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How To Install an Electric Fan

The following information contains instructions on how to Install Electric Cooling fans on your truck to improve gas mileage and free up some more h/p. This is a very good mod that I did and was very pleased with the results. Read the instructions completely and carefully before you begin. (Also the modification I did was with one 13" fan and one 12" fan that I purchased through eBay. I highly recommend if you have the money purchase a higher quality Fan kit made especially for our trucks.)

Materials Needed:

Instructions

First you’ll have to remove the radiator cowl by removing the fasteners holding it down (circled in red). There should be 8 of them.

Remove the plastic radiator cowl

Second you’ll need to remove the OEM Radiator fan. Here is where most people get confused. The pulley that your fan is attached to stays there. You will not need another belt or anything like that. You just simply unscrew the Fan from the pulley because the pulley weighs nothing all the weight is from the fan you’ll notice once you remove it. It’s best to remove your air intake to allow you enough room to remove it. You may need a fan wrench. AutoZone has them for about $30 or free tool loaner program. The fan unscrews from the water pump shaft. If you will look you will see. So you’ll have to pull towards the passenger side to unscrew it. I used just a good ol' wrench and had one friend hold one of the water pump shaft bolts with a ratchet while I used a mallet and pounded the wrench. (Not recommended) get the tool if you can.

Here's a picture of where the fan meets the pulley it’s reverse threaded so you’ll need to turn towards the passenger side.

Photo of the stock fan pulley

Here's a pic of the bare Pulley that used to hold the OEM radiator fan.

Photo of the fan pulley after the fan is removed

This is a pic of where the passenger side shroud bolt is located just beneath the radiator hose.

Photo of passenger side fan shroud bolt

Here is where the drivers side shroud bolt is located.

Photo of the drivers side fan shroud bolt

Then use a 8mm socket wrench and remove the 2 bolts holding the fan shroud. Finish unscrewing the fan, and remove the shroud and fan. Here’s where you’ll notice how heavy the fan is. That is what takes up all the power and gas mileage.

Photo of the stock fan, removed from the truck

Third you’ll need to mount your fans. Depending on where you got them from it may take a bit of rigging. Since I used used fans not made for my truck they had no way of mounting them I mounted them up with some wire and zip ties. It’s probably best to purchase a universal fan mounting kit from an online store. Bolt the electric fan up and make sure you have the exact set up you want. After that you may want to remove the bolts one at a time and use some locktite on them. ( I didn’t) Now It’s recommended you put the shroud/fan setup back in. It slips into place on the lower sides of the radiator, then held in place with the stock bolts and it offers better protection and a more stock look. Again depending on the fans you get you may or may not be able to put the shroud back on. I choose not to.

Fourth and the most time consuming you’ll now have to wire up the fans! This is going to all depend on the type of wiring kit you purchased. Follow the instructions that come with the kit and you should be ok. I bought a dual electric fan controller and a simple 30 amp circuit breaker. It should be very easy to install. Ran me $30 and the 30 amp AC relay was around $8 I believe. I may replace this with a 45 amp relay later if I run into problems. Please if you think you cannot wire up the fans correctly get someone to help you out or don’t attempt to do this. Fans wired wrong could cause a fire and damage critical engine parts.

Sorry I don’t have a pic of this but you can mount your kit wherever you feel best. I mounted the controller to the left of the radiator. I drilled 1 hole and used a self tapping screw to mount it. I also used some black gasket maker silicone on the back of the controller to glue it down also. The circuit breaker was mounted below that. Drill another hole above and to the side of the controller for a ground. mount the ground wire from the controller and the ground from the fan. I cut the second fan lead from the controller and hooked up the positive from the controller to the positive on the fan then one wire goes to the positive AC wire. The AC unit is under the belt tensioner. Remove the plug, strip back the tape and splice into the black/green stripe wire there. Then I wired the positive wire from the controller to the circuit breaker and then to the battery. This works pretty well and I did not have any problems. Again all this is based on the type of fans you get and wiring kit.

Then you’ll need to mount the temperature probe by the water inlet hose. Locate a convenient place on the bottom side of the upper radiator hose to attach the sensor switch. I did it right near the water thermostat housing. Secure it with a Zip-Tie. Depending on your wiring kit your temp switch will go on at either a pre-set speed or one that you can adjust it to. Mine is set to come on when the temp hits 180 degrees.

Photo of the mounted temperature sensor

That’s it! it’s now time to test your set up, turn the key to on. Then turn on the AC. The fan should kick on. Check to see that it is blowing the air the way the manufacture of the fans says it works best. With my fans more air is Pulled through the radiator into the engine bay rather than pushing the air through the radiator. Plenty of air should be moving through.

After you see that everything is working in order turn off your truck and use Zip-Ties to secure all the wires. Make absolutely sure that there are no loose wires anywhere!. Use as many zip-ties as possible. Give yourself plenty of time to complete this mod. I was rushed into completing it so I had to leave the truck for the day and finish the next day.

Last install the radiator cowl back and the jack rod, drop the hood and your good to go! You just freed up some HP from the drag of the stock fan! This will help in acceleration and MPG! I’ve noticed a gain in my 5.4 L V8 of roughly about 2mpg increase in the city. I was getting about 11-12 mpg now I get about 13-14. Mostly 14! all city driving. You should notice a quicker throttle response as well. Good luck and if you have any questions let me know.

Here's my installation:

Photo of the installed electric fans on a Ford F150

This article has been generously donated by Javi Guerra. This tech article was originally posted at FordF150.net. It is primarily intended for 1990's-2000's Ford trucks but most likely also applies to other Ford models and years.