M-715 Flex A Lite Fan and AutoMeter Gauges - The Electric Army Truck Part IIPosted in How To on November 1, 2008
In the last issue of Jp Magazine we covered the installation of our trusty Premier Power Welder into our '68 M-715, aka The Evil Truck. The big pickup is about the third Jeep we've installed this same welder into, so that says something of our affinity for the unit. With the ability to weld, run 110-volt power tools, and rapidly recharge our Optima Blue Top in the field, we thought it was time to turn our attention to other areas of our truck build that had been lacking.
Unlike most of our Jeeps, The Evil Truck's primary role is not that of an off-road warrior. Sure, it has been to Moab, Ocotillo, Glamis, and other premier dirt destinations, but during California's hot summer months it's much more likely to be found at a cruise night, making an ice cream run, or just bopping around town for the hell of it.
However, while the fixed blade Flex-a-lite mechanical fan we've been running does an admirable job cooling the beast considering its distance from the radiator and the fact that there's no fan shroud, we have noticed it seems to run a bit hot during the slow cruise night actions. That is, we think it runs hot. With no functioning gauges in the vehicle, it's sort of hard to tell how hot the engine is, what rpm you're turning, and how fast you're going. And since our primary method of checking the fuel level was to wait until the engine died and then empty the 5-gallon gas can we keep on the side of the truck into the tank, a working fuel gauge would be nice as well. That's why we put in a call to Flex-a-lite and Auto Meter.
The radiator in The Evil Truck is a late-model CJ unit for use with a small-block Chevy V-8 conversion, and it nearly bolted in. Since the radiator fit with very minor alterations, we theorized that Flex-a-lite's bolt-on dual electric fan kit for a late-model CJ (PN 575) would be the perfect choice. And wouldn't you know it, we were right. For gauges, we've been eyeballing Auto Meter's new Z-series line of electric gauges. With subtle black bezels and red LED illumination that mimics the vibe of the military lighting, they look right at home in the dash of our former army truck.