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Need help finding the best way to install Thermostat Electric Fan Switch on 280z


Ownallday

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I have a 1978 Datsun 280z with a triple weber setup. I currently have installed a Champion Radiator with a dual Spal electric fan setup. As of right now the fans are wired up with relays and the fans turn on with the ignition. The car takes too long to warm up like this and surprisingly the car never goes above ~150-160 degrees F (Which I am not sure if that is too cold). I want to setup the fans to turn on with a thermostat switch that will turn the fans on at 180 degrees F. What would be the best way to install one?

I would like to use any of the unused threads on my Thermostat housing (Aside the one used for the temp gauge). If anyone can link one that will work with those threads would be great as I am not sure what size those threads are. Any other ideas are also greatly appreciated.

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8 hours ago, Ownallday said:

use any of the unused threads on my Thermostat housing

Hi, Not the ideal spot to put the sensor, better would be just on the radiator itself..  As the fans are getting power with relays you can use a simple sensor to activate the relays.

Personally i'm not a fan of electric cooling.. the original cooling fan uses (a lot) direct mechanical energy, yes, but the electric ones use a LOT of electric energy that our s30 cars are not made for the electric energy needed is not calculated in the power of the circuitry

A good mechanical temp clutch fan is the better / most reliable solution. (also clean and no wires and other electric parts needed)

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2 hours ago, dutchzcarguy said:

but the electric ones use a LOT of electric energy that our s30 cars are not made for

My son learned this the hard way on a 455 cu.in. that ran hot in an old Olds.  He installed 2 puller fans and 1 pusher, but the alternator couldn't keep up, so he installed a larger alternator, but that overloads the single v-belt drive.  He had also been contemplating an electric water pump, but now understands that the electricity isn't 'free'.

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3 hours ago, dutchzcarguy said:

Hi, Not the ideal spot to put the sensor, better would be just on the radiator itself..  As the fans are getting power with relays you can use a simple sensor to activate the relays.

Personally i'm not a fan of electric cooling.. the original cooling fan uses (a lot) direct mechanical energy, yes, but the electric ones use a LOT of electric energy that our s30 cars are not made for the electric energy needed is not calculated in the power of the circuitry

A good mechanical temp clutch fan is the better / most reliable solution. (also clean and no wires and other electric parts needed)

The radiator doesn't have a spot for a sensor, at least I don't see any. That was the goal to use the relays to activate with a sensor.

I knew the possible issues from going clutch to electric. I prefer electric, looks nicer but thats just me. Currently I only have one fan running because my car doesn't even get above 160 degrees F, had this setup for the last couple months, have not had any power/electrical issues yet. I do have an upgraded alternator.

56 minutes ago, Roberts280Z said:

My son learned this the hard way on a 455 cu.in. that ran hot in an old Olds.  He installed 2 puller fans and 1 pusher, but the alternator couldn't keep up, so he installed a larger alternator, but that overloads the single v-belt drive.  He had also been contemplating an electric water pump, but now understands that the electricity isn't 'free'.

As of right now only 1 of the two fans is running since my car doesn't get above 160F at all. I have an upgraded alternator currently, have yet to experience any electrical issues over the last couple months.

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12 hours ago, Ownallday said:

The car takes too long to warm up like this and surprisingly the car never goes above ~150-160 degrees F (Which I am not sure if that is too cold). I

Are you using a thermostat?   Sounds like you either don't have a thermostat or it's stuck open.

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6 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

Are you using a thermostat?   Sounds like you either don't have a thermostat or it's stuck open.

Yes, I actually have a 160 Thermostat, before this setup my car would run too hot which is why I swapped it to a 160 but that didn't solve the issue.. However, my main concern is just getting the fans to only turn on at a certain temp. On startup makes the car take forever to warm up and I have tested without the fans turning on the car will go above 160 just fine.

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So you're saying that without the fans it overheats, with the fans it reaches thermostat temperature.  Doesn't that mean you should put a 180 thermostat back in and leave the fans on?  

Do you still have the radiator shroud installed?  No offense, but the factory setup should work just fine with your engine.  The situation seems overly complicated.  Things aren't making sense.

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I think he prefers the look of electric fans.

No electronic control pf the fans.

With the fans on all the time it over cools and warms up too slowly.

Without the fans it warms up properly but would overheat with out the fans.

Looking for a practical way for control.

Most of the time a temperature probe is strapped to the radiator some where. Have you looked for fan switch setups at Summit Racing or Jeg's?

I like the idea of using an unused port in the thermostat housing but finding the right device to mount there might be an issue. I believe the threading is BSPT but 1/2" NPT can be made to work

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13 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

So you're saying that without the fans it overheats, with the fans it reaches thermostat temperature.  Doesn't that mean you should put a 180 thermostat back in and leave the fans on?  

Do you still have the radiator shroud installed?  No offense, but the factory setup should work just fine with your engine.  The situation seems overly complicated.  Things aren't making sense.

Without the fans yes it'll get above 180, have not tested if it'll overheat I turned the car off the second It got past 180 which means in my mind the fans are working too good because sometimes the temp doesn't even get to 160, before this setup even with a 160 thermostat the car would run too hot which is why I replaced the radiator and fans (I had another aluminum radiator and smaller electric fan before this). The rad came with a shroud so yes. The main thing is getting the fans to turn on when the coolant gets to a certain temp so my car can warm up faster on cold starts. They sell sensors for that, the problem is installing it since it'll be aftermarket, I wanted to use the thermostat housing but not sure what the thread sizes are for the 3 front ports I'm not using or the 1 port on the side.

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12 minutes ago, Patcon said:

I think he prefers the look of electric fans.

No electronic control pf the fans.

With the fans on all the time it over cools and warms up too slowly.

Without the fans it warms up properly but would overheat with out the fans.

Looking for a practical way for control.

Most of the time a temperature probe is strapped to the radiator some where. Have you looked for fan switch setups at Summit Racing or Jeg's?

I like the idea of using an unused port in the thermostat housing but finding the right device to mount there might be an issue. I believe the threading is BSPT but 1/2" NPT can be made to work

Yes I prefer the look of the electric fan setup looks cleaner and more impressive imo. My car takes way too long to warm up even if I drive off. I have not seen anything on the radiator that would allow me to hook one up. I did look on summit racing. The main thing was just knowing what the threads were for the thermostat housing, I don't exactly wanna drill and rethread the thermostat housing either

20211019_151424.jpg20211019_081746.jpg

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the fans being on shouldn't affect the engine getting up to temp too much. 

if the engine isn't up to the thermostat temp, it's shut and no hot water goes to the radiator to be cooled by the fans. 

having said that, when I had electric fans, I did fit a thermostatic switch in the thermostat housing. 

I couldn't find one that matched the thread of the spare hole, so I ended up with a Volvo 240 switch that is M14 and tapped the hole to match. 

like this one:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FEBI-BILSTEIN-FE01102-Temperature-Switch-radiator-fan-OE-REPLACEM-XX3011-224836-/324422697346

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36 minutes ago, jonbill said:

the fans being on shouldn't affect the engine getting up to temp too much. 

if the engine isn't up to the thermostat temp, it's shut and no hot water goes to the radiator to be cooled by the fans. 

having said that, when I had electric fans, I did fit a thermostatic switch in the thermostat housing

I couldn't find one that matched the thread of the spare hole, so I ended up with a Volvo 240 switch that is M14 and tapped the hole to match. 

like this one:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FEBI-BILSTEIN-FE01102-Temperature-Switch-radiator-fan-OE-REPLACEM-XX3011-224836-/324422697346

For some reason it does on my car from what I noticed. Before the car would warm up pretty damn fast too with the old aluminum radiator and electric fan and that fan sucked but was always on too. Eitherway it be better to have them not come on startup anyways and have them turn on when the car is actually warm enough.

Okay good to know someone else has done it. I want to avoid drilling and rethreading my housing but if there isn't another option I'll consider it.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Patcon said:

Most of the time a temperature probe is strapped to the radiator some where. Have you looked for fan switch setups at Summit Racing or Jeg's?

 

This is what Patcon is referring to:

Electric fan controller

Sildes between the fins of the radiator, or could be mounted alongside, but should be in the airflow.

Just noticed that this is preset at 185, but they make similar that are adjustable.

 

Edited by crayZlair
added text for clarity
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, crayZlair said:

This is what Patcon is referring to:

Electric fan controller

Sildes between the fins of the radiator, or could be mounted alongside, but should be in the airflow.

Just noticed that this is preset at 185, but they make similar that are adjustable.

 

Oh that's interesting, never seen or heard of anything like that. Wonder how accurate it is. I might try an adjustable one out and see if I can fit it in between the shroud somehow. Thanks for the clarification!

Edited by Ownallday
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Posted (edited)

I have the twin fans on my 71 240. I used a thermostat housing from 280z to mount a sensor for my fans. Fans come on at 180 and off at 220. Also hooked to relays so they come on when a/c is turned on. You have webers on your car so your thermostat housing should work fine. I purchased a temp sensor and taped the housing for the threads. Lower sensor is for fans.

KIMG0006 (1).JPG

Edited by billgtp
correct temperature settings on 220 off 180 (104c on 82.2 c off
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, billgtp said:

Fans come on at 180 and off at 220.

Ofcourse you mean: they come on at 220 and off at 180 ..

And please put a F after it as we euro's don't know Mr Fahrenheit.. we use Mr Celcius  hahaha..  

(That is always fun.. celcius Fahrenheit.. kelvin.. but the most fun is foot and meters.. there were made A LOT of mistakes.. someone bought a boat in the states, thought it was meters and found it very cheap.. he got the boat... in foot... ROFL )  (people with more examples, make a extra topic, don't want to make this one a mess..;-) )

Btw, nice solution to use another th.housing for a extra th.switch!

Edited by dutchzcarguy
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16 hours ago, crayZlair said:

This is what Patcon is referring to:

Electric fan controller

Sildes between the fins of the radiator, or could be mounted alongside, but should be in the airflow.

Just noticed that this is preset at 185, but they make similar that are adjustable.

I have the probe style controller with fan mounted in front of the radiator.  My 3.1L stroker stays cool on the street here in hot and sunny Myrtle Beach.  The controller is adjustable and was from Jegs or Summit.  It's worked well for several years. 

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15 hours ago, billgtp said:

I have the twin fans on my 71 240. I used a thermostat housing from 280z to mount a sensor for my fans. Fans come on at 180 and off at 220. Also hooked to relays so they come on when a/c is turned on. You have webers on your car so your thermostat housing should work fine. I purchased a temp sensor and taped the housing for the threads. Lower sensor is for fans.

KIMG0006 (1).JPG

Yes this is what I want to go for! I guess I will have to tap out the threads for the sensor. Found the lower left hole is a m14x1.5 npt and no sensors are made to fit that. Question, why do you have the fans coming on at 220F? Isn't that a little too hot?

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