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Coolant temperature question that has come up with efan (2nd) change

MuscleJunkie

Elite Explorer
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Year, Model & Trim Level
'00 Ford Explorer LTD AWD
After trying to make it work finally decided the dual contour e-fan assembly that I initially went with during the supercharger installation just wasn’t going to give me the exact result that I was looking for. That solution was cooling the engine properly but the vibrations the fan was causing in the chassis just felt like a hack job and I was very unsatisfied.

So it all got ripped out and decided to go with a flex a lite eFan solution. Now that it’s installed I realize that I probably should have selected this and spent the extra time instead of trying so much in vain to get the dual contour fan to do what I was envisioning. The flex a lite solution with shroud looks about as OEM as you can get It provides full coverage on the radiator and it seems to be cooling even better than the dual contour assembly.

This now brings me to my next question. I’m using the same Mishimoto controller to switch the fan on when the probe sees a certain temperature. Since this flex a lite fan seems to work so much better I’ve noticed that my engine temperatures (via OBD / SCT) are running significantly lower than they were with the previous solution. Driving around now I am not seeing the temperature get above 170 and it likes to stay in the 160s driving around town. We had a hot day (80’s) yesterday and I was out doing some aggressive driving to see test the new blower rebuild. Even then the temperature didn’t get much above 180°. I think I need to adjust the controller to turn on the fan a little bit later than it is now.

I think the adjustment that was set before was messed with it during the second install and the controller doesn’t have any markings for temperature just a knob you have to play with. I guess they turned it down pretty low and now I need to fine tune it but the question is what operating temperature should I be shooting for with my w2a intercooled centrifugal supercharger?

I’m thinking that the truck should be running a bit warmer. On the dash the temp is sitting at the very low end and via OBD I am able to read the exact temperatures I mentioned above. Should I leave it as is or should I adjust it to run warmer?
 



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After trying to make it work finally decided the dual contour e-fan assembly that I initially went with during the supercharger installation just wasn’t going to give me the exact result that I was looking for. That solution was cooling the engine properly but the vibrations the fan was causing in the chassis just felt like a hack job and I was very unsatisfied.

So it all got ripped out and decided to go with a flex a lite eFan solution. Now that it’s installed I realize that I probably should have selected this and spent the extra time instead of trying so much in vain to get the dual contour fan to do what I was envisioning. The flex a lite solution with shroud looks about as OEM as you can get It provides full coverage on the radiator and it seems to be cooling even better than the dual contour assembly.

This now brings me to my next question. I’m using the same Mishimoto controller to switch the fan on when the probe sees a certain temperature. Since this flex a lite fan seems to work so much better I’ve noticed that my engine temperatures (via OBD / SCT) are running significantly lower than they were with the previous solution. Driving around now I am not seeing the temperature get above 170 and it likes to stay in the 160s driving around town. We had a hot day (80’s) yesterday and I was out doing some aggressive driving to see test the new blower rebuild. Even then the temperature didn’t get much above 180°. I think I need to adjust the controller to turn on the fan a little bit later than it is now.

I think the adjustment that was set before was messed with it during the second install and the controller doesn’t have any markings for temperature just a knob you have to play with. I guess they turned it down pretty low and now I need to fine tune it but the question is what operating temperature should I be shooting for with my w2a intercooled centrifugal supercharger?

I’m thinking that the truck should be running a bit warmer. On the dash the temp is sitting at the very low end and via OBD I am able to read the exact temperatures I mentioned above. Should I leave it as is or should I adjust it to run warmer?
stock these run around 192 iirc or 190, id warm it a bit more. my guess is if th told fan was less efficient it'd have to kick on earlier to keep it at the temp and work harder, instead of this one.
 






I run a flex a lite
set your thermostat to 180 and your flexi light fan to 186 using IR thermometer Works a Treat
I've been running mine this way for years this will allow the fan to kick on when you're parked or it's really hot but not during driving

And remember use big fat wires so your fan can actually operate efficiently
I used 10 gauge
 






Ditto. You should want the fan to be set to come on at a slightly higher temperature than the thermostat. That way the thermostat isn't trying to close if the fans run a lot when trying to push the temps down below that rating. The cooler temps are fine for the engine, better for power and reducing some heat from seeping into the air inlet pipes or intake etc. As long as the tuning was done at similar temps, any low levels will work great. But you do want a somewhat constant running temperature, which using an electric fan means adjusting it to be higher than the thermostat rating.
 






After trying to make it work finally decided the dual contour e-fan assembly that I initially went with during the supercharger installation just wasn’t going to give me the exact result that I was looking for. That solution was cooling the engine properly but the vibrations the fan was causing in the chassis just felt like a hack job and I was very unsatisfied.

So it all got ripped out and decided to go with a flex a lite eFan solution. Now that it’s installed I realize that I probably should have selected this and spent the extra time instead of trying so much in vain to get the dual contour fan to do what I was envisioning. The flex a lite solution with shroud looks about as OEM as you can get It provides full coverage on the radiator and it seems to be cooling even better than the dual contour assembly.

This now brings me to my next question. I’m using the same Mishimoto controller to switch the fan on when the probe sees a certain temperature. Since this flex a lite fan seems to work so much better I’ve noticed that my engine temperatures (via OBD / SCT) are running significantly lower than they were with the previous solution. Driving around now I am not seeing the temperature get above 170 and it likes to stay in the 160s driving around town. We had a hot day (80’s) yesterday and I was out doing some aggressive driving to see test the new blower rebuild. Even then the temperature didn’t get much above 180°. I think I need to adjust the controller to turn on the fan a little bit later than it is now.

I think the adjustment that was set before was messed with it during the second install and the controller doesn’t have any markings for temperature just a knob you have to play with. I guess they turned it down pretty low and now I need to fine tune it but the question is what operating temperature should I be shooting for with my w2a intercooled centrifugal supercharger?

I’m thinking that the truck should be running a bit warmer. On the dash the temp is sitting at the very low end and via OBD I am able to read the exact temperatures I mentioned above. Should I leave it as is or should I adjust it to run warmer?
Do you have any links and pics of your install? I was also looking into the contour fans with the Dakota Digital controller but that's more geared to the fox. I was watching install videos through LMR. But in the end want something to fit my 5.0. I'm just ready to help alleviate the heat soak I get in the summer. Already got an aluminum radiator, but it needs more help than that. Also about to upgrade my alternator and all the wiring (Big 3) as well to further allow room for an e-fan.
 






What is the correct flex a lite e fan for our 5.0 radiators?

I’m curious about this mod
What temp is your thermostat? What temp does your pcm switch from open to closed loop?
When setting your e fan control temps these are the two things to consider first. I could want the coolant to reach proper temp for closed
Loop and then fan is running to keep it right about there. Operating temp should be within 10-15 degrees of your thermostat being fully open

I noticed (last year parting our rangers) that the 4 cyl rangers have a big e fan that fits the 4/6’cyl radiators in our same engine bay, had me thinking a 4 cyl ranger fan might work?
 






I don't know which Flexalite fan Jim has, but I got a 190(more than one choice) model long ago to install. This and few others are thin enough to fit with the 302 and a full thickness radiator.

I'd have the programming go into closed loop early, before 160*, if there is enough cooling ability then the thermostat can be a 160 model, and the fans can be set in the 170-175 range. These Explorers can do that because of the huge radiator/grille, most vehicles cannot cool that well.
 






I do not recommend the Contour Fan. I tried it and had nothing but vibration problems which could not be resolved. I used a new production third party version of this fan and not an OEM one that I took from a junker - so not sure if that would make a difference. But the parts store new ones I tried gave nothing but issues from balancing problems that caused vibrations throughout the whole chassis.

I ended up going with the Flexalite and it has been flawless thusfar. Cools great and seems to cool better than the dual contour fans. Looks better too since it covers the entire radiator.
 






I do not recommend the Contour Fan. I tried it and had nothing but vibration problems which could not be resolved. I used a new production third party version of this fan and not an OEM one that I took from a junker - so not sure if that would make a difference. But the parts store new ones I tried gave nothing but issues from balancing problems that caused vibrations throughout the whole chassis.

I ended up going with the Flexalite and it has been flawless thusfar. Cools great and seems to cool better than the dual contour fans. Looks better too since it covers the entire radiator.
Which flexalite model are you using? Also how are you running the controller?
 






Better performance because of a denser mixture at lower air-charge temps comes at a cost. Higher temps burn-off/evaporate oil contaminates, fuel vaporizes better and burns cleaner. Engine wear and the environment matter more than a bit of increased performance on a daily driver. That is why manufacturers have gone hotter.

Our boosted engines have more blowby thus more oil contamination. If the cooling system has the capacity, then running a 160º t-stat would have it running at too low of an operating temp. One of the main functions of the t-stat is to help speed up bringing the motor and motor oil up to operating temp which reduces wear.

I am guilty of running a lower temp thermostat as a band aid to get a couple of hard pulls out of my rig in the summer, before she got hot. That did nothing to increase cooling capacity. I added cooling capacity and should go back to at least a 180 degree thermostat after researching this.
 






Newer vehicles are running up to 240 degree water temps to try and squeeze as many mpg as possible… crazy. I prefer 185 myself hahaha but our cpus need to see 195 for Closed loop unless tuned
It is a fine line we walk
 






Which flexalite model are you using? Also how are you running the controller?
Black Magic Xtreme Series Flex-a-lite 180 with a Mashimoto Fan Controller
 






Better performance because of a denser mixture at lower air-charge temps comes at a cost. Higher temps burn-off/evaporate oil contaminates, fuel vaporizes better and burns cleaner. Engine wear and the environment matter more than a bit of increased performance on a daily driver. That is why manufacturers have gone hotter.

Our boosted engines have more blowby thus more oil contamination. If the cooling system has the capacity, then running a 160º t-stat would have it running at too low of an operating temp. One of the main functions of the t-stat is to help speed up bringing the motor and motor oil up to operating temp which reduces wear.

I am guilty of running a lower temp thermostat as a band aid to get a couple of hard pulls out of my rig in the summer, before she got hot. That did nothing to increase cooling capacity. I added cooling capacity and should go back to at least a 180 degree thermostat after researching this.
I agree completely with this!
 






I do not recommend the Contour Fan. I tried it and had nothing but vibration problems which could not be resolved. I used a new production third party version of this fan and not an OEM one that I took from a junker - so not sure if that would make a difference. But the parts store new ones I tried gave nothing but issues from balancing problems that caused vibrations throughout the whole chassis.

I ended up going with the Flexalite and it has been flawless thusfar. Cools great and seems to cool better than the dual contour fans. Looks better too since it covers the entire radiator.
Here is the post from when I 1st tried the Contour fan - fyi
 






That contour setup sure does leave a big chunk of the radiator unshrouded. How were you able to mount the Flex a lite to the stock shroud?
 






That contour setup sure does leave a big chunk of the radiator unshrouded. How were you able to mount the Flex a lite to the stock shroud?
The Oem shroud is removed and the 180 is integrated into its own.

IMG_1982.jpeg
 






The Oem shroud is removed and the 180 is integrated into its own.

View attachment 453320
Gotcha. I know I'm asking alot of questions but I do plan on finally converting over after 10+ years of putting off this mod and want to get as much Explorer specific information as possible. I do plan on doing this in conjunction with an upgraded alternator and wiring. In a few years I plan to drive my Explorer from here in KC to Key West and eventually through the rockies and southwest. A good e-fan would definitely be beneficial for trips that long.
 






Gotcha. I know I'm asking alot of questions but I do plan on finally converting over after 10+ years of putting off this mod and want to get as much Explorer specific information as possible. I do plan on doing this in conjunction with an upgraded alternator and wiring. In a few years I plan to drive my Explorer from here in KC to Key West and eventually through the rockies and southwest. A good e-fan would definitely be beneficial for trips that long.
Hi Thomas. Just going to suggest a v10 f250 transmission cooler added to your list. Even with the aux cooler, you'll want more for the mountains
 






Hi Thomas. Just going to suggest a v10 f250 transmission cooler added to your list. Even with the aux cooler, you'll want more for the mountains
Hey Jon, I've kept that in mind before. Although I'm already running two factory ones in parallel with each other now. Been that way for some years. I'm going to be doing some major work on her over the next couple years before hand. Rockers need replaced and a few other spots of rust need addressed so I'm planning to pull the whole body off the chassis and do a restore while at it. I got myself a welder recently that does MIG/TIG and been playing with it for a little bit. I'll probably make new fuel/ trans/ brake lines as well. But I'll save the details on that for another thread when I'm ready. :thumbsup:
 



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Sorry to hear the Contour setup didn't work out for you. It is definitely a bit of a PITA to setup correctly. The advantage to those fans is the extremely high output capability of the fans themselves. For example, I have an 800 hp supercharged 5.0L Mustang and live in southern Arizona where the ambient temperature is currently 110F. The Contour fan assembly literally overcools the engine with the AC running, to give you an idea of the massive amount of air they move. I estimate it must be around 3000 cfm with the restrictions in front of them. I'm actually using a Derale 2-speed 17" single fan with a full shroud for the radiator in my Monty, so don't feel bad giving up on the Contours!

To get those Contours to work correctly, 2 major tasks have to be performed, both of which are not really that much fun. First, a shroud has to be developed to completely capture the entire radiator core surface area. In my case, I've fabricated aluminum sheetmetal to achieve this and also function as a mount for the fan assembly. Care has to be taken to ensure adequate distance from the core and minimizing airflow losses around the core, so it is not a trivial undertaking in terms of design or fabrication. I have used a waterjet to cut sheetmetal and used a CNC brake to bend flanges to achieve the correct spacing.

The 2nd task is the electrical aspect of the Contour fans. A mere fuseholder will not suffice as the fans will literally pull over 120A of in-rush current if they both start up at full power. The only way to reliably accommodate this extreme electrical load is to use a 100A or larger circuit breaker. The gauge of the wiring has to be up to the task. The relays being used for each fan must be able to support the loads reliably and an electrical tie-in must be made to support the AC function as well.

Here's a shot of what I fabricated for the Mustang's radiator:
5L_ContourFanShroud.jpg
 






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