by Phil Lindsay
In my experience, the stock Tiger cooling system provides adequate cooling of reasonably stock engines under most driving conditions. Notable exceptions are freeway snarls and slow hill climbing on hot days (especially when behind a Winnebago). Obviously, both of these exceptions occur when the airflow through the radiator is primarily due to the fan, since the “Ram” airflow is minimal due to the low car speed.
The stock Tiger was equipped with a conventional shallow-pitch 4 bladed metal fan. Much has been written on the advantages of replacing the stock fan with a high performance fiberglass unit.
One fiberglass fan, which has been used, is the MODEL 214 Green-Bladed Fan made by Flex-A-Lite Corporation, Tacoma, Washington. This fan moves almost twice as much as the stock fan at idle, engine speeds and 70% more at cruising speeds (3000 RPM).
Flex-A-Lite has developed a stainless steel bladed fan with even higher capacity than the fiberglass-bladed fan. Compared to the fiberglass fan, the new stainless steel fan, MODEL 1314, flows 25% more air at idle and 20% more at 3000 RPM.
Since everyone knows that “you don’t get something for nothing.” It’s therefore worth pointing out the disadvantages of this “Super-Fan.” Other than requiring slightly more engine power, the problem is proper clearance between the front of the fan and the radiator, as well as the back of the fan and the upper radiator hose. If you have a stock radiator (2″ thickness), there really is no problem because the fan can be spaced away from the water hub with flat washers to clear the hose. In this case, the fan hub hole (7/8″ diameter) pump does not have to be enlarged to 1″ diameter since the washers will space the fan away from the water pump hub.
Those with “Fat Core” (2-3/4″ thickness) aren’t so lucky! In order for proper clearance between the back of the radiator and front of the fan, it is necessary to carefully ream out the 7/8″ fan hub hole to 1″ so it will fit over the water pump hub. With the fan located against the water pump hub, be sure there is sufficient clearance with the upper radiator hose, especially if the vacuum advance distributor mechanism is in the way.
The Gates MODEL 20686 upper radiator hose can be cut so that there is clearance. Once properly installed, the MODEL 1314 Fan has provided a significant improvement in cooling for a number of “Hot Tigers.”