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#928035 - 04/15/12 06:33 PM Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control  
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Duts87SS Offline
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I currently have my Mark VIII fan controlled by my ECM, but the car stumbles when the fan initially starts up. Do any of you know of a controller I can add that allows me to keep the fan controlled by the ECM, but doesn't allow the abrupt spike in current?

I'd like something that is solely timed based; maybe camping up speed over the course of 30 seconds or so.


Dustin
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#928048 - 04/15/12 07:53 PM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: Duts87SS]  
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Have you done any changes to the charging system?
Do you have it set to start both fans or just one?

Eventually I'd like to do this mod too so I'm curious.


Mark

88 LS/CL, bone stock
#928079 - 04/16/12 12:46 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: Monte88 LS]  
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Duts87SS Offline
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I've got a 140 or 150 amp alternator and there is only one fan. Problem is this fan draws about 70amps (my alternator is probably not making this at idle) initially and settles to about 40amps (all from online readings).

If I can find the room, I might even think about putting in a capacitor just for the fan.


Dustin
87 SS
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#928091 - 04/16/12 01:35 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: Duts87SS]  
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It sounds like it needs to be on a relay.

#928100 - 04/16/12 01:56 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: Tony_SS]  
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Duts87SS Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tony_SS
It sounds like it needs to be on a relay.

It is. The ECM triggers the relay.


Dustin
87 SS
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#928112 - 04/16/12 03:01 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: Duts87SS]  
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mmc427ss Online content
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70A startup current is a real load on the charging system, even with that bigger alternator. I like the idea of a cap helping the fans get up to speed quickly, but after that it does nothing, you'd still have a surge in the electrical system, maybe just not as strong. Would hope MAP or others with more electrical knowledge would jump in on the cap idea. There could be a diode needed in the feed from the ECM, just for safety sake.

With Spal Dual 12" which are low current draw, about 25 max each, run by a Spal PWM, new 100A alt, I can tell when both fans are started on HI, headlights will flash, idle speed will drop a hair. All the charging wires, battery wires and grounds have been upsized or redundant. Wire from alt to battery upsizing is a necessity.
Bob

#928133 - 04/16/12 10:28 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Duts87SS Offline
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No diode should be needed in line with the ECM as the ECM only triggers a relay. My battery has been moved to the trunk and all wiring in now pretty beefy (probably over-kill in a lot of cases).


Dustin
87 SS
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#928187 - 04/16/12 07:03 PM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: Duts87SS]  
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If you have a trunk mounted battery, yeah, I'd suggest a cap up front close to the fans (and before the relay). Either that or a bigger/separate wire from the battery to the fans. The problem is not so much the hit on your alternator (although that can be an issue at idle depending on your whole system), but the drop in voltage due to the high current that your battery SHOULD smooth out, but may not since there is such a distance between them. A cap up front will make your voltage stay a lot more constant. I'm pretty sure the cap should be on the source side of the relay, otherwise you will have an even higher inrush to "fill" the capacitor when the relay kicks.


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#928250 - 04/17/12 12:41 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: Hunter79764]  
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Duts87SS Offline
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Do you think running something along the lines of a motorcycle battery up front to power the fan would stop the stumble (having the small battery also being charged by the alt, of course). I absolutely don't have the real estate for a full size battery up front.


Dustin
87 SS
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#928293 - 04/17/12 04:04 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: Duts87SS]  
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Are you sure it's 70 amps? That seems pretty high. A motorcycle battery would be worthless then. What about some type of rheostat to alter the start up speed? You know, similar to how the HVAC fan works with that resistor setup?


1987 Aerocoupe, 383 Super Ram and 20-gallon custom aluminum tank. Car retired (for now) from open road racing, but I'm not.
#928298 - 04/17/12 04:37 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: baaboo]  
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I can tell you guys from having sold/tested all the various PWM's through the years that the newer Spal PWM cannot handle (and it's designed that way...) the higher amp draw of late model OEM fans. The difference between Spal fans and OEM fans imo is that Spal engineers theirs for recreational type vehicles meaning vehicles with little or limited street use. OEM fans are designed/tested to operate under any circumstance from mild to extreme and they must perform equally in either environment. This is why I also prefer OEM fans to aftermarket ones.

The Mark VIII fans had proprietary ECM controls in OEM applications which served to mimic PWM control of the fan. These fans were fuse protected @ 60 amps so you can bet Ford had some sort of ramping up of that fan and two speeds to boot.

If so want to reduce the shock to your charging system when the fan starts up initially, while the exact mod escapes my memory at the moment, I remember a thread over on the turbobuick site explaining how the ECM tricks the alternator into temporarily running @ 16V while at WOT and under full boost. I believe this was an attempt to get a higher voltage signal to the control module and this might be able to be used to help offset the shock of your fan coming on if you can "trigger" this 16V mod to happen for just a few seconds after the fan kicks on....?


gbodyparts1234@yahoo.com

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#928312 - 04/17/12 11:22 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: baaboo]  
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Duts87SS Offline
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Spanish Fort, AL USA
Originally Posted By: baaboo
Are you sure it's 70 amps? That seems pretty high. A motorcycle battery would be worthless then.


Motorcycle batteries will handle quite a bit more load than you might think. It would also only have to hold that load for a short time.

Jabin, do you know the amps drawn to start up the Mark VIII fans on low speed?


Dustin
87 SS
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#928348 - 04/17/12 05:04 PM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: Duts87SS]  
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I like the cap idea. The fan motor is basically a big inductor, so you could size the cap by figuring out the response of the DC-RLC circuit so that the voltage ramps up as you wish.

#928373 - 04/17/12 08:03 PM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: SickSpeedMonte]  
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A motorcycle battery could work, but would probably be overkill. Batteries are better at medium range energy storage, where caps are better at short term storage. Think of it as having a trunk full of groceries for a long road trip, but you still want a billow and a bag of beef jerky in the cabin with you.
Watch Craigslist for a 1/2 or 1 farad cap (they are used all of the time for big stereo systems to keep the lights from dimming when the bass hits) and you would be sufficiently overkill without having to rig something that was never meant to be in a car. There is an initial charging process, I think, so do a little homework on a stereo website to make sure you don't fry your new toy.

It should also help any other accessories you have up front, and the argument could be made that it would extend the life of your alternator. At the very least, it will impress the punk kids at the local car show...


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#928436 - 04/18/12 03:11 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: Hunter79764]  
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mmc427ss Online content
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Gotta disagree that Spal is just for "limited street use", think they are the equal or better of any aftermarket fan out there, may not be the equal of some OEM fans but have seen many of the OEM die early deaths. I do agree the Spal PWM was never intended to run high amp fans, but has been nothing but perfect with the Spal dual 12" for 5 years now. Had several conversations with the designer of the Spal PWM years ago relating to the A/C request, the necessary temp sensor needed to make it perform correctly and wiring in an override circuit.

I think this is the Buick Turbo voltage increaser you mentioned, http://www.cottonsperformance.com/products.asp?cat=86
http://www.installationinstructions.com/102027.pdf
Wonder if it could be modded to turn on when the fans are requested to run?

I know cars in the near future will be running higher voltage systems due to ever increasing demands on the electrical systems, and hundreds of feet of wire needed.
Bob

#928441 - 04/18/12 03:39 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: mmc427ss]  
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mmc427ss Online content
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Funny, was just on Spal's website and can find no mention of the PWM fan controller anywhere.Hmmm?
Bob

#928519 - 04/18/12 07:09 PM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: mmc427ss]  
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SPAL USA link to PWM Controller and Accessories

But, you're right in that SPAL doesn't market it off their site. That link was found via Google.

Last edited by kevins88ss; 04/18/12 07:15 PM.
#928536 - 04/18/12 09:36 PM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: kevins88ss]  
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I have a fan controller made for the MarkVIII that Im not using. It was in my car and came on at 180 degrees. It worked great but kept killing my alternator and I could never get a correct answer on the CS144 I still have the instructions to it and all all you have to get is a tempature probre to go in the engine or I will take it out. It works perfect only had it installed for a couple of months. PM me if you want a troulble free installation.




85 SS Sold
80 El Camino Sold
62 Chevy Impala
96 Impala SS


#928540 - 04/18/12 09:46 PM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: sslover85]  
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its made by a company called hollister road company. Had it custom made.




85 SS Sold
80 El Camino Sold
62 Chevy Impala
96 Impala SS


#928542 - 04/18/12 09:48 PM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: kevins88ss]  
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Over the years I've dealt a lot with Mark in their engineering dept. and they just have no interest in building a high current controller. Their built in "over-voltage" protection circuit shuts the unit down if the inrush current is too high-which of course the Mark VIII trips every time...lol. I didn't infer that Spal makes crappy fans...it's just that their controller cannot keep up with certain OEM fans-anything Motorcraft from my experience-and those are the fans I prefer in any high CFM demanding situation, space permitting.

Dustin, I seem to remember the low speed was hitting (on a NEW fan keep in mind and using a Snap-on digital inductive amp probe)30-35 amps for maybe 1/4 of a second before settling down @ 23-24 amps. High speed sees right at 32 amps draw and to go from low to high there is virtually no spike-only when suddenly switching from off to high speed, then it sees as much as 120 amps initially!

Now, this does not mean you have to run a 100+ amp relay but you should run a very high quality one-the high inrush can fuse the contacts together inside the relay and it can keep them from releasing when you want the fan off. Think of it as an arc weld damn near. Excessive heat build-up in the wire itself from prolonged fan use canadd to or create this problem as well-shoddy materials in the relay can give way too soon to a high current demand regardless of it's stated "amp rating".

For all these reasons I always suggest high grade wiring and relays. For example, cheapo parts store wiring has of filler metals in it to make it cheaper (think China) to manufacture in bulk-tin being a big filler material which does nothing but make the wire brittle and not conduct current as well which guess what? That also means it has a lower amperage handling capability too. I make my harnesses from USA made and wound j1187 spec wiring so I know they will handle any stress.

I'd go so far as to say I would bet any overseas wiring has 20-30% filler metals whereas USA made wiring at least from my supplier is 100% copper. This means is costs a bit more but it's not anything drastic-I'd rather not take chances. For relays, I stick with Hella, Siemens or TYCO. I may have to drop Hella soon though because my last batch or relays from them were a mixture of USA, Mexico and Chinese built relays-WTF I thought!

Last edited by gmachinz; 04/18/12 09:51 PM.

gbodyparts1234@yahoo.com

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#928546 - 04/18/12 10:00 PM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: gmachinz]  
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Duts87SS Offline
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Thanks for the info Jabin. I'm using one of your 75amp relays and harness (though I did have to modify the harness a bit to run it the way I wanted). If 30-40amps is the most I'll see by starting the fan on low speed, I may just have my ECM trigger than terminal (still through a relay, of course) and a head-mounted temp sensor turn on the high speed.


Dustin
87 SS
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#928579 - 04/19/12 01:05 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: Duts87SS]  
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That sounds like a good setup Dustin-curious, have you checked to verify that the low speed terminal is indeed dead once you switch to high speed? There seems to be a little confusion whereas the power to the low speed terminal should be severed if you apply power to the high speed terminal at the fan-My understanding is at least on the Mark VIII fans, you should not power both low and high in parallel. In other words, one should drop out if the other is triggered.

Last edited by gmachinz; 04/19/12 01:06 AM.

gbodyparts1234@yahoo.com

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#928587 - 04/19/12 01:23 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: gmachinz]  
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Currently, I've only got the high speed terminal wired. The plan for my new setup will definitely terminate power to the low speed terminal.


Dustin
87 SS
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#928610 - 04/19/12 02:25 AM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: Duts87SS]  
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Nice. Let me know if I can be of any assistance!


gbodyparts1234@yahoo.com

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#928681 - 04/19/12 02:32 PM Re: Electric Fan Progressive Start-up Control [Re: gmachinz]  
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I've found these to be very good quality, perfect with OEM Ford fans. Haven't had one fail yet. Have installed 4 so far.
http://www.dccontrol.com/selector.htm

My Flexalite VSC got smashed by a Moron. LOL!

Last edited by Retro; 04/19/12 02:53 PM.
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