Home made heat exchange units

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 10:44
ThreadID: 107037 Views:1858 Replies:9 FollowUps:15
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Hi all,
I'm hoping that one of you handy chaps out there would be able to help me with the making of a heat exchange for under the bonnet of my 100 ser L/C,I have a pump set up with duel outlets and have used it cold but that just doesn't cut it with the Mrs so I'm looking at making one, I know I can buy one off the shelf but hey I like most others like to save a $ where possible so please if you know or have plans or just simply have made one Ide like to hear about it,I figured making it out of copper or stainless would be most likely as well.

Cheers John.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 13:54

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 13:54
Johny,

This is sort of project I'd try, if I had the time. Just checked "home made heat exchangers" on Google, and there's about a gazillion photos of h/e's, though nothing automotive related.

You would need silver soldering equipment, and a former to make the heating coil(pipe would do). Would use 3/8" pipe for heating coil, rather than 1/2". Size and weight might be the killer for a home made unit, and by time you make one, it'll be as expensive as a bought one.

Good luck, put up some photos if you make one. Could always make one to work in a boiler, on the fire, and using your pump set-up.

Bob.

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: - Johny boy (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 14:53

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 14:53
Hi Bob,
yes that's what I found as well, the search didn't really produce anything automotive wise but it did have a few good ideas that I will play with as well IE: a coil that you place over an open fire or burner with two solar shower bags? I just want to finish off the shower set up under the bonnet and I have a few contacts that might be able to help me with material so the cost shouldn't be as hi as $200 odd or I would just buy one! I just want to try and make one for the challenge as well LOL! thanks for your reply and hopefully someone has made or has plans or a link for one, we will see.

Cheers John.
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Reply By: Emerging I.T. - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 15:32

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 15:32
What's wrong with these?

http://www.glind.com.au/store/heat-exchangers/automotive-heat-exchanger

Automotive Heat Exchangers


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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 18:47

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 18:47
Hi John,

If I was a plumber I may consider making my own heat exchanger but otherwise it could be tricky to source the necessary parts at the right price.
Heat exchanger construction articles are uncommon but here is one that you may find helpful.

Commercial exchangers are available without all the bits & pieces that you may already have in the junk box.

Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 20:04

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 20:04
I wouldn't trust myself to make one - they have to withstand the 13 psi pressure of your cooling system and any sort of a leak might mean a cooked motor.
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Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 20:31

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 20:31
I have made them by making a copper pipe coil to whatever diameter and length you want and then fitting it inside a length copper pipe large enough in diameter to house the coil. the ends of the coil protrude out the ends of the tube, the end discs with an inlet pipe silver soldered in one and an outlet pipe soldered in the other, a hole the size of the coil pipe is also needed in the end discs, the discs are silver soldered to the end of the tube with the coil ends through the holes then they are also soldered.

I have often thought of using a heater core (radiator) from a car heater fitted inside a metal "box"not much larger than the core. Mount the core vertically inside the box with a partition attached to both the core and the inside of the box, the partition is to stop water from flowing around the outside of the core and thus forcing it through the core.
An inlet in one side and outlet in the other of the box and the inlet and outlet of the core protrude through the box (and soldered) for the fitting of hoses.

Geeeez it`s hard to explain things in writing. LOL.

One way of bending a coil so that it does not flatten is to anneal the length of copper pipe you are going to use,after it has cooled, block one end by folding it over, fill the pipe with water and starting at the sealed end freeze the water in the pipe in a deep freeze. It may not all fit in the freezer so do a bit at a time. Using a bit of scrap pvc or ?? with a diameter to suit the inside size of the coil, hold the PVC in a vice and wrap the frozen pipe (or section thereof) around the PVC until you have a coil. you may not get it all in one go so fill it with water again and with the first bit of the coil in the freezer first, freeze some more. There is no hurry to bend the coil after freezing the pipe because the ice inside has to be able to break and move along while you are bending the pipe. Even wiping a rag whetted with warm water along the pipe a little bit might help.
There is a fair bit of try it and see involved.

Good luck ,

Scrubby.


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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 09:06

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 09:06
These are the best

Helton
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Follow Up By: ROBBS GONE BUSH - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 13:55

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 13:55
Hi Pinko,

Can you please explain why you believe they are the best, what advantages they have over the Glind brand?

Cheer Rob
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Follow Up By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 14:32

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 14:32
Hello Rob
I have a Twine in my cruiser and has been in service in two previous cruisers over 25 years. And has plumbing connections on both ends making it difficult to fit in my present vehicle.
A mate had a brand where the exchanger had a plastic covering and it sprung a leak of coolant twice,
My son in law has a helton and it is slightly more efficient than mine. Why it is better is that it comes in different setups where the plumbing is all at one end so it can be mounted vertically (as it is in his case) and was very easy to install.
He has small kids and when there is a lot of water, creeks etc. available he has one of those tubs with two handles and puts about twenty litres of water in it and recirculates the water through the exchanger until hot enough.
Bath time is fun with plenty of time to soak a day of kid dirt off.
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Reply By: Malcolm 02 - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 09:52

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 09:52
Sorry but I can't see the point of going to the trouble when a shower pump in a bucket is so cheap, simple to use, takes up less space and weight and less time to set up.
On our trip to Cape York one of our group had a heat exchanger and we used it ounce the rest of the time we used a bucket with a shower pump.
The KISS principle is the best way to go, every time I stray from it I f-*-k up.

Have Fun
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Follow Up By: ROBBS GONE BUSH - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 13:53

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 13:53
Hi Malcolm ,

How did you heat the water........over the fire?

Cheers Rob
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Reply By: - Johny boy (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 17:43

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 17:43
Hi Malcom,
I've had two of those $25 BCF or camp shop showers and yes I agree they are great "when they work" but I found the cheap pumps to be there let down so I installed a sureflow that had a great workout whilst we traveled all year in 2010,I basically did the same thing and boiled the billy over the camp fire but at one stage there was a total fire ban and had to use gas and I thought gee if it was ready to go all plumbed up that would be great hence the reason I'm looking at this option, besides my pump has so much more pressure and yes it uses more water but that's not a worry if a creek is right next to us,each to there own I suppose.
Cheers John.
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Reply By: yarda - Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 14:15

Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 14:15
I made up a flat stainless tube coil and mounted it in a steel box frame with some perforated sheet on top, off that I have a couple of hoses with large bore stainless and brass air line couplers. I also have a submersible pump with these same couplers inline about a third of the way to the shower head.

I use a large tub of water and recirc the flow through the heater until desired temp, I then disconnect and run the tub through to the shower head. I use the heater over coals, or mainly over my gas ring cooker where I can still heat a saucepan of water or similar while I heat my shower water.
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Follow Up By: - Johny boy (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 08:51

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 08:51
Thanks Yarda,
Sounds like a great setup! is there any chance of you posting a few Photos as photos are hard to come across for home made Heat exchangers ?

Regards
John.
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Follow Up By: yarda - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 23:51

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 23:51
I can't post pics here, but I've dropped some on my other 4wd site http://forum.australia4wd.com/index.php?/topic/28778-home-made-heat-exchanger/

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: yarda - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 at 11:44

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 at 11:44
I forgot to say that it's a bit rough as I just knocked it up out of scrap as a "proof of concept" with the intent to re-do it later if it went OK.

But it works so well that I haven't touched it!
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 at 11:48

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 at 11:48
Yarda,

Can't view those unless you're a member.

Can you post them here?

Thanks mate
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Follow Up By: yarda - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 at 14:50

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 at 14:50
Hi Frank,
As mentioned earlier, I can't post pictures here as I'm no longer a paid member. So as I don't routinely bang up pictures on line, I don't have media hosting sites etc. and that was the only place I could think to pop them up. Hey at least it's free to join that site if you want.

Or if you can message me via your membership I could email them and you could post them.

This is why I am a simple mechanic and not a computer whiz!
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Follow Up By: ROBBS GONE BUSH - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 17:37

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 17:37
Hi Yarda,

I joined Australia4wd and still cannot view your photos. would you please email to me at rob.skelly@me.com

Cheers Rob
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 18:01

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 18:01
Hi Yarda,

Sorry for the delay - looking after grandies and packing for a little holiday.

I'd be happy to post them for you if you email them to me at
frankp79 at hotmail dot com.

Cheers Frank
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Follow Up By: - Johny boy (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 20:47

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 20:47
Hi Robb ,I haven't had a chance to see these post and I forgot how to find my own LOL! ,I will give you my Email at training and get you to shoot some over to me as well if you cant post on here , I have a mate that said he has some stainless lying around just the right size for me and said I should make it out of copper instead and I was hoping someone on here could give me some advice as I don't want to make it twice, I know it has to be around 300-400 mm long and around 80-120mm in diameter and I think all four outlets out one end would work best for my truck, but if anyone can advise that would be great.

Cheers
John.
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 22:07

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 22:07
Posted on Yarda's behalf:





Cheers
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Follow Up By: ROBBS GONE BUSH - Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 19:53

Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 19:53
Hi Frank,

Thanks very much for going to the trouble of posting pics.

So is your setup to have a water container with a 12V pump beside your stove then then recycle the water until you get the perfect temperature?

Cheers Rob


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Follow Up By: yarda - Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 21:13

Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 21:13
G'day Rob,
While I could run water straight through the exchanger and try and balance the temp via the shower head flow control, it creates trouble with scalds if you want to stop the flow etc.

I find it much easier and safer to heat the tub to the perfect temp then I can stop and start and take my time without a care. My gas ring is also very portable so usually I take the ring to the shower position as that's easier than carrying the tub of water.
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