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Old 01-29-2014, 07:44 PM   #1
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Jeep YJ Electric Fan Pros & Cons

The next upgrade I am planning on my jeep build is adding an electric fan system...but I dont know if what I am looking for is made. I would like a direct fit, dual fan (i like the idea of if one fails there is a spare since i am un the NV desert) , and a sealed waterproof system.....

What experience have others had with their electric fans and what are your rpo's and con's for someone shopping?
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:03 PM   #2
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Pros:
More control - off to ford, high when crawling
Free up HP, though how much is questionable
More space around the engine, especially the 2.5

Cons:
Introducing more failure points. Especially if your wiring sucks.

Fact:
People who swap in electric fans are generally more awesome. So there's that.

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Old 01-29-2014, 08:28 PM   #3
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I will have to agree with the "fact".

I just installed mine a couple nights ago and am a couple months away from actually driving the Jeep. So I really don't have much to offer here. My main reason for installing it was for more control. I can turn it on and off as needed.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:10 PM   #4
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Who are the leading manufacturers? What is the average life? What are common areas for failure?

Is there one made with my needs?
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:17 PM   #5
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Dunno, mine was made for Ford...

Throw enough money at a problem...
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:11 PM   #6
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Pros: ability to control the fan and turn it off in the need of fording so you don't destroy your fan. And the more air flow through the radiator over the engine. Thus better cooling.

Cons: yes wiring and yes crappy parts.

I got mine out of a Mark VIII and I only had to build mounting brackets and add wiring. The shroud is the same size as the radiator and it looks better than the stock 2.5' shroud on the 2.5L. I love the ability to shut off the cooling fan to let the engine warm up faster.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:38 AM   #7
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Pros... Ability to shut it off if you wire it that way, and the ability to have it on constantly if you are doing a lot of low range wheelin' like rock crawling. Cause the motor will get hot with the higher rpms but less air flowing thru the radiator cause of the reduced speed.

Makes the water pump spin easier, which will help make the bearing last.

An electric unit if you choose the correct one, has more CFM of air flow compared to the stock fan.

Cons.... An expensive mod, unless you get a fan such as one from a Ford Taurus and make it work. Getting ones that are built for a YJ radiator are out there but they can get pricey.

If you shut it off, or the switch gets bumped off, you can cook your motor if it isn't caught in time. I have a red LED light on the dash that turns on when the fan switch is in the off position.

If you drive into deep mud or water, you have to stop and make sure its cleared of any debris, the fan is plastic. A buddy went thru a water hole, and got a stick in his, when he turned it back on, the stick shredded the fan blades as well as the fins on the radiator. Cause the fan sits so close to the radiator.

There are pros and cons to every mod that you do, its all in what you want or how comfortable you are at attempting to change something on your machine.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:54 AM   #8
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I really like the Pros of the electric fan but the simplicity of the mechanical fan.

The mechanical fan failure point is the fan clutch....

The electric fan failure points can be the mounting, the fan itself, the wiring.

Electric fan Pros the cfm, the ability to turn on and off, less drag on the water pump and engine.

Mechanical Fan Pro again simplicity.

This is a battle for me, I do a lot of desert exploring and in many cases if the fan goes Im stranded.

If I could find a dual, waterproof, set up I think i would choose the electric, I want the seconday fan as a backup n case one went out.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:02 AM   #9
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I have the Flex lite set up for my YJ. I like it alot, it has worked great. It has been over 12 years since I installed it and has never had any issues.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:52 PM   #10
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Now that's what I want to hear!

Quote:
Originally Posted by YelloJ74 View Post
I have the Flex lite set up for my YJ. I like it alot, it has worked great. It has been over 12 years since I installed it and has never had any issues.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:14 PM   #11
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Electric fan is useful if you do a lot of deep water crossings, otherwise I would just stick with the mechanical.

The stock fan can move over 5000 cfm and it's a simple, reliable design. If it fails, the clutch will either lock up or stop locking up completely. It will usually still spin either way helping you get home without overheating until it's fixed. An electrical fan will stop completely if it fails.

You could argue that an electrical fan frees up horsepower but its not totally true. The load simply moves to the alternator. A HP gain (if any) will be very small.

If you do the electrical setup, make sure the wiring is done very well.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:46 PM   #12
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I agree the HP gain would be minimum, if I were worried about HP I wouldn't have added all the extra weight to the vehicle such as a winch, full roll cage, sliders etc...

I would like to see a Dyno comparison....that's the only true way to know.

I keep leaning towards staying mechanical...

It's funny about the water crossing, I hear that a lot but do those same people water proof their electrical system, connectors, add a snorkle etc...
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:32 PM   #13
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When I had my TJ I looked into this and people said the 02 liberty fan and radiator fit into the place with minimum modification. I'm not sure about the yj but I'm looking into this as well because my 95 runs a little hotter than I would like. So just a bit of info that may help you out.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:46 PM   #14
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I did this. I have had a relay fail, temp sensor fail, radiator fail, and two fans fail. The radiator cracked because the last time it took me a while to notice I was overheating. Mud kills everything. No mud no problem. It was kinda funny because every time I had something fail I replaced it and made it waterproof/mudproof. Then the fans crapped out. All this within 20 wheeling trips. I used both the mark 8 and taurus fans.
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:02 PM   #15
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I like mechanacal, I think it would be easier getting a mechanacal fan working to get you home over an electric fan. About water crossings, I have done a lot through some pretty deep water when I lived in the Sierras and never had fan problems. The idea is to move at a steady pace building a bow wave in front of you, this keeps the water in the engine compartment lower than the actual depth of the crossing.
Btw I know a guy who forgot to turn his fan on climbing a grade, it was not a happy outcome.
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:45 PM   #16
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Stay away from the "ebay" electric fans... I purchased one that was suppose to move enough air for a V8... Well that was a big fat lie.... I wasted the money and time to install just to put the clutch fan back on because my jeep overheated with a dual core radiator ... Dont cheeeeep out like I did.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:13 PM   #17
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Yes if you go electric buy the best fan you can. EVERYTHING will depend on it.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YelloJ74 View Post
I have the Flex lite set up for my YJ. I like it alot, it has worked great. It has been over 12 years since I installed it and has never had any issues.
^^^^^x2 what he said^^^^^
I have the same fan but mine is the S blade kit....I also have a huge 2 core aluminum radiator and I live in the Mojave Desert....I crawl places like the Hammer trails in Johnson Valley. ..I have NEVER overheated and have never had a problem with this setup. If I could do it all over again I wouldn't change a thing. Put your worries behind you and do it.
Hope this helps
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:04 PM   #19
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I've got the S blade Flex-a-lite on my '91 ($380.00). It is probably the premium fan on the market because it moves a shit load of air and comes with a shroud that fits the YJ/TJ radiators like a glove. The automatic control thermostat does a fair job of keeping everything cool and can be shut off by simply pulling the fuse. I've had it for 5 years and have never had a problem with it.
Though if I had the chance to do it over again I think I would skip going electric altogether.
There is something to be said about the stupid simplicity of a mechanical fan.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrangler Haven View Post
I've got the S blade Flex-a-lite on my '91 ($380.00). It is probably the premium fan on the market because it moves a shit load of air and comes with a shroud that fits the YJ/TJ radiators like a glove. The automatic control thermostat does a fair job of keeping everything cool and can be shut off by simply pulling the fuse. I've had it for 5 years and have never had a problem with it.
Though if I had the chance to do it over again I think I would skip going electric altogether.
There is something to be said about the stupid simplicity of a mechanical fan.
If you look at the wire diagram for your fan( I forget the number) you can wire a switch in line to turn on/off the fan at will. The nice thing about the E fan is the cfm is the same when at idle (crawling rocks) as it is rolling down the Hwy.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:43 PM   #21
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Well summer is ending...I just ordered the flex a lite kit for my wife's xj, I will see how well it works on her street 90% trail 10% rig and the. I will make a decision for my yj..
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:53 PM   #22
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I used to advocate for the electric fan, but after nearly thirty years of experience,, on and off road, I truly believe that if you have a vehicle that has a mechanical fan, keep it.

A good clutch, and shroud, are as foolproof as can be. And pull way more air. Despite what the (fan)boys say
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:21 PM   #23
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I've been using Flex Lite fans for a while, and they seem to be pretty good. I have one on my Cutlass with a DeRale dual speed controller. I have it hooked up to run high speed currently. Low speed is kind of moot since it only really delays high speed coming on. Then, you can also wire in a manual switch to the AC override on the controller to turn the fan on earlier if you need it.

I have a fan for my YJ that I plan to install at some point.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:53 PM   #24
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So why could you not do both an electric fan in front behind your winch with the mechanical fan as a back up in the engine compartment?

Not saying I have done this or even seen this just thinking out loud so to speak.


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Old 08-27-2014, 09:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 89Saharagreen View Post
So why could you not do both an electric fan in front behind your winch with the mechanical fan as a back up in the engine compartment? Not saying I have done this or even seen this just thinking out loud so to speak. Chief


I don't think both fans will work for the simple fact both fans would be fighting against each other, and the electric fan would have to be the backup due to mechanical is always on with engine running, keep in mind the electric fan draws a lot of amperage and needs the proper setup, I use the Cole hersee heavy duty 85 amp solenoid style, also I use 10 gauge wire on everything (power and ground) to handle the load (very important) and fuse the circuit within 12" of battery (40a fuse) and a good quality switch (no pep boys plastic toggle) I've used this type setup for over 20 years on all my fans and never had any issues, this is one area you do not want to short cut.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:41 PM   #26
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I installed a e fan on my jeep. This is what I did. I got a wiring kit with my old 5.0 I bought and never hooked it up on the car. I got the fan from my father in law off his old hatch back, so I was already on the cheap side of this set up and had to go with it. I got a few toggle switches wired up to it. The fan will turn on with the thermostat, but I have a switch that will override that if I'm playing in water and don't want it on, the other switch will turn it on whenever I want it to. This set up is the best I could ask for. As far as a downside I don't see one other than how the fan is mounted. I had those cheap plastic pins that will allow you to mount the fan directly to the radiator, I never had a problem until recently, they literally tore right down my radiator fins. This time i mounted it properly. I bought a 3 row aluminum radiator so I had a buddy build me a aluminum shroud at his shop. This is my current set up. If you don't have the ability to get something like this locally I've seen these sell on eBay for around $60.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:47 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackedOutYJ View Post
I installed a e fan on my jeep. This is what I did. I got a wiring kit with my old 5.0 I bought and never hooked it up on the car. I got the fan from my father in law off his old hatch back, so I was already on the cheap side of this set up and had to go with it. I got a few toggle switches wired up to it. The fan will turn on with the thermostat, but I have a switch that will override that if I'm playing in water and don't want it on, the other switch will turn it on whenever I want it to. This set up is the best I could ask for. As far as a downside I don't see one other than how the fan is mounted. I had those cheap plastic pins that will allow you to mount the fan directly to the radiator, I never had a problem until recently, they literally tore right down my radiator fins. This time i mounted it properly. I bought a 3 row aluminum radiator so I had a buddy build me a aluminum shroud at his shop. This is my current set up. If you don't have the ability to get something like this locally I've seen these sell on eBay for around $60.

Nice job on the shroud, me personally, I've never been a big fan (no pun intended) of thermostats on the electric fan, i have seen to many fail on all types of fans, plus i like as little as possible on that particular circuit, I like to know its on either with toggle or just ignition but I know everyone's applications are different. Just my .02
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:24 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster93 View Post
Nice job on the shroud, me personally, I've never been a big fan (no pun intended) of thermostats on the electric fan, i have seen too* many fail on all types of fans, plus i like as little as possible on that particular circuit, I like to know its on either with toggle or just ignition but I know everyone's applications are different. Just my .02
I've been running this set up for 3 years and yet to have an issue with it kicking on and off when it's suppose to (wiring and toggle switches) I don't think I'd ever go a different direction on any rig.
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:44 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackedOutYJ View Post
I've been running this set up for 3 years and yet to have an issue with it kicking on and off when it's suppose to (wiring and toggle switches) I don't think I'd ever go a different direction on any rig.

That's great, i wasn't saying anything was wrong w your setup, I was just saying me personally, I don't use thermostats, I know a lot of people love that setup, I just think some people purchase lower quality parts and they never last, you know there are tons of people that don't really have an idea on how electrical components work, You know we have all seen electric fan installs done with 18 gauge speaker wire. Lol. I think quality parts and good knowledge on how to install them is the key to any project. Nice rig by the way!
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:29 AM   #30
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My KK with tow package(HD cooling) adds a clutch fan to the standard electric fan.


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