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Hot Rods Southwind Heater Conversion

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 31 Chopped Coupe, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 63

    31 Chopped Coupe
    Member

    Has anybody here ever converted a Southwind gas heater to hot water? If so what heater core did you use or what else could be adapted to make it functional?
     
  2. GordonC
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,374

    GordonC
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    31 I can't answer but can give you a bump as I have 2 of these heaters, one NOS, which I plan to do this to if I can locate the correct pieces to do it with. I looked through NAPA website for hours and think I came up with something like the heater core for a Chevette which would fit and was looking for the blower part when I dropped the hunt to work on something else.
     
  3. I have a 48 pilot house dodge with one of them. My dad told me they where really good heaters. If II ever decide to use it I will leave it gas. If it aint broke don't fix it.
     
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  4. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 673

    rusty valley
    Member

    why not just use it as gas? google it up, they are very well liked, and parts and repair is easy. i plan to use one instead of hacking up the firewall for water hoses which also clutter up the engine bay
     
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  5. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,085

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Amen.
     
  6. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 63

    31 Chopped Coupe
    Member

    I really don't know what all it requires to make this thing functional. It appears that quite a lot of it is missing . I thought if I could switch it to hot water it would be easier. love the appearance and it would look great in the model A.
     
  7. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,132

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If it's missing a lot, then go with water. I am very sure that somebody here posted their SW conversion on one of the "Heater" threads (on here not too long ago). I would guess that person might eventually see this thread and reply.

    .
     
  8. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,910

    sunbeam
    Member

  9. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 63

    31 Chopped Coupe
    Member

  10. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 673

    rusty valley
    Member

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
    kidcampbell71 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  11. akoutlaw
    Joined: May 13, 2010
    Posts: 624

    akoutlaw
    Member

    I am interested in doing this also.
     
  12. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,140

    treb11
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    In searching around, the absolute smallest heater core I could find was for a Bluebird school bus (!) their p/n 01438118, but available from other sources.
     
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  13. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,198

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    When I was in high school a freind of mine had a 37 Chevy with one in it. I will never forget when he lit it. It felt like someone opened a blast furnace in front of me. They really put out some heat. INSTANTLY !
     
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  14. lucas doolin
    Joined: Feb 7, 2013
    Posts: 327

    lucas doolin
    Member

    Early Chevrolet Corvairs also used a gas heater but doesn't look as cool as the Southwind.
     
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  15. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 63

    31 Chopped Coupe
    Member

    OK, I checked out the Bluebird Heater core and it appears that I could build some brackets to make it fit but now I am trying to find a fan to fit with it. Thinking about a small diameter Spal fan but they are only single speed and with their relay wiring kit included the expense climbs quickly. I'm wondering if a resistor type heater switch would work for 3 speeds.
     
  16. Dennis D
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 513

    Dennis D
    Member

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  17. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 63

    31 Chopped Coupe
    Member

    That's the style that I am thinking of, now if I can just get it all to fit inside the Southwind housing with out ruining the vintage look. Looks like I may have to sweat on some elbows so the pipes don't stick out the back so far. Not real sure about going the computer fan route as I'm not convinced that it will provide enough air flow.
     
  18. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,132

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't know much about PC fans, except I tried one and it was very slow on full 12v bench-test...And when I made a bracket and mounted it behind the core, no air could be felt. Then I built a wall (or like a fan shroud), because I thought the air needed to be directed through the core, but still no flow could be felt ?

    but, my very old PC had a different fan motor, because if the PC went to "overheat" the fan would switch to a very fast speed that would be great for a heater. Hopefully somebody here knows about all types of PC fan motors.
    .
     
  19. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 7,622

    manyolcars

    That 49-52 Pontiac heater core wont do much to heat your car. Its too small. The best heaters I have worked on use a double core which may be about 8 by 16 inches
     
  20. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,878

    belair
    Member

    How would that Poncho heater core work in a model a coupe?
     
  21. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 63

    31 Chopped Coupe
    Member

    I wasn't able to find any info on the Pontiac heater core so I don't know the dimensions but the Bluebird bus core is pretty close plus it is 2 1/2 inches thick so it must make two passes with the water tubes. You gotta remember the Southwind Heater is pretty small but the look is perfect if I can make it work. A buddy gave this to me at a little car function last weekend and told me to see if I could make it work for me. With a little heat and some glass in the windows I'll be stylin.
     
  22. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 673

    rusty valley
    Member

    went for a drive tonight in my model a. about 18 degrees out, and the manifold heater worked just fine. the manifold heaters for a v8 are too ugly, so, i will have a gas heater once the 34 is on the road. save on antifreeze!
     
  23. Maybe it is just me but I would get an era correct hot water heater (like the ARVIN) and rebuild it. Sell the Southwind to offset some/all of the costs.

    Charlie Stephens
     
    rusty valley likes this.
  24. Never converted one to heat, only to an air conditioner....
     

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