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Southwind gasoline heaters


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Has anyone used a Southwind gasoline heater in an old car in modern times? Are they simple to plumb in and relativly safe to use? The application is a 1936 Ford.

They seem to be an easy solution to an unheated cabin but, well, I don't know. Too good to be true?

Any thougts appreciated.

--Scott

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I haven't seen one in use in a while, but when I was a kid, I remember a few cars had them, they always seemed to work. I think I have an original installation manual for putting one into a mid 30s Ford product, I'll see if I can find it. Maybe some of the older folks here have a horror story or two, but I can't remember any fires or anything. I do remember that it was great to have instant heat. VW still used gasoline heaters in the 70s in the Thing, and in the 60s in the vans.

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I have a couple of South Wind heaters around here. Did a Google search and turned up some info on them.

They are really simple in design and operation. The South Wind company still makes gas heaters for aircraft, construction equipment etc.

As for the plumbing they need a gas line off the carb and a vacuum line to the intake manifold. The necessary parts show up on Ebay regularly in NOS condition. If you couldn't get the right parts they should be simple to make up.

Found one ad on the net from a guy who rebuilds them for $125 bucks. He would be the one to ask about parts etc.

Sorry I didn't save the web site but if you Google South Wind heater I'm sure you will find it.

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I learned to drive in a 39 ford and THINK I remember it had a heater box with a heater core and fan inside mounted on the fire wall under the dash. Just had two holes for the heater core tubes to go through the wall and a hose to the water pump and one to the intake. If Im right wouldnt this be better???

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Haha yes emphasis on that last one!

Yeah that more sane version is just a normal water heater, my Buick has that. Haha all these people with their Lexuses and Bimmers and whatnot marveling over the electronic climate control with the Recirculating Air function. Ha! 70 years ago that was the ONLY way the heater worked! laugh.gif I honestly love it though, I remember the first time I tried using the heater, I couldnt believe how toasty the interior got! Need some fresh air? Nnnnnnnnot hard! Crack the cowl vent a lil'.

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No actually it's under the dash, where it curves under, right near the driver's door, pointing downward. Right next to the switch for the instrumentation backlights, where youll never find both of em! laugh.gif I mean the owners manual DOES show switches there but still youd think theyd be out in the open on the dash where they'd be easy to see!

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My father used his '41 Buick Super business coupe as a daily driver for 4 years when I was a kid, even in the winter (it was unceremoniously rammed by a drunk during a snowstorm where my father walked away unharmed and the drunk spent some considerable amount of time in the hospital--score one for the old iron. But I digress.). He installed a Southwind heater because the car was from Florida and wasn't equipped with the optional factory underseat heater. It could get so hot in the car that he drove with the vent windows open some of the time.

I don't recall ever smelling gasoline or having problems with it, though he seemed to keep acquiring them from swap meets. If my father could install it and operate it properly, it couldn't have been too complicated (sorry, dad). I wouldn't have a problem using one myself.

Didn't the Corvair have a gas-fired heater as well?

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Paul I could be wrong,or maby heaters where different with models or years.I think I remember a v shape heater box on the ford with little doors to open or block off the heat.I think it had a off low high switch on top front. Thinking back my uncle had a olds with highdromatic. First auto I ever saw with auto tranny. All us kids thought it was a forign car. But it had a squair box. Dont know where the switch was. In 1958 I was stationed at cape canaverl Fla. Had a beutiful 55 Packard clipper delux. Bought it in Fla. had no heater. Nov. I was sent to Korea and I drove the car home to NY.By the time I was about half way it was so damm cold I drove with one hand and scraped the inside windsheld with the outher. I stoped at a couple shops and asked about getting a heater, they looked at the Fla. Plate asked where I was headed and soon as I told them NY I heard cold in NY, and the price started at a hundred bucks. That was a hell of a lot of money to me then. I stoped at a army navy surplus and bought a sterno stove and a 6pk of can heat. Built me a fire smack in the middle of the PLUSH front floor and drove on home. Got one hell of a headach, sick as a dog finaly figured out why and opened a window. Not vary bright. Oh the god old days

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