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Heater: A Job Well Done

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  • Cool/Heat: Heater: A Job Well Done

    Just finished my Heater system 'rebuild' on '56 259 Power Hawk. So much easier with input from you all.
    In an effort to get better defrosting, I used 'Y's instead of 'T's, and since I couldn't find any to buy, I made my own outa copper pipe. Since the joint was essentially a butt joint, I was concerned about strength, so I wrapped the joint in Epoxy putty. I also put the 'Y' before the heater valve so as to get heat to the defroster sooner and to run defroster without heater, not sure if this is the right thing, but I can move it later (If you all tell me what an idiot I am for doing it this way ). I also ran bigger hose to the defroster till just before the firewall.
    I had my radiator re-cored by A1 Radiator in Fortuna, Ca for 150.00. Very nice job, but it is 1.5" shorter, biggest core they could find. So I had to do a little filing and fabricate a mount-block off plate. It seems to work just fine, lots of heat.
    I also went a bit nuts cleaning up the heater box... got perhaps a few hours into scraping, cleaning, wire brushing, rust converter and paint.
    Regrets? I should have researched heater hose options material/quality/price (comments please). I've since found that heater cores are available for affordable prices, but when I made my decision all I found were 300.00 and used.
    Feels good to get to know my car more intimately and to know that it should work for years to come. EXCEPT: as I was hooking up the hoses to the manifold, I noticed quite a bit of corrosion blockage inside the manifold, perhaps 25% flow restriction. I expect the whole motor looks the same inside?
    Rafe Hollister
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I've always felt the under seat heaters were a bit of overkill, as I've never had any trouble keeping the interior toasty once it's warmed up, even without running the squirrel cage, simply intake from the fender vent. And that includes back when these cars were my daily winter drivers.
    And I think channeling more heated coolant to the defroster core is a good idea.
    Brad Johnson,
    SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
    '56 Sky Hawk in process


    • #3
      How do you intend to turn off the heat of the defroster in the summertime?


      • #4
        Good question Bensherb, just about the time I'm thinkin' I'm pretty clever...
        My car has a three position defroster toggle switch; off in middle, hi and low in the other two positions. By your question, I'm assuming this only regulates the defroster fan and doesn't actually turn the water on/off ?
        The Studebaker heater valve (climatizer?) was bypassed on my car, but is still in firewall. I was assuming the defroster has a similar valve. No?
        I can move my 'Y' junction behind the water heater valve. But in my semi rain forest climate, it might be OK to have it on all the time.
        PS Both of my fans are noisy and sometimes take a few jiggles of the switch to come on. Are they rebuildable? If not, is there an economical alternative?


        • #5
          The switches are probably dirty. You can, carefully, dismantle and clean their contacts. Same with the fans, could be loose bushings, bearings or no lube, or just junk in the fan. You won't know until they're apart. I don't know about the Stude ones, but I have used motors from late model vehicles to replace those of early cars, and to change from 6V to 12V. Anything is possible with the right effort, it just depends if it's worh the effort to you.


          • #6
            I have more effort that money. I will put fans on my list of things to do, but it is a long list!