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Old 07-13-2005, 07:23 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Flexalite Black Magic Electric Fan FLX-165

I am starting this thread as a warning to those considering swapping out the clutch fan on thier 3.0 for a flexalite black magic e-fan. At the steep price of $230+, the flexalite WILL cause you to overheat. My overheating problems associated with this fan started at an outside temp of 85 degrees and just got worse from there.

To confirm that the fan was the problem - I took a drive up a steep windy grade with the a/c on, at an average speed of 45mph (it was right around 85* outside). The runner overheated after about 5 minutes. I went straight home, put the OEM clutch fan back on and did the same drive under the same exact cirumstances an hour later. It did not overheat.

Due to the fact that I was unfortunate enough to lay down the $$ for this POS fan, I will be keeping it for use in the winter/fall season. I know there are other members who have had the same problem. Hopefully they will chime in for further proof that this fan isn't worth the gas from a can of beans.
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Old 07-13-2005, 07:50 PM   #2
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Been concidering one of these fans for my 4Runner....

Just curious, did you hook up the fan to the A/C compressor to have it run when it is on?

From what I have read on the instructions and my understanding of cooling systems, it is a must for the fan to pull air when you have high heat and A/C demands.
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Old 07-13-2005, 07:54 PM   #3
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It was wired to a switch on the center console. It was on all the time.
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Old 07-13-2005, 07:54 PM   #4
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I'm going to assume that you had the thermostat in the right place, and you calibrated it?
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Old 07-13-2005, 07:55 PM   #5
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ah, never mind.

FWIW, I never had a problem with mine, and I was in 110 degree heat wheeling.
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Old 07-13-2005, 07:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oly884
ah, never mind.

FWIW, I never had a problem with mine, and I was in 110 degree heat wheeling.

Was it a FLX-165 on the 3.0?
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenLover
Was it a FLX-165 on the 3.0?
Yeah, on my old truck.

Just throwing out ideas as to why.

Last time coolent been changed?
What about with A/C off? (i didn't have ac on my old truck)
were you positive it was on?
anything blocking the radiator?

I'm sure all of these things have nothing to do with it. It could be possible you got a bad unit.
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:04 PM   #8
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Interesting. My cooling system is in tip-top shape. The fan was undoubtedly the problem. The overheating occured when the engine was under decent load. And yes, it would overheat with the a/c off.
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenLover
Interesting. My cooling system is in tip-top shape. The fan was undoubtedly the problem. The overheating occured when the engine was under decent load. And yes, it would overheat with the a/c off.
If that's the case, then I'd most likely say it was a bad unit.

However, I would also say that it wasn't worth the money for it. I didn't notice enough of a diff in power, and mileage to make suggest using it again.
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Old 07-13-2005, 10:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oly884
If that's the case, then I'd most likely say it was a bad unit.

However, I would also say that it wasn't worth the money for it. I didn't notice enough of a diff in power, and mileage to make suggest using it again.

What I am hearing you say is that for $230 bones, I would be better off spending the money on a different modification than to install an electric fan...
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Old 07-14-2005, 08:38 AM   #11
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I also had problems with my Flex-A-Lite Black Magic fan. I purchased mine because I was doing a 2" body lift and didn't want to relocate the radiator. I'd never had cooling problems with my truck prior to installing the fan. Here's my experience:

I installed the Flex A Lite fan prior to the body lift and it took me a couple of days tinkering with the thermostat to get it to operate properly. I did wire the fan into the A/C circuit so it operated full time when the A/C was running. I didn't notice any overheating problems at first because my install was done in the fall during cooler outdoor temps and I wasn't using the A/C much. I was pleased with the fairly easy install process on the fan.

Then I did the 2" body lift on the truck.

When summer came around and temps rose, I noticed the truck would run hotter than normal on uphill grades. Speed did not matter, A/C could be on or off. I began to experiement to see how hot she'd run. I found that I could easily get the truck to overheat on uphill grades that were less than a mile in length - even at highway speeds where a lot of wind was moving over the vehicle. The strange part was once I hit the downhill side of the grade, the engine would immediately cool down to normal temp. Again, any speed and any grade caused an overheating on uphill and a very fast return to normal temps on the downhill.

I knew the fan was running as I'd wired in an LED indicator in the dash. I called my cousin who owns a repair shop and he immediately told me it was the electric fan. I didn't buy it and spent the next couple of years tinkering around thinking something else was the problem. I replaced the thermostat, all hoses, water pump (during a timing belt change), replaced the radiator when it sprung a leak, and I even took off the body lift thinking that was the problem. Nothing changed the overheating problem. I began to think it was the dreaded 3.0 headgasket so I decided to live with it as best I could until it totally blew.

I experienced overheating daily in the summer months on my commute to and from work going over a hill on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles. I'd have to turn off the AC and run the heater to make it over this average grade each way during warm summer temps.

Last spring I figured the headgasket couldn't be the problem as the truck still ran well and hadn't blown like I expected. As a last ditch effort I removed the electric fan. I bought a new fan clutch and re-installed the factory fan and shroud. The next day on my drive to and from work - NO OVERHEATING! The engine maintained perfectly cool temps through traffic with the A/C on. I've since done several road tests including four wheeling and confirmed that my overheating problem is gone. I even bought a new 1" Roger Brown body lift and use my factory mechanical fan with no problems.

I should have listened to my cousin and ditched the fan immediately.

My Worthless Opinion: The fan was kind of expensive and didn't cool the vehicle properly. It was louder than the factory fan and placed a decent strain on the alternator too. Knowing what I know now I wouldn't have bought the Flex-A-Lite Black Magic fan. Some folks have no problems, and some feel the fan gives them added horsepower. If it works for them, that's great! For me it was a bad purchase.
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Old 07-14-2005, 03:53 PM   #12
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For $230 you can get 2 or 3 Taurus fan's and the nice controller that bamachem got and do it right...FAL fans are a waste of $$$ IMO when you can go cheaper and much better from everything I've researched.

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Old 07-16-2005, 08:27 AM   #13
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I have to agree... the FAL 165 fan is a POS! I experienced the exact same symptoms... I went through a new radiator and thermostat before I posted here and asked questions.

I called FAL tech services and explained the problem. He asked if i lived in Phoenix or other high summer temp area. I said no. St. Louis, which gets hot and humid but rearly over 100*. After telling him it was very noticable in the amount of air getting moved between the stock fan and FAL, he agreed, and said " Well i guess this fan wont work for you truck".. Well no ˟˟˟˟˟! Since the fan is only 4-5 months old, he agreed to issue an RA# to the place where i bought it for a refund... I told him that many other people on this board have experienced problems with this fan.

Definitely save your money and put it toward another mod.

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Old 07-16-2005, 08:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oly884
If that's the case, then I'd most likely say it was a bad unit.

However, I would also say that it wasn't worth the money for it. I didn't notice enough of a diff in power, and mileage to make suggest using it again.
Never had a problem with mine and was completely happy with it. There are cheaper ways to get similar performance.
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Old 07-16-2005, 12:16 PM   #15
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I'm glad I read this post. I've been looking into an electric fan replacement. Hmmmm....I better research a bit more. Waskillywabbit, I'll have to look into the tauraus fan mod. Does it work on Taco's?
-Chad
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Old 07-16-2005, 12:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rngrchad
I'm glad I read this post. I've been looking into an electric fan replacement. Hmmmm....I better research a bit more. Waskillywabbit, I'll have to look into the tauraus fan mod. Does it work on Taco's?
-Chad
I'd look on the national TTORA website.

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Old 07-16-2005, 03:35 PM   #17
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Sweet, I'll go check ttora out.
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Old 07-17-2005, 12:44 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyo22r
I have to agree... the FAL 165 fan is a POS! I experienced the exact same symptoms... I went through a new radiator and thermostat before I posted here and asked questions.

I called FAL tech services and explained the problem. He asked if i lived in Phoenix or other high summer temp area. I said no. St. Louis, which gets hot and humid but rearly over 100*. After telling him it was very noticable in the amount of air getting moved between the stock fan and FAL, he agreed, and said " Well i guess this fan wont work for you truck".. Well no ˟˟˟˟˟! Since the fan is only 4-5 months old, he agreed to issue an RA# to the place where i bought it for a refund... I told him that many other people on this board have experienced problems with this fan.

Definitely save your money and put it toward another mod.

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St. Louis, MO.
I think the problem is the fan not the mod. That is only a 15" fan. You have to remove the factory shroud and mount the FAL fan in the middle of the radiator. With that setup you are only pulling air through a small portion of your radiator. No wonder you heat up! That's a bad design. I run an 18" permacool metal bladed electric fan that installs in the factory shroud. It pulls air across the entire radiator just like the stock fan does. You can look at the installed fan in my webshots link. I run the crap out of my truck and it works great.

Think about this---if you took off the stock fan shroud and ran your belt driven fan in the same conditions the original poster did, that setup would probably heat up also. You have to pull air across as much of the radiator as you can and you simply can't do that with a FAL 165.

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Old 08-05-2005, 06:35 AM   #19
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I just installed a Black Magic Extreme 180, because I heard of problems with certain models, the ones that are listed for your specific vehicle cause overheating. Due mostly to fan size all shroud covering is too small. The 180 covers the entire radiator and encloses better than the stock fan on my 94 Toy PU. It has been hot and humid in the Mid-Atlantic so AC is on full blast I set the Temp a little cooler than normal and runs extremely well even stuck in traffic seems too keep the air from the AC cooler and more comfortable.
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Old 08-05-2005, 06:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rngrchad
Sweet, I'll go check ttora out.
http://www.tacomaterritory.com/wiki/..._Toyota_Shroud

is basically the same writeup as:

/f2/electric-fan-variable-speed-controller-installed-61008/

and

http://www.tacomaterritory.com/forum...ad.php?t=11878
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Old 08-05-2005, 06:48 AM
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