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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The community here at urges you to please use caution and seek professional assistance when performing modifications to your vehicle. Before attempting any modification it is advised that you refer to your Colorado or Canyon service manual or contact a certified mechanic as not all GMT355 trucks are the same. The staff and the associated members are in no way responsible for any damages, injuries or other harm inflicted to your vehicle or yourself which may result in attempting these modifications. The posts and content presented on this site reflect in no way the views of or it’s ownership.

A 355nation How To presented by

Project Name
How-To Flex-a-lite 180 install on '09 V8 Sport

Project Description
Installing a electric fan on a 2009 V8 Colorado

Skill Level
Moderate to High

Project Vehicle
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Colorado Ext Cab Sport
Year: 2009
Engine: 5.3L V8
Power windows: Yes
Sun Roof: No

Tools Needed
1/2 inch wrench.. the longer the better.
Socket set.. 10mm and 7/16 mainly I believe.
Crescent wrench (always helpful)
Right-angle drill and short drill bits.
Bench vice for helping to bend the brackets.
Hacksaw or cutting tool for cutting the brackets down to size.
Large vice-grips. (Channel-locks would probably work).
Screwdriver for prying little mounting tabs off.
Something to hold the water pump pulley from moving. I used a small c-clamp

Project Time
4 hours minimum

Project Cost
Fan-$315, Time and Effort

First off, I'm gonna make it clear. DO NOT attempt this install if you are leery about working on your truck. The clearances are very close everywhere. Holes will be drilled as well. So if you don't want to drill into your truck, don't bother installing this fan. Also. Make sure you have pretty much an entire day to do it. It took me almost 10 hours. But, as far as I know, I'm the first to do it. So hopefully this thing here will be of some help.

Tools you'll need - apart from what the instructions tell you..
Hacksaw or cutting tool for cutting the brackets down to size.
Large vice-grips. (Channel-locks would probably work).
Screwdriver for prying little mounting tabs off.
Something to hold the water pump pulley from moving. I used a small c-clamp.
That's all I can remember. Other than.. patience patience patience. And time. :lol:

(for reference.. here's how much I cut the stock fan blades to clear the intake)

Ok.. here we go. First, use a screwdriver to pry the mounting things for the trans cooler(?) off the stock shroud. There's 2 of them.

Next, go underneath and locate the 2 pieces that are holding the shroud to the lower radiator hose. There's one on each side.

From the bottom..

Disconnect the upper radiator hose. It needs to come off so the shroud and fan can come off.

Then, locate the tabs on each side of the shroud, near the top. Push them and pull the shroud up just so it comes loose from those tabs. Don't try to take it off all the way yet.

Now, use a half-inch wrench (the longer the better) and something else to help you get some torque.. on the fan bolts. There's 4 of them. The fan has to be completely loose to get at the bolt holding the clutch on.

Here's where the big vice-grips and the little c-clamp come into place. They're for taking the bolt loose. Be patient. It sucks, but it'll eventually give way. Just make sure you have a good way to keep the pulley from moving. It'll just slip on the belt if you don't.

When this is all loose, you can pull the whole works up slowly. The shroud is 1 piece. I pulled the shroud up enough to pull the clutch out the front of it, then the fan and shroud came out easier.
You'd be amazed at how much the clutch and fan assembly weighs...

Now you have a hole!

But don't let the look fool you. It's still very tight once the e-fan is in.

Now.. I don't really have any pics of this process. Mostly because it's the most difficult. Mounting the fan. I put 3 brackets on. It says to use 4, but i think 3 will hold good. I might put the 4th one on later.
The brackets all need to be cut to fit and bent to clear things.
There's a lower mount on each side that's triangle shaped. I put one mount here on one side. Getting a drill down there is very hard. Be warned. Pre-drilling a smaller hole makes all drilling easier.
For the upper mounting holes on the side.. on one side there's a square hole that lines up perfectly great for the passenger side mount. You'll have to just measure and drill on the other side and the top is ready.
Once again.. sorry no pics of this..

I put the temperature probe here... just use a light and look from the front of the grill through the radiator and you'll see the one spot it'll slip through and clear the big trans cooler..

Unless you want to take the whole front grill off, you won't be able to get the little rubber piece on the end of the probe. I just set it in place and wrapped some wire through a hole and around it.

After it's all mounted, I did the wiring. I mounted the control box on the top-driver's side and just followed the directions. I ran the always-hot wire onto the same lead as the positive battery, and I'm not gonna bother with the A/C control unless I really have to. Of course, I know I should, but for now, it's cool enough and that thing is way to hard to get at. If possible, I'll probably just wire up a switch that'll make it always on if I want and temp-controlled otherwise (if they have some that work like that!)

Finished product!

Ok... I hope this will help those of the future!


Member's Technical crew
4,308 Posts
nice write up! Not cure if the clutch is the same or not, but just a tip for removing it! I removed one on my dads truck and a a 4.8L V8 van. I took a old crescent wrench and ground it narrow to fit behind the blades and clutch, I also narrowed the upper portion of the jaws down, you could also use a small pipe wrench if it hasn't rusted on yet. To prevent the belt from slipping use a crow bar or large screw driver and gently wedge it between the water pump pulley and power steering pulley just enough pressure against the belt to prevent it from slipping!

Member's Technical crew
4,308 Posts
What temps do you run, and how cold does your a/c get? Having a few issues now that I have my a/c working.

Engine wise with a/c on I run 194-213 F or about 1/4-to just past half on the stock temp gauge. It runs hottest idling or climbing up a big hill, outside temps are about 85-90F when it hits 213 F.

My a/c doesn't get cold unless my engine temps are around 194, otherwise it is just cool, as soon as I start moving or stop climbing the hill it drops the temps down, gets more air flow over the condenser and the a/c gets cold again? I'm also using durracool (propane) instead of R134a, not sure if that makes a difference or not. A/c pressure low side 35-40 psi high side 170-180 psi while idling outside temp 70-75 F. running a 10S17 denso compressor from a 07 express van, should be the same type used in a stock Colorado V8. I'm using the stock 04 condenser, the V8 might be bigger, I have about 7 ounces Pag146 oil and about 20 ounces of durracool refrigerant (should be equivalent to about 38-40 ounces of R134a)

I have a 4.8L V8, stock 5 spd, and stock 5cyl automatic rad. flex-a-lite black magic xtreme set to it's coldest setting, 186 F T-stat. I cooled better with the other truck, but it didn't have a condenser and the rad was missing the cooler for the auto trans, so it should have a bit more cooling capacity.

I'm thinking about switching the rad to a 5spd one, and running a 176 F T-stat

Also did you wire up the a/c control? T-tap the a/c clutch wire and run it to the fan controller, this way when the a/c is on the fan is always on. That leads me to my second problem after I did this the truck won't shut off with the a/c on, you remove the key cluster lights go out, truck stays running unless you open the door, or unplug the a/c wire from the fan controller the it shuts of.
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