For ultimate cooling you cannot beat a good OEM mechanical fan setup. These have the largest area and most available power and flow of any fan out there.
But then there is the drawback of the power consumed to drive the fan and the noise generated by the fan. The mechanical fan also requires a good shroud and is dependent on radiator/shroud and fan/engine alignment or movement. These are the things that drive newer solutions to electric fans.
i have to disagree- an HD mechanical fan will move a LOT of air at idle when the fan clutch is engaged. that's why they were used in HD applications like pickups until a couple of years ago- and might even still be used today in the bigger trucks. even 94-96 Caprice's with the HD cooling option got a mechanical clutch fan bolted to the front of the LT1.
the fan in my 92 Caprice cop car would kick up a hell of a lot of dust under the car at idle when it sensed that it needed to lock up. i've never seen an electric fan move as much air as that thing did. but it did draw a LOT of power to do that. when i had that same fan in my Monte, it would cool the radiator down almost instantly when it kicked on. when i got rid of that fan and went electric, i gained quite a bit of low end throttle response and power, along with a couple of miles per gallon. the electric fan on the car now cools it effectively- and it's just a fan out of an 86 Celebrity with a 4 cylinder. it does the job, but it moves nowhere near as much air as the cop car mechanical fan did. come spring, the aluminum radiator and dual electric fan setup out of my 94 Caprice is going in- even tho i don't need that much cooling.
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