This is part 1 of a 2 part series on how to install and wire Spal Slim Fans. Part 1 looks at how to create brackets and mount the fans on the radiator. Part 2 looks at wiring alternatives. This was done on a 1G DSM but the procedure should be similar for other cars.

Having trouble clearing the PTE turbo with the stock radiator fans was the perfect excuse to pick up a pair of Spal slim fans. They're lighter and offer better cooling than the stock fans, especially when you have it set up to have both turn on at the same time. I got one 12" fan (1230 cfm) for the passenger side and one 11" fan (970 cfm) for the driver side. Both are the pull type. Installation of the fans is pretty easy -- all you need to do is take the radiator out, position the fans on the radiator, then make some brackets and bolt them down with the supplied clips. I got the fans, clips, and screws from RRE and made the brackets out of aluminum strips from Home Depot. Of course, you can also get the fans and related hardware from eBay. Wiring the fans requires a little bit of thought, but if you understand how to use relays (see fuel pump rewire) it's pretty simple as well.

Pic of the strips of aluminum I got from Home Depot (I chose to use aluminum because I imagine stainless steel would be a major pain to cut using a dremel):

It's called "FLAT BAR PLANO" .... whatever that means. To me it's just "ALUMINUM STRIP".

Here's a pic of the clip installed on one of the fans:

I used 3 clips per fan, each one positioned near the stock mounting locations. Here's what the fans look like on the radiator:

I put the 12" fan on the passenger side because it's a bit taller/thicker than the 11" fan so it was sitting awfully close to the external wastegate dump tube. The 11" fan clears the dump tube just fine.

Measure and mark the length of the brackets:

Then cut to size and drill holes:

You might want to drill the holes before cutting the strips if you don't have access to a clamp/vise to hold the brackets down when drilling. I borrowed TCRA's vise to clamp the brackets down while I drilled the holes. I doubt you'd be able to hold the little brackets firmly with your hand and be able to drill holes in them :P

Pic of the fans installed on the radiator:

One thing to note when mounting the fans is to make sure the fans fit flush on the radiator. The fans suck air through the radiator so if they're not sitting flush against the radiator, they won't be as efficient. You can adjust how "deep" the clips go into the fan to get the fans to fit flush against the radiator. One problem I ran into when installing them is the mounting points on the driver side sit a lot lower than the ones on the passenger side. I had to use washers to get everything to fit correctly.