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Moron the Heater


Wagger
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I know it should read 'More on the Heater' but this is turning me moronic.

I am nervous of flushing the matrix in case I cause leaks or it achieves very little.

As there is plenty of space in the 'Plenum' chamber I am going to try to place an electric element inside it. Not too many people know this, but those 'Hedgehog' devices used to control the airflow in more recent cars double up as heaters when the Fast demist is in use. However, they burn out if the airflow stops.

As most of the alternators are less than 50 amps, the rating is limited to below 500watts. There are add on devices available of this rating. However, with lights and all else on it is asking too much of the alternator for continous use. I should, probably, have fitted a more powerful alternator as there are 200 amp versions availble for newer cars.

I have removed some ceramic elements from old Halfords 120 watt windsreen demisters and I will bolt these to a heatsink and fit in the plenum chamber if I can access it easily. Otherwise, it is fit them in the blower outlets.

I have also considered raiding seat heating elements from scrap cars.

A totally metal gearbox cover would solve it altogether eh!

As usual any ideas welcome.

 

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Be careful of the loom if fitting too powerful an alternator; I'd be concerned that ages-old wiring would melt if too stressed.

What heater do you have, Smiths or Delaney Gallay? In any case it's just metal pipes with fins, any local plumber can fix leaks in the matrix. Try connecting it straight through, with no valve in the line, and see if that improves things, just in case the valve is restricting the flow. I've also found heater boxes so full of dead leaves that no air could get through at all, so it might be worth a clean out.

You can also fit a more effective blower motor from a Smart car or Nissan Micra, that works very well provided you don't mind the non-original look.

 

 

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If your heater is not producing hot air, what do you have to lose? If you flush with soda crystals or a proprietary cleaner and it starts to leak. Then you can bypass it and you have lost very little as it wasn't working anyway. In my experience there will be a blockage somewhere either valve or matrix I had no heat in my spitfire 1 year, turned out to be jelly like gunge in the valve, sorted with a lot of flushing from the hose, doing each section at a time. They are available eg http://www.demisterman.co.uk/Triumph/Triumph Herald heater matrix.php if all else fails

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The water comimg out is as hot as that going in, so either the matrix is full of leaves and dead insects or it is furred up with limescale and radweld deposit. Next week is supposed to be mild and dry, so may just flush it all.

Yes Colin, I am fitting an in line fuse to protect the alternator against overload and short circuits when I have measured the total load with my trusty 'Current clamp'.

A slower blower would enable the air to get hotter so I may fit my own 'Pulse width Modulated' drive circuit.

It is fun.

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It should be possible to remove the matrix, by un-cliping the clips and removing the Hose fittings? This should get the front off, after removing the fan/housing?. I soaked the matrix in a White vinegar solution overnight, which I have for descaling the heater in the Motor-home. and flushed it out. It`s now all bright and shiny, and hopefully as efficient as a Smiths heater ever gets.

Pete

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Actually, looking at this in proper daylight, it would be quite simple to disconnect the heater pipes, connect my spare pond pump to the heater only and fill a bowl with hot soda or any flushing stuff added and leave it running for a while.

Weather still looks favourable, however, we could soon get a 'Blocking High' over Europe and that means a prospect of -8 C during the day in Eastbourne. This happened in 2018 as it does about once in 20 years. Went to Cumbria to get away from it where it was +2 C in Coniston. That almost felt warm!

Time to check my anti freeze concentration. (For the car and my body). Must not confuse the Blue Curacoa with Ethylene Glycol.

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Be aware that if tubes in teh matrix are blocked, it is unlikely they will clear (as no water flows through them, it all flows through the clear tubes)

A good way of getting anything loose out is to use a mains pressure garden hose. Use it both ways a few times. 

You may need to replace the matrix to get a toasty car... 

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In general terms acetic acid, Vinegar, will not corrode the copper, however it can affect Nickle which is sometimes alloyed with copper. It is probably one of safest cleaning methods, as it will dissolve limescale. Chlorine is more aggressive and will erode copper over time, often the cause of leaks, Pinholes, in old domestic pipework. And should never be used to clean lower grade Stainless Steels.

Pete

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1 hour ago, thescrapman said:

I wonder if it should possible to introduce some sort of HF vibration to help loosen any blockages.

 

Good idea, I like that. An electric sander would possibly work. I used one when I was casting padstones for RSJs to sit on, following advice from th ebuilding inspector (who was VERY good, unlike many) The vibrations will ease the entrapped air out of concrete, but should work on a heater OK? 

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Last time that I went down the road (and back) I noticed that lukewarm air was reaching my left ankle without the blower 'ON'. Aha! it could be a flap issue as well. Maybe the fan is just circulating air in and out bypassing the cabin altogether.  More likely that it is a gap in the tunnel joint though.

I forget that, in the 1970's I wore a hat, gloves and a thick coat. Anything was warmer than riding my motorcycle! I have become to accustomed to 'Climate Control' over the last twenty years.

My first car, a Riley One-Point-Five had a fabulous toasty heater with variable speed rheostat. Vaccuum operated washers too! (How I wish).

More incentive now to actually investigate it. Procrastination results in over-thinking.

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My current Herald is surprisingly warm; surprising in that it had no antifreeze in the system and was generally unloved, so you would maybe expect the matrix to be well furred-up. This may be down to a small modification by the PO:

0AB87B7B-B41E-4FB5-9CBE-3042C33AC177_1_105_c.jpg.42ed432a2a4103b8d58522cbd8d27e3e.jpg 93A0C49B-EDE2-4930-A25F-4A08B93F673F_1_105_c.jpg.cab5dfeb2c866d39cfc4d67155c38f11.jpg

I've no idea of how these are fitted; I'll be stripping the car down once the really cold weather comes in and will see how it's done then, but the pipes blow a jet of hot air onto the occupants' legs, not just vaguely around the cabin as the original side slots do. I like the concept and will see if it can be improved on. Some Heralds, the Estate for example, had a flap bolted to the heater box to do roughly the same thing, but on one side only.

 

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I still have the old matrix from my Vitesse mk2 , it’s probably the original and dated 69 . I’ve filled the matrix with 50/50 malt vinager and boiling water . The matrix took 250ml of the mixture . The matrix had a lot of unremovable crud at the opposite end to the pipes and rattled when shook . Currently the matrix is warm throughout suggesting there are no blockages or leaks  I’ll leave the mixture in for 3 days and report back with my findings 

3B2BBE22-A20B-432C-A376-A35E9C7F2A8A.thumb.jpeg.056864cf95951aff71ab38bdafc9c6ce.jpeg

 

7292860B-0D43-42CA-9EC5-1E5B76FE0DAD.thumb.jpeg.1dc8d0fe4128e91e5bdba458f1272636.jpeg

Paul

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55 minutes ago, Paul H said:

I’ve filled the matrix with 50/50 malt vinager and boiling water

Sacrilege! Malt vinegar is a rare commodity here. The car will smell like a fish & chip shop for months afterwards🍟

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Gosh Colin. Are they connected to a 'Funnel' inside the engine bay with a heat exchanger under the exhaust manifold? Only joking but do-able.

Those matrixes look substantial. No manuals in my posession actually show them for the Vitesse and I have never taken one out before. Thanks guys.

Was gonna do the water flushing today having bought the soda, but digressed as the LH front sidelamp blew. Someone had jammed an MES 4w bulb in. The whole thing is seized so wasted 2 hours trying to replace it instead of doing what I intended. Oh well, tomorrow's another day.

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51 minutes ago, Wagger said:

Gosh Colin. Are they connected to a 'Funnel' inside the engine bay with a heat exchanger under the exhaust manifold? Only joking but do-able.

I'll report in due time; the heat from them is excellent so might be a mod worth spreading about. Watch whatever space...

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The problem may be solved now following a conversation with my son, who found the car for me. Apparently, it was drained down with no water in it at all. He filled it with flushing solution and ran it for a rew days on his patch. He unblocked the water valve and the heater worked with no blower running.

He then replaced a terrible brake pipe that runs beneath the heater box and most of the bottom of the box came out with the old pipe. Apparently, the heater box has no bottom at all. Therefore, the fan is sucking through the grille at the bottom of the windscreen and blowing into the engine compartment. The rest of the box is present so I will have to do some fabrication.

That does explain explain why warm air comes through when he car is doing 40+ mph. I'm looking forward to investigating this tomorrow now.

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This is what I discovered. The valve was passing a trickle mid setting and nothing at either end. I removed it, soaked it in a saucepan of boiling soda, then it hosed through and worked properly. Also hosed the matrix both ways. That resulted in the matrix warming up.

However, the front panel of the heaterbox has many holes at the bottom edge, so the air is leaking about 25% into the engine compartment. It will demist whilst standing now and when driving loads of air comes through due to forced induction. Luckily, the engine breathes into the carbs, so there is not much in the way of smelly fumes.

The car is now use-able for the remainder of my lifetime but really does need a total 'Body off' restoration. Chassis is good but some of the body to chassis mounts need attention. It is complete and my sons will see that it is either restored or placed on view somewhere.

Mark 1 Vitesse saloons are a bit scarce now, so it is worth saving.

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