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Electric Fan conversion question...

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by LvMud, May 15, 2012.

  1. May 15, 2012 at 3:47 PM
    #1
    LvMud

    LvMud [OP] New Member

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    Hello all!! New to the site and to tacoma's. I recently sold my gas hog jacked up Ram and now have a 04 trd off road 4x4 v6. I absolutely love it! I already used this site to get the directions for the turn signal to fog light conversion and couldnt be happier. Ive got some plans for this truck as far as a 3" lift, some new shocks and converting all fluids to synthetic... needless to say I have got the bug for getting every little bit of hp and mpg i can and saw the thread on converting the drive fan to electric... It sure makes sense to me! However in the thread the user says to get the flx-210 fan and controller for around $200. After looking on ebay, summit, 4wheelparts and a bunch of other sites i just cant seem to find it... they list a substitute of the 410, but it goes for like $400+!!! So my question is if there is any other bottom dollar way to get this thing done? Get single fans with no shroud and mount directly to the rad? Any help would be great!!
    Thanks,
    Jon
     
  2. May 15, 2012 at 8:07 PM
    #2
    Norton

    Norton Senior TW Member

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    Welcome to TW!

    It's definitely not bottom dollar, but it's a little better than $400... The Flex-a-lite 675 is $343 on Amazon. (It WAS $312 a month or two ago, so the price seems to vary a bit from time-to-time.)

    Sub'd to see what others think. :popcorn:
     
  3. May 15, 2012 at 8:15 PM
    #3
    whippersnapper02

    whippersnapper02 Well-Known Member

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    Converting to an electric fan is just going to move the load from the water pump pulley to the alternator.

    Supercharger for power. Everything else is pretty much a waste of time.
     
  4. May 16, 2012 at 7:58 AM
    #4
    Hillingdoner

    Hillingdoner Well-Known Member

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    Always run a shroud around the fan. You hurt efficiency without one.

    You can run individual shrouded electric fans, but probably best to get one premade that fits that has two in it. The problem with budget systems is their flow rates. Check out the manufacturer sites to see what they recommend for your specific vehicle for flow rate and then shop from there.

    Has been a while since I worked with doing and electric fan conversion, but seems like I ran into issues too with budget fans either not giving ratings or giving a no load type rating or some such. I'd have to look again at some of the sites to jog exactly what it was. Either way the thing I came up with and what I would advise is to stay with a quality company. You perhaps pay a bit more, but you want something that will work, flow at the required rate and last like an OE type fan system.

    Not read any of the how to threads that I'm sure that are on here, but from my experience I'd suggest to always run a thermostatic switch type system. Last one I had (vintage mopar) I used two simple relays and a thermostatic switch screwed into a boss on the radiator. Switch was off a late model camaro if I remember right. I also had a good temp gauge, small light that illuminated when the fans kicked on and a manual override switch just to be safe. System worked like a champ and never overheated. Actually surprising how little they had to run to keep the temps where they needed to be.

    Keep in mind though, how long it will take to just pay back the initial investment on mods for mpg if that is your major goal before you actually start saving. Not saying don't do the job as I understand the want/need to mod a vehicle as I certainly have and am doing it myself. I just see a lot of posts on increasing mpg (way you drive and basic maintenenance has biggest effect on increasing mpg) by buying x amount of things without thought to payback on investment.

    Just giving you something to think about.
    Say you invest $400 in the job to do the fans. Let's say you get 18 mpg now and you get a generous 10 percent increase in fuel mileage doing the conversion. That would jump your mpg to 19.8 mpg (just picked numbers for the example, actual results will vary lol).

    You drive your truck 10,000 miles a year and fuel cost is an average of $3.50 a gallon.

    It would take you 2.26 years to recoup the initial $400 invested before you actually start saving money on fuel.

    Just something to think about.

    On the flip side, not done any searches on here or research, but the old junk yard route could be an avenue perhaps. Not seen an article on anyone who has done the research and the conversion on a Tacoma. If you went this route you'd again have to look into size of the fans, mounts, flow rates etc. Did this once on another mopar (dart this time) and found that lincoln and taurus fans worked. Super cheap to buy at the local pick and pull, invested in the same two bosch type relays and a thermostatic switch and worked well. At least with this route, as long as you did your flow research well, you'd get OE quality fans at a knock down price.

    As with anything though, care on installation, properly planning out the system and safeguarding your vehicle and safety is the key to making the job a good one.
     
  5. May 16, 2012 at 8:04 AM
    #5
    tatortot46

    tatortot46 Well-Known Member

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  6. May 16, 2012 at 10:11 AM
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    WhatThePho?

    WhatThePho? Greg Graffin 2016

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    If you go the junk yard route, Lincoln mark 8 or a 96-97 thunderbird 2 speed fan works great. Just don't use the high speed it needs 120 amps for startup and 70 to run.
     
  7. May 16, 2012 at 10:07 PM
    #7
    TheMike515

    TheMike515 Well-Known Member

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    Here you go... This guy used one off of a stock lincoln Mark VIII

    http://www.off-road.com/trucks-4x4/project/project1580.html

    Also...he points out the benefit of having an electric fan if you do off-roading and such in helping keep the engine cooler while moving at slower speeds...obviously a worthwhile investment in prolonging your engine if we are going to throw the math into it.

    As for the alternator strain, he addresses that as well saying that its only really noticeable on the initial startup of the fan... not really a scientific assessment but a firsthand opinion nonetheless.

    Good luck!
     
  8. May 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM
    #8
    ED C

    ED C New Member

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    installed a 675 flx three weeks ago in my 2001 2.7 automatic.; purchased from streetside auto for $286 [ free shipping & a $10 coupon]; received it in three days, amazing! your 04 is externally the same but the 675 is not listed for your taco [?]. this unit got rid of the mechanical fan "roar" though it is still quite noisy at idle; it rarely runs unless a/c is on. it covers 64 % of the radiator, the factory said not to worry & they were right, hasn't been above normal yet. in hind sight i would have gotten a 16" single fan with curved blades [hopefully quieter] & a variable speed control instead of the on/off device, used the original shroud with reinforcing. [the 05 up flx is a single]. i will live with the 675 & add the variable speed to it as soon as i get one constructed. not sure about gas mileage yet, have only used it on 75mph trips [approx 19 mpg]; averaged 18mpg before. [my 98 2.7 five speed got 23 consistently]. and yes there is a real, not imagined, increase in power. not much but any is welcome with the 2.7.
    regards,
     
  9. May 20, 2012 at 3:04 PM
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    Norton

    Norton Senior TW Member

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    How did you manage $286?!? Streetside Auto shows $356 today... :(
     
  10. May 21, 2012 at 10:08 PM
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    LvMud

    LvMud [OP] New Member

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    Great info guys! Thanks! Sure gave me a lot to think about. Kinda leaning towards a single fan and still using the stock shroud... Im getting ready to PCS back stateside so I will prolly hold off until I get back to the east coast. At least there I have access to decent junk yards and it doesnt cost an arm and a leg for shipping! Thanks again!!
     
  11. May 21, 2012 at 11:10 PM
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    Norton

    Norton Senior TW Member

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    LOL! Now, it's back down to $297, but out of stock... :frusty:
     
  12. May 22, 2012 at 11:24 AM
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    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

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    The electric fan will also make your air conditioner more consistent and efficent. You have to wire it to come on with the AC though.
     
  13. May 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM
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    StAndrew

    StAndrew Wait for it...

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  14. May 26, 2012 at 10:59 AM
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    koco

    koco Well-Known Member

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    It seems like junkyards are full of good electric fan setups for around $40 without a controller. the OEM fans on many cars are high quality.

    The fan would only run when needed instead of having resistance all the time. I don't know how well it would hold up to water and dirt though. And it would need to be on when the A/C is on. Most small cars use a separate A/C fan.

    There is likely a good reason that tacomas don't have electric fans, but I don't know why exactly. I'm not as skilled as a toyota engineer.
     
  15. May 28, 2012 at 7:25 AM
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    ED C

    ED C New Member

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    the mechanical fan is no doubt more dependable, but may not be that big a deal. surely both electric units would not go out at once & wired with spade connectors allows easy bypass of the control unit. FLX says they have brushes [sealed?] & ballbearings. A/C clutch wire is easy to access. there are several temp switch / relay circuits on google or approx $50 for ready-made off ebay. think long, take time to get it right; learning from experience is usually the pits!
    cheers
     
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