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Old 05-24-2019, 05:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Electric Fan or Not - 2001 Suburban K2500 8.1

Fellas -

Thinking about going with an electric fan on my Suburban. It's a tow vehicle with some minor mods - 180* thermostat, HD2 shift reprogramming kit, TruCool 40k trans cooler. Rides on stock size tires with 3.73 gears.

May end up getting a 93 octane tune at some point.

I realize that a mechanical fan is more reliable, but I wouldn't mind a tad better fuel mileage and maybe an extra hp or two.

Thoughts?

Also, if you recommend an electric fan over mechanical, d you have any recommendations on which one?

Thanks

Scott
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Electric fans are a fraction of a horsepower in electrical draw. They cannot move the mass flow rate of air necessary for a tow vehicle that puts a large load on the cooling system. You are looking for trouble putting one on in your case. For maybe 10-15hp gain at the crank (when the mechanical fan is actually fully engaged with the fan clutch). You have an 8.1, not a vw bus. That's likely less than 3% on your power output. You will gain more benefit losing weight somewhere on the vehicle if you are looking for pep.
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Old 05-24-2019, 07:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well said, Also the engine is designed to run at 200 degrees, putting a 180 t-stat in will not help a thing and waste fuel, unless you reprogram the ECU
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Old 05-24-2019, 08:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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As isbj60 said.

Plus, the only 'reliability' issues I've read about with electric fans was related to aftermarket fans and low end 'electrical' hacks to get them running.

I'm a fan of the Delta Current controller. I'm about five months into using one of them plus an Intrepid fan on a 4.3L S10 truck. Expensive but no surge at start up. Variable speed fan is cool.
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Old 05-24-2019, 08:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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E-fans are great for a number of reasons. Almost all new vehicals have them now. If your worried about reliability, get a duel fan setup. If one motor fails, the other will keep it cool enough to get you some where.

The E-fans on my Bronco were a great benefit. I don't care about mpg (it might be better), but the AC works so much better at idle.
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Your ecu should be an LS1B, which when enabled, has electric fan control. Will need to be turned on with efilive or hptuners, and this allows you to run single/dual fans with a set turn on temperature. Even allows for pwm fans, which ramp up and get faster when the engine gets warmer, if you have the supporting fan controller that supports pwm input.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I put dual fans from a 2005 Silverado on my 98’ Yukon, they work great, they’re dual speed so I have them wired on two different temperature controllers, they both come on in low speed at 190 degrees and high speed at 210 or high speed whenever the ac is on. They move a ton of air and it wasn’t hard wiring them up. Got em at the junkyard for $40


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Old 05-25-2019, 12:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Not for a tow rig. Theres a reason why GM has put them on the 1/2ton stuff but kept them on the 3/4 ton and up vehicles which they intend for towing. When your pulling that mountain pass with 10k behind you in august at 100* your gonna build up enough heat to lock in that clutch fan, drop a gear and spin that motor up and 9 out of 10 times your good to keep trucking along, e-fan equipped your on the side of the road letting it idle to cool off.

If i remember right GM programming turns the fans off at like 20mph because they become more of a blocker running with the airflow of the vehicle at speed versus them being off and just free wheeling. Dont get me wrong for slow speeds and especially at idle efans cant be beat unless you have the clutch fan locked up and are getting the rpms up on the engine.

I towed my old travel trailer once with my wifes old 07 suburban(5.3, 4l60e, factory dual efans) and on hills and when working it hard you had no choice but to back out of it because the coolant temp and trans temp were getting hot and at speed all you had for cooling was the airflow through the grill. While it is a whole different animal ive had long pulls with that same trailer plus the bed of the truck full of quads, dirtbikes, etc for a week at the dunes with my duramax traveling through idaho at 95* and had the clutch fan cycle on and off a few times on long pulls holding the speed limit but never having it get more than like 15-20* over regular running temp and not having to back out of the throttle.
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Not for a tow rig. Theres a reason why GM has put them on the 1/2ton stuff but kept them on the 3/4 ton and up vehicles which they intend for towing.
There maybe a reason, but it's not because an E-fan can't do it. They have E-fans for big rigs.
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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In Texas, it will have to run all the time due to A/C on and so on.

The mechanical fan will be more efficient.

The fan motors are not 100% efficient and neither is the alternator that needs to generate the juice to run them.

So you will not save any fuel and might even use more. For your use case, where the fan is needed all the time.
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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There maybe a reason, but it's not because an E-fan can't do it. They have E-fans for big rigs.
Not that ive came across yet....we are vocational though with mixers, dumps, and heavy haul tractors so maybe that is why. Havent seen the option on the build sheet either while ive put trucks together.
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Why would you put a 93 octane tune on a big block? The whole point of an engine that big is 400+ torque on regular gas.

Financially, assuming your 8.1l gets 12mpg on regular @ $2.50/g is equivalent to getting 10mpg if you tune it for premium @ $3.00/g. You won't get that 2mpg back switching to electric fans.

All that crap besides the trans cooler is a waste of money.
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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In Texas, it will have to run all the time due to A/C on and so on.



The mechanical fan will be more efficient.



The fan motors are not 100% efficient and neither is the alternator that needs to generate the juice to run them.



So you will not save any fuel and might even use more. For your use case, where the fan is needed all the time.


No! I live in Dallas so driving in traffic during 103 temps, the stock 11 blade fan doesn’t cut it!!



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Old 05-25-2019, 06:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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No! I live in Dallas so driving in traffic during 103 temps, the stock 11 blade fan doesn’t cut it!!



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Especially running the AC


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Old 05-25-2019, 07:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plym49 View Post
In Texas, it will have to run all the time due to A/C on and so on.

The mechanical fan will be more efficient.

The fan motors are not 100% efficient and neither is the alternator that needs to generate the juice to run them.

So you will not save any fuel and might even use more. For your use case, where the fan is needed all the time.
I'm in Florida and mine runs all the time because of AC, But when you drive fast, the wind drives the fans and charges my battery taking the load off the alternator.


























Just joking. But the fan probably does use less power when it unloads in the wind. In any case, I don't care about the mileage. I just know the AC works better.
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:39 AM   #16 (permalink)
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No! I live in Dallas so driving in traffic during 103 temps, the stock 11 blade fan doesn’t cut it!!



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is the fan clutch locking up when you want it to or when it should?
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the input. I am about to add a lower fan shroud (it's currently MIA), add the trans cooler, and swap serpentine belt/tensioner/idler pulley so if I was going to do an electric fan, this would be the time.

Having said that, I'm going to stick with my mechanical fan.
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