Ford Racing East Tennessee Racing East Tennessee Racing

Variable Current Controllers for Electric Cooling Fans


In this Article, Michael Yount describes the installation of his new Variable Speed Fan controller in his hybrid 82 Volvo.

Since adding performance upgrades to the 5.0L Ford V-8 in my 82 242 Volvo, I’ve looked for ways to assure the integrity of the cooling system. I installed a contemporary 3-row, 18 fin/inch core in the radiator, along with a fully shrouded dual 11” SPAL electric cooling fan set up. So there is plenty of cooling capacity as well as plenty of air movement to keep things cool. However, there are many different options for controlling the cooling fans. Originally I chose to control the two fans separately with relays and separate temperature switches. One switch operated with a 195F fan on, 180F fan off; the second kicked in if temps rose to 210F, and turned off at 195F. It worked well during the summer with a 170F thermostat, but as winter rolled around, the 170F thermostat proved a little too chilly for the engine, and I noticed a slight degrade in fuel mileage. So I began to explore how to control the fans more effectively with a higher temperature thermostat.