I got a PM yesterday asking if I would share the details of my heater door "or, better yet, put a post on the forum." This is a modified version of the rectangular ones I've seen on other discussions of heaters.
The grille is made out of 22 gauge and has a .100" lip around it. The slide door is 20 gauge. It might have been better to make them a little thicker. The knob is turned from 7/8" steel bar. A drawer pull and a screw would work just as well.
Several years ago I built one for my Tudor with a door that hinges but the door doesn't like to stay open and scrapes the side of the coil box.
Cool! Or should I say Warm? Both I suppose if it works as good as it looks.
Thanks "a bunch" Richard; I think that's a great design! Great photos too, and when you get it all assembled and in the car, a photo or two showing how it joins up with the heater would be great as well! I for one think your metal work is almost as good as your paintings,......harold
Great job, Richard. I like it!!
My TT has a flat floorboard that rests on the chassis, but does not angle up over the hogshead. The hogshead and the back side of the engine block along with the upper part of the exhaust pipe are just exposed to the cab interior. So I get PLENTY of engine heat, but it doesn't have doors or a roof so there's good ventilation.
Having said that, for a closed car in particular, isn't there some risk of engine fumes and leaked exhaust entering the car and harming the occupants with this kind of set-up? Could this be the reason cars eventually went to the engine coolant for a heat source as an alternative to raw engine heat?
It just seems you'd want to be particularly attentive to exhaust leaks and the like with this sort of heater.
Beautiful job on the heater door. I may steal your design if you don't mind.
A thought for the Tudor heater door, Just turn it around so the door faces down when you open it. The downward slope will keep it open, it won't scratch your coil box, and it will reflect the heat away from the seat.
Nice! I already bookmarked this thread for future reference because I would like to put something together for my coupe as my year-round car.
Henry P, Yes, carbon monoxide is a concern that everyone using such a heater should be aware of. It is one of the reasons manufacturers went away from exhaust heat and mostly settled on engine water heat. Numerous discussions have pretty much concluded that most model Ts, even closed models, have enough air leaks and circulation to not be a serious risk. (But a risk none-the-less) I know that both the center-door sedan I used to have and my coupe are a bit drafty.
Thanks for sharing this, and with such nice photos!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
By all means, be aware of the carbon monoxide danger. We discussed this a few weeks ago and I mentioned I drive with the heater usually a half hour at a time and have several places where fresh air sneaks in. The duct for this heater is mounted snugly on top of the Exhaust nut. Hopefully any leaking exhaust around the nut would be carried back while driving. Due to the heavy construction of these heater manifolds they usually don't warp and therefore seal against the block fairly well. My wife and I have noticed no ill effects or unpleasant odors. A long drive would be more risky just as it is in Model "A"s that have manifold heaters. I have heard of no problems from the Model "A" crowd on this.
Us topless folks just bundle up a little more. Everything is cooler over 50 mph. =D
One other problem with this heater manifold is that you can't use a standard hot air pipe to the carburetor. If you need the heater you probably also need the air pipe. Rather than cut up an original, I have made one for each car using a maple form. It takes a little hammering and I put a separate piece in the back side of the bend as they did in many of the original air pipes. I made this one today and thought I would post it before I go on to the next project.
Thanks for the interest and comments.
Great sheet metal work
Looks like a new manifold, where do you source them from?
Ken, the manifold is an original. It was sandblasted. I have seen three in the last 10 or so years at the 2 or 3 small swap meets I go to. They show up on ebay occasionally. I don't think they are too scarce and all I have seen are this same make. Arvin I think someone said.
Rich - This to me has proven to be a very interesting thread! The only problem I see is that it is obvious that your skill in sheet metal work far surpasses that of many of the rest of us,....me for sure! In the event that one is not able to locate a specially made manifold like yours (cast with horizontal fins to radiate heat)....do you think that if a sheet metal cover was fabricated and some way affixed over the top and side of a standard Model T manifold, do you think it would be effective or would it produce/project so little heat inside the car as to be not effective enough to make such a project worth the time and trouble?
One other question,.....does the forward end of the sheet metal cover have some sort of flaired-out bell shape to it so as to "catch" more air from the fan (like a cast iron Model A manifold heater cover) or are the sides and top of the cover just straight out at the front?
Just wondering your thoughts, and thanks so much for the reply to my "PM" and for this post and your great photos and explanation,.....harold
Nice job! That looks so well done!
But I have to ask, how well do those heaters work? I'm just curious here. I figure if its anything like the heater boxes that my VW used to have, it'll roast you out of the car!
Light aircraft use exhaust manifold heaters, similar to the one in this thread. They use CO detectors in the cockpit to warn the occupants if exhaust gases are entering the cabin. The cheapest ones are simply a piece of treated paper that changes color when exposed to CO, or you can spend more for an electronic model with an audible alarm.
Thank you Harold for encouraging me to post this thread. I do a lot of things that are amusing to me but don't always know what is useful of the Forum.
My skills are just things I have picked up over the years from car folks. If you try you learn.
They sold an aluminum shroud for stock Model A manifolds. Some of the Model A folks could tell you how well they worked. I'm sure a cover on a standard manifold would let some heat in but may be even more of a carbon monoxide worry than this heater. (warpage of the manifold/leaking exhaust). Even a hole in the floorboards might let some heat in.
The photo above shows a flare-out I put on the cover for my Tudor years ago. The only original shrouds I have ever seen had no flair-out.
Cameron, the heater in the Tudor does take the chill off on a 20 to 0 degree F day. It doesn't really warm up the car. If I sealed the doors and windows better it might heat more but then there is the carbon monoxide worry again. The heater for this coupe may do better as the opening in the floor is larger and the space inside a coupe is smaller.
Thanks again guys.
WOW! Thanks again Rich! That last photo (another beauty!) really completes an excellent illustration of your project.
I sure agree with your assessment of the increased carbon monoxide danger with a cover over the standard manifold. However, I have a Wilmo combination manifold on my depot hack and it runs great! I like combination manifolds like the Wilmo, and, especially the Anco, which are really not too hard to find. One of the main reasons I like combination manifolds is the fact that they are VERY resistant to warping due to the fact that with the combined intake and exhaust manifold, they are a very massive casting and there just has to be a bit of cooling effect from the integral intake passage as well, all of which, I believe practically eliminates any manifold warping from heat.
As I mentioned, combination manifolds are not too hard to find as they were a very common accessory back in the days when gasoline was so poor and contained so much kerosene. That was the main reason for accessory combination manifolds; better atomization of poor quality fuel.
My other thought is that with the combination manifold, I believe that there is less need for the hot air pipe, which in the case of your project Rich, must have been quite labor intensive to fabricate, and would probably be impossible for those like me that don't have your sheet metal working skills!
Sorry for the long-winded post here, but this has been a very "thought-provoking" thread Rich, and I for one appreciate your sharing of your skills as a "Tin Lizzie" mechanic, sheet metal worker and photographer! Now then, one of your beautiful paintings of the whole thing,......naw,.......just kidding,.......(kinda'),.......Thanks again Rich,......harold
Very nice work Richard,
shall do to my car the same way.
I too made up a reproduced heater and heater door years back for a T starting with an aftermarket cast iron heater that clamped on the exhaust pipe. I made up wooden patterns and cast the grate and slider in aluminum plus the base unit that would fit to the reproduced heater that was now being cast in aluminum also. No interest was shown when I posted it here so it got dropped as a worthwhile casting project.
These early pictures show the wooden pattern slider being used to show it in the open and closed positions.