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Discussion Starter #1
Alright guys, here's the question: Have any of you converted your Sammi over to an electric fan? I have a lovely free fan that had previously been cooling a toyota V6 that will sit nicely behind the radiator of my 86 Zuki. My thinking is this: less drag on the engine equals more power to the ground and electric fan turns full speed all the time so more cooling at the crawl. The dillema is this however. The stock fan is on a clutch, does this clutch offer enough of an advanage over a direct drive to render my electric mod un-nesacery? On that other American built 4x4 (I won't mention the J word)that I used to drive, the electric fan was a must for crawling. I mounted it in front of the radiator and left the stock fan intact, only flipping the switch for the electric one when needed, the V6 had more than enough power. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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This is a popular subject. There's been much discussion over the years, pretty much along the lines you mentioned. A little searching on the various Suzuki boards should turn up a HUGE amount of discussion. The Taurus fan seems to be popular, but there are plenty of others that seem to work also. There's also the pusher versus puller configuration to consider. The 'puller' seems to offer more room for a larger fan.
 

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Hi,

Just wanted to share my experience with using an electric fan on my Sammy. I have a 92 model Sammy and been using en electric fan on it for 5 years now.

I used to overheat consistently when driving my Sammy (on the way to the trails) on the highway and could not understand why. I've had the whole cooling system cleaned and and inspected. Eventually to find out accidentally that when on a stock alternator (35A), the fan wasn't spinning fast enough. While the temp would go down on idle, on high revs the temp would go up. After switching to a 90A alternator, overheating problems went away. So Baratacus is right, if you're on a stock alternator, expect problems with the electric fan.

The electric fan does help with engine power. It also helps with river crossings. Best to put a thermo switch to it though so you don't burn out the carbon brushes due to continuous use (even when engine is cold and not needed).

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I do plan to upgrade the charging system to a delco alternator. At least 80 amps. The idea behind the electric fan was of course more power.
 

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puting a higher output alternator and putting a load on it will use just as much engine power.

It takes engine power to make electricity for your fan. In fact it will take more power to run the electric than the mechanical fan. Converting mechanical power of the engine to electric power at the alternator and then converting it back to mechanical power at the fan motor is much less efficient than running your fan straight off of the mechanical engine power.

There are situations where a mechanical fan can't be used, like with a long core radiator where you need more than one fan to effectively cover the surface area of the radiator, or if you don't have enough space to mount a mechanical fan between the engine and radiator, or any time a push through front mounted fan is required...

As far as efficency and output though, a properly functioning mechanical fan is going to be the best thing for your vehicle.
 

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If you have an engine driven fan without some sort of thermally controlled clutch - which the Samurai does not have - you're wasting power turning it at highway speeds when there is already enough motion induced airflow through the radiator to handle the cooling chores.

If electric fans were that inefficient - would you care to explain why most recent production vehicles have switched to electric fans - even those with "north-south" mounted engines?

Just as one example the 2.0 litre J20A engined Grand Vitara '98~'05 uses an engine driven viscous clutch fan, but the '06~'10 production, using the same engine have a pair of electric fans.

Given the cost compromises that go in to designing & building vehicles, can you see a vehicle manufacturer going to a more expensive, less efficient cooling system - the electric fans are not as inefficient as you assume - especially when you consider that they spend more of their time switched off than they do on - even with the vehicle stationary and idling.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
So... according to a little research a 50 amp draw on your alternator causes a drag on your engine equal to roughly one horsepewer. The fan on the other hand in a clutch configuration, drawing only when needed, pulls up to 15 horse out of the engine when engaged... on a big block! An old one! A little sammie four banger it would be closer to half to one horsepower. An electric fan pulls up to thirty five amps at startup. Hmmm, this seems like a bit of a moot switch. The reason for the vitara switching to the twin electrics as well as the Toyota forrunners and a whole host of other four by fours is this: As the front of the vehicles evolved to a shorter, wider configuration over the last several years (perhaps in an effort to make them apear to have greater ground clearance or aerodynamics, or both?),The radiators have gotten wider as well. This means that they need twin fans to move air over the entire surface of the rediator and a single central fan cannot do this. In addition to this, the Japanese automaker's traditional economy of parts means that if Suzuki or toyota can use the same fans for all thier vehicles and most of them are transverse engine configuration, then the remainder of them are likely to get electrics as well. Soo, with all that said, I do believe I will be staying with the engine driven clutch fan after all. Thaks for all the responses you guys!
 

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The reason for the vitara switching to the twin electrics as well as the Toyota forrunners and a whole host of other four by fours is this: As the front of the vehicles evolved to a shorter, wider configuration over the last several years (perhaps in an effort to make them apear to have greater ground clearance or aerodynamics, or both?),The radiators have gotten wider as well. This means that they need twin fans to move air over the entire surface of the rediator and a single central fan cannot do this.
I can't speak for the Toyotas, but, that's not the case with the Grand Vitaras - the radiators are roughly the same shape & size, and whilst on the 06~10 the twin fans do a pretty good job of covering the radiator, the same can not be said for the single fan in the 98~05.

The engine driven fan does move more air at low rpm than an equivalent electric - hence the need for twin electrics - but that does not explain the switch to electrics - which plain & simple, is fuel economy - you don't drive the fan when it's not required.

There are a couple of application notes & research papers dealing with this - I'll see if I find then and post a link for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
fordem, you are absolutely right, I forgot to mention the fuel factor. I had no idea when I began contemplating this conversion that there was such a fine line to be drawn. I will maintain my current stock fan at least until I upgrade the charging system. If it weren't set up on a thermo-clutch I think it would be a more pressing issue as far as the power is concerned. My old jeep just idled so low and the cooling system was simply inadiquate for crawling that the electric became a must.
 

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The reason I put a elec fan and a dash mounted on/off switch on my sammi
is because in BC where I live (the rain forest of n.america) is I do a lot of water crossings and it's nice to be able to shut off the fan when crossing
and not splashing water all over the electrics.
 

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The reason I put a elec fan and a dash mounted on/off switch on my sammi
is because in BC where I live (the rain forest of n.america) is I do a lot of water crossings and it's nice to be able to shut off the fan when crossing
and not splashing water all over the electrics.
That's actually the reason I've been considering it - down in the rainforests of South America. I currently drive a GV which has a viscous coupled clutch fan, so there is not that much of a fuel efficency advantage for me.
 

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The fuel economy is not an issue with the viscous clutch fan in a samurai. It's a thermal activated clutch and engages when it heats up. Turns fan 60-70 percent of shaft when engaged and 20-30 percent when disengaged. Once the engine is reving over a certain RPM the fan is not pulling any more power from it.

Replacing the viscous clutch mechanism on your samurai fan is actually more expensive than replacing a motor on an electric fan. Electric motors are a dime a dozen and economics of manufacturing is the reason electric behind single fan applications. As was explained about elongated radiators , you need a dual fan to cover tha radiator area.. I touched on that briefly earlier as well.

If you want an electric selectable fan so you don't splash water when the fan is submerged your aftermarket alternator will already be under water and thowing water everywhere with it's external pull through fan. :rolleyes:
 

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Maybe it's because of market differences, but none of the Samurais I've seen had clutch fans, all were bolted directly to the water pump pulley.

Whilst viscous clutch fans allow greater fuel efficiency than fixed fans, as you point out they never fully disengage and so with the engine turning 3~4000 rpm whilst you roll down the highway, they are still consuming power unneccessarily - electric fans on the other hand, switch off and consume no power - the improvement in fuel efficency between a fixed fan and an electric is significant, between a clutch fan and an electric, it's a lot less, what's actually more noticeable is the improvement in engine responsiveness.

Last but not least - I'm going to guess you don't get to drive much in water where you are - if you did you would know the cooling fan will lift and splash water everywhere long before the water is high enough to reach the alternator - you only need to get an inch or so of fan blade dipping into the water to have the entire underhood area soaking wet.
 

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One reason I went electric is that most of the time when I wheel I run in low range. This usually puts my RPM's up around 3000 a lot. Doing that often puts the stock fan in a more free float mode causing less air flow through the radiator at slow ground speeds. In my case I've found I run cooler with the electric fan.
 

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the fan actually goes over the clutch you cant see that part of it. It looks like it's just bolted straight to the pump pulley.

at freeway speeds when the cluch would be disengaged, the air flowing over the fan is turning it faster than the engine would. That's why it disengages the clutch. The engine isn't really using any power to turn the fan when you're at higher speeds. The clutch remains engaged at low RPM when the engine is warm. At 30K RPM's the clutch is still engaged. At higher RPM's, I believe it's over 40K but I'm not positive, the clutch disengages because your speed should be high enough at that rpm range to move air over the radiator. I don't know if the samurai fan clutch has a bi-metal heat coil, but the clutches that do, will lock the clutch if the engine reaches a certain temperature, regardless of RPM.
 

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Attached is a diagram from the parts manual for the E01 (E01 is the general export market) specification SJ413 - no fan clutch is fitted - E01 is what we got here, and if I'm not mistaken this diagram is also the way the European & UK market vehicles were built.
 

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Yup, unless the clutch is "IN" the fan and not shown seperated in that diagram, I don't see a clutch mechanism there. Some places sell The OEM fan and clutch are one piece and are not seperated, but it looks like a different fan than on that diagram.

Here's a picture of the samurai fan clutch assembly



(200 bucks for the clutch BTW.. owch!)
 

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I replaced mine for $85 (Hayden); the Beck-Arnley is somewhat more. As much as I like OEM parts, I don't think I'd get one at the dealer.
 
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