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Now that we have a solid direction for our design plans, this project is moving right along. Last time we started the fabrication process for our fan shroud design. This unique setup would utilize the stock fan motor and blade, but we would relocate it in a space that would allow our thicker Ford Fiesta radiator to fit properly.
With our shroud completed to its basic shape, our final portion of the design required mounting the fan to the shroud, creating a fan-blade cage, and creating appropriate mounts for the stock fan controller.
We started with the cage, as this piece would determine the location and design of the other components on the list. We designed our prototype in SolidWorks and printed out a template to be created in sheet aluminum.
Then began the tedious task of cutting out our template. Pilot holes were drilled, and both the band saw and jigsaw caught a bit of action on this project.
After a few hours of cutting, the basic shape was complete.
At this point we made a minor modification to our design. The outer ring was intended to be a flat plane from the center, with the ends bent to mate with the shroud. After evaluating the space once it was installed, we determined that the legs would need to be angled to provide appropriate clearance for engine movement. Off with the outer ring!
After making a few bends and a couple welds, our cage was complete.
We can’t just sit this on the radiator and expect it to stay in place. In the image above you will notice three threaded rivet nuts installed in the corners on the shroud. These will be the connection points to the radiator. Check out one of the mounting pegs welded to the tank of the radiator.
Here’s a look at the shroud mocked into position.
The hard part is complete. Next up, a cover for the motor. As with before, we printed a template and constructed our prototype from aluminum.
Here’s a look below at the finished cover in place on the stock electric motor.
On the stock fan shroud, the fan controller mounts relatively close to the motor itself, so the wiring lead is quite short. We would need to retain this proximity with our mounting location. Check out the clip system we developed, which allows the stock controller to mate with our shroud.
The fan controller is built onto a heat-sink base that uses airflow from the fan for adequate cooling of the internal electronics. On our shroud design, the legs of this piece will slide into the slots you see on the right, and the assembly is secured with a single bolt and the rivet nut on the left. Below is a look at the controller mounted in place.
Stock Shroud Comparison
The shroud is complete! Now we can move forward with some idle testing and road testing for our radiator/shroud combination. We’ve come a long way from the design of the stock shroud, as you can see in the image below.
For comparison, check out this shot of our completed shroud assembly.
The important part is coming. Now that our full prototype is complete, we can start some initial data collection. Check back next time for a look at our results.
Thanks for reading!