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Mounting a Single Electric Fan - 1967 Chevelle

12/16/2020
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Feeler gauge not included

I knew this was coming. Even so, I still didn’t really have a plan. The biggest wild card in whether or not I’d be able to fit fans was where the radiator saddle was going to land when secured to the front fenders. One problem, those already left for the body shop to start getting worked over. Along with the doors and everything else that unbolted from the main shell.

In lieu of pulling them out of the workflow, I decided to make struts to mock up the worst-case scenario with the saddle laid back as far as I could push it against the bushings. With that distance set, I decided to leave one of the fans I’d purchased in the box and build a semi-temporary single fan setup. The reason one fan would work where two probably wouldn’t? The serpentine tensioner.

The tensioner, located on the passenger’s side, wanted to occupy the same space as the motor on the right side fan. At least in the current position. I wanted to reserve final judgment until after the body was reassembled. For the time being though, I wanted to get this thing together enough to fire it up and get it to the body shop under its own power. I don’t own a car trailer. I’m a street rodder. With a plan in mind, I set off to construct a set of brackets that could serve the purpose but that I wouldn’t be heartbroken to throw away later on. Because there was zero chance that I was going to put zip fasteners through the core of my brand new radiator. Don’t do that, really. Seriously it’s like putting a saw blade against the cooling tubes.

The radiator had a set of pre-drilled holes on the engine side of the flanges that are intended to mount a shroud or fan assembly to. I used those to suspend the single 14” fan in the center of the core.

Once I had the location marked, I took measurements of the bolt hole center to center lengths and cut some 1” mild steel strap. These required a small radius on the ends that engage the fan. Each mounting boss is molded with a small recess around the bolt hole.

Cut to length, grind smooth, weld together, paint to match.

Something else that makes me cringe is thinking about how many poor high-dollar radiators slowly getting holes rubbed in them by a fan mounted directly to the core. All-electric fan manufacturers recommend a padded or rubber spacer of approximately .25-inch between the fan and core.

I found these little screw-on bumpers at the hardware store. They are molded around a steel washer and have a ¼” through hole. They were originally about .50” thick. It took a little practice on my disc sander, but I managed to get four of them sanded down to .25” thick. It made a smelly mess in the garage and house, but that’s rock and roll.

I used button-head bolts and took special care to ensure that there was enough cushion that the bolt head wouldn’t contact the core.

The vertical braces keep the angled arms locked in positon. We’ll readdress fan #2 after paint.

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