Thame UK / Alpe D'Huez France
69 S4 FHC
Honda GoldWing 1800
Kawasaki H1 500
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I installed redundant fans and switches/controllers to be safe. But I would never rely on my remembering to switch on a fan manually.
'62 S2 Super Seven Cosworth
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1964 Sabra GT
1964 Elva Mk4T Coupe (awaiting restoration)
1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 302,AOD,9",rack and pinion,disc,etc,etc,etc
1954 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe
Lotus is a life sentence with no parole
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When the car is moving at a reasonable speed, a fan is redundant - the amount of air blowing through the rad because of the forward motion of the car will exceed the air from a fan. The fan is only necessary when the car is stationary or moving slowly. When racing MGs in the 90s, a common trick was to remove the mechanical fan blade to save a few HP. Conversely, my old Landy Defender has a fan the size of a windfarm turbine - I guess the expectation is that it will be plugging through mud in low range with little forward speed and has to rely on the fan for all its cooling airflow.
If you don't want to rely on a thermostat, there is nothing wrong with running an electric fan 100% of the time, although it will sap a little performance from the engine via the alternator, shorten the life of the fan, effect warm up time - and depending on the fan can be noisy.
One final comment not mentioned above, under bonnet temperature on an Elan are high, and the exhaust manifold is damn close to a flammable passenger footwell wall. Irrespective of the benefits of the fan keeping the coolant cold, I like the idea of it blowing a bit of air around the engine bay when stationary.
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For now, I think I'll just default to driving the car with the fan always on, but I would eventually like to add some kind of thermal switch. No sense running the fan when it's not needed, especially since it seems like the cooling setup (at least with whatever upgraded radiator is on my car) is adequate to keep things cool.
I like the idea of the in-line temp switch spliced into the hose at the bottom of the radiator.
I also like Andy's point about getting a little airflow in the engine bay. I wonder if I could add a second switch that activates when the ambient air temps in the engine bay exceed a certain level. I know that in many cars I've worked on, the fan clutch simply goes off air temperature.
I'd rather just have something that works automatically. Driving this car is so fun and involving that I'd rather not have to think about engine cooling while I'm having fun!
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