View Full Version : GT Hawk Heaters

04-10-2006, 09:53 PM
Can anybody explain the heating system in a 62 Hawk? I have a heater under the passenger seat and another aux heater under the driver's seat. The heater under the passenger seat works well (thanks Dave!), but the whole premise eludes me. Why were the heaters under the seats? Also, the body parts book seems to indicate a toggle for the driver's heater and there is one under the dash on the left side that is loose (flappin, really...:)) and I wonder if replacing the switch would make it work. Studied them when I had the seats out and I don't get it.

It would be nice to get it working this summer...that passenger heater didn't really keep MY feet warm!

04-10-2006, 10:17 PM
quote:Why were the heaters under the seats? What, you don't have heated seats in your late model car? ;) Once again, Studebaker was ahead of it's time! [8D] While it was standard in the industry to have the heater core under the dash, I'm not sure there was room there in the Studes. And, it makes sense to keep momma's backside warm... if momma's not happy, NOBODY'S happy! [B)] The auxilary seat warmer under the driver's seat was for whem Momma was behind the wheel, don't ya know! [^]

quote:I wonder if replacing the switch would make it work.I think that is all that is needed, but I'm no electrician, so didn't try. (I wear rubber gloves when changing a light bulb.) :D Really, there is no doubt in my mind that the switch is bad, as it is loose, as you describe. (For those not familiar with the car/auction, I did mention that flaw when I presented the car.) I suppose it is possible that you might find another problem elsewhere when you replace the switch, but my bet is the motor will work.

quote:Studied them when I had the seats out and I don't get it. I know what you mean. I replaced several hoses under there, and it is a plumbing nightmare! (I'm not a plumber, either.) [xx(] Actually, since the plumbing is hooked up, when the heater valve is open, the heater core under the seat will circulate hot water... which will provide more heat over there than a car without the auxilary heater would. But, I'd give the new switch a shot!


04-10-2006, 10:46 PM
'62 Hawk heaters are a living museum exhibit for automotive comfort fixtures. Way back when, when dashes were little and the designers wanted to hide the unsightly heater box, they came upon the idea of putting it under the seat. Since your hawk is basically a '53 design, that is where it stayed until '63 when Studebaker finally ponied up some money to move the heater core to the engine compartment.
I can't say for certain, but I would suspect that the way these heaters are plumbed (and you should be really pleased that your car has this rare option) is that they are in series with the control valve controlling the circulation of the warm water to both heater units. Appearantly the switch under the dash is for the seperate blower motor to move the warmed air out of the heater core compartment.
As I have said before, Studebaker made cars for smart people and they are definitely 'Different by Design'.
Viva la difference!

Tim K.
'64 R2 GT Hawk

04-10-2006, 10:58 PM
quote:Appearantly the switch under the dash is for the seperate blower motor to move the warmed air out of the heater core compartment.Yep.


Blue 15G
04-11-2006, 06:17 AM
Most Studes just had one heater core and it was on the passenger side. This was discusssed on this forum recently. IIRC, wasn't the additional (driver's side) core offered because of the Hawk's bucket seats/console setup, and it was needed to provide more heat to the driver's side?

I know on my '54 the (passenger side only) heater will cook you right out of the car if you let it, and it definitely provides heat to the driver's feet as well. Of course, my car has a bench seat though.

I know Studebaker had good engineers, but this is one of those arrangements that makes you wonder if they put a lot of engineering into the design, or just said "Let's try this and see if it works!" [:p]

04-11-2006, 11:11 AM
Your logic makes sense, Tim. I guess I should have felt of the actual box to see if there was warmth when the heat was on. It would seem that if the two cores were plumbed in sequence that both sides would heat even if there was no blower to move it out faster on the driver's side. Supposed to be cool tonight...maybe I'll give it a spin and check it out. Is there a control valve that could stop circulation to the driver's side?

Dave did point out the switch before Butters got here....I'm just grateful he fixed the passenger side....:D

SASCO the best place for replacement toggles?

04-11-2006, 03:48 PM
One of the reasons for underseat heaters was to provide nearly equal heat to both front and rear seat passengers. An underdash heater doesn't heat the lower extremities of rear seat passengers very well.

Gary L.
1954 Commander Starliner (restomod)
1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)

04-11-2006, 04:34 PM
And now for the bad side.

When I drove these new, my tall friends feet would find these things and kick in the fins, resulting in warm, moisture laden air finding its way to the windows, making it impossible to see - unless you handed out scrapers to everyone at the start of the trip.

These things sometimes don't turn off properly in summer. While this helps with the cooling of the motor, it also helps cook whoever is in the hotseat of the car in the summer. The big gaping hole open to the road when the 4" tubing rots from under the car is the culprit here.

In general though, we were warm, but the Larks were a much better winter car.


04-13-2006, 10:05 PM
Paul, you bring back memories of my high school buddies jammed into the Hawk during a Wisconsin winter. It was a challenge to keep the ice off the windows even when everything was in proper working order! Between the fabric tube rotting off and the feeble defroster and frequently 4 pairs of snow covered feet the windows were usually a mite foggy. One of the unusual weeknesses of the system was discovered one day when I ventured down a dirt road with a high center. After leaving it and returning to the highway the engine soon overheated. Where did all the coolant go? Oh, I see, that branch under the car yanked the heater hose off!

Tim K.
'64 R2 GT Hawk

04-14-2006, 06:23 AM
Im nearly sure GTTims right,my 60 Canadian built Hawk has the dual under seat heaters,and there is a seperate toggle switch under the left side of the dash that turns on the blower for the drivers side unit.I think once the heater valve is open(nearly sure) coolant circulates through both cores.
Ive driven Hawks in fairly cold weather late in the fall and that warm air coming from under the seat sure is nice,so I think it was a good idea,except for that piece of "dryer vent" hose under the pass. side fender.

04-14-2006, 08:28 AM
At Reedsville I bought some modern rubber over plastic hose for the heater of my '55; looks a lot more substantial and durable than the original tar paper over wire hose. I'm pretty sure I bought it from Dave Thibeault. Heater keeps things nice and toasty inside.


55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop