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Proper heater for 1946 Dodge WD15


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  • 3 months later...

I kinda forgot about this post. I spend time at the P15-D24 forum also. Anyway I bought a Mopar Deluxe Model 31 unit off ebay. So far I've taken it apart to clean and inspect. The motor was as expected (and advertised) no good. I might have been able to rebuild it, but someone had broken off the set screw that holds the fan on. I had to saw the shaft to remove the fan from the core. I still need to get the piece of the shaft out of  the fan, but I was able to find a nearly identical 6V fan at Napa. I'm waiting for that to arrive right now.


The core is still an unknown. I'm going to soak it in CLR to clean out and built up deposits. Then I'll check it for leaks, and likely fix a few. Who know? Might get lucky.


I'm going to put together a small electrolysis tank and remove all the rust that way. There are a number of YouTube video's showing you how to do it, and it stops as soon as the rust is gone, even if you are not paying attention. Just follow the information and cautions. DO IT OUTSIDE!


After that I'll repaint and put it all back together. Don't have a valve yet so that's still up in the air as to exactly what I'll use. I'll also need to put a switch in for the motor on/off. I'll get something that is correct for my truck.


I'm putting information online over at that other site showing dimensions. Just a pic of the core tubing spread so far.


More to follow.


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  • 4 weeks later...

I've cleaned up the core, used Coroseal on the steel surfaces to treat the minor surface rust. Next will be self-etching VHT primer, before radiator black. I flushed the core and the water flow is excellent and there was no initial scale. Seems pretty clean inside. I filled it with water and left it sitting with the tubes pointing up for several hours, no leaks at this time (picture and test was before I cleaned it up).

I was able to buy a 6V fan motor from NAPA that is almost an exact fit. I just need to restore the metal box and fab a shock mount for the fan motor.



Edited by lostviking (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Yesterday I got started on the sheet metal for the heater box. To clean up the rust, I'm using electrolytic rust removal. I bought some rebar j-hooks, wired them together and put them into a 5 gallon pail. I'll need a bigger container for some larger parts, but that's what I had today.

I bought some steel wire to hang the parts, and make the other electrical connection. Unfortunately the ad said nothing of it being galvanized, which is bad. No problem, a soak in some vinegar and the zinc coating was completely removed.

I used a bench power supply with a 4 Amp rating for this first go around. Next time I'll be adding a series 5-Ohm resistor to keep the current limit from overloading my power supply. Oh, and I'll be changing the blown fuse....from not doing that :)

Here is a few before/after pics of parts, as well as what it looks like to do it.


The video is waaayyyy too big to post, so here is a link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ig4pMsGeyvrG4Ro9A

IMG_20200725_145716 - Copy.jpg

IMG_20200725_173026 - Copy.jpg

IMG_20200725_161234 - Copy.jpg


Don't worry about toxic waste...that's just water, washing soda (sodium carbonate, not sodium BIcarbonate) and the rust from the parts. You do need to do this outside, because the bubbles are hydrogen gas being made. That is explosive! But outside it doesn't really pose a problem because it just blows away in the wind and doesn't collect.

Edited by lostviking
another picture and ingredients. (see edit history)
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More rust removal...the easy way. You can see the paint is mostly gone, as well as the rust. My setup wasn't working as well as it could, so I rebuilt it. Today I'm putting that same part back in to finish the job. I'm getting 2.5A of current so I'll pull it after one hour and put the next piece in.


I never took a before picture of that part, but here is one of the other side of the main body. It's not really that bad at all, but when I'm done it will be clean metal ready to paint.

first cleaning top.jpg

dirty inside.jpg

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Posting to two different forums is a PIA, so I"m going to stick with the P15-D24.com thread. I am of course a member here, but I spend a bit more time over there and I started all this there too. I've kept the topic going with a new thread specific to the restoration: https://p15-d24.com/topic/53451-restoring-a-mopar-deluxe-model-31-heater/


If posting a link like that is a violation of some kind, please let me know and I'll take it down. I feel the more information we share and more places to find it only helps our hobby.

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