How To: Install a New Fan on Your Tri-Five
Upgrading to an aftermarket fan can significantly improve cooling. Installing a new fan is pretty easy, but it might be confusing if it’s your first time doing it. Follow this guide to be on your way to an improved engine cooling system.
Removing the Old Fan
Note: It might be a little too tight in the engine bay to leave the radiator in. Most people choose to remove the radiator first to access the fan. Always wear gloves when handling the radiator as sharp fins can cause injury.
Engine fans are bolted to the front flange of the water pump with long shaft bolts. These bolts tie the fan clutch to the fan, the water pulley, and the water pump. To start, loosen these long bolts and remove them from the fan. The fan should come off with the bolts.
You now have clear access to the fan belt. To release the tension from the fan belt, loosen the alternator side bracket bolt. You don’t need to remove the alternator, just loosen it. This will create enough slack so you can just slide the belt off at this point.
Now you’re clear of the old parts and ready to put the new ones on.
How to Install the New Fan and Belt
Note: If you’re installing an electric fan, you can skip this part.
Installation of a new belt fan is straightforward at this point. Just as the belt came off last, it needs to go back on first. Loop your new belt around the engine accessories the way you took it off. The direction is usually pictured on a sticker in the engine compartment. Once in place, tighten the alternator bracket bolts to hold the tension.
In some cases, aftermarket spacers are needed to bring the fan closer to the radiator. These will go behind the fan but don’t require modifications. Install the new fan, bolting it in with the long bolts, holding it to the front flange of the water pump. Tighten the bolts and reinstall the radiator if you took it out.
Installing an Electric Fan
You might want to go ahead and install an electric fan at this point. We have a selection for Tri-Five models here. Using an electric fan has its benefits:
- It reduces the load on the water pump
- It can lengthen the life of the bearings in the water pump
- Provides increased cooling of the engine
You’ll need use a mounting kit like this one to physically mount the fan.
From there, it’s a matter of wiring in an electric thermostat for the fan and a fan relay kit. These parts come with manufacturer instructions for easy installation.
As far as the belt goes, you’re going to need a shorter one. Measure out for the correct belt size.
Now you’re done. Even if you have to wire components in for an electrical fan, the whole process shouldn't take more than an hour or two.