Fitting an Electric Cooling Fan

The dominance of Kenlowe in the supply of engine cooling fans means that they are generally referred to as “Kenlowe fans”, although other makes are now available such as Pacet and Revotec. The benefits of fitting an electric fan are:
  • Cooling is only supplied when it is needed (very relevant in winter).
  • Fan speed is independent of engine speed, so it does not slow down, for instance, when idling in traffic (which is precisely when you need the cooling most because there is no wind cooling).
  • Because the original engine fan can be removed, there is a saving in horsepower and thus better fuel consumption.

The Kenlowe system includes a choice of fan size. The 10” fan is claimed to be adequate up to engines of 1700cc, but there is a 12” option if you want some spare capacity. Both can be mounted either direct to the radiator or to the bodywork. They also come as “suck” or “blow”. In the Magnette, the only possible  mounting location for a 10" or 12" fan is behind the rad so you need a suck fan. The body mounting type using two horizontal arms makes it easier to adjust position.However, the space available to fit a "suck" fan is very limited between radiator and water pump, even with the fan blades removed so it is likely to require moving the radiator forward by modifying the mountings.

7-Inch-FanUnfortunately, the alternative choice of fitting a "blow" fan is equally complicated because the bonnet shut panel passes across the radiator about two-thirds up and limits the size of the fan that can be fitted (see photo)

. A 7" fan can be fitted below the panel behind its support strut but is not powerful enough to take over all cooling. It will act as an auxiliary that can be set to cut in if over-heating occurs.The picture on the left shows a Revotec 7" fan fitted using the special brackets provided. These can be secured to the radiator cradle using cheese-headed self-tappers. The brackets need to be as tight as possible to prevent vibration and possible contact with the radiator. Although this set-up blocks a sizeable part of the radiator, in normal and low temperatures this does not cause any problems and, indeed, in very cold weather helps prevent over-cooling.

It is emphasised that this modification is not powerful enough to take over all cooling, so the normal fan blades are left in place. It comes into its own when boosting the normal cooling when the car is stationary in traffic or in any circumstances when the speed of the car is insufficient to generate the normal flow of air across the radiator. 

A more radical option is to remove the shut panel completely so that a full-size fan can be fitted. This was the option chosen by Jose de Sousa for his Paris Peking rally car (see full details of all his fascinating modifications here).

Most fan kits includes an automatic control but if you want all the bells and whistles you can fit an adjustable control which allows you to set the trigger temperature to suit the conditions. You can also fit a manual over-ride switch (panic button!?).There are various designs of  thermostat sensor. The Kenlowe design fits neatly into the top hose connection with no drilling. You simply drain the header tank, disconnect the hose and slip the sensor head a little way into the header through the hose spigot. The capillary tube is then bent back over the spigot and sealed to it with a special rubber seal. Finally the hose is pushed back on and is clamped over the seal to make a water-tight joint.. Another option is a  small length of metal tubing that carries an adjustable temperature sensor and is inserted into the top hose. The thermostat is then adjusted with a bit of trial and error so that the fan cuts in when the temperature gauge is reading between N & H.


#1 Mike Laflin 2016-04-26 11:45
With my Shorrock Supercharger I had overheating problems. Completely overcome using a High Output Kenlowe 10" sucker fan behind the radiator. I made room by using a special short shaft bearing in the water pump with a special water pump pulley turned up on a lathe.

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