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Triumph TR6 - Electric Fan

For those thinking about an electric fan setup . . . I just got my puller attached to the radiator. It's a 16" PermaCool unit (sourced from Jegs, relativley low 8.7 amps for a 2200 cfm fan) and the fit is perfect! No nylon ties through the core either. Also using a solid state fan relay/controller with infinitely adjustable temps. Will power directly from battery using supplied loom that incorporates a modern fuse.

Any suggestions for the fan ON temp? I was thinking 190 (I have a 180 degree coolant T-stat).

Rick O.
72 TR6
Rick Orthen

I would start there, and when you get into traffic on a hot day, you can make a note of what temp it was when you hear it start to run. Or watch the amp gauge - it will start to draw more amps. If the Temp gauge reads the temp you want it to range between from "on" to "off", you have it set just like you want it. If not, lift the hood and set the know a bit higher or lower, whichever way you want it to go. And test it again. By the 2nd or 16th time, you should have it right on.

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

I think the theory on adjusting the controller is that you want the fan to come on when the thermostat opens and fluid starts circulating throught the rad (process: take off rad cap then warm up car until rad opens and adust fan control so fan just comes on). If you set it up that way the temperature that the fan comes on depends on the thermostat used. I understand that 160 degrees was the standard summer thermostat for our cars and 180 for winter. Running hot is not good for your car (not to mention you make more power when you keep it cool)!

To build on Michael's comment:

Is it not easier to KEEP a car cool than to cool it down?

Jim (I'm not cool but the goose is)
Jim Deatsch

Thanks for the input on the fan ON setting. I'll play around with the settings shooting for an average in the middle of the temp gauge. You're right--the amp gauge is my "fan ON" light so to speak.

I think the adage of switching to a 160 degree T-stat in summer has more to do with overcoming deficiencies in the stock cooling system than performance. What modern cars rely on this adage? I may be wrong, but I thought a higher temp (to a certain limit of course) was more desirable from a performance standpoint. Thoughts?

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

I'll take that amp gauge comment back since I'm wiring directly to the battery. Doesn't that bypass the ammeter?

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

I'd consult the wiring diagram. First guess is that the ammeter measures the alternator output, not battery drain. Since the alternator works to keep the battery charged, the fan demand shoud show up on the ammeter.

Brent - with a voltmeter.
Brent B

"I'll take that amp gauge comment back since I'm wiring directly to the battery. Doesn't that bypass the ammeter?"

No. It will show up on the ammeter as a CHARGE!

To the alternator, it will look as if it is supplying current to the battery, thus the charge indication.

To see an example of this, hit your flash to pass switch or blow your horns.

Those of you who have a copy of my book, refer to chapter 15 for a detailed explaination.
Dan Masters

Dan and Brent-Thanks for setting me straight. So I'll have my built-in fan ON indicator after all.

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

Hi Rick,
Re your question about higher temps and performance. I believe a warmer running car is better for emissions system performance only.

Hi Rick

Running too cool can be as damaging as running too hot and depends on the oil you're using.

I also have the Permacool unit and can also highly recommend it. The solid state controller sounds interesting. You mentioned adjusting the controller's ON temp - does it also control the OFF temp?


Roger H

Roger--The controller does not have a range adjustment, just an ON setpoint. It has a small pot that is turned with a tiny screwdriver to adjust. You can create a range by placing the probe in different areas of the rad. For example, the probe at the top would maximize ON time since that's where the hottest coolant would be and the effect of cooling is less pronounced. You would have shorter cycles at the bottom since the fan would do it's job rapidly. At least that's how I'm thinking of it.

I'm still amazed at the fit of the 16 inch fan; almost like it was made specifically for the six!

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

Yes Roger I agree running cold is bad for sure. My comments about running cooler were not intended to advocate running your car stone cold but to run on the cooler end of the spectrum that is considered normal operating temp!

Hi Michael - I hope my comment wasn't taken as a swipe at you!! - merely a point to consider. Our problem here is cooling, cooling, cooling!! and I'd be cautious also in the use of things like oil coolers, particularly in cooler climates.

Ric, I still can't get my head around not having an OFF temp - there must be a default one in the unit or probe or what would turn the fan off? (unless it was on a timer?)

I had a threaded union soldered into the bottom tank of the rad and have a screw in thermostatic switch there. You can buy switches to suit current model cars fairly cheaply and there are several temperature ranges available. I am using at the moment a 91C ON / 82OFF and it seems pretty good for our summer. The unit is wired into the ignition circuit. I also have the manual over-ride switch and tell-tale ON light. I prefer this method of control rather than walk away from the car with the engine off and the fan running from the battery - dunno - just can't do it!!

I found that sitting in traffic with the fan running, the local outside temperature around the car goes up at least 10 degrees!!! (38C predicted tomorrow!)

Stay cool ;)

Roger H

All the common thermostatic switches I've seen do not have an adjustable "deadband". Usually it is set around 10 to15 deg F. Anything smaller and the fan will probably be going on and off all the time and something will wear out.

The fan I have (Hayden) has an on-off connection. It would probably be easy to buy a 3 position switch and wire the fan up as on-thermo-off. But unless you just fear the thermo will stick "on", I wouldn't bother.

Brent B

Hi All this is my 2 cents.

I have to agree with Michael first off 180 might be too high even with the sensor at the top of the rad. They do move a lot of air but as Jim points out it's easier to maintain temp. than bring it down. And the block temp is not the only problem.

I am partial to inhead sensors. The water floating temp. sensor is ok but the bung type does have a certain amount of heat tranfer from the metal as well. That is what we are trying to keep in range after all? The tape on or stick between fin types are junk. The water neck from a GM small block is a direct fit with all kinds of angles and sensor bung sizes available.

Now we take away the constant mechanical fan? Thats going to add an advertised 10 to 15 horsepower? Yah maybe on a high revving 327? Found under ideal labratory conditions.

The engine compartment of the 6 already has major design flaws. No real air escape for hot air upwards. Flat firewall creates buffeting rather than flow if the car is stationary? If you can angle the fan slightly either up or down you will be better off. So will the bonnets paint?

Engine compartments temperature will climb to damn near the blocks till the fan kicks in for a bit or you get moving at speed. Note Rogers comment on air temp around the car.

You have super hot air and hot gas stationary because if you notice your gas line runs around the front in the normal mechanical fan flow. 6 does not have a snorkel breather. exhaust manifold heat rises right up into the only place it can go your airbreather? Add thin headers and it gives a new meaning to cooking with gas. And in Jim's case his Goose is cooked unless he's flapping his ar*e off.

Yep new cars are engineered sensored and computerised to deal with all the modification problems. The 6 cooling flow is poor at best. Leyland left it to us!

Personaly I would like to see a 2 fan setup. Or some type of compartment cooling modification as well.

Roger would you point some of that heat North there Buddy. Man you guys are getting cooked.


Bill Brayford

Bill - would be good to exchange a few degrees - the TR definitely runs better in cooler air. I have fiddled with fitting ram pipes to the injector manifolds and it works well - so long as the engine bay is not too hot. It's a useless setup if you're sitting in traffic and the outside air temp is anything over 30C. (The factory setup has air supply from in front of the radiator)

An idea I will try in a couple of months (track day) is to wind up to the max the locating cones at the top corners of the hood. By putting a packer under the hood catch, there should be about a 1/2" gap at the rear of the hood which will help flow-through ventilation. I reckon the engineers may have had this in mind when the decided to hinge the hood at the front - can't think of any other sensible reason for doing it.

Roger H

No offence taken and I know none was intended! I too am interested in moving some of that warm air out of the compartment but havent figured out a good way to do it -interesting idea to vent by having the hood stand off a bit. I have seen on the web a fellow who had cooling vents made in the hood. I think PRI makes some kind of an aluminum deflector shield for spitfires that deflects air in engine bay underneath the car. I have yet to see any side vents on a TR6 - but probably because there isnt any simple or good place to do it.

I dont know but Im guessing another consideration (apart from the sporty look) for hood opening forwards is that it certainly prevents the hood flying open at speed in the event of a failure of the latch - which unfortunately I experienced on an old car of mine!


Good thought Michael - I too have had a 'whiteout' when the hood on a Mitsubishi decided to peel back - just at the critical point approaching an intersection (luckily made it through on green - I think!) Maybe they had the same thing happen to a few TR3's and changed the design.

I can understand the reason behind it but I wonder if it was also a bit of a 'fashion' at the time. Jaguar did it but the whole nose rotated as part of the hood - at least you got a little better access to the radiator cap - but then the costs of repairing any damage to the front were outrageous.
Roger H

Rick...could you please give us the part num. from Jegs...I am having trouble locating the 2200cfm, 8.9 amp fan assembly in the catalog...thanks...also please give some info on the temp sensor setup as well...thanks...Chip
Chip Collingwood


771-19126 16" fan (8.9 amp, 2,100 CFM @2,000 rpm)

771-18905 Adjustable controller/wiring kit with external sensor; OR

771-18907 Adjustable controller/wiring kit with internal (threaded) sensor.

For simplicity, I opted for the external sensor. As I said before, the fan is an excellent fit to the TR6 radiator.

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

Thanks Rick...hope to see you at the national convention in May...Chip
Chip Collingwood

Finally got the engine back together (except the TSI shortened pushrods) with the fan & radiator. The only minor surprise was the small clearance (about 1/8 inch) between the back of the fan motor and the frame cross-brace. Very quiet fan.

I even remembered to secure a spare fan belt to the cross-brace before putting the steering rack & brace back in position. If you've ever tried to replace a fan belt on the side of the road, you know what a royal PITA it can be.

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

Rick- I had to actually angle the rad forward at the top to get my fan in.
Don K

To all but especialy Micheal,
because I have a bit more heat under my hood I
had to resort to an old trick from the stock car boys.
I too have a large Griffin cross flow aluminum rad,
16" permacool electric fan and 180F thermostat.
But the real cooling came when I vented the engine compartment through into the back half of the front wheel wells. At low to high speed the wheel wells become a low pressure zone so a 4-5 inch hole allows
the hot air to be sucked out. At idle it doesn't do
much but is better than without it.Stuck in traffic
is the worst. At times like those I pop the hood
allowing the hot air a real escape.
The driver side is a bit tricky because the brake
lines are right in the middle of where you want the
vent. In my case I simply cut a vent on either side of
the brake line.
Christopher Trace

Hey Don. I would have a bit more clearance if I hadn't suspended the bottom portion of the fan's shroud on dense foam rubber. I guess the fan could drop another quarter inch by removing the foam. But I wanted a cushion there as it bears all the weight of the fan (I did NOT use the through-rad straps to mount the fan). The other alternative would be to fab brackets for the lower rad supports to relocate the mounting hole forward. You'd also have to lengthen the angle straps and mod the air duct.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the setup as it works without changing the rad mounts.

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

Hi Christopher - Interesting method you used re venting through wheel wells - kinda invisible and effective. I wonder if you have a picture you could share with me! I am interested in knowing what mods have you done to your car.

Michael - check this out. (photos @ centre and middle bottom)

I imagine Chris T's are located in the same place, but if your bodywork is done it's too late for this extent of modification (very nice though). Check also the side fender detail

I wish I had known about this before my rebuild as heat is a real problem here in summer.
Roger H

ROger- Been doing a bit of surfing have you? Must be to hot to be outside down under.
Don K.

Too right mate - been fussing and farting away at the lights - a right PITA with the air so thin the fuel/air mix runs richer.
Bloody PI's have no mixture control adjustment - still, it's glorious in the cooler evenings
Roger H

The TR6 in Rogers site is going to look very cool
but I would never mess the outside design of a Triumph.
Someone else has already designed it perfectly.
As you say, my vent is completely hidden inside the wheel well immediately above the frame and just infront
of the fire wall and extends up about 7inches.
Now I have header collectors right there at that spot
so the vents are very necessary. Sorry I have no pics
but wouldn't know how to post them if I did.
The list of modifications is long and would be pleased to discuss them with you off of this thread.
Don't want to bore anyone else and besides it's off topic. Please feel free to email me.
Christopher Trace

Since when did this board follow a topic?
Don K

Just for interest Don, the weather forecast is 33C today followed by 38, 40, 40, & 40 with "the chance of unsettled conditions" next Wednesday (phew! - and summer officially finished 3 weeks ago).

At this time of year, the mind goes to thinking of the ski season on our east coast (July/Aug) - but that's a 5000klm trip one way.

.....still keeping the fluids up though....

Roger (PS 40C = 104F)
Roger H

This thread was discussed between 25/02/2004 and 19/03/2004

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