Since putting 35” tires on my ‘94 Toyota pickup, it has been outright anemic. While going up a hill, or even when driving into a strong wind, I have to have it in fourth gear, to the floor, to have a chance of keeping up with traffic. And I’ve got the V6; I wonder how those guys in the ‘85 pickups with big tires but only a 4-cylinder make do.
Needless to say, then, I’m always on the lookout for ways to boost the power a bit. (Yes, I could do an engine swap, but besides the fact that I don’t want to lay out that much money, I also want to keep the Toyota engine because of its longevity.) I heard about gaining some power by replacing the belt-driven fan with an electric one. After some research, I noticed that one fan always got mentioned: the Black Magic series from Flex-a-lite.
I picked up the model 150 for about $200 new. Expensive for a fan, but after the positive things I had heard, I wanted to try it. Installation was quite easy: unbolt the factory belt-driven clutch and fan (but leaving the pulley in place), slide the electric fan in, and bolt it to the radiator. The worst part was finding an ignition-controlled voltage source to control the fan. I had to route a wire through the firewall and tap in to the fuse-box in the cab–not too bad.
So how is the performance? Well, I certainly noticed a difference. Here are the pros:
And the cons?
The verdict: It’s a keeper. 4.5 stars
Going on 2015 here, and after about 15 years, the fan is still going strong. I have had many things go wrong over the years, but the fan keeps going. I’ve had to refresh my solder joints, but the fan itself keeps going.
I hope they still make them like they used to.
PS - I divorced the bitch who complained about the lack of AC while going up the mountain. ;-)