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"supercharging" your heater


Ruuman

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Hi All,

well with winter approaching and my rag top feeling colder than usual it was time to start playing with my heater again. Last year I stripped it down, cleaned the matrix inside and out and resealed everything and re-set the control cables. This did improve things a lot, but still not what I'll call great.

I happened to be trawling ebay dreaming of VNT turbos and came across some carp listings for electric superchargers for 40quid (these were discussed ages ago and don't work). There really boat bilge blowers for clearing fumes from engine bays. It suddenly occurred to me, these things generate no pressure, but do shift a lot of air. A bit of measuring and search made me purchase this.

It's an Attwood 3000 4inch bildge blower, 22quid + delivery, it draws very little power and shifts 250cfm (obviously with no restriction), 100% duty cycle and is designed for a marine environment.

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we then removed the odd air intake tube from the wing

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and cut the legs off the blower

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With some brute force, it fits snugly inside the intake pipe. As single self tapper fixed it in place. some minor trimming was also required.

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To finish off we wired the blower directly to the motor power on the defender heater box. This means the bilge blower also operates at 2 speeds. I also increased the fuse to 20amps instead of 10amp.

So what are the results, well I'm pleased, fan speed 1 actually does something now :) fan speed 2 much better I'd estimate maybe an extra 50-75% throughput. Though with the extra increase in flow it has revealed some leaks in my heater box, so still improvements to be had. There is slightly more noise from the additional fan, but you can't hear it over the engine. There is a nice roar coming from the vents though.

Only issue so far is it maybe over cooling my heater matrix at slow speeds!! :)

Truck being modified is a 1990 200tdi 90, thought I believe everything up to TD5 has this layout.

Cheers

Ruu

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Nice Mod!

Only issue so far is it maybe over cooling my heater matrix at slow speeds!! :)

That could well be the case, I have a 200tdi in my 90. At this time of year, the engine warms up far quicker if I leave the heater off. Then, once there's some warmth in the engine, Fan speed 1 is actually best for clearing the windscreen for the first few minutes, speed 2 takes away what little heat there is in the engine very quickly and ends up blowing cold until I've been driving for a mile or so.

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Why not fit a radiator baffle as well for the winter months - it's an old technique, but might be worth a try?

Like the bilge blower idea. :i-m_so_happy:

I have to admit, on my td5 the fan is actually quite effective on both speeds, but the matrix still takes far too long to heat up!

Cheers

Mark

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On the heater box leaks front, the output to my windscreen on full blower (standard unit) was pitiful, BUT i was still getting a heck of a draught around my legs. I looked at the flaps in the footwell portion of the heater box and they didnt really seal the hole. I cut a bit of camping mat foam a bit bigger than the hole and stuck it to the flap inside the box. Now, when the blower is directed at the windscreen, i get no leaks around mine or the passengers legs and 100% of the flow on the screen!

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Ok I have been thinking about this for a while and like your set up. I was thinking though that a lot of heat is generated from the exhaust, couldn’t someone rig up (don’t laugh) a system that transfers heat from the early section of the exhaust to say a copper pipe that is filled with water and fixed alongside the pipe This in turn runs to a small sealed panel inside the truck, You could isolate the panel when not needed to allow the water to just circulate without entering the panel/radiator.

Then perhaps a log burner and inglenook with horse brasses.. No just kidding with the last bit but the first bit could work couldn’t it…”probably :ph34r:

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Ok I have been thinking about this for a while and like your set up. I was thinking though that a lot of heat is generated from the exhaust, couldn’t someone rig up (don’t laugh) a system that transfers heat from the early section of the exhaust to say a copper pipe that is filled with water and fixed alongside the pipe This in turn runs to a small sealed panel inside the truck, You could isolate the panel when not needed to allow the water to just circulate without entering the panel/radiator.

Then perhaps a log burner and inglenook with horse brasses.. No just kidding with the last bit but the first bit could work couldn’t it…”probably :ph34r:

You'd probably have to have some kind of pressurised resovoir system like the coolant system on the car and a pump in the circuit somewhere. If the system you suggest was just a closed loop filled with water, i guess it would be a bit like a pressure cooker with no release for the pressure built up!

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any diesel landrover needs to run with a radiator muff during winter, it worked well even with the old series diesels, and they were converting more fuel to heat than work compared to the newer tdi engines :(

No they do not. It is -25 here right now. A muff does nothing as long as your thermostat is not leaking.

I use my 90 in this kind of weather regularly...

- Adjust the heater properly.

- Overhaul the heater box so that the flaps seal and there is no leakage past the matrix.

- Make sure the fan is working properly.

- Add insulation to the vehicle. It is poorly lacking in many places....

- Seal the doors...LOL...

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No they do not. It is -25 here right now. A muff does nothing as long as your thermostat is not leaking.

Well that's not quite true. It helps limit the ice cold airflow over the block, so it will heat up slightly quicker.

Last winter I changed the thermostat, which made a big improvement, and then I used a radiator cover (muff if you will) which made a further improvement still.

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Well that's not quite true. It helps limit the ice cold airflow over the block, so it will heat up slightly quicker.

Last winter I changed the thermostat, which made a big improvement, and then I used a radiator cover (muff if you will) which made a further improvement still.

So are you blocking the intercooler as well?

I've tried it on various vehicles. I live where is actually gets cold.... I see no real difference if the thermostat is leak free. You just leave yourself open to overheating.

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I've been thinking about exhaust heat for a while now too, but after being prompted by another thread I picked up a 12v electric heater matrix out of a Peagot, not actaully got it yet, so not sure on what size its going to be but I'm planning on putting it next to the water matrix already there, sort of slot it in. Hopefully it will arive this week, so going to get on it asap.

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No they do not. It is -25 here right now. A muff does nothing as long as your thermostat is not leaking.

I use my 90 in this kind of weather regularly...

- Adjust the heater properly.

- Overhaul the heater box so that the flaps seal and there is no leakage past the matrix.

- Make sure the fan is working properly.

- Add insulation to the vehicle. It is poorly lacking in many places....

- Seal the doors...LOL...

I agree 110%.

I have always said that as long as the cooling & heating systems are working correctly then there is no need for a rad-muff. I have a 90 soft-top 300TDi and even with the viscous-fan fitted and no rad-muff, when the engine is up to temp the heater chucks out plenty of heat. Ok, an electric-fan would probably reduce warm-up time (luke-warm at 2-3 miles and hot at 4-5 miles) but I can live with that perfectly well.

I boiled my old S111 back in 1987 by using a rad-muff. The temperature was -8 degrees, I had a fixed 4-blade-fan and there was limited air-flow through the muff but I had only gone about 6-miles before it boiled. Never used one since but that said, I have also made sure that my heaters were working correctly so I have never needed one anyway.

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I believe a rad muff is good idea because it blocks the cold air coming through the engine bay, not just the rad. I have winterised my defender ready for the cold - rad muff on now and when it get's colder I will take the fan off.

On my short commute of 5miles without a rad muff the engine does only just get upto temperature - now with the muff it does warm up quicker - no doubt. The stat is new and tested with a thermometer before fitment.

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I am going to fit a muff to my 130 as it takes about 8 miles to warm up as it has a Nissan 3.5TD in it so not worried about blocking an intercooler I do not have. I set the coolant and thermostat correctly but its just a really big block.

I will get one of the ones that velcros on and off so if it does start to over heat I can quickly remove the offending item.

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"On my short commute of 5miles without a rad muff the engine does only just get upto temperature - now with the muff it does warm up quicker - no doubt. The stat is new and tested with a thermometer before fitment."

Five miles! You lazy thing, you should be walking that distance and saving the planet. :D

That is a short run indeed but that said, my 300TDi is completely standard (i.e. viscous fan & no rad muff) and by 5-miles the engine is right up to temperature and the heater is performing fantastically. For the remainder of my 10-mile journey I turn the fan off and let through-flow air keep it warm & mist free (scoop fitted to heater intake).

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On the subject of using exhaust heat. This is a tried and tested method with light piston engined aircraft. These are predominantly air cooled and hence the exhaust is the optimum place for warming the air. There is no water involved, the air is simply passed through a jacket surrounding the exhaust pipe and then directed into the cabin. I am sure that this is not hard to fabricate for a LR. One very important point to note is that you should put a carbon monoxide detector inside your cab if you are doing this in order to pick up any leaks in the exhaust that will gently send you into a long sleep. These do not have to be the big ones like yo get for the house, you can get little paper ones about 5cm sauare that change colour.

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Landrover used to market as optional equipment a rad muff that you could vary the opening size on (series vehicles) so they obviously thought it was needed on occassions , as they used to take years to approve stuff . From personal experience with series vehicles ( a long time ago) I found them most efficaceous . As a further thing if you have an oil cooler fitted , its worth blanking off before you start fitting rad muff,unless you have inline thermostat valve fitted . I also remember fitting a curtain behind seats (109 2.25 dieselhardtop) to help the little round smiths heater cope. With a V8 I find I cant run heater on max for too long as it gets too hot :lol:

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And if no-ones mentioned it yet, removing the viscous fan and going electric warms the whole system a lot up quicker.

Liking the more powerful fan idea though.

Diesels don't warm up particularly quickly because they are a bit more efficient than a petrol engine where waste heat is concerned.

My door seals are "waitng to be done" as around 55-60 get a heck of an inrush of cold air through the seals. :o

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