My efan setup (Montana/Venture efans)

Mooseman

Original poster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
By popular demand (well, Sparky anyway), here is my efan setup. My electro-viscous fan had been slowly dying with a wobbly bearing but it was still working. It may have been sucking more power due to the bad bearing but I wanted to do the efans for a while now. I had used fans from a Montana van in my Jimmy and it worked well, even with the A/C on, but it was a tight fit on the sides as the radiator was not as wide and there was not much clearance on each side but I still made it fit. The TB has way more room to work with.

Each fan is 14" wide instead of the 11" for the LS1/Camaro fans and they do pull a lot of air. In the TB, there is only about 1" that go past each side of the radiator but the extra air these pull make up for it. Made my own brackets using old flat bar to hold them on top, bolted onto the bolts for the front plastic fascia (or whatever it's called). On the bottom, I just used some metal strap to just keep it from flopping. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pics of that part. The mods on the fan assembly itself was from the Jimmy install where I had to cut off a lot of the shroud next to the fans but in the TB, it probably would have fit as is except I had to cut a small tab on top to allow the fans to fit flush on the rad. I also ground down the center fan bolts to be sure they wouldn't rub on the radiator core.

For the fan controller, I used a Derale dual fan adjustable controller with push in probe. Got it from eTrailer at a good price and reasonable shipping:
Derale Dual-Fan Adjustable Fan-Control Thermostat with Push-In Radiator Probe Derale Radiator Fans D16788
Although it can probably handle both fans on its own, being able to switch up to 50A combined, I elected to use separate relays since those are cheaper than a controller and will allow me to add separate switches for each fan later on. The manual bypass in the Derale only turns on fan 1. My A/C currently doesn't work (leaking evaporator) so I didn't hook that up. Using separate relays could also allow to hook up the fans to both run at a low speed by wiring them in series when fan 1 turns on and then in parallel for fan 2. This is basically how the vans work them and 90's Montanas/Ventures used relays to control them this way. It would give another option later on if I want to go that way but for now, the left fan turns on first (same side as the tranny cooler) and then the right if the temps go higher.

Results: Idling in 22C (72f), when it reaches the preset temp (one tick past 100C), the first fan kicks in and 10 seconds later, shuts off after cooling enough. About 10 minutes later, repeats. I unplugged the first fan to let it get hot enough to kick in the second fan and it did. Plug the first one back in and both pull a ton of air. From that temp, it took about 20 seconds to turn off. Only did a couple of drives today so can't really say how it will be in stop and go traffic but I imagine it should work great. I should get a better scanner or an ELM327 to get actual temps rather than the guesstimate from the gauge.

I'll update as things go.


A shot of the efans. This is a second set I had but shows what they look like. The shroud was cut around the fans but they should be left on as there is more space in these trucks.
View attachment 19684

The width of each fan, a glorious 14 inches of air moving blades!
View attachment 19683

Height is about 16 inches, plenty of room for it.
View attachment 19682

This is the tab that needs to be cut off to allow the fan to sit flush onto the radiator
View attachment 19681

Here's a shot of the fan setup
View attachment 19689

From the other side
View attachment 19687

View from the top
View attachment 19688

A closeup of one of the brackets I made
View attachment 19685

And the Derale controller installed near the fuse box. I tapped into the original fan fuse to power it :biggrin:
View attachment 19686
 

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Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Whoa look at all that space in front of the radiator :wootwoot:

I like this! Gonna start digging for Chevy Venture/Pontiac Montana fans I think :biggrin: Already found a brand new set for $140 shipped but surely I can find them cheaper used from a scrapyard. Although they look different... oh, there are two types for two year ranges, the newer year range costs more. What year are your fans from?

I haven't had my stock fan shroud off yet - does the shroud mount the radiator to the truck, or does the radiator mount to the truck directly with the shroud just sitting over it?

Definitely let us know how it does driving around. Do you already have a PCM tune to kill the fan codes or are you just dealing with the SES light for now?
 

06Envoy

Member
Dec 4, 2011
419
Cool! That's a neat idea! Please keep posting updates.

I still have to do my wife's. I'll be keeping an eye on this thread for sure!
 

Mooseman

Original poster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
The rad mounts on the truck's front frame crossbar and the stock fan shroud bolts to the rad itself with just two bolts. Held at the bottom with two tabs. It was a PITA to get out. Had to disconnect the upper hose and still had problems getting it out. Wound up breaking it :smile:
 

rmsg0040

Member
Dec 10, 2011
285
very nice setup, something I want to do but I am at 159,000 km and still on the OE clutch fan.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Thanks to Short Bus I just snagged a Montana fan set from ebay for 33 bucks shipped :wootwoot:

I guess I'm committed now :rotfl:

Dang, I've blown almost an entire paycheck in the last 2 days on mod stuff :eek: Good thing it is a 3 paycheck month :laugh:
 

Mooseman

Original poster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
The amount of mods we do here, we should be committed! :rotfl:

So far today, in 25C weather, it only came on once while stopped at a light in traffic. And I also found that my gas consumption seems to have improved. No real measurements yet but I did a fair amount of driving today that would have used about 1/4 tank before and it used less than half of that on the gauge. So far, real happy with the results :wootwoot:

Edit: to answer some of the questions, I already had the tune done so no error codes. Anybody looking for these fans should definitely use the Venture/Montana fans, not Uplanders or SV6. They changed a bit in 2001 and also looks like one of the fans is a bit smaller as well as a different shroud. Look for those that have the same flat motors for both fans. The older ones, like the one pictured above outside the truck, has one of the motors that is an older style round motor, which have been used way back since the Chevy Citation :puke: Plus it looks better :thumbsup:
 

Mooseman

Original poster
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Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
I agree. They are more accurate BUT, there is no place to screw it into. It's not like the old engines where there were plugged holes in the heads and intake manifold you could use. In fact, I used two switches from a Citation to control them in the Jimmy. I really looked and couldn't find anything on our 4.2's. The only way I can see you could use this would be to make your own T to splice into the rad hose from the thermostat. There could be some brass fittings you could use to do this. I wouldn't use galvanized because of rust.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
I found a few fittings around that would go on the upper radiator hose and gives a 3/8" NPT port for a sensor. I'd probably go that route.
 

Mooseman

Original poster
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Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
Now I'm confused. Doesn't the hot coolant flow out from the thermostat into the radiator?:confused:
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Um... I don't know. I really don't know which way the coolant flows. Whatever, the tube adapter thingy for the temp sensor would go in whichever hose is the right hose to stick it in :crazy:
 

Mooseman

Original poster
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Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
Wow, do I have egg on my face :redface:. The flow is reversed! Hot coolant flows from the top hose into the rad then back in the lower through the thermostat. I almost overheated today in 27C weather in a bumper to bumper highway traffic jam. Pulled over and forced fan 1 to run constantly. Tonight I moved the sensor to the top of the rad near the inlet and re-adjusted the turn on temp. Runs much longer now and cools even more. Tomorrow will be the test again in traffic. Until I get an ELM327 to get real engine temps, I'll just have to go by the "guessgauge".

I also think that it would be better to have both fans running at low speed in series when fan 1 circuit is activated. Having air drawn across the whole rad would probably work better and be less noisy. I dug up the schematic for a 99 Montana and that uses 3 relays to achieve this. Would just have to switch + and - for the relay activation but should work. May also reduce the current draw when the fans kick in. This will probably be my weekend project along with adding manual override switches :biggrin:.
 

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Sparky

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Dec 4, 2011
12,927
That's how I plan on wiring mine. Better cooling (more surface area), less noise.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Hey Moose any update on how it has done in traffic with the sensor up near the upper radiator hose?

I saw PCM4Less has made a complete e-fan conversion kit and they put their sensor in the lower hose, so now I'm even more confused :crazy:

Also, my Montana fans arrived today!
 

Blckshdw

Moderator
Nov 20, 2011
10,697
Tampa Bay Area, FL
Sparky said:
Hey Moose any update on how it has done in traffic with the sensor up near the upper radiator hose?

I saw PCM4Less has made a complete e-fan conversion kit and they put their sensor in the lower hose, so now I'm even more confused :crazy:

Also, my Montana fans arrived today!

Makes sense to put the sensor in the lower hose, to read the coolant temp after the fans and radiator have done their job to it. Also, the ECT sensor for our trucks is right by the thermostat right? Same deal, it looks like. :twocents:
 

Mooseman

Original poster
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Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
I haven't had a chance to change the wiring for the low speed on both fans. Plus it has gotten colder so I am not getting it really hot nowadays. The one warm day it did control the temperature better, not letting it go higher than around 110C (230f) and bringing it back down to 100C (212f). I probably need to adjust it better and do the slow speed fan thing.

Yeah. that PCM4Less kit looks like the perfect solution. Would you need to send your PCM again? I don't think they use a sensor in the hose. I think they get the PCM to command the fans. I should have gone with that but for some reason, I thought it was only 2008 and up they could do that.
 

Mooseman

Original poster
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Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
Blckshdw said:
Makes sense to put the sensor in the lower hose, to read the coolant temp after the fans and radiator have done their job to it. Also, the ECT sensor for our trucks is right by the thermostat right? Same deal, it looks like. :twocents:

Then why would the controller instructions say to place the sensor at the hot end? That makes more sense to me. This would tell the controller that the engine is not cool enough yet.
 

Blckshdw

Moderator
Nov 20, 2011
10,697
Tampa Bay Area, FL
I guess either way would work really. As long as you don't overheat, that's all that counts. You have any CFM numbers on your efans? I'm pretty curious. :undecided:
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Mooseman said:
I haven't had a chance to change the wiring for the low speed on both fans. Plus it has gotten colder so I am not getting it really hot nowadays. The one warm day it did control the temperature better, not letting it go higher than around 110C (230f) and bringing it back down to 100C (212f). I probably need to adjust it better and do the slow speed fan thing.

Yeah. that PCM4Less kit looks like the perfect solution. Would you need to send your PCM again? I don't think they use a sensor in the hose. I think they get the PCM to command the fans. I should have gone with that but for some reason, I thought it was only 2008 and up they could do that.

I misread, the 02-07 kit has a sensor that goes in the housing...somewhere. Not sure what housing so I'm not sure where I came up with the lower hose part :duh:

The 08-09 uses the PCM for fan control.
 

04tbottawa

Member
Dec 7, 2011
10
WOW!!! Moose were gonna have to meet up one day so I can checkout your fan setup. And maybe over some beers we can set one up on my TB :wootwoot:

Let me know.
 

06Envoy

Member
Dec 4, 2011
419
Wifey's Truck needs some efan loving too!
I'd love to see how you guys are DIY. That's what I had installed on my old truck so I don't mind DIY again. And it's always good to share ideas!

If you guys don't have any objections, I'd like to come to that meet up and see those fans too please. :yes:

EDIT: We can turn it into an Eastern Ontario Meet N Greet!
 

marshall@pcm

Member
Dec 6, 2011
260
Mooseman said:
Yeah. that PCM4Less kit looks like the perfect solution. Would you need to send your PCM again? I don't think they use a sensor in the hose. I think they get the PCM to command the fans. I should have gone with that but for some reason, I thought it was only 2008 and up they could do that.

For all years, actually... whether it be for code deleting or activating the fans. :yes:
 

Mooseman

Original poster
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Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
04tbottawa said:
WOW!!! Moose were gonna have to meet up one day so I can checkout your fan setup. And maybe over some beers we can set one up on my TB :wootwoot:

Let me know.

06Envoy said:
Wifey's Truck needs some efan loving too!
I'd love to see how you guys are DIY. That's what I had installed on my old truck so I don't mind DIY again. And it's always good to share ideas!

If you guys don't have any objections, I'd like to come to that meet up and see those fans too please. :yes:

EDIT: We can turn it into an Eastern Ontario Meet N Greet!

Sounds like a plan. Maybe post something up in the Eastern Canada section to get more responses. There are a few members in the Ottawa area. Maybe even some from the northern States could come too. Would be fun!
 

Mooseman

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Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
marshall@pcm said:
For all years, actually... whether it be for code deleting or activating the fans. :yes:

Hey Marshall, I had mine done a while back and had the codes canceled already but was still using the stock EV fan. Would I still need to send mine back in again to activate the efans using your wiring kit?
 

ScarabEpic22

Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
Mooseman said:
Hey Marshall, I had mine done a while back and had the codes canceled already but was still using the stock EV fan. Would I still need to send mine back in again to activate the efans using your wiring kit?

Doubt it, 02-07s cant control efans using the factory PCM OS, all you can do is change the fan diagnostic routine to not run and kill some DTCs. If you had them kill the codes already then you shouldnt have to have it done again.
 

Mooseman

Original poster
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Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
ScarabEpic22 said:
Doubt it, 02-07s cant control efans using the factory PCM OS, all you can do is change the fan diagnostic routine to not run and kill some DTCs. If you had them kill the codes already then you shouldnt have to have it done again.

Bummer :frown:. I was hoping that later on I could get the PCM to control my efans. Guess I'll keep using the external fan controller.
 

ScarabEpic22

Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
Mooseman said:
Bummer :frown:. I was hoping that later on I could get the PCM to control my efans. Guess I'll keep using the external fan controller.

Talk to limequat, I know he tried getting his 06 P12 to control the efans in his Supra swap, but I cant remember if he got it working properly.
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
Ok I found a set of montana e-fans like the ones Moose used for real cheap.

Is this the controller I would need?
Derale 16788 Derale Electric Fan Accessories

Derale #259-16788
Premium Adjustable Dual Fan Control Solid State Design
Push-in Radiator Probe
35amp Max Capacity Per Fan
Adjustable from 150-240 Deg
A/C override circut
Activate fan #1 at desired temp
Activate fan #2 at temp 10deg warmer than fan #1


Is there a cheaper controller I could use where I would still get A/C input and adjustable temps?
 

Mooseman

Original poster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
That's the same one as mine. You could go with one with an actual sensor that threads in but you would have to find some fittings with a tee to tap into the upper rad hose. This would be the preferred method as it is more precise than the push in probe into the rad.

I looked at different controllers and this one was the cheapest choice IMO. I'll be posting an updated schematic for the low/high speed fan setup.
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
Mooseman said:
That's the same one as mine. You could go with one with an actual sensor that threads in but you would have to find some fittings with a tee to tap into the upper rad hose. This would be the preferred method as it is more precise than the push in probe into the rad.

I looked at different controllers and this one was the cheapest choice IMO. I'll be posting an updated schematic for the low/high speed fan setup.

I appreciate your hard work.

When you post the schematic, can you make it really really simple for "automotive electronics special needs" cases like myself? lol.

One last thing. To install the fans I will need:
- the fans
- the controller
- a wiring/relay kit with relays for each of the fans individually

Did you wire your A/C input yet? Where would I find the A/C input wire on my truck?
 

Mooseman

Original poster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
Blckshdw said:
You have any CFM numbers on your efans? I'm pretty curious. :undecided:

Just noticed that I never answered this one. No CFM's but 14" is bigger than 11" in the LS1/Camaro fans and they cool a large vehicle with a 3.4L V6 with front and rear A/C.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
That's the one Moose used. I'm probably going to go with the Derale 16789 because I personally don't want to rely on a push-in sensor to keep my engine cool. I'd rather bolt it in place (thought it will be more work to do so).
 

Mooseman

Original poster
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Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
Here's the reworked schematic. I tried to make it as simple as possible. Basically what you'll need to make your own wiring kit:

- A controller that can activate two fans
- 3 relays (minimum 30A rating) with sockets
- 2 breakers 30A, threaded post type
- a bunch of eyelet connectors
- wire
- plastic wire loom (optional, could use tape instead)
- zip ties
- solder and soldering gun (preferred to crimping, especially the fan wiring due to high amps)
- 2 switches (optional if you want manual override)

This is only for the relays portion of the installation to the fans. For the controller itself, you should refer to those instructions. If you want to add manual override switches, just hook up to the same connections for Fan1 and Fan2. For the A/C, the controller will switch on only Fan1 when it receives 12V+, which would be low speed with this setup. Unfortunately, apart from the clutch, there is no point that uses 12V, just 5V since everything is controlled by the BCM. I think the best place to tap into the A/C would be the pressure switch behind the compressor as I believe it keeps 5V+ on as long as the A/C in on, no matter if the clutch is cycled off or not. You don't want the fans to cycle on and off with the clutch as you want cooling to the condenser to continue and would be less annoying and as well as the added current draw of the fans and clutch starting at the same time. You could try a 5V relay that would activate 12V to the controller. I am not able to test this as my A/C system is completely dead at the moment. Or just use the manual override when you use the A/C.

I don't know if PCMForLess' wiring kit does this for the A/C or if it does the slow/fast on both fans or just individual fans. It would be interesting to know exactly how it works and how it does it.
 

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Mooseman

Original poster
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Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
Quick update. Did the relays as per the last schematic, works as expected. Also added some manual overrides. Fan 1 gets both working slow speed. Fan 1 and 2 both at full speed. If you use the switch for fan 2 only, only one fan runs at full speed. Didn't have a chance to try it out on the road, not finished putting the dash back in. I wanted to put my Pioneer HU back in but I couldn't find the replacement interface I got a couple months ago. :redface:
 

Mooseman

Original poster
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Dec 4, 2011
25,605
Ottawa, ON
You were close. Instead of trying to explain, if you don't mind, I made corrections to your drawing. I will also update my schematic to include the relay connections. As for the A/C, you could use the controller's A/C input wire.
 

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Ace1875

Member
Mar 29, 2012
276
Mooseman said:
You were close. Instead of trying to explain, if you don't mind, I made corrections to your drawing. I will also update my schematic to include the relay connections. As for the A/C, you could use the controller's A/C input wire.

Ahh knew something was missing. I don't mind at all if anyone corrects me, after all we need correct info :smile:

yeah i was trying to figure out where to connect that AC connector. :undecided:
 

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