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wesgardner
12-01-2005, 09:09 AM
Here are some fabrication pics of my homemade heater...the basic components are A Rule bilge blower - 230 cfm and a heater core from a Ford van (from e-bay $17)

Wes

wesgardner
12-01-2005, 09:20 AM
Here's the basic wood box

wesgardner
12-01-2005, 09:21 AM
Another view of the box with holes cut for the blower intake and duct piping..it's tabbed togther with some glass tape I had laying around from projects past...

wesgardner
12-01-2005, 09:22 AM
ere's a "try fit" of the parts in the box

wesgardner
12-01-2005, 09:23 AM
Here's the core "foamed" in place

wesgardner
12-01-2005, 09:24 AM
Here's another view of the core foamed in place and the blower installed

wesgardner
12-01-2005, 09:24 AM
Here's a view of the box showing the blower intake and the two duct pipe attachments

wesgardner
12-01-2005, 09:26 AM
Here's the thing in the boat...haven't hooked the hot water supply and return up yet and the other duct I haven't routed up to where it will dump in the observer's lap...the duct shown goes to the walk-thru to the bow...the box measures approximately 7x8x9...


Wes

beef
12-01-2005, 11:36 AM
Nice work!

Not to blow your budget ;) but have you considered picking up a couple of the HeaterCraft hot tubes for the business end? It sure is nice to be able to put the heat exactly where you need it.

jimmer2880
12-01-2005, 06:09 PM
Wow..... That is one sweet project. Nice work Wes

88 PS190
12-01-2005, 06:31 PM
what's your plan on wiring and plumbing. Have you decided to rig multiple speeds for the electric? or just on off to the accessory switch?

rodltg2
12-01-2005, 06:53 PM
looks really good for homemade. what did the whole porject cost after buying all the parts including hoses, switches, wiring etc..??

MCPS205
12-01-2005, 11:01 PM
That looks great. I too have been making heaters. We used similar heater cores. Some things that I have learned along the way... If you have access to a stamping press, it is nice to press a sheet metal box and weld it up. Second, the Squirrel Cage blowers, such as the ones that heatercraft uses tend to have a little more UMPF when they are turning. The unrestrticted airflow of the blower fans is about the same, but they dont have much power when you start restricting the airflow by the heater core. Just an observation that I noticed. We built one where we had the blower fans inline with the tubes where it "pulled" the heat through the core instead of "pushed" it through. This didnt work very well either for the same reason above... the blower fans didnt seem to have as much UMPH. Your craftsmanship looks top notch!

wesgardner
12-02-2005, 12:12 PM
Hey All,

All up - $140..the blower blows pretty strong....just on/off for electrical...Access 1 on my panel.

Craftsmanship...what craftsmanship...all freehand, my table saw is buried under boxes from moving a year ago! You'll never see it and hopefully it won't ever get wet...just call me the tack and tape cowboy...yeeehaaa

I can't weld, I can't bend metal (accurately)

Wes

M-Funf
12-02-2005, 01:52 PM
Wow...that's really sweet! Great job Wes!!!!

I'm thinking my driver (wife) would really like a little heat when it's chilly out.

I may have to build one of these this winter :D

Question: Do you think it's possible to use an electric heater rather than hot water with a heater core??? Or is that too much load on the electrical system?

:toast:

wesgardner
12-02-2005, 02:34 PM
Dunno, I've been tempted to buy one of those 12V electric car blankets...$25 +/- can't go wrong.

My assumption is the electric route is more expensive/PITA otherwise all the boatbuilders would go that route...the hot water alternative really isn't a big deal...I say that but I've got my entire boat torn up for 1) heater 2) ballast system 3) tower so access is mostly there already I saw the J.C. Whitney has heaters for "reasonable"...

Wes

88 PS190
12-02-2005, 05:36 PM
Nice thing about the hot water is that you already make it, so you aren't loosing anything along the way besides to power the fan.

If you did electric you'd have to load the engine to make the power to heat the thing up. Instead of just letting the force of water flow keep you warm.

M-Funf
12-13-2005, 04:11 PM
I'm still torn on this one. On one hand, I like the idea of using the hot water that's already available, and would be less strain on the electrical system. On the other hand, the simplicity of an electric heater is almost too hard to pass up...I just don't know if it would put out enough heat...

I found this one for 28 bux. I might just buy it, plug it into my car to see how well it works and then decide...

Electric Heater (http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&langId=-1&catalogId=10001&productId=100538)

beef
12-13-2005, 04:16 PM
I'd be interested to see how that works. I have a buddy that tried a 12 volt hair dryer & it wouldn't even get warm on the boat. I'm pretty much convinced that the only way to get loads of heat for 2 or 3 people is w/a hot water heat exchanger. If you get the electric heater, please post a review.

Leroy
12-13-2005, 04:20 PM
Only problem is that device is under 500 BTU, and the heater like Wesgardner made is probably 20,000 to 30,000 BTU. Over 40 times less heat, buy one and give us a report!



I'm still torn on this one. On one hand, I like the idea of using the hot water that's already available, and would be less strain on the electrical system. On the other hand, the simplicity of an electric heater is almost too hard to pass up...I just don't know if it would put out enough heat...

I found this one for 28 bux. I might just buy it, plug it into my car to see how well it works and then decide...

Electric Heater (http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&langId=-1&catalogId=10001&productId=100538)

ski_king
12-13-2005, 04:29 PM
I also dont think it will work very well.
Unless my math is off 13 amps x 12 volts = 156 watts = not much heat

Engine coolant is the only way to go IMHO.

M-Funf
12-13-2005, 04:32 PM
I'm pretty much convinced that the only way to get loads of heat for 2 or 3 people is w/a hot water heat exchanger.

I'm really not concerned about the others in the boat...just the driver. I don't have plans to add lots of ductwork to direct the air to other parts of the boat, but that is something to think about...

If you get the electric heater, please post a review.

Will do :toast:

Kevin 89MC
12-13-2005, 06:25 PM
I also dont think it will work very well.
Unless my math is off 13 amps x 12 volts = 156 watts = not much heat

Engine coolant is the only way to go IMHO.
Yep, that's right. Even the household heaters (@110 volts) don't compare to a furnace (heat exchanger) with a blower. Think of the old "milkhouse" plug in heaters, or the little fan powered ones you can buy. They have 10X the power, and they wouldn't do much better than the heat exchanger heaters. Not saying it won't work, just that it probably isn't worth it. ICBW . . .
Kevin

M-Funf
12-13-2005, 06:34 PM
Yep, that's right. Even the household heaters (@110 volts) don't compare to a furnace (heat exchanger) with a blower. Think of the old "milkhouse" plug in heaters, or the little fan powered ones you can buy. They have 10X the power, and they wouldn't do much better than the heat exchanger heaters. Not saying it won't work, just that it probably isn't worth it. ICBW . . .
Kevin

O.K. I'm convinced that the 12VDC version will be too whimpy for the application, so I've printed the thread showing the pictures and will build my own box this winter...just what I need...another project 8p

Laurel_Lake_Skier
12-13-2005, 10:15 PM
If you need any more reason not to go the electric route.......many years ago when I had a VW bug (the old air cooled version with crappy heat) I bought one of those to defrost the windshield. My wife and I often laugh about the trips where I drove and she held the "heater" up to the windshield to clear an 8" spot to look through above the steering wheel. They sound like a great idea but are almost useless!

88 PS190
12-13-2005, 10:22 PM
now, if you know the history of the VW bug, and the Porsche 356 series you'll find that porsche uses an engine that is very similar as they were both Dr. porsche products. The 356 offered an optional additional heater to warm the compartment, but it ran off fuel and was mounted where the spare tire sits in the front, in front of the tank.

They work, but can you imagine the possibilities of CO inhalation.

Workin' 4 Toys
12-13-2005, 10:59 PM
Only problem is that device is under 500 BTU, and the heater like Wesgardner made is probably 20,000 to 30,000 BTU. Over 40 times less heat, buy one and give us a report!
My thoughts exactly. I doubt you will "feel" the heat at all at the CFM you would need from the fan.

wesgardner
12-14-2005, 09:09 AM
My recollection of VW's was holding the cigarette lighter up to the widshield to clear two small holes in which to see thru....

Also something about building a little fire in a can in the front of my bug never really appealed to me much...

Maybe this...

http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/ItemBrowse/c-10101/s-10101/p-100000183837/mediaCode-ZX/appId-100000183837/Pr-p_CATENTRY_ID:100000183837


Wes

Holtrodj
12-15-2005, 12:26 AM
I also dont think it will work very well.
Unless my math is off 13 amps x 12 volts = 156 watts = not much heat

Engine coolant is the only way to go IMHO.

OK, I'm not an electrician, explain this to me please. I'm thinking about building something like this heater, but I think I'd use two blowers (just to get the airflow). If each draws 4.5 amps, when would I be pushing my electrical system too far? There's the possibility I'd be running all of this at once:

- Blowers for Heater (new next season)
- Engine Blower
- Shower pump (new next season)
- Gauges
- Lights
- Can't forget the radio (just standard, nothing special)

I just have the single battery setup and no special modifications to the alternator. I can't imagine the system can support an infinate amount of draw.... Right??

Footin
12-15-2005, 12:29 AM
OK, I'm not an electrician, explain this to me please. I'm thinking about building something like this heater, but I think I'd use two blowers (just to get the airflow). If each draws 4.5 amps, when would I be pushing my electrical system too far? There's the possibility I'd be running all of this at once:

- Blowers for Heater (new next season)
- Engine Blower
- Shower pump (new next season)
- Gauges
- Lights
- Can't forget the radio (just standard, nothing special)

I just have the single battery setup and no special modifications to the alternator. I can't imagine the system can support an infinate amount of draw.... Right??


Would you be running all these accessories at the same time?

Leroy
12-15-2005, 12:50 AM
Hotrod; Your alternator is probably good for 65 amps or so. My guestimate is if you are running everything it is around 50 amps, use below and adjust the numbers based on what you find out. I think you are ok, unless you want to sit for awhile while running all below. You'll have to ask yourself, if you will use all while sitting. Shower tends to be intermittent, will you really run lights when shower is running



OK, I'm not an electrician, explain this to me please. I'm thinking about building something like this heater, but I think I'd use two blowers (just to get the airflow). If each draws 4.5 amps, when would I be pushing my electrical system too far? There's the possibility I'd be running all of this at once:

- Blowers for Heater (new next season)9 amps
- Engine Blower 4 amps
- Shower pump (new next season) 5 amps
- Gauges 1 amp
- Lights 15 amps
- Can't forget the radio (just standard, nothing special) 15 amps

I just have the single battery setup and no special modifications to the alternator. I can't imagine the system can support an infinate amount of draw.... Right??

Holtrodj
12-15-2005, 08:06 PM
Hotrod; Your alternator is probably good for 65 amps or so. My guestimate is if you are running everything it is around 50 amps, use below and adjust the numbers based on what you find out. I think you are ok, unless you want to sit for awhile while running all below. You'll have to ask yourself, if you will use all while sitting. Shower tends to be intermittent, will you really run lights when shower is running

No, your probibly right. I won't run all at the same time. I just didn't know what 'capacity' would be. I think I was getting Amps mixed up with the volt gauge. How does this work? Do you have 65 amps at 12-13 volts?

Leroy
12-15-2005, 10:11 PM
Holtrodj; Yes, typical alternator is ~65 amps at 13.7 volts or so. If you can find out the amps of all of the loads just add them up to see where you get. Think of volts as staying constant at 13.7 volts and then the load on the battery is just amps pulled through any device, headlight, radio, etc. The alternator creates up to 65 amps and is regulated depending on the load.



No, your probibly right. I won't run all at the same time. I just didn't know what 'capacity' would be. I think I was getting Amps mixed up with the volt gauge. How does this work? Do you have 65 amps at 12-13 volts?

wesgardner
12-16-2005, 09:20 AM
FYI

watts = volts x amps

If that helps in finding loads....


Wes