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Today I took some time this AM to install a 178^t-stat and the integrated fan controller that Exit-28 sells.

The driver's side fan is now thermostatically controlled via a temp sensor that is tapped into the neck of the new t-stat. The electrical wiring was simple. Everything was already prewired and the connections were soldered well. This was nice. Many times you buy a part and the workmanship on some of the small things is shotty, and I end up redoing it. The instructions were good, so it all came together pretty easily.

The instructions say to drain the radiator, but since someone on here (who will remain nameless ;) ) said I would only lose ~1quart of fluid by pulling the t-stat, I just removed the hose and yanked the stock t-stat off the lower manifold. Uh...I lost ~ 1.5 _gallons_. Fortunately, the drain container I had under the car caught about a gallon of it, and I was already prepared with lots of newspaper/rags/towels. But I spent some time cleaning up under the bottom of the engine...pulleys, belts, hoses, front leaf spring/sway bar, etc.

Reinstallation of the t-stat is very easy however. No gasket required on these engines ... not used to that. It's just a rubber o-ring near the outside lip of the t-stat that fits into a receiver groove in the lower manifold where the t-stat is bolted on. Very nice.

Fired it up, let it warm up, so the t-stat would open and spent some time shutting the car off and topping off the coolant system as the engine block was sucking coolant in through the t-stat once it got warm enough to open.

This t-stat must be fully opened by 178^, b/c ~165^ the thing starts to open. The fan kicks right on at 178^. When the car is moving it doesn't get above 175-178^. Temp outside here in Dallas today is a muggy 75^F. So its not hot, but its warm enough to get the engine hot if I beat on it. So that's what I did, :) and it still stayed right at 178^. Then I started to idle the car for awhile (to simulate traffic/staging lanes/etc) and it got up to ~185^ and hovered there. A lot better than 220-226^ when the stock PCM has the fans kick on. Shutting the car off, but allowing the fan to run (it will run with key on/engine off) and then refiring the car saw the temps come down to 178 again. :)

I'm very pleased. Simple mod, and the car should run more consistently in the hot Texas summers.
 

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good report

Thanks for the report. Thinking about swapping mine as well. Oh, by the way, I remember you on the Lightning forum. I had a 99 before trading in for a vette. Sure would like to have both. Later!
 

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I plan on doing this mod in the next few weeks. Did you happen to take any pics of the install?

How much was the kit?
What about the other fan?

Thanks
 

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WA 2 FST said:
Today I took some time this AM to install a 178^t-stat and the integrated fan controller that Exit-28 sells.

The driver's side fan is now thermostatically controlled via a temp sensor that is tapped into the neck of the new t-stat. The electrical wiring was simple. Everything was already prewired and the connections were soldered well. This was nice. Many times you buy a part and the workmanship on some of the small things is shotty, and I end up redoing it. The instructions were good, so it all came together pretty easily.

The instructions say to drain the radiator, but since someone on here (who will remain nameless ;) ) said I would only lose ~1quart of fluid by pulling the t-stat, I just removed the hose and yanked the stock t-stat off the lower manifold. Uh...I lost ~ 1.5 _gallons_. Fortunately, the drain container I had under the car caught about a gallon of it, and I was already prepared with lots of newspaper/rags/towels. But I spent some time cleaning up under the bottom of the engine...pulleys, belts, hoses, front leaf spring/sway bar, etc.

Reinstallation of the t-stat is very easy however. No gasket required on these engines ... not used to that. It's just a rubber o-ring near the outside lip of the t-stat that fits into a receiver groove in the lower manifold where the t-stat is bolted on. Very nice.

Fired it up, let it warm up, so the t-stat would open and spent some time shutting the car off and topping off the coolant system as the engine block was sucking coolant in through the t-stat once it got warm enough to open.

This t-stat must be fully opened by 178^, b/c ~165^ the thing starts to open. The fan kicks right on at 178^. When the car is moving it doesn't get above 175-178^. Temp outside here in Dallas today is a muggy 75^F. So its not hot, but its warm enough to get the engine hot if I beat on it. So that's what I did, :) and it still stayed right at 178^. Then I started to idle the car for awhile (to simulate traffic/staging lanes/etc) and it got up to ~185^ and hovered there. A lot better than 220-226^ when the stock PCM has the fans kick on. Shutting the car off, but allowing the fan to run (it will run with key on/engine off) and then refiring the car saw the temps come down to 178 again. :)

I'm very pleased. Simple mod, and the car should run more consistently in the hot Texas summers.
Wes,

Glad to hear you got in and are reaping the benefits. Wait until we see the 100's this summer.:)

:)

It's a very good product that works as advertsied. You can buy a low temp tstat for around 60 bucks and you can make a fan switch and all that is necessary to do the same thing if you are willing to track down the parts and enjoy the real 'do it yourself' work like that, for less money. This unit is all in one and ready to go.

Remember, you can only achieve lower temps coolant temps when under normal city driving and/or when 'hard at it' on the street, by changing the fan temp setting via an external switch AND a lower temp tstat. A tstat by itself will lower temps on the highway only. Keep your a/c on as well.

RG
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thx2.net said:
I plan on doing this mod in the next few weeks. Did you happen to take any pics of the install?

How much was the kit?
What about the other fan?

Thanks
I didn't take any pics of the install, but as far as replacing the t-stat goes...there's nothing different to look at. It's located on the passenger side of the throttle body...about 3" below the horizontal plane of the TB itself. Two 10mm bolts hold it into place.

If I were to do it again, I'd drain the radiator first, but I'm a neat freak. As it was, I just had some additional clean up to do...which wasn't hard. After draining the radiator, pull the hose clamp off the hose that connects the radiator to the t-stat, then remove the t-stat. Reinstall is so simple.

The electrical connections are already done like RG explained. This made it a no-brainer for me. I didn't have to search for which junctions to connect to in the fuse box, and the wires even came with the nice black plastic looms, so it looks factory.

Yes, it could have been done for cheaper, but I didn't have to chase parts. The install literally took 1.5 hours including jacking the car up, and finding the right size sockets for the job, cleaning up all the coolant, etc. Actual _work_ time is probably ~35-45mins.

The right fan remains controlled by the stock PCM programming. I don't even know when that one kicks on. I presume it turns on when running the A/C on MAX or if temps get too high (above 230^).

If you get the kit and need help, shoot me an e-mail and I'd be more than happy to help out.
 

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Wes, Sorry if my estimate of a quart was off, when we did mine, let the car cool for an hour and it seamed like I lost @ quart+. Glad your install went well after that and your happy with it. I agree with RG on the advantages of a kit for most people, and his sounds like a good one. I origanily posted how to do a fan switch with out geting codes because there were no kits available at the time, glad there are now. If you find a need to run the high speed fans at the track it's still an easy inexpencive fix. Sorry again if my estimate was off. Ric
 

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Powershifter...

... I see you opted for a 160 and not a 178. Please explain your thinking on this and why you feel the 160 is a better choice.

Thanks for your input.

Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter #8
PowerShifter said:
Wes, Sorry if my estimate of a quart was off, when we did mine, let the car cool for an hour and it seamed like I lost @ quart+. Glad your install went well after that and your happy with it. I agree with RG on the advantages of a kit for most people, and his sounds like a good one. I origanily posted how to do a fan switch with out geting codes because there were no kits available at the time, glad there are now. If you find a need to run the high speed fans at the track it's still an easy inexpencive fix. Sorry again if my estimate was off. Ric
Ric,

No problem, buddy! :) I appreciate all your advise.

I let my car cool overnight, so while I lost a considerable amount of coolant, it wasn't hot or anything so it was easy to clean up. :D

Will the high speed fan turn on if you crank the A/C?
 

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Charlie, I went with the 160 because it gave me control of my temps in more situations. In normal driveing with the 160 the car runs 174-78 but at the track there is no way to control how far back in the stageing lanes or how long it will take to get to the starting line. I also like being able to get up there at cooler temps in hot weather. The 160 can be problematic when the temps drop to freezing but it's fine down to 45-50.

Wes, I belive the A/C will run the low speed fans until you hit @226. Ric
 

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Thank you PowerShifter...

...you've helped me to learn something new today. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
PowerShifter said:
Charlie, I went with the 160 because it gave me control of my temps in more situations. In normal driveing with the 160 the car runs 174-78 but at the track there is no way to control how far back in the stageing lanes or how long it will take to get to the starting line. I also like being able to get up there at cooler temps in hot weather. The 160 can be problematic when the temps drop to freezing but it's fine down to 45-50.

Wes, I belive the A/C will run the low speed fans until you hit @226. Ric
Obviously, the school of thought that I considered may not apply to this particular vehicle and its cooling system.

I know a lot of guys running around with early-90s Mustangs/Camaros that installed 160^ t-stats...only to find that the thing never "cycles", so the coolant doesn't stay in the radiator long enough to really get cool before it re-enters the engine block. The result was that the engines ran hotter down here in the Texas summer.

Granted, these cars did not come with two electric cooling fans which are probably more efficient (and the rest of the cooling system as well) than what the old Mustang/F-bodies came with. But on those cars, even after upgrading the radiator, fan, and water pump you still want to stick with a 180^ t-stat or so in order to keep the coolant in the radiator longer and allow the t-stat to actually close every now and then.

If I find my 178^ stat doesn't work like I want, then I'll throw in a 160 as well.
 

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I was looking at the installation and instructions and the stock fan wiring diagram in the shop manual and I noticed something that bothers me a bit with this.

The AO Engineering install disconnects the stock left fan connector and then it plugs into the fan. This allows the AO Engineering unit to operate the left hand fan at high-speed (but no right hand fan) when the new temp sensor in the new thermo housing says fan is required. I see three problems with this:

1) All low speed fan controls from the PCM are now disabled. When the PCM wants low-speed fans it connects the two fans in series and then supplies +12V to the left hand fan. This will no longer work because we disconnected the stock left hand fan connector.

2) The PCM no longer has any control of the left hand fan. If something in the AO Engineering unit fails all low-speed fan controls are gone, and the PCM cannot turn on the left hand fan in high-speed mode.

3) When you run the AC the PCM constantly runs either low or high-speed fans based on AC line pressure. The PCM now can’t run low-speed fans so if the coolant temp is below the AO Engineering turn-on temp (or the AO Engineering circuit fails) there will be NO fans running with the AC on. This will cause a pretty large increase in AC line pressure, which will cause the PCM to request high-speed fans. The PCM will only be able to control the right-side fan since the other fan is disconnected from the PCM.

Does any of this bother you? You have been using this thing for a while now, do you have any problems with it?
 

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Thanks for the post Wes. I have the 178 thermostat and the Vinci Fan controller sitting on the shelf in my garage. I have not installed yet as I am in the middle of my oil consumption test with my local dealership and I don't want to create any problems with the service managers. As soon as I get my '01 re-ringed, I'll complete the install. :cool: :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's funny how 6 month old posts can get resurrected. :) I'm glad it was helpful.

rb has some legitimate concerns, but I have had absolutely no problems at all with my unit. Still, I will probably use the LS1edit to turn on the high-speed fan earlier than stock (235^F) just in case the low-speed fan circuit were to fail.
 

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WA 2 FST said:
I will probably use the LS1edit to turn on the high-speed fan earlier than stock (235^F) just in case the low-speed fan circuit were to fail.
If you are going the LS1edit route you should probably remove the fan controller completely. There will be no need for it anymore.
 
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