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Author Topic: Auxiliary Radiator Cooling Fan  (Read 259 times)

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Offline 1972 Wagon

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Auxiliary Radiator Cooling Fan
« on: August 17, 2022, 02:28:31 PM »
Last fall my mechanic completely (except for the evaporator) replaced the AC in my 1972 2.0 wagon. As long as the temperature remained below 90, the R-134 was able to keep the wagon cool. When the temperature went over 90, especially when idling, the R-134 could no longer cool the wagon. My mechanic checked the AC system to verify that everything was working correctly which it was. When he placed a shop fan in front of the grill, the AC was able to keep the engine cool enough so that the R-134 could cool the car. He is looking for an auxiliary fan to place between the grill and the radiator. My car is stock and he knows that unless it is absolutely necessary, I would prefer not to have to modify the car. Has anyone else found a fan that fit? Most of the fans he has found are too large to fit in the space. Suggestions? Ideas? Thanks from hot, humid Florida!
*The Original Family Car: A 1972 Pinto Wagon*
Ordered by my folks from Bunnell Motor Company, Inc., Bunnell, Florida
Delivered: June 20, 1972
Entrusted to my care: August 1976

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Auxiliary Radiator Cooling Fan
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2022, 01:34:03 PM »

Space must really be limited on a '72 with the condenser in front of the radiator.  If the mechanic is just going to the local auto parts store and seeing what is available you probably won't get anywhere. I'd suggest trying Jeg's, Summit or any of the other online performance shops. They likely carry a large assortment of fans and MIGHT have a very thin profile fan that MAY work.


I do not have A/C in my early (73) Pinto but I did switch to a Turbo 2.3 engine. Even without an engine driven fan this put the front pulley bolt VERY close to the radiator. So, I had no choice but to use an electric fan (Image #1). I had gotten a bunch of fans at an auto swapmeet (guy want $1 each..., how could I resist). I made my own mount out of angle iron. I believe the fan blade diameter is 16". The problem with this is there is no fan guard with the hood open (though one could be fashioned with mesh). Anyway, even though a pusher fan is said to not be as good as a puller fan it does an excellent job of cooling the car even though it is offset to the center of the fan.


Curious, does your 72 with A/C have the 17" or the 20" radiator (Image #2)? I could be wrong, but my recollection was the '74 model year (only), because it had the 2.0 and the 2.3, used the larger cradle opening for the 2.3 but installed the smaller radiator with a block off plate with the 2.0.  Ford may have used the larger radiator prior to 74 but I don't think so. Anyway, I widened my cradle and used the 20" radiator when I installed the 2.3. So, with cutting and welding it can be done.




Offline pinto_one

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Re: Auxiliary Radiator Cooling Fan
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2022, 01:40:15 PM »
If the car had the factory A/C it should have the fan shroud on it ,and that was kind of ok with the freon 12 which worked , dealer installed A/C had a 6 blade fan , yes it pulled alot of air but was very noisy, the 2.0 has a step on the end of the pump and a adaptor to fan , the R134 does need a larger condenser it get rid of the heat , the fatroy units were the best , add ons you need the triple pass ones , looks like you need more air flow , go type in burton power in england , they have a seven blade fan that will work , they still use that same engine unil passed 2000 , they still call it the pinto engine over there , hopes this helps you
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline 1972 Wagon

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Re: Auxiliary Radiator Cooling Fan
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2022, 08:36:48 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions. My wagon has factory installed AC. The sad part is that the Freon 12 system didn't develop a leak. Even w/ just the 2 air vents, the Freon 12 kept the car cool. The compressor just finally failed but I think it was last replaced in the 90's so I can't complain. Since the car is at the shop I can't measure the radiator but my 72 Ford shop manual says that all 72 Pinto's radiators were 17.24" wide. My 1973 parts book has the same radiator number for both the 1600 and 2000 engines w/ either manual or automatic transmission, including Pinto's w/ AC . When assembling the AC parts, the only one that fit w/ o problem was the expansion valve. The compressor w/ attached pulley was too deep. I kept looking until we found that buying the same compressor unit w/o the attached pulley and buying a separate pulley unit fit. Of course doing it that way cost over $100 more but having the AC work was worth it. The dryer/ receiver that was supposed to fit was also too large. I think the one for a Capri fit but again was more expensive. Lesson learned: Do not trust O'Reilly's "This part fits your car chart"! Stopping by the mechanic tomorrow and will give him the names of possible fan sources. He has sourced parts from Racer Walsh before so he goes the extra mile to keep my Pinto running.
*The Original Family Car: A 1972 Pinto Wagon*
Ordered by my folks from Bunnell Motor Company, Inc., Bunnell, Florida
Delivered: June 20, 1972
Entrusted to my care: August 1976

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Auxiliary Radiator Cooling Fan
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2022, 11:54:12 AM »
Is there a reason you didn't stay with R-12? And to think I have twelve cans of R-12 plus three cans of R-12 associated product (oil, leak detector etc.) and I can't move them on Craigslist for $150 total (under $15 a can) and yet everyone else is asking $30+ per can individually! Maybe because I want to sell it as a lot???  I'm thinking an A/C service place sells R-12 for the equivalent of $50 a can???

Offline 1972 Wagon

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Re: Auxiliary Radiator Cooling Fan
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2022, 01:09:51 PM »
I think we were trying to use the R-134 b/c it is easy to find. A few years back, he had recharged the AC system and I never asked if he used Freon-12 as I was just happy to have cold air again. This time when the compressor seized, we felt it was time to make the switch.  Now my mechanic said there is a replacement for R-134 that is super expensive. If I remember correctly, just the recovery unit is $10,000. As we live in a small, rural community, he doesn't think he will buy the new unit as it will take too long to recoup his investment. Most people in our area tend to keep their cars until they finally quit running.
*The Original Family Car: A 1972 Pinto Wagon*
Ordered by my folks from Bunnell Motor Company, Inc., Bunnell, Florida
Delivered: June 20, 1972
Entrusted to my care: August 1976

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Auxiliary Radiator Cooling Fan
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2022, 07:41:10 PM »
If putting a shop fan in front of the car makes the A/C start working again, then it sounds like an airflow issue through the condenser. This is common even with modern cars and is why they often have an electric fan that stays on when the A/C is in use. My '04 Toyota Tacoma only has a mechanical fan and the vent discharge temps climb quite a bit when it's stationary and idling. Raising the idle with my foot up to about 1500 helps noticeably. I think it would help your situation to find a better fan and have a shroud installed if there isn't one.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: Auxiliary Radiator Cooling Fan
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2022, 01:15:48 PM »
I agree about a shroud. Lots of testing done in the Sunbeam Tiger community and they really help when done properly (tight fit and 1/3 depth outside the shroud).

A few posts up I mentioned the R-12 I had. I gave them to my son in law to post for sale. MONTHS went by without a bite. That regardless that others were asking $30-$35 a can (some as much as $50!) and I was asking equal to $15 (but selling it as one 15 can lot only). Then we hit triple digits here in So. Cal. and the phone chimed. In the end the guy got 10 cans of R-12 (14oz.) and a free bonus of a partial R-12 can and 4 additional cans of leak test, compressor oil, R-12 substitute and the like for $150.

 So, if it took that long to sell at roughly $15 a can do any of the people selling it at $30 EVER sell it??? It was all gain for me. Our city has a Hazardous Waste Recycle Center and they have a "Re-use" room with items for the taking. I got all that R-12 stuff there for FREE! It looks like my cars are going to college after all. LOL

Offline dga57

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Re: Auxiliary Radiator Cooling Fan
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2022, 04:13:41 PM »
It was all gain for me. Our city has a Hazardous Waste Recycle Center and they have a "Re-use" room with items for the taking. I got all that R-12 stuff there for FREE! It looks like my cars are going to college after all. LOL

You did well.  Congratulation s!!!

Dwayne :)
Pinto Car Club of America - Serving the Ford Pinto enthusiast since 1999.

Offline 1972 Wagon

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Re: Auxiliary Radiator Cooling Fan
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2022, 06:48:00 PM »
Friday, our Pinto AC was "almost" ready. In front of the radiator, a 6.5" Spal Pusher Auxiliary Fan was installed. Installed on the passenger fender is a Ron Francis 30 Amp Dual Circuit Relay Wiring Kit. One fuse runs the new fan and the other powers the AC compressor. The original 30 amp fuse in the fuse box now runs just the blower motor. While idling, the new fan seems to help the R-134 cool better. One problem remains and that is a vacuum leak. During acceleration, the air stops blowing out of the two air ducts and switches to the defroster vent. Once acceleration stops, the air switches back to the vents. The shop installed a new AC check valve. The have checked all the usual places that might be causing the vacuum leak. Any ideas?
*The Original Family Car: A 1972 Pinto Wagon*
Ordered by my folks from Bunnell Motor Company, Inc., Bunnell, Florida
Delivered: June 20, 1972
Entrusted to my care: August 1976

Offline 1972 Wagon

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Re: Auxiliary Radiator Cooling Fan
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2022, 11:16:13 PM »
SPAL Fan and Ron Francis Wiring Kit
*The Original Family Car: A 1972 Pinto Wagon*
Ordered by my folks from Bunnell Motor Company, Inc., Bunnell, Florida
Delivered: June 20, 1972
Entrusted to my care: August 1976