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Old 11-29-2013, 08:35 AM
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Flex mechanical fans

After seeing two flex blade fans come apart causing car damage, have not been happy with using flex fans so my current as well as the last cars have had electric fans, Cooling Components (Walker Radiator) to be exact. I'm trying to clean out some of the claptrap in front of the engine for a cleaner and possibly for better cooling in this case. I just took a 'wander' through the Summit mechanical fan section to see what's available now. There are several manufacturers and they seem to offer similar products. Also, the support for the stainless flex blades seems to have improved with longer steel reinforcement. I'm not interested in nylon or aluminum versions, thinking any high cycle fatigue would occur sooner. With that said, I'd like opinions of using these flex fans these days and I would be using a shroud. Oh, and the 2 fan failures I saw, both were Flex-a-lite's.

Dave W

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Old 11-29-2013, 09:14 AM
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i use this one that i have linked. the flex a lite has only 4 rivets per blade. this one has 6 per blade.

Buy Imperial High-Flow Flex Fan 221615 at Advance Auto Parts
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:45 AM
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Dave I used this style on my truck for about 7 years now its a stiff alum with larger rivets, trucks runs 3.73 gears with a TH350 so the rpms are on the upper end all the time, blades are still tight.
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:00 PM
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That Imperial looks like the Hayden that Summit advertises.

Rick, the one you show has aluminum blades which I am concerned with for early high cycle fatigue and failure.

Thanks both of you. I'll do some more looking and maybe others will chime in too.

Dave W
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:28 PM
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I too have had a flex fan failure several years ago,
and since then have stayed away from them. They
can be dangerous as well as causing damage to the
vehicle when they come apart.

It's hard to beat a metal fan with a good clutch, for
cooling efficiency and reliability, along with a proper
fitting shroud...
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:15 PM
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If I run a flex fan, I only use this type...Otherwise, if I have the room, I use a clutch style.
http://s174.photobucket.com/user/Cou...AN003.jpg.html
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Old 11-29-2013, 11:24 PM
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I truly love electric fans. I am to much of a HP pig to give 10 to 17 HP to a fan.
In the winter I gained 40% milage on my daily driver by going to an electric fan. It gets the computer out of the cold loop faster. Makes a huge improvement on mpg. Plus an electric fan seems to cool better on my stuff. Could just be my setups or dumb luck.
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Old 11-29-2013, 11:38 PM
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It's all in the combination you setup, and how it's applied. My 34 has 2 small electric fans on it. But, the clutch style is a close second. The flex fan is mainly to turn on the hp at higher rpm's, or highway cruising. And the electrics do use some hp from the alternator. 10 maybe, but 17 seems a little much. Unless you run a second battery to pull from, but then, you have the added battery weight...
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:13 AM
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Runnin - I can't use a clutch fan as there really isn't space between the WP and radiator. Now - that fan you had fail - what kind of blades (material) and what brand. Flex-a-lites had a bunch of problems a few years ago and are never going to be on my 'short list'

Denny - that Ford D1UA-8600 fan would be is fine except that it's at least 2 inches too wide for a 17" wide '32 Ford radiator. About the only one that I could use is a C3OZ-8600-C from a 271Hp HiPo Mustang and that's marginal at 16+"

I have to either find an aftermarket or keep that electric fan that I've been using for the past 4/5 years of driving the car.

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Old 11-30-2013, 09:57 AM
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Dave, I know what you mean. My 34 Chevy truck, is using the stock size radiator. Just a all new core. I plan on this fan, CF-D1DE 8600-BA, doing the job. It's 17.5", but, if I use a Walker style, cut your own hole, this will work fine. It allows for the extra size of the fan blades. This is mounted on mine as you see in the picture. I'm going to close in the sides some for the shroud fitments, but leave some space open on the sides, so the air can help get the exhaust heat out of the engine bay. The application is from a maverick or falcon hp.
ps: I will be using the shroud that is 17.5" wide, by 22" high. The offset for the blade size is built into the shroud. My radiator, if I remember right off, core is right at 16.5" wide. Using a Walker WS-55, a Ford Rad shroud...
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:59 AM
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The only time I have had a flex fan fail was in a 70 Nova and I missed second gear at 7 grand.

Vince
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child View Post
Runnin - I can't use a clutch fan as there really isn't space between the WP and radiator. Now - that fan you had fail - what kind of blades (material) and what brand. Flex-a-lites had a bunch of problems a few years ago and are never going to be on my 'short list'.........
I have to either find an aftermarket or keep that electric fan that I've been using for the past 4/5 years of driving the car.
Dave W
It was indeed a Flex-a-Lite fan that came apart. I replaced
it with another fan, aluminum I think, that also started
cracking, so I then went back to a clutch type.

I was thumbing thru the new Hemmings just now and saw
an ad for Maradyne fans, and remembered your post.
Might be worth a look...http://www.maradynehp.com/products/t...as-twister.php

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Old 12-10-2013, 03:05 PM
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I've also had fan failures, two to be exact. One was an AL aftermarket Hayden and the other was a factory Ford flex fan on a 1978 Cougar XR7...that one shredded the shroud and dented the hood.

I switched to a SS version of the Hayden and never had any more issues, they seem more durable than the AL ones.

Honestly I prefer the dual electric setup only because at least there is redundancy and no spinning steel fan under the hood when I'm tuning. They don't seem to have the same cooling capacity of an engine driven fan but a larger rad makes up for the lack of shear cooling power at idle.
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:00 PM
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I too had an aluminum blade fan fail at high RPM but how old it was, I don't know because it was on the car when I bought it. I was running a 17" Flex a Lite Nylon fan and it worked great for moving air but sure was a horsepower robber. I took it off and ran the car with no fan to see how much of a difference it made and it is amazing how much easier the engine revs. The electric fan/alternator HP debate is true BUT if the fan is setup with the proper relay and thermal switch, the alternator should only be under extra load when the car gets hot in traffic or at a stop. You should have the HP when you need it rolling down the road unless the fan or fans are wired directly and run constantly.
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:37 PM
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As I said w-a-a-y back on the opening post, no aluminum bladed fans for me. Aluminum materials have their place, but not one where high cycle faqtigue has a bearing on long life. They flex, the flimsy aluminum cracks, tears then complete failure. Any other material will eventually fail in many years but that thin cross section aluminum has no real potential for long life in that kinda hostile environment. I have found one that I do like, a Derale 19215 (Standard Rotation : 15" High Performance Stainless Steel Standard Rotation Flex Fan, Chrome Hub ) and as soon as I get the chance will make up a dummy out of wood or sheet metal, check clearances then order it along with the proper spacer.

Dave W
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