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Re: Fans

To: Larry Colen <>
Subject: Re: Fans
From: Barney Gaylord <>
Date: Mon, 02 Aug 1999 13:03:43
At 12:16 AM 8/2/99 -0700, Larry Colen wrote:
>1) The fan in my heater whines the first time I turn it on. If I turn it
off, then back on it's fine. ....

The bronze bushings are running dry, and possibly a little worn as well.
Quite often a drop of oil in each bushing will work wonders.  You can get
to the front bushing by removing the fan.  Unfortunately you have to open
the motor case to get to the rear bushing.  Fortunately it's not difficult
to do.  Unfortunately it's a little more difficult to put back together,
but not too bad, just have to be sure the brushes are in place and you
don't lose a little spacer washer that controls end float of the shaft.

>2) .... Which direction does the fan get bolted to the motor?  There are
notches cut out of one corner of the blades, do they go forward or backward?

Ignore the notches.  The concave side of the blade goes towards the engine,
convex side to the front.

>3).... What is involved in converting to an electric fan? 

Find available space and physically mount the fan near the radiator.
Electrically connect it to a power source with a switch.  Such switch is
usually thermastatic, such that it turns the fan on when the water
temperature gets above a preset threshold.  Original thermostatic switches
mounted in the cylinder head or thermostat housing, or in the radiator top
tank near the large water return hose.  An aftermarket thermostatic switche
can mount in any of these places, or additionally in one of the radiator
hoses, or can be a nail shaped part that is inserted into the fins of the
radiator core.

>Is it worth the bother?

It depends on your point of view, your desired intent, and your budget.
Either electric or mechanical fan should cool the engine adequately.  One
reason to install the electric fan is to allow removal of the mechanical
fan, which removes a mechanical load from the engine and returns a few
horsepower then available for accelleration.

Another reason to use an electric fan is if you think your car is running
hot when idling in hot weather in stop & go heavy traffic conditions.  The
electric fan will keep air flowing better when the engine is idling.  In
this case where the object is maximum air flow at slow speeds, keeping the
original mechanical fan in place in additional to the new electric fan may
be desireable.

On the down side, the electric fan can make substantial noise when your
engine is idling, although it may make less noise than the engine mounted
fan at higher engine speed.  Also the electric fan draws a few amps of
additional current, so if your car has a generator and not an alternator
the charging capacity may be marginal with all electrical devices turned
on, such as driving at night in foul weather using all lights, heater
blower, windshield wipers, and the new electric fan.  The electric fan
would be non-original, for those so concerned.  The electric fan adds some
bit of complexity to the car, such that it is something additional that can
go wrong with the car in the future, for those of us concerned with daily
maintainance.  And of course there is the time and bother and cost of
installing it in the first place, and the bother of working around it in
the future when doing engine compartment maintaince.

Y'all may get the idea that I would shy away from an electric fan
installation, and y'all might be right.  Y'all might also be advised that I
like to keep things simple in general, so I'm also not too keen on cruise
control, power brakes, overdrive, automatic transmission, door locks and
roll-up windows (especially electric wondows).


Barney Gaylord
1958 MGA with an attitude

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