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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since a new truck probably isn't in my future till the spring but another dog is we need a way to transport 2 big dogs. I have a topper lying around that should fit my truck so atleast they would be out of the wind but the air would still be freezing in the UP winters. I'm thinking it would be pretty easy to find a nice big heater core in the junk yard and maybe a blower motor, T into the heater lines with a valve some where easy to get to so i can turn it on or off, run run some heater hose to the back of the truck. Would this plan make my truck run too cool not giving me no heat? Would a different temp t-stat make a differance? Also any ideas for insulating the topper?
 

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I'm guessing you could insulate the cap, using carpet or some such thing, but given the design of the tailgate area, I don't know what you'd gain -- maybe not much. ??

If you've got a sliding rear window on the truck and cap, I have seen a boot-type thing to allow the heat from the cab to get into the cap, to help with heat. Something like this...

http://www.fourwheelcampers.com/window_boot.htm

Also I have seen on older (1980's) suburbans, a rear heater box. It's in a small enclosure, about the size of a small breadbox, and was mounted to the rear floor area. I believe it has a heater core and a fan, with lines coming from the front.

I don't think you'd want a higher thermostat on the motor, if that's what you're getting at. You need to keep that at a certain point, so it opens to keep the motor at the correct temp.

I'm guessing there would be plenty of hot coolant avaialble with a standard t-stat to support a rear heater. Might not get to 75 back there, but probably enough to keep the dogs comfortable.

Good luck
Pete
 

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I think that you have a pretty good Idea there, and that your dogs will be very happy with you. There are a couple of places out there that sell small heaters just like you are talking about. I have one in my CJ, and it works great. Your Idea of finding used parts is much more cost effecinet. I think my heater cost me almost 200, but worth every penny.

Dependnig on how your Rad fan functions, you may or may not have a problem with sub cooling. I would think that if you have a Fan Clutch on you fan you should be ok, or if you have an electric fan that comes on and off with Temp you will be fine. You may have a problem if you have a mechanical fan that runs all the time.
Good luck with this project, and keep us posted. I would like to follow along on this one.
 

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how about an electric heater?

might require a higher power alternator though....not sure if junk yard parts exist like that though....

or power inverter and a space heater....not sure what they draw power wise , so not sure if its feasible....but worth looking into me thinks
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The topper i have doesn't have a sliding rear window and a new topper isn't in the picture. I'll have to do some junkyard diving to find some extra parts. I'm worried that an extra 20' of pipe/heater hose and another heater core will make my truck run too cool since it allready doesn't get that hot in the winter, maybe 180* and 190 or 200* in the summer. Anybody actually attemp a project like this?
 

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Grab you an inverter and a couple heating blankets, throw 'em in the back and plug 'em in, should keep the doggies nice an toastie /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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While I haven't done what you are talking about, I hope to in the near future. I don't think your vehicle will run any cooler... the thermostat should regulate that. It will, however, take longer to fully warm up. I think I would put the heater cores in series, with the hot side going through the cab heater first. If you "T" the connection, the water will take the path of least resistance and probably not even circulate through the secondary core. Then just plumb a seasonal bipass with ball valve and maybe use hydraulic hose disconnects and remove the secondary unit.. you might even be able to use the larger diameter air hose couplings. When browsing the junk yard, early 80s Isuzu Troopers have realtively small, self contained heater core/blower units. I'd imagine you could pick one up cheap.
 

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What type of topper?

An AL skinned "old school" type can have the biggest heat loss, but are the simplest to insulate. You can find the styrofoam insulation (used on many new houses and exteriors under stucco) or pressed fiberglass panels (some ceiling tiles are made like this) to do most of it since it flat. Cut to fit tightly inside the frame (most have 1" thinwalled box tube) and kerfed to fit the radius' will keep it in place. You could add some sillycon type adhesive to make sure it stays put. May be best to cover it to make it easier to keep relatively clean (*YOU* may need to sleep back there at some point) and keep them from clawing/chewing it up (neither would be good for their digestive tracks...). 3M makes a spray adhedsive that will hold vinyl/cloth/etc. to either of the materials.

Fiberglass? You can use the same materials, but it's takes longer to do because of all the "swoops" (angles/concaves/convexes)...

Also, look for any old schoolbuses... many had additional heater cores w fans mounted aft and may do the trick... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/40BEER.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's an old school aluminum grandpa topper, i like the idea of runnig it after the truck's heater core, then wouldn't the heater control valve also control the flow into the core and no need to worry about turning on and off the coolant to back there.
 

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Your plan will work. I have a second heater in my CJ that is a commercially made unit consisting of a heater core and fan in a box. I had an old one out of a panel van and it was similar. Schoolbuses use the same system as well.

The instructions with the heater were to use Y fittings and install it in parallel with the existing heater core. This works very well. Both heaters produce proper output. If you put them in series, you will be feeding the second heater with the lower temperature output of the first heater core.

If the small 6x6" heater core could heat a panel van for a flower shop, I'm sure you can rig up something to keep your dogs warm enough.
 

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An FJ-40 Land Cruiser is set up the same way, you actually have front and rear heat in those things. If you can find a 'Cruiser that's being parted, laying along someones barn, etc. grab the box unit for the rear seat passenger and set it up the way TiminMb described.
 

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Just a word of caution. Those pickup caps trap carbon monoxide in them pretty good. Seems like once a year a family loses a couple kids riding in the back of a pick up truck with a cap on it.

Mainly on LONG trips.

.... I'd hate for you to lose a pup.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
I'm worried that an extra 20' of pipe/heater hose and another heater core will make my truck run too cool since it allready doesn't get that hot in the winter, maybe 180* and 190 or 200* in the summer. Anybody actually attemp a project like this?

[/ QUOTE ]

Do you already have a piece of cardboard in front of the radiator?
(I grew up in Mi. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif)

Why don't you let the dogs ride up front? Are you afraid that you will get them dirty? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/chairfall.gif
 

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The exhaust problem is bad if the exhaust does not exit to the side behind the rear tires. If it exits under the truck or under the rear bumper, it gets sucked right back in the cap.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Why don't you let the dogs ride up front? Are you afraid that you will get them dirty? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/chairfall.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/goodpost.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/chairfall.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/chairfall.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/chairfall.gif

That's a hoot Aaron! BTW, where the heck is my junk? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/deal.gif
 

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Why don't you let the dogs ride up front? Are you afraid that you will get them dirty? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/chairfall.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/goodpost.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/chairfall.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/chairfall.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/chairfall.gif

That's a hoot Aaron! BTW, where the heck is my junk? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/deal.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

Floor of my garage. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bag.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
1 dog is an 88 pound lab that allready hogs the seat with 2 people in the cab, the other dog we are getting if christa has her way is a 9 month old rotty and he's probably about the size of my lab. No way both dogs and 2 people will fit in the cab. I havn't given the go ahead yet on this new dog. I said yes to an australian sheperd pup that would ride on your lap but she ended up not being for addoption and not christa wants this rotty instead, a 70-100 pound rotty is quite a differnt animal.
 

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granted I've not spent a winter up north but I can't help but keep thinking... Dogs have fur to keep them warm... throw some blankets back there, they'll curl up together, and stay warm. the impoprtant part is to keep their space limited. larger areas take more to heat, especially with body heat.

You're putting or have put a topper on, that's the biggest thing you can do for them. Now insulate them from the bed of the truck with blankets or one of those bog bed, cushion deals. they'll be fine.
 
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