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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    NJ
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    1,031

    Default Cheap or homemade heater?

    With cold weather upon us I'm thinking about adding a heater to the Saltare. I normally push through mid-late October but this year I have a good 4/3 suit so I'm thinking late November, maybe December.At that point I'd likely be draining the block and manifolds after each session, but such is life. A heater would make it a lot more pleasant. The heatercraft units look decent but are around $400 (I think) for a 3 outlet. I'm thinking it wouldn't be hard to buy a heater core and make a box out of sheet metal. Would have to figure out a blower motor, and I'm sure I can come up with some hose to attach to the box to make a few outlets/hoses to use.

    Has anyone done this before? The biggest uncertainty is a blower motor and how to mount it. I was considering scavenging something from a car out of the junkyard for a motor and wheel/housing to push air. What do you guys think? Any cheaper off the shelf units? Try building it myself? Just considering options and cost at this point.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    syracuse Indiana
    Posts
    425

    Default

    Ducted Heater Kit by Heater Craft

    Part #HCT47-0760-U200H Quantity:
    Update $167.99
    Check out, http://www.4wd.com/Heating-And-Cooli...T47-0760-U200H

    I have used several of these units, They are great. You can utilize the vents also out of the blower manifold box. Does not include hose or fitings, but you can buy locally cheap. Use 3" blower hose for the ductwork.
    Good luck Al
    Supra Beast
    Custom 496 MPI HO 425 hp
    Custom Teak floor

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    Cool. I found one by another company for a similar price that seems to have a larger heater core and another outlet.

    http://racewayparts.com/ah457.aspx

    Winter riding will probably just be 3 of us in the boat when I'm lucky enough to get a crew, so 1 vent for each person would be good. I'm already having trouble getting people to come out because "it's cold" so I'm thinking a heater might be what it takes to make sure I have a crew.

    So what's the best way to attach these things? For plumbing I was thinking traditional hose out of the intake right before the thermostat, and for the return I was thinking about splicing in before the raw water pump... Hoping to get good flow even at idle. Is this the best way to do it? What are the alternatives for plumbing?

    For mounting, my thoughts are to put it up under the dash, maybe mounted right below the little cubby on the right of the bow walkthrough. My Perfect Pass is mounted there but I can move it if there's not enough room. I figure mounted long side vertical with the heater in/out low so it'll drain easily. What about vents? I'd hate to cut up the boat. I'm thinking just have 3 long sections of hose tucked up under the dash and just grab them when needed. Alternatively maybe I could keep one hose under the dash and two on the observer seat base? Cut a hole in the base so the hose can be pulled through? I don't know, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself but just thinking of ideas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    Also, what about running a hotter thermostat? I run a 145* now which wouldn't kick off a huge amount of heat. I stay well above the saltwater line so not too worried about that. It's a PCM 454 and my thermostat is not a normal one but rather the goofy long one.

    I use this: http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=RP026003

    Will this one work? It looks similar but different ... http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=RP026001

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    NW Houston
    Posts
    1,331

    Default

    No experience with boat heaters, although we did use a hot water shower set-up to fill our wetsuits many boats back.

    There are very few options for tstats to fit the original housing on the PCM 454 and they are pricey. Like the description in your second link says, you can turn down standard automotive tstats to fit - cheaper and more temp options. My old tstat was shot and a housing nipple was cracked, so I sprung for the extra $ and got the updated housing that uses standard tstats.

    http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=RK025026

    It works fine, but be aware that the location of the raw water and water pump hose locations are swapped with the nipples for the manifold lines. This puts the larger O.D. hoses at the front and clearance is tight with the alternator belt. I had to modify the hose support clamp to avoid any rubbing. The old hoses may not have lined up properly either, but I was cutting all new hoses anyway. Just another option for you.
    _______________89 Saltare Resto Project___________
    _________Then________________________Now_____

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Dixon, IL and Columbia, MO
    Posts
    768

    Default

    Beast, in the description of the unit you posted it says it comes with 12 feet of hose. Were you referring to a different hose when you said it doesn't come with it? I've been wanting to do this for quite a while but don't know much about them, might make for a great winter project.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    NJ
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    Default

    I think it comes with 12' of 5/8" heater hose (water) but does not come with the 3" air hose (blower hose) you would use for the hot air.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Dixon, IL and Columbia, MO
    Posts
    768

    Default

    I see, that makes sense.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    syracuse Indiana
    Posts
    425

    Default

    I believe it does come with the vent hose, nice black vent hose. I know they don't come with water hose, however it does come with the three speed switch and wiring. As for the thermostat, 160* is standard, and if you want boosted heater performance, add a 12volt circulation/water pump. 3.3 gpm works great. This allows for greater water circulation or you can tap into the intake manifold plug for +water flow and then dump the -pressure prior to the raw water pump. This creates an excellant flow of water and great heat. Good luck Al
    Supra Beast
    Custom 496 MPI HO 425 hp
    Custom Teak floor

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    My thermostat is 145* and normal engine temps around 150*, so would need a higher thermostat to get much heat. I've run cars with 160* thermostats when running high compression on the ragged edge of detonation on pump gas... Not much heat.

    Out of curiosity, is there room under the doghouse for a heat exchanged and closed coolant system?

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