Flex-A-Lite Dual Fan/Radiator Combo Puts A Chill On Hot Engines
by Bruce W. Smith
(Originally posted: October 2013)
Engine overheating is a serious issue because it affects engine longevity, fuel economy and power.
An engine that runs hot also affects the cooling of the transmission, which, in turn, affects it’s life and performance.
Engine cooling issues can arise from many factors from power mods made to the engine to additions of winches, grille guards and other items added to the front of the truck that may impeded airflow.
The bottom line is if the engine is operating above 215 degrees then some changes in the cooling system need to be addressed if you want the engine and trans to last a good while.
One easy solution to curing hot-running engines, diesel or gas, is upgrading to an electric dual-fan setup. More importantly, the dual fans and the fan shroud need to cover the radiator face for optimum results.
Going one step further, combining dual fans with a well-designed aluminum radiator will provide maximum cooling efficiency under all conditions.
We did just that by swapping out an aftermarket aluminum radiator and OE clutch fan setup on a ’99 Chevy Silverado 6.5L diesel with Flex-A-Lite’s Direct Fit dual fan/radiator kit.
The truck had the engine rebuilt and some minor mods made to improve performance.
Since that time it’d been running hot (220-230 degrees), especially on scorching summer days in the deep South. Fan changes and upgrading to an aluminum radiator didn’t help .
The Flex-A-Lite Direct Fit combo, which measures 32.5-inches, cured the overheating issue, dropping the operating temps at both idle and under trailer towing from 225-230 to 195-200 degrees.
This is a direct bolt-in Flex-a-fit aluminum radiator and electric fan combo for ‘99-’12 Full-size GM Truck and SUV applications.
It comes with a Flex-a-lite 15-inch Black Magic Xtreme S-Blade electric fan with Variable Speed Controller.
We also upgraded to the Flex-A-Lite stainless steel overflow tank to give the installation and under hood appearance a little more pop.
The swap should take the typical mechanic about four hours to do the installation. The gallery below shows the basic step-by-step installation.