How do you hotwire an electric motor?

How do you hotwire an electric motor?

This is a discussion on How do you hotwire an electric motor? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; My radiator fan died on me and I want to hotwire the replacement electric motor (to complicated to just hook it up to the existing ...

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Thread: How do you hotwire an electric motor?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    Question How do you hotwire an electric motor?

    My radiator fan died on me and I want to hotwire the replacement electric motor (to complicated to just hook it up to the existing old wiring). So I got me a small fuse box, a switch and about 20ft of wire. Heres the dilema:

    Red wire (positive) from the fan motor goes to the positive terminal on the battery. Now, the black wire (negative) from the fan motor goes to a body ground or to the negative terminal on the battery?

    Thanks for any help


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array dunndw's Avatar
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    make sure the replacement fan doesn't need a relay.
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    Either. The negative terminal is tied to the body of the car.

    What size wire you using and what's the current rating of the motor?

    Oh yeah, and where you gonna locate the fuse?
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    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    dunndw - It is supposed to require a relay, I imagine for colder weather. Since I am in 24/7 hot weather, constant "on" seems no problem to me.

    Tangle - I don't know the wire's rating; I went to a car parts store and I got the same wire gauge the new motor has. New motor is 12v. I'm thinking it goes + terminal at the battery, switch, fuse then fan, in that order. Probably stick the fuse box under the dash, next to the switch.

  5. #5
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    The relay per se is not a temperature sensing device. A relay is normally used to provide multi-contacts from a single contact switch, provide high current contacts from low current switch contacts, or invert polarities.

    However, the fan 'relay' may have additional circuitry to turn the fan off and on based on the temperature of the radiator.
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    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    The way I figure it, since it doesn't snow/temp is never under 90 degrees F in Puerto Rico, I won't need the relay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    However, the fan 'relay' may have additional circuitry to turn the fan off and on based on the temperature of the radiator.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cagueits View Post
    The way I figure it, since it doesn't snow/temp is never under 90 degrees F in Puerto Rico, I won't need the relay.
    I understand, I wasn't disagreeing, just pointing out that 'relays' do more than detect temperature, depending on the application.

    I would not think a fan motor would draw a lot of current, but it's worth checking. Motors do have pretty high in-rush current when they start up and tend to generate high transient voltages (arcing) when the circuit is interrupted by opening the switch.
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    Distinguished Member Array Gunnutty's Avatar
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    I may have missed it in the prvious posts but you will need some type of off and on switch. If you go from the positive side of the battery, then as soon as you ground the other leg it will start. How are you going to shut it off?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnutty View Post
    I may have missed it in the prvious posts but you will need some type of off and on switch. If you go from the positive side of the battery, then as soon as you ground the other leg it will start. How are you going to shut it off?
    He's got a switch; I missed that the first time too.
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    Distinguished Member Array Gunnutty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    He's got a switch; I missed that the first time too.
    Gotcha, I just need to check a little closer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnutty View Post
    Gotcha, I just need to check a little closer.
    Hey, I missed the switch too.
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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    He's got a switch; I missed that the first time too.
    Yeah, but why bother with a switch? If he's relying on a switch, why not just use an already existing 12v SWITCHED line of appropriate gauge? In other words at least it would only stay on constant when the key is in the ignition and switched to the on or running state, rather than having to manually flip a switch?

    ....or did I miss something and need to remove my foot from my mouth?
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    Quote Originally Posted by packinnova View Post
    Yeah, but why bother with a switch? If he's relying on a switch, why not just use an already existing 12v SWITCHED line of appropriate gauge? In other words at least it would only stay on constant when the key is in the ignition and switched to the on or running state, rather than having to manually flip a switch?

    ....or did I miss something and need to remove my foot from my mouth?
    I don't think you missed anything; he could, do that but it probably would be a good idea to have a way to turn the fan off besides turning the ignition off. It'd just give a little more flexibility.
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    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Don't do that....

    Quote Originally Posted by cagueits View Post
    My radiator fan died on me and I want to hotwire the replacement electric motor (to complicated to just hook it up to the existing old wiring). So I got me a small fuse box, a switch and about 20ft of wire. Heres the dilema:

    Red wire (positive) from the fan motor goes to the positive terminal on the battery. Now, the black wire (negative) from the fan motor goes to a body ground or to the negative terminal on the battery?

    Thanks for any help
    I don't understand why you can't just hook it up where the old radiator fan was connected.

    I'm a "car guy" and do a lot of tinkering (Lexus ES300 with a Supra 2JZ swap...)

    Can't you just trace the positive and negative wires that fed the old fan, and connect the new one in their place? That's by far the best way to go.

    If you "hard wire" it, you'll have to turn off the switch manually whenever you turn the car off, or it will run the fan indefinitely and drain your battery. And if you forget to turn it on when you're sitting in traffic or on hot days, your car will overheat pretty quickly.

    I'd strongly urge you to try to connect it the same way the old one was hooked up. Maybe Chilton's or someone makes a shop manual for your car that will help? If you want to send me a few pics of the old fan and wiring harness I might be able to give you some guidance too.

    If nothing else, consider hooking it up to a circuit that's only on when the engine is on so that you can't accidentally forget and leave it running.

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    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    I agree with Pete. Replace the old and don't hotwire anything on your daily driver.

    If you do decide to hotwire the fan, here is a diagram you should follow. The low voltage side of the relay can be wired in to the ignition so that the fan goes off when the car is off, or you will have to wire up and remember to flip a switch every time you get in and out. The manual switch could also be replaced with a thermal switch that will cycle the fan on and off as needed, however that makes for one more thing you have to wire up.

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