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Flex-A-Lite Fix For Faulty Fan

It’s been some time since we installed our Flex-A-Lite electric puller fan in our project Land Cruiser and for the past 2 or so years, it’s worked like a champ. It’s kept our engine running at 180-200 degrees in almost any condition. That is, until recently.

Our fan started acting odd about 2 months ago. The fan would come on when the motor heated up, but wouldn’t turn itself off like it was supposed to. Leaving us with the option to disconnect it or bump the thermostat down on the Flex-A-Lite Black Magic fan, just a bit to get it to turn off. Ours ran the battery dead in our project Land Cruiser a few times as we forgot to turn it off manually.

After reading a few articles on the web and searching countless bulletin boards, we found that there were a number of folks with a similar problem.

After a quick call to Flex-A-Lite, our tech representative admitted that they have received some notices about a faulty thermostat and promptly shipped ours out. A few days later we received our new and improved thermostat and in less than an hour, our electric fan was better than new. No, honestly… the Flex-A-Lite puller fan actually works better now than it did before. The new thermostat has a better read on temperature variances and will engage and shut off more accurately than the original thermostat could. Therefore, our fan will do its job more efficiently than before.

 

Disassembly:

Replacement was a snap, and if it wasn’t for taking notes and pictures, we’d have been finished in less than 30 minutes.

Start by disconnecting your battery. This is important as electric fans can turn on without notice, and unless you want your better half opening pickle jars for you, for the rest of your life, heed our warning.

Next, make note of the wires going into the electric fan by noting their color and location. Our fan has four wires and male spade connectors for 5 total. If you forget this step, you can download the instructions for your Flex-A-Lite fan at: http://www.flex-a-lite.com/auto/html/instructions.html.

With the power removed and the wires disconnected, you can remove the mounting brackets from the fan. Ours is held in place by two bolts and we left the brackets attached to the fan so we wouldn’t have to readjust it later. Slide the fan out from your engine bay (or grille area if it’s a pusher fan) being careful not to damage your radiator cooling fins.

With the fan removed, you can start disassembling the thermostat portion of the fan by removing the thermostat knob and the two screws that retain the thermostat cover. As a unit, you can remove the copper thermostat sensor, the thermostat unit and the cover all at once. At this point, TAKE NOTE of how the copper thermostat tubing is coiled and located inside the thermostat housing as you’ll have to emulate that with the new one. The thermostat unit simply slides out of two female spade connectors that are part of the printed circuit board.

At this point you are left with the thermostat housing and the printed circuit board. To remove this, make note of the color and location of the two wires that come from the fan motor, into the printed circuit board as you’ll need to put them back together the way the came apart, or you’ll risk frying the circuitry on the new unit (not good). With the wires disconnected, you can now slide out the old PCB.

Make note of the color and location of the wires going into the thermostat housing.

Remove the two thermostat cover screws.

Remove the thermostat unit and cover together.

Make note of the color and location of the two wires coming from the fan motor to the printed circuit board before removing.

Remove the printed circuit board from the thermostat housing.

     

Installation:

Aside from reversing your disassembly instructions, there are a few items to take note of here.

With the old thermostat housing cover, you will need to carefully feed the old copper thermostat sensor and tubing through the hole in the side of the cover. Now you will need to feed the new thermostat sensor and tubing through the hole and position the thermostat sensor flat against the dimple of the cover. You will now need to coil and form the tubing similar to the original unit so that it will assemble without binding or kinking the copper tubing.

Next, install the new printed circuit board into the fan / thermostat housing area and attach the two wires to the male spade connectors.

Now you can install the thermostat and thermostat housing cover as a unit onto the PCB. Using a flashlight and a small mirror (or a trained pet flea), feed the thermostat unit into the PCB making sure the male tabs on the thermostat unit go into the female spade connectors on the PCB. Ours went in without complaint.

Checking for adequate clearance, you can now screw the cover back onto the thermostat housing, bolt your fan to your radiator, rewire, connect the batter and test it out. By the way, you’ll need to readjust your thermostat settings so that the fan comes on at the temperature you set it to.

 

After installing the thermostat sesnor and tubing into the cover, place the cover, sensor and thermostat unit into the housing. Ensure you align the spade connectors properly.

Install and tighten the two thermostat cover screws.

Admire your fine work.

 

Flex-a-lite Consolidated
P.O. Box 580
Milton, WA 98354
Phone: 1-800-851-1510
Fax: (253) 922-0226
Web Site: http://www.flex-a-lite.com/

About Rick Webster

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