Volvo Electric Fan Writeup - Page 2 - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
94-98 Powertrain Discussion of components that are directly involved in the power production and all that is needed to get and keep the truck moving . Engine , Transmission Ect...NO ADVERTISING

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post #13 of 220 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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I was doing some thinking and have decided to use the relay assemblies that Volvo employed with these fans. They are a proprietary relay block, requiring only a B+ wire and two grounds, one for each speed. A very informative thread on how they work can be found here.

I decided this for a couple reasons:
  • After some research, the startup and running draw on these fans is not reported as consistent. Not to say that the fans themselves are inconsistent, IE poor quality control, but that peoples test methods may vary and startup/run draw can legitimately change quite a bit depending on variables such as atmospheric pressure, humidity, and static pressure. I've seen people say the startup and run draw is anywhere from 55/22 amps as I initially stated to 68/27 amps to "mid 70s" to "about 30." Using the relay block that was originally designed to power this fan means no dinking around trying to figure out what size relays to use.
  • The relay blocks were designed as a two-speed control. Utilizing the two speed feature would mean one standard relay for each speed on each fan. I don't want to clutter my engine bay with a gazillion relays and the associated wiring.
  • The relay itself appears to be of extremely high-quality construction. I found a picture of someone who had taken one apart (here), and as you can see, the contacts and windings are much more robust than your typical $3 5-pin relay.

The obvious disadvantage to doing it this way is it means I won't be able to run into any hardware or auto parts store for a replacement if I experience a relay failure out on the road. That can be remedied by carrying a spare, or two if I start to experience late-onset Relay Failure Paranoia.

The relay assembly was gone off the first fan I snagged, so I will need to keep my eyes open for another junkyard Volvo. The second one had all the electrical still on it, so I took the relay and as much of the harness as I could.

That of course will not prevent me from taking my factory shroud off to make a pattern for my new one in the mean time. I will have some time tomorrow so I'm going to do that then.


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post #14 of 220 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Alright... so it turns out that I'll be driving my wife's car for the next few days to diagnose a mysterious coolant disappearance, so that gives me the opportunity to go nutty bananas with making this shroud.


This is the moose plow I mentioned earlier. It's all 1/4" plate (the front panel is 5/16") and schedule 80 tubing. It weighs a little over 200 lbs.


Here you can see how it occludes ambient airflow going into my cooling devices.

I first removed the overflow tank and washer fluid tank. I did not empty the overflow tank but I did empty the washer fluid tank. I found it convenient to disconnect the hose in the engine bay, feed it into the wheel well, and use the pump to drain the tank into a gallon bottle. Then disconnect the hose from the pump, and both electrical connectors from the pump and low level sensor.

If you haven't removed the tanks before, they're held captive by protrusions of plastic that snap into holes on the shroud. Jam a screwdriver or something between the tank and the shroud, and lift up. The overflow tank is straightforward, the washer fluid tank is kind of a pain. However, you CAN get the washer fluid tank out without disconnecting the upper radiator hose. Loosen the shroud and jigger everything around, you'll figure it out.

For the shroud, there are two clips on top of the radiator and 4x 10mm screws on the sides that hold the shroud to the radiator tanks. There are two tabs on the bottom that disengage when you lift the shroud out.


Here's our workspace after removing the shroud. It looks like a lot, but it disappears quick!


Here's the shroud out of the truck.




To keep the tanks in the factory location, we have to pay particular attention to the retaining system and re-create the slots and holes in the shroud. This side is for the washer fluid tank.


This side is for the overflow tank.


We also have to note the relative angles that the mounting surfaces are at.

The shroud will essentially be a shallow box, using the length and width of the core (outside dimensions for the shroud are 36" x 19.625"). I determined the thickness should be 1.25" because the fan protrudes forward of it's housing by just under 1". .25" plus material thickness (.078" in my case) is enough room to have good clearance without taking up excess space. Before everyone starts clamoring for dimensions, I will draw this whole thing up in CAD after it is built and I have worked out any kinks. I can then provide prints to anyone who wants them.

Now, before I go further, I should disclose to you all that my equipment at home includes MIG and TIG welders, a plasma cutter, a lathe, and a milling machine. So far I haven't had to do anything super exotic while making this shroud, and what I have utilized in the way of equipment you might not have access to has only been to save time or to allow a greater degree of precision. It has not and will not fundamentally alter the design.

In case anyone wants machinery porn:




Now, after I determined what my dimensions were going to be, I burned out the parts for the box. I'm using 14 gauge steel because I have some lying around and I'm not likely to use it for anything else.


Is is just me, or is it hot in here?


Here's the back face of the shroud.


Here's a mockup of fan placement.



Here's the two strips that will make up the top and bottom. The piece these were cut from was left over after I cut the rear face out of a larger piece. This remnant turned out to be exactly wide enough to be for two strips at 1.25" plus the width of the plasma arc. I used my boss layout skills and cut it exactly in half. Boom, baby.


Here's the top and bottom tacked to the rear face.


And here's the sides put on.


Here's a test fit in the truck. It fits so snug in bare metal that powdercoating might make it too tight. I might run a grinder down the sides and slim it up a few thousandths.


Next I made the tabs that secure the bottom of the shroud to the radiator. I decided to true these up in the mill to allow for a more precise fit, that is not necessary though. These tabs are 1" x .875" and .188" thick.


Positioned properly, and with a slight radius ground onto the top (bottom) edges, they fit perfect in the lower radiator slots.


Next I went to work on making the mount for the overflow tank. I had a piece of steel around that was *almost* the right size to begin with. I simply took measurements off the locking tabs on the tank, transferred them on to the steel, burned out the holes, and cleaned it up with a carbide burr. Once I got it to go on and off easily, I mocked it up in the truck, tacked this piece to the side of the shroud, mocked it up again to get the angle right, then made a piece to gusset this mount on top and another to gusset the bottom and serve as the ledge that supports the bottom of the tank.


This is how it came out. Tank fits like it was meant to, and it's sturdy enough to hold up even with just the tacks.


I didn't have enough material to get cracking on the washer fluid tank mount, so I worked on fitting the passenger side fan. I found I would have to trim the overflow tank mount a little, and possibly the back edge of the fan itself (hopefully not, we'll see).

A word to the wise: If you take the blades off of your fan (like I did, to fit the fan without the protruding blades messing up my mockup,) put a hand over the clip when you remove it. This is one of those deals where when it comes off, you hear a "ping!" and it flies into oblivion at the speed of light. You hear it smack against a hard surface across the shop, but you can't be sure of where or what it hit.

Luckily I found mine, because it's not a common clip and I probably would have had to get another one at the junkyard. It's like an e-clip, but it's tapered to hold the fan firmly against the hub, not just to retain it on the shaft.

Also, if you bench test your fan(s), secure them to something and watch your fingers. They have enough torque to launch themselves off the bench, and those blades move quick! I tested mine with a half-dead car battery and was impressed with the airflow.

As of tonight there are no new Volvos at either yard so no help there, but I should have time tomorrow to find a piece of material to use for the washer tank. I'll be camping for 4 days this coming weekend, I'd like to have the shroud completely done (minus powdercoating) by the time I leave Friday morning.

'95 2500 ECLB 4x4, 334k and paused due to epic transformation in progress.

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post #15 of 220 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 11:22 PM
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I'd hate to be on the receiving end of that monster

I've always wanted a custom bumper but i have a plow so that wont work

Daily driver/ workhorse: 1994 2500SLT 4x4 Auto. Hewitt EGT, Boost, Trans gauges, Under hood Mech FP gauge, Trident fuel lines, Tork Tek OFV, Mag-Hytec DD Transmission Pan, Ford manual hub conversion, Diamond eye 4" turbo back, 37337 Upgrade. 260K

98 2500slt 4x4 ECLB moldy G56, south bend clutch 3rd gen trac bar , boxed control arms, billet tappet cover w/ dual breathers trident fuel lines, Tork Tek OFV, 4' stainless side dump with muffler 240k

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post #16 of 220 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 11:34 PM
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Big bumper hooked to 3/16 frame


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post #17 of 220 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Reinforced the frame rails too

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post #18 of 220 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 03:05 AM
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very interested in this build. i've got some fans sitting waiting for me, just didn't know how to go about wiring them up like i wanted (same as you explained) and temp. switches and all that. keep up the good work and the thread, its very helpful!

under construction: 92 regcab/160 ppump built 47rh American Fab flatbed https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/94...first-gen.html
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post #19 of 220 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 10:12 AM
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Food for thought. Mid 80's GM's had a fairly simple elec. fan circuit: 12v switched to fan( I don't think it was relayed), and then ground came from a temp switch in the side of the block, it simply grounded out when it got to temp, completing the circuit. I know they sell different heat ranges of the switches, stock was like 190, I know I had a put a lower temp one in my camaro, 175 i believe, and I remember something about a appx. 200 deg switch, they were model/application dependent. It's a std pipe thread, so you might be able to find a spot to mount right in the block/head.

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post #20 of 220 (permalink) Old 10-10-2014, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Alright... I intended to have a bit more done by now but here's what I got.

I finished the washer fluid tank mount. I pretty much did it like I did the other one. It took a bit longer because there are more features to create but it's not essentially different.


Here's the plate.


Top gusset.


Bottom gusset. This one was a bit of a trick because the edge of the slot has to be parallel and flush with the mounting plate. I used the plasma cutter to get it in rough, then an angle grinder to clean it up and a file to smooth it out. You could do the rough slot in there with a skinny wheel though.


Bottom of the bottom gusset.


With the tank in, here's a mockup of the fans. Now it's time to fit them to the shroud.


These tank mounts actually take up a fair bit of space on the edges of the shroud. The fans are slim, but not slim enough. They just fit when staggered horizontally and tucked in behind the mounts as far as possible. This will require some trimming of the fans' mounting flanges.


The driver side fan up against the inside of the washer fluid tank mount.


I marked out the bolt holes I wanted to use with sharpie so I can keep track of where this fan goes.


To get enough room, I had to nudge the fan's mounting flange out past the edge of the shroud. We will trim it off.


I just ran the angle grinder on it until I got down to the metal of the shroud. Easy enough.


The passenger side fan has to be trimmed along the top edge of the shroud in the same manner.


The passenger side fan also requires notching the overflow tank's mount a little. I also had to remove a small amount of material from the back of the fan itself, right near where the hole is in the mount. I'll try to get a picture of this later. It was not necessary to get a proper fit, just to ensure clearance between the tank and the fan. We don't want something vibrating a hole in something else.


Now we need the fans to clear each other in the middle. With them overlapped, I marked out where they would intersect each other with sharpie. Then, I lined those two marks up with a straightedge and trimmed them with the grinder as I did before.

That's all I got until Monday or Tuesday. I think I can get the rest of the fab work done then except for final welding.

'95 2500 ECLB 4x4, 334k and paused due to epic transformation in progress.

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post #21 of 220 (permalink) Old 10-10-2014, 01:50 AM
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looks good buddy!...does anyone know how much bigger a 2nd gen radiator is than a 1st gen radiator? sorry to derail the thread.

under construction: 92 regcab/160 ppump built 47rh American Fab flatbed https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/94...first-gen.html
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post #22 of 220 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Got a chance to work on it again on Tuesday.


I found a circular object just the right size to "trace" the fan holes out. With the holes cut, it was time to do a final positioning of the fans and drill the mounting holes.


With the fans mounted, here's what clearance looks like between the front-most part of the blades and the core. It's right at 9/16"


Also, here's the relief I had to make on the back of the passenger side fan.


Here's the holes drilled. I don't remember what size it was but I'm using M6 bolts so anything in the .236 to .275ish range would be acceptable.


On to the side mounts. I put the shroud in the truck and measured how long they'd need to be. Width is the standard 1.25"


Then I measured how far out from the shroud the holes would need to be. The two on the passenger side are identical, and the two on the drivers side are different from both the passenger side mounts and each other.


I drilled the holes and bolted them to the radiator to hold them in position...


...while I tacked them in place.


Here's the shroud with mounts and all. Time for finish welding.

I elected to do most of the welding with TIG, as I can make a better-looking TIG weld on thinner materials like this, it affords better heat control (critical to avoid warpage on such thin material) and most of the obtuse-angle joints were tight enough that I wouldn't need to add much filler.

The crap part about this is my TIG welder is at work because my boss is a cheapskate and won't buy me one for the shop, and I'm enough of a sucker that I would rather bring in my personal one than not have one in the shop.

However, There are a few acute-angle joints that it would make more sense to MIG, so I did that before loading it up in the car.


Lower tab.


Bottom of overflow tank mount.


Other side of same.


Bottom of washer fluid tank mount.


Top of washer fluid tank.


One last mockup.

'95 2500 ECLB 4x4, 334k and paused due to epic transformation in progress.

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post #23 of 220 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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When TIGing without filler, you're essentially just using the torch to melt the two (or three) parts together at the joint. The intention was to have the welds look good enough that I could just wire-wheel any spatter off and powdercoat the shroud. In real life, I spent 3 hours battling weld contamination and co-workers who thought it was funny to keep opening the bay door behind me. All in all this made for some ugly welds that I'm choosing not to showcase until an angle grinder can have it's way with them.

It turns out my wife's little Subaru has a blown head gasket, so I need to get my truck back on the road most ricky tick. I'm going not going to clean the welds up and deburr the thing yet. Functional is what counts now and I will address the cosmetics later when I have time. At this time I will get all the measurements and make prints.


Despite my co-workers best efforts, these ones turned out okay. Though they were acute-angle joints, I TIGed the side mounting tabs because they're so thin.


I also decided to add some triangular braces to the backs of the side mounts.


I welded nuts to the inside of the shroud so the screws have something to thread into that doesn't require a wrench. This way you can remove either fan from the shroud without removing the shroud itself.


I like using flange nuts for this sort of thing. That way you can burn the flange down into the base material without having to add any filler.


I have found it's often necessary to chase the threads after welding nuts to something. Either the zinc coating comes off, the heat slightly distorts the threads, or you accidentally push a tiny bit of material through the threads.


The heat did cause some permanent warpage that for the most part was only perceptible on the skinny part between the two fans. The fans are on the left, and you can see how it's puckered away from them, to the right. This wasn't as bad as I might have expected, but I'm still not happy about it. You can't see it with the fans attached and it won't cause any airflow issues. If I continue to have a hair up my backside, I may weld a brace to the middle of the shroud to support this thin area.


Guess what. This isn't a mockup! It's actually completely assembled and ready to drop in the truck!

I soccer-mommed it home and got the shroud and both tanks in in 25 minutes (new personal best ).


Here's a profile shot.


A close-up of the overflow tank area.


The washer fluid tank area.


A blurry attempt at showing how much room is left.


Driver side fan. There's enough room to do timing through the filler hole without taking anything out. I think there's actually better access now than there was with the factory shroud.


Center...


Passenger side fan. Again, I think this has improved access (this time to the belt tensioner).

As it sits now, nothing is powered. I haven't had time and opportunity to test that switch and the junkyards haven't gotten any new Volvos. I haven't had an issue without my fan so I'm not concerned, but if a problem arises between now and when I get another relay, it won't take long to hotwire one or both fans to a manual switch in the cab.

I did have a thought on where to put the switch. The hot line going to the heater core always receives hot coolant from right behind the thermostat, the steel tube is grounded through the clamp on the exhaust manifold, and I need to double check, but the tube should work with standard compression fittings. If so, I just need to make or find a tee with the appropriate fittings and we'll be in business.

I'll look into that and the VW 2-way switch and get back.

'95 2500 ECLB 4x4, 334k and paused due to epic transformation in progress.

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post #24 of 220 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 09:51 AM
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You should of used an Horten elec. clutch set up far better less work.


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