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#574730 - 01/08/15 02:43 PM Re: ELECTRIC FAN - INSTALLATION *** [Re: Nukeiridium]  
Everet  Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,224
Silicon Valley, CA
Nuke,
Good to hear from you!
I'm also running a SPAL but using their sensor because it wouldn't work correctly with the stock Sportage one.
I haven't had any issues with it so far. Keep us informed on your findings.
As far as your work around, I have done the same thing with 2 other sportages and had great success.
Also, congrats on the upcoming addition to your family!!!
Everet <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />


WWW.UPYOURKIA.COM White 96,4x4, man.hubs,K&N filter,3row rad, twin 16" fans, 3" body lift, 4" UPYOURKIA LIFT KIT,265/75 16 TreadWrights on DC2 wheels,140 amp alt. dual batts.

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#574731 - 01/08/15 06:48 PM Re: ELECTRIC FAN - INSTALLATION [Re: Everet]  
Nukeiridium  Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,136
Mesa, Arizona
Thanks Everet.

It sucks because my wife's car is down right now but my car isn't reliable enough for her to drive so she's stranded at home until I fix hers.

So, I was able to catch the error code yesterday. It is 2 codes, a code 4 and a code 2. Code 4 means over-current detected (fan was drawing 30 Amps or more) and code 2 means no fan was sensed at all or fan wasn't detected.

Those 2 codes together didn't seem like they agreed or made sense so I called SPAL tech support. They told me that those 2 codes together means there is a problem with the electric supply feeding the fan controller.

What they said was usually those codes indicate that your electrical system wasn't able to keep up with the demands of the electrical fan. Possibly the voltage to the fan controller dipped too low. I am not sure what the threshold is, probably 11 volts or something, but if the voltage that the fan controller sees drops too far below 12v, all hell breaks loose and the controller will fire all kinds of error codes at once.

Now, this is actually a problem I have seen before on this vehicle, the voltage sags a lot under load. I don't know why though. The battery to engine ground looked OK, as did the engine to chassis ground like. I upgraded the alternator and battery already, and the fan has been replaced and I know it's not drawing 30 Amps, not even close. But sometimes, especially at idle, I'll see the voltage at the cigarette lighter drop below 12v. Really not sure what the problem is.

So, ideally I hope I can figure out the problem, maybe I need to replace / upgrade the cables that run from my battery to the alternator, and upgrade the ground cables, or something.

I really really dislike the idea though that some voltage sag can cause there to be NO radiator fan at all! That, to me, is ridiculous. So I think that no matter what, I'm going to go ahead and install the failsafe temperature sensor that will turn the fan on full speed when the engine temperature gets too hot. Then later hopefully I can solve the low voltage problem.


2002 Sportage 4dr 4x4 soon to undergo an Extreme Makeover!

#574732 - 01/09/15 02:00 AM Re: ELECTRIC FAN - INSTALLATION [Re: Nukeiridium]  
Peabody  Offline

Mudrunner
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 326
Sac-area, California - USA
That's an odd problem. Do you only experience the increased idle speed when the fan is running? If the idle is always higher, I'd guess you have some kind of excess load on the system or resistance in your cables.

I ran an electric fan in my Sporty. But my system is totally revamped with dual batteries in the rear of the vehicle, long cables running both pos cables and a shared ground to the front, with an isolator separating the charging circuit between to each battery. So all of my cabling, to include the cable from alt to isolator is new. And I went with a thermal snap relay with brass temp probe through the radiator core below the upper radiator hose (inflow) to control the fan. So I'm not going to pretend to be knowledgeable about the SPAL controller. One thing that came to mind was a conversation I had with Everet a while back about the high output alternators. He mentioned something about them (or maybe just his) being of GM or some other make and that it required a "tickler wire" to provide a "stimulation voltage" for proper operation. Not sure it that's what you've got or if you've already got that covered. But I thought it was worth mentioning. I know my isolator has a post for that connection, which is why it came to mind.

Hope my babble wasn't too painful. I'm interested to hear what the issue turned out to be...

<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />


1997 Sportage 4x4, auto-trans, Warn manual hubs, 4" UPYOURKIA front lift, TJ 106AA rear springs, 2-5/8" body lift, 31x10.50 treads, SmittyBilt SRC front and XRC rear bumper, swing-out tire mount, OBX LSD front diff, Track Finder rear locker, 5.38 R&Ps and... really crappy gas mileage! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" />

#574733 - 01/09/15 02:48 PM Re: ELECTRIC FAN - INSTALLATION [Re: Peabody]  
Everet  Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,224
Silicon Valley, CA
The other thing is that my alternator was fitted with the smallest pulley that the custom builder had. He said that at idle, this alternator output would be about 70 amps.
I don't know if you can put a smaller pulley on your alternator or not.
I also added a heavier supply cable from the alternator over to the main fuse/relay box. After these changes, I don't see any voltage drop.
Hope this helps.
Everet


WWW.UPYOURKIA.COM White 96,4x4, man.hubs,K&N filter,3row rad, twin 16" fans, 3" body lift, 4" UPYOURKIA LIFT KIT,265/75 16 TreadWrights on DC2 wheels,140 amp alt. dual batts.

#574734 - 01/09/15 06:43 PM Re: ELECTRIC FAN - INSTALLATION [Re: Everet]  
Nukeiridium  Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,136
Mesa, Arizona
Quote
The other thing is that my alternator was fitted with the smallest pulley that the custom builder had. He said that at idle, this alternator output would be about 70 amps.
I don't know if you can put a smaller pulley on your alternator or not.
I also added a heavier supply cable from the alternator over to the main fuse/relay box. After these changes, I don't see any voltage drop.
Hope this helps.
Everet


Wow, interesting!

I upgraded the cable that feeds the battery from the alternator, with a much beefier cable. I think the next thing to do for me would be a smaller alternator pulley. That would be great.

I think I might have found the problem with my SPAL fan controller. The way it is wired, the fan gets its power and ground from the wire harness of the fan controller. The fan controller is cabled directly to the battery - Both positive AND ground. The positive cable is fine, BUT I just noticed that the crimp connection on the controller's ground cable is kind of loose. It might have oxidized since it's a loose connection and a cheap crappy crimp connector. I'm going to check that next. Wish me luck! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />

Oh BTW - about the idle speed - My idle speed is not increasing. I was saying that if I manually increase the RPM a little, by just touching the gas pedal a tiny bit, that bumps up the system voltage to 14v. At 900 RPM, which is what my idle speed is, the voltage shows 12v only. The idle is steady and doesn't fluctuate on its own. This makes me think that my alternator would maintain 14v if it just could spin slightly faster (by using a smaller pulley). I will have to check and see if its pulley is removable and if I can put a smaller one on <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />


2002 Sportage 4dr 4x4 soon to undergo an Extreme Makeover!

#574735 - 01/09/15 11:22 PM Re: ELECTRIC FAN - INSTALLATION [Re: Nukeiridium]  
Nukeiridium  Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,136
Mesa, Arizona
Well I got a nice ammeter
and took some measurements.

With the 16" spal fan on high, it consumes about 11 Amps. The total system load on the alternator with the fan running I measured at 25 Amps. Without the fan it's 14 Amps.

The alternator is able to maintain 14v output under a 14 Amp load at idle. However, 25 Amps is too much for it to handle at idle and the output drops to around 12.5v. If I nudge the throttle so the rpm goes up to about 1100 then the alternator is able to maintain 14v output.

I think maybe it's simple, the vehicle was not originally designed to handle that extra 11 Amp load at idle that the fan adds.

I am going to see if I can install an overdrive pulley on the alternator. I'm not sure what the pulley size is and the shaft size, dimensions, etc, I'll try to figure that out.

note: with a relay fan switch this voltage drop isn't a big deal, everything on the car still works. It's just that the spal controller doesn't like to see that voltage drop and will sometimes throw an error code, and even that only happens occasionally. There might also be other issues, I still need to make sure all my wiring to the controller is solid.


2002 Sportage 4dr 4x4 soon to undergo an Extreme Makeover!

#574736 - 01/10/15 02:13 AM Re: ELECTRIC FAN - INSTALLATION [Re: Nukeiridium]  
Peabody  Offline

Mudrunner
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 326
Sac-area, California - USA
Interesting info. Yep, it sounds like a faster spin on the alternator is probably the fix to the problem, along with a good ground on your circuit. Where'd you get the alternator? I'd like to upgrade mine to better handle the 2 batteries and recovery from running my winch (should it ever happen). You never know when you're going to get stuck in the Taco Bell drive thru... Muwahahaha <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/evil.gif" alt="" />


1997 Sportage 4x4, auto-trans, Warn manual hubs, 4" UPYOURKIA front lift, TJ 106AA rear springs, 2-5/8" body lift, 31x10.50 treads, SmittyBilt SRC front and XRC rear bumper, swing-out tire mount, OBX LSD front diff, Track Finder rear locker, 5.38 R&Ps and... really crappy gas mileage! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shiner.gif" alt="" />

#574737 - 01/10/15 03:29 AM Re: ELECTRIC FAN - INSTALLATION [Re: Peabody]  
Everet  Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,224
Silicon Valley, CA
Peabody,
I bought mine down here at San Jose Generator and Starter. If you want, I can call him and see how much he wants for a 140 amp alternator. The only thing I had to do was take a grinder and remove some metal from the cast alternator bracket. Then I made my own adjusting bolt. I can send some pictures if you want.
Give me a call if you want me to check it out.

Everet


WWW.UPYOURKIA.COM White 96,4x4, man.hubs,K&N filter,3row rad, twin 16" fans, 3" body lift, 4" UPYOURKIA LIFT KIT,265/75 16 TreadWrights on DC2 wheels,140 amp alt. dual batts.

#574738 - 01/17/15 09:12 PM Re: ELECTRIC FAN - INSTALLATION [Re: Everet]  
Nukeiridium  Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,136
Mesa, Arizona
GUYS!!! I solved the mystery that has been plaguing my FAN-PWM V3 install every since I first started using this Spal controller!

In fact, I had this same problem with a previous SPAL controller and I replaced it, and the problem was there with the new one as well! Well, now I know why... Because it's a damn design flaw! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/angry.gif" alt="" />

In case you didn't read my story, what was happening was sometimes the controller would blink a code and not turn on the fans. The code it would blink was either "fan not found" or "over-current detected", or sometimes both. Then the fan wouldn't turn on.

Here's the deal. The FAN-PWM V3 has 3 power transistors inside that it uses to switch the power on and off rapidly to the fans (aka PWM). It does this for "low" mode. These power transistors get hot so they need heat sinking to something that can dissipate the heat. The chassis of the unit acts as the heatsink. There is a pad of supposedly non-conductive thermal material sandwiched between the transistors and the metal housing of the unit. Then there's a piece of thin springy steel that pushes the transistors against this pad. So there should be a firm connection there allowing heat to be effectively dissipated.

Now, these transistors have some metal on them, and it turns out that this metal, which touches the thermal pad, carries positive voltage. When the fan is off you'll see 12V here, and when the fan is on low you'll see around 4 to 6 volts here. If you were to, say, short this to ground, it would turn the fans on, and current would flow through your short, into the fans. But you DON'T want that...

Unfortunately, over time the thermal pad wears away and the metal part of these power transistors ends up touching the aluminum housing of the FAN-PWM V3. Now, most people are probably inclined to mount this metal housing of the FAN-PWM to their chassis. If you do that, you end up creating a grounding path from your car's chassis, to the FAN-PWM chassis, through worn out thermal pad area, and into the power transistors, thus turning on the fans.

So a couple things can happen. In my case, the connection between my car's body and the FAN-PWM housing wasn't very solid, so it would only ground out sometimes. What would happen is the fan would be on Low, and then the chassis would ground out, sending more current through to the fans (running them full speed), which would confuse the hell out of the controller and it would say ERROR! Too much current detected!

The other thing that could happen is if it grounds out while your vehicle is turned off, I think it can actually make the fan run, and kill your battery! I am pretty sure this has happened to me as well.

So, I think I can fix it. I ordered some Arctic Alumina Thermal Adhesive. It's great stuff, I have worked with it before. It's basically a 2 part epoxy that transfers heat really well. The nice thing about this particular stuff is it does NOT conduct electricity, only heat.

The fix I'm going to try:
Disassemble the unit
Paint on a layer of Arctic Alumina
Let dry
Put on a 2nd layer to glue the power transistors down
Reassemble

That should fix it <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/notooth.gif" alt="" /> I'll report back.


2002 Sportage 4dr 4x4 soon to undergo an Extreme Makeover!

#574739 - 01/17/15 09:15 PM Re: ELECTRIC FAN - INSTALLATION [Re: Nukeiridium]  
Nukeiridium  Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,136
Mesa, Arizona
Also: If you have the FAN-PWM V3 and you want to test whether you have this problem, it's really easy:

While the fan is running on Low, take a wire and connect it to ground somewhere, or battery negative. Then find a spot on the FAN-PWM where the bare metal is showing (you could scratch off a bit of the paint). Touch the other bare end of the wire there, and you'll get sparks, your fan will run on HIGH while the wire is touching, and after a couple seconds of this your FAN-PWM will start blinking an error code <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />

How else can you fix this problem without taking apart the unit? Simply install it in such a way that the metal outside of the unit will NEVER connect to ground. For example, glue it to the fender well with RTV, or something like that, I don't know. Sounds like a hassle to me, I expect things to have a chassis that is ground-safe.


2002 Sportage 4dr 4x4 soon to undergo an Extreme Makeover!

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