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Old 04-16-2009, 01:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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cooker in your engine

I built an aluminum box and attached it to the exhaust manifold of my Town and Country Minivan and another to my old MB 300D. When in a trip, I could cook delicious beef, chicken, or pork steaks after driving about 150 miles (for a beef steak). My children could not wait to taste the meats.

It was very interest to see a cop directing traffic at an accident when he smelled the fried chicken in the middle of nowhere.

You may want to try this.

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Old 04-16-2009, 09:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The British put heaters in their armored fighting vehicles for brewing tea. Some get their heat off the exhaust. Some are electric.

The squaddies love them. The bloody wogs are banging away but the blokes can have a brew.
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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holy crap Dave that made me laugh a riot.


On topic, I've been using this idea on snowmachine trips for a decade+. Toss a burrito in there, ride for a couple hours, stop on a hillside or mountain top, crack the case, enjoy a hot burrito or whatnot even when it's 10-20* outside. Yeah, it's awesome. Not sure why I have never bothered to do this for my car, I know it'd be useful on those 10-12 hour drives. I'm sure the wife would appreciate more than ritz and cheese.
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've seen this a few times. Even Mother Earth News showed an article on it, back in the day - a homebrew rig that was a pot inside a kettle, and exhaust routed through the space between. That stuck out behind the truck, so I imagine it looked kinda weird. Convenient though - no lifting the hood.

I've done it a couple of times with heavy-duty aluminum foil. First you make up your meal and package that inside a tightly sealed pocket of foil - crimp the edges to keep any crud out. Then make a tent to go over that, and park the whole shebang in the V between cylinder banks. The tent keeps excess draft away and lets things get nice and toasty. You might be able to do without the tent. If you've got a turbo, there's a serious heat source right there.

Thinking about it, it may be more of a waste energy-wise to do up a meal like that and then throw all that aluminum foil away. But it does a good job of using heat that might otherwise go to waste, and you can save a few bucks eating on the road, instead of -um- roadside. Anyway.
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Old 04-17-2009, 01:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Humm... How about a distill your own ethanol conversion? Fill a pot with mash, exhaust heat boils it, condensing coils go in front of the radiator, the end product drips into the gas tank - with, of course, a takeoff valve so you can get some for human consumption :-)
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The cooker might be something to try for some of my downstate trips with the little one. Would make things more interesting too, rather than just fast food.

One time I cooked a frozen burrito on my dash. It was during the day headed south so I had hot sun on the dash for 3 hours straight.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I picked up the cookbook on the topic, Manifold Destiny, 15 years ago at a used book fair. I just checked; used copies are available at Amazon, Kindle too!

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Old 04-18-2009, 04:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This is the first half decent idea for using wasted exhaust heat.

The ethanol idea has got some real merits.

Taking a dump, or picking some weeds off the roadside, could get you home without having to full up....
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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A variation on this is the automotive butter churn. Pour milk into a container, strap it to the car's frame, then drive for about an hour down some bumpy roads. Open the container at your destination and pour out a lump of butter and buttermilk. Works best with tractors or other rough suspended vehicles. Great for when you are headed out into the boonies with milk in your supplies, but you forgot to get butter at the store.

Alternatively you can shake the container vigorously for about 20 minutes and get the same result, which I have done on occasion when I had run out of butter, but didn't want to run out to the store for more.
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Old 04-18-2009, 05:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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