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Here's the process I used to swap my viscous fan for Ford electric ones. The fans I used were off of an EL Falcon (I don't know what the US equivalent would be, but I expect there is one).This was based on p76rangie's recommendation to fit Ford fans, anecdotal evidence that Ford fans suck big time (in a good way), and the advice of a particularly helpful wrecker who advised me that the EL fans shared a single connector (therefore making connection a bit easier than some others which have separate harnesses going to each fan). Some users report needing to modify the plastic shroud slightly around the RR hoses, but I didn't.

The project cost AU$90 for the twin Ford fans from a wrecker, AU$50 for a new thermatic switch from Burson's (auto parts supplier), and a couple of bucks worth of miscellaneous hardware. This is a lot less than I paid for a used viscous fan, shroud and radiator when the last one exploded, and doesn't include the damage caused to the bonnet and liner. When those things let go at highway speed they really can rip the engine bay apart! I'm positive the car is quieter and has more power now. The fans hardly ever run except for a few seconds at a time when sitting in traffic etc. Because of my lazy wiring they also tend to run for a minute or so after the engine is switched off as the coolant settles and stratifies. One day I might bother to run it through the ignition circuit but it doesn't really bother me. I should probably fuse it though :oops:





^ First remove the viscous fan. Mine was quite easy as I'd only replaced it a few months ago, but a spray with WD40 or similar a few hours before starting wouldn't hurt. The fan is attached by a collar with a left-hand thread, so you need to get a spanner onto the right hand side and push down. A sturdy screwdriver levering against the pulley mounting bolts on the left will give you something to lean on to counteract the turning force.




^ The plastic shroud unscrews at the top and should just lift out once the fan is out of the way. With the fan and shroud removed you can see the two little brackets at the bottom of the radiator that the original shroud sits in.




^ The brackets aren't quite big enough for the bottom edge of the Ford fans so I found a bit of aluminium flat bar, about 600mm / 24" in length and probably 45mm / 1¾" wide and just laid this across the two brackets, forming a V along most of the length of the radiator. This had the twin benefits of providing a nice 'socket' for the bottom of the shroud to wedge into, and of raising it a few mm so that the exisitng lugs clear the top and bottom hoses beautifully without needing to cut anything. There is even a convenient ridge along the Ford shroud that locates nicely against the ali strip locking everything in place, so once the top of the new shroud is secured nothing can wiggle out of position no matter how rough the ride.




^ This picture shows the view looking down between the radiator and the new fan & shroud. The bottom of the shroud is securely located in the gap formed by the aluminium bar, the only thing left is to secure the top of the shroud against the radiator.




^ I just attached a couple of perforated metal straps to the moulded lugs in the top corners of the Ford shroud (M6 or ¼" bolts should do it) and I rivetted those into some existing holes on the front of the guard.




^ The thermatic switch has a probe that needs to be inserted just into the top hose. You'll lose a pint or two of coolant doing this but it isn't difficult. The switch comes with a bracket, a few inches of wire, some crimps and a rubber saddle to help the hose seal around the probe wire. I got lazy with the wiring and just connected it to my second battery (the positive terminal is just inches away from the switch and the top hose). Since then I've sprayed the shiny brackets with some matt black paint just to take the gleam off them.


I hope this helps, feel free to use and abuse the info in any way you like - as long as if you have any tips or better ideas you post them here!
 

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Great post - very useful !

Thanks
Rod
 

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I would wire in a manual override so that you can switch the fans on manually. That type of thermo switch does not like dirt and jams up and won't turn on. A friend fitted one and after two trips pulled it out again as it stopped working each trip with dirt jamming the switch.

Dual wiring to the fans has redundancy benefits. That is, two fuses, two relays, etc. So if a fuse or relay packs up you still have one fan that works.

You need to seal around the top of the shroud a bit better as it will suck air through the gap rather than through the radiator.

But otherwise not a bad job for someone figuring it out for themselves.
 

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Nice write-up.

I'd be interested in knowing a little more about your dual battery setup. I'm assuming that the second battery is in 'charge-only' mode (otherwise inadvertently draining the battery would drain both), but if your primary battery goes flat you can either add the secondary into the main circuit (or jump start to your primary battery)?

I'm not clear on the electrics side of this.
Thanks,
James
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Point taken regarding the switch, although she's not an off-road rig so I don't imagine there will be excessive dirt getting in there.

There is no air gap at the top (well, maybe 2mm) - the plastic 'ledge' you can see is well above the point where the shroud meets the radiator. I suppose I could run a bead of silicon along it but the twin Ford fans are already so much more effective than the Rangie fans that a small gap here and there is irrelevant. The aircon fans spin WAY faster than they ever did, which is a fair indication that the electric fans are sucking a lot more air through the front than the viscous ever did. I'd be surprised if siliconning the gap made any more than a minute a year difference in fan running time.

The dual battery setup is nothing special at all - it is just a pair of Exide Extremes in parallel. If I'm camping for a few days I just disconnect the second battery, and use it to 'jump start' if I need it. I've never needed it, but it's nice to know it's there. The rest of the time having two batteries gives me heaps of grunt for cold starts etc. I was going to spend hundreds of dollars on a battery management system but I just don't need it, all I ever run are a couple of LED or compact fluoro lights and maybe a radio (I have a gas fridge).

There are so many other things that can go wrong on a Rangie that worrying about redundancy for simple and well-maintained systems seems kind of pointless :mrgreen:
 

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El Falcon is perhaps a Crown Victoria. Is there any question they went with El Falcon and not Crown Vic.
I will look at the Crown Vic's fan set up to see if it had electric fans in America.

Thanks for the write up.
 

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do you think vents in the side or bonnet would make a difference, i.e. the fan would come on less often and thus save a bit more fuel??
 

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OkieRover said:
El Falcon is perhaps a Crown Victoria. Is there any question they went with El Falcon and not Crown Vic.
I will look at the Crown Vic's fan set up to see if it had electric fans in America.

Thanks for the write up.

i have crown vic radiator and electric fan , its the best
 

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Discussion Starter #10
matt said:
do you think vents in the side or bonnet would make a difference, i.e. the fan would come on less often and thus save a bit more fuel??
Some vents in the bonnet would obviously help hot air to escape, but I think the efficiency is already so far ahead of the mechanical fan it would probably be pointless! The fans rarely (if ever) operate while the car is moving, and even when stationary they only come on for less than a minute at a time. I haven't been stuck in traffic on a 50 degree Australian summer day yet though, but I'm confident they'll walk it in with no further mods required.
 
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