Love Jugs and Other Cooling Ideas
|OK. So this page is sort of reverse chronology.
I finally decided those Love Jugs weren't doing much of a job up front blowing at the engine from a distance. Also, decided I didn't really like the way they looked on the Switchback. So I trashed them.
Instead, ordered some smaller fans -- 60 mm rather than 80 mm, the high-volume 1-1/2 thick type, together with matching wire fan guards to protect them from stones (front and back) -- from Allied Electronics (www.alliedelec.com, Part No. 70103456, Orion Fan; DC; 12V; 1.42A; 60x60x38mm; Sq; 61CFM; 65dBA; 17W; 1000RPM; Leadwires and 2.36-inch Fan Guards, Part No. 70103623, 2 per fan) and made a couple of little rails from 1/2-inch aluminum L channel to mount two of them on the front of my oil cooler. The fans are mounted to the rails with stainless steel machine screws and locking nuts, and the rails are strapped to the front of the oil cooler with three cable ties routed around the cooler and through holes drilled in the sides of the rails -- the idea being to improve engine cooling at idle by pushing a steady stream of air through the oil cooler when the bike is not moving. It seems to work pretty well. Wouldn't want to depend on it for long-term cooling in super-hot weather, but it keeps the engine from heating excessively during long stops at intersections and stop-and-go traffic. The fans are connected via a 7-amp fused circuit and relay activated by a pushbutton switch from an ignition-activated tail light wire. They can be turned on and off as desired, but usually I just keep them running all the time. The fans emit a moderate high-pitched whine that is pretty inaudible when the engine is running and the bike is moving, and they push a good flow of air through the oil cooler when the bike is stationary. The rails stand the fans off a bit from the front of the oil cooler and prevent them from overheating.
Traded the 2012 Ultra for a 2012 Heritage Softail. Installed the Harley-Davidson oil cooler on that bike too, and the same twin-fan arrangement on the front of the cooler. The 1-1/2-inch-thick fans provide plenty of clearance for the front fender on both bikes.
|Switchback now has a much cleaner look.|
|Unfortunately, I must modify this page. After a few month's experience with Love Jugs, especially on my 2014 H-D Switchback, I have discovered that the fans have a tendency to fail in very hot weather. I have lost two of the original fans. Hammerhead Engineering sent a replacement for the first failed fan on the rear position of the side-mounted pair, but that one also failed after a couple weeks.
I found the third-party source of fans with similar specifications (Allied Electronics, Part.No.70103460, alliedelec.com) for about $17 each) and bought one of those, but it also failed. Then the front-mounted fan of the original Love Jugs variety also failed. I suspect the failures are due to excessive heat from the engine, not vibration, although vibration is also a possibility.
My solution to this problem was to re-engineer the product. I cut the Love Jugs mounting bracket and drilled a couple of holes that allowed the separated fans to be mounted
on the Switchback engine guard forward of the engine using a pair of H-D foot peg mounting brackets. The repositioned fans, aimed at the engine, still produce significant cooling effect when the bike
sits at idle, but their position ahead of the engine hopefully prevents them from becoming too hot and failing.
On my 2012 Ultra Classic Electraglide, which hadn't been ridden as much and perhaps for that reason suffered no fan failures, I removed the fans from the stainless steel cases, made a couple of mounting brackets from 3/4-inch aluminum angle stock, and mounted them inboard of the fairing lowers on the engine guard using a pair of speaker-mount brackets. Not extensively tested at this time, but hopefully again this position forward of the engine will keep the fans cooler and prevent future failures. I tested the fan performance on engine temperatures on both bikes at idle using an infrared thermometer, and it appears that even in the new position the fans reduce engine temperatures by 50-100 degrees Fahrenheit during prolonged idling. The cooling effect on the front cylinder is greater than on the rear, as is the case when riding. In the new position, the fans also blow cooling air between the engine and the rider's legs on both sides of the bike. In the original mounting position, the fans blow cool air throught the engine from the left and hot air emerges from the right, thereby heating the rider's right leg, so the benefit of reducing the effect of engine heat on the rider is somewhat limited.
|In July, 2014, I rode my 2012 Harley Ultra Classic FLHTCU to Sacramento, California, from Santa Fe, New Mexico. During my two-day ride through Arizona, Nevada, and California, afternoon temperatures hovered between 105 and 110 degress F. After a rainy-day ride to Boise, Idaho, during my return trip to New Mexico, temperatures riding through Utah, Southern Colorado, and New Mexico were similarly in excess of 100 degrees. Rush hour traffic around Sacramento and Salt Lake City was often stop-and-go. I was constantly worried about overheating the bike, although somewhat comforted by the fact that I was running very heat-stable Red Line full-synthetic V-Twin oil in the engine. Then, early in 2015, I discovered Love Jugs via an advertisement on Facebook. I have since installed them on both my bikes and can ride assured the engine will not overheat, especially with stops at intersections and in stop-and-go traffic on hot summmer days.|
|I rode my 2014 Switchback FLD to Sacramento and back in late March and early April with the Love Jugs installed. They proved to be reliable. Completely waterproof in case of rain. The Jugs installed on both my bikes are the new Cool-Masters. I like the way they look, and they put out awesome air flow. Current draw is not an issue. No worries about power overload to the alternator. The two fans running together draw less than three amps, about the same as my custom LED road lamps.|
|On the 2012 Ultra they were very easy to intall. The Cool-Masters are plug-and-play, equipped with a plug compatible with the stock accessory port wired to the accessory switch on the fairing. I replaced the original 15-amp breaker on the accessory circuit with a 5-amp breaker, and it never blows. On the Switchback I wired them through a relay activated by the taillight circuit when the ignition is turned on. Both the Cool-Masters and two 10-watt LED road lights are protected by the same 10-amp minifuse. During the ride to California and back in 2015 it never blew.|
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Ride safe! Ride cool!
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