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Real-world Fuel Economy Gains

2010 August 5
by admin

When I was learning about Flex-a-lite, there were a couple things I heard that got me really interested in replacing the belt-driven fan on my Dodge Cummins diesel truck with an electric fan. First, a 2-4 mpg increase in fuel economy, and second, a power increase.

When I got the Flex-a-lite part No. 264 and pulled it out of the box, the instructions seemed very clear and simple to understand.  The hardest part about the install was getting the stock fan off the truck. After an hour of fighting and losing all the skin off my knuckles, I pulled out the air tools. This is what I should have done from the beginning, because it came right off.

Everything from that point went smooth, the only thing I ran into was that the factory bolts aren't long enough after I added the spacers the spacer kit that comes with the fan for the upper mounts for the intake and coolant reservoir, so I bought longer bolts at the local parts house. Other than that fan is a good quality product to install.There a some companies out there that go cheap when it comes to installation pieces, but this is not the case with Flex-a-lite.

My first impressions were good. I expected it to make more noise than the factory fan, but found that I really had to listen to hear it over the engine. As far as a power increase I really could not tell, it did not feel any spunkier, but it didn't lose anything either. The fuel economy is where I was really impressed, I would have been happy with a 1 mpg improvement. But I was surprised to see a full 2½ mpg increase in fuel economy, which is the biggest gain I have gotten from any single item. I'm extremely happy with this. I had no idea the stock fan was putting that much of a load on motor.

As far as temp goes, no matter what I do, the temperature stays around 195 degrees. I have towed about a 3,000-pound trailer, gone over mountain passes and it seems to remain the same.  I have not played with the screw to adjust the temperature, but I think I could get this to drop a little if I did.

Trev Burt is a member of the technical sales team at Premier Performance. He helps customers find and match products to reach the objectives they want to achieve with their trucks. He recent installed a Flex-a-lite part No. 264 on his personal vehicle and shared his experience with us.

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10 thoughts on “Real-world Fuel Economy Gains”

  • SDTony
    SDTony August 5, 2010 at 8:39 am

    That's awsome! Wish they had a fan to fit my Ford Super Duty.

    Reply
  • DS235
    DS235 August 5, 2010 at 8:43 am

    That fuel economy gain jives with what offroad.com found. They also have a nice installation article at http://www.off-road.com/diesel/tech/dodge-cummins-flexalite-electric-fan-install-23682.html

    Reply
  • jbl
    jbl September 11, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Have a 2004 dodge ram with 3.7 v6, need a bit more power and gas mileage. Will thefan application for disel work on my truck.

    Reply
  • PalmDesertWriter
    PalmDesertWriter May 15, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I just purchased a 1989 Lincoln Town Car that will, after some efficiency-oriented tweaking, be a long-distance highway cruiser. I'm sold on your electric fan concept, but am concerned about the OEM radiator mated to the 150 hp, 302 cid, Ford V-8 engine.

    Will your #480 fan kit alone produce the fuel economy gain indicated by your stats or must, repeat MUST, I also replace the OEM radiator?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • therealcoleq
      therealcoleq May 16, 2011 at 5:05 am

      To answer your question simply, no, you do not need to replace the radiator to get the full effect of an electric fan upgrade. Your radiator has nothing to do with fuel efficiency or engine power.

      On your 1989 Lincoln Town Car, switching to an electric fan should give you a slight increase in fuel economy, and about 8 extra horsepower.

      The part number 480 should be sufficient, but part number 295 would be a better fan to go with, since it will cover more of your radiator, and pulls
      1,600 cfm more.

      I hope this answers your question.

      Reply
  • jason
    jason September 18, 2012 at 6:45 am

    I am looking to find the complete kit for a 05 dodge ram 1500 4.7 magnum. I am worried about the install alittle when it comes to wiring the new fan in correctly. Are the diagrams well illustrated?

    Reply
  • Michael Newlon
    Michael Newlon September 19, 2012 at 3:51 am

    I recently turned a sadly neglected 1989 Lincoln Town Car into a purpose-built long distance highway cruiser. One of the things I did was a Flex-a-Lite dual electric fan conversion. Combined with slightly "taller" tires and REAL dual exhausts, we drove the car Palm Desert CA to Las Vegas NV and back, about 700 miles total, and got 26+ mpg for the highway portions of the trip. And that's for a 4,000 lb Lincoln Town Car. I love my Flex-a-Lite electric fans!

    Reply
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