Airflow is the key measurement for determining the cooling capability of electric fans. Fa
If overheating only happens in traffic and at low speeds, you need more airflow. When you drive at highway speeds, you’re forcing more air through the radiator regardless of how much air the fan moves. In fact, most vehicles don’t need a fan at all on the highway unless the vehicle is towing a heavy load. But at slow speeds or a stop, the only airflow through the radiator is created by the fan.
If you have a belt-driven fan, do you have a fan shroud? If not, this could be your problem, but even a properly shrouded, belt-driven fan may not move enough air at low engine rpm to cool your radiator because the fan speed is related to engine rpm. When the engine is idling, a belt-driven fan is moving very little air through the radiator. This is when an electric fan is a nice cooling solution because it can spin at full speed, pulling maximum airflow, even when your engine is idling. Switching from a belt-driven fan to an electric one also gives you a performance benefit by completely removing the mechanical load of spinning the fan from the engine. This means more power to the wheels and even a fuel economy gain. Removing a belt-driven fan that mounts on the water pump also reduces the load on the pump. This can lengthen the life of the bearings in the water pump.
If your 4x4 runs hot all the time, not just at idle, your problem is most likely an insuff
What if you already have an electric fan and you still have an overheating problem only in traffic? Then you probably don’t have the right electric fan. There are hundreds of different electric fans with various airflow specifications and mounting configurations. An electric fan that pulls 1,500 cfm doesn’t stand a chance of keeping 700 horsepower cool. You need to scale the cfm rating of the fan with the power output of the vehicle. But cfm isn’t the only factor. Pulling air through as much of the radiator as possible is important. That’s why electric fan systems with full shrouds work so well. Traditional “basket” electric fans are good as auxiliary fans on the front of the radiator when a belt-driven fan is still used, but are generally not recommended as the primary cooling fan.
In addition to airflow through the radiator, you should consider airflow in the engine compartment. If the hot air is trapped under the hood, you’ll be heating the radiator from the inside and outside when you’re idling or moving slow. The fan is also less effective if there isn’t a good path for the air to flow out of the engine bay. In some cases, cutting out part of the inner fender wells or putting louvers in the hood helps heat escape the engine bay.
While brass and copper is more efficient than aluminum, Flex-a-lite’s radiator sidetank de
The radiator world has completely changed in the past 30 years. Way back when, a four-core brass and copper radiator was the hot ticket to keep big-powered trucks cool. Having more cores was the only way to be better at that time. What we know now is that, while a four-core radiator might be good for holding a lot of coolant, it’s not that good at letting the air flow through the core to transfer the heat to the atmosphere. The thick core is very restrictive when you try to pull air through it with a fan. That’s one reason why the auto makers went to two-core construction in the ’90s, with tubes that measure 1-inch wide instead of the traditional 3⁄8-inch. Most performance aftermarket radiators now have the same two-core design with 1-inch tubes.
Aluminum radiators are now very popular, but guess what? Aluminum isn’t the most efficient material for heat transfer. When it comes to radiators, brass and copper is. Surprised? Aluminum is favored because the strength of the aluminum allows for a thinner core with much larger tubes; this promotes superior airflow and heat dissipation over its brass and copper counterpart. Also, because of their added strength, aluminum radiators can run a higher psi cap, which raises the boiling point of the coolant. For every point of psi, the boiling point is raised approximately 3 degrees. Aluminum radiators also look cool and are lightweight. The absolute worst construction for a radiator is composite: an aluminum core with plastic side tanks. Plastic is not very good at heat transfer, and these are prone to failures, especially in off-road vehicles where there is a lot of flex and vibration.
Most full-size trucks come with good-sized radiators (height and width). You may need to upgrade from a composite, single-core radiator to a performance two-core with either aluminum or brass and copper construction. Vehicles that are more likely to have cooling problems are compact trucks and Jeeps where underhood space for a radiator is at a premium, and where you’ve likely changed out the four- or six-banger for a V-8. This is when you’ll want to fit the largest width and height radiator possible, with a high-efficiency core for the best heat transfer.
If you use an aluminum radiator, make sure it features a fully-welded construction. The le
If you use an aluminum radiator, you need to do something to protect it against corrosion.
Even though aluminum radiators are popular, brass and copper construction is actually more
Expansion tanks (arrow) are common on vehicles built in the last 20 years to increase the
Water pumps fail eventually. Usually, the bearings wear, allowing the shaft to move in the
Also consider other heat sources. Running your transmission cooler inside the radiator put
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