Joined: July 13, 2008
Location: Joshua Tree
|Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:11 am Post subject: Propex install.... AKA: more propanity!
|2 threads in one week? This is a record for me! I have been a very grateful lurker here on and off for a few years and now that I'm exploring my own territory in van-land, I feel that giving a little back is the right thing to do. Thanks to all for the inspiration I have received! AND NOW, on to the action!
I actually received and installed this AMAZING Propex HS 2000 back in late November of last year, as a group birthday present from my family and friends (none are on here that I know of, but thanks again anyway!) Since it was cold I installed it in a big fat hurry with no camera present, but since I am currently in "dry dock" mode and stripped it out along with the rest of the interior I figured it would be a good time to document the details...
Here's the real estate I ended up deciding on after agonizing for an hour or two- passenger side, under the rear bench. I had removed the heater-come-leaker a few months prior when all had been warm and well, and now was prime time to 'put the heat back under the seat'
This spot was more than ideal and more than problematic, to say the least!
(A short aside for the environment- please recycle! The grommets shown in the picture are the old rear heater firewall grommets, which with a painlessly easy internal trim will fit the propex external intake/exhaust hoses beautifully! Better than most anything you'll find outside a marine supply store, IMHO.... The firewall thru-holes get plugged anyway, as seen in 1st pic.)
The drawbacks, nay, mere considerations(!) to the locale were/are the unibody frame member underneath, and as you will notice in a few pictures, the seat/bed kick panel is a real "wedding fit". After some painstakingly careful layout, and consulting my handy propex users guide booklet to check which tube was in and which was exhaust (the one in the frame member is inlet, in case you were wondering ) I decided that if my calculations were correct, it would JUST work. No more forward because it would stick out from under the seat, couldn't go backward far enough (3/4") to clear behind the kick panel without cutting it out anyway since the unit is supposed to have airspace, could have fudged it side to side maybe a whole 1/4" inside the frame member, but I like things on center!! So I grabbed the center punch and drill and beer and turned the music up AND....
WAIT A SEC!
What were the advantages to putting it there?! Oops, almost forgot! I wanted the heater outlet nearest to the largest fenestration area, namely the slider door, which happens (at least in my van) to have the thinnest insulation of any panel as well. I also wanted to have the heater outlet in the least likely spot to be blocked and that place just so happens to coincide with my thermal efficiency needs, next to the slider! Why didn't I put the outlet near the damn slider already but make better use of the 4+ feet of ducting that came in the install kit and center the furnace under the seat?! Well, I felt that the weakest point in the install kit was the "dryer vent" style flexible-but-very-crushable-ducting, and the under seat storage area is a high impact zone for me. Tool boxes, dutch oven, sewing machine, water bottles, etc are all squeezed/jammed/crushed/amalgamated into a jumble reminiscent of mixing all the food together on your plate. "It all goes to the same place" my dad was (and probably is) still fond of saying, and the same goes for my underseat storage- mastication and digestion are the rule, not the exception! (is the 4 hours of sleep I got last night apparent yet?) ANYWAY, ahem, lastly is my love of tidy little "I can't believe it fits" installations....
BACK TO THE SHOW!
So as you can see above, the exhaust is going free and clear, with a nice tight hose clamp and the recommended "slight downward slope". The picture itself has more than a "slight downward slope", guess you'll have to trust me on this one.
The inlet tube was a toss up, whether or not to put a length of pipe on it or not, since I couldn't get a hose clamp on the the thing without arthroscopic tools and 7 years of schooling. Thankfully (as if it mattered) the grommets I reused have held the short bit of pipe on it sans clamp for 7 abusive months of driving (14k+ miles!). I don't think it really matters though, and if I were to do it again I would likely skip drilling out the frame member at all and just leave the inlet tube naked inside the well ventilated -yet protective- frame member.
At this point I was pretty excited to get the thing in the floor, but curious what sort of modifications it was going to take to the kick panel, namely a large cutout and possible sheet metal reinforcement if it got too thin between the outlet vent and the heater body cutout, but after throwing the rest of the caution to the wind....
Like I said earlier- "wedding fit"
Yes, the vent is mounted slightly akimbo, that was a dumb, late night, initial hurried install mistake. I didn't realize the louvers swiveled in the mount, they were so stiff I mistook them for fixed and mounted it in the direction of desired blow and then later caught on to the moveability
And that's about it for the heater body install itself, I'll tack another pic or two on this thread later of my thermostat wiring and show off my new fuse panel, and one with the interior all back together to show the whole scene. Thanks for reading... if you made it this far!
a.lake - 87 Syncro 2.5L -