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Author Topic: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator  (Read 416 times)

Master Mind

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Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« on: August 01, 2017, 10:10:53 AM »
Has anyone ever added auxiliary electric cooling fans to the radiator to help keep the engine running at a normal temperature when pulling hills, especially in mountain areas ?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 10:50:12 AM »
Used to be fairly common, but most rigs of the last 20 years or so have variable speed fans now, controlled by the engine computer, and don't need them. Some chassis, e.g. the Workhorse Wxx series, even have multiple fans.

However, I've seen coach body designs that restrict air flow into the engine/radiator compartments and sometimes they can use a bit of help, either baffles or fans.

Are you having a temperature problem on grades, or merely conjecturing?  It's quite normal for a modern engine to let the coolant temperature run up a bit before engaging higher fan speeds. My diesel pusher coach routinely ran up to around 203 before the ECM got serious about driving it back down. Cummins said that was "working as designed" and no problem at all.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
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Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Ray,IN

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 06:21:29 PM »
My 1999 Spartan MM-GT chassis (side-radiator) has the hydraulic- driven main fan, and two OEM electric fans on the outside of the radiator "sandwich" of 4 radiators. Maintaining engine coolant temperature is actually a delicate balance, of course too hot has its problems, which can be major; however not up to normal operating temperature has its problems, which is also bad for the engine.

As Gary asked, are you presently having overheating problems? How long since you've cleaned the radiator "sandwich"?
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom 40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis.  USA 1SG, retired, Good Sam Life member.
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John Canfield

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 06:24:50 PM »
And what is your make and model?
--John
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Master Mind

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2017, 07:33:36 PM »
It's a 2001 Winnebago Ultimate Advantage 40 J with a 330 Cat. I can't find any fans as some people had talked about near the radiator . The only time the gauge climbs to a level I am concerned about is when pulling a steep grade or when in higher elevations. My thought was to add electric fans with a switch I can control from the dash so in a situation where this happens I can hopefully flip the switch and help cool things down. I know a lot of custom hot rod cars do this, thought it might work for this  ???

John Canfield

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2017, 08:31:07 PM »
Are you a rear or side radiator?
--John
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SkateBoard

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2017, 08:43:49 PM »
The heavy equipment shop where I'm working on my trailer project works on RV's. They see it time and time again where people are complaining about engine getting hot. It's always the same thing. The radiator is covered in oil and crap. Once cleaned the engine stays at normal temp. Same story with class 8 semi trucks. 80,000 pounds pulling a 6% grade in low gear. Engine fan on and temp stays at 220 with a clean radiator.

Master Mind

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 09:18:59 PM »
The radiator is in the rear and I also have heard that overheating with a rear mounted one is common. I have cleaned the outside where I have access but not the inside next to the engine. I don't plan on using the dash air and have considered removing the house A/C condenser on the rear drivers side and refitting the space on the side with a radiator of similar size and " plumbing " it into the main . Maybe over kill or might not even work but I'm just weighing my options if this continues. I do have a couple of other items to check on once returning home that could have something to do with this issue. Thanks for all the feed back.

8Muddypaws

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 10:27:19 PM »
I have a 300 Cat and the only time the temperature goes up it's telling me it's time to spray clean the CAC (charge air cooler) and the radiator.  It has never even gotten to the middle of the gauge.

Freigtliner uses a massive radiator!  If you're not getting airflow there's a good chance that more fans aren't going to help because the radiator and/or CAC are clogged with dust & oil.

What to do:

Relocate the oil breather tube.  In it's stock location oil mist gets sucked into the radiator/CAC.  Oil on the fins makes every bit of dust stick.  Easy to do.

Have the radiator and CAC cleaned.  Let a pro do it the first time.  After that use a chemical radiator fin cleaner (one safe for aluminum) annually and spray it with moderately high pressure water in both directions.  I use a sprayer hose, not a pressure washer.  You'll be amazed at how much crud comes out.

The other thing that happens is that critters building nests in there.

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Arch Hoagland

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2017, 11:42:13 PM »
How to make a signature for your RV so we can serve you better.

1. Click "Profile" button towards the top of the screen.

2. Scroll down a ways and select "Modify Profile"

3. Select Forum Profile

4. Fill it out and click on "Change profile".
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John Canfield

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2017, 07:39:30 AM »
^^ Spot-on advice from these two guys! ^^
--John
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bobmacc

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2017, 01:09:55 PM »
I have experienced the same overheating on my Journey. Travelled 500+ miles on a rainy day in June in an area that hadnt had rain for some time. Picked up a tremendous amount of dust - now dirt off the wet road - that was thrown at the front of the rad behind the rear wheels.
About a week later experienced significant overheating through the mountains in Montana. At the RV park, talked to another owner who suggested that I power wash it CAREFULLY from the rear. Was reluctant to try that but temps were topping out above 225 briefly on steep grades. Got a power washer with a wide straight pattern and stayed back about 5 feet.  Couldn't believe the dirt that came out and there was no damage to the rad fins. When we hit the road, was topping steep hills never above 205 and running significantly cooler even with an outside temp above 100. I have an appointment to have it professionally cleaned in the fall but have an alternative that will get rid of most of the dirt.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 01:11:29 PM by bobmacc »
Bob
09 Winn Journey 39Z
Southern Ontario

Master Mind

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2017, 02:31:16 PM »
Thanks for all the tips and advice. I am back home now and plan on troubleshooting using the ideas given to me on this. After a close inspection of the radiator, I am seeing some deterioration. I think I will replace the radiator while I can do it under my terms and not in an emergency situation 1000 miles from home. While I am that far into it I have considered replacing the water pump, belts and thermostat. A good cleaning including the CAC will be in order. Thanks again !

John Canfield

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2017, 06:13:25 PM »
Glad you made it back home, good show. When you get a few minutes, make a signature as Arch detailed above.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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Master Mind

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Re: Electric aux. cooling fans for radiator
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2017, 06:48:30 PM »
I will see what I can do about that John , and thanks !

 

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