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V8 vs V6's - Engine longevity/maintenance issues

You can still buy and install unvented gas space heaters. They now have an oxygen sensing pilot that shuts the heater down if oxygen levels fall too low.

You are correct. My brother is a plumber and has installed these unvented heaters, but he doesn’t like to do it. On the other hand, he has two apartment houses and has had to install combustion air intakes so that combustion air isn’t drawn from the living quarters.
I built a new house over 20 years ago. I had a state of the art furnace installed that vented through a little pcv pipe. When I replaced the furnace a year ago, the new furnace not only vented through a pcv pipe, but draws its combustion air from the outside instead of from the attached garage where the furnace is located. The garage is now a lot colder, but our heating bills have gone down. It is no longer comfortable to work in the garage in the winter, so I am in the process of installing an electric heater to use when I work in the garage.

They were common in the Bugs. It was the only way to get heat in those things. Without it you have to bundle up…and have a scraper to scrape the INSIDE of the windshield.

You responding to ME…if so then hit the reply button on my response…That way you can tell who you’re responding to. Not that I was NOT responding to you. I was responding to the OP.

Another dog Ed Cole produced was the Corvair pancake air cooled 6

Docnick, care to elaborate? While I think everyone here is familiar with Nader’s criticism of the aft-CG/live axle nature of the Corvair, I’ve heard exactly ONE* criticism of the engine. AFAIK, there was nothing wrong with the Corvair that a set of CV joints and/or a sway bar couldn’t fix.

IIRC, owners of Karmann-Ghias and the like like were swapping out the VW engine and swapping in Corvair 6’s. Experimental aviators use them frequently as an aviation powerplant, which is close to the ultimate praise for an engine’s quality I can think of.

*(The sole complaint I’ve heard re: the Corvair engine is actually a complaint of an accessory component: the belt driving the cooling fan was long, turned 90-degrees, and was prone to breakage. Simple enough matter to use an electrical fan in its place.)

My grandfather had a car with a gasoline powered heater. He said it worked really well. I think one of the main problems with them was they worked too well and could crack the windshield when used for defogging. I suppose on the plus side, you would have almost instant heat in cold weather instead of waiting for your engine to warm up.

My late father-in-law had a 37 Ford V-8 60 that had a gasoline heater in the cabin that would glow cherry red.

Now you are talking about real cars with real V-8 engines and heaters that kept you warm. However, your father-in-law’s 1937 Ford would have been faster had it had the 85 hp engine rather than the 60 hp engine. These Fords also had the transverse leaf spring suspension on both front and rear axles–none of this wimpy independent suspension. Also, you didn’t have to worry about brake fluid leaks–these Fords had mechanical brakes.

I have a ventless heater in MY HOME… The idea of a heater in a car…with a constantly lit pilot light…TAKES THE CAKE for me. I can see using the heater even a GAS heater but not the pilot light…LOL. Now we have had radiators for a LONG time…you mean to tell me they didnt use normal heater cores in Water cooled vehicles commonly for heat? It makes me wonder when the heater core was common equipment.

I can understand the need for a different type of heat source for an AIR cooled vehicle. Its that constantly lit gasoline pilot flame that kills me.

I recall in my youth soldering with my grandfather and his torch…I couldve SWORE he put gasoline in that old torch…I would get to pump it up and adjust flame…

Was that an old GASoline torch? I still have it…

LOL…I never hit that reply button B4. Are we arguing? I thought we were agreeing… I have seen many of your posts…YOu seem to really know your stuff. What is your background?

The gasoline car heaters didn’t have a pilot light. I think they had some kind of mechanical igniter–much like the flint and wheel on the old style cigarette lighters.
My guess is that your grandfather’s torch may have been a kerosene blowtorch. I’ve seen those torches. It’s been a long time ago, but maybe some of those torches used white gasoline–just like the Coleman fuel we use in camp stoves today. You might find out more by doing some research on the internet.

Well that would be better in my mind…but the other guy or maybe it was wikipedia said it was a constantly lit pilot light…Thas what really got me ranting. I find this thread fascinating actually. I didnt know this…HOW could I have not known this? I have been a gearhead since a toddler…and was always immersed in guys fixing things…my Grandfather, my Dad…etc. I guess we never touched on the subject of heater types in cars…LOL

OK that makes mroe sense about the torch…I thought gasoline would have been way too volatile in this situation. Makes more sense with Kero or White Gasoline… But where do you get White Gas anymore?

AND I thought VW Beetles always had the heat for the cabin produced by the “heater Boxes” that surrounded the exhaust headers…they used to rot out…and the upgrade was the Stainless Heater Boxes…I have those on my Porsche 914… When were heater cores commonly used…I would think ALWAYS in a water cooled vehicle…I guess I am wrong

LOL…I’m sorry I REALLY got this thread off in a different direction.

Drive belt, oil leaks, rapid wear of valve guides and seals, and many other cost cutting details. The engine was not unreliable, except for the accessory drive.

The model with the multiple carbs (Corsa) was very difficult to get to run smoothly. Compared to the competition, Chrysler’s slant 6 (Valiant)and the Ford straight 6 (Falcon), the engine was not very smooth. Agree that with time and refinement this could have been a good engine.

I dated a girl in college who had a Monza coupe with a stick shift. It was fun to drive but the heater left something to be desired.

Not arguing at all…It just seemed like you were addressing me directly (which is fine)…but the way it was positioned it looked like you were addressing the OP.

I’m a backyard mechanic…use to work as a mechanic some 30 years going to college…Now I just work on cars for friends and family…For a job I’m director of software engineering and chief software architect.

Yea…but it was very easy to rebuild…Scarred cylinder…no problem…unbolt it and pop in a new one.

WOW…thats a leap huh? Shadetree mechanic turned software Super Hero. I was in the Data Storage industry for the last 12 years or so…I am trying to keep my Career going but the job market is HORRIBLE…My last company cut its top Field Engineers because their sales went down and they looked to the highest paid highest trained guys to cut jobs first…Doesnt that make soo much sense? They decided to try and farm out service to a third party now…its not going well for them… Seems crazy to me to cut your top people…

Our family had two corvairs in the 60s. I drove a 63 Corvair as an 11th and 12th grader. Like Triedag, I too think the biggest problem was with the heater (where the leaky oil seal guides allowed oil to spill onto the engine fins in the heater duct).

There were many cold mornings where you could see the smoke from the oil fumes pouring out of the heater ducts. I remember being able to get that smoke to nearly stop by pouring 4 cans of STP in the oil.

When were heater cores commonly used…I would think ALWAYS in a water cooled vehicle…I guess I am wrong.

I think the hot water heaters for water cooled engines came along in the late 1920’s. However, I think some Model A Fords had heaters that drew the heat off the exhaust system. For many years, the heater was an option on a car and wasn’t included as standard equipment. It was not uncommon to buy a new car without a heater and go to Sears, Montgomery Ward, Western Auto, Firestone, etc and have a heater installed. This wasn’t too complicated as these heaters were merely a small radiator with a fan in a box and the box hung down under the dashboard. My Dad had a 1939 Chevrolet that came with the optional heater, but did not have a defroster (tubes leading to the windshield from the heater). Sometime in the late 1930s, an engineer for the Nash autombile company figured out that when the car was moving, the pressure inside the car was less than the pressure outside the car and the cold air that infiltrated the cabin didn’t make the cars comfortable. This engineer, Nils Erik Wahlberg (how is that for a Scandinavian name) figured out that he could pressurize the cabin by bringing in outside air and passing it through the heater core and boosting the flow with a fan. This was the first fresh air heater and Nash called in “Weather Eye”. It wasn’t long until other manufacturers offered this system. In fact, some manufacturers offered the economy recirculating box and the more expensive fresh air system. I know that the 1946-49 Dodges offered 4 price levels of automobile heaters.

In many parts of the country, particularly northern states, people put their cars away for the winter–put them up on blocks, etc. If you didn’t drive in the winter, you didn’t need a heater.

Software has been my job for over 35 years…That’s what I went to college for…BS computer Science…and MS in Applied Mathematics. Always liked cars…liked working on cars…but like computers more.