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Aluminum Radiator and electric fan setup questions.

Started by Zshowket, May 22, 2022, 09:42:03 AM

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I have 1970 Clallenger auto trans 440, appears I have the 22" core support.  Radiator that is in the car now is a 26" and will need replacing soon. I would like to upgrade to an aluminum radiator with electric fan(s).

What brands are recommended?
How is fit and finish?
Did you need to fab brackets?
Who does your hair?
Suggested vendors to order from?


Cannot chime in as much for fitment as my Challenger is a small block.

On electric fans, there is much to consider. Assuming your new radiator is up to the task.. why are you switching to electric fans?

I had electric fans on my BB 390FE Ford... and ended up switching back to a flex fan for simplicity. Been running that way with a stock radiator w/o issues on the hottest days. Hot August in Reno... no problems. Unless you are solid on going electric I'd say stick with a good ole clutch fan and shroud for simplicity and good cooling.

Previous owner of my Challenger installed enough aluminum radiator and electric fan for probably more than double the HP my lil LA is putting out. Soo.. big rad with a pair of high performance Spal fans. Purchased from this place at a premium:
Nice setup if you are into dropping that kind of coin on cooling. Prior owner still manged to overheat and burned out the alternator as the fans would kick on full speed at the same time... 35A each.

So, considerations for the ele switch.

1) Fans. They need to push quite a bit of air to just match a good solid fan, most of the inexpensive fans are not up to the task. The good fans that push a lot of air are noisy and pull quite a few amps.

2) Your ele system. Electric fans add complexity and draw on your entire system. So factor in the thermal sensor, wiring to the relays and all the spagetti that will be added. Have AC? You will need to account for that as well likely with a separate circuit for when it is kicked on. Make sure your alternator and battery are up to the task, think of what else will be drawing amps and account for total with some buffer.

I ditched the full on/off relays in favor of one of these :

You set the start temp & max temp for full speed. It starts the fans spinning slowly as opposed to the full hit with the relays and ramps them up all the way to full speed per your programming. Has a readout for current temp and speed that is handy under the hood. The only downside was the HP Spal curved fans I purchased to replace the Spal paddle fans needed more amps at start than the controller could muster. It has a total capacity of 60A.



Thanks for your notes. I do have another muscle car with dual fan setup so I know how hard the draw can be. I am using the computer in the fuel injection system to control the fans in a step so there is never a spike in the elecrrical system.

I may stay mechanical with this one.

But I still would need to know what vendors can set me up. My car currently does not have a shroud either. So I need a radiator, shroud and fan setup. The idea is to get rid of the hack job the previous builder did. The current radiator is bolted in with no bushings at all.