Heating in a Ferret - what not to do!
   (Ver 1)


The following is an exchange of emails between myself and another Ferret owner when he responded to a query from a 3rd owner.


>> Does anyone know of a source of OD or black fabric ducting similar to
>> that used for dryer vents? I believe that a properly set
>> up "diverter" over the top of the radiator hot air "exhaust" would be
>> able to create more than adequate heat.

> Any time one adds hoses and fittings to anything the probability of a
> leak increases. Why not deal with an "expendable" by-product, the
> heated air, as a source of heat? Use an appropriate ammunition can,
> with one open side. Wire or bungee the can to the radiator fins. Then
> cut a round hole on the forward side of the can, smaller than the
> ducting and and lay the ducting in the valley between the two engine
> hatches. Stuff the end into the crew compartment, and lead it up
> front somewhere. Easy, and it fits the average "grunt's" approach to
> obtaining creature comforts in the military. When warmer weather
> comes along, the can might well store the compressed ducting - very
> tidy!

> I think that a .30 or .50 can would do. At any speed there is a LOT
> of hot air coming out of the radiator vents, and the ammo can would
> be plenty large enough to capture enough heat.

Ian, Seattle



> Any time one adds hoses and fittings to anything the probability of a
> leak increases.

There is one problem with your idea and the reason why it is not used more often around internal combustion engines. It is carbon monoxide (chemical symbol = CO) poisoning!

Personally I think the Ferret would be VERY prone to this as those 2 loose pipes between the exhaust manifold and the hull exhaust flange are impossible to keep sealed due to their very nature. Thus they WILL leak and there will be a very real risk you will have CO piped to you through your hot air system.

This is why hot water heating is used in vehicles, no fumes and the system is also a sealed one.

The aviation world commonly uses a system such as you suggest. Sitting on my kitchen table is an aviation safety magazine which contains yet another article on this subject and the continuing problem of hot air system failures, the resultant effects on the pilot and crashes in petrol engined light aircraft (ie. air cooled piston engined).

It is insidious stuff, does not smell and puts you to sleep. It does cause headaches, but because lots of things do that, people rarely make the connection before it is too late.

Next time you are near a Bradley or an M113 Diesel, poke your head in the back and look at the warning signs on the internal engine covers. They are 2' long and 1' high red on white - it must have been a very real problem for the US Army to be that concerned about it.

Sorry to rain on your parade.

> I disregarded the exhaust leaks around the manifolds - ooops. A very
> good reason not to use such a jury-rigged heater, I suppose. Another
> interesting "heater" conversion could be the use of engine oil. I
> know one fellow who used an oil cooler (radiator) as a heater in a
> motorcycle sidecar! He routed the hoses into the "chair" and placed
> the core up front with some small, rotating vents through the "hull"
> visible only from the underside. He said that it kept his wife quite
> warm as long as she used the lap robe.

> Anyway, it's a good thing it doesn't get that cold in Seattle. I just
> returned from Ohio which is rather cold - 25 degrees during the
> daytime.

Ian, 00DC81 (chilly, but not freezing)

Nodding off from Carbon Monoxide poisoning and/or the resultant crash could quite easily be fatal.

So, the message in all this is that before you modify anything. You need to fully research the consequences of what you are doing, like Ian, it can be very educational to put a message onto one of the hobbyist mailing lists and see if someone else is aware of consequences that you are not.

My thanks to Ian for his co-operation.


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