Heater fan, improvements?

The other day I was assessing the operation of the heater fan in my wifes mini (K reg 1.3 automatic). It would seem to have two modes of
operation, off or very noisey. Sadly, the fan doesn't seem to push air out of the winscreen ducts very well. I guess this may well be due to the resistance caused by the small diameter pipes from the heater matrix and the resistance caused by the heater matrix as the fan trys to push or pull air through it.
Do heater fans exist that have more than one speed? Eg. Off, noisey & very noisey?.
The mini has a tube from the heater fan/matrix to the drivers wing to source fresh air. I wonder how effective this is? Maybe things could be improved by fitting a fan inside the tube near to the air intake vent to improve air flow. This fan could be more like your traditional propeller fan and maybe more efficent at pushing air than the water wheel design that is in the car. If it is more efficient then it can rotate slower with less noise.
Another idea could be to mount small fans directly over the tubes to the windscreen vents, hopefully giving a better air flow.
Any other ideas?
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The airflow through the heater matrix can easily get blocked up by leaves and other detritus that gets in from the inlet. To fix this though you have to take the heater out, separate it into the two halves and clean it out. It's fiddly but not all that difficult.
--
Chris Morriss

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Also, the later models, possibly 98 onwards, have twin speed fan which is very useful. RS
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Try taping up all of the connections on the tubes. Make sure that it doesn't let air out at your feet when it isn't supposed to and take the heater matrix out and clean it. Should make the world of difference....
The Muffin Man

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Yeah it was the twin-points from late 1996 onwards that got twin speed fans. The problem with lack of air to the windscreen can also be down to the nozzle vents being distorted, well their only plastic and can get misshapen by heat.
Taffy
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While you are in there a drop of oil on the motor bearings will make the fan run nice & quiet.....making the job even more worthwhile

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Friends, I've seen these electric ones for sale: http://www.sales-services.co.uk/html/12v_micro_car_heater_fan.html and wondering whether to try.
Anyone had experience of using them? look slike it could be piped into the Mini distribution.
Cashman

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You've got me interested as my heater is a bit asthmatic. My engine is only heating up to an indicated 70F so that won't help. How about this one? http://www.speedydelivery.co.uk/car-accessories/12v-electric-car-heater-and-cooler.shtml
It is 200W would the alternator/charging circuit cope?
Peter

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I've seen those too but I was more impressed with the one on sales-services web site 'cos it looks like it could interface with the Mini distribution systems and therefore blow hot air on the w/screen. Anyway, it's down to choice.
OK so at 200 watts with P=IV; it will draw 12 to 18 Amps, which means it will require a dedicated circuit. The Mini battery is rated at 30 to 50 Amp/hour at 20 hour rate (I don't know what that means!); The dynamo gives out 22 Amps; the alternator will give you either 34 Amps or 43 Amps depending on type. I'm guessing it should be OK.
Kleenezee used to sell them in the UK last year - my agent is trying to find out if they can still be got. Will keep you informed, my matrix is shot to pieces.
Cashman

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Had cuase to use a similar item in a montego I had (the standard heater didnt work at all) instant heat is a slight exaggeration - it is instant just not what I would call heat!.Pointed directly to the screen it is a help on a cold morning as even 10 degrees is more than most car heaters will deliver in the first 5 mins. As for wrming the car it just didnt help - 40 min drive to work and I was still freezing! Bear in mind mine wasnt a "ceramic" just a wire wound. In my min I fitted a new matrix, cleaned up the electrical bits on the motor, sorted out the air leaks and its a great improvement. dave

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