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Old 09-25-2003, 08:40 AM
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Needing More Heat

The heater output temps are too low to do much good in my 85 Chevy short bed. I mean low temps as low 50 degrees in the coldest morning my area as had this upcoming winter. While the volume of air is sufficient the temps just aren't high enough. Coolant temps are in the 180 range and the heater core isn't blocked. There's a good strong visable water flow out the return hose. I've debated trying to move the heater core return hose to the intake manifold rather than run it to the radiator, just below the cap. Trying to slow down the rate and keep the water inside the core longer.

Any of ya have any suggestions on what could be done to increase temps in the heater output. I really am a ***** when it comes to cold temps. I NEED my heater! Thanks

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Old 09-25-2003, 09:22 AM
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Easiest fix is to raise your water temperature. Put in a 190F or 210F thermostat. That is the purpose of the thermostat - to set the bottom operating temperature of the engine. Engines don't mind running at 210F and a thermo rated at that won't make your engine run hotter than that. If it runs at 180F now (I assume that is the thermostat you now have), then it will easily run no higher than whatever thermo you upgrade to. In fact my son just replace a stuck thermo on his 2001 explorer and it is rated to open at 220F!!
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Old 09-25-2003, 10:06 AM
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I like the idea of just changing the theromstat,. Quick and easy. What concerns me most is the output temps aren't even close to what they should be even for a 180 degree thermostat. My thought's are leaning toward making the heat transfer of coolant to the core better, so the core temps are increased. Any thoughts here?. Thanx
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Old 09-25-2003, 10:34 AM
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I don't understand your concern w/ themostats. Do you mean that one rated at 180 will run at random temps, like 170 or 200? I haven't seen that but that's not to say it doens't happen. Thermostat increase has been the usual way to up your heater output for most of the history of the auto.
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Old 09-25-2003, 12:05 PM
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Try blocking all or part of the radiator with a piece of cardboard, in front of the radiator. It should increase heat output significantly. Keep an eye on the temp gauge to make sure you don't have too much blocked. Easy, cheap, and been done for a long time. Dan
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Old 09-25-2003, 03:06 PM
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Okay, a better explaination, My other car runs around 160 degree's coolant temps and has a hot air coming through the vent's at 110 degree's. My truck also has a coolant temp(this has been verified btw) of 180 degree's yet blows hot air at only ten degree's warmer then the ambient air temps. Tested this every cool morning and warm afternoon for several day's.

The concern goes, if my other car will produce 110' air at 160' degree coolant temps than why won't my truck produce at least something more than 10' over the outside air temp? 40 in the morning and 75 in the afternoon.

I've already verified the vent tubing under the dash is connected properly and the engine coolant temps are correct as well. mIt seems the the heater core won't transfer enough heat to the air that's passing through it. So I'm brianstorming(really just a light shower) as what to do about it.

Increasing the engine temp only produces about a 1' degree change for every 10' of coolant temps. If I want a heater temps of at least 100 degree's than I would have to increase the coolant temps to 600 degree's. That's a little to warm. That's would be why I can't just boost engine temps. The gain involved is useless. Thanks for the patience though
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Old 09-25-2003, 04:01 PM
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IDK, but when you figure it out let me know. My dad's 97 dakota does the same exact thing. good flow, ne thremostate, new core. ???
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Old 09-25-2003, 04:31 PM
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I think it is endemic for trucks. My dad had an International Travel All (we called it affectionately a Crummy) and it rarely got over freezing in the cab during cold weather! Sounds like you need a heater core upgrade if you are happy with water temp, water flow rate, and air flow rate. That's the only parameter left to fool with.
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Old 09-25-2003, 04:45 PM
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Hi,
My thoughts are you may have a door inside the heater plenum that is still mixing outside air with the heated air from your heater core. Or maybe it is not allowing the air to flow through your heater core. The result? Cold air out your heater vents.
I didn't think 45 degree air was cold. I know - 40 degree air is a little chilly, but 45 or 50 above? Must be hard putting up with that..LOL
Hope this helps,Skidmark
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Old 09-25-2003, 09:25 PM
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I'm kinda stumped myself, I'll look closer at the door's that direct air around and through the core. Willy's might be right. It get's to around -5 around hear through the winter months of Oct through March. I really cold blooded so a good heater is mandatory. I hate the winter months. Yet the heat will never bother me untill it gets to 110 or so with 75% humidity. Then I break a sweat sometimes. Some say I'm weird.
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Old 09-26-2003, 09:10 AM
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That's why I live in Bakersfield!
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Old 09-26-2003, 12:24 PM
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How old is the heater core, maybe it is restricted.
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Old 09-26-2003, 03:31 PM
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I don't know, I have to assume it's original in 1985 model year. Flow through the return line to the radiator is substantial though.

I should move to warmer climates, But we are stuck till my girl graduates college.
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Old 09-27-2003, 04:06 AM
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When I bought my ´86 Camaro in ´92 one of the fisrt jobs was to change the heater core.My one burst and put coolant all over the floor.The engine has a 175º thermostat so the heater is never real hot,but here in Spain it does´nt matter that much.
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Old 09-27-2003, 11:24 PM
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Let your truck warm up. Check the temp on both sides of the heater core, if there the same temp you have a blend door problem. Check vacuum lines, cables, door operation and sealing. Some passenger cars did come with a re stricter in the return hose from the heater core to do as you said "to help hold heat" Hope this helps?!

best of luck
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