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I am in the process of re-installing the aftermarket hot-water heater that was in my 1928 Durant M2 sedan. It seems quite old, core is all brass and copper, even has a purge valve for air on top. The make is a 'Tropic Aire' Model# L-3. Also has a 6-volt blower. Does anyone have experience with an add-on heater? Anything I need to know? Second question, has anyone tried or have experience with adding a thermostat to the upper radiator pipe? I see them in Model A catalogs, 160Degree that fit between hoses before the radiator. I had my radiator rebuilt with a modern core, so overheating is not a problem, as a matter of fact last summer when driving in 90+ weather, temp never went over 'cool-motor' on motometer. Driving now in 40-50 degrees red of thermometer is barely seen. Please advise. P.S. To Ricardo and Walter in Buenos Aires I don't think you will ever have this problem in Argentina. Congratulations to Walter on his new membership. Gregg
My M2 with warm weather (30°C) keeps red column close to cold motor. Only goes over that, few millimeters when I stop the car.
The boycemeter in boiling water almost goes to the top of the scale.
The only heaters I have seen used in these cars where the hot air variety. This is a cast aluminum piece that bolts to the intake and/or exhaust manifold with a hose running to the firewall and a pivoting round door inside the firewall to control the amount of hot air flowing into the car.
The old guy that bought my 29 Roadster new was a real "add-on" nut. So when I got the car about three years ago it had all kinds of junk stuck on it. One such item was an after market heater. Wanting to return the car back to the way it came from the factory, I took all of the stuff off including the heater, which I sold on EBay for $40.00. It sounds like exactly the same heater that you describe. My uncle, who owned the car for 50 years and never did a thing to it, swears that the heater worked like a champ when he first drove it home in 1955. So, I guess that when hooked up properly they do the job.
When my Dad bought the car in 1963 the heater was in it. When he gave me the car I told him I would keep it as I got it. I'm on a 'mission'. Dad's 80 now and can't drive. This heater will give us a couple extra months a year to drive a Durant here in Chicago. I still need more input on thermostat idea from you guys. Is it worth a try? Thanks for the responses so far.
Gregg, One of the things that has surprised me about my Durant is how cool it runs, even in the Atlanta summer. I can see if you were relying on the water temp to keep you warm, via the heater, you'd freeze. I can't see that putting a 160 in it would hurt. I am guessing that your upper hose housing won't hold a thermostat, so I would suggest going to a U-Pull-It yard and finding a housing that will fit and hold a thermostat. Hook it up and give it a try. If it works, then you are in, but if it doesn't then you've given it a shot. Try a 60's / 70's Dodge 6 pick-up. I use to have one, but I threw it away when I had my new gooseneck made. Hope this helps.
If you go to the Tech Page on this site and look at the Model 40 manual (that I transcribed), on page 7, look at the water flow path. There is only one. On every modern car I've come in contact with, there is a additional smaller 'by-pass' hose or passage. This is intended to keep water flowing through the block while the thermostat is closed so that hot spots don't develop.
160 degrees may be low enough to not worry about hot spots. However, a solution might be to drill a couple 'by-pass' holes in the thermostat to allow some water to flow at all times.
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I appreciate all the responses, very interesting and informative ideas, especially the cooling system cautions with hot spots. I got my heater core back today from my radiator shop, all cleaned and tested 'good'. My buddy, a machinist is making a new gooseneck with a 3/8" nipple welded in to accomodate a valve for water control to the heater. I found an old-looking valve and handle to keep it 'period' appearing. I've decided to forego the thermostat idea for now and see how much heat I actually get. Will let you know how it works. Special thanks to Bob Porter for his continued input and advice on my restoration. Bob, is there anything you don't know about these cars? Thanks Again, Gregg