Project Dark Horse, Part 6 - Electric Fan Install

Increasing the Engine's Cool Factor

Dick DeLoach
Apr 6, 2006
Photographers: Dick DeLoach
• Part 1 - Header & Exhaust Install
• Part 2 - Supercharger Install
• Part 3 - Lowering Kit Install
• Part 4 - Wheel & Tire Install
• Part 5 - Big Brake Install
• Part 6 - Electric Fan Install
Photo 1/23   |   Our Ford's engine is a lot cooler now, thanks to Wizard's dual chromed SPAL electric fans.
Thus far, we've increased the power of the 5.4L three-valve engine in our '04 F-150 Project Dark Horse by installing a Powerdyne blower, JBA headers, a Bassani exhaust, and some re-programming with a Predator. Now, it's time to increase the cool factor-and pick up even more power-by removing the belt-driven fan, replacing it with dual chrome SPAL electric fans from Wizard Automotive, in Cocoa, Florida.
The main reason for removing the belt-driven fan and installing electric fans is to reduce drag on the engine, which translates into more usable power to the wheels. That's why all smaller four-cylinder, and even many V-6 engines have electric fans. However, by installing the dual 11-inch SPAL electric fans, we also increased the airflow to 2,780 cfm, which is 50 percent more than the factory belt-driven fan.
SPAL Advanced Technologies, of Des Moines, Iowa, has produced top-quality fans for more than 40 years. SPAL's fans and blowers are now ISO 9001 certified. All fans feature a fully sealed, waterproof/dustproof, closed axial permanent magnet motor, an integrated shroud with pressure releasing flap inserts, and though lightweight, exceed OEM quality and performance standards. Fans are available in 12- and 24-volt DC and 9- to 16-inch sizes, with straight or curved blades. Of course, we wanted the fans to look as cool as they work, so we contacted Bruce at Wizard Automotive to get his chrome-plated version of the dual SPAL fans. The folks at Wizard have perfected show-quality chroming on anything metal or plastic, and they sell SPAL fans direct.
For the installation, we visited the Air Shop in Santa Ana, California, specialists in custom air and power window installations for cars and trucks since 1967. Shop owner John Miller and Ruperto Reyes handled the R&R, which was very straightforward, requiring no special tools, except a long-handled fan/clutch removal wrench. However, Ruperto did have to make special steel mounting brackets to attach the fans to the radiator and custom wiring harnesses, which he can make for you, so the installation took about six hours. (Note: SPAL does not use or recommend nylon "push-through" radiator connectors to attach the fans.) Now, follow the photos to see just how simple it is to make your truck's engine look and run cooler, plus pick up more power-all in one stroke.

2015 Ford F-150 Specifications

Fair Market Price $24,820
MSRP $26,030
Editors' Overall Rating
Mileage 18 City / 25 Highway
Engine 3.5L V6
Horse Power 283 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque 255 ft lb of torque @ 4,000 rpm
See all Specifications


Spal Advanced Technologies
Des Moines, IA
The Air Shop


Truck Trend Network


Ford F 150

Fair Market Price
Editors' Overall Rating
Basic Specifications
MSRP: $26,030
Mileage: 18 / 25
Engine: 3.5L V6
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