by Steve Rhodes
For those of us that want as much power as we can squeeze out of a lightly modified engine, or those of us with heavily worked engines, there is one upgrade that some consider essential for increased power, fuel efficiency, and temperature control. This is the concept of electric fans.
But before I describe how my upgrade went, let's first look at the pros and cons associated with the upgrade:
|does practically nothing during highway cruising anyway. The car will also be quieter. Next, there will be more room in the engine bay to work on other things. Also, you can control exactly when the fan comes on, to allow your engine to run in a more specific range. And finally, you're much less likely to get a finger or two chopped off. However, the fans will exert a drain on the alternator (30 amps in my case). Also, one wiring mistake will cause a malfunction, leaving your car prone to overheating. And finally, mounting them can be difficult.
Where Do I Find Them?
There are several places you can go to find the fans. One place you can try is a high-performance catalog. You can find them in there with prices depending on the size, and the application for which you will need them; more powerful engines need more cooling. You can order either a large, single fan, or two smaller fans. Another place to try is the Junkyard. You can find these fans most often in third-generation F-bodies equipped with v8's. Depending on the car, it can either be a single, or twin fans. An unlikely candidate is a '90-'93 Chevy Lumina - that's where my twin fans came from. On most factory setups, there is a sender linked to the computer which tells the fans when to turn on and off. However, none of our cars HAVE a computer, so we need to do some simple custom wiring.
Ebay is another obvious place to look for electric fans from factory third and fourth generation Camaros.
In most single fan setups, the computer will tell the fan to turn on at a certain temperature, and off at another, and to automatically go on when the Air Conditioning is activated. In dual-fan setups, the primary fan goes on when it needs to, and the second fan is used when the car gets very hot, or when the a/c is turned on.
Now That I Have Them, What Do I Do???
Some General Notes:
Also, let me add that I've never had a problem using two v-6 fans on my v-8. Then again, my engine has very little work done to it. Larger, or more powerful engines might need a heavy-duty factory v-8 fan, or some monster aftermarket fan. Consult a professional to decide what fan you need.
Don't wire the fans backwards, either. I've seen people do it, and laughed at them.
The whole project took me one afternoon to do. Consider into that the fact that I had no idea how I was going to make it all happen, so most of that time was trial and error. I hope everyone who reads this can benefit from what I was able to figure out. All in all, you can probably gain 5 to 10 horsepower for no more than $100. Can't beat that.
Author: MadMike Maciolek
North Georgia Classic Camaro
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