Which fan controller? - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 04-24-2016, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Which fan controller?

I bought the dorman contour fans from rock auto. The DCC is out of the question. Flex a lite has controllers ranging from $75 to $175. The dakota digital looks good but at $120 plus the $30 relay you need. Then i need to buy all the wiring. Im new at this and want to buy everything i need all at once. My head is spinning someone's gotta point me in the right direction.

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post #2 of 31 Old 04-24-2016, 11:36 PM
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Flex A Lite controllers are largely junk from what I have tested. They will run your fan, but are poor designs. Their soft start controller is not soft start at all, it is a solid state switch that switches hard. Their PWM controller runs at such a low switch mode frequency it just hammers the fan motor and the electrical system.

If you want one, I have two.

I have not tested a Dakota Digital. I have Derale controllers in my car. One runs my water pump, one runs my fan.

Relays are cheap if you stay away from car parts vendors. I have all the relays you need for about $5 each, or you can buy them from Mouser. You can also get them from McMaster Carr, but more expensive.

I expect the Dakota Digital might possibly be a good unit, but I have not tested one.



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post #3 of 31 Old 04-25-2016, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Do you have part #'s for the derale?? And is it a complete package or would i need more stuff??
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post #4 of 31 Old 04-25-2016, 08:21 AM
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Had a flex-a-lite in my old '93 before I traded it. Kept the car for nearly 6 years, put close to 140,000 miles on it (5.0). The fans and controller worked fine. Dorman replacement contour fan. FAL 31163 is what I used. Looked hard at DCC; but at the time they were backlogged several MONTHS. My neighbor bought one and waited almost 4 months for a controller and while it was nice and worked excellent, between the order placement and it's showing up on the doorstep, there was zero communication in that 4 month time period. He did not know if he was going to get a part or not, and that is why I didn't purchase. That is a case where a product's quality is top notch but customer service is poor and that is what people remember about a purchase.
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post #5 of 31 Old 04-25-2016, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Iwmat395 View Post
Do you have part #'s for the derale?? And is it a complete package or would i need more stuff??

I chose the Derale because I wanted battery load management. I wanted a **true** PWM controller that only loaded my electrical system the amount required for cooling.

What are your goals? What are you trying to do?

PWM Controllers : PWM Fan Controller, Push In Probe

It comes complete with the exception of a relay, but in most installations a relay is not required. Without a relay it will run the fan until cool. After cool it will shut off and draw very minimal current, no more than a dash clock.

I tried a few controllers and several were fake. They did not do what was claimed. I did not try a Dakota Digital.


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post #6 of 31 Old 04-25-2016, 11:24 AM
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I have used this flexalite controller with good results. I currently have one on a 67 Dart and an 89 Mustang.

Flex-a-lite Variable Speed Controllers 33054 - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at Summit Racing

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post #7 of 31 Old 04-25-2016, 05:51 PM
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So out of curiousity, what vehicles came out of the factory with PWM electric fan control?
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post #8 of 31 Old 04-25-2016, 08:30 PM
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no idea the technical side of the flex a lite controllers, but i know mine has worked excellent for the last 5 years. this was in Florida & Texas, never had an over heating issue. i bought the cheapest one.

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post #9 of 31 Old 04-25-2016, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Sledger46 View Post
I have used this flexalite controller with good results. I currently have one on a 67 Dart and an 89 Mustang.

Flex-a-lite Variable Speed Controllers 33054 - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at Summit Racing
That particular controller is rough as heck on the fan motor and electrical system. They use a pulse rate below 50 Hz.

It rattles the fan windings, and loads the electrical system with high current pulses. The slow pulse speed lets the motor winding kick back voltage pulses.

I'm not saying it won't run the fan and make some people happy, just that it is rough on stuff compared to a proper design.

If you want one of those things, I'll sell you an almost new one for $50. I'm pretty sure I still have a couple.


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post #10 of 31 Old 04-25-2016, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwmat395 View Post
I bought the dorman contour fans from rock auto. The DCC is out of the question. Flex a lite has controllers ranging from $75 to $175. The dakota digital looks good but at $120 plus the $30 relay you need. Then i need to buy all the wiring. Im new at this and want to buy everything i need all at once. My head is spinning someone's gotta point me in the right direction.
Why are DCC controllers out of the question?

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post #11 of 31 Old 04-25-2016, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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I dont have the time to wait. Its nice out now and need the car back on the road
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post #12 of 31 Old 04-25-2016, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomR View Post
I chose the Derale because I wanted battery load management. I wanted a **true** PWM controller that only loaded my electrical system the amount required for cooling.

What are your goals? What are you trying to do?

PWM Controllers : PWM Fan Controller, Push In Probe

It comes complete with the exception of a relay, but in most installations a relay is not required. Without a relay it will run the fan until cool. After cool it will shut off and draw very minimal current, no more than a dash clock.

I tried a few controllers and several were fake. They did not do what was claimed. I did not try a Dakota Digital.
Its just a stock 93 for now. i bought a AE138 radiator and pullies and contour fans. what is the difference with the cheaper Derale 16789? push in probe vs the thred in? does the thermostat already have the provision for the thread in???? is one better than the other?
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post #13 of 31 Old 04-26-2016, 08:35 AM
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While my relay/switch combo has worked flawless for 15 years, this does look interesting minus the price.

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post #14 of 31 Old 04-26-2016, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwmat395 View Post
I dont have the time to wait. Its nice out now and need the car back on the road
Which controller do you want? I have one im not going to use now. I can sell it to you and you will have zero wait time.

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post #15 of 31 Old 04-26-2016, 10:43 AM
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I run a Dakota digital in my Supercharged Harley F150, I highly recommend it, simple design, simple install if you take the time to think about it, doesn't get exposed to heat under the hood, no temp probe BS, runs off of coolant temp sensor used by an aftermarket electric gauge, it's pre programmed for common gauges but I recommend you calibrate it yourself, super easy to do, you calibrate the gauge off of the Dakota unit and program on and off temps for each fan. $120 and an extra $30 isn't bad for price either, I can't say enough about it.
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post #16 of 31 Old 04-26-2016, 01:06 PM
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My soft start flex a lite controller works great. It comes on very slowly before it ramps up. Runs at various speeds, whatever it needs too. Awesome functioning piece. I have this Flex-a-lite Variable Speed Controllers 31163 - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at Summit Racing with a Black Magic Extreme fan. Been on the car since 2010/2011. Couldn't work any better.


ETA: Push in probes suck. That's another reason I purchased what I did above. Comes with the adaptors and I drilled/tapped the factory water neck.

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post #17 of 31 Old 04-26-2016, 07:34 PM
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Dcc controller controls fans and ELec WP . Hard to beat !
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post #18 of 31 Old 04-26-2016, 09:29 PM
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I've been using the FAL 31163 with my Taurus SHO fan for several years now and it works great. As stated above, I also drilled/tapped the thermostat housing for the probe. Again, awesome setup that I would highly recommend.

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post #19 of 31 Old 04-27-2016, 12:11 AM
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FAL 33054 on 3 mustangs over the years. Each one worked flawlessly, including my cuurent one for 3 years now.
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post #20 of 31 Old 04-27-2016, 06:27 AM
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Anybody try out the Ron Francis Ice box controllers. Also what is a better setup Relays temp sensor or a controller. Having a hard time choosing sorry for high hacking your thread
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post #21 of 31 Old 04-27-2016, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Im gonna order the Derale PWM tonight. It looks awesome, made in USA and cheaper than the flexalite i was looking at. Thanks guys
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post #22 of 31 Old 04-27-2016, 05:47 PM
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Look up inline radiator hose thermostat switch adapters. Stick it in the lower hose.
Then look up a thermostat switch, size that fits previous adapter, and one that opens and closes, at the temperatures you want.
Go buy a relay, wire it into the fuse box, at a point that gets power key in run position but no power in crank position (something like radio)
Use a fuse on the fan power input.
All total shouldn't cost more than $50, cheap easy effective.

Don't take my word for it, this is an old topic and old solution but it works.
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post #23 of 31 Old 04-28-2016, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwmat395 View Post
Im gonna order the Derale PWM tonight. It looks awesome, made in USA and cheaper than the flexalite i was looking at. Thanks guys
Do they have one with a thread-in temp sensor? They are much more accurate than the push-in radiator probes.

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post #24 of 31 Old 04-29-2016, 02:21 PM
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Do they have one with a thread-in temp sensor? They are much more accurate than the push-in radiator probes.
Derale uses a sensor that is threaded for a 6-32 screw. The actual sensor has a short 6-32 stud. The radiator "probe tip" is nothing but a piece of copper or brass with a female 6-32.

This won't be for everyone, but I bought a pipe plug that fits the unused trans cooler port on my radiator. I drilled and tapped it for 6-32. That became my cold tank temp sensor.

I made my own water flow sensor out of brass rod, an old hose barb male that fits the water port in my manifold, and some Teflon rod. I use this to sense the water outlet temp to control my water pump. The AC override, if a resistor is used, can set the slow speed to anything desired. This will, however, require some creative wiring tying the resistor back to switched 12V.....or a relay and the resistor strapped to 12V at the controller 12V line. Water in the block has to circulate slowly during warmup to prevent hot spotting, so I set the resistor value to just barely circulate water.

I actually run my cooling fan the same way, slow at cold. I do this to "push" air into the engine compartment so my intercooler heat exchanger (a VW radiator) does not heat soak from engine or engine radiator heat.

This keeps my intercooler at 100F or less (just a few degrees over ambient outside air) even when the radiator is not hot enough to run the fan, like in staging.

My system is a little nonorthodox, being customized for an electric water pump electric fan intercooled turbo car.

My home made dash has a battery voltage monitor that kills power via relays when battery gets below a safe level. This way I can leave my key on accessory to cool down. If I forget no big deal, systems power down on low battery and will not reset until the key is cycled.

I could integrate all of this into a real dual channel PWM controller. I just did a bump box using a PWM chip that would work. My next project, however, is a portable ignition simulator to test my friend's NOS car by simulating a running engine without actually running the engine. Then my buddy will quit borrowing my expensive bench test equipment to check his nitrous car.

If I did a fan controller I would do everything in one package, including low battery shut off during cool down periods. I'd also use a standard NTC thermistor comparable with a GM or Ford sensor that could move anywhere.


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post #25 of 31 Old 04-29-2016, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwmat395 View Post
I dont have the time to wait. Its nice out now and need the car back on the road
Order DCC now and use some of the suggestions during the wait-time. The lead time on DCC is not new.
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post #26 of 31 Old 05-02-2016, 06:52 PM
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So out of curiousity, what vehicles came out of the factory with PWM electric fan control?

Reason for asking. If any vehicles actually came with it, from the factory, one would think that they'd be higher end stuff, BMW's, etc. But none that I know of came with the PWM fan control. That tells me that PWM either (1) hasn't caught on in the OEM world, or (2) there is something negative about using PWM to control the fan(s).

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post #27 of 31 Old 05-03-2016, 06:44 AM
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^^^^^ Or, since the device is patented, the owner wants too much for the license to use the device in a production car
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post #28 of 31 Old 05-03-2016, 12:24 PM
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Several late model Fords use pwm fan control. Crown Vic started using it in 2003, late model Taurus and Explorer also use it.

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post #29 of 31 Old 05-03-2016, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddturbo View Post
Reason for asking. If any vehicles actually came with it, from the factory, one would think that they'd be higher end stuff, BMW's, etc. But none that I know of came with the PWM fan control. That tells me that PWM either (1) hasn't caught on in the OEM world, or (2) there is something negative about using PWM to control the fan(s).
High end means nothing in the automotive world when it comes to electronics, Hyundai has as advanced electronics as a BMW. Fan controllers were replaced by logic modules/drivers that are controlled by the ecm via canbus. I don't know of a simple fan control module that doesn't drive a million other things. Aftermarket shines here.

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post #30 of 31 Old 04-12-2017, 02:23 PM
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I can speak to the Longevity of the DCC controller. I've had mine for 2 yrs in FL, 2 years in VA and now have 13 years in TN in it.

17 years and not a lick of trouble. I'd buy another in a heartbeat. Maybe others will last as well I can't say.
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post #31 of 31 Old 04-15-2017, 03:15 PM
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There's no question about the reliability of the DCC . But the best businesses do EVERYTHING well. Their lack of communication is huge. They don't communicate at all. I watched my son go through his ordeal waiting for 2 months for his. There is no excuse for that. He tried contacting them numerous times........nothing. you drop down some good money, its the sellers RESPONSIBITY to be courteous and respectful to the customer. And that is why I won't deal with them. Its too easy in this day and age to communicate at least a little. And then there is the turnaround time.
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