[TR] Electric Fans: Something Different

George Haynes ghaynestr4 at aol.com
Thu Jul 19 18:16:38 MDT 2018


Many years ago, when the machine shop was balancing my TR4A engine, the tech asked if I really needed the fan extension hub on the crankshaft.  Seems he would have to remove metal from the crankshaft to compensate if the extension hub was retained.  He asked if there was room for an electric puller fan if we took the hub and fan blade off.

Sure, there's lots of room behind the radiator when the fan and hub are removed!  So no metal was removed from the crankshaft.

The largest fan I could fit was 16" in diameter and draws just over 10 amps.  One cannot go small here, because now this is my engine's only cooling device.  Just in traffic, of course.  I replaced the dash lamp dimmer rheostat (just connected all the wires together, because the dash lights were never too bright) and installed a heater fan switch in its place,  The switch even has a little fan blade on the knob. This switch probably should operate a relay to operate the electric fan, but it's been working so far.

Having already had trouble keeping the battery charged with the wimpy stock generator, I also installed a GM Delco 63-amp alternator.  OK, some fiddling was necessary to mount it, but it works great.  Probably been in the car 20+ years now.  And it's nice to know that all the FLAPS and Chevy dealers have this alternator on their shelves if I need one somewhere.

Then I became concerned with what to do if the electric fan quits.  I drive my car a lot, and didn't want to be on the side of the road in East Nowhere with no way to cool the engine.  Decided a second fan could be installed - in front of the radiator.  BTW, a new aluminum radiator went in about then, too.  And one of Richard Good's lovely stainless ducts.  Now, if  one fan quits, I simply plug in the spare, and I'm off again.  All that business about fans blocking the air is nonsense!

When the battery finally failed after 14 years, I gave no thought to the alternator contributing to long battery life. Then someone mentioned it here and, Voila!  it makes sense.  The powerful alternator helped keep the battery healthy for 14 years!

And, while I'm on the subject of  reliability and roadside repairs, there is an electric fuel pump in the trunk. If the mechanical pump fails, I do a little plumbing to bypass the failed pump (to avoid the possibility of a sump full of gasoline) and keep driving with the electric pump.

Needless to say, this car has been modified for reliability - and it works!  Replacing the stock TR4A seats with Miata seats has make this car a delight to drive long distances to go along with its reliability.  

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