Electric versus normal belt driven cooling fan

Submitted: Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 09:25
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Hi, I am having problems with fan clutch on my 80 series. I am aware of replacement clutches, but have been advised to replace with an electric fan. Any input from anyone?
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Reply By: olcoolone - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 10:41

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 10:41
Keep with the engine driven fan, electric fans are over rated in most applications.

The only way to get an electric fan working efficiently is to use a shroud so the fan/s suck over a large area.

People mount fans to the radiator and wonder why they don't work as well as they could.....

Race cars use electric fans so people think it's a good idea......if race cars use them then they must be good, race cars use them for a different reason.

A engine driven fan is less complex and will draw way more air then an electric fan.... plus it will be cheaper.
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 10:42

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 10:42
One other thing..... you should be able to rebuild yours.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 10:52

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 10:52
As others have said stick with the engine driven fan. Go to the lcool (land cruisers owners on line) web site you will have to join but it's free and check in the technical section. There is a step by step info thread on how to replace the silicon fluid in the fan clutch. The fluid is available from Toyota dealers. That is usually all that is needed to restore their operation.

Cheers
Pop
AnswerID: 506326

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 10:53

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 10:53
I'm assuming you are having some sort of overheating problem and have done all the other usual checks???
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Reply By: cruiser 3 - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 11:08

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 11:08
replacing fan clutch fluid is easy. remove the fan and clutch, separate the clutch and top up with 1 or 2 tubes of Toyota silicon clutch fan oil.

A more detailed explanation is on the web but in short that is all you have to do.

I can provide more info about testing and oil part number if you require.
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Follow Up By: Member - LeighW - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 16:34

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 16:34
You need to be careful as to how and what type of silicon oil you add, I believe Toyota have a couple of different types and you need to be careful as to how much you add or the fan won't disengage.

Cheers
Leigh

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Reply By: Member - SkyFlyer - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 11:17

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 11:17
Thanks everyone - I appreciate your input. The old story about free advice being cheap is usually right - the real solution is usually different! I shall attempt to replace the fluid first, I guess the Toyota engineers were very thorough when they designed this marvellous vehicle.

AnswerID: 506330

Reply By: Member - Phil H (NSW) - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 14:04

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 14:04
Above advice is spot on. My fan had become lazy on my way to Broome a few years $ago. It was too late for airconditioning compressor. New compressor etc etc was $1275 then. Wish I had advice you have been given here, back then,
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Reply By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Sunday, Mar 10, 2013 at 13:25

Sunday, Mar 10, 2013 at 13:25
I'm going to disagree.....
Reasons being
A: Engine driven fans sap power from your engine and do slightly increase your fuel consumption.
B: Most modern vehicles use electric fans only...that many manufacturers could be wrong.
C: Most aftermarket electric fans eg Davies Craig can be set to run on a short time after the engine stops. Have you ever seen how an analouge temp gauge soars in the minutes after engine shut down? The pressures increase and if your radiator cap fails to relieve the pressure, one of your hoses will.
D: Probably the biggest selling point for me is...creek/water crossings. With an isolator switch fitted, you can manually shut down the fans to prevent water splashing (especially in petrol engines) and blades visiting the radiator core.

Fans will usually fill the space within a radiator fan shroud so efficiency is not lost.

Fab.
AnswerID: 506486

Follow Up By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Sunday, Mar 10, 2013 at 13:27

Sunday, Mar 10, 2013 at 13:27
".....manufacturers could *NOTbe wrong."
Whoops.
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Follow Up By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Sunday, Mar 10, 2013 at 13:30

Sunday, Mar 10, 2013 at 13:30
Quicker engine warm up times in winter, less vibration through the engine, less stress on the water pump shaft, less likely to injure yourself if working on the engine when it's running.....the list goes on.
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Follow Up By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Sunday, Mar 10, 2013 at 13:33

Sunday, Mar 10, 2013 at 13:33
Won't stick one through the radiator if the water pump lets go, contant velocity equals better cooling....important if towing up a long steep gradient at lowish RPM, can be wired up to run in reverse too..helps to clear spinifex husks from the radiator core.

Engine driven fans are old skool.
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Follow Up By: Member - SkyFlyer - Sunday, Mar 10, 2013 at 17:46

Sunday, Mar 10, 2013 at 17:46
Interesting to say the least! I had a similar problem years ago on a Patrol while travelling in the snowcountry at -5! It had to be the fan, and yes, it was. I pulled it apart and discovered the silicon had powdered, gone to dust - at first I had no idea what it was supposed to be. In that situation, being short on time, I just bolted the two bits together -lasted until I replaced the old bus and I never experienced any ill effects. Although being in Sydney, the temps rarely get low enough to be a problem. I know others have suffered the same problem, with a good many mechanics scratching their heads having replaced everything but the fan! In 50 years of driving, I have never had a crook thermostat, blocked radiator, or anything else other than the odd burst hose, leaking clamp etc. Electric fans seem like the way to go - how many on an 80 series? One or two?
(Lots cheaper than replacing a clutch/fan assy etc.?) and I appreciate the comments re power robbing-a fact of life.
Cheers and thanks
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Follow Up By: greybeard - Sunday, Mar 10, 2013 at 18:31

Sunday, Mar 10, 2013 at 18:31
Reasons being
A: Engine driven fans sap power from your engine and do slightly increase your fuel consumption.
You may find that the electricity that runs the electric fans comes from the alternator driven by the same engine!
B: Most modern vehicles use electric fans only...that many manufacturers could be wrong.
A noticable amount of new cars have east/west engine mounts and that makes it a little difficult to have a mechanical fan if the radiator is front mounted.

C: Most aftermarket electric fans eg Davies Craig can be set to run on a short time after the engine stops. Have you ever seen how an analouge temp gauge soars in the minutes after engine shut down? The pressures increase and if your radiator cap fails to relieve the pressure, one of your hoses will.
The more significant source of temperature increase after engine shutdown is due to the water pump no longer running. Having an electric fan running after the engine stops may reduce the temperature in the radiator by a small amount but it will make very little difference to the temperature increase in the engine coolant after shutdown.
D: Probably the biggest selling point for me is...creek/water crossings. With an isolator switch fitted, you can manually shut down the fans to prevent water splashing (especially in petrol engines) and blades visiting the radiator core.
Agreed, however taking the time to let the mechanical components cool down, inspecting under the hood while loosening a couple of bolts to take the tension of a fan belt before plunging in isn't a bad use of time either. And, in the great scheme of things, how often does anyone take their 4x4 for a swim?

There's always a couple of ways of looking at things ;)

If a manufacturer has supplied a mechanical fan as OEM and you have a cooling issue it may be more prudent to fix the actual problem rather than redesigning.
Have a great trip :)
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Monday, Mar 11, 2013 at 09:55

Monday, Mar 11, 2013 at 09:55
We replace more electric fans than engine driven ones...... most electric fans have a motor life of around 2-3000hrs (yes 2hrs) for the elcheapo and between 5000-10000hrs for the more expensive ones.

The number of people we have come in who have fitted electric fans that have had the wired backwards or the fan blade not moving air the right way is astonishing. AND who fit under sized fans and understand nothing about air flow and heat transfer.

PLUS some DIY installations are pretty poor.

Engine driven fans with the manufactures shroud draw air more evenly over the radiator and reduce hot spots.

Engine driven fans are less complicated as they have no external sensors, no wiring, no fuses, no relays and no electric motor.

Engine driven fans are set and forget and you wont find out they are not working when it's to late.

Not all electric fans are water tight and can suck dust and moisture into the motor...... we try and use sealed only fan motors.

As for the ABC questions.....

A) yes and no, engine driven fans run less then aftermarket electric fans so power would be much a muchness.

B) Modern vehicles use ECU controlled fan for a number of reasons but mostly to help with emissions and NVH, the other reason is they can make to engine bay more compact give more interior room.

C) A viscous fan will not get sucked into the radiator if you enter the water slowly..... as one should do!

Just because a formula one car uses slick tyres doesn't mean they are good for everyone...... electric fans are the same.

BTW we sell electric fans and stock over 200 different ones..... but we don't stock the elcheap brands..... we stock Tripac, Davis Craig, Baco. Cool Temp and SPAL..... SPAL are our biggest seller and preferred electric fan

Factory engine driven fan for me any day.
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Follow Up By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Monday, Mar 11, 2013 at 12:37

Monday, Mar 11, 2013 at 12:37
Greybeard,
Just to point out the obvious, Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon, BMW, Mercedes ....... all North/South engines - all electric fans. UIt's not just a front wheel drive thing.

olcoolone.... I've replaced more silicone fluid on Landcruiser fans than I've ever had ANY problem with an electric fan.

Fab.
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Follow Up By: greybeard - Monday, Mar 11, 2013 at 13:19

Monday, Mar 11, 2013 at 13:19
That's why I said a noticable amount ;) Commodore, Falcon, BMW, Mercedes aren't the biggest selling vehicles in the world ;)
I've never had to replace the silicone fluid on a Landcruiser fan but I've discarded a failed electric fan.
Point we're trying to make is that there is more than one side to an argument and putting facts into context can alter their significance.
It's all good to allow someone to make an informed decision by pointing out both sides of an argument.
As we've mentioned, the original poster would most likely be best served by fixing the actual problem rather than redesigning a solution.
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