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How to Choose the Right Electric Fan

2013 April 25
by therealcoleq

Replacing a belt-driven fan on your engine with a Flex-a-lite electric fan can be a great way to improve power, fuel economy and even give you a quicker engine warm-up. But how do you choose the right electric fan for your application from the 82 different part numbers on

The first step is to know what fits. We covered this in an article previously. In this article we're going to spend more time talking about the differences between the various fans that fit your application to help you get the right electric fan.

The design of the blade, the type of shroud it is mounted in and how far the blade is positioned away from the radiator surface all make a difference in how the electric fan will perform.

All three electric fans shown use a 16-inch fan blade. The first one is a straight-blade fan, which lets the whole package be slimmer. This reduced depth helps the fan fit in tighter spaces. The next fan uses an

S-blade which has a little quieter operation and it has a ring around the fan blade for support, providing better fan-blade stability. Both of these fans have shrouds that only cover the fan blades and are really designed to protect the fan blade; airflow through the radiator core will have the shape of a doughnut. These fans may be used as the primary fan, but are ideal for use as an auxiliary electric fan, mounting these electric fans in front of the radiator for additional cooling when retaining the belt-driven fan.

The third electric fan is the Flex-a-lite Black Magic Xtreme (part No. 180). This design does two things to significantly increase cooling.

First, the injection-molded rectangular shroud covers more radiator surface. The design and depth of the shroud along with the bulb seal ensures that all of the airflow is coming through the radiator core, rather than having airflow drawn from the engine compartment.

Second, the fan motor and blade is located farther away from the radiator surface. All electric fans have a zone in the middle where the motor blocks airflow. Moving the motor farther away from the radiator surface reduces the size of the airflow dead-zone. It also lets the fan pull air through entire shroud better than if the blade was closer to the radiator. In fact, we have found that this fan removes 40-percent more BTU (measurement of heat) because of this design.

Flex-a-lite offers a variety of fully-shrouded single and dual electric fan systems. We offer universal designs that can be mounted on just about any radiator as well as many direct-fit electric fan applications that come with everything you'll need to bolt the electric fan assembly directly to a stock radiator. Visit to learn more.

One thought on “How to Choose the Right Electric Fan”

  • Dennis Sovalia
    Dennis Sovalia June 10, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Great information on to select the right electric fan! It helps to new buyers who are going to purchase first time and 1st electric fan. Well! my one of friend is going to buy it from the mega online store. I will share this article and let you know him

    Thanks for the sharing such a good intimation!

    Dennis Sovalia (Hi Rel Plastics & Molding)

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