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1954 "Franken" Heater & Heater/Defroster

Posted By: SmithLakeChevy

1954 "Franken" Heater & Heater/Defroster - Sat Apr 13 2019 09:03 PM

Out of curiosity, can anyone identify the “Franken” heater located in the pics below? This heater is presently on my 1954 3100 Hydra-Matic and I have been unable to find anything exactly like it in any of the threads. I know that it appears to have been modified to add the defroster and flap, but the basic structure appears to be just a heater and not a heater/defroster. Did the dealer sell a fresh air “heater” only? I have researched the “AD Heater Emblem” thread along with many others and I have not been able to identify anything like it (excluding the Frankenstein mods).
Anyway, on another note, since I am struggling with trying to make my truck more presentable with this restoration, I recently purchased a very nice “Fresh Air” heater from a 1953 3100 truck (Harrison H-O2-47) and I am curious if the 1953 “Fresh Air” Heater/Defroster is something that would have been offered on a 1954 Truck, and if so was the cable used for the Heater/Defroster flap and not just the Recirculating Heater Flap?
The cable control I have appears to say “Hood” (probably another Franken addition) and the Heater Switch I remember lights up red when it is on and is also unlike anything I have seen. I have seen the new cables for the 1954/55 1st Series so I plan on getting one for the new heater.
I just finished freeing up the last wheel on the truck this week and if anyone doubts my resolve to complete this project, my wife and I just made a 14 hour “Road Trip” to Laurens, SC to get this 1953 Heater (it was a very good deal and the guy had used it as “Art Deco” in his office for years). The heater came out of a 1953 3100 in Montana that he modified with a LS motor and he was glad to see it find a home back in an old truck.

Attached picture Heater 1953.jpg
Attached picture Heater 1954.jpg
Attached picture Heater Knobs.jpg
Posted By: SmithLakeChevy

Re: 1954 "Franken" Heater & Heater/Defroster - Sat Apr 13 2019 09:43 PM

I am not sure why this was moved? I thought "Heaters" were a part of "General Truck Talk".
Sorry
Posted By: Brad Allen

Re: 1954 "Franken" Heater & Heater/Defroster - Sun Apr 14 2019 01:51 PM

The “Franken” heater shown is exactly that. That heater how ever it came to be is incorrect. For 1954 there were two accessory heaters available. Fresh Air, called Air-Flow and Recirculating. The additional heater you purchased is also a correct Air-Flow but not a 1953 or 54 model. The heater shown also has the plaque instead of a decal, this heater was offered from 1947-1950 it may show up on a few 1951’s until stock was consumed. The two heater types are shown below.
Here is a picture of of installed type in a ‘54 GMC.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/advance-design_parts_co/25248149898/in/album-72157631868452754/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/advance-design_parts_co/8129448404/in/album-72157631868452754/
This is the correct heater w/door to dump heat into the cab. You will note cable to door, manual lever to defrost.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/advance-design_parts_co/8129313579/in/album-72157631868452754/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/advance-design_parts_co/8129470099/in/album-72157631868452754/
The switch is black, usually Ark-less or Delco-Remy, they are flat to allow Fog switches to be right next to them on the dash, earlier versions were this way to allow Heat/Defrost to fit the same way, the dash is punched for them. Lighted or rotary switches while very common are not correct. Photo below shows the design element of side/side.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/advance-design_parts_co/46016562265/in/album-72157631868452754/
Correct switch type.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/advance-design_parts_co/8129352382/in/album-72157631868452754/
The knob for the door cable is shaped like your “B” knob but has a white dot in the center as shown.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/advance-design_parts_co/8129338276/in/album-72157631868452754/
Posted By: Justhorsenround

Re: 1954 "Franken" Heater & Heater/Defroster - Sun Apr 14 2019 03:03 PM

SmithLakeChevy, where is a heater mounted? Interior, right. Simple. That’s why your post was moved, since you asked.
Posted By: SmithLakeChevy

Re: 1954 "Franken" Heater & Heater/Defroster - Sun Apr 14 2019 05:38 PM

Thanks guys.
Brad, I really do appreciate the education. I believe what I have, although not correct, is a much better looking heater than what is presently in the truck. I know my truck will never be exactly period correct but I do want it to look good when I finish, at least to the untrained eye. I believe I can make the cable work too and then I will not have to bend down under the dash to flip the switch.
Martin,
The reason I asked why the post was moved is because of the following statement.

General Truck topics, including, but not limited to:

wiper blades
Accessories
Visors
Heaters
Towing topics other than electrical related
Emblems
Speedometers
Bumpers
Decals
Updates on your project progress
... and more.

I am trying to be careful to do things correctly because I believe this membership to be a true privilege and something to be cherished. This post included information about my "heater" and "updates on your (my) project progress". I would not have made near the progress I have made so far had it not been for the vast amount of information I have been able to get from this site.

I am finally able to move my truck now, but I have been accumulating parts along the way as I find them reasonably priced. I will be posting updates on my progress in the proper forum soon.

Again, thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way in this process.
Posted By: Brad Allen

Re: 1954 "Franken" Heater & Heater/Defroster - Sun Apr 14 2019 06:06 PM

Agree that the heater is entirely suitable, that heater when operating correctly will drive you out of the truck. Attached is all the kit needed to install one, it is substantial.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/advance-design_parts_co/44267047400/in/album-72157631868452754/
Posted By: SmithLakeChevy

Re: 1954 "Franken" Heater & Heater/Defroster - Sun Apr 14 2019 07:03 PM

Thanks Brad!
Posted By: 52Carl

Re: 1954 "Franken" Heater & Heater/Defroster - Mon Apr 15 2019 01:11 AM

Originally Posted by Brad Allen

Brad, I have one of those heaters with the cable operated narrow vertical door and the manually operated defrost lever.
I always assumed that pulling on the cable knob opened the narrow vertical door while at the same time closed the bigger door, preventing outside air from coming through the lovers in the outer side cowl. In other words, the narrow vertical door will then become the intake for the heater, essentially changing this heater from a fresh air heater to a recirculating heater.
Am I missing something? (I often do.)
Carl
Posted By: Brad Allen

Re: 1954 "Franken" Heater & Heater/Defroster - Mon Apr 15 2019 03:11 AM

No, the small lever with the white knob pushes the air from cab discharge to the defroster ducts. It is just a directional flap on that small lever. My reference is more about the effect you gain with this heater with that door, it does dump a lot of heat.
Posted By: 52Carl

Re: 1954 "Franken" Heater & Heater/Defroster - Wed Apr 17 2019 01:31 AM

Originally Posted by Brad Allen
No, the small lever with the white knob pushes the air from cab discharge to the defroster ducts. It is just a directional flap on that small lever. My reference is more about the effect you gain with this heater with that door, it does dump a lot of heat.

I understand that, but what I am trying to convey is that pulling the cable knob which opens the narrow door, while at the same time closes off air from the outside of the truck converts the heater to a recirculating heater. That certainly would, as you say, dump a lot of heat since there will not be any outside air mixed in.
Carl
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