Electric fans provide plenty of benefits for restoration and hotrod builds (2023)

Northeast Ohio is home to numerous companies that build aftermarket components to help with vehicle restorations or hot rod builds. Companies like Corsa Performance, Fidanza Performance, Design Engineering and Myradyne High Performance Fans have all found a home here in Northeast Ohio.

CJ Clayton, national sales manager for Maradyne High Performance Fans, has over 25 years of automotive industry experience and a passion for performance, from dragsters and hot rods
to off-road vehicles. An electric fan and engine cooling expert, enthusiasts who are redoing anything from a 1964 Comet to a 2006 Blazer contact Clayton for assistance in choosing the correct fan for their latest project.

A key advantage of electric fans is increased engine cooling and improved air conditioning cooling at idle, when it is most needed. In addition, replacing an engine-driven fan can increase horsepower and improve fuel economy as the engine drag from turning the fan is eliminated.

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"People often have already reached a conclusion based on a year/make/model lookup, and they want me to verify that they are on the right track," says Clayton. "However, I have to tell them that it is virtually impossible for a year/make/model lookup to correctly factor in all of the variables that go into choosing the best fan for their application."

The first thing to consider is how the body style of the vehicle affects airflow. For example, the wide design of a 1940 Buick is going to have more natural airflow than the narrow profile of a C3 Corvette. Secondly, the core dimensions of the radiator, excluding the cooling tanks, lets you know if a single fan is needed, or if a dual fan shrouded unit could be considered, because fans must cover as much of the radiator as possible.

An important deciding factor in fan selection is the amount of airflow needed. Is the vehicle for racing or is it just a mild weekend cruiser? Clayton recommends matching the cubic feet per minute (CFM) of the fan to the performance level of the vehicle. With a mild street motor, not as much heat is created, requiring lower CFM levels. Higher performance engines require more CFM to keep things cool.

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"We have a saying here at Maradyne that 'there is no such thing as too much CFM' - nobody ever complains about a radiator being too cool," says Clayton. "The goal is to choose the correct fan to match each unique situation, but too much CFM is better than not enough."

What about electric current demands? Take a look at the charging system's specs to make sure the battery and alternator can handle the amp draw of an electric fan. Twelve- to 16-inch fans can range from 15 to 19 amps. Some dual fan configurations can draw 22 to 35 amps.

Choosing between a puller or a pusher fan all depends on the application, space and if you want to remove the engine-driven fan. For most installations, Clayton recommends a puller fan, which would be used on the backside of the radiator in the engine compartment to pull cool air through the radiator.

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Whenever possible, it is advised to always try to use the fan in a puller configuration to not obstruct the natural air the radiator will see from the grill opening. A pusher fan would be used on the front side of the radiator between the grill and radiator. Maradyne fans are reversible and ship as pullers.

Depending on the application, there can be a choice between a shrouded or non-shrouded fan. A shroud around the fan does improve cooling because it creates more focused airflow, and for that reason, if the application allows it, Clayton recommends the use of a shroud.

For more information about electric fan selection, Maradyne offers a comprehensive catalog featuring an extensive application guide. Additional details and assistance can also be found at www.maradyneHP.com.

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Electric fans provide plenty of benefits for restoration and hotrod builds (1)

Electric fans provide plenty of benefits for restoration and hotrod builds (2)

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