2 3

by Jon Mikelonis


Don't hate me because I'm a late adopter of technology. Respect me because I'm going to show you how to make one of the most sensible upgrades you can make to your vintage Ford. The electric fan conversion. If you really need to know the benefits, fasten a 10 pound weight to a 6 foot piece of rope, find a large open space, remain in one spot, grab the rope, and begin rotating in circles. Tired yet? Seriously, if you need more explanation covering the benefits of an electric fan over a conventional
flex-fan or clutched fan, let the FordMuscle article 5.0L Electric Fan
Install do the persuading. Otherwise, if you've got an old-school Ford
that's still swinging a stock prop and you're willing to take my word for
it, read along and join the new millennium. I finally did.

1994 Lincoln Mark VIII Electric Fan
Automotive hobbyists of all sorts prefer the Lincoln Mark VIII fan for its tremendous pulling power. While we cannot confirm the CFM rating of these fans, once hooked-up, anybody would be impressed considering they can be snatched-up for under $30 at the wrecking yard.
The Infamous Lincoln Mark VIII Electric Cooling Fan
The aftermarket and the wrecking yard are stocked with plenty of options in electric fans. However, the general opinion among Ford enthusiasts points to one powerful solution. The 1993-1998 Lincoln Mark VIII fan. In fact, this fan has such a great reputation for its "pulling" ability that you'll see in recommended on numerous model-specific message boards, regardless of make. Its' acceptance among hobbyists loyal to non-Ford products, proves that the Mark VIII fan passes a performance part litmus test that only a few others have. Think of the venerable Ford 9-inch rear end.
The Mark VIII fan can be found used on Ebay and classified sections of Mustang community sites for up to $150. However, if you are lucky, you can find one in your local wrecking yard for $30 or less. Eight to thirteen years old, expensive to repair, and loaded with creature comforts that only the most tenacious enthusiast would be willing to fix, 1993-1998 Mark VIII's have a resale value that is a tiny fraction of the original $45,000 sticker price. Right now, worn out 1993 and 1994 models are steadily approaching the $1000 threshold that puts them within the Pick N' Pull tractor beam. So, before you pop for a "internet deal", browse your local yard for the ultimate score on a Mark VIII fan. Heck, I got two in one trip.

My local yard near Reno, Nevada had already set two Mark VIII's out
to pasture. Considering I was expecting to leave with a late-model Thunderbird fan, this was a pleasant surprise.

Mark VIII's were produced from 1993-1998. 93's and 94's are just making there way into "You-Pull-It" type yards. On this particular day, both Lincolns I came across were 1994 models.

The Lincoln fan comes out so easy that I grabbed one from both Mark VIII's in in the yard. Each fan cost me $29.95.
I was sure to grab the wire harness for each fan after cutting them back about 10 inches.

Fitting the Fan

Fabricating some brackets to secure the Mark VIII fan against the stock radiator of Project MX (1972 Mercury Montego) took very little skill. Angle iron, a bit of welding, and some simple hardware did the trick.

Once home, I detached the fan from the motor and gave one of these
treasures a good cleaning.
Removing the factory shroud and fan from the 351 Cleveland was a pleasure.

With the stock fan removed, something needed to keep the water pump pulley in place. I grabbed some appropriate grade 8 bolts and locking washers from the hardware store.
There was almost no need to measure the available space for the
new electric fan. This intermediate chassis and Cleveland combination provided ample room.

Many junkyard electric fan conversions require trimming the integrated shroud to fit. Today, it dropped right in.
While I could have installed the Mark VIII fan "as-is", I took the
opportunity to give myself plenty of room for those times when turning the crank over by hand is necessary. Here, I determined how far the fan protruded into the shroud area.

I marked a cut-line on the perimeter of the shroud about a 1/2" in.
With some simple woodworking tools, I secured the fan and used a
jigsaw to make a nice clean cut.
(Fitting the Fan Continued and Wiring the Fan Controller)
2 3
In This Article:
Sure to be regarded as the most comprehensive electric fan install on the web or in print. FordMuscle simplifies the electric fan conversion for your vintage Ford in this step-by-step article. Using the infamous 1993-1998 Lincoln Mark VIII fan, a variable speed controller, and 3G alternator, we rid Project MX of its stock propeller.

The aftermarket offers a number of different fan controllers, the SPAL Fan Controller shown here (PN FAN-PWM) provides variable control by basing fan speed on water temperature. The controller also includes an override switch and LED feedback showing when low and high temperature has been reached. FAN-PWM is programmable and requires no additional relays.

Since the Mark VIII fans pulls around 30 amps, I upgraded the "Duralast"
1G alternator (left) that came with the Montego when we bought it. I went with a PA Performance 95 amp 3G with one-wire hook-up. This"self-exciting" alternator only requires the power cable from the starter solenoid to operate. The voltage regulator is integrated within the alternator itself
and is "excited" by the residual magnetism in the alternator's fields. PA offers a matching fused power cable. With the correct mods (pulley
conversion), a factory 3G alternator from the wrecking yard will support a
Mark VIII electric fan as well.

(1.3 MB) The rumors are true, these Mark VIII fans move a lot of air. This is what it looks and sounds like at peak RPM when activated from the installed override switch.



Tech Archives Project Cars Readers Cars Feature Cars