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You can bypass the frame by installing a pipe directly from the heat exchangers to the front hoses. Much more airflow and more heat. It all so is noisy. If the outside temp is near freezing the engine will not get hot enough to produce heat. Original VW design worked because the engines were small and had no external filter or cooling. Likewise they only had 2.5 quarts of oil. Those engines got warm in cold weather.

Probably the most important thing is to not lug the engine.

Folks on the Porsche forums swear by actually running it hard (full throttle runs and downshifting to slow the car down) for the first 300 miles to break in the rings. I've done this on several air cooled engines with no noticable downside, but others may have different thoughts.

Otherwise, just let it warm up, don't lug it and have fun!

@KenTO

The three alternatives to stock VW/Speedster replica heat are:

1.  No heat at all (because we sometimes don't install the heater units on the exhaust pipes) and

2.  Using the stock or modified heater units on the engines or;

3. Restoring an old (pre-1960 - 1980) VW-style gasoline-powered heater.  These things put out GOBS of heat but only had two operational modes: Scorch the top of your knees right below the heat outlet or..... Off.  

The originals were not automatic at all and required a lot of operator intervention, turning the switch on and off to control cockpit heat level.  I've modified mine such that I can dial the heat output level up and down with a dash knob, but AFAIK mine is the only one that does that - more modern versions have this feature as well.  

Two photos:  The installed heater in the nose of the car and the dash controller under the car radio.  It's a lot more involved than the engine heater boxes:

final install

IMG_1101

Option 4: Pony up a "fistful of dollars" and get a MODERN Webasto or Espar gas heater. They are smaller(same heat output), electronically controlled(reliable and safe), and VARIABLE output(come that way, with, like, a knob). My Webasto cost less than $1000 installed WITH defrost. Espars are about $1500 for just the heater.

The newer heaters are a bit of work to install, but they work and work well. They aren't that hard to work with.

Output does not depend on engine warmth or speed. And no heater boxes, if you are a performance engine guy(better exhaust).

Last edited by DannyP

Webasto Airtop 2000 STC. Output is 7000-8000 btu/hr. Gasoline consumption is about a gallon in a day, it works out to less than 6 ounces per hour. The unit is 5" square and 12" long. It bolts through a bulkhead. Fuel, fuel pump power,  combustion intake and exhaust go through the bulkhead with a rubber gasket. The wire harness is pre-built and can be shortened or excess coiled up. It comes with an on-off rotary control.

I paid about $700, but bought some heat outlets, plastic adapters(a T and a Y), large diameter hose for the heat outlets, and small diameter hose for the defroster outlets. I also purchased some heat sleeving for the combustion exhaust hose and some stick-on heat shield for under the gas tank. I made a spring-loaded flapper to turn the defrost air on and off. It added up to about $1000 total.

I purchased a brass T to cut into my fuel supply after my pre-filter to go the heater fuel pump. The pump is mounted by the front beam and is gravity fed.

Carey Hines provided me with his proprietary aluminum dash vent trim. I used small Shop-Vac outlets to feed the windshield vents.

If you end up doing one of these heaters, make sure you don't create a heat loop. That is to say make sure your cold air intake is far away from the heater outlets. My intake is from the rocker panel on my Spyder, about 4-5 feet away from the outlets.

They are a bit involved, but it's all pretty straight-forward if you're familiar with custom auto installation. If you have any stereo or alarm experience that would be a plus.

Mine came from the Czech Republic. This is from Russia, but with $120 shipping it "rings the bell" at $700:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12445...LEAQYAiABEgLh8PD_BwE

I do not know this person/seller. Just noting that these are available.

Last edited by DannyP

Funny story: When I was in high school, my older brother’s best friend bought a 356 cab. Being January in Utah, the only proper thing to do was drop the top so all three of us would fit and go for a ride.

About 10 minutes in, we smell burning rubber so we pull over, which is when I discover the sole of my Fred Perry’s are smoking and just about to ignite, having had my foot jammed up against the gas heat duct on the floorboard.

@DannyP posted:

Webasto Airtop 2000 STC. Output is 7000-8000 btu/hr. Gasoline consumption is about a gallon in a day, it works out to less than 6 ounces per hour. The unit is 5" square and 12" long. It bolts through a bulkhead. Fuel, fuel pump power,  combustion intake and exhaust go through the bulkhead with a rubber gasket. The wire harness is pre-built and can be shortened or excess coiled up. It comes with an on-off rotary control.

I paid about $700, but bought some heat outlets, plastic adapters(a T and a Y), large diameter hose for the heat outlets, and small diameter hose for the defroster outlets. I also purchased some heat sleeving for the combustion exhaust hose and some stick-on heat shield for under the gas tank. I made a spring-loaded flapper to turn the defrost air on and off. It added up to about $1000 total.

I purchased a brass T to cut into my fuel supply after my pre-filter to go the heater fuel pump. The pump is mounted by the front beam and is gravity fed.

Carey Hines provided me with his proprietary aluminum dash vent trim. I used small Shop-Vac outlets to feed the windshield vents.

If you end up doing one of these heaters, make sure you don't create a heat loop. That is to say make sure your cold air intake is far away from the heater outlets. My intake is from the rocker panel on my Spyder, about 4-5 feet away from the outlets.

They are a bit involved, but it's all pretty straight-forward if you're familiar with custom auto installation. If you have any stereo or alarm experience that would be a plus.

Mine came from the Czech Republic. This is from Russia, but with $120 shipping it "rings the bell" at $700:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12445...LEAQYAiABEgLh8PD_BwE

I do not know this person/seller. Just noting that these are available.

Thanks for the info on the heater, I’m going to look into using it on my 356 (a next year project).

@KenTO posted:

Quick question, is it safe to drill into the fibreglass body to install trim? Would this cause cracks?

It is safe. Double check your marks to make sure they're in the right place, then use a very small drill bit to start the hole. To start drilling, run the drill in reverse and the small bit won't move off of your mark. Once you've opened up a divot with the drill in reverse, switch it into normal mode and drill a hole with the small bit to make a pilot hole. Then you can use the bit size you'll need for the trim and it will follow the pilot hole without moving across the paint.

Probably more info than you need, but it might help someone who hasn't done it.

Also, I prefer these “Bullet” style drill bits over regular drill bits for drilling fiberglass. They kind of have a pilot bit built in, and the flutes are more mill bit-like so it makes for a cleaner edge.
DA734C76-11EF-4AEF-AC5C-1DC9A0C26D1F
And if you tape the area where you’re going to drill, it makes it easier to mark as well as keeping the corner of the hole from cracking off.

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  • DA734C76-11EF-4AEF-AC5C-1DC9A0C26D1F
Last edited by dlearl476

Do like Mike says above. You can use super glue or clear nail polish to seal the fiberglass. I prefer the nail polish, sometimes super glue will craze making white residue on you paint. Or you can just use touch-up paint. Use blue tape.

When I put emblems on, I trace them on a manila folder. Then I cut the trace out to line them up on the car. Lets you line the emblem up straight and the holes in the right place.

Ken, well it is a little bit alike, you have to go through all the systems to make sure they are all ok.  Even a new build on a car can have Carb issues, suspension issues, Motor issues, alignment etc.  then some small stuff like rash or other that you can live with so long as the urticaria doesn't affect you too much.  Here we call it the madness, you'll understand it in the end.  

Honestly, these cars are NOT DAILY Drivers out of the box of the Manufacturer just trying to bring a bit of info so that your not dissapointed. Ray



BTW, where are you located again in the GTA?

Last edited by IaM-Ray

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