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Old 06-02-2012, 11:08 PM   #1
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Electric fan kit for 1998 TJ?

When they put the lift on my 98 TJ they cut the fan shroud, it still runs cool on the highway but off road it runs hot (I live in the Mohave desert as well). Does anyone know of a reliable aftermarket kit that installs and works well on this TJ?

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Old 06-02-2012, 11:27 PM   #2
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Sounds like they did a body lift? If so, a motor mount lift done at the same time would have fixed that for you. There shouldn't be any need for cutting the shroud for a normal sized body lift. It should only need to be relocated.

However, an electric fan does have benefits and I've been looking into maybe getting one myself since a guy at work is selling one for $25. I just need to find out if its the right size and if I can set the speed with what it comes with.

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Old 06-03-2012, 01:19 AM   #3
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Replace the fan shroud. The shroud is crucial to good engine cooling, that shop screwed up by removing it. Besides, electric fans don't cool as well as the TJ's factory fan does. Really.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
Replace the fan shroud. The shroud is crucial to good engine cooling, that shop screwed up by removing it. Besides, electric fans don't cool as well as the TJ's factory fan does. Really.
Kind of a blanket statement they make several different sizes and strengths of electric fans and if you have the time and do the research you can always find one that does as good as or most of the time a better job then the factory belt drivin fan
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:29 AM   #5
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Yep, I fully intended that as a blanket statement. It's my personal opinion that when talking about the TJ, the only time it's a good idea to install an electric fan is when you need to be able to shut it off for deep water crossings.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:19 AM   #6
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With all due respect, Jerry, that is plainly false. I have an electric fan in my TJ, and it does in fact "cool as well" as the mechanical fan. I read your posts on the subject before I installed mine, and decided to go through with it in spite of the collective wisdom.

After a year or so of driving daily in Atlanta stop and go traffic I can confirm that the electric fan does in fact cool as well as the mechanical fan it replaced. And I got a 10-15% average increase in fuel economy. I got 15 mpg before, and now I get 16.5-17 mpg. It works at low speed and idling situations. I'm using the two speed Taurus fan and I've yet to need hear the high speed engage as the low speed is sufficient (even on 95 degree summer days).
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:40 PM   #7
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what years and models of taurus will fit a TJ 4.0?
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:57 PM   #8
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With all due respect, Jerry, that is plainly false...

And I got a 10-15% average increase in fuel economy. I got 15 mpg before, and now I get 16.5-17 mpg.
I would also say "that is plainly false" as you said to me in response to my opinion but I'm too polite for that so while I am sorely tempted to, I won't.

A 10-15% in fuel economy in today's vehicles is HUGE. Absolutely huge. If it were as easy and simple as converting to an electric fan to give a Jeep that much of a boost in fuel economy, since the EPA is constantly breathing down the necks of Jeep's management for better average fleet fuel economy, Jeep would have done that early in the TJ line. It wouldn't be that much more expensive to do yet they knew better than to go that route. This is like the claims by the manufacturers of snake oil products like magnetic fuel atomizer, tornados, Splitfire spark plugs, that give wild mpg improvement claims. People want to believe them so they'll even tell their friends they got those mpg improvements... while probably subconsciously easing up a little on the gas pedal.
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
I would also say "that is plainly false" as you said to me in response to my opinion but I'm too polite for that so while I am sorely tempted to, I won't.

A 10-15% in fuel economy in today's vehicles is HUGE. Absolutely huge. If it were as easy and simple as converting to an electric fan to give a Jeep that much of a boost in fuel economy, since the EPA is constantly breathing down the necks of Jeep's management for better average fleet fuel economy, Jeep would have done that early in the TJ line. It wouldn't be that much more expensive to do yet they knew better than to go that route. This is like the claims by the manufacturers of snake oil products like magnetic fuel atomizer, tornados, Splitfire spark plugs, that give wild mpg improvement claims. People want to believe them so they'll even tell their friends they got those mpg improvements... while probably subconsciously easing up a little on the gas pedal.
Thumbs and yeah jeeps look like a dish washer in deep water with stock fan set up guess thats one way to clean the engine
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
I would also say "that is plainly false" as you said to me in response to my opinion but I'm too polite for that so while I am sorely tempted to, I won't.

A 10-15% in fuel economy in today's vehicles is HUGE. Absolutely huge. If it were as easy and simple as converting to an electric fan to give a Jeep that much of a boost in fuel economy, since the EPA is constantly breathing down the necks of Jeep's management for better average fleet fuel economy, Jeep would have done that early in the TJ line. It wouldn't be that much more expensive to do yet they knew better than to go that route. This is like the claims by the manufacturers of snake oil products like magnetic fuel atomizer, tornados, Splitfire spark plugs, that give wild mpg improvement claims. People want to believe them so they'll even tell their friends they got those mpg improvements... while probably subconsciously easing up a little on the gas pedal.
With all due respect I believe the older 2.4l TJ had a standard electric fan.. So I think the HP gains and such could be accomplished to a degree by puting the newer fan from a 2.4 on your TJ..
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:43 PM   #11
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My flex a lite fan allows me to warm my jeep up faster and it cools better then the stock fan did and i had a very minor gain in hp and mpg
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:01 PM   #12
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I run a 2 speed taruse fan in my jeep, work great. Also with a stock clutch fan i seen them ruined after one deep water crosssing. clutch goes outa them, My fan 20 bucks at reckers. I bought 2, so i have a spare. Mines on a toggle switch so i just shut it off in deep water or mud
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:40 AM   #13
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taruse fan??? Did you plug temp sensor in to factory wiring, use an adaptor, or just run it direct to the toggle so you have to turn off if you want it to warm up on a cold day? I would be the one to forget to turn it back on untill it over heated.
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:30 AM   #14
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I've been on this website for only a little while but I have figured out if Jerry says something you should listen up. Check out his website, dude has been into jeeps for a very long time.

Jerry how would you account for the let up of strain on the engine (in theory, thus more HP) that an electric fan would provide?
It works in other applications. Why would it not work on a TJ 4.0?

Thank you!
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:06 PM   #15
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It is my humble opinion that Jerry is the Hiram Abiff of the jeep world, if he says it you can generally take it to the bank!
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:56 PM   #16
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Why would they make a 2.4 stock with electric fan in the later 2.4l? Obviously to improve something.... They don't make changes for no reason
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:17 PM   #17
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Why would they make a 2.4 stock with electric fan in the later 2.4l? Obviously to improve something.... They don't make changes for no reason
the earlier engine was a 2.5L OHV with an iron head. the later engine is a 2.4L DOHC with aluminum head.

the 2.5L is basically a 4.0L with 2 cylinders chopped off...it had a mechanical fan. the 2.4L is a whole different ball game, and my guess is Chrysler didn't want to redesign the front end of an existing motor to adapt a mechanical fan. they probably knew the engine would work OK with an electric fan and small-ish radiator because that was it's intended application several years before landing in the TJ - front wheel drive cars and vans. I think I've also read that if you put a 2.4L electric fan in front of a 4.0L, it doesn't work very well.

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Kind of a blanket statement they make several different sizes and strengths of electric fans and if you have the time and do the research you can always find one that does as good as or most of the time a better job then the factory belt drivin fan
well you can't put any size fan in a TJ, and that's what we're talking about. an electric fan may very well pull more CFM vs a stock mechanical fan...when the engine is idling and the clutch is disengaged. but you get the RPM's up with an engaged clutch and that mechanical fan is going to win the CFM contest.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:45 PM   #18
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My flex-a-lite ele. fan on my 4.0 keeps my jeep at 195-200 even on the 115 degree plus months that we have here in wichita falls texas. And during the winter my jeep warms up faster because the fan pulls no air until the engine reaches operating temp.
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:05 AM   #19
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Old thread revival - no one even answered the OP's question directly. Is there a kit for early year TJ's with an electric fan or otherwise a DIY anywhere?
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:00 AM   #20
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so did we find the answer to our question? Electric or sticking with the Original?

My passed experience with any vehicle is that electric fans are better when cooling and HP but I have only worked on German vehicles and now that I am a newbe to the jeep world I will just shut my mouth.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:13 AM   #21
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I couldn't find a specific kit, so ended up making up some mounts myself out of some spare flat bar.

I've got a Kenlowe 17" fan which was quite a tight fit as it's very deep, and I had to chop a lot of the supporting ribs out as they fill with mud too easily.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:44 AM   #22
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electric fans

I saw in this month's JP magazine that flexalite has a new switch with 3 positions. Manual off, on, or thermo activated.
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:17 AM   #23
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:01 AM   #24
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I saw in this month's JP magazine that flexalite has a new switch with 3 positions. Manual off, on, or thermo activated.
The Kenlowe I fitted has an override wire which you can run to your AC system. I used it to work on a similar 3 position switch, so I have off, auto, on as the options. The benefit of switching off for river crossings and deep muddy water is slightly offset by me occasionally forgetting to turn the fan back on!

When I get a chance I am going to add a buzzer or something so that I don't accidentally leave the fan off with the engine running again.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:48 AM   #25
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I picked up a "Wrangler Extreme Kit" from FF DYNAMICS and installed it in my '98 Wrangler (with the 2.5l 4-cyl). Using an old Taurus fan is the low-cost alternative and would work just as well, but the FF Dynamics kit has all the right pieces and looks nice to boot. What can I say, under-hood aesthetics matter to me.

The factory radiator had failed previously, and I had replaced it with what was supposed to be an OEM, but either the new radiator was slightly shorter than the original, or the shroud that came with the fan kit was made a little too big. I had to tweak the new aluminum shroud a little to get it to fit between the tanks and against the core. Other than that, the install was straightforward. I dialed up the thermostat to come on at ~170F. The kit comes with two temperature sensors, a threaded probe that requires drilling/tapping (or an insert for the return hose), and a stick-between-the-tubes probe. If you put that probe between the tubes at the top passenger-side corner of the radiator, just beneath the return hose, and secure it with some RTV silicone, it seems to work pretty well (see pic below). That part of the core is blocked at the front from airflow, so the probe temp should be pretty accurate, not affected by air cooling. I also cut off the right side of the fan shroud and remounted it, to hold the power steering and coolant reservoirs. I might look for a nicer bracket at some point, but the shroud mod actually looks pretty decent. Maybe I just need to paint it red...

This summer has been pretty mild in my part of Texas, but driving around town with the doors off, the 4-cyl runs at about 150F so the fan rarely even comes on...meaning the engine is using exactly zero horsepower to drive the fan, which couldn't be said for the mech fan. I can definitely feel the difference in the low end, the engine accelerates better since it's not having to overcome the rotational inertia of the mechanical fan (even if the mech fan clutch is freewheeling, it's still a significant mass that doesn't like to change speeds). I haven't had a chance to do a lot of highway driving with it yet, but the little I've done suggests a very modest improvement in power--and anything at all makes a difference with that little 4-banger. It's also a LOT easier to access the front end of the engine with that humongous shroud out of the way. Two people could stand in there and have a conversation.

When the A/C is on, the fan is also on, so the engine is pushing roughly the same load as before--though I'm running a higher-output alternator from a Dodge Dakota (see Beefier alternator for '91 YJ?), so it's still probably not working as hard as it would with the stock Wrangler alternator. One notable difference is that the electric fan pulls a constant air volume through the condenser & radiator, regardless of engine speed, so the A/C cools a little better than before at idle, and stop & go traffic doesn't appear to cause the radiator temp to spike like it used to.

Why go electric? I'm trying to eke out every little bit of juice from this underpowered 4-cylinder. Yeah, the stock mechanical fan/shroud works just fine for cooling, and I've read all the back-and-forth about mechanical vs. electric fans. But there's a reason so many vehicles use electric fans, especially for smaller "power-challenged" engines, and it's not just about transverse-mounted engines. At high RPMs, a mechanical fan typically pulls more CFMs than an electric; however, that's not necessarily a benefit. Sustained high RPMs typically occur at highway speeds, when the fan doesn't need to work as hard in the first place, so it's wasted energy. Even with a 100% freewheeling fan clutch, a mech fan still draws power from the engine due to rotational inertia (unless you never change RPM)--and no fan clutch is 100% in the first place. Plus, the factory fan/shroud is shoving air right up against the front of the engine, which creates more and more back pressure as RPM/CFM increases, reducing the cooling efficiency of the fan/shroud. It works harder than it has to, because it starts working against itself. The electric fan pushes plenty of CFM to cool the radiator--and why work harder than you have to? The engine is already turning the alternator, so the electric fan just adds some load to that, the battery provides a "buffer" for fan startup surges, and the fan only runs when it needs to. Overall, that's going to be more power-efficient than the mechanical fan, which is going to help the little 4-cylinder be all it can be. How much more efficient? Depends on a lot of factors, but any little bit helps.

Fan Kit - Installed (pic)
Temp Probe Location (pic)
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:02 AM   #26
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What do you mean they cut the fan shroud? They cut it off? Trimmed it? Damaged it? If it's not doing the job and it's not repairable, I'd find an OE replacement at the junk yard. The fan shroud makes a huge difference in cooling at lower speeds.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:55 AM   #27
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When they put the lift on my 98 TJ they cut the fan shroud, it still runs cool on the highway but off road it runs hot (I live in the Mohave desert as well). Does anyone know of a reliable aftermarket kit that installs and works well on this TJ?
Assume body lift was installed. The shroud is supposed to be lowered by the same amount as the lift. (If you do it half ass some will cut the shrud so the fan will clear) On the highway, colling air is primarily from the vehicle motion. The fan does not do much. When the vehicle is moving slowly, it is the fan moving the air and the shroud is critical so the air flow is through the radiator. If the shroud is hacked up, the fan is not going to pull through the radiator.

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