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Thread: Zero clearance for puller fan

  1. #1
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    Zero clearance for puller fan

    On my current rebuild, I intend to address and fix some nagging issues that have been problematic since my first rebuild several years ago. The first is the lack of clearance between my radiator and the front sway bar. Unlike most of your newer Uniques, my sway bar is mounted to two vertical tabs and there's less than 2 inches of space between the bar and the radiator, making it impossible to mount a decent sized puller fan, let alone a shroud. At first I tried to use the supplied traditional Cobra pushers out front, but it was soon clear that those were good for little more than decoration when the coolant temperature started to rise at idle or in slow traffic.

    I've run a couple of different pusher fan arrangements and the current setup works ok but not to the point that I fully trust it to cool the engine under very hot or slow conditions. The radiator itself is quite efficient and the fans never need to come on when I'm driving over 30mph. For peace of mind on longer drives and heading into town or heavy traffic, I would really like to install a large single puller or a shrouded dual fan setup on the engine side of the rad. This necessitates finding a way to move or tilt the bottom of the radiator forward 2 to 3 inches. I could modify the lower mount easily enough, but there will have to be some cutting of the inside of the front opening. Anyone face a similar issue, and were you able to craft a solution?

    Here's a pic of my predicament




    EDIT: I've even thought of doing away with the front sway bar altogether if it comes down to choosing between dependable cooling and a bit more body roll. A while back one of the sway bar bushing brackets broke completely off and I drove around that way for quite a while before noticing it when working on something else under the hood. In retrospect, the only difference was maybe a bit more rear tire rubbing in the right rear during hard cornering - the roads are very twisty down here and I get to drive fairly rapidly on some of the more remote roads.
    Last edited by Buzz; February 11th, 2018 at 10:44 AM.
    Tropical Buzz

  2. #2
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    Have you looked at the SPAL fans? I squeezed one in between my sway bar and radiator. Very low profile and does the job for me. When I get in traffic and the engines heats up I flip the fan on and bingo - instant temperature drop. I've had it installed since 2004 and love it!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here are the specs if you are interested - https://www.summitracing.com/parts/spu-ix-30100400/overview/

    Phil

    427 Roadster, #4279436
    470/hp FE by FE Specialties
    3:31 and Toploader (wide ratio)

    Roseville (N.Cal)

  3. #3
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    I would definitely install one of these if I could, Phil. Not enough space for even the thinnest of fans, unfortunately.
    Tropical Buzz

  4. #4
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    Portsmouth, VA, USA.
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    Buzz;
    I had the same problem; 2.05" between bar and radiator. I slotted the bushing mounts to the rear about an inch which gave me plenty of clearance to mount a Spal 16" fan and a flat full shroud. I also moved the end mounts back so the stand-offs would remain parallel.( I don't know if the last one was necessary but my knuckles were already bruised and bleeding so what the hell!) Another owner posted pictures of his shroud where he built a box big enough to mount the fan behind the bar and this gave him plenty of room. His name escapes me; it might have been Cobra Earl. It seems to me this problem should have been designed out long ago but what do I know?
    Bill
    Bill Stradtner, Portsmouth, VA
    427 S/C #9442
    427W Dart "Replica" Ford Engine

  5. #5
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    Hello Bill. I wish i had the same type of sway bar bushing mount that your later Uniques have so I could do the same. I apologise for the poor quality of the photo I posted, but you might be able to see that the only way I could move my bar back would be to cut the mounting tabs off and re-weld them a few inches back. I had inquired about doing this a few years ago and I was advised that doing so would result in serious problems with the sway bar geometry.
    Tropical Buzz

  6. #6
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    Order a Spal #30100400 from Jegs, about $85.00. Make a spacer about 3/4" thick and shim the top of the radiator forward at the top, it will work.

  7. #7
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    We have been using this fan for several years and it does the trick. Do you have the factory vin number for your car?
    Last edited by weaver; February 12th, 2018 at 02:53 PM. Reason: already posted

  8. #8
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    Hi Alan - my car is # 7125 date of manufacture 3/88. I will check to see how much extra room I can make by tilting the top forward. I looked at it before and maybe I wasn't doing enough to make sure the bottom of the radiator was as far forward as absolutely possible, but it looked at the time like it was still too tight. I will have a go at it tomorrow morning.
    Tropical Buzz

  9. #9
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    I tilted the radiator forward at the top about as far as it would go - well beyond the length of the top mounting bolt - and I can just barely get 2" between the bar and the radiator surface. The problem is that it pivots on the vertical lip of the lower mount, so beyond a certain point the bottom of the rad moves back as the top tilts further forward. The good news is that it's actually pivoting on the mounting brackets of the current dual pusher fans that are flush-mounted to the radiator; and they stand off the fins about 1/2". Once they are removed that would give me just about 2 1/2" to work with. If the motor portion of these fans are indeed just a hair over 2" thick, I may just be able to squeeze one in using a longer upper mounting bolt and a spacer as Alan suggested.
    Tropical Buzz

  10. #10
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    I just noticed the mounting brackets for the sway bar was added by the original owner, ours is totally different. The specs on the Spal slim fan should be online.

  11. #11
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    The specs are available on the link I posted with the photo of the fan and radiator.

    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/s...0400/overview/
    Phil

    427 Roadster, #4279436
    470/hp FE by FE Specialties
    3:31 and Toploader (wide ratio)

    Roseville (N.Cal)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by weaver View Post
    I just noticed the mounting brackets for the sway bar was added by the original owner, ours is totally different. The specs on the Spal slim fan should be online.
    Interesting, thanks Alan. I wonder what else is unique about my Unique, lol! Over the years I've studied the specs of just about every puller and pusher fan available looking for one that would fit. The Spal has a pretty good track record of successful Cobra applications and there are some other +/- 1300 cfm 16" options from Griffin, Be Cool and Summit that also claim to be 2.00" thick. Since the sway bar mounts are add-ons, I may revisit cutting them off and moving them back maybe two inches for extra clearance as the standoffs are currently tilted about 10 or 12 degrees forward of vertical.
    Tropical Buzz

  13. #13
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    The original owner bought the bare minimum to help save on duties, he would have us ship small parts to his friend in Miami and sneak them into St Lucia on his plane, he was a commercial pilot.

  14. #14
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    That sounds like Mike, all right, lol! Just recently I spoke to an old friend of his and heard some more stories of his adventures. Hollywood could easily make a movie about his life. I had to get a drop-ship address in Miami as well for all of the things I've ordered in over the last few years. It doesn't help me much with the duties and other charges, but it can save a bit on shipping by consolidating. Most items more than double in price by the time I get them home. Cars that I've imported - add on 250% plus. Life in the tropics...
    Tropical Buzz

  15. #15
    Ditto
    Installed the Spal fan, wired mine into the existing two front puller fans, used same switched power. I flip them on right after each start up, gotta keep that heat moving. You get a whole bunch more CFM at a way else amperage draw (compared to the puller fans). But, the puller fans are the correct item and look for the big block cars.

  16. #16
    Buzz, here's some pics of my fix years ago. I used 4 high performance 9" Zirgo fans. Cools the 427 stroker well. I uses a sheet of thin aluminum to mount the fans and force the air through the radiator. I added a toggle switch to the dash and operate with a relay.
    Good Luck, Gary Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #17
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    Very nice!
    Phil

    427 Roadster, #4279436
    470/hp FE by FE Specialties
    3:31 and Toploader (wide ratio)

    Roseville (N.Cal)

  18. #18
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    Show off!!!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by weaver View Post
    Show off!!!
    Be nice Alan, are I won’t share my other Cobra secrets (lol). See ya in May!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by beast View Post
    Buzz, here's some pics of my fix years ago. I used 4 high performance 9" Zirgo fans. Cools the 427 stroker well. I uses a sheet of thin aluminum to mount the fans and force the air through the radiator. I added a toggle switch to the dash and operate with a relay.
    Good Luck, Gary Click image for larger version. 

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    That is a really trick looking setup, Beast! Looks like it would keep the engine cool in Death Valley! Nice work.
    Tropical Buzz

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