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JH Heater - Possible alternate source for some parts  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 04-20-2005 10:23 pm
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Mark Rosenbaum
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According to the Parts Cross Reference in the Club Garage archives, the heater used in the JH is very similar if not identical to the one used in the Hillman Hunter.  However, since the actual manufacturer of the heater was Delanair, it occurred to me that similar heaters might be found in other British cars as well.  Based on the limited information provided by a fairly thorough web search, this seems to be the case.

I found a heater system line drawing for a Ford (UK) Corsair at 

http://members.aol.com/fcoc/  .

The Corsair predates the JH by a decade or so.  While it's clear from the drawing that its heater is not identical to that used in the JH, a lot of the parts look amazingly similar and may in fact interchange.  For that matter, since Ford is involved, there may be warehouses full of heater parts somewhere....

If nothing else, one catches a glimpse of how the Delanair heater design evolved over the years. 

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 Posted: 04-21-2005 02:10 am
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Dave
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Hey Mark,

I've been looking for a spare heater box for a while to do some experimenting with upgrading the JH heater system. Upgrading the propeller style fan with a compact squirrel cage and a modern heater core could mean extended our chilly NE fall and early winter driving. I’m more than willing to spend some time going through parts catalogs and roaming the local junk yard looking for parts that may interchange, but have yet to find a spare heater box assembly at a price point (real cheap) that I can justify buying for experimentation purposes. If I get something put together I’ll certainly keep everyone posted.

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 Posted: 04-21-2005 02:14 am
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Tom Thomson
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I have an extra heater which could be had for a pittance.  However, since working under the dash is equivalent to getting a root canal, I must insist on a pretty big pittance if I take it out.  Let me know if you really, really want it.

                                          Tom 

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 Posted: 04-21-2005 02:50 am
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Mark Rosenbaum
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I did some casual measurement-free tests of a JH heater not too terribly long ago (details now buried somewhere in the old bulletin board).  The blower fan itself actually moves a respectable amount of air and IMHO isn't all that bad.  The real problem seems to be that the heater core itself is tremendously restrictive to air flow through it.  I'm guessing that the designers wanted to maximize the heat transferred from the core to the air flowing through it and didn't have much concern for how fast that air would move.

There's actually a great deal of room for a heater under the JH dash and I suspect that something from a modern car or pickup could readily be modified to fit.  Also, I think that overall performance would be better if one could recirculate already-heated cabin air, which IIRC is not possible with the JH design.

Another interesting option, possibly only for fresh air, would be to place a small computer fan behind each of the ball vents in the dash.  This might also work for the defroster vents.

Having worked under a JH dash, and having received several root canals, I'd definitely prefer the dental work.   I am much too old, fat, and stiff nowadays to be able to assume the Lotus position, and the dash comes out first the next time I have to do anything much more ambitious than change a turn signal flasher.

Heater boxes do turn up on eBay every six months or so, but you have to watch for them.  They're not exactly the most popular of items, so the price is fairly low.  IIRC, I paid something like US $20-30 for the one I bought, complete with fan.

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