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Old 12-15-2008, 07:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Only time I ever heard of using oil to heat the car was a mining equipment guy in Grand Junction CO, who drove an old VW Thing. Great snow car, but a lousy heater. He rigged up an oil cooler and a fan in a sheet metal box and controlled it with a switch and a manual valve. Worked like a champ.

Any oil-heated cars would be the work of determined DIY freaks.

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Old 12-15-2008, 09:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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A real stretch, the waterpump works harder to push the coolant through another heat exchanger, increasing the surface area in which the coolant must flow over.
On my cars the coolant always flows through the heater core. When on COLD it just pushes a flap so the fan doesnt blow through the core.

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Only time I ever heard of using oil to heat the car was a mining equipment guy in Grand Junction CO, who drove an old VW Thing. Great snow car, but a lousy heater. He rigged up an oil cooler and a fan in a sheet metal box and controlled it with a switch and a manual valve. Worked like a champ.
Wonder if the Thing used exhaust to heat the car like the old Beetle did. Id prefer oil heat too, at least if it fails its probably not going to kill me.
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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And its not only the cooler temperature that reduces efficiency, it takes more of a hit.
>>
and the torque converter does not lock up on an automatic transmission.
Really? Cause mine definitely does. Otherwise it'd run at 1750 RPM at 55 instead of 1550.
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Im sure that it is not applicable to all vehicles. The ones I am familiar with, it will not lock in warmup mode.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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All of the old VWs used the exhaust pipes to heat the cabin. An oil cooler would be, at best, a "supplemental" cooler--or one that took the place of rusted-out heater boxes on the exhaust. Takes quite a while to get warm enough to do any good, though.

BTW, I believe that there is still a hit to your FE from using the heater even when the coolant is up to temp. It will vary upon the amount of heat that your car needs to shed to stay at operating temp and the amount of heat you are putting into the coolant, and it is likely too small to measure reliably anyway, but I do think it is there.

Could be wrong, though...

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Old 12-16-2008, 02:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Lazarus -

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Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
The heat has to come from somewhere. I see about 8 degrees different in the water temperature when running the Heater. One of the reasons to run a grill block, beside aero, is to help warm up quicker and run hotter. The hotter the engine, to a point, the better the FE.

The Old beaters I drive when it starts to overheat I can turn the Heater on Full blast and the temp will drop.
That's egg-zactly what I used to do with my old Datsun B210 Honeybee. Until I implemented my manual fan radiator control switch, I used to do that in the summer with my SW2. I still advise it to friends as a stop-gap when they're having problems. It makes me wish there was a setting on the vent-control-switch that would "vent to the outside". That way, the heat wouldn't enter the cabin when I'm trying to protect the engine.

I never turn on the cabin heat unless the engine coolant is at least "almost warmed up".

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Old 12-17-2008, 06:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wagonman76 View Post
On my cars the coolant always flows through the heater core. When on COLD it just pushes a flap so the fan doesnt blow through the core.


Wonder if the Thing used exhaust to heat the car like the old Beetle did. Id prefer oil heat too, at least if it fails its probably not going to kill me.
I forgot about that... most modern cars have contious coolant flow through the heater core, and control where the warm air goes via the under dash air plenum. I had worked on some older cars where the heater core was valved off when there was no call for heat, the dash control for warm air opened up the valve and allows coolant to flow through the heater core.

VW's; I've owned 20-some-odd VW's, including a Thing. The VW Thing used a beetle confiuration engine, cooling, and heating. The factory heaters on those use a heat exchanger, aluminum fins cast around two of the exhaust pipes, then encapsulated in sheetmetal to form an isolated plenum (called a heater box) for fresh air to be warmed and piped into the cabin. Carbon monoxide poisoning in those cars is not very common. I remember seeing an aftermarket system where engine oil flows through an oil cooler, an electric fan blows warmed air into the cabin, but it was a DIY kit sold in hotVW's magazine 15 years ago. I wish I had one to use this winter, I've been invited along on this year's Mt.Shasta VW Snow trip. 10-15 teams driving pre-'68 VW buses, offroad, mud, ice and snow, hillclimbs and overland trials. I understand numb fingers, rolled busses and hangovers are common.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:42 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The exhaust heat exchanger idea, I've personally used in a golf kart. Air-cooled Kohler engine, and the pipe was just ingeniously run right behind the seat, dead center. It was quite easy to take some of the accessory power from the electrical system, cut holes in between the seats, and apply some sinks to the pipe, with a nice vent box around it that allowed external air to be heated at low velocity as it was sucked into the passenger compartment (enclosed, obviously). I wish I'd kept pics of it, but they're gone with most of my old half-finished projects.

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