Radiator Cooling Fan Cracked Again

I was under the hood looking for my power steering leak and noticed my cooling fan was cracked. This is the third failed fan. So annoying.

As you know or may have read, if the cooling fan fails while you are driving down the highway catastrophe ensues. My understanding is it destroys most everything under the hood. I’ve even heard of a bonnet damaged so much it had to be replaced.

My options are…

  • buy another fan,
  • buy a replacement from Flex-a-lite,
  • replace them with electric fans.

I’m not buying another effing plastic fan. Flex-a-lite makes aluminum fan replacements. I searched for the equivalent fan and none was listed. Jaguar uses the same crappy fan but none were listed for them either. So I’ve decided electric fans. I bought a fan shroud from a 1999 Ford Contour that I was going to modify and use. Its failure points are if one of the fans fail it cannot be replaced as they are built into the shroud. And the prop shaft from the water pump will extend too far into the Contour shroud. That is a show stopper for the Contour fan use.

I called the Evil German Dude for his advice. He rode his Harley over Saturday afternoon and we talked about how to do proceed. It was decided to buy two 12 inch electric Flex-a-lite fans, build a shroud, and wire them up to a Flex-a-lite thermostat.

EGD did this project for his highly modified Chevy pickup. He estimated that the resulting gain in horsepower and torque gave him a 2 miles per gallon gain. I have extensive fuel stats on the Range Rover so I will be able to report the results.

From Summit Racing’s website…

The swoopy, highly curved scimitar blades in Flex-a-lite’s Syclone S-Blade electric fans mean that they’re very quiet and efficient. What’s more, they can recover up to 17 HP and 20 ft.-lbs. of torque that are stolen by typical belt-driven fans. Syclones can be used as primary or auxiliary fans, and they’re reversible, too. So they can push or pull the air, and lots of it–up to 2,500 cfm–while drawing just 17 amps. These fans mount through the radiator core, and come with rugged nylon shrouds engineered to withstand high temperatures.

I’ll have a complete write up for the project once we get done. It might not be complete step-by-step instructions but you’ll get the gist of it. I’ve already bought the fans and the thermostat from Summit Racing.

I still need to make my engineering drawings. I need to call Summit and confirm the thermostat will drive two fans. It says it will but I need to make sure.

This is the fan I’m considering. I will need two of them.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/flx-392/overview/
This is the controller.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/flx-31149/overview/

This fan failure is a serious inconvenience. I don’t have a spare car just sitting around any more. I will have to either steal Diet Mountain Drew’s car during the day or borrow a car from JagGuy. I’ll have to sort that out by New Year’s Day. EGD can’t work on this project for two weeks. I’m sure I could do this job and I may try it after another chat with EGD.

I need to sort out the power steering leak as well. I bought two of the hoses and am not entirely sure either is leaking. The automatic transmission cooling hoses are also leaking and will need replacement. I’d like to wait until I have the transmission overhauled this spring but I’m not sure it will wait.

So as the weather turns very cold again I have a disabled Range Rover. The big question is how long have I been driving with that fan like that? Nothing is more annoying than a part you have to inspect weekly. I’m also looking forward to the potential increased gas mileage.

Cross your fingers this all works out, thanks for reading, and Happy Rovering.

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