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  View original topic: Rear Heater Core Option
James 93SLC Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:30 am

I just got the Summit Racing catalog and noticed a product that I will be considering. At $125 I think it would be better replacement for the OE core. It even comes with a 3 speed fan and is 11 inches deep. Should fit about perfect in place of the old one.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SUM-991101/


danfromsyr Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:43 am

what's wrong with the old VW one?
besides it needs replacement once in 20~years.?
besides I remove them to maximize interior storage. since I don't drive thru the dead of winter, and have few backseat passangers anyways..


fwiw, to actually add to this topic, I used the rear heater from a US made conversion van (some are under the bench, some in the back side wall, some up overhead) the under bench ones are easy, and have a powerful squirrel cage fan that moves alot of air.
they're all copper and are very low profile so they take less space under the back seat..
but once I'd put the front heater core in place, it's plenty of heat.

Volksaholic Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:02 am

There's been another thread that had similar aftermarket heaters... many of them look very sweet. I love having the rear heater... if mine was going to take big bucks to rebuild I would definitely consider something like that. As it is, mine is holding tight and pumping out the heat, and there are more Vanagon projects that require $$$ than there are $$$ to throw at them! :)

Paul

Jake de Villiers Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:06 am

My 25 year old heater still performs very well. I have purchased a replacement core from Van Cafe (at a very reasonable price) and will replace it when I replace the partially blocked front core, just to have an all-new cooling system. I think 25 years is a pretty good run myself! ;)

ragnarhairybreeks Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:15 am

and to add a pretty useless factoid, the Iltis front heater core is the same as the Vanagon rear heater core. I found some new in box at a local govt. auction a while back.

alistair

Volksaholic Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:35 am

ragnarhairybreeks wrote: and to add a pretty useless factoid, the Iltis front heater core is the same as the Vanagon rear heater core. I found some new in box at a local govt. auction a while back.
Ha... I don't even know what an Iltis is! I'm so American! :)

One more thought regarding the heater: I wonder if some of these aftermarket heaters would be suitable for mounting outside the cabin. It would be nice to have it in the dead space above the trans in a 2wd van with a recirculating feed to/from the cabin so as not to chew up that precious cargo space. That would have the added benefit of any leaks being outside, but the downside of the electrical and shut-off valve would have to be relocated outside as well.

I know there's a lot of grousing about that rear heater failing and causing a mess, but I love the extra heat. Of course I'm still trying to shake the chill from driving a '58 Bus through the Winters in the 1980s. I've almost warmed up!

Paul

r39o Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:50 am

Jake de Villiers wrote: My 25 year old heater still performs very well. I have purchased a replacement core from Van Cafe (at a very reasonable price) and will replace it when I replace the partially blocked front core, just to have an all-new cooling system. I think 25 years is a pretty good run myself! ;)
Do it NOW before it pops.. Also the valve leaks, so, at least, replace the seal and clean it up. "Vanagon rear heaters are EVIL!"

Wildthings Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:26 am

r39o wrote: "Vanagon rear heaters are EVIL!"

Agreed, they have leaked on every van I have owned. Typically when you buy a van the entire floor padding is soaked with antifreeze. I would guess that few made it 100K before developing a leak somewhere. Valves, o-rings, bleeder screws, heater cores, there are many places they will and do leak frequently.

James 93SLC Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:37 am

r39o wrote: Jake de Villiers wrote: My 25 year old heater still performs very well. I have purchased a replacement core from Van Cafe (at a very reasonable price) and will replace it when I replace the partially blocked front core, just to have an all-new cooling system. I think 25 years is a pretty good run myself! ;)
Do it NOW before it pops.. Also the valve leaks, so, at least, replace the seal and clean it up. "Vanagon rear heaters are EVIL!"

That's my reasoning. $125 replaces not only the core, but also the fan. The valves on the OE unit are known to fail over time, usually without you knowing it until the carpet is soaked in anti-freeze :x




[edit: spelling]

r39o Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:41 am

James,

How are you going to regulate the heat?

Hand operated valve?

-W

Volksaholic Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:26 pm

r39o wrote: James,

How are you going to regulate the heat?

Hand operated valve?
Not that I've done it, but a better solution that what VW provided might be a 12vdc normally close solenoid valve, something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Normally-Closed-Brass-2-Way-Solenoid/dp/B005EP1XF2

It could be wired so the coolant flow is shut off unless the blower has power. Then there would be no need to remember to shut off the flow when you're not needing the heater. It adds a chunk of change to the conversion... you could just install a high quality ball valve... but I like the idea of being able to control the coolant from the dash switch. Am I missing some good reason not to do this?

pd

Jake de Villiers Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:59 pm

r39o wrote: Jake de Villiers wrote: My 25 year old heater still performs very well. I have purchased a replacement core from Van Cafe (at a very reasonable price) and will replace it when I replace the partially blocked front core, just to have an all-new cooling system. I think 25 years is a pretty good run myself! ;)
Do it NOW before it pops.. Also the valve leaks, so, at least, replace the seal and clean it up. "Vanagon rear heaters are EVIL!"

I've had no trouble with either of my vans in over 200,000 miles - maybe they just don't like you? :)

James 93SLC Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:19 pm

r39o wrote: James,

How are you going to regulate the heat?

Hand operated valve?

-W

Regulating the heat is the same as the OE unit. Just adjust the fan speed :wink:

Now if you are talking about shutting it off in the summer months, then a simple shutoff valve placed outside of the van would be my choice. No chance of it leaking coolant inside the van like the current design. Pretty easy. Get creative enough and I bet you could hook up the same valve as used up front and have a remote cable actuator.

Volksaholic Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:36 am

Jake de Villiers wrote: r39o wrote: Jake de Villiers wrote: My 25 year old heater still performs very well. I have purchased a replacement core from Van Cafe (at a very reasonable price) and will replace it when I replace the partially blocked front core, just to have an all-new cooling system. I think 25 years is a pretty good run myself! ;)
Do it NOW before it pops.. Also the valve leaks, so, at least, replace the seal and clean it up. "Vanagon rear heaters are EVIL!"

I've had no trouble with either of my vans in over 200,000 miles - maybe they just don't like you? :)
This unscientifically "proves" my theory: part of the reason they fail is due to hot coolant combined with hot Summer days causing the plastic valve flange to warp! r39o is in So. Cal. as I recall, and Jake is in BC. I've heard weaker "proofs" of "Intelligent Design"! ;) Seriously, though... I've wondered if the Summer heat combined with leaving the coolant valve open can hasten that valve's failure. I certainly don't think that's the only problem they can have, but it seems that many of the reports of repeated valve failures I read are in places like So. Cal. and Fla. When I did the Subie conversion I put ball valves on both the heater feed and return lines so I can eliminate any flow through the heater cores and valves for the Summer... I don't know if that's really a good thing to do but I was working on my hunch.

pd

Jake de Villiers Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:15 am

Volksaholic wrote: Jake de Villiers wrote: r39o wrote: Jake de Villiers wrote: My 25 year old heater still performs very well. I have purchased a replacement core from Van Cafe (at a very reasonable price) and will replace it when I replace the partially blocked front core, just to have an all-new cooling system. I think 25 years is a pretty good run myself! ;)
Do it NOW before it pops.. Also the valve leaks, so, at least, replace the seal and clean it up. "Vanagon rear heaters are EVIL!"

I've had no trouble with either of my vans in over 200,000 miles - maybe they just don't like you? :)
This unscientifically "proves" my theory: part of the reason they fail is due to hot coolant combined with hot Summer days causing the plastic valve flange to warp! r39o is in So. Cal. as I recall, and Jake is in BC. I've heard weaker "proofs" of "Intelligent Design"! ;) Seriously, though... I've wondered if the Summer heat combined with leaving the coolant valve open can hasten that valve's failure. I certainly don't think that's the only problem they can have, but it seems that many of the reports of repeated valve failures I read are in places like So. Cal. and Fla. When I did the Subie conversion I put ball valves on both the heater feed and return lines so I can eliminate any flow through the heater cores and valves for the Summer... I don't know if that's really a good thing to do but I was working on my hunch.

pd

Yup, its definitely not as hot here! I've never closed off the rear heater, not that you really can - there's always a little bleed through to help the cooling system out.

randywebb Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:41 am

Wildthings wrote: r39o wrote: "Vanagon rear heaters are EVIL!"

Agreed, they have leaked on every van I have owned. Typically when you buy a van the entire floor padding is soaked with antifreeze. I would guess that few made it 100K before developing a leak somewhere. Valves, o-rings, bleeder screws, heater cores, there are many places they will and do leak frequently.

I just inspected mine and no leakage (!)

But I am astounded that VW cheaped out on the installation by not adding a cable to control the valve so you wouldn't have to unpack the R. bench area and remove the screws to get at the valve every time you need to change it.

Wildthings Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:49 am

randywebb wrote: But I am astounded that VW cheaped out on the installation by not adding a cable to control the valve so you wouldn't have to unpack the R. bench area and remove the screws to get at the valve every time you need to change it.

I chopped off the front of the cover over the heater the first or second time I had to deal with my heater. Makes servicing it all that much easier.

Vango Conversions Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:01 pm

I wonder if the heaters get damaged by cargo being slammed into them or something? On my previous van the rear heater core started leaking, so I got a new core for $40 and replaced it in half an hour or less, so I don't see what the big deal is about them. No need to shut off the valve either as it really doesn't put out any heat until you turn on the blower.

I wouldn't want to drive one of these huge boxed without the rear heater, it really pumps out the heat much faster than the front and gets the van warned up quickly.

Now the front heater core, when that starts leaking, then you're allowed to complain! That's a bitch to replace, you have to pull the whole dash and it takes a full day's worth of labor. That sucks!

purplepeopleeater Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:21 pm

yeah, I don't see the issue with the rear heater...its only about 70-80 bucks for a correct one and its about the easiest core i've ever replaced.



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