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Countour fans on 98, my install.

Discussion in 'Modified 1995-2001 Explorers' started by 1998rollover, June 23, 2011.

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    1. 1998rollover

      1998rollover Active Member

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      Finally getting closer to done with installing the Contour fans on my 98 Mountaineer.

      (In between the Buick popping a steering hose and thermostat, the Sebring convert needing a thermostat and ramping up my reproduction parts production for the Oklahoma City international Hudson meet!)

      First, the fans and controller box mounted on the radiator. The clips at the bottom are extra insurance to make sure the fans and shroud stay tight against the radiator. The radiator was pushed back at the bottom so it was sitting halfway off the rubber pads the lower tank ears rest on. Had just enough clearance when I test fit the fans right after getting the fan and original shroud out, should have plenty with the radiator in correct position.
      http://partsbyemc.com/1998-Mountaineer/fans.jpg

      Inside the controller box. I mounted and wired the relays on fiberglass perf-board. With 0.1" spacing being a common standard for electronics pin spacing, you'd think PCB mount relay sockets would have pins and mounting pegs spaced in multiples of 0.1", right? Nope! The socket designer must've been an automotive engineer in a previous life...
      The control circuit is the second one I built, this time on a cut down Radio Shack 276-168B board. I used a saucepan on my kitchen stove to set low speed on at 190 and switch to high around 200.
      http://partsbyemc.com/1998-Mountaineer/controller.jpg

      Those wonderful automotive engineers at work again. For some reason one of the AC hard lines dips down close above the water neck. No reason I can see for that dip. There's nothing which would have prevented a straight run through there - providing room to mount a sensor upright on top of the neck. Fortunately Ford left just enough clearance that a brass elbow like this, when screwed in as far as possible, will fit below the AC line. I love having a mill, makes stuff like drilling and tapping the hole in the water neck easy. The sensor is a typical late 90's Ford ECT as used for the computer's input.
      http://partsbyemc.com/1998-Mountaineer/sensor.jpg

      Here's the controller schematic and parts list. The controller could be somewhat more compact if it was all on a single, etched or milled PCB. Would also be much easier to assemble without needing jumper wires. This is setup to run dual single speed fans in two speeds by switching them between series and parallel connection. That would be very simple to change just by wiring the relays differently (and using only three) for a two speed fan. The 4th relay is for connecting in parallel with the AC clutch so the fans will come on at low speed whenever the AC is on. If the temp gets up to 200 the fans will still switch to high speed.
      http://partsbyemc.com/1998-Mountaineer/CoolingControllerSchematic.jpg

      Hopefully this will improve MPG two ways. First through faster warm-ups to get to closed loop mode sooner and second by eliminating the constant drag from the stock fan. I already know these electric fans will be significantly quieter!

      P.S. Still wondering why Ford didn't put an electric fan on these to make a big difference in their CAFE rating! +1.5~3 MPG times how many Explorers and Mountaineers? I haven't weighed the stock fan and shroud VS the electric setup but I bet the electric is lighter.
       
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    3. albi1cnobi1

      albi1cnobi1 Elite Mountaineer Elite Explorer

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      Thats pretty impressive. I have the same contour fans on my 99 Mounty. Even with my electronics background I was not that energetic, I opted for the DC Controls unit for a controller. Here's a few pics of mine.(just a couple, kind of a mini thread hijack)

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      I have since moved the controller into the engine bay near the ABS unit.
       
      Last edited: June 23, 2011
    4. 1998rollover

      1998rollover Active Member

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      Where oh where did you tap into for the switched +12V for the controller power? That's the one wire I have left to connect. (Then reinstall the upper radiator hose and intake duct.)

      For the +12V for the fan motors I ran a wire back to one side of the 175 amp fuse by the power distribution block. The big ground for the whole thing is connected to the stud on the body just in front of the battery, where the body ground from the battery is also connected.

      For the AC connection I connected in parallel near the AC clutch plug and ran the wires partway back through the split loom.

      Zip ties! Lots of zip ties! ;)

      Next project - finish replacing the bad passenger door latch. I might even get ambitious and install a 12V socket behind the cup holder in the back of the console.

      Two shots of the fans in the truck. Plenty of clearance when the radiator is in its proper position fully seated in the rubber cradles.
      http://partsbyemc.com/1998-Mountaineer/fans2.jpg
      http://partsbyemc.com/1998-Mountaineer/fans3.jpg
       
      Last edited: June 24, 2011
    5. albi1cnobi1

      albi1cnobi1 Elite Mountaineer Elite Explorer

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      I originally had the 12v switched tied into the fuse panel, but have since changed it to be hot at all times. This is so it acts as more of an OEM setup and continues cooling after shut down if needed. For the AC I tied in near the compressor clutch as well. The 12v and ground for the fan motors comes right from the battery. Yeah no kidding about the zip ties! I should buy stock in that company, I'd drive my own stock prices up! haha
       
      Last edited: June 24, 2011
    6. 4rd4life

      4rd4life Active Member

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      really a great write up man good job!!
       
    7. 1998rollover

      1998rollover Active Member

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      For the fan controller switched 12V power I tapped into the red wire near the windshield wiper motor connection.

      The only switched circuit to a fuse I could find in the power distribution block is to the AC relay.

      Got the install finished today. The fans kick onto low when the gauge is a bit over halfway. They pull enough air sitting in the garage at idle to cool it down enough the fans will turn off.

      Biggest plus so far? NO LOUD FAN NOISE! :)
       
    8. albi1cnobi1

      albi1cnobi1 Elite Mountaineer Elite Explorer

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      Tell me about it, I have an LED indicator in the dash because I can't hear the fan to let me know it's running.
       

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