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Old 07-17-2011, 05:26 PM   #1
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When should I engage the manually control radiator fan

Quick question, early next week we will be headed out to Texas,and the PO had a small set of fans installed at the lower out side of the radiator, they are controller by a switch on the dash.

So my question is when should I engage these fans, I have a 83 Pace Arrow. I heard that the 454 is designed to run hot, so at what point would I want to turn these fans on, at what temperature, or situation?

If it matter I also have the Banks Power Pak installed, so the exhaust manifolds runs cooler than the stock ones.

Do I kick the on during stop and go traffic, of what would be the root cause that would need the extra cooling power.

I also wonder if there was a reason to install them in that location, on the bottom right of the radiator .

This will be our maiden voyage so we want to make an effort to do everything right.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:34 PM   #2
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If they are not setup to go on at a certain temp then your best bet is to use them on situations you know are going to make things hot. Traffic in 100, long grades etc. is when I would use them. Better to run a few degrees cooler than optimum than too hot in my book.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:52 PM   #3
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I installed a large one on my '84 Pace Arrow that I had before this '88. I would turn it on during long hill climbs and when I used the dash AC, otherwise it was not used.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:35 PM   #4
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We also have electric fans, originally working off a temp sender in the block, but now switch controlled on the dash.

Long grades, stop-n-go traffic are when we switch it on. We just installed a new and improved temperature gauge which failed after about 10 minutes, so until the manufacturer sends us a new one, we're guessing how hot everything is.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:53 PM   #5
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We had the same model as you, 3 rd unit back. What the other posters are telling you I would agree with. You are probably not going to get into the grades that you would see if your were heading for the mountains, (I presume you are taking the I-10 east) but even a grade that is only 2-3%, if it is very long will drive the temp up. Listen for your clutch fan, and learn when it is going to come on, then turn your electric fans on before those conditions. That stock clutch fan is very noisy. As for the location, is that where the inlet hose is? if so, the PO was trying to use the fan where it would do the most, and that is where the temp. differential is greatest.
BTW, I boxed the area in behind the bumper area and below the radiator, and that helped cooling a lot on that chassis. It's not too hard to do. It cut down significantly the time the clutch fan was fully engaged.
My present Workhorse chassis, has cross braces, etc that would make it almost impossable to do. Otherwise I would do the same on it.
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback, I forgot to say that it is also in front of the transmission cooler, could it be more for cooling the transmission that for any other reason?

If that was in deed the case I would think it would be on a sensor and not manual?
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:32 AM   #7
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Do you have a temperature gauge or just an idiot light? If a gauge, just watch for it beginning to rise above whatever the normal temp is.

Your 454 doesn't really "like to run hot" - it has a thermostat just like any other water cooled engine and it tries to maintain a constant temp. Probably 195 or even 210, but a constant.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:45 AM   #8
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a 454 is designed to run at the setting of the thermostat,if you have an aftermarket add on you may have to switch it on and off manually,however it may be automatic,just leave switch off and climb a grade to see if it comes on by itself,if the temp reaches the max of the thermostat and it doesnt come on,manually switch it on,but dont forget to turn it back off,causes extreme fuel usage and shortens the life of the fanclutch,overall just use it when you think you need to
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:15 PM   #9
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I have the same setup on my 454 and the first thing I do is turn on the fans. That 454 pulling my 35' loaded with a trailer on the back gets up to 220 fast without the fans. 210 should be normal but with the heat out there it's hard with an older coach to keep it cool. I'd just turn them on and see where the temps go. If they are below 210 you don't need them on.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:16 AM   #10
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I would really recommend getting your radiator and motor flushed. We just returned from South Carolina where it was 95. I have a 34' Georgie Boy towing a Buick Century. I had one eye on the t-stat and the other on the road. But it never got above 210 even going through the mountians in WV.

Sediment can cause things to run hot. But your fan is added insurance.
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