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Installing an Electric Fan...


Darbji280z

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I am replacing the broken fan clutch on my Z to a 14" electric fan. I haven't even broken into the project yet, but I just wanted to know, any tips? You know, little things that might make my life easier? Hints, tricks? Anything I should know?

Thanks for your help.

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Darbji, the only suggestion I would have would be to remove the radiator before you deal with the fan and fan clutch. It will give you so much more space. Also, hit all the bolts with PB Blaster a couple days before (especially the Alternator mounts) to ease the whole process.

Obviously, it would make sense to mount the electric fan onto the Rad. before you reinstall it, but since I have not done this, I may be wrong.

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Measure the distance between the radiator and the pulleys on the engine, you will find you need a very thin fan, given the choice, rebuild the fan clutch-it is pretty easy, cheep, and being a factory part, no fitting, electrical modification, or piddling about is required...

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I used dual electric fans because nearly every single electric fan I found was too deep. The fans that I used are "Imperial" brand, but many others would work (perhaps better) I was trying to get maximum coverage of the radiator. The best I could get was one 10" fan and one 12" fan.

A single 14" fan only draws air through 47% of the surface area of the radiator on a 240Z. My solution, with two fans draws air through about 58%. With a fan shroud (Which the 240Z lacked but the 280Z has) the engine fan could in theory draw air through nearly 100% of the radiator.

To use electric fans you would need:

1 or 2 Fans(s) depending upon your preference.

1 relay (30 amps preferably because fans draw a lot of power)

1 temperature switch

1 in-line fuse (20A at least depending upon the draw of the fan(s))

At least with the higher output alternator of the 280Z you might not have to upgrade the electrical system as much to power it.

Or the other option... rebuild the fan clutch.

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I just finished installing my electric fan several weeks ago, you will find that it is easier than you think. Like it was said earlier remove your old fan to make room for the electric and mount it more to the left side....(as viewed behind the steering wheel) It is a tight fit, but it will work.

Mine is attached with pull ties that go through the radiator fins, it holds the fan very well.

Once it's attached just make sure you wire it for puller mode. You will need some type of breaker that you can buy at any auto store for around 6-10 dollars. Mount your t-stat, connect your wires, and run it to the battery....

Here's a few pictures of mine if it helps........Good luck,

Randy

PS....Yes, I know I need to detail my engine bay........

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As long as we are showing pictures

I wanna play too:

fan.jpg

I went with a radiator setup similar to the V8 conversion ones with some help from:

http://240z.jeromio.com/camaroradiator.html

that allowed for more clearance for the fan.

I had just recently bought a new controller for the fan:

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=FLX%2D33054&N=700+0&autoview=sku

It is supposed to turn the fan on at half power when it first starts heating up and then go to full power if it keeps getting warmer.

I hadn't had a chance to install it yet when I bought a replacement Z. I think I may stick with a stock fan and radiator setup on the 'new to me' Z though.

I had put the temperature pickup for it at the bottom passenger side of the radiator. The instructions say to put it on the drivers side closer to the top so it can sense when the water gets hot sooner. That is probably a better idea rather than wait till too hot of water is heading back into the engine.

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Yep, not that hard of a job.... even I could do it. Do your measurements very well; as stated in earlier posts, a left side mount will give you the room that you need because the fan pulley tends to force an off-center orientation. Fan depth is important, as is the amperage. Think through the power requirements well & how you will safely supply it. I'm certain you are familiar with the differences in amperage requirements among all of the fans that are out there. A relay is worth a consideration - I recommend it along with the fuse. I ended up with an Imperial 16" (same as Hayden now I think) because the depth and amps suited my needs best. The dual fan solution is kick-arse especially if you consider separate circuits so that one or two can be run at a time to meet your needs as they change. All that being said, on my '72, I am about ready to begin going back from where it all began by re-installing a clutch fan.... and adding a Zirgo 10" pusher as a supplement for when conditions may require it. This will be coupled up with a recored original radiator (only reused the top & bottom brass - looks stock original but with a good modern technology tight-finned core), a stock fan shroud, belly pan (both of which surprisingly took a long time to find at a reasonable price - took the junkyard route - they are way to expensive on the open market like eBay), and a new water pump while I'm in there. I like to believe that the stock radiator shroud, splash pan, and fan w/clutch bring the best air flow for coolant and engine compartment cooling, and bring me a step closer to 'the way it was and I want it to be'. The 10" Zirgo pusher is my ace in the hole for hot days when romping or stuck in traffic, and hardly noticeable up front & out of the way.

Please let us know what you do and how it works! I'm always interested in Z-car cooling solutions!

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The one I would say to do is find a bracket for the fan to bolt to and not to use the "pull thru" zip ties, As they can put stress on the cooling tubes and could cause leaks.

I read about the problem in some hotrod rod mag and a buddy had this happen to him.

Eric

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You may want to keep in mind the 240sx lower radiator hose temp switch, to install your temp switch with. Its about 20 to 30 bucks at any local autoparts and comes with its own metal housing to use. If you look at my pictures http://www.classiczcars.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&page=2&ppuser=9867 of the electric fan I used you can source alot if it from the junk yard for cheeper than a new one. You don't get more Hourse power from the electric fan, if thats your plan. Maybe 5 HP hardly noticeable. I would stay with the rebuilt fan clutch if you are using a stock radiator. I used the JTR cross flow radiator with a Ford tarus 2 speed fan and a Ford escort wagon fanshroud from the 80's. With the radiator and fan I run what ever the thermostat temp opens at. I must say its nicer and cooler but its also time consuming to replace it all.

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I did not see anyone mention this important item - use a relay. I see someone mentioned a breaker and that is a good start, but you should really run the fan off a relay. That way you are not running the fan through your old wiring harness. Electric fans are high amperage devices (30 amps). It would be better to run all new wires, of appropriate gauge, to am from the relay.

Speaking of gauge, make sure you are using the appropriate gauge wire as well when running the power wire to the fan. For 30 amps, I would run 12 gauge wire.

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It's interesting to see the comments about keeping the clutch fan come up. I came to that conclusion myself and am re-converting things back to a clutch fan with a 10" pusher as supplemental when needed. I'm happy that others are of a similar mindset. I will be using a relay for it as well. Relays were covered at least twice in the responses, and they are important. I would not run an electric fan on a 240 without one. Darbji is driving a '76 280.... and I'll be the first to admit that I am not very familiar with the wiring on them. I'd assume there were a few upgrades, but probably not enough to safely run a fan without a relay.

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On my 78, i've run it both ways. Presently it has a relay but I didn't notice any problems before I installed it. My electric fan only comes on with the AC. It's in the same circuit that powers up the compressor but it has it's own relay.

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I'm working on it right now (breaking for a cigarette). Everything is going very well. I removed all my AC components (because, although it works great, I dont use it and have no interest in keeping it. Also it gives me a whole lot more room to work with.) I am very happy with the ease in which this project is providing me. I am mostly surprised that not a thing fought with me (as opposed to working on the Delorean or any of my other cars for that matter.) So besides being hot, sweaty and dirty,all is going well. I'm going to try this electric fan thing and if for some reason I don't like it, I will let you know. Thanks for all the help. I'll get back with the results of this project very shortly. Thanks again!

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FWIW i found a webpage that describes how to rebuild the fan clutch if you're interested. i don't remember the site (i think i googled it) but all you really need for it is a razor blade, some paint thinner, brake parts cleaner, and some smoke b gone. i should add that if you DO decide to rebuild the fan clutch: don't let the o-ring sit too long!! it will strecth a BUNCH so it won't be able to be used again. i made that mistake and had to use RTV :(

anyway, GL w/ your elec fan install!

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As an addendum to my last post, I use Kyosho #5000 silicone oil rather than the Toyota silicone oil recommemded in the link. It's available at any hobby store that deals with RC cars, comes in 40ml bottles instead of 18ml, costs less and works just as well.

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