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Aftermarket Electric Radiator Fan Controller #735831
May 02nd 2018 2:26 pm
May 02nd 2018 2:26 pm
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 690
Indiana
tuner4life Offline OP
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tuner4life  Offline OP
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Posts: 690
Indiana
The clutch fan on my 1985 G20 has been on it's way out for a while, so while doing a water pump recently, I decided to go ahead and switch over to electric fans. I am running (2) 14" Hayden fans and need recommendations for a good controller.

I want to use a temperature sensor of some sort so that they will work automatically. Maybe something with multiple stages so that 1 fan will come on at a lower temp and the other will start at a higher temp if the first isn't cutting it? I also want to have it automatically run both fans when the A/C is on and have a manual override switch on the dash to turn both fans on as well... The controller doesn't necessarily need to run the fans independent of eachother, I'm just not sure how much of a shock on the electrical system it will be to start both of them at once all the time.

Recommend me a good controller. I don't need to go broke on it but I do understand it's importance.

Last edited by tuner4life; May 02nd 2018 2:29 pm.

[Linked Image]
1985 Chevy G20 305ci/4spd Manual
AdSense long
Re: Aftermarket Electric Radiator Fan Controller [Re: tuner4life] #735848
May 02nd 2018 9:14 pm
May 02nd 2018 9:14 pm
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,363
Georgia, USA
CatFish Offline
carpal tunnel
CatFish  Offline
carpal tunnel
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,363
Georgia, USA
I used a Flex-a-lite variable speed control on our Ford. It starts at about 40 to 60 percent (like a soft start) and then ramps up. It is much better than a regular t-stat. It's adjustable too. We have two Taurus 16" fans and only use it on the primary fan. The second fan is still on a regular t-stat set higher than the Flex-a-lite and wired for manual override via switch and operation with the AC. That hits the volt meter a little. That t-stat only does pilot-duty triggering a high amp relay that actually powers that fan.
I also have a high pressure switch tapped into the compressor discharge (hot gas) line that is connected to the Flex-a-lite control to signal it for full speed regardless of temp if the head pressure gets a little high.
One other thing:
I wired grounding diodes into the fan wiring to relieve transient voltage on start-up. Voltage can be present in the wiring before the fans engage because they are often spinning from air movement before start-up (in essence becoming small generators). The diodes bleed that off to help prevent a spike as the two voltages meet and takes care of the controls and relays.
I really like the Flex-a-lite controller it has operated for about 10 to 12 years without a failure. I forget it's there most of the time.


They can have my fried bologna sandwich when they pry it from my cold dead hands.
Re: Aftermarket Electric Radiator Fan Controller [Re: tuner4life] #735850
May 02nd 2018 11:11 pm
May 02nd 2018 11:11 pm
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 171
Warrington, Pa
G
Greenstreak Offline
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Greenstreak  Offline
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G
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 171
Warrington, Pa
In other applications I've used Derale controllers with no problems.

https://derale.com/products/electric-fans/fan-controllers/high-amp-controllers


"Sin Bin"
1984 Ford Econoline E150 Shorty
Re: Aftermarket Electric Radiator Fan Controller [Re: tuner4life] #735864
May 03rd 2018 8:00 am
May 03rd 2018 8:00 am
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 690
Indiana
tuner4life Offline OP
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tuner4life  Offline OP
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Posts: 690
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Catfish, Is this the one you have?

https://www.jegs.com/i/Flex-A-Lite/...a_73p2gIVxbrACh20bADbEAQYASABEgLrafD_BwE

Does yours use the probe that sticks in the radiator fins like this one?


[Linked Image]
1985 Chevy G20 305ci/4spd Manual
Re: Aftermarket Electric Radiator Fan Controller [Re: tuner4life] #735872
May 03rd 2018 1:01 pm
May 03rd 2018 1:01 pm
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,363
Georgia, USA
CatFish Offline
carpal tunnel
CatFish  Offline
carpal tunnel
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,363
Georgia, USA
Yes I believe that is it. And the probe is inserted (carefully) into the fins. It's been a lot of years and that may be a later/updated version.
I've got a pic somewhere.....
The inserted probe was, IMO, the weak link. It took a little trial and error to finally set the temperature properly.

I also use an Elk 960 time delay for the secondary fan to prevent simultaneous start-up and provide for a delay off (on the second fan) to help with cool down.
Neat little board here:
https://www.elkproducts.com/product-catalog/elk-960-delay-timer-module

Last edited by CatFish; May 03rd 2018 1:15 pm. Reason: speltin'

They can have my fried bologna sandwich when they pry it from my cold dead hands.
Re: Aftermarket Electric Radiator Fan Controller [Re: tuner4life] #735884
May 03rd 2018 7:05 pm
May 03rd 2018 7:05 pm
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,363
Georgia, USA
CatFish Offline
carpal tunnel
CatFish  Offline
carpal tunnel
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,363
Georgia, USA
This is where it's been for a while:

[Linked Image]

The fan control is on the front of the box there behind the aux, battery circuit breaker. The "bleed diodes" are on the right side of the box. The delay board, a small fuse panel, the headlight, fog and running light relays are all inside the box.
The Flex-a-lite control has built in delay on/off features but the secondary fan needed them as well (and since I wanted it separate) I used the delay board for it. I used to also have two 10" pusher fans behind the grille for the AC condenser but I've since decided that was overkill and removed them.
That's more power relays on the left of the box. Everything possible on my Ford it powered via relay. High/low beams, fog, driving and interior lights, all the HVAC fan speeds (front and rear), the AC compressor, backup lights and the cooling fans. The headlight/fan switches and other controls do pilot duty only. Control wiring is 18 gauge as it only powers the various relays.

Sorry if this is TMI.......

Last edited by CatFish; May 03rd 2018 7:11 pm.

They can have my fried bologna sandwich when they pry it from my cold dead hands.
Re: Aftermarket Electric Radiator Fan Controller [Re: tuner4life] #735887
May 03rd 2018 9:59 pm
May 03rd 2018 9:59 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,650
Fircrest, WA
Reed Online content
Maniac
Reed  Online Content
Maniac
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,650
Fircrest, WA
I love it! Someday, I want to do exactly that to my Ford. Excellent work, Catfish!


Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!
Re: Aftermarket Electric Radiator Fan Controller [Re: tuner4life] #735898
May 04th 2018 7:42 am
May 04th 2018 7:42 am
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 690
Indiana
tuner4life Offline OP
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tuner4life  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 690
Indiana
Never TMI! Thank you very much!


[Linked Image]
1985 Chevy G20 305ci/4spd Manual
Re: Aftermarket Electric Radiator Fan Controller [Re: tuner4life] #735903
May 04th 2018 8:34 am
May 04th 2018 8:34 am
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 690
Indiana
tuner4life Offline OP
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tuner4life  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 690
Indiana
I'm probably going to go with the Flex-A-Lite controller, but would kind of like to use the thread in sensor as it is supposedly more accurate.. The only place I can find to mount it would be in the drain plug hole of the radiator.. There are no other fittings. I suppose I could splice one of those fittings into the upper hose and the sensor could mount to that, but it kind of seems like overkill. Is a thread in sensor really worth the extra hassle? The only complaints I see in the reviews are about the probe style sensor.


[Linked Image]
1985 Chevy G20 305ci/4spd Manual
Re: Aftermarket Electric Radiator Fan Controller [Re: tuner4life] #735920
May 04th 2018 11:10 am
May 04th 2018 11:10 am
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,363
Georgia, USA
CatFish Offline
carpal tunnel
CatFish  Offline
carpal tunnel
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,363
Georgia, USA
Food for thought, wouldn't a pin-out from the ECM be available with the LS swap?

If so, the probe is temporary anyways.


They can have my fried bologna sandwich when they pry it from my cold dead hands.
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