Flex-a-Lite Black Magic Extreme 180 Install | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Flex-a-Lite Black Magic Extreme 180 Install


Elite Snow Shoveler
Elite Explorer
March 23, 1999
Reaction score
City, State
Parsippany, NJ
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 XLT
I've got a body lift and have the radiator in it's stock location (no lift brackets to compensate for the body lift). I have no shroud for obvious reasons, but it has been running more than cool enough. No fan at all in the winter. Once I'm moving more than 20mph, it cools itself. I had been putting the mechanical fan on in warm weather or when off roading. It's an easy job w/ no shroud. Well any way, I did some half-assed fab work make the install work. Hope my pic links from facebook work.

The hood latch bolts line up nicely w/ the brackets so I used them. Had to bend the brackets and cut them to fit.

This shows the clearance to the front of the motor pretty well.

The intake tube is cramped at best...



Now I just have to do the wiring! This installation took about 1.5 hours before I got to this stage.

More to come after I do the electrical.

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Do you have pics of the electrical wiring? I would like to see where you made the "ignition on" connection and the "A/C on" connection.

Ignition on is thru a switch, tapped into a "key on" fuse in the drivers passenger compartment fuse block. I don't have the AC on one wired in. But it's a simple tap into the AC wires. My control unit isn't working, and I have not got a new one yet, so basically the switch from the fuse block runs to the control unit so I can turn the fan off (control unit is always on). So basically, it's on or off on my command only. It's really not a difficult wiring job tho.

Ah that brings back memories. My 92 Ranger had that same identical air intake setup.

looks good. How do you like it? I have the BM 150 and it's super loud. How loud is the 180?

IT's louder than the stock fans in my subaru, and wife's CR-X. Truck is loud tho, so I don't care. Mud tires, loud exhaust. I'm fine w/ the fan.

What kind of controller did you have? How did it fail?

I so wished I went this route instead of the way I did! Good luck with your install.

What kind of controller did you have? How did it fail?
The one that came w/ the fan. It never worked right. It was always on, no matter what hot lead I hooked up (ac, remote switch, temp only) W/ no ac, and no switched lead attached the fan would always run no matter the temp, no matter the setting on the temp dial. I tried to contact flexalite twice, but no go. It was out of warranty by the time I installed it so, I'm SOL any way.

Here is what I would have done. I would order the same exact switch from a reputable dealer with good customer service, i.e. amazon.com or someone else with an easy return policy. Then send the 1st one back as defective and ask for a refund.


This looks very simple. Almost too simple. But then again, I've done these things and made mistakes that later turned out to be simple. Any chance that you could have gotten the wiring wrong?

Like you said, simple wiring. I didn't even attach the other two hot leads, just the "12v power source (for thermostatic control)". So no possibility of it even getting power if the thermostat wasn't telling it too. I think the thermostatic switch is bad, or the thermostat itself.

Ordering and returning a new one from amazon may be a good idea, but I'm the kind of guy that feels guilty doing that, and it's more work than it's worth for me. I can order one from amazon and just install it and call it a loss. If I order one from amazon tho, I'd order a better one. I've heard bad things about the stock flexalite controllers. flexalite offers a better one that aldive has installed on his rig. So if flexalite offers a stand-alone controller for more money, it says something to me about the ones that come stock.

So in theory, your only switch connection is that one thin red line, to a fuse in your fuse panel. I'm guessing that either your thermostat is bad, or there is an actual internal problem with the switch unit itself.

After you install your new switch, send the faulty one back to Flex-A-Lite. Maybe they'll test it and tell you what the problem was, or they might even send you a new one.

Not trying to hijack or anything but the fans from a taurus works jsut as well if not better and alot cheaper too. Can find them relative easy at most junkyards. I had a set on one of my 5.0 stangs and it never ran hot. Think I got the fan for like 30 bucks.

I'm not a huge fan of junk yard parts. Mainly because most of the time, you don't know how much longer these parts will work after you put them into your own car. You could install a (pick a part, any part), and have it last forever, or just simply go out within a short period of time. Guys have enough problems with installing brand new parts. Now they're going to have to trouble shoot used parts?

If I wanted Taurus fans, I would simply order a brand new set. All I would have to do is "google" the part number to see who has the best price. Then I would still be left scratching my head when it came time to install them.

Luciky, fans are pretty simple. Not much to figuring out the wiring. One wire has to be a ground. Then you just have to figure out what the other wires are for. You can just about find any fan that will fit within the length & width of the radiator, and the cavity between the radiator and water pump fan mounting stud. Once you fabricate the brackets, and figure out the wiring, then you're all done.

If you worried about the fan lasting, you can pick up a junk yard fan for cheap ($20 or so) and then buy a new motor from the local autoparts store, you'll be about as new as you can get.

A new Taurus Fan is upwards of $200 (can find them for $150 or so too).

Some fans just aren't worth buying from a junkyard though. You can grab a chevy HHR fan for $50 for a new one, so a $20 from a yard may not be worth it.


What I did was buy a new Derale fan and controller.