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ELECTRIC FAN
ELECTRIC FAN PROJECT
A project car that I was building up for a customer was a 1965 Mustang Fastback that I had built and installed a 289 with a B&M 174 PowerCharger along with Power Steering and Air Conditioning. Because of the extra heat generated by a supercharged engine and the air conditioning, I needed a larger capacity radiator to keep the engine cool. I went with standard width 4-row radiator. I had slotted the radiator core support to allow the radiator to slip down and forward from the regular position. This moved the top of the radiator forward about an inch but needed more clearance. Because the bracket and idlers for the supercharger belt hung down where the regular fan blade usually went, I had to go with an electric fan setup because of the lost clearance.
I wanted a fan that would move sufficient air so I knew that the fan should be shrouded to maximize the pulling power of the fan. I needed an electric fan assembly that contained its own shrouding. There are several on the market but they proved to be too thick for my application. They all came back too far off of the radiator and interferred with the belt idlers. Some had a very thick motor which would not clear the shaft and pulley of the water pump. And also I thought the fan setups were quite expensive - usually $250 and up. I decided instead to fabricate my own since I had fabricated a great deal of this whole setup anyway.
These are the parts I used:
     (1)  Perma-Cool Turbo-Flex HD 16" Electric Fan (Part # 19115)
           Perma-Cool sells this setup direct but wanted $170.43 for it back in June 2000. I bought mine through Summit Racing Equipment (Part # PRM-19115) for $88.95
     (1) Reproduction Fan Shroud for 1965-1966 Mustangs with 289 and Air Conditioning (Ford Part # C3DZ-8146-D)
          This shroud is readily available from any Mustang parts store
     (1) Perma-Cool Electric Fan Relay (Part # 19002)
          This relay hooks into the wire to the air conditioning compressor and turns on the fan when ever the compressor is running. From Summit $8.95 (Part # PRM-19002)
    (1) Wiring Kit (Part # 19001) From Summit $17.95 (Part # PRM-19001) This kit comes with a 170' switch to automatically turn on the fan at this temperature
The Perma-Cool fan mounts to four metal legs and you are supposed to mount the fan to the radiator by running tie-wraps through the radiator core fins to secure it. I don't like the idea of supporting the weight of the fan with the core ribbing, so decided to mount it solidly to the radiator frame. Since the fan shroud mounts to the sides of the radiator, I deceided to mount the fan to the shroud and the shroud to the standard brackets on the sides of the radiator. The fan legs would bolt to the inside of the shroud. Unfortunately, the inside of the shroud is bigger than the stretch of the legs and would require a lot of spacing.
Since I wanted the shroud to fit tight around the fan blade, I cut the shroud into four separate pieces as shown in the pictures to either side. The idea was to "shrink" the shroud to a diameter that would fit snugly to the fan support legs. This required the edges of the shroud to overlap about an inch or so each.
Joint with screws
Joint after soldering
I set the fan setup onto the riadiator and positioned it so that it was best combination of centered and cleared the tanks edges. I then set the four pieces of the shroud around the fan support legs and "shrunk" it until the shroud was flush with the legs.
I marked and drilled small holes through the shroud at each overlap and inserted small, short screws and nuts to hold the shroud together. I then cleaned the overlap areas of paint and soldered both sides of the joints to help increase the strength of the joints.
Perma-Cool Fan Assembly
Dual Ball Bearing Armature Supports
Reversible "push/pull" configuration
2100-2950 cfm Air Flow
Mounting area required:
   16" x 16" x 3 1/4"
This was the best setup for me. The stock fan size on a 289 is 17" but these fans were only available in 16" and 18", which was too big for a 1965-1966.
Also a different Wiring Kit is available that has a switch that is adjustable from 160' to 210'. Summit does not show this kit in their catalog but may have it available. The Perma-Cool part number is 19005.
Mockup of fan on radiator
This is the fan setup just sitting on the 4-row radiator.
Fan shroud cutting points
Fan shroud after cutting
I was not trying to make the work seamless, but I ground down the solder joints a bit, covered them with JB Weld and then sanded them fairly smooth. Once painted, the joints were hardly noticable and the shroud appeared to be stock.
Fan Shroud with mounting brackets
I set the re-assembled shroud over the fan legs and centered it all up. I drilled through the shroud into all four legs and inserted a heavy self-tapping sheet metal screw. The fan assembly is actually pretty light and this should provide plenty of support strength. I made sure that the screws cleared the blades as they rotated.
The picture to the right shows what the shroud looks like with the fan support legs installed and without the fan mounted to the legs.
Since the "feet" of the fan support legs were against the cores and fins of the radiator, I didn't want the feet to rub on them and damage the radiator. I had some refrigerator magnets - the kind that are like a business card and made of magnetized rubber - and epoxied them to the bottom of the feet. They stick extra well, are fairly stout rubber and protect the radiator against chafing.
Mounting the shroud to the radiator will depend a lot on the radiator you have. Since there are several brands and sizes on the market, this procedure will vary by model.
Since the shroud was now smaller than stock size, the original mounting brackets would not work. When I centered and sized the shroud on the radiator, I took into account how I had to mount it. Every radiator has narrow brackets on each side to support the unit. I drilled into the edges of these brackets and attached the shroud using small self-tapping sheetmetal screws and washers. My radiator looked as though there were core tubes running behind these edges, but they are tubes that are closed off and have no water running through them.
On some corners I attached more than one screw. It depends on how much room you have.
Here is the final fan and shroud assembly.
The fan sets about a half inch away from the radiator surface yet clears the tanks and side brackets. The shroud supports the fan and motor and also fits closely to the blades. The back edge of the blades are only about two inches from the radiator surface and the back of the pancake motor clears the water pump pulley and shaft. More importantly, this whole assembly clears the blower belt idlers that caused me to go this route in the first place. The blower belt pulley that bolts to the balancer also stuck so far forward that it was catching the back edge of the stock fan blade. With this setup everything clears.
Wiring the setup was very easy. I installed an optional relay that automatically turns on the fan when ever the air conditioning compressor is engaged, regardless of the engine temperature. The only problem I encountered was the temperature sensor that came with the Wiring Kit. This sensor is designed to turn on the fan when ever the temperature exceeds 170'. The instructions show you how to set the sensor against a radiaror hose and tie-wrap it into place. This is a very sloppy arrangement and I wouldn't do it.
I had a replacement thermostat housing already on the engine. It's the cast-iron aftermarket unit you can get at any auto parts. This unit had an extra hole plugged off it the top to be used on cars with temperature controlled vacuum components. Since this car doesn't have any such components, I decided to install the temperature sensor in the plugged hole. Unfortunately, the sensor was a bigger diamter than the hole so I had the housing drilled and tapped for the larger size of the sensor. I then installed the sensor into this water passage and hooked it up accordingly. This installation looks much better and is more accurate than the recommended method.
The unit pulls a LOT of air through the radiator and seems to work quite well. The car doesn't run hot with this system, even in hot south Texas summer.. This unit has worked well for almost five years on a .030 over, 289 engine that is supercharged and has factory air conditioning and power steering.
My costs on all the parts to fabricate this unit came to about $150 and the unit compares well to similiar aftermarkets setups that run $275 or more. It fits perfectly and easily clears the water pump shaft and all accessories.