Alfetta Cooling Fan

Flex-a-lite model 390 10-inch S-Blade reversible electric fan
Flex-a-lite model 390 10-inch S-Blade reversible electric fan

I think because my 1979 Alfetta Sprint Veloce has an air conditioner, engine cooling seems marginal when the ambient temperature is above 80 F (27 C).
When running at speed, the temp gauge indicates a normal 175 F. But when stuck in traffic, though the engine doesn’t overheat, the gauge goes halfway between 175 F and 250 F (79 C to 121 C).

I had the radiator checked at a radiator shop; they said there’s nothing wrong with it. I’ve bled the cooling system at the pump and thermostat and use Red Line Water Wetter in the coolant.

In an effort to help with cooling when the car isn’t moving, I replaced the stock electric fan with a new one. My reasoning was that a fan with a modern design might be more efficient. I bought a Flex-a-lite 390 S-Blade Black 10″ Electric Fan. It’s a 10″ fan that advertises 775 CFM. The space behind the radiator doesn’t allow dual fans or a larger fan. The new fan doesn’t seem to make an difference in cooling.

I also thought about using the new fan to replace the one in front of the A/C condenser but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to remove the old fan without removing the radiator and A/C condensor. I know the old fan won’t come out through the gills below the bumper. I haven’t removed the grills yet. I cleaned a few bugs off the condenser, but even when the A/C fan is on, I can’t feel much air coming through if I put my hand behind the radiator.

2 Replies to “Alfetta Cooling Fan”

  1. This sounds pretty normal to me, and may not be anything to worry about. The thermostat on an Alfetta opens at about 82 deg.C, but the electric fan won’t switch on until about 100 deg.C. So , in traffic, I’d expect the water temperature to rise to about 100 deg.C, then the fan kicks in and it falls to (say) 90 deg.C when the fan goes off again.

    These engines (like most race-car engines) are designed to run quite hot in order to achieve higher efficiency and output. If your water temperature stays at or below 100 deg.C there really shouldn’t be a problem. A bigger issue on the Alfetta is keeping the oil temperature under control…

    I hope this helps – and enjoy your Alfa!

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