- Looks good
- Provides protection from spinning fan blade
- Doesn’t do much to cool the engine
- If you’re looking to dress up your engine compartment or add some protection from a spinning mechanical fan, this might check all of your boxes. If you’re looking for a fan shroud that will lower the coolant temps in your car, skip this and install a full shroud.
My Ford Fairmont project car runs hot in traffic. The Fairmont is powered by a basic carbureted 302 with a mild cam backed by a T5 manual trans. The cooling system is equally simple – just a factory replacement fox body 5.0 liter Mustang radiator and a flex fan rotating with an underdrive pulley on the stock water pump. When the car is in motion, the mechanical temp gauge sticks right at 180, but quickly creeps up in traffic – or the staging lane.
One of the most basic and inexpensive methods of cooling a muscle car down is installing a fan shroud. With the Fairmont’s original shroud missing, I stopped in my local auto parts store and picked up a universal 5.5 inch Spectre fan shroud. The shroud kit comes with installation hardware including four plastic bolts, eight washers, and four wing nuts.
The shroud itself is a 5.5 inch wide length of sheet metal with a gusset welded in the middle. To install you simply roll the shroud, set it in place, and run the plastic bolts through the shroud’s mounting holes and the radiator fins.
The plastic bolts supplied with the kit are cumbersome, and it’s time consuming to run the wing nut over the bolt. Halfway through the first bolt I ditched the supplied kit and replaced it with a set of four zip mounts. The zip mounts are normally used to mount electric fans and are available at most auto parts stores. They zip into place much faster and easier than the bolts, and since the shroud weighs only a few ounces and the zips are designed to hold a fan weighing several pounds, they should hold up just fine.
Installation is simple and fast. Unfortunately, the Spectre shroud did not make any noticeable difference in cooling the engine. This shroud only surrounds the top half of the fan, leaving the bottom open, unlike a full coverage factory shroud.
The Spectre shroud looks nice under the hood, and does keep the rotating fan blades covered. Those are reasonable improvements, but my car still overheats in traffic. Your mileage may vary.