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Electric fans???? [Expired Topic]

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by rt1092, Feb 18, 2006.

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  1. rt1092

    rt1092 New Member

    I'm thinking about installing electric fans and removing the clutch fan on my 95 350 auto.
    I plan to tow an enclosed trailer. And need all the power I can muster. Plus I think I'll get better gas mileage.
    Has anyone done this mod?
  2. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    My newer vehicles all have electric fans, the oldes ones are still manual. I've heard of people putting in the electric fan and having mixed results, including complaints about buring out an alternator or two. I think it might have something to do with the age of the engine, I dunno.

    What are you trying to do mostly? Just save fuel costs? A high-velocity radiator fan can help keep your engine cooler even under more severe conditions and if you get a good unity it can deliver better airflow, helps save fuel, extends the life of the water pump and belts and boosts engine horsepower all at the same time.

    The concept is pretty clear. The electric fan is better overall, for the obvious reasons.
  3. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

  4. MrShorty

    MrShorty Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I, too, have heard mixed reviews from those converting to electric fans. A couple of things to consider:

    1) A properly functioning fan clutch will allow the fan to freewheel when it's not needed, and only engage the fan when the demand is there, just like an electric fan. I often wonder how many of those who claim gains from an electric fan had a bad fan clutch and the fan wasn't freewheeling.
    2) As a thermodynamicist wannabe: Energy can't be created or destroyed (1st law of thermodynamics). An operating fan is going to draw power away from the engine, one way or another. 2nd law of thermodynamics tells us that real processes are less than 100% effecient at converting energy. So the question is: which is more effecient at transferring power to the fan: the mechanical fan clutch or the alternator. I haven't seen any controlled experiments to answer this question, but have to wonder if the engineers at GM have.
    3) It seems that the biggest mistake to be made in the conversion to an electric fan is to cheap out and get too small of a fan. Many "failed" conversions were a result of the engine overheating from an inadequate fan. I recall one conversation where the "failed" conversion was from a guy living in Phoenix, and the "successful" conversion was from a guy living in Minneapolis. With that in mind, a tow vehicle is not a place to be installing 2nd rate cooling equipment.

    This seems to be a long standing debate that will probably continue as long as there are internal combustion engines. I personally don't feel there is enough solid, positive evidence to make it worth the cost and effort to make the conversion, but I'm sure there are those out there who feel differently.
  5. rt1092

    rt1092 New Member

    Thanks guys. Flex-a-lite makes a nice setup specifically for the suburban.
    I'll probably go with that one. But they aren't cheap around $400.
    But for now I'll just stay with the stock setup. Till I see what milage and how much power I'll have towing the trailer.
  6. ProzacKid

    ProzacKid Rockstar 100 Posts

    what part of the country will you be pulling in?
  7. rt1092

    rt1092 New Member

    Right now I'm in Staten Island NY. But we are relocating to Savannah Ga. in the next few months. Will use it to tow to various drag strips.
  8. ProzacKid

    ProzacKid Rockstar 100 Posts

    Ahh, Savannah, GA! That's a nice town. Lots of history and fun down there. That's some move, let me tell you.
  9. rt1092

    rt1092 New Member

    Yes quite a move. I'm retiring and want to get away fom the snow.
    My wife and I were there in December to look around and liked it. Hopefully we will be moving in a couple of months.
  10. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I've been to Savannah, my folks go there every couple of years as my brother got out of the Navy and settled in Jacksonville, Florida, so they're out there every year.
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