Electrical Contour Fan Install with OEM controller

KRUISR

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Apr 16, 2015
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So first off, this may have been done before but my install is a bit different than all I have read in the past. If nothing else it is a different way to hook up the system. I used as much of the Contour electrical system as I could and then simply connected my controller. Oh ya, this is a Foxbody install but should work on pretty much any car the fans fit.

Why? Because why mess with the factory engineered wiring.

So what parts did I use...dual fans obviously and the left half of the engine connection box from the Contour shown below. Taking as much of the wiring as I could. The two relays on the bottom are for the fans, the middle mega fuse is for the fans. The rest can be removed or kept for spares.

Contour_fuse_box_top.jpg

Here is what you use/keep for wires. I kept the feeds from the relays to the factory plug that connects on the fan unit. The incoming red wires should be kept as long as possible as they can be used to power the system from the battery.

IMG_0813.JPG

For the fan, I had the usual standard dual fan from a retired daily driver Contour V6 I had around for parts. So getting the electrical box was pretty easy. Again I kept all the factory wiring. Second pic shows why it is so suitable for a stock sized radiator with the Contour fans leaning against the OEM 2 core Mustang radiator. When installed the height is almost perfect.

IMG_0729.JPG IMG_0534.JPG


So to mount the fans. First trimmed all the factory mounting tabs off the shroud. I then build a frame out of 3/4"x3/4" angle. Angle facing out on the top and bottom, facing in on the sides.

IMG_0814.JPG

The flat tabs are the top and the pointed tabs the bottom. The bottom ones are bent as well to fit into a pair of tabs on the radiator. The top ones will be drilled in the appropriate location to bolt to top of radiator with a clip nut (not the right description but you will see in a later pic).

Continued next post...
 
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KRUISR

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Apr 16, 2015
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The fan fits inside the frame and will get riveted on.

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On flat face of frame I added a strip of foam tape to seal to radiator and minimize the damage from the two surfaces rubbing.

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Installed showing clearance. For the overflow bottle I used the factory unit and initially zip tied to fan/rad and used this way for about 12,000 km before I decided to make it look a little better and fabbed some brackets to mount to the fan frame I built. It cleared the pulleys for A/C and PS when mounted on my 3-core copper rad.

20180816_104957.jpg

Continued on next post, on to electrical...
 
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KRUISR

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Apr 16, 2015
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So, wiring on factory Contour fuse block.

Contour Relays.jpg

The wrapped line going off to the left is spare lines for a pair of regular fuses I left in case someday I need an extra fuse for something. The single wire in the top right is an extra fan start signal line, likely for A/C, though to date I have not hooked up. The nice part of using this unit is the two wires going out the the fans keeps the factory wiring for the two speeds of the fans. The two 12V power lines I just crimped a ring connector and installed on battery terminal of starter relay. If you keep all the wiring on the fan assembly you already have the ground wire(s) for the fans.

I found a scrap piece of angle and attached to fuse block and mounted this panel in driver wheel well under the horns. Mounting here allows feeds from relays to reach factory fan wiring, 12V power feeds can reach starter relay, panel is tucked up behind the inner fender and should keep as dry and any other place in the engine bay.

IMG_0848.JPG

At this point if you use an aftermarket controller you simply need to connect your controller signals to the appropriate relay and you are all set. As stated in the title I chose to go with an OEM control switch which I will detail in the next post....
 
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KRUISR

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For a fan control switch I went with an OEM unit from a 2000 Audi/VW 1.8L Turbo. It is found/installed on the drive side radiator tank about half way up on these cars. I took the switch and electrical pigtail.

Radiator Fan Switch.jpg


The 3 wires, one is for a 12V + feed, the other two are signals out to the relays to turn on high and low speed fans. According to the specs on rockauto, low speed kicks on at 95 C, off at 82C (approx. 195/183). High speed goes on at 102C, off at 92C (approx 212/190). In three years of use, I have never had high speed kick on (unless I turned it on manually).

How and where to install. The threads are M22x1.5 (according to rockauto). I looked around and discovered that the spindle or axle nut on a Contour is M22x1.5. So I took a piece of 1.5" pipe (approx. 5" long), drilled a hole in it and welded the axle nut on (water tight weld obviously). I installed this piece of pipe in the lower rad hose on the flat horizontal section.

IMG_0836.JPG

Why did I do this location? First, nice and close to my relays for any wiring. Second and the more practical reason is I want the fans to come on because the water in the rad needs to be cooled. In this location, I can cruise down the highway and if I keep moving my fans might not even come on because with enough air flow through rad, it will do what it should and I won't need a fan to cool the water down. If you install the controller/sender in the block or intake anywhere you are turning fans on because engine is up to temp. The thermostat should regulate the engine temp, the rad just cools the fluid.

I have a 180 F thermostat by the way, I believe this set up will work equally well with a OEM thermostat (195 F). My temp gauge (factory) doesn't go above 195-200 range ever!.

My system is wired up to run anytime (directly to battery power). So if I have been driving and fans are running when I turn off, they continue until the temp in the lower rad hose drops enough. I have not heard them running more than 30 seconds (or less) anytime they have continued on.

About a year later, as a back up and for my own peace of mind I installed two lighted toggle switches in the passenger compartment (removed my ashtray and made a switch panel - the door will close and hide them still). These are wired that I can manually turn either speed fans on or if the controller turns one on, that toggle switch lights, so I know when the system is working.

90GT Interior.jpg

I find the lower speed fans to be very quiet and most of the time hard to hear. High speed can definitely be heard over a running engine (with hood open).


I know parts of my system are not conventional, but it works for me. I was able to complete the installation with very little cost and to date the system is dead reliable.

I hope this information can help others when considering this e-fan solution or if troubleshooting their existing Contour fan setup.
 
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Blown88GT

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Nov 13, 1999
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I have a number of similar temp switches for the same vehicles when I was using relay control on the Mark VIII fan.
Still have the M22x1.5 drill bit & tap for the water neck.
The old switch is still in the water neck, no need to remove it.

I have a number of new ones for 180deg t-stat, if anyone needs one.
TempSwitch.gif

Had to give up the Mark VIII fan for a Contour fan, Mark VIII wouldn't fit anymore.
Still using the same DCC PWM controller
IMG_1695.JPG

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Now have an aluminum expansion tank instead of an overflow. The red can in front of the supercharger.
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Blown88GT

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Didn't mean to hijack. Just wanted to present another way to control this or any e-fan.
Will have to get an updated pic for the DCC. It needs a starting/running capacitor for only the Contour fan because of the unusually low fan inductance.
DCC has it as an option, never needed it with the Mark VIII fan.
 

junkyardwarrior

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Jan 10, 2011
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Yeah that's good stuff.

One can also use the Volvo fan controller from a junkyard. Darned if I didn't forget which Volvo :(

Another way to do it is to use the EEC-IV. IT has electric fan control built into it (at least A9L/P/M do) but it is turned off in the stock tune. You enable it and then add a pin to the EEC connector which grounds a high current relay to turn the fan on at whatever temperature you want it to come on at. And it needs to be a high current relay, and you'll also require a 95 amp or higher alternator; those contour fans are power hungry. They typically run right around 32-35A, inrush is up around 68A or so. On my 4 cylinder car (contour fans) , 95A alternator, it will almost kill the engine when the fans kick on. Not quite "kill", but it does drop down to around 500-550 rpm for a second while the fans catch up to speed. Many have said that they've run typical bosch relays to turn the fans on and they do, but after a while the relay contacts get welded closed and they won't shut off. Been there, done that.

And now that my other car has been set up with a DCC controller, I quit the EEC control and use the DCC....really a nice setup with PWM control over the fans; they don't come on at full speed unless needed, which makes less noise, uses less current too. Real impressed with it.
 
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Sparky714

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Didn't mean to hijack. Just wanted to present another way to control this or any e-fan.
Will have to get an updated pic for the DCC. It needs a starting/running capacitor for only the Contour fan because of the unusually low fan inductance.
DCC has it as an option, never needed it with the Mark VIII fan.
The capacitor is nothing special. I believe it's about 470 micro farad 35 or 50v electrolytic (I'd have to check exact specs on mine to be sure). I didn't order one on my initial install, and contacted DCC because my fan didn't work. I had a 1000mf he said would work fine. Later, went to local electronics store and bought a couple of size he recommended.
 

Blown88GT

Founding Member
Nov 13, 1999
2,177
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Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Yeah that's good stuff.

One can also use the Volvo fan controller from a junkyard. Darned if I didn't forget which Volvo :(

Another way to do it is to use the EEC-IV. IT has electric fan control built into it (at least A9L/P/M do) but it is turned off in the stock tune. You enable it and then add a pin to the EEC connector which grounds a high current relay to turn the fan on at whatever temperature you want it to come on at. And it needs to be a high current relay, and you'll also require a 95 amp or higher alternator; those contour fans are power hungry. They typically run right around 32-35A, inrush is up around 68A or so. On my 4 cylinder car (contour fans) , 95A alternator, it will almost kill the engine when the fans kick on. Not quite "kill", but it does drop down to around 500-550 rpm for a second while the fans catch up to speed. Many have said that they've run typical bosch relays to turn the fans on and they do, but after a while the relay contacts get welded closed and they won't shut off. Been there, done that.

And now that my other car has been set up with a DCC controller, I quit the EEC control and use the DCC....really a nice setup with PWM control over the fans; they don't come on at full speed unless needed, which makes less noise, uses less current too. Real impressed with it.
The Bosch relay is 75A, designed specifically for motor loads.
Part Number - 0-332-002-156
NOTE: The -156 Bosch relay has a polarity requirement on the inputs; 86 is positive, and 85 is negative.
1587076197309.png
 

90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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My contour fans only pull 20 amps. each. I can't remember the exact number but it should be in my build thread somewhere. I've been using two 30amp relays grounded through mspnp2 for a couple years. At first I used the BMW fan switch in the water neck to ground the relays. It worked well but wanted the low speed fan to stay on when activated. Also wired it to come on when AC is turned on.
 

KRUISR

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Apr 16, 2015
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90sickfox, do you run each fan individually or as a pair at same time?

The OEM 70A relays power both fans. One relay for low speed, one relay for high speed.
 
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