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View Full Version : Radiator upgrade & electric fans ?



elmer phudd
January 6th, 2013, 10:40 AM
I'm going to replace the stock radiator in my 2004 TJ/LJ , Stock 4.0 Ltr with a aluminum radiator. And am looking for the Pro's & Cons of electric fans. Life expectancy, straight blade, S blades. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

WhiteRhino
January 6th, 2013, 01:28 PM
I guess I would ask the question "WHY?" Are you having problems with it? I haven't heard of overheating being a problem. Seems like a lot of work and expense if you don't need it.

Personally, I have not had great luck with aftermarket electric fans over using the stock fan supplied with the motor. After years of screwing around with aftermarket fans on my SBC jeeps, I went back to a clutch fan. But, that's just me.

oz97tj
January 6th, 2013, 02:21 PM
Why is also a good question with that fancy radiator. A steel replacement can be bought for around 150 and you won't have the issues with the plastic tanks of the factory one.

I did put an electric in my TJ though. I went that way because my clutch came apart sending the fan into the radiator. It would have been more expensive to replace the fan clutch than the $75 Spal kit that was designed for the TJ so I went that route. I never had any problems with it either. I wouldn't exactly do it as an upgrade but it was a viable alternative in my book. The thought of being able to shut it off for water crossings was cool too, but the reality was I never did ever wire in a shutoff.

Renegade II
January 6th, 2013, 08:19 PM
I had a "high performance" fan take out my radiator on a run back in the late 80's. About that time I was watching electric fans die left and right from water & swamp crossings. Ever since then I've run a heavy duty truck, non-clutch, fixed blade, steel fan. I'll gladly trade the small loss in HP to run around at 180* on 100* days.

Greenway
January 6th, 2013, 09:19 PM
Look for a fan with the wide curved blades, they are quieter and pull better through a partially clogged radiator. While there are fans with higher initial CFM ratings, I chose one with wide blades. If you look at the reference data for these fans, you can see what I mean. Higher static pressure difference on the chart equates to a muddy radiator in the real world. I picked this one.

http://www.spalusa.com/store/main.aspx?p=itemdetail&item=30102082

JKs are notorious for dying OEM fans. Most every one I hear replace their fans are going with spals. At least those who are talking about it.

oz97tj
January 7th, 2013, 01:16 AM
I replaced my '09s JK fan with the same Spal Greenway used. I had it for a few years before I sold that JK off with never an issue either.


For reference if you didn't know, JKs come from the factory with an electric fan like many newer vehicles. I don't think reliability is much of an issue with electric fans if a quality one is purchased.

jeepfreak81
February 7th, 2013, 03:32 PM
After converting my flatty to electric, I am switching it back after a failure, for the same reasons as above. That and my electric fan made me be "That Guy" at Snofari this year when it failed.

It is getting a non-clutch fixed steel bladed fan.

phittie1100
February 7th, 2013, 04:22 PM
There seemed to be an awful lot of 2013 SnoFari pictures of a group of guys standing around your Jeep...

jeepfreak81
February 7th, 2013, 05:13 PM
There seemed to be an awful lot of 2013 SnoFari pictures of a group of guys standing around your Jeep...

I won So Broke as well... after I backed into a ledge smashing my USMC gas can, and then Tommy Boy'ed the door off... Then the fan failed forcing me to remove the hood.

Probably for the best, as the driveshaft is twisted like a pretzel, it just had not broken yet and the radiator started leaking pretty bad. The flatty is in surgery right now getting quite a few upgrades, radiator, fan, transmission, OD, Steering, and I have to pick up a new hardtop/doors on Saturday.

That is all tax deductible as a donation to GLFWDA and the city of West Branch right? :poke::idea::lmao:

phittie1100
February 7th, 2013, 07:38 PM
Are you kidding? The environmentalists are going to drag you into court for damaging a ledge, contaminating the ground with ethylene glycol, and leaving a trail of metal bread crumbs throughout the forest!

jeepfreak81
December 12th, 2013, 07:37 PM
Are you kidding? The environmentalists are going to drag you into court for damaging a ledge, contaminating the ground with ethylene glycol, and leaving a trail of metal bread crumbs throughout the forest!

Yep definitely sounds like a deduction LOL.