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Electric Fans and Gauge Question

This is a discussion on Electric Fans and Gauge Question within the LSx Retrofit and Swap forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I have a 1981 buick regal with a 5.3 out of a truck in it. It runs but I want ...

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    Electric Fans and Gauge Question

    I have a 1981 buick regal with a 5.3 out of a truck in it. It runs but I want to use a standalone kit to control the fans and use an aftermarket temperature gauge. Any ideas on how to do this? Or any fan kits that come with a gauge?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I simply just drill and tap the cylinder head for the appropriate pipe thread size to accept the fitting for the factory gauge in the car. Works slick, then there is no need for aftermarket stuff.

    On fans I use the factory dual fan setups out of 4th gens and simply run them off the same computer that is controlling your 5.3. Very clean and programmable setup.

    If you want something aftermarket there are plenty of fan setups on the market to price shop from. Just about any of it is going to require some form of custom fab work though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    I simply just drill and tap the cylinder head for the appropriate pipe thread size to accept the fitting for the factory gauge in the car. Works slick, then there is no need for aftermarket stuff.

    On fans I use the factory dual fan setups out of 4th gens and simply run them off the same computer that is controlling your 5.3. Very clean and programmable setup.

    If you want something aftermarket there are plenty of fan setups on the market to price shop from. Just about any of it is going to require some form of custom fab work though.
    It doesn't have a factory gauge and I want more of on the fly adjustable instead of having to have my computer reflashed to change when they turn on.

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    Member AV8's Avatar
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    Ith4:
    I just ordered a dual electric fan set-up from flex-i-lite part #295. Its pricey, but it might be exactly what your looking for
    I will be writing an article on the installation of this part when I recieve it and install it.. that may be a couple weeks though...
    It will be installed in my 82 "Hot Rod Regal" that is a LS conversion, sorry I can't help you out on this one right away, but sounds like your a set ahead of me!

    Hot Rod Regal - GM Performance & Appearance Modifications

    matt

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ITh4n4tosI View Post
    It doesn't have a factory gauge and I want more of on the fly adjustable instead of having to have my computer reflashed to change when they turn on.
    I don't understand the need to change fan temp settings on the fly. Once they are set correctly in the tune to match the thermostat you are running there is no need to touch them. If you want to simply turn them on for what ever reason, a simple ground switch mounted on the dash will accomplish that.

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    I used a new 1998 Ford taurus fan assembly and controller from Dave at Hollister road. The 5.3 PCM will not control a aftermarket fan. The taurus assembly was $139 the controller was $275, sounds like alot of money but it moves alot of air and the controller is easy to wire and adjust the fan speed, works excellant with my vintage air system. I swap alot of 5.3 and 6.0 in my shop, this is the only set up I use now.

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    I haven't checked a schematic, but aren't the fans simply controlled via a relay that receives a ground signal from the PCM to close the circuit and activate the fans?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I haven't checked a schematic, but aren't the fans simply controlled via a relay that receives a ground signal from the PCM to close the circuit and activate the fans?
    Yep, that's why I use the LS 4th gen fans on all my swaps. Simple plug and play and the fans work just like a factory setup without all the need for extra controllers and such. Any of the LS computers will run the factory fan setup. Simply program how you want them to turn on/off in the tune and your done.

    It's also why it's very simple to run a switch to the relay, it's a simple ground connection, then you can switch fans on and off as you wish (if you feel the need).

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    Ive had good luck with the SPAL fan controller (jegs and summit) a little $$ but plug and play, been flawless for 6 yrs now. Depending on where you want to sample the water temp. I believe some LS truck motors have a temp sender for the computer and another one for the gauge. you could
    1) verify this is true for your year - go to autoparts store and ask if there is a seperate temp sender for computer and gauge, if so, remove gauge sender and adapt the new gauge sender that you want.
    OR
    2) Basically put a T inline with the computers temp sender (copper / brass).
    OR
    3) drill out the head for a new sender as mentioned earlier.

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    ^^ As far as I know, there are in fact two temp senders on LS engines -- at least the ones made through 2002.

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    here are the photos to my flex-a-lite fan install... havent worked the variable speed controller in yet... may not need to on both applications

    Flex-a-lite fan fits a G-body (part#295)

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    Junior Member JustinEntropyRad's Avatar
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    Some aftermarket fan controllers will work with the 5.3 gm ecu

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