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Old 11-13-2005, 07:25 PM
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Electric or Mechanical fan? Which do you prefer?

I am at the point on my build of a 1953 Ford F-100 that I have to address my cooling options. I have a Ford 302 in it with an automatic trans. For now, I will not be running A/C.
I have bounced back and forth on the idea of going with an electric fan instead of a mechanical one. I spent a good part of three hours today reading old posts on this message board about the pro's and con's of both. I must say that after doing all this reading I am now swaying toward installing a mechanical fan.
I would appreciate anyone's input on what you prefer. If you think electric is the way to go then could you list why and what brands you like. If you think mechanical is the way could you recommend a type of fan (ie OEM or Flex-fan) and whether or not to go with a clutch (thermal or non-thermal) set up.

Thanks in advance for your input.

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Old 11-13-2005, 07:37 PM
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I would stay away from the flex fans ( they break a lot) . If I were you I Would use a fixed type mechanical fan . Get one that will fit that has as many blades on it as you can find. I am running a 7 blade Plymouth fan on my 350 Chevy engine. I had to re-drill it to make it fit but it works good and it will move a lot of air. Also use a fan shroud.
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Old 11-13-2005, 08:07 PM
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When you say a "fixed" fan do you mean one that bolts right up to the water pump without using a clutch?
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Old 11-13-2005, 08:10 PM
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I use mechanical fans when ever possible on my HotRod projects, but it is not always possible.

SPAL fans are excellant quality, and the swirl blade design is quieter.

You should fabricate a shroud on the radiator no matter which way you decide to go.
Glenn
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Old 11-13-2005, 08:22 PM
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I always use belt driven mechanical fans......ALWAYS.....

I have owned a few 56 F-100's....same under hood area as your 53....
I had a 428 FE, a 427 Big Block Chevrolet, a 350 SBC and a 292 Y-block. All in a 56 Ford F-100 at different times and different F-100's. Never had a cooling problem with any of those. Plenty of room for a BIG radiator and a large 7 blade fan.

In the above photo......that is a 7 blade 18 inch mechanical fan on a SBC in a 32 Ford Roadster. It is a clutch fan model.....

A 302 should be very easy to cool......
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Old 11-13-2005, 08:35 PM
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Given the choice and the room, I always go mechanical fan.


Vince
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Old 11-13-2005, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302/Z28
Given the choice and the room, I always go mechanical fan.


Vince
So do I, like deuce said, 18", 7 blade OEM type with tight-fitting 360 degree shroud and thermostatic fan clutch.

If I were going to use an electric, it wouldn't be one of those fosdick aftermarket units, but an OEM Lincoln unit like this...
http://streetmachinesoftablerock.com...topic.php?t=82
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Old 11-13-2005, 09:46 PM
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Looks like I am going with the Mechanical set-up. I went outside to the garage and did some measurements under the hood. Right now I do not have any of the pulleys on the engine nor do I have the radiator in the truck. With that said, I have just about 7 inches from where the fan will bolt up the the water pump to where the radiator will be. My new radiator has not been delivered yet but I am estimating that it will be about 3 inches thick. Based on this I should have enough room to run the mechanical fan. I have already located two shrouds that will fit my new radiator and have found three different OEM type six blade fans (made by flex-a-lite but not the traditional "Flex fans"). Now I am looking into the fan clutches.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:28 AM
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Flex fans are only a problem if you get cheap ones and/or run high rpm. If you're building a mild, sub 6000 rpm engine, you should be fine. I do, however, prefer the new plastic one piece flex fans from Flex-a-Lite. It's not your ordinary plastic, so it doesn't break easily. It's super light, and no need for a clutch.

That said, I really prefer electric fans. If the fan quits you're stuck, but you're stuck if a clutch fan goes out also. The main thing is to get a good quality electric fan, not an el cheapo. I've been rounding up Ford Taurus fans -- 17" or so, nine blades, and draw a good 25-30 amps. But they will keep anyting cool and last a good long time! Takes some modifying of the shroud to fit, but nothing a jig saw can't handle. The fans pretty thin too. I only have about 3.5" between the radiator and engine, after a little trimming of the shroud I have 3/8" clearance between the engine and fan.
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Old 11-14-2005, 10:54 AM
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I run a flex-a-lite HD plastic fan. They are good for 8000 rpm and weigh VERY little. I shift my car at 7200 and have had 0 problems for over 3 years.

I am however going to an electic fan in my hotrod this year. Im using a single 2 speed fan(from a 3.8 olds) that fits inside my stock shroud and looks factory ;-). I have yet to run it but I have no doubt it will keep it plenty cool.
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:48 PM
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I always used mechanical fans until the bearing came out of my water pump causing my clutch fan to go forward taking out my radiator. I now run a Flex-a-lite dual 15" fan set up.
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Old 11-14-2005, 10:51 PM
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I've run a flex fan, a thermal clutch fan, and now an electric fan. I switched to an electric when I went to fuel injection. Even if I could fit a mechanical fan, I wouldn't go back. For one, I like the peace of mind of not having to worry about hurting my hand while working around a running engine. However that didn't worry me as much as OTHER people hurting themselves. I can tell you how many times I've had the hood popped and engine running and some guy just comes up and leans into the engine compartment.

I also like that I can control the fan's off and on temp. While a thermal clutch fan can do this to some extent, its not nearly as effective as a full off/on setup. That said, once the fan is on, its on, and doesn't alter speed based on temperature. It is especially nice for the cold weather, as it can stay off completely and allow the engine to warm up quicker (thus I can warm up quicker hehe).

That is just my opinion on it. Whatever keeps you safe and the engine cool I suppose. True that if they go, your somewhat stuck, but any number of parts in the engine can fail and leave you stuck. You shouldn't build an engine (or NOT build one) on the contingency of a failing part.
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Old 11-15-2005, 05:35 AM
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I always run a thermal clutch fan. they don`t operate when there not needed, they don`t scream like a solid flex fan does and they don`t consume as much power to operate.
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Old 11-15-2005, 05:44 AM
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this is the aluminum rad and dual spall fan I use on my 50 F1 never runs hot ever and have been very satisfied. wasn't cheap though. I am running 327/300hp chevy motor. Ed ke6bnl

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...RadSpalFan.jpg
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