Installing a HeaterCraft heater - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old March 10th, 2007, 04:32 PM
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Neil McLeod
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Installing a HeaterCraft heater

Was weighing up the pros and cons of installing either a Mojave or HeaterCraft heater in the front of my D90. I won't install an electric heater bcause it'll throw out insufficient heat and Espar using my gas is not an option. I have decided on HeaterCraft because of it's significantly higher BTU output and 'apparent' ability to provide three toasty heat settings to get over the very poor D90 heater.

Has anyone here done an install of a HeaterCraft? What were the issues as far as the optimum placement under the dash goes, (no, I don't want to heat the rear - make them suffer I say!) what kind of unit you installed 1, 2 or 3 blower unit and how easy was it?

Pics would be great, although any feedback would be fantastic.

The heater has to do a job in average minus twenty degree temperatures up here in Canada and I like the idea of riding in my D90 with the side and back rolled up in non-blizzard conditions at these temps. Toasty body with frozen ears is the picture of bliss I'm paitning here!

Cheers,

Neil
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  #2  
Old March 10th, 2007, 06:26 PM
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Jim Cheney
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Whats wrong with your gas that precleds use of an Espar? The Hydronic 4 comes in both a diesel and gas version.
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  #3  
Old March 10th, 2007, 08:09 PM
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Neil McLeod
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Why Jim, that one's easy.

1. The initial outlay and running costs make it uneconomical/expensive.
2. I'm already starving the environment of fresh air with my V8! I'd feel guilty if I made the decision, although I'd forget about it fifteen minutes afetr the install.
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  #4  
Old March 10th, 2007, 08:27 PM
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Jim Cheney
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Yeah, they are kinda spendy, but I'm thinking about getting one for the Tdi. I'd like my wife to be able to see out of the windows when she starts it up in the winter.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 11:44 PM
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Arthur Maravelis
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The problem with the stock heater is the blower motor is too weak. Also, the airflow from it is not forced directly toward the core. It is deflected 90 -degrees making it inefficient.

Some thoughts on the HeaterCraft 1-H Series:

1. The size is small enough for an easy fit.

2. The BTU and cfm are good.

3. The motor's single speed is not good. Hopefully a resistor will cure that. The 200H model is 3 speed.

4. You can feed the outputs into the plenum and use the existing setup to redirect flow to normal/defrost.

5. Better would be to feed tubing directly to the normal/defrost vents so you don't lose efficiency through the large and leaky plenum.This is certainly desirable for a diesel, less so for a gas. In this case you will need to install a flap control at the outputs of the heater. This also avoids using the plenum controls making for easier adjustment and repair. You can fab a flap onto the dual vent output, a cable will simply slide a flap over both vents

6. Feed the heater with fresh air coming from the front of the truck. Forget the stock intake that's gets clogged with water, snow, junk.

7. For recirculated heat, feed a tube from the cab into another flap control feeding the heater. You can then select from recirculated or fresh air.

With all that said, the HeaterCraft is too expensive for me. You can put together a very similar, and better, system by finding a blower motor and core and fabbing your own box. You can then buy all the ducts and controls. This allows you to find a better blower, with different speeds built-in and perhaps a better, aluminum core. It also allows you to install the blower inside the box; it looks like the HeaterCraft is external. Everything should be readily available with the box the only custom item allowing you to make the best fit for the space you got.

This is far from rocket science and a worthwhile project - especially for your climate.
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Old March 11th, 2007, 12:08 AM
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John B.
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Have you first gone over the stock heater and make sure you are getting the most out of it? Most I have seen are in need of repair. I have no problems maintaining a +20C cab when it is -30C out.

1. Make sure cables are adjusted.
2. Ensure core is clean.
3. Ensure flap foam is sealing and not broken.
4. Make sure air is not leaking out around the core.
5. Open up the heater vents in the cab.

From my 90
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  #7  
Old March 11th, 2007, 12:41 PM
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Neil McLeod
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Thanks Arthur for such a comprehensive reply. I was thinking of the 200H because of the different heat settings. I'm happy with the current heating system doing its job of keeping the windscreen clear. It does this job adequately IMO. If I had your enginuity, I'd probably be tempted to fabricate something of my own but as anything I do comes without risk and warranty, I'd be loathe to make that leap of faith! All I'm looking for is the ability to create additional warmth to improve comfort levels; I think the tried and tested HeaterCraft 200H is the way to go for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by artm
The problem with the stock heater is the blower motor is too weak. Also, the airflow from it is not forced directly toward the core. It is deflected 90 -degrees making it inefficient.

Some thoughts on the HeaterCraft 1-H Series:

1. The size is small enough for an easy fit.

2. The BTU and cfm are good.

3. The motor's single speed is not good. Hopefully a resistor will cure that. The 200H model is 3 speed.

4. You can feed the outputs into the plenum and use the existing setup to redirect flow to normal/defrost.

5. Better would be to feed tubing directly to the normal/defrost vents so you don't lose efficiency through the large and leaky plenum.This is certainly desirable for a diesel, less so for a gas. In this case you will need to install a flap control at the outputs of the heater. This also avoids using the plenum controls making for easier adjustment and repair. You can fab a flap onto the dual vent output, a cable will simply slide a flap over both vents

6. Feed the heater with fresh air coming from the front of the truck. Forget the stock intake that's gets clogged with water, snow, junk.

7. For recirculated heat, feed a tube from the cab into another flap control feeding the heater. You can then select from recirculated or fresh air.

With all that said, the HeaterCraft is too expensive for me. You can put together a very similar, and better, system by finding a blower motor and core and fabbing your own box. You can then buy all the ducts and controls. This allows you to find a better blower, with different speeds built-in and perhaps a better, aluminum core. It also allows you to install the blower inside the box; it looks like the HeaterCraft is external. Everything should be readily available with the box the only custom item allowing you to make the best fit for the space you got.

This is far from rocket science and a worthwhile project - especially for your climate.
Follow-up Post:

Thanks John. I'm going to remove the heater vents during the cold weather which should at least help to improve things a little for me. My soft top leaks too much cold air, so in my case it is always going to be difficult to keep the cab warm. That said, the new Badger II that I'm getting will definitely help, but it won't be here for another 8-10 weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90
Have you first gone over the stock heater and make sure you are getting the most out of it? Most I have seen are in need of repair. I have no problems maintaining a +20C cab when it is -30C out.


1. Make sure cables are adjusted.
2. Ensure core is clean.
3. Ensure flap foam is sealing and not broken.
4. Make sure air is not leaking out around the core.
5. Open up the heater vents in the cab.

From my 90
Follow-up Post:

Nice one. It's defo the way to go with your TDI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
Yeah, they are kinda spendy, but I'm thinking about getting one for the Tdi. I'd like my wife to be able to see out of the windows when she starts it up in the winter.
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