Flex-a-lite Fan Fits !

Recently, Flex-a-lite fans for the G-body projects Hot Rod Regal and LSX El Camino were ordered from Flex-a-lite  (part # 295).  I chose the Flex-a-lite dual electric fan because it fits with MAXIMUM radiator coverage and provides a very modern look. If you are wanting a variable speed, dual electric fan that is capable of moving 4600 CFM of airflow, then I encourage you to consider this product.  In this article, I will illustrate our solution to combine the ultra high performance Flex-a-lite fan with one of the best looking Be Cool radiators (part # 61018) on the market.  Check out these similar installations of both the Hot Rod Regal and the LSX El Camino, and how great these parts look together with aesthetically different approaches.

The Flex-a-lite dual electric fan #295 is sent with a kit of installation parts and instructions. The kit contains: the variable speed controller, several mounting brackets, and all necessary hardware. However, the mounting brackets in this kit are designed for use with a Flex-a-lite radiator. Never fear though, we have a simple solution for that!

Flex-a-lite Installation kit
Installation kit & Instructions

The issue with combining multiple aftermarket parts from various aftermarket vendors is that they don’t always match up the way we think they should. Most of us car guys and gals think, “Hey that should fit on my car”, but fail to consider all the details or something pops up and you get the “Aw shoot” moment. There are others that see a part and the gears in our brains start turning on “How can I make that cool looking part work.”  Greg Cragg (owner of the LSX El Camino) did exactly that when he saw the Flex-a-lite dual fan and its massive airflow capabilities. The solution was very simple – use the existing brackets and adapt them to the Be Cool radiator.

First though, “Measure twice and cut once.” Before the brackets were modified, we needed to know how everything fit to obtain our measurements for the brackets. To do this, the Be Cool radiators were removed and placed on a clear/clean work bench with the fins protected. The Flex-a-lite fans were set down on top of the radiator to make sure every edge lines up perfectly. The fit was actually a little to tight and caused a gap at the top and bottom where the fan shroud meets the radiator. We do not want gaps and the reason we do not want gaps to exist between the radiator and the fan shroud assembly is air control and cooling efficiency.  Since the radiators are a welded part, there are variables with the edges. This caused the tight fit. The fan is a plastic part that has a perfect flat edge and is easy to modify. We decided to remove the rubber seals on the fan shroud assembly edges and make a notch in the fan shroud to get that perfect fit.

The Flex-a-lite 295 fan edge was trimmed and a rounded edge was made to prevent cracks. I used a Dremel and a diamond cutting blade to perform this cut. Note: only one edge needs to be trimmed.
The Flex-a-lite fan fits very tight and a notch was made to get the fan assembly as close as possible to the radiator.
The Flex-a-lite fan fits very tight, and a notch was made to get the fan assembly as close as possible to the radiator.

Once the Flex-a-lite fan was fitted to the Be Cool radiator, the aluminum brackets from the Flex-a-lite kit could be modified to mount the fan assembly to the radiator.  The original Flex-a-lite mounting bracket (left) was simply cut straight and the flat side (right) was fitted and welded on to the Be Cool radiator.  I used a local shop to perform this weld.

Modified Flex-a-lite mounting bracket.
Modified Flex-a-lite mounting bracket.
The Flex-a-lite bracket will allow minor adjustments when mounting the fan assembly. As you can imagine this will produce a very clean and custom installation.
The Flex-a-lite bracket will allow minor adjustments when mounting the fan assembly. As you can imagine this will produce a very clean and custom installation.

Next, we performed a wire re-route (and paint for the LSX El Camino). The wire routing on the Flex-a-lite fan part #295 is acceptable as is, but we wanted to hide the wires and protect them as much as possible. The wires originally dropped straight down, ran along the bottom of the shroud and laid next to the shroud and radiator loose. We chose to rotate the fan motors 90 degrees and secure the wires to the fan structure using zip ties. Holes were then drilled in the vertical shroud areas and grommets were installed for the wires to pass through. Both fans had the wires re-routed and holes drilled in the shroud to hide them.

hide the wire
The LSX El Camino fan assembly was disassembled and the fan shroud was sent off for paint. Once reassembled, we made the wire routing more secure and pleasing to the eye. The wires disappear once installed in the vehicle.
LSX El Camino Flex-a-lite fan installed
The final mounting of the Flex-a-lite dual electric fan assembly. Visible from this angle, the modified Flex-a-lite brackets welded on the Be Cool radiator. This yields a fan/radiator combo that moves 4600 cfm with a custom look.
LSX El Camino with Be Cool and Flex-a-lite
The finished product for the LSX El Camino has a very custom engine bay look and fits perfect with his color scheme of black, silver, and red. The hold down plate is made of stainless steel but has the protective cover still on it. The LSX El Camino is using a front accessory kit by Wegner Motorsports (not shown here)
Hot Rod Regal with Be Cool and Flex-a-lite Fan
Shown here, the Hot Rod Regal with the Flex-a-lite dual electric fan (part#295) left in natural black finish and the stainless steel hold radiator down plate all mounted to the Be Cool radiator. The modified Flex-a-lite bracket for the passenger side can be seen from this angle and is a mirror installation on the driver side. (side note: I have re-engineered the radiator overflow line since this photo was taken).

We really like the appearance and fit of the Be Cool radiators for the G-body but wanted something a little more “Finished” looking for the dual electric fan set up. The all aluminum fan shrouds were considered, but decided those look very “Race car” and ultimately would not look right on these cars. Junkyard parts were also considered, but fit and finish again were not quite right. Ultimately, the Flex-a-lite dual electric fan assembly was chosen on fit, finish, ease of installation, accessibility to replacement parts, and performance. Hopefully this information will help those out there looking for a high quality electric fan assembly for the G-body.

Look for variable speed controller installation and wiring in the near future to complete these Flex-a-lite dual electric fan installations. The Hot Rod Regal will have a complete new body wire harness from Painless Performance installed as well as integrating the Holley Dominator computer system.

Next up, Spectre Performance cold air intake system for an LS swap into the G-body, FlowMaster exhaust system using Ultimate Header flanges, and a feature article on the NitroPlate facility and their capabilities! (Maybe some SEMA 2014 photos too 🙂

 

Happy Hot Rodding…

Matt

 

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