd think the radiator fits In the cradle. It doesn't. It fits ahead of the cradle, and the cradle is double thickness on the upright ends, tapped with 7/16" fine threads to hold the fender braces. Thus one can move the cradle back and forth 1/4" and this of course affects how the fenders fit the body, and JUST clear the running boards.
    So I have 3" from the water pump pulley to the radiator, but as noted, the center line is only 7" up from the bottom, so the 3" clearance is much more the higher you go on the radiator. Consequently it sure seem as though I can mount the Flex-A-Lite upright rather than sideways.
    The stock V-8 flathead in this car had the fan mounted about 4" higher.
  2. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,795


    I need pictures,not sure what is going on.You can't mount the fan to the engine rather than the rad or the front of the rad?
    Elcohaulic likes this.
  3. Carl Hungness
    Joined: Jul 16, 2018
    Posts: 65

    Carl Hungness

    Will get some photos..I will mount the elec fan to the back side of the radiator, not horizontally, but sideways.
  4. I don't think the electric fan will care if the shroud is mounted vertical instead of horizontal.

  5. :confused:
    lothiandon1940 and XXL__ like this.
  6. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,414

    from Minn. uSA

    Iffen you're doing what I think you are - from your description, & need what I think you need, look at a pic of the old Zip's Fan Riser. Used brackets in tube form that raised the h20 pump up enough so that the mounted mech fan would clear the lower rad hose, crossmember, etc. Slick deal, not hard to fab one for yourself.
    X-cpe likes this.
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,049


    The fan needs to be right at the same height that the AC compressor was centered at to run a mechanical fan.
    Nrgwizard's suggestion of fabbing a riser and running a raised fan isn't that bad and it should be rather simple once you figure out a bracket. The hard part will be finding an affordable remote hub that fits that can be bolted to the bracket to mount the fan.

    A guy could use the bracket and hub off an 8 BA Ford flathead that mounts on the front of the flathead below the generator like the one for my flathead
    Thing is that the pattern on the front limits what fan you can run but the truck fan does have six blades.
    A guy on Ebay has this slick one off machined hub that has a 4 bolt pattern but it's a hundred bucks.

    Searching shows that there some fan hubs on brackets floating around for diesels and some off shore cars but they are a bit spendy. That might make what seems to be a great idea not so great of an idea.
  8. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,467


    They say a fully engaged mechanical clutch fan can move 6-7000 cfm at 2000 rpm.. There isn't an electric fan any were that can match half of that.. So if your half way its still better then the electric..
  9. G-son
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 827

    from Sweden

    I don't quite see the problem. Put the fan anywhere mostly matching the radiator, put a shroud around it so it pulls air through the entire radiator. Problem solved?
  10. "the fan is 21 inches wide and 17 inches tall" ... "I'm thinking about mounting the fan vertical rather than horizontal".
    I think what Carl is asking is can he spin the fan 90 degrees so it becomes 21 inches tall and 17 inches wide.

    If I am correct in my assumption my answer is "yes you can".

    I had the same problem on a different car ... mechanical fan sat too low compared to the majority of the rad core. I removed the mechanical and installed an electric fan (one I grabbed from the Fiero sitting on the driveway) and had no problems.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
  11. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 1,859


    Seems to me that if the shroud fits tight enough to the fan, there's still air pulled through the entire radiator. @Mr48chev has a couple of great ideas with the flathead fan hub mount and the $100 one off hub. There's a way to fix your problem without going to an electric fan.
    Sorry, must have been typing while @G-son was posting his reply.
  12. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,211


    2000 fan rpm is how many engine rpm's?There's been dyno testing with different mechanical fans showing some using up 25 HP....I don't care for electric fans on a vintage vehicle but sometimes you got to dance with the devil...
  13. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 7,152


    Just make a shroud to cover the top part of the radiator to duct the air to the spinning stock fan blades. Space the fan blades about 1.5" from the core.
    The Shift Wizard likes this.
  14. I think you may be worrying about a problem that does not exist. IF I understand the problem. In 1950, Buick redesigned the water pump on their engines. This caused the fan blade to be offset to the drivers side. The blade tips are over the edge of the radiator about 1/2". Works fine.

    I LIKE the 500 engine. I had a 1976 Fleetwood that did not know what a hill was.

    Algoma56 likes this.
  15. I agree with this guy.^^^
    Air moving through a radiator is not like a sunbeam partially blocked with shadows. The air moves from high pressure in front of the radiator to low pressure behind the radiator.
    With a proper shroud, the fan can exhaust the air behind the radiator, creating low pressure in the whole area inside the shroud. With the shroud done right, every square inch of the radiator will have air and heat transfer.
    The tank blocking the fan by a half-inch is not optimum but shouldn't be a big deal. The larger the gap between the fan blades and the back face of the radiator, the easier the air can "walk" into the tank "shadow". With an inch or more of gap, the minor tank issue could be a 0-issue.
  16. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,050

    from Oregon

    I ran into a similar problem on my '39 Chevy. I mounted the engine low for a better center of gravity, and less intrusive trans tunnel. In fact low enough I didn't need to do anything but put a slight 1/2" hump in my trans access cover to clear it. But that made my engine mechanical fan aligned with the lower half of the '32 Ford aluminum radiator I used in my build!
    To solve the issue I decided to add an electric fan hidden in front of the radiator as a pusher. It's out of sight, and mounted on the upper half of the radiator to get cooling where I needed it. I also installed a relay and an adjustable thermostat to control it. I set the stat at 185 degrees, so the fan never runs when I'm cruising down the road and the engine gets good air. My car runs about 180 degrees, until it gets to stop and go traffic in the summer. Then it warms to 185 and the electric fan comes on and it stays at 185 until I hit open roads again.
    This setup works perfectly, and I don't have to hear the fan running all the time. Just when temps call it to kick on.
  17. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,018


    All in on electric fan , easy peasy....
  18. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,544


    You can build a shroud and it will pull, as long as you have proper clearance.don’t let the air go around the radiator even if you have to build sides.
  19. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 7,249


    I think that’s his plan, and I agree no worries rotating an electric motor to any position.
  20. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,795


    Do you mean rotating the fan but in front of the engine?
  21. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,795


    I see others thinking the same thing.
  22. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,795


    I don't think the fan knows the difference,I am sure others will know more than me.
  23. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,795


    I took sideways to mean not in front of the engine but the side.
    Budget36 likes this.
  24. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 9,999

    jimmy six

    This a fan shroud turned vertical for a circle track car from Speedway. It comes in different outer dimensions and no hole. You cut it to your centerline of the water pump. This a 10-1 engine with a 160 thermostat and a 14” fan also from Speedway it never goes over 180. The radiator is a recored 1940 Chevrolet.
    It doesn’t care where the hole is in the shroud as long as the fav sucks the air thru it.
  25. dalesnyder
    Joined: Feb 6, 2008
    Posts: 475


    I keep seeing a fan like an airplane propeller, normal for a car.
    Or horizontal like a helicopter blade.
    I am so confused.
    Budget36 likes this.
  26. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 7,249


    I was too Dale, but I think borntoloze figured it out.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021

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