Electric Fan in 79 Bronco - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Electric Fan in 79 Bronco

I have a 79 Bronco with 351 W motor. I have had issues with running hot. I have replaced the radiator and thermostat. There is no fan shroud on the vehicle. Finding one to fit the motor and new radiator has not been easy. I am thinking of putting on an electric fan instead. Any huge draw backs from going that route I should be aware of?

Disclaimer: I am not an experienced mechanic. The most I have done previously to owning this Bronco was breaks and oil changes and other routine maintenance. This is all very new to me so I apologize for my ignorance.
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 12:56 PM
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I recently put fans in my 79 with a 460. I had issues last year with the stock setup. Now mine was down for a while and I'm just now getting her back on the road but so far the fans have been good. But also it's warming up more and I'm in Texas where it can get crazy hot.
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 12:59 PM
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Here's the link to where I started messing with the fans.

https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum...ml#post7095568
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncNole79 View Post
There is no fan shroud on the vehicle. Finding one to fit the motor and new radiator has not been easy.
That is why you are having over heating problems, with no shroud the air gets sucked in from the sides of the radiator instead of through the radiator. I bet it does better when you are moving forward and pushing air through the radiator.

I would also consider the water pump, if it is not working at it should, it can contribute to overheating problems.

I am running an electric fan on my 95 with a 302. One big thing you need to consider is the alternator. It needs to be a high amp alternator to be able to keep up with the current draw of the fan setup. If you don't, your fan will kill your battery while it is at idle.

I love my electric setup. I have a body lift on my truck and the shroud is open at the bottom and lets too much air past the radiator and a/c condenser. The electric setup fastens right up against the radiator and seals well so all of the air pulled through is effective in cooling the radiator.

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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by klh95bronco View Post
That is why you are having over heating problems, with no shroud
My thoughts are exactly as above. I installed an electric fan from a Taurus inside the stock fan shroud of my son's '79 Bronco and that thing never overheated even in the Florida heat...

I had an electric thermostat to engage the electric fan with a 50 Amp relay. I also upgraded the stock alternator.

Just a few things to get you pointed in the right direction.

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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 04:26 PM
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I'll be replacing my less than a year old Flexalite fan controller this week after it failed while driving, causing an overheat situation on my newish motor.

If you go electric, factor in redundancy and monitor your gauges. While electric fans are great, they open the door to catastrophic engine failure in a way that the mechanical setup rarely does.

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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 11:48 PM
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my stock 78 bronco never had a fan shroud
it ran fine ,but a shroud will definitely help a marginally sized rad work ok

you say it has a 351 w? someone swapped that in
it could be someone used a serpentine water pump on a v belt set up or vise versa as pumps rotate in different directions with the 2 styles of belts

the truck should need NO fan once moving as air through the grill should be enough providing you have an adequate rad in there,timing set correct etc
i ran my 78 for years with a single 16'' electric fan against the rad ,it had a thermostat and an override manual switch i could turn on any time
only time i needed that fan was stopped in traffic in the warmer months
before i ran electric fan,i would remove the 4 blad flex fan in the winter from mid November to at least end of march and only long traffic jam stops would be an issue

i did have a huge 4 core copper/brass rad made for it 27 yrs ago when i first got it
i am not a fan of the $150 aluminum rads ,i know more people with hot running vehicles that have aftermarket aluminum rads than i do with old school copper rads

how hot is hot and have you verified it with a temp gun or just the gauge?
what thermostat are you running?
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 12:09 AM
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Mine has an electric fan thats difectly on the radiator. Turns on with a manual switch that I activate before starting the engine and manually shut off after I'm done driving. Temp stays around 140-160.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwim View Post
I'll be replacing my less than a year old Flexalite fan controller this week after it failed while driving, causing an overheat situation on my newish motor.

If you go electric, factor in redundancy and monitor your gauges. While electric fans are great, they open the door to catastrophic engine failure in a way that the mechanical setup rarely does.
Weird I have 3 of these with zero issues out of any of them...

I do agree when running electric fans you need to have the stuff with you to by pass the controller or any relay (or extra relay) in case of controller failure. I keep the stuff to do this on mine, right next to the extra duraspark module. I also try to install it with this in mind as much as possible.


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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the input.
You are correct the main issue is when stopped at lights or in traffic especially in the hot summer months in FL. The temp will just continue to rise as I am at idle or in slow stop and go traffic. When the temp gets too high (around 230 according to the gauge) the engine struggles, which I think might be vapor lock caused by the high temp.

I have not verified the temp with a gun, just used the gauge. I put in a 160 thermostat and a 3 core aluminum radiator.
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 11:30 AM
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I did the 3g alternator upgrade, aluminum radiator, and e-fan in my 92 f150. Also new water pump and t-stat. I did the same upgrades to a couple fox body cars and will be doing the same to my 91 bronco. The fan controller is fairly easy to wire up. I'd like to offer some advice, though. Don't use the controller that had a temp probe that you insert into the radiator fins. Summit sells a "Maradyne" brand iirc that uses a threaded sensor. When you mount the sensor, don't mount it high in the engine bay. The intake is usually the easiest spot, since it probably has a port that will work. Also, the water neck may have a port you can use (or you can buy an aftermarket one that has it).

The problem is that air pockets are more likely to be up high in the intake or upper hoses.

What I did was have bungs welded in to the aluminum radiator tank, about half way up. An easier way would be to buy a billet aluminum coupling made specifically for this. You can buy them on Ebay for under $15. Simply cut your LOWER radiator hose and install the coupling with a couple band clamps. It will have a threaded port to install your temp sensor.

Also, I've had better luck with the non-adjustable controller. The one I use from Summit can be purchased for different desired temps. I use 180 or 190 degree on mine.

This setup will assure that the fan is only going to kick on when coolant is running through the radiator (t-stat open). Mounting the sensor in the intake may cause your fan to run when it doesn't really need to.
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyBRONCOguy View Post
Weird I have 3 of these with zero issues out of any of them...


I haven't had any problems with running these either...

@BroncNole79 , I didn't catch that you mentioned you have a 351W. Are you sure that is the engine you have? As mentioned above, if it is a W, then someone swapped it in there. The '79 came with a 351M or a 400.

I'm pretty sure your problem is the lack of a fan shroud. If you can't find an oem somewhere, you should be able to have one fabbed up... s

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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:27 PM
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Weird I have 3 of these with zero issues out of any of them...
Yeah, we talked a bit about this prior. Yours is also soft-on/variable speed while mine's not (it's not running through a relay). I'm not sure what the deal is with it. I'm going to actually wire in a separate controller for each fan to see if I can lessen the burden on the wiring so both of the fans aren't kicking on full speed at that same time.

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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 08:07 AM
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@schwim Yeah your problem could very well be that your not running any relays...


Mine also is a variable speed and has two relays...


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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 08:44 AM
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@schwim Yeah your problem could very well be that your not running any relays...


Mine also is a variable speed and has two relays...


Allcruisen
The Flexalite controller instructions stated you couldn't put a relay between the controller and fan or variable speed wouldn't work but instead just work as a on/off switch. You could of course put one inline ahead of it but I'm powering straight off the battery for it.
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post #16 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 09:40 AM
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I think one could add the 2nd one to trigger off the manual override or a/c clutch engage. Simply wire the relay the triggers it on to the same wire which goes to the flexalite override. This is somewhat assuming that 1 fan is enough most the time. Many OEM's are like this, with a 2nd on demand fan.
Different fans have different turn on demands, wonder if that is the difference.... Kind of on topic is that it appears that not any fan works good with any controller. Example the 1st shroud I had, had a set of Bosh fans on it and I measured the current at turn on. (clamp on meter) I later switched to a different shroud using 2 Spal fans, which took less at initial turn on, everything else being the same.
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post #17 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwim View Post
I'll be replacing my less than a year old Flexalite fan controller this week after it failed while driving, causing an overheat situation on my newish motor.
I was looking over my flexalite info, You may look at your paper work closer, the one I have has a 1 year warranty. You maybe able to get a new one, though I understand if left bad taste for you on that specific one too.


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post #18 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 03:00 PM
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I really don't have anything against the Brand. Everyone produces a lemon once in a while.

I replaced the controller and wired it up to power both fans and it was still hard start and the switched power wires were still getting real hot so I ordered a second replacement controller(same model) and wired them to individual fans. With this setup both work properly regarding the soft start and variable speed. I set one to 195 and one starts just shy of 200.

I wonder if the Derale fans were pulling too much, causing my issue(and perhaps, the premature failure). I'll keep a close eye on these and I built some bypass pigtails so I can wire the fans directly to source if the controllers give me any problems in the future.
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post #19 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 07:53 AM
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I have been keeping my eye on this guy for years. He makes some excellent controllers. He is a firm believer in mounting the sensor in the outlet side of the radiator rather than the push in probes or sensor in the intake.

Recently introduced is a new controller (DX-150) with no knob that will handle 150 amps. This controller can easily handle dual fan setup. One item I like is the shut down timer that runs the fans for one minute after engine shut down. This helps reduce heat soak that occurs after engine shut down.

https://www.autocoolguy.com/
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post #20 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 05:33 PM
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I've installed electric fans Flex-a-Lite Xtreme S-Blade fans pulling 3000 cfm. Truck runs at 200 in beautiful south florida.

Have not had an issue but I do have a SHTF bypass.

Plus love the extra engine compartment space to do other work.
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