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How to install a junkyard electric fan on a radiator


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This is a work in progress. I'll update as I go.


Okay, this is my attempt and installing a junkyard fan onto a Toyota 22RE radiator. The same principals apply to any radiator conversion so I figured I'd post it up here. The key is to find a fan close to your radiator in size.


I got my fan from a Nissan Quest. I decided to go this route because of OEM reliability and to compliment my freshly rebuilt motor. I couldn't find an actual step by step how-to, but there was still lots of directions out there. I didn't spend a lot of time looking either though. Hopefully this helps someone out.


THIS IS WHAT I DID / AM DOING. You do not have to do it this way. There are many alternatives, but this is what I think works best for my goals. And it'll be pretty.


Enough, let the pics do the talking.


Somehow we gotta get this:



Cooled by this over-sized monstrosity (radiator underneath):



Measure, measure, prep to cut, measure again. I won't give measurements, but cut to size to what you think is best. Orient the radiator to maximize / center cooling. DON'T FORGET THE FAN TO RADIATOR CLEARANCE



Let the hacking begin. Don't forget to measure. Don't forget to make trace lines, etc. When I cut my shroud, it was biased all the way flush to the left side and all the way up on the bottom edge to the mid point of the tank line where it curves back in. DON'T FORGET THE FAN TO RADIATOR CLEARANCE





I decided on the bottom of mine, that I wanted to try to seal it some but still provide adequate water and mud runoff. Here's what I devised. Notice most awesome lower radiator hose cutout LOL. Cut the bottom towards the middle then at 45's.



When all was said and done, this is what I cut off:



So now that it was all cut up, I was left with all these big gaps; what to do, what to do?



A lot of guys stuff weather stripping and other oddities in there which works. Again, all up to the owner, tools and budget. For me, I decided frame. After careful measurements again, I came up with some scrap 3/4" x 1/8" box tubing I had laying around. You can get it at Lowe's cheap. Broke out the welder.










So now it was time to devise mounting. I decided I wanted studs to hold everything together on the frame. Broke out the drill press. Using a uni-bit, drilled down, exactly 1/2" on one side, 5/16" on the other side. Allows me to drop bolts right in to make studs. BEFORE welding in the bolts though, line up the brackets, predrill your plastic using the bracket as the template. Then, drop in all the bolts and use the nuts to tighten them all down in a straight line.














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Got all the studs welded up and did a dry fit to the cut shroud.















Now was time to figure out how to mount the frames to the radiator. I found these little brackets I had from some project, decided to use those for their somewhat stock appearance, strength, whatever. You could use plate bar, box tubing, whatever. Most people make little Z brackets.





Had to make little extensions for one side because of the way the fan sits flush to the edge of the radiator. Also had to trim plastic to fit.







Next was to shave everything down. I left a few bolts long so i had mounting points for whatever in the future.





Starting to look decent.



So I was satisfied with the frames. here they are in rough condition. Shortly after, I sprayed them with self etch primer and then a coat of VHT high temp black. No pics of painting, you've all seen it.







Next, I added 1/16" foam tape to the painted frames to make up for any inconsistencies.




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Mounted everything back up, then focused on wiring a little. Didn't like the fact that the power wires were facing left, because I wanted to put them to the right. The battery, A/C and fuse box are all that way. I also want to put my fan controller on the shroud. So what did I do? Re-index the motor. But to do that with the fan blade on, you have to grind down the bolts. Here we go.











Another reason I want to put the controller (DCC Controller by the way) on the shroud is because I want to make it plug and play, the relay from the DCC is a direct very short path, and the temp sensor will be right there as well. Pulled off the factory connectors and mounted the controller.





That's pretty much where I am now. I'm running the electrical options through my head and will update back as soon as I make more progress.



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Nice write up. I ran a hayess controller on my tacoma for a while when I first did a dual electric fan swap, and the thing wouldnt seems to work right. I got tired of assuming it was working after a while so I ended up running a relay for each fan in parallel to a single switch on the dash. The dual fan setup I used was off a maxima, ones fan set to high speed and the other medium. I can feel the air from the fans in the cab when there on to give you an idea of the pulling power. I believe my butt dino felt a difference from stock mechanical to electric fans lol

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Thanks. A simple solution for the fan status is to wire a LED or light to the output of the controller. DC Controls sells this too. Basically changes color when different fan speeds are on. I am worried about a motor failure though. I may go back to the yards and pull a spare motor and just keep it with the truck. The beauty of my setup is you can pull it out with four bolts to get to the fan clip to change the motor.



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Yeah, I like this. That's gotta look clean under the hood. I love adding modern tech to old cars. Good idea that you carry an extra fan motor. The belt driven fan is far less likely to fail, on the other hand a cooling fan circuit can easily be diagnosed and repaired on the side of the road if you have some spare parts and wire :D I always carry an extra spool of wire, and strippers and connectors and a meter under the seat of my car. Great write-up friend!

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Thanks dudes! I've been running it daily now for about a month and a half. Absolutely no issues whatsoever. Some more tips / thoughts:


- Make sure you use appropriate sized wires. These things draw a few more amps than you might think.


- For my temp sensor, originally I was hell bent on putting in a threaded bung and probe for temp rather than the external "stick it in the fins of the radiator" wire probe provided. In my excited rush to test the entire motor / fan, I installed the provided wire probe unit. I am still using it and I think my mind has been changed. I placed it in the center of the radiator, all the way at the top in between two fins (per the directions / no prying required because its at the top) and then siliconed both ends of just those two fins to encapsulate the probe. It works like a champ. My temperature does not deviate between my set points.


- When it kicks on, it's a freaking hurricane. I can feel it under at the drivers door while out of the truck and that's slow speed. That being said, it does put a load on the motor from the electrical draw. Make provisions for this. I went from a 65A alternator to a 1-wire GM 120A unit at the same time installing the fan. I have no electrical draw issues, BUT the motor still drops idle when the fan kicks in because of the draw down of the alternator.


- Mine is wired to shut off with ignition. You could wire it to stay on like many OEM's do just keep in mind the power draw.


- I've seen A LOT of people cut the plastic shroud and zip tie them to the radiator.  Personally, I like the frame much better. It's tighter, doesn't snap zip ties, doesn't wiggle loose and is solidly mounted like OEM.


I might do the 521 next.

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  • 9 years later...

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