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-   -   Should I go electric? (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/should-i-go-electric-90430.html)

pyro 04-21-2011 08:10 PM

Should I go electric?
 
My Tj has 180k ish and im about to swap in an automatic. I have been fighting with the thought of swapping out the factory mechanical fan with a shiney new electric one. I like the idea of more power and the increased cooling capacity of the electric, especially since I will be adding the heat from the trans to the radiators cooling duties. I am increasing the radiator to an aluminum 2.5" w the trans fluid hookups. The Cons also weigh heavy on my mind. I Live in Philly and the majority of my wheeling is WATER, MUD and Sand. I am concerned about loosing the fan in a mud hole over the pine barrens and blowing everything. If the fan were to hold up for a 2-3 yr period, i would be content with that. As long as the failure is not catastrophic.

My first time at RC I helped a kid off the trails who had an electric fan all coroded to poop and it just quit on him and he began to overheat and had to call it a day 10 min into the ride.


Im looking for some thoughts and criticisms of the idea, and if anyone has any PERSONAL experience w the electric swap.

Thanks

cnolan76 04-21-2011 08:16 PM

I've been considering the swap as well. I'm interested in advice from someone that has had an electric fan for awhile.

Scoob 04-21-2011 08:31 PM

Only PERSONAL experience I have with them is that I know several in our club that run them. If you are going to play in the water at all they are nice to have.
http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3...r/3abf7998.jpg

I have often thought of doing that mod. The only thing that ever stops me is wanting to get other mods first. But I will have one some day. When I do I think I will go with the one from a 04-06 4 cylinder just for its ease of installation.
The thing I have noticed is they are much louder on the trail then the mech. fans.

cnolan76 04-21-2011 08:36 PM

I found a Hayden radiator thermostat and a procomp 16" electric fan on amazon for around 50 bucks plus shipping. I'm thinking all I would need after that is a toggle switch and wire right?

just4fun 04-21-2011 08:39 PM

I got my fan from a ford taurus for around 35 bucks from the local you pull it yard.I had it on my mud truck for a few years and im looking to use it on my jeep. The taurus fan seems to be a popular install on jeeps. All you need is a good relay and heavy duty switch or a hook up that turns fan on and off automatically.

freeskier 04-21-2011 08:47 PM

Don't do an electric fan swap hoping to gain power. As shown above the best reason for an electric fan swap is deep water crossings. The mechanical fan pretty damn efficient and pull a LOT of air compared to electric fans.

Electric fans are powered by electricity, that power HAS to still come from the engine as it is the sole power source of energy on our Jeeps (well technically gasoline, which is then converted to mechanical energy). The extra amp draw of the electric fan will require to alternator to work harder, in turn putting a load on the engine. Then you have to factor in lost energy due to mechanical energy now being converted to electrical energy then back to mechanical energy to spin the fan. This in itself is extremely inefficient. Put all these factors together and the gains are minimal.

Most people claim a HP increase because they put on a dinky 1k or 2k CFM electric fan.

Take the money you would put into an electric fan swap and do an external trans cooler with its own fan you can mount under the tub.

pyro 04-21-2011 09:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scoob (Post 1193381)
Only PERSONAL experience I have with them is that I know several in our club that run them. If you are going to play in the water at all they are nice to have.

Ur saying they are good in the water? please explain. When I think Electric and water, I dont tend to think happy thoughts. From what u have seen from ur club members that have them, Do they run into any problems with them?


Quote:

Originally Posted by just4fun (Post 1193399)
I got my fan from a ford taurus for around 35 bucks from the local you pull it yard.I had it on my mud truck for a few years and im looking to use it on my jeep. The taurus fan seems to be a popular install on jeeps. All you need is a good relay and heavy duty switch or a hook up that turns fan on and off automatically.

How well does the Taurus fan mount up? Im asuming it fits well with the shroud and not too much fab work to make it happen?

Quote:

Originally Posted by freeskier (Post 1193415)
Don't do an electric fan swap hoping to gain power. As shown above the best reason for an electric fan swap is deep water crossings.

The mechanical fan is the most efficient fan you can have. It will pull the most air for the least amount of work.

Take the money you would put into an electric fan swap and do an external trans cooler with its own fan you can mount under the tub.

Im not looking for the mythical monsterous HP gain, but I do think the reduced mechanical load on the motor is minimaly advantageous for MPGs and power.

Do u happen to know the cfm of the mech fan? the electric i am looking at is around 3300 cfm. Not sure I agree with the Mech fan being the "most efficient" but I could b wrong.

The external trans cooler with the fan under the tub was my first thought, I even ordered everything material wise to do it, but I returned it all for the trans cooler radiator. IMO the remote cooler would b more of a liability because mounting it under the tub will subject it to being caked in mud and soaking in H2O when i sink the jeep up to the seats like I tend to do.

I appreciate the input and discussion, thank you

pyro 04-21-2011 09:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freeskier (Post 1193415)
Electric fans are powered by electricity, that power HAS to still come from the engine as it is the sole power source of energy on our Jeeps (well technically gasoline, which is then converted to mechanical energy). The extra amp draw of the electric fan will require to alternator to work harder, in turn putting a load on the engine. Then you have to factor in lost energy due to mechanical energy now being converted to electrical energy then back to mechanical energy to spin the fan. This in itself is extremely inefficient. Put all these factors together and the gains are minimal.

The extra amp draw...load on the engine has to b less then spinning a 15ish lb fan and clutch. +the fan runs less correct? when not above the set temp, the fan is not running. on the other hand the mech fan is always spinning. saving the motor some work (or saving a drip or 2 of gas). cant argue with the conversions to and from mec & elec. never thought of that aspect b4.


I dont expect some crazy jump in power of MPGs either. I dont plan on even being able to measure the difference in any way other then me telling myself "WOW shes running GREAT since i did the fan swap"

Jerry Bransford 04-21-2011 09:12 PM

Fresh water is not really a problem for low-voltage systems like an electric fan. The electrical resistance of fresh water is higher than most would suspect so with 12 volts, it's not much of an issue at all.

This is about the only reason to me that makes sense for converting from a mechanical to electric fan... so the fan can be shut off when driving through deep water. Though I hope everything else is properly protected from water incursion, especially if you have an older 3-speed automatic transmission like was used in 2002 and older TJs. :)

Scoob 04-21-2011 09:14 PM

If you are going to play in water an elec fan is MUCH better. Because you can turn it off. If the clutch is engaged on a mech fan trying to cool the engine and you take it in the water the blades will actually pull themselves into the radiator making a hole in the rad and a mess of the fan blade.

freeskier 04-21-2011 09:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pyro (Post 1193450)
Ur saying they are good in the water? please explain. When I think Electric and water, I dont tend to think happy thoughts. From what u have seen from ur club members that have them, Do they run into any problems with them?

Electric fans are best in water because they can be turned. The problem with mechanical fans in deep water is they turn into a propellor and tend to pull into the radiator, destroying it.


How well does the Taurus fan mount up? Im asuming it fits well with the shroud and not too much fab work to make it happen?



Im not looking for the mythical monsterous HP gain, but I do think the reduced mechanical load on the motor is minimaly advantageous for MPGs and power.

Do u happen to know the cfm of the mech fan? the electric i am looking at is around 3300 cfm. Not sure I agree with the Mech fan being the "most efficient" but I could b wrong.R]

If I were to guess I would say a mechanical fan pulls around 3 to 4 thousand CFM, probably around 4k on average. You also have to remember mechanical fans have clutches that allow them to "free wheel" at higher speeds and it engages much smoother than an electric that can cause huge amp spikes that kill engine power (a very expensive controller can curb this problem). Ever jump started a car? You can hear the huge load of the car providing the jump.

I also modified my earlier post.


The external trans cooler with the fan under the tub was my first thought, I even ordered everything material wise to do it, but I returned it all for the trans cooler radiator. IMO the remote cooler would b more of a liability because mounting it under the tub will subject it to being caked in mud and soaking in H2O when i sink the jeep up to the seats like I tend to do.

Again, the good thing about electric fans is their ability to be turned on and off. In a water crossing you can simply turn the coolar fan off. Also mounted in a good location it will not get caked in mud.

I appreciate the input and discussion, thank you

See above.

freeskier 04-21-2011 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pyro (Post 1193472)
The extra amp draw...load on the engine has to b less then spinning a 15ish lb fan and clutch. +the fan runs less correct? when not above the set temp, the fan is not running. on the other hand the mech fan is always spinning. saving the motor some work (or saving a drip or 2 of gas). cant argue with the conversions to and from mec & elec. never thought of that aspect b4.


I dont expect some crazy jump in power of MPGs either. I dont plan on even being able to measure the difference in any way other then me telling myself "WOW shes running GREAT since i did the fan swap"

No, the mechanical fan has a clutch that allows it to spin at different speeds, it won't completely disconnect the fan but will essentially have no HP draw at high speeds.

Also see my above post.

And yes, like I said the total energy needed to spin a plastic fan is less than a mech. fan, but after other factors the net gain is small.

pyro 04-21-2011 09:43 PM

"mounted in a good location it will not get caked in mud."

I have yet to find this place on the underside of my jeep.


Thanks for the input. Im still leaning toward electric but not by much. I have a feeling this is going to come down to clearance with the new rad and / or a coin toss

cnolan76 04-22-2011 12:44 PM

I was thinking more of a mpg saver. Even if it's only one or two mpg, that would be better than the 12 I am getting now. I have another car that gets close to 30 but it's not as fun to drive.

rrich 04-22-2011 02:05 PM

Interesting - I put an electric fan on my Jeepster - and kept the mechanical fan too. I put the electric on the outside of the radiator. It was for low speed crawling here in the hot desert.

I ran the power through a switch and a light to remind me it's on.

When driving on the highway the light kept coming on - but the switch was off.
The fan spinning from the air flowing past was acting as a generator! It caused static on the CB.
I think I replaced the switch with one that grounded that feed line when it was off. No more problem.

Jerry Bransford 04-22-2011 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cnolan76 (Post 1194843)
I was thinking more of a mpg saver. Even if it's only one or two mpg...

If all it took was an electric fan to gain 1-2 mpg, Jeep would have been ALL OVER that. With today's engines, an additional 1-2 mpg is absolutely huge by Detroit standards. They struggle getting even .1-.2 mpg gains to keep the feds happy. No, you're not going to see any noticeable mpg by simply having converted to an electric fan. :)

Scoob 04-22-2011 04:29 PM

At the same time you have to wonder why jeep spent the time and money to put an elec fan on the 2.4 SE. I believe it was to add something back to a severely underpowered engine. I have never seen a dyno to prove it one way or another. But I just cant see jeep installing an electric fan in a TJ for no reason at all.

freeskier 04-22-2011 07:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scoob (Post 1195264)
At the same time you have to wonder why jeep spent the time and money to put an elec fan on the 2.4 SE. I believe it was to add something back to a severely underpowered engine. I have never seen a dyno to prove it one way or another. But I just cant see jeep installing an electric fan in a TJ for no reason at all.

They most likely did it to get rid of the wind tunnel they called the fan shroud.

Jeep229R 04-25-2011 07:09 PM

I recently installed a Flex-a-lite radiator and electric fan which comes as a kit, model #60187. The install took about 2.5 hours with the hardest part being running the wiring neatly (easy install). The radiator is an aluminum 2-core with the fan moving 3000CFM and an optional cab fan-kill switch for water crossings. I have not been off-road since the install but am so far impressed with the airflow, presentation and slight increase in power/mpg.

herrac3 04-25-2011 09:30 PM

I installed an electric fan in my 98 in the winter and it worked out fine. My only worry was i live in Florida and in the summer it gets hot. So far it's already been over 100 degrees and with my fan on the thermostat gauge never runs over more than halway between the first notch and the middle. The jeep runs cool. Sometimes i worry it doesnt get to operating temperature. I wired mine through a daystar rocker switch from 4wd.com. It worked great and looks factory. I first installed it through my radiator with the zip tie deals that go through the fins. They didnt bust my radiator but i didnt like them. I got a new radiator and used metal brackets and bolted them to the fan and radiator. I just turn my fan off when i go through water or anything like that.
http://i274.photobucket.com/albums/j...2-19134330.jpg
http://i274.photobucket.com/albums/j...2-19134345.jpg
http://i274.photobucket.com/albums/j...2-19134431.jpg


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