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Big G
GenIII
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4/17/2001
16:14:48

Subject: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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I need an opinion on what cooling fans are best for my truck. I was thinking of a Flexalite 18" flex fan because of the existing electric a/c fan within my shroud. If an electric fan kit is available and better than a flex fan, the make & part numbers would be appreciated. I drive my truck daily and don't want any overheating problems at idle, but am in need of more power and economy.

2001, 3.9, 2WD Auto, Loaded SLT Club Cab, Sport Suspension

cbsdakota
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4/17/2001
16:21:48

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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I have the same question. Someone help please.



CyberWolf
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4/17/2001
17:21:28

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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Okay, I'm probably gonna have people argue with me on this one. Flex fans usually lose power, not add it. This is due to losing the fan clutch. The fan clutch keeps the fan from being locked in and driven when it is not needed, which is quite often (like highway speeds). Yes, there is more rotating mass with a stock fan and clutch but that is nothing compared to pushing that fan. The fan may look like it is always spinning but in truth you can stop the fan when the engine is cool. Yes, I have done it with my hands several times. I don't recommend this because it hurts and believe me, I didn't do it on purpose. Thank god for fan clutches. I still have my fingers. However, they do sound pretty cool. I have also had people tell me that they actually had overheating problems due to a flex fan but I have never seen this for myself. If you already have an electric fan you could put another one on the front and use it as a "pusher". If you don't already have an electric fan then you could install one on the inside and use it as a "puller". Also, you can get electric fans that push more cfm than your stock one. There are also other ways of reducing under hood temperature like different coolant and thermostats. These are always helpful.

'01 4.7 CC, 2wd, 5 speed, Sport plus, 3.92 limited slip, Intense

Wayne
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4/21/2001
03:26:58

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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Cyber -you are right about the fan and clatch being the better set up. My question is has anyone put a flexible fan on a stock clutch?
I went the elect. fan route an my 5.2. Even with 180 t'stat and Redline water wetter in the radiator, I could not get it to cool enough. I had it set up with a relay to come on with the A/C and with a temp control. I tried two different fans and put a shroud on the largest one. I guess my 5.2 is too hot, hehehe. I called Perma cool and the guy that answered the phone told me he has a Ram and none of his fans would cool his truck either. Now I have 2 fans for sale.

Wayne Van Metre
'99 CC SLT 5.2/auto/3.90 anti spin

aggie97
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4/21/2001
17:29:08

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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Well all, I have been both routes, electric and flex. Granted they were on two different vehicles but here's the info. 99 R/T and flex-a-lite's largest electric that would fit...a twin fan setup for upto 270hp??? Truck overheated in 80 degree weather. Lived in Phoenix at the time and the summer almost killed my Dak. Electrics just cannot pull enough air through the radiators on our daks. I installed a flex fan on my dad's 94 5.2 and have had no problems no for almost 60k miles. The aftermarket flex fans will not fit the stock clutch, you need to buy and adapter from flex a lite from pepboys. about $40. I don't know if it is a common problem, but I have owned 4 dakotas now all v8's and I have yet to have a water pump last more than 40k miles. Here in Texas, the fan clutch is locked up almost all the time in the heat and if you weigh the stock assembly, it weighs almost 20lbs, or atleast alot. I think this was putting too much strain on the bushing in the front of the pump and caused them to leak. Flex fan, and no lost pumps.

Only gripe about the flex.....it is loud and wines at highway speed. It also only weighs 3.5 pounds with adapter. As far as a loss of power, try driving with the fan clutch locked up all day in 105 degree heat and see what happens when you stomp on the gas.....Nothing. With the flex fan, it is like it is not even there and the truck flat ass goes. I almost got t-boned once making a left turn because the fan was so much of a drag with the clutch. granted you guys might not be experiencing the same ambient temps but thought this might help. If you have any other fan questions, just ask. I do like the new setup on my 2000 5.9L QC. Fan with clutch and electric combo. Runs the same temp all the time.

2000 QC 4x4 5.9 Black, no mods.....yet!!

CyberWolf
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4/23/2001
10:50:28

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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I'm in Dallas. I'm pretty used to the 105 temps also. I had a stock fan and clutch on my 430 hp 350 because I didn't want to lose power to a flex fan. It was locked up probably 90% of the time in the city during the summer. During the winter, spring and fall it was only locked up about 40% of the time. Recently I stuck the fan through my 4 core radiator and due to parts availability I installed a flex fan. It sucks. That constant drag is really annoying and the butt dyno shows a dramatic loss of power. During the Summer it will probably be just fine though. I just enjoy the power too much when the fan clutch is not engaged. I also think that the 20 lb estimate for a stock fan and clutch is a little exagerated. My stock fan and clutch on my 3/4 ton 4x4 chevy with a 350 weighs no where near 20 lbs. I'm guessing more like 5-6 lbs. As far as the elctric fans go, look in Jegs if you can't find one powerfull enough. Try a Black Magic. As far as Water Wetter goes, run it with only distilled water (no antifreeze) if you can. It gives much better results. The only problem with that is Water Wetter is not an antifreeze so you have to change it out for the winter. The stuff really works though.

'01 4.7 CC, 2wd, 5 speed, Sport plus, 3.92 limited slip, Intense

aggie97
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4/23/2001
19:07:07

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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Well, the 20lb estimate might be high but 15 would be real. I am referring to the 9 bladed unit from my 99 R/T with a huge clutch. My 2000 QC 5.9 only has 5 blades and is probably much lighter. I am thinking that the R/T fan had more blades to try and bring more air into that very confined engine compartment. When I removed the shroud, fan and clutch, there was only 4 inches between the radiator and the water pump pulley. My 2000 has the radiator moved forward a bunch and has a ton of room in the same area. This truck also runs cooler by about 20 degrees.

I really didn't notice that much power difference with the flex fan, course I don't drive that truck but maybe 2 or 3 times a year.

I have a bottle of water wetter in my toolbox right now but don't really need it. I bought it to use in my 97 Mustang Cobra which ran WAY TOO HOT and that is one reason I got rid of it. It would run so hot in traffic on the Tollway that the engine darn near shut off. It would cut cylinders and run like a Geo. Didn't want a 350hp mustang to melt down (there were a few mods).

You might be right about the flex robbing some power and I hope you didn't hurt the cheby when it got hungry. I guess I always assumed flex fans would not require as much power to turn at any Rpm and thus why people claim to gain power. Who knows for sure???? I guess that is why some folks can afford dynos and we poor guys have to go by the seat of our pants.

2000 QC 4x4 5.9 Black, no mods.....yet!!

Bernd
GenIII
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4/24/2001
08:37:31

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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Lots of good points on the comparison...didn't see the main one though:

FlexFans are notorious for letting go at higher RPM's...i've personally put a Hayden FlexFan through the hood of my old Camaro and have heard a lot of other people (RTML and DML) complain about the same problem with the FlexFans (past vehicles). Not that they're not good alternatives, they just have a track record that I wouldn't even think about putting on anyone's Dakota.

That's my $0.02


Bernd D. Ratsch
1997 Dodge Dakota SLT
Supercharged w/Nitrous

Shawn Gen II
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4/24/2001
18:40:16

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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I agree with Bernd, had a 67 firebird with a flex fan put the hammer down 1 afternoon coming home from work and pulled the shaft right out of the water pump, luckily I shut down quick and did'nt take out the radiator. It moved a lot of air but really noisy.

Shawn Keefe
95 CC 5.2 auto



Klaus Dieter Siebert
Dodge Dakota
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10/23/2001
05:43:42

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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I would like to put a Flex Fan on my Dodge W200 1977. Those anyone know if the are available and where to look for it.

Klaus D. Siebert
Netherlands




jjj
Dodge Dakota
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10/23/2001
16:22:22

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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Big G,

The electric fan in your shroud IS your cooling fan. The belt driven fan clutch doesn't engage until it reaches about 230 deg. give or take a few. I ran my 99 5.2 4x4 with just the 01 electric fan (main cooler) and a extra electric fan between the rad and condenser for ac operation. Never overheated highest it ever got was 210. On my 5.9 the stock belt driven fan has been gone since day one. Never even gets warm. Most people run way to much antifreeze and it can't dissapate the heat. Take the crank driven fan off and let it idle, the electric should come on around 210 or so if that high.

Jeff



Rascal
Dodge Dakota
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10/23/2001
17:33:43

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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I have a 98 5.2 and the clutch fan did a great job of keeping the truck cool even in the Houston, Texas area where I got my truck. I drove it home to Atlanta and felt that I could do with an electric. I tried an Imperial fan, NOPE. Then I tried a Perma-Cool 16 inch Hi-performance fan..NOPE. I put the clutch fan back on..then a Black Magic #150, which I should have used in the first place...YEP, keeps it cool. I am not sure how it will do in the total summer with the a/c on, but I am either going to add a small electric to help the BM like Jeff did or put another low-profile on the front as a pusher. If that does not handle it, I will simply put the clutch fan back on for the 3-4 summer months. It runs so much easier without the clutch fan, (mine weighs 11 pounds), that I will run without as long as I can, but if I gotta, then I gotta. I also have a 180 t-stat and radiator relief in it too...(it works with the antifreeze).
Good luck,
my 2 cents
Rascal



ALEX
Dodge Dakota
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10/23/2001
17:50:01

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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I've heard Spal Fans (Italian, I think) draw a lot of amps, but their dual set-up is supposedly the best you can ask for. Seen it on lots of high-horsepower applications (and on Hot Rod TV). Don't know where to get 'em, but maybe there's a website or something.



Aaro
Dodge Dakota


10/23/2001
20:01:19

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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The BLACK MAGIC 150 moves alot of air,just put one on my '97 5.2 auto w/ac and mods.I have a trans cooler now and will be installing a oil cooler(possibly with a fan)by next summer.At idle the temp rises to the adjustable themo setting(190)then the fan runs for a bit and the temp falls fast shuts of at 180.On the road it never runs, ram air cools the engine.I noticed a 2mpg jump!!!The power gains are across the rpm range at any thottle position ,maybe 10-15hp but it pulls harder at idle to redline,and its quiter at cruse,GREAT MOD!!



Bill Gude
Dodge Dakota
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11/09/2003
23:28:20

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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2001 Durango 5.9 auto 3.95 gears How about a switch to turn on the factory electric fan when things get a little warm. I've noticed that with the ac on, the big fan clutch rarely engages. Any thoughts?? Can such a switch be installed without screwing up the computer?



GraphiteDak
GenIII
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11/09/2003
23:42:00

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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This thread is OLD LOL! You may not get a respsonse from any of them guys.
Must have been on accident when you did a search eh? Done that myself once I guess.

I built my own control just a week ago or so.
Hooked it up to the stock sensor in the engine and switch on the electric fan at about 170 to 180 degrees. Has worked like a champ lately. With my cold t-stat and no clutch fan my temp gauge stays just above the "C" unless I tow up a hill. Then it goes half way maybe.
Check out my mods on my website to see if it's something you may want to do.

Oh yeah, you have to be careful what you hook up or disconnect on the stock fan relay, cuz it tripped the check engine and a code which I had to clear by disconnecting the battery.



gen1dak
Dodge Dakota
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11/10/2003
01:14:50

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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The best performance setup is the MP viscous fan package. The main negative is the weight that rides on the water pump shaft. I have tried flex fans due to space limitations/requirements, and have successfully used one in my Shelby. The dual electric fans were noisy and pulled major amps. I could feel the load on the engine when they kicked in. One day, the relay fused and they wouldn't shut off til they were unplugged. Not much good to me that way. It took a week to get a new relay. Nowadays it wouldn't be like that, but it's a hassle. As for the flex, I tried a plastic one that immediately shredded above 3500 rpms. I got a metal one with aluminum blades and it's been great. Flex fans have speed ratings, so this is a factor to consider unless you want a ventilated hood. Personally, I've not seen a metal one come apart. They are lighter on the water pump shaft, have no clutch to go bad, and best of all, they work when the engine runs. Each fan type has virtues. The trick is to use the right one for your application. Space was my main issue. I already knew it'd pull enough air from previous experience. Never got around to making a shroud, but it worked fine anyway since the area was so confined. I'll be getting a new one soon with a higher speed rating to go with the new engine. Still wish I could run the viscous package, but there's just not enough room.



GraphiteDak
GenIII
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11/10/2003
23:18:50

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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I still love the electrics. Been running them with no clutch fan/ flex fan for years since my Mustang days.
You get better initial engine response with no fan turning on it, less chance of cut off fingers, and a LOT more room to access the engine accesories.

Like you said, depending on application. The belt driven fan is more reliable I'll admit, but I don't mind fixing my electric fans. And yes, cheap relays fuse together. These things draw at LEAST 30+ amps on start up.
But if you were a drag racer, you'd run electric fans, and flip a switch inside to kill the altenator and run everything off of the battery for a run. I'm sure you'd pick up on the et easily.



Don Burdin
Dodge Dakota
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10/02/2005
21:28:10

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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Hello, I have a ChevyII Nova with a modified 357 c.i. small block,which produces approximately 430 hp(without my nitrous)that i use as a street/strip car. I have been running a flex fan on it for the last 12+ years without any problems! With a 160 degree thermostat, the operating temperatures will vary between 170-190 during the months of April thru October here in So. Indiana, which is where i live. Occasionally though, in stop and go traffic in hot weather, it might reach 200-215 degrees! At the track, no problem, of course! Now, to my question, finally! Would the car perform better in all situations with an electric fan, and is there one available to adequately support a high performance engine? I have fairly limited space, even though, my flex fan is 18" in dia.! Numerous people have said that i could gain horsepower and still have good cooling results! I haven't seen any designed for 400-450 hp, and I don't want a supplemental electric fan! There must be someone out there who's knowledgeable on this question! Thanks,
DB



Don Burdin
Dodge Dakota
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10/02/2005
21:30:04

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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Hello, I have a ChevyII Nova with a modified 357 c.i. small block,which produces approximately 430 hp(without my nitrous)that i use as a street/strip car. I have been running a flex fan on it for the last 12+ years without any problems! With a 160 degree thermostat, the operating temperatures will vary between 170-190 during the months of April thru October here in So. Indiana, which is where i live. Occasionally though, in stop and go traffic in hot weather, it might reach 200-215 degrees! At the track, no problem, of course! Now, to my question, finally! Would the car perform better in all situations with an electric fan, and is there one available to adequately support a high performance engine? I have fairly limited space, even though, my flex fan is 18" in dia.! Numerous people have said that i could gain horsepower and still have good cooling results! I haven't seen any designed for 400-450 hp, and I don't want a supplemental electric fan! There must be someone out there who's knowledgeable on this question! Thanks,
DB



Charles Kerr
Dodge Dakota
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3/01/2023
13:21:08

RE: Cooling Fan, Flex -vs- Electric
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What everyone has not spoken of is to a first time
user you should know that to be sure to buy a
PRIMARY electric fan and not an aux be sure the
assem pulls enough cfm .



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