Who has found some good ideas to keep comfortable in the winter. I live in Arizona and it’s 43° now it’s going to go up to 75 but I want to drive the car to the store now  and this is my Speedster daily driver

Some heat comes in after about 10 minutes the way I drive. I don’t get very much and we have a positive feedback of the gas heaters that were around 40 and 50 years ago.

 

 I don’t get very much and we have a positive feedback of the gas heaters that were around 40 and 50 years ago.

 

Has anybody used electric Heat . How did you do it. Is plug in electric seats possible and simple?

 

 

 

Original Post

I take it your car is aircooled? Something you can do right now- take off the piece of sheet metal that covers the exhaust- you'll get more heat and a faster warm up too. Put the piece (with the screws and screwdriver) behind the seats or in the frunk so it's right there when the weather warms up.

A friend of mine (the only guy I know that still drives a Beetle as his only transportation year-round) takes the over the exhaust piece off late October/early November and puts it back on when it warms up in spring (late March or early April) and the car runs way better in colder weather, reaching operating temps (and heating the interior of the car) that much faster.

The problem with an electric heater is it takes a lot of amps (in 12 volts) to make enough heat to feel it in an area as big as the passenger area in a Speedster- you'll need a pretty high performing alternator to make it happen. Gordon has mounted a gas heater in the very bottom of the frunk where the spare tire normally goes and chronicled it here, so maybe see if you can find it via the seach function or go back through his old posts? I think someone else here has done it as well, but who it is escapes me at the moment.

I think seat heaters are a great idea, but haven't looked into what's involved in the install. There are 12 volt electric blankets available- something else to look into?

Hope this helps. Al

Last edited by ALB

Seat heaters can easily be retro fitted by a shop under your seat upholstery.  

I hear that some form of seat cushion with heater can be bought and plugged into a lighter plug (12volt)

Eddie Bauer makes a near 100 percent windproof nylon type of jacket that I have and at 10 degrees it cuts the wind quite well. A plug in seat heater and a nylon windproof shell is a great morning addition to your coffee.  Just saying. 

 

Last edited by IaM-Ray

I have the carbon fiber inserts under the backrest and seat skins. They do help a lot. I also installed a modern gas heater. The new Eberspacher models tend to be about 50% more than the similar Webasto models. I bought an Airtop 2000 from Webasto. It actually came from the Czech Republic via ebay.

It works very well. 8000 Btu of warmth. My wife and I drove the car without a top, seat heaters and gas heater on. It was 36F, and not bad, almost very comfortable. It warmed up to the high 50s later that morning and we shut the gas heater off. Later in the morning we turned the seat heaters off.

Like the falling leaves, the migration of songbirds, and the end of daylight savings time-- this topic comes around every year.

Whether or not an electric heater will be enough for you is really a function of what you expect of it. I have an Espar gasoline heater, similar to Danny's (about 8000 btu/hr). That's a lot of heat (enough that the heater often shuts down here in the snow-belt because it gets too hot). For the sake of discussion-- if you have the expectation of driving with the top up, down to 30*
OA temp (or so), and you don't expect this to be 80* inside, you could probably get by with 1/4 of that.

With electric, 1000 w equals 3412 btu/hr. Ohm's law says that with a resistive load, volt x amps= watts. Your alternator makes about 14 v (+/-), so 1000 watts would be 71 amps. You don't have 71 extra amps to work with, and nobody wants to run welding cable to their heater. 1/4 of 8000 btu/hr (what the gas heaters throw) is 2000 btu/hr, or 586 watts. The heater that you want will be at least 500 w, which will require 35a at 14v. Amazon has a few 500w heaters for short money, but the reviews are not good. The guys who took the time to check current draw noted that they were putting out half of what they were rated for.

A decent heater is going to be a few hundred bucks. It's going to need to be hard-wired and is not going to plug into the cigarette lighter. If I lived in Phoenix, I'd get a 12v heated blanket, wear a jacket, and love life.

I can't imagine how cool having a speedster as a daily driver would be. 

I had a '72 VW Bus T4 engine sans gas heater option) that we would take skiing up to PA.  I had a Coleman Catalytic propane canister powered heater in the back area.  It did a good job but put off a lot of moisture.  All was good until a friend put his down-filled parka on it at one of the pee breaks - it stunk burned feathers for a week.  Melted the nylon too!  Probably not a viable alternative any more - especially in small Speedsters.

Image result for coleman catalytic heater

There are threads here on re-routing the engine heat to the center tunnel vs the side beams where it is cooled by un-insulated steel pipes.  Wonder if that side frame could be somehow insulated to decrease heat loss there?  Some have also added boat bilge blower pumps ($30 each) in the heater pipe to increase the airflow. The T4 engines did have a similar blower on most engines.  This helps defroster volume too.

Attwood Turbo In-Line Bilge Blower 3Image result for porsche 914 air blowerImage result for porsche 914 air blower

 

Last edited by WOLFGANG

A Subaru Engine solves a lot of this delimma. At least for a heat source. I have been thinking of trying to make a small radial heater core to install under each seat with a small fan on each.........Bruce

After years of driving open cars and motorcycles across the country, I've found heated vests to be the answer to staying warm while cruising in cool weather. I bought my first one from BMW, but most motorcycle shops carry them. Just plug it into 12v and enjoy the warmth. When it gets too hot, turn it down to a comfortable level. Paired with a good wind proof jacket, ear protection, a scarf and gloves you're ready for cold weather driving. I think they are much better than seat heaters as they provide heat to your entire core and neck area. While being from Nor-Cal I wear shorts most of the year. When I need extra warmth for my legs I grab my heated blanket. Works for me !!

Im a pretty  much ifn its cold, rainy, sleety out then i stay home by fireplace,favorite beverage,comfy recliner and i can watch guys freezin their  body parts off on Youtube..

Butcher Boy posted:

After years of driving open cars and motorcycles across the country, I've found heated vests to be the answer to staying warm while cruising in cool weather. I bought my first one from BMW, but most motorcycle shops carry them. Just plug it into 12v and enjoy the warmth. When it gets too hot, turn it down to a comfortable level. Paired with a good wind proof jacket, ear protection, a scarf and gloves you're ready for cold weather driving. I think they are much better than seat heaters as they provide heat to your entire core and neck area. While being from Nor-Cal I wear shorts most of the year. When I need extra warmth for my legs I grab my heated blanket. Works for me !!

As @Butcher Boy mentioned, a 12-volt heated vest would be optimal. A less expensive way would be the 12-volt electric blanket which can be found at Wal Mart for $24. 

car-balnket

Draping the blanket over your lap, along with wearing an appropriate jacket will keep you or your passenger more than comfortable enough for cruising in cool weather.

If you haven't already, install a 12-volt socket (cigaret lighter) under the dash  (out of sight) . Its a very useful accessory to have in the Speedster (phone charger, GPS, etc.).  @JPC

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Last edited by MusbJim

 

Geesh, @JPC , you're in Arizona, not Minnesota.

Your microclimate and mine are about the same, except our summers are ungodly and yours are unspeakable. But forget the summers for now, it's the so-called 'winters' we're about.

Which would not be called 'winters' at all in 95 per cent of the country. Forty-three degrees is a nice Memorial Day in Duluth.

Ray and Bob are absolutely right. Clothes make the man, or make him a Speedster driver, at least. The key is knowing what makes you cold in a Speedster, and it's not the cold, it's the wind. Start with a thin base layer, add some fleece, but most important is that wind-stopping shell.

Another thing to remember is that most of the wind in a Speedster is coming at you from behind. A good cap that covers the back of your neck is crucial. It needs to overlap your jacket collar in the back. Ever notice how all modern roadsters have some sort of wind deflector behind the driver? In a Speedster, you need a good hat.

If you're still cold, try an old-fashioned scarf tucked under your jacket collar. That can make a huge difference. And don't forget the gloves. A light pair of ski gloves with high-friction palms for gripping the wheel will buy you another five degrees or so.

The right clothes should keep you happy into the low forties, at least. Below that, who cares?

You're in Arizona.

 

 

Last edited by Sacto Mitch

Agree with @Sacto Mitch
Adding my full tonneau helped a lot. Keeping what little heat that dribbles out of the vents in the cabin. 
I’ve driven on the highways at 6am to CNC in the winter, where it’s gotten around 38-40 degrees. I put the top up for that. And it’s manageable. 

as @Sacto Mitch mentioned it’s the wind from behind that gets you. I like to wear a hoodie. 

Back in my motorcycle riding days I’d wear a beanie under my helmet and heavy gloves.  Both were powered with D-cell batteries (it was a LONG time ago) and were basically little electric blankets.  Couple those with some long Johns and a nice jacket and you’re set!

A quick check on Amazon shows similar devices running on much smaller batteries.  They seem to be tailored to the ski and snow-board crowd.

Keeping the fuel tonneau closed on the passenger side will help as well...if nothing else it’ll keep the wind from whipping around you and may even hold in some heat.

I’d check the sports stores and see what is out there for the heated caps and gloves.

Last edited by TheMayoMachine
TheMayoMachine posted:

Back in my motorcycle riding days I’d wear a beanie under my helmet and heavy gloves.  Both were powered with D-cell batteries (it was a LONG time ago) and were basically little electric blankets.  Couple those with some long Johns and a nice jacket and you’re set!

A quick check on Amazon shows similar devices running on much smaller batteries.  They seem to be tailored to the ski and snow-board crowd.

Keeping the fuel tonneau closed on the passenger side will help as well...if nothing else it’ll keep the wind from whipping around you and may even hold in some heat.

I’d check the sports stores and see what is out there for the heated caps and gloves.

Back in my MC days I once rode home from Fl. to Ohio in Oct. and it snowed in the W VA. mountains. After that I bought heated liners, jacket pants and socks. 

I have heated pant liners, jacket and gloves for motorcycling with dual controllers for heat levels. You can ride in the 30's with that on and I have.

Like any hobby stuff though, the manufacturers see you coming and the price for basically electric blanket wires through a wind breaker is astronomical.

Maybe put some coroplast under it and sew it in, Carlos? That stuff is stiff enough, but not too stiff.

Last edited by DannyP

@gkgeiger : I thought I had it bad riding in the low 30’s and the occasional freezing rain!  My hat is off to you for braving the snow!

@Carlos G : I like that tonneau!  It gave me an odd vision: a full tonneau with a zip-on hood so only your head pops out!  Probably not the safest, but it sure got me thinking.  Kinda like zipping together a pair of sleeping bags.

Carlos G posted:

I did this as an experiment. I need to make one with a heavier material, the prototype is too thin and it flaps a lot. Maybe wax it for stiffness and waterproofing.

Proto tonneau 2

Try Crisco, it is after all a shortening. 

I've used Crisco as a pre-lube for years in fresh build engines. Crisco keeps the dreaded darkened heat areas from forming on fresh build's pistons walls. BTW Crisco was first used as a machine lubricant before Crisco bribed the American Heart Association to recommend it for cooking ...Look that tid bit up.

Funny Alan, I went to look up the wiki for Crisco and the product has changed a lot in recent years.  I find it funny that they can still have Trans fat in low percentages and call it zero as well as completely hydrogenate the product and not be held to make mention of the issues with it. 

 

So basically a kayak skirt? But with that you won't be able to see the water on the inside. But trust me, you'll feel it when it gets your feet wet under braking LOL!

there us a easy way to get more heat in it:

just buy the original Heat Exchanger from Volkswagen (not the china reproductions we all have).

They produce so much more heat that it easily melt your feet!

in addition you can also put some isolation around the pipes under the doors.

the difference between original and cheap reproduction heaters is extreme.

 

Best

 

Jan Peter Stahl posted:

there us a easy way to get more heat in it:

just buy the original Heat Exchanger from Volkswagen (not the china reproductions we all have).

They produce so much more heat that it easily melt your feet!

in addition you can also put some isolation around the pipes under the doors.

the difference between original and cheap reproduction heaters is extreme.

 

Best

 

 Yes, Jan, they do put out way more heat than the aftermarket ones (if you've ever seen an original apart you'll understand why when you see the finned aluminum heat sink inside) but if your engine needs bigger exhaust tubing, I believe the "cheap reproductions" are the only option.

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