Cooling Fan Replacement

hite337

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Ok, after multiple people have PM'd me requesting a write up on my electric cooling fan conversion and hydraulic pump delete on my 1st gen, here it is.

I didnt take step-by-step pics but here's the info as I remember. you will need to purchase a Flex-a-Lite 180 or 188 cooling fan and a 100" x 13/16" multi rib v-belt. removing the hydraulic pump is a pain in the a$$ so dont say you werent warned.

Fan Removal
1. remove intake tube
2. remove radiator shroud/cover
3. remove upper radiator hose (good time to replace thermostat, dccv, coolant resevoir, etc at this time since you will need to bleed the cooling system)
4. unbolt the silver AC cannister from the fan shroud
5. unbolt the aux heater pump from the fan shroud
6. cut the lines going to the hydraulic unit on the fan. these will be full of fluid so drain them into an oil pan
7.unbolt and remove the fan shroud. i believe there are 2 bolts towards the top of the shroud and 2 bolts about halfway down, its tough to pull the shroud up and out of the engine compartment because the brackets on the bottom are big. take your time and dont put a hole in the radiator.

Hydraulic Pump Removal (the fun part...lol)

1. jack up the passenger side front of the car and support with jackstands.
2. remove the alternator. 1 wire harness, the battery wire, and 2 bolts. it takes some manuvering to get it out once its loose but it will come out.
3. Remove the hydraulic pump (SOB). remove the electrical connector. i couldnt remove the smaller steel line on top of the hydraulic unit so i just broke it off. there is a bolt behind this line, it is the worst one to get to. i used a 10mm 3/8" drive socket with a knuckle/swivel and a few extensions. remove the other 3 bolts and the pump will come out the same way the alternator did.
4. remove the hydraulic fan pump resevoir.
5. plug the hoses going to the cooling coil that is located between your radiator coil and the AC coil.
6. reinstall the alternator
7. install the new shorter new belt in the same way as the old belt. the upper idler pulley is smooth and the ribbed side of the belt will ride on the pulley. i'm not 100% sure how this will effect the belt life but mine is doing good so far. the shorter belt is a 100" x 13/16" 6rib v-belt.

The fan i purchased was a Flex-a-Lite 180 electric fan. the 180 comes with the temperature controls to turn the fan on and off automatically with your radiator temp. the 188 is the same fan but without controls. i still had overheating issues using the temp controller, i never could get it adjusted right so i just wired it to come on when the key is on and removed the temp controller. it works just fine. the 188 is also cheaper without controls. the fan comes with installation instructions that will tell you how to install and wire it and aluminum mounting brackets that are easy to bend to the shape you need. you will need to make a custom bracket if you want to bolt the ac cannister to the new fan shroud. you also need to mount the aux heater pump to the new fan shroud with a screw or bolt.
After you install the fan, put the upper radiator hose back on and follow the fill and bleeding procedure for the coolant system.
The Flex-a-Lite fan is about as loud as the stock hydraulic fan on high. it cools my Ls perfectly, i sat in gridlock for 45 minutes on a 105 degree day and no overheating issues.
I also have not upgraded my alternator but i plan to eventually. its my understanding that the hydraulic pump was used because the alternator couldnt support the load of an electric cooling fan. i have not noticed any problems with this but i dont have a 1000 watt audio system either so i would suggest upgrading the alternator if you have alot of aftermarket electronics.
i also intalled a toggle switch to turn my fan off manually. i did this for the drag strip, i turn it off as soon as i stage and turn it back on as soon as i hit the return road. thats good for 50hp i'm sure...lol
i hope this has answered everyones questions about the hydraulic cooling fan setups on the first gen. replacing the hydraulic fan this way is cheaper than replacing almost any one part of the hydraulic system alone. it cost me about $320 total.

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Hector

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Great set up !! I will have to go this route too. Thanks for the write up !
 

hite337

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No problem. Use the Flex-A-Lite 183 cooling fan. The brackets are better and require less modification
 

G-RELL

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Nice Hite... Once again helping out the group. :Beer ... what alternator you planning to get?
 

royalT

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I would like to note that the v6, due to the different belt layout is next to impossibble to bypass a pulley.

I tried bypassing the hydraulic fan pump, buy running the belt under over the idler, under the water pump, over and around the alterntor to the crank

Results - melted belt on the Alt, PWR steer, and crank pulleys, and two snapped belts.

The only way to succesfully elminate the hydro pump from the v6 is to take off the pulled, and drill another hole to mount a another idler. The only loop which works is the stock loop and you have to put an idler in place of the hydro pump.

Ill try to post pictures of what I did.... Took much trial and error... alternators... belts... pulleys ( my Hydro pump seized )
 

oddball

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One of these days I'll get around to making a big post with my findings (Stock vs napa vs db 200 vs db 220). Some folks had good experience with DB, but both of mine were bad out of the box. Almost no output at idle, but slightly higher output above 1500 engine rpm. Be sure to test it when installed.
 

marcredd

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I have a db 220 alternator sitting in a box that has never been installed. I had mixed emotions about installing it based on a few other threads. It bench tested just fine so I guess I should pull the trigger on putting it in but doing the big 3 simultaneously.
 

G-RELL

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I have a db 220 alternator sitting in a box that has never been installed. I had mixed emotions about installing it based on a few other threads. It bench tested just fine so I guess I should pull the trigger on putting it in but doing the big 3 simultaneously.

I'd like to see a big 3 write up for the ls... lots of ways it could be done with battery placement.....
 

Hector

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Hite, did you get any squeaks afterwards?

I used the same belt but I get this squeak for a while until it warms up about 40mins afterwards just won't go away for nothing ! I can't seem to isolate which pulley or perhaps if its the belt thats causing it. I water it down and it goes away then comes back or if I water it pretty good it goes away totally. If I just let it warm up after the 40mins its gone but once it cools down and I run it again the squeak reappears.

I'm going to replace both idler pulleys & tensioner assm since they looked like crap and the tensioner assm seems to move a little bit when running.
 

hite337

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Hite, did you get any squeaks afterwards?

I used the same belt but I get this squeak for a while until it warms up about 40mins afterwards just won't go away for nothing ! I can't seem to isolate which pulley or perhaps if its the belt thats causing it. I water it down and it goes away then comes back or if I water it pretty good it goes away totally. If I just let it warm up after the 40mins its gone but once it cools down and I run it again the squeak reappears.

I'm going to replace both idler pulleys & tensioner assm since they looked like crap and the tensioner assm seems to move a little bit when running.

No squeaks at all with mine. I think you are on the right track replacing the idler pulleys. If your fan pump had been leaking fluid on your alternator it may be making some noise too. Maybe you could go to and autoparts store and get one of those stethoscopes like doctors use to pinpoint the squeak, or use a wooden rod held to you ear. Just be careful around the belt....
 

Hector

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Update I replaced both idler pulleys & tensioner pulley no change in noise (I bought one pulley and just swapt them to see if noise went away). I did notice if I pulled on the belt the tensioner assembly made a squeaky noise and I can only imagine how it is at idle which leads me to believe its the noise. Prior to replacing the belt it didn't squeak at all but then again it wasn't cold then and its a motorcraft tensioner which might be original which I think is the problem or the belt is too big.

Buying the tensioner off the net and hope it solves this annoy issue hehehe.

Thanks !!
 

Jval1283

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this sure is a PITA...we're still trying to get to that last bolt behind the steel line. Hopefully everything else turns out ok after this...
 

Jval1283

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any suggestions on getting that last bolt out behind the line? I broke the line, but can't get that bolt loose. Already broke two sockets, & it's starting to round out...I'm out of ideas
 

hite337

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On 2 occasions while doing this conversion (once in my LSE and once in a friends car) I had to hit the pump with a hammer and chisel several times and split the pump where the bolt goes thru. It takes some work but the cast aluminum case will just break away and the pump will fall out. The worst part is....when the pump falls out of the way and you go to remove the bolt that wouldnt break free....it spins right out, no wrench needed.

I consider this a last ditch effort when all else fails....like when I run out of sockets to break, or when I totally round off the bolt head. And I am in no way responsible if you miss the chisel with the hammer and hit your hand or a brake line....good luck
 

oddball

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any suggestions on getting that last bolt out behind the line? I broke the line, but can't get that bolt loose. Already broke two sockets, & it's starting to round out...I'm out of ideas

I had to break off the head with an air hammer. Breaking the pump may be easier if that's an option.
 

hite337

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I had to break off the head with an air hammer. Breaking the pump may be easier if that's an option.

The only problem I see with breaking off the head of the bolt is how to get the pump off of the stud that remains. There isnt much room to slide the pump off. Thats a good idea if the pump is still good, that way you can ebay the pump when you are done. Breaking the pump case is easier IMO because the cast aluminum splits relatively easy with a few good smacks, down side is the pump is ruined.
 

Hector

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I broke the entire pump mounting hole off after fighting with it for about an hour :( I figured it was no return after that but then again you can still install with only 3 bolts :)

Also, while re-installing my power steering pulley I broke the installer stud in the shaft and now the pulley is slightly out which causes my stupid belt to squeak like crazy on cold mornings :( guess I'll be installing another pump and pulley soon when the noise drives me nuts enough :( goodluck !
 

oddball

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The only problem I see with breaking off the head of the bolt is how to get the pump off of the stud that remains. There isnt much room to slide the pump off. Thats a good idea if the pump is still good, that way you can ebay the pump when you are done. Breaking the pump case is easier IMO because the cast aluminum splits relatively easy with a few good smacks, down side is the pump is ruined.

There's enough room for it to slide off. I'm quite certain of that. ;)
I'm pretty sure they're grade 8 bolts. This was "easy" after hitting it with an air hammer for half an hour trying to cut the head of the bolt. This was one of the front bolts for me. Might be too tight if it's a back bolt.
And, yes, the remaining shaft just spun right out.
 

Jval1283

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So taking a chisel worked out, damn thing is off...fan is on. Now to bleed the coolant system
 

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