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Old 10-31-2015, 04:24 PM   #1
Realred96
 
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Default How to: VG30E Electric radiator fan conversion

Parts required:


1993-2001 Altima or Maxima electric radiator fan. Others years may fit also. Junkyard, Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000IYSL04) or Rockauto


Derale fan controller P/N 16759, Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CN4XZI) or Summit Racing (http://www.summitracing.com/parts/der-16759) among others.


5 pin relay 12V 30 or 40 amp. Generic from any auto parts store or junkyard.


Positive battery terminal P/N 24340-7F000 (Nissan Titan), not really needed but it sure cleaned up the terminal area.


10 or 12 gauge wire, red and black color for identification
12v generic inline fuse assembly. 25-30 amp


(4) 10mm bolts to secure water pump pulley to water pump hub. M6 x 14mm


Electrical tape and assorted splice connections and shrink wrap.

With inspiration from Tally HB on Infamous Nissan and TheRepairMan on Nissanforums.com, I present a “How To” on installing a dual speed electric radiator. This conversion will be done on a 1992 VG30E V6 4WD model. Both of the aforementioned write ups were done differently and neither of them included the automatic dual speed feature. I set this up is to use the Derale controller for starting Speed 1 when the coolant reaches the preset temperature. For Speed 2 I have rigged up a relay to trigger off of the A/C compressor clutch when the A/C is turned on. The dual speeds are completely separate circuits as outlined in the schematic.


They two fan speeds can work independently of each other or as a “High Speed” setting when both the Derale temperature controller and the A/C clutch relay trigger at the same time. The difference between the normal speed and high speed is noticeable. The wiring for the fans took a little bit of experimentation as I was not sure how a 2 speed DC fan works (at least for me!).


One item you may want to note is where your temperature gauge needle is when the truck is fully warmed up. Warm up the truck fully and take a picture of where the needle ends up. This will help you later when you are setting the Derale controller temperature setting.

Disclaimer: You are on your own on this endeavor. I take no responsibility for anything if you screw it up.




A Before view of the original engine driven fan.



After



After

Disassembly


1. Drain the radiator and either store properly or dispose of properly.
2. Pull off bottom skid plate (4wd model)
3. Remove the air filter intake pulsation tube from top of fan shroud.
4. Pull off bottom fan shroud
5. Remove the 4 screws that hold the fan shroud in place.
6. Pull the fan shroud straight up and out.
7. Remove the upper and lower radiator hoses.
8. Remove the (2) upper radiator mounting bolts.
9. Pull radiator straight up and out.
10. Remove the (4) nuts holding the fan to the water pump pulley. Remove fan assembly.
11. Install (4) new bolts to hold the water pump pulley in place. M6 x 14mm or reuse what came out. What you will find are M6 studs with nuts. I did not like the way they looked so I went with bolts.




Fan Mounting Modifications

The earlier write ups led me to believe that the Maxima / Altima fan assembly was a direct bolt in. It may be a bolt on if you have the original plastic / aluminum radiator. Unfortunately I have a copper Calsonic replacement radiator that did not have any of the mounting points for the Electric fan shroud. There was no easy way to mount the fans without a complete custom mount job. I could either buy a new plastic radiator or reuse the copper one. And on the plastic radiator I was not even sure the Maxima fan would mount up other than the top (2) mounts. See below picture.



This bracket on the fan assembly *should* bolt up to an OEM D21 radiator.


Since I am very happy with the copper heavy duty radiator as opposed to the plastic original unit I went with a custom mounting.
The first step was to set the radiator flat on a work bench and then place the fans on top of the radiator. After a lot of experimenting I ended up using (4) sheet metal screws, washers and spacer dowels (to hold the plastic shroud off of the radiator fins). I was afraid that the plastic fan frame may wear through the radiator fins if it was in contact with it. The final step was to loop some safety wire around the top of the fan assembly and around the bracket on the top of the radiator. On the lower edge of the fan assembly I went the extra step of installing a piece of rubber between the fans and the radiator fins. I used an old bicycle inner tube to do this.

After figuring out how to mount the fan assembly I removed it and installed the temperature sensor. I placed it under the radiator inlet. See directions from Derale. One helpful tip is to use an appropriate size phillips screwdriver to push through the radiator fins to make round hole to set the sensor into. I then ran the sensor wire out of the back of the fan assembly through a hole that was already there.



Safety wire loop.







Wiring (Derale controller speed 1)

The fan assembly wiring ended up being difficult due to my lack of knowledge of how 2 speed DC fans are wired. The original Maxima / Altima fan was controlled by an ECU and read several parameters to tell the fans when to turn on and when to go from speed 1 to speed 2. Since the D21 cannot do this with the stock ECU I had to improvise.
I started by figuring out what the correct positive and grounds were for the (2) different speeds on the fans. I then connected both fans together for each speed and then soldered the connections. This essentially made (2) separate fan circuits.

Note: There are several different versions of this fan out there. I searched for images on the fans and came up with a wiring diagram that matched what I had. It is important that you know what the +/- wire is for each individual speed or “sparks will fly” as they say!
Everything is pretty much following the diagram and locate the correct wires on the truck to hook up the leads.
Wiring diagram. Each motor has (2) + and (2) – wires. The color of the wires seemed to vary depending on what fan assembly I found at the junkyard.



Schematic




Derale Adjustable Fan Controller 16759




Controller mounting on inner fender





This is the location of the “Check Relay”. Lift off the lid and remove the (2) screws that hold it on the fender.



Flip over the relay box and locate the Check Relay. The white wire with the black tracer is the one you want. I used a wire splice to tie into it. This is the 12 volt power to the Derale unit. It goes to the Yellow wire on the Derale.




Picture with Yellow 12v supply tied in to the Check Relay wire.



Wiring (A/C relay speed 2)

The 2nd speed of the fan is for when the A/C is turned on. Anytime the A/C compressor clutch is activated the fan will come on. If the fan is already operating due to the Derale controller being activated, the fan will go to its “high speed” setting.
This was an easy setup, just follow the diagram. Any 12v 25-40 amp 4 or 5 pin relay will work for this. I bought a new one from Autozone and used a wiring harness I snagged out of a Nissan Pathfinder.

Location of AC relay and where I mounted the electric fan 5 pin relay.






AC relay

Remove the AC relay and peel back the electrical tape wrap. Nissan made the relay wiring water tight and you have to remove a couple layers of wrap to get to the wire you need. You are looking for the Black wire with the White tracer on it. Connect this wire to the 86 side of the 5 pin relay.

The rest of the modification is to follow the schematic and hook everything up. This mod ended up creating a lot of extra wires under the hood and I spent a good bit of time wrapping the new wires with the corrugated plastic tubing. This really cleaned up the clutter.


I used the Titan battery terminal for the + side of the battery. It was about $11.00 at the Nissan dealer. Not really necessary but it helped clean up the positive post of the battery. There will be a lot of wires hooked up on this terminal when you are finished.



Testing

Follow the Derale instructions regarding setting the controller temperature. This is a very important step. DO NOT touch the temperature setting screw on the controller until you are ready to start the setting procedure.

The first thing I noticed was how quiet the engine is when the fan is not running. You can hear things that you never knew existed!

Before the engine warms up, test the AC relay side by turning on the AC. The fan should come on. Turn the AC off. When the engine warms up fully and the fan comes on, turn on the AC. You should have a noticeable increase in fan speed and fan noise.

I have now driven the truck in 98 degree temperature with the AC running and have had no cooling or electrical load issues at all. I will post back with reports of how it is all holding up.
Attached Images
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Last edited by jp2code; 09-27-2017 at 03:38 AM. Reason: Adding Linked Part Numbers
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Old 11-01-2015, 03:35 PM   #2
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really good write up, thanks for doing this. Can you let us know if your acceleration has improved and if you mpg has increased?
I plan on doing a flex a lite conversion with a variable control in the future and am hoping that the stock alternator can handle the load.
Before I do anything, I think I am going to invest in a good temp gauge so I know where my temps are currently and then try to mimic that with electric fans
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Old 11-01-2015, 05:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilikua View Post
really good write up, thanks for doing this. Can you let us know if your acceleration has improved and if you mpg has increased?
I plan on doing a flex a lite conversion with a variable control in the future and am hoping that the stock alternator can handle the load.
Before I do anything, I think I am going to invest in a good temp gauge so I know where my temps are currently and then try to mimic that with electric fans
Hi Pilikua; I have not really had a chance to check the mileage. The Butt Dyno tells me it does accelerate slightly better. It is certainly MUCH quieter.

I have too many cars and don't drive the D21 very much. I will keep checking the mileage and report back.

I have noticed no issues with voltage so far. The volt gauge is exactly where it was before. I have checked voltage with all accessories going (Fog lights, A/C fan on full, high beams on, stereo blasting, brakes on) and it still holds 13+ volts.
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Old 11-25-2015, 04:38 PM   #4
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Default Fans?

Okay I'm curious why you guys need to add this fan to the cooling system? I'm in Las Vegas and the temps on my 93, V6 never exceed the mid range and that's with the AC blowing full cold in stop and go driving. What am missing here? Are you towing a trailer by chance?
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Old 11-26-2015, 03:08 AM   #5
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I have an electric fan in my d21, it is hooked into a manual switch just to the right of the steering wheel.
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:07 PM   #6
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TBC787 -- I believe the point of replacing the stock clutch type fan is to increase MPG's and get a little more horsepower. The reason replacing the stock setup improves these numbers is because the factory fan is driven by the engine. It bolts right onto the water pump and takes some of your engines power to rotate. The electric fans only take a couple volts to spin. If done correctly and the proper amount of cfm fans are used, then this is a win/win modification.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:00 PM   #7
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Thanks, that make sense.
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Old 11-30-2015, 11:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBC787 View Post
Okay I'm curious why you guys need to add this fan to the cooling system? I'm in Las Vegas and the temps on my 93, V6 never exceed the mid range and that's with the AC blowing full cold in stop and go driving. What am missing here? Are you towing a trailer by chance?
I also live in 95 or worse temperatures here in Houston. I did not get much of a chance to drive the converted truck in super hot temps, but I did notice that the A/C worked *slightly* better when stopped in traffic. I am thinking that I am getting more air flow through the condenser at idle with the dual electric fans than with the engine driven fan.

No way to prove this until it gets hot again!
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Old 05-14-2016, 10:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Realred96 View Post
I also live in 95 or worse temperatures here in Houston. I did not get much of a chance to drive the converted truck in super hot temps, but I did notice that the A/C worked *slightly* better when stopped in traffic. I am thinking that I am getting more air flow through the condenser at idle with the dual electric fans than with the engine driven fan.

No way to prove this until it gets hot again!
What's up I'm in houston too! I haven't gotten around d to doing my fan swap. I still need to get a fan controller, wiring and other junk. I think you have r12 refrigerant as it cools 10x better than r134a.
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Old 05-15-2016, 02:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuong-Nutz View Post
What's up I'm in houston too! I haven't gotten around d to doing my fan swap. I still need to get a fan controller, wiring and other junk. I think you have r12 refrigerant as it cools 10x better than r134a.
Could be right about the R-12. But I just changed over to R134 and it seems to be just as cold if not colder. Will see when it gets hot.
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