The OEM fanstats in our beloved SabMags are set to conduct electricity at 100C, or 212F. If you're interested in swapping your OEM fanstat out for any of the ones listed here in the FAQ as alternatives, the task is simple enough, but here's a few things to be aware of.

First off, the OEM fanstats on the various vintage SabMags came in at least two basic varieties: single-contact and two-contact. In the single contact configuration, the fanstat acts as a switch (like any fanstat), but the electrical path it's switching is between it's single contact and ITS HOUSING. Thus, if you put an ohm meter (DVM, multimeter, etc.) between the fanstat's metal housing and the contact, you should read no continuity (open circuit) at room temperature. However, in your radiator, once the fanstat gets to its set temperature, it conducts electricity through itself to the radiator that it's screwed into.

In single contact fanstats, there's a ground wire brought to the radiator housing itself. The purpose for this is simple; the the radiator's mounting hardware is not designed to ground the radiator to the bike's chassis, but to hold the radiator on. The wire coming from the negative side of the battery grounds the radiator. Thus, when your fanstat conducts electricity, it allows that grounded radiator to send it's ground path to the fan. The other side of the fan is always hot (+12vdc).

In the dual-contact fanstat, there's (obviously) two contacts. This fanstat is "electrically isolated" from the radiator, ie: there's no conductivity from either of those contacts to the housing of the radiator, at any temperature. The switch path is in one contact and out the other (doesn't matter which way they're wired at all, since the switch is completely passive). In this case, the negative side of the battery's wired to one contact (ground) and the other contact is connected to the negative side of the fan. When the fanstat conducts, it just closes the switch and allows the ground path to flow to the fan, through itself.

If you are replacing a single-contact OEM fanstat with a dual-contact aftermarket version, simply take the one wire that's already going to the original fanstat and put it on one of the contacts of the new one. Take the other wire (that's going to the chassis of the radiator) and move it over to the other contact on the fanstat. A diagram for this is shown


If you're replacing a dual contact OEM with a single contact aftermarket (not very common), just do the opposite of the previous paragraph.

Now, some OEM fanstats had flat (blade) type "spade" contacts, while others had round (bayonet) types. If you buy a fanstat which has a different type of contact from what the wires originally had crimped on them, don't sweat it. Both sets of contacts are available from any auto parts store or Radio Shack. Just cut them off and crimp the appropriate ones on. If you don't have a decent electrical crimper, most hardware stores and all Radio Shacks sell them for anywhere from $8 to $200.

Unless you're planning on doing this regularly, buy a cheap one.

Fanstat schematic