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308 - New Cooling Fans

Discussion in '308/328' started by thorn, May 18, 2018.

  1. thorn

    thorn Formula 3
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    Aug 7, 2012
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    #1 thorn, May 18, 2018
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
    I made a quick post in the running "What have you done today" Thread , but decided I'd include a few pics of the process I went through. Posts similar to this gave me lots of great ideas on how to approach it, so I thought I'd add my experience. Maybe it will be of help to the next owner that wants to go this route.

    Background: The car is a 1985 QV Euro. Aftermarket radiator, AC converted to R134. Fans were original-style 4-blade units.

    Why I did this: I live in Florida, and the summer months are quite hot. I've always felt the stock fans were fighting a losing battle to keep the temp below 200F. Though recharging my AC did restore it to functioning status, it was blowing air that was more cool than cold. Finally, the right side fan has been making sort of a clattering sound for the past few months which told me I needed to replace it in some manner.

    Many owners have had no problems with their fans, and that's nice to hear. But for those who say "If stock fans weren't good enough, Ferrari would not have used them".... I will point to the OEM fusebox as an example of things Ferrari did in 1985 that could have been done better in 1985. Further, the average summer temp at the Ferrari factory is around 80-85F, while in Florida it can easily approach 95-100F. So here we go.

    Tools: Sockets, ratchet with extension, wrenches, a rubber mallet, rivet gun, screwdrivers, an electric drill and a Dremel w/cutting wheel.

    Step 1:
    Disconnect the main power. Remove the grill, driving lights, bumper, lower spoiler. The first 3 items are relatively quick. Removing the spoiler took. A. Long. Time. Remove the front wheel liners, and the headlight grills. You'll need the access those holes give you. You might also want to remove your front rims, but I didn't need to. Getting the bolts out around the perimeter of the spoiler takes the longest; it's not easy getting both hands on both the top and bottom of the bolts at the same time. Consider having a helper. There are also some self-tapping screws under the car (in front of the metal access panel), pull those out as well.

    When the spoiler is removed (and reinstalled), note that it fits behind parts of the frame. You'll have to lift it slightly to get over the frame tubes. Do it slowly. Careful use of a rubber mallet wrapped in a towel may assist in bumping it forward (soft taps). But if it won't move, don't force it. It's probably not moving because it's stuck on the frame. Do not come to Florida to yell at me if you hammer too hard or manhandle it and crack it. I told you to be careful.

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    Step 2:
    Remove the fans. They each have a bolt easily removed, then you spread the metal clamps apart and they drop out complete with their original 35 yr old rust spots. Disconnect the 2 wires from each.

    Now is a great time to grab a shop vac and clean out all the dirt and crap from the spoiler, back in the fenders, etc. Clean the areas where the spoiler and body meet, get all the dirt off so that it's clean and makes it easier to slide back together.

    Pull the rubber sheaths off the old fans, and use some SimpleGreen or Dawn or whatever you prefer to get them clean. These are reused.

    Here we have the old fan, and new fan.

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    The new fan is a Spal 10" pusher, model 30100320. CFM is 700-800. Amp use (per fan) is around 7-8 amps (sorry, I don't know the specs of the original fans.) Spal does offer higher output fans than this, in 10" and even larger sizes. I didn't go that route because I wanted the lower power usage, less noise than those fans, and felt 800 CFM would be sufficient for my needs. Price was about $80/each. I got them from Summit Racing . The free shipping was only about 2-3 days, btw.

    Step 3:
    Now we're on to the fun part: make all this stuff work together.

    I spent a lot of time looking at how other people mount their aftermarket fans. Some fabricate nifty brackets, some use zip ties, some use those rods that poke through the fins. My favorite was one that retains use of the original mounting brackets, that I've seen a couple of other 308 users do. Not because "it keeps the car original", but because I cannot weld and fabricate large shrouds. The other 2 options seem hack-ish to me. Plus, I didn't want to involve a grinder and remove the old brackets, or weld mounting studs to the radiator.

    I took the 4 bolts out of the new Spal fan - they're those small black ones you see in the pic, around the back plate. Took a trip to Home Depot, and bought several 2x2" brackets. Using the new screws as reference, I bought longer versions. Around .75" length, I believe.

    The old fans were disassembled. First, the blade is removed by inserting a small screwdriver into the hole behind the blade and removing the retention screw. Next, remove the 2 long bolts from the back of the housing. It slides apart easily. Keep the back part of the housing. Save the blades and rotor assemblies so that you can sell ... err... list them on eBay for $400 ea.

    No pics of this next bit, sorry...

    Step 4:
    The old housing was placed (not attached, just placed) on the back of the new fan, dead center. The brackets were also placed, so that I could mark how long they need to be. I also marked where holes would be drilled in the old fan housing. I put the brackets in a bench vise, and cut them with the dremel.

    Here you get an idea of the brackets before and after cutting. The holes came with the brackets; I didn't pay extra for those. Note that one side of the bracket is longer than the other, because the brackets will fit nicely with the fan backplate if you measure/cut correctly. This was all mocked up on the kitchen counter (sorry about the mess, babe) before ANY destruction, so that cutting and drilling and cursing and redo was minimized.

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    Lots of sandpaper on the old fan housing cleaned up the rust, followed by degreasing with brake cleaner.

    Old fan housing was drilled in 4 places, 90 degrees from each other, using the mockup (make a mockup!) I'd done earlier Then they were painted with a few light coats of Rustoleum rust-removing-converting-or-something flat black paint. Brackets were also painted.

    Step 5:
    Next morning (hey, paint needs time to dry and cure) - It's Reassembly Day!

    Placed the old/new housing on the back of the fan. Brackets were screwed into the fan's plastic guard (where the old ones went) - not completely tightened yet, but close. Housing inserted into place. The top holes were fasted to the housing with 4 rivets. Why rivets? They look nice, and I wanted the connections as flush as possible. They also won't vibrate loose, and I won't need them to come apart in the future, even if I had to replace these 2 fans (remember, we're using screws on the bottom of the brackets).

    Make sure the rivets easily fit into the brackets and the housing. My brackets needed a slight brush with the drill to have the rivets work. Once riveted, I tightened down the retention screws into the fan. Don't overdo it... it's plastic and doesn't need to hold 100 lbs of lateral force.

    Here's the complete assembly:

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    One my car, the wires magically matched the colors of the new fan wires. You can connect the new wires in any way you like, as long as it doesn't involve a few feet of electrical tape. Seriously - clip the old wires and install a new receiver, or use nice spades, or SOMETHING that works well and looks clean and professional. Yes, it takes more time to do wire connections correctly. Take the time, else some person in the future will be looking at your crappy wiring and wondering who the idiot was.

    The rubber sheaths are wrapped around the old housing, and retain their job of cushioning the housing inside the bracket. Slide the fans into place, and voila.

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    After this pic was taken, I tested the fans. Once confirmed working, I properly affixed the cables to upper crossframe with 2-3 nicely trimmed zip ties.

    All that is left is reattaching all the body parts. Again, a helper is helpful.

    Final Results:
    My initial test drive was last Saturday. Weather was 96F, and we took a drive across town with the top on and the AC blasting. For the first time ever, we were actually comfortable in the car in the summer heat. The car's temp gauge, once completely hot and under full load, was hovering around the 200-208F mark. So I estimate these new fans have dropped the coolant temp by at least 12-20F degrees, and of course the AC is blowing noticeably colder. Definitely worth the 7 hours of work, and $172 in parts.

    ]I'd like to once again offer my thanks to forum members who have come before me, and shared all their pics and modification tips that made this job far easier to approach. :)
     
    spinde355, TonyL, ME308 and 4 others like this.
  2. Schulz308

    Schulz308 Formula 3
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    May 21, 2014
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    Noce DIY write up. Thank you for sharing the details
     
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  3. Brian A

    Brian A Formula 3

    Dec 21, 2012
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    1983 US 308 GTS QV
    +1.
     
  4. expeatfarmer

    expeatfarmer Karting

    Jul 11, 2016
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    Very useful thanks I am in the process of doing the same thing on my GT4
     
  5. waymar

    waymar Formula Junior

    Sep 2, 2008
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    Wayne
    I noticed you also replaced the stock radiator with aluminum. Was this done at the same time as the fans? What effect did the radiator have with the stock fans??

    For what it’s worth. On my 82 308i. I rebuilt the stock fans and re cord the radiator with 12 fpi vs stock 13 fpi for a bit more air flow. No cooling issue in +94 with ac in traffic.
     
  6. waymar

    waymar Formula Junior

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    Wayne
    I also flushed out the AC system which purged some sludge from it. And lastly I replaced the evaporator valve on the AC system. Huge difference in AC cooling.
     
  7. thorn

    thorn Formula 3
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    Aug 7, 2012
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    Heya Wayne,

    The new-ish radiator was replaced by the previous owner before I bought the car, so I've no baseline for comparison there. We took the car out again today (92F) and both the engine and AC were performing pretty well. Everything definitely running cooler now.
     
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  8. offtheworkigo

    offtheworkigo Karting
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    Feb 23, 2016
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    Hi Thorn
    I also have a 85 308 euro car. My car is slowly getting hotter and hotter sitting at lights with the a/c on here in Dallas, Tx. 75 degrees outside usually no problems, gauge moves up and down some. Temp does goes back down after a while at hwy speeds, not as fast and low as I would like. Like a needle over 90C. Radiator never been out. So I bought a new aluminum radiator from Nick Forza. When I remove the radiator I want to replace the fans. So a year later after your fan replacement are you still happy with them or would you do higher cfm fans from Spal? Did you have to do and thing to the wiring? Like heavier wire or differant relays? I have the bird man"s fuse box now. Anybody ever anodize there aluminum black? A few pictures of my car. Thanks Dave
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  9. thorn

    thorn Formula 3
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    Great looking car, Dave. Except for the spoiler (mine lacks one), the rest looks like a twin!

    First things first: be sure your coolant system is functioning 100%. No leaks, etc. Better fans and radiator won't help much if the rest of the system isn't good. Anyways, moving on.

    At around 75F (late winter) and below, the car temp is really great. Once spring/summer arrive with 85-95F day times, I tend to think of my system as "not great, but managing." Highway driving is good, temps sit around the 80-85C mark. You can easily see the temp dropping over 50-60mph. In bumper-to-bumper city traffic, not so much. The new fans keep the temp down some (it's certainly better than the old fans), but usually just above 90C with 30-40mph driving. Lots of stoplights will raise it more.

    I'm still happy with the fans I got; honestly, I don't think larger/more CFM would make that much of a difference. Wiring & relays: I didn't change anything here beyond what I mentioned originally (good solid connections, no electrical tape.) So far the fuses have never blown, so the power situation seems fine. Oh - my fusebox is upgraded; I bought one of Sam's before he stopped production. Both that and Birdman's are definitely better than OEM, so good choice there.

    Not sure what else I can add; let me know if there is anything. :)
     
  10. offtheworkigo

    offtheworkigo Karting
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    Feb 23, 2016
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    Thorn, Thanks for answering so quickly. Thanks for the compliments on my car. I love my car. Bought her over 4 Years ago. I lived to Hernando Beach, Florida years ago in the 90's. In fact just sold the house a year ago. Anyways I have no leaks. Never spits any fluid out. Have to bleed air from the radiator once in a while. I do find if the gauge is reading a little high ( 1/4" above 90c) I can thumb the gauge with my finger and it will move down. Once in a while my gauge needle moves when using the turn signal or turning the lights on. Maybe I'm not getting as hot as I think? Sounds like a gauge problem to me. Don't know if this happens with anyone else car. I'm going ahead with the new radiator and the fan set up like yours. Dave
     
  11. offtheworkigo

    offtheworkigo Karting
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    Oh by the way my vin # is 53415
     
  12. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
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    Good choice. OE fans are a waste of electricity.
     
  13. kcabpilot

    kcabpilot Formula Junior

    Apr 17, 2014
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    Also the aluminum radiator from Nick's is thicker (has to be to equate with the copper one) so I'm not sure if you can even fit the original fans in there. I didn't try. Fortunately there are a couple of ways to mount the new Spals to the original hoops without modifying anything. I just used some angle brackets.

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  14. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
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    Are they up against the condenser? It is best that way.

    "Some" improvement can also be had by minimizing the antifreeze content of the cooling system depending on the needs in your area and adding Water Wetter.
     
  15. kcabpilot

    kcabpilot Formula Junior

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    Yes, with the angle brackets you can adjust the position so the fan shroud contacts the condenser. I thought of trying to mount the radiator at an angle like a 328 and using puller fans but it wouldn't be an easy task and would require some extensive modifications if it could even be done at all.
     
  16. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    That would be a big job.
     
  17. offtheworkigo

    offtheworkigo Karting
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    Thanks guys, I plan on using the angle brackets.and original mounts. I like to keep my car the way it came from Ferrari, but there are just some things you have to improve on to drive it and make it safe to drive. I do keep all my original parts. A lot of people don't know whats original and whats not original unless you are a Ferrari guy or it was in poor taste. Looks like the best fan is spal 30100320 pusher 800cfm 2 inches thick. The spal 30102058 is 1100 cfm but 4 inches thick but draws a lot more amps and is 4 inches thick. My voltage should be 12v or higher at the fans correct. Paul which fans did you use? Brian, the usual mixture is 50/50.. What percentage do you like and how much Water Wetter? Do you recommend the green anti freeze? I'm in Dallas, it hardly ever freezes and the car is in the garage when its cold and raining.
     
  18. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    There are charts available to determine that. Figure the lowest temp the car will be exposed to and consult one of the charts. I could go to near zero but I don't think you want to do that up there. If not on line the bottle should have one on the back.


    Great looking car BTW.
     
  19. kcabpilot

    kcabpilot Formula Junior

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    I used Spal VA07-AP12/C-31S 9 inch 590 CFM 6.6 Amps. Just spliced the original fan connector into them, no other modifications.
     
  20. offtheworkigo

    offtheworkigo Karting
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    So if I wanted to install new or more relays for my new fans, is this the way to wire them? This way I should get full battery voltage to my fans and no stress on the fuse box. Correct me if I'm wrong.The 2 new relays are at the top of the diagram. Sorry for the picture being side ways.
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  21. kcabpilot

    kcabpilot Formula Junior

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    If you want to have twice as many relays and run your fans on an unprotected circuit yea, that's the way to do it.
     
  22. offtheworkigo

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    I did forget to draw in the fuses in line. I thought about putting in 10" high output fans with a little more cfm1115. The ones I was looking at are asking for a 25 amp fuse, 15 amp draw, 40 amp start up. Didn't know if the fuse box and wiring would hold that with out overheating.
     
  23. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Say goodbye to your full size spare if you do.
     
  24. kcabpilot

    kcabpilot Formula Junior

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    Original fan circuits are 16A I believe so yes, you'd have to upgrade if you want to use those fans. This is just my opinion but maybe you are falling into the very common trap of over-engineering something just because you figure bigger will be better. I'm often guilty of the same thing so believe me, I understand what you're thinking but in the case of cooling fans their only purpose is to push air through the radiator when the car is not moving and even the original fans, which we now consider woefully inadequate, are generally up to the task when everything else is in proper order. You also have to consider that 30 amps doesn't just come for free from nowhere, it puts an additional load on the engine. Think of how much torque comes out of a 30 amp motor, that's how much force the engine has to put into the alternator to produce that power. So when going bigger there comes a point of diminishing returns, what you want is a system that is "just right"
     
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  25. Brian A

    Brian A Formula 3

    Dec 21, 2012
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    As long as it's moving, my '83 QV can run all day at 100F. Ask it to idle at that ambient temp and it is not happy. Thus, I too am a big believer that increasing fan throughput will improve idling heat tolerance (… although I've never done anything about it and my system remains stock).

    Note that in addition to putting in bigger fans, the 308 looks pretty choked for radiator airflow. Particularly air entering the front grille and spoiler ports has to pass through some tight openings to get to the fans. It makes for a nice aesthetic front but doesn't help with pressure differential.

    Downstream of the radiator, there is opportunity to give more breathing space by adjusting the "dryer hose" ducting for the cabin ventilation system. The factory installed the hose such that it goes diagonally across big openings to the wheel wells on each side of the car. If the ducting were adjusted to pass horizontally, it would allow more air to flow out from the radiator to the wheel wells.

    I suppose these restrictions don't really matter because the car does keep cool when moving, so the size of the vents fore and aft of the radiator would be adequate if there is sufficient fan-produced airflow.
     

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