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Old 07-19-2010, 10:45 PM   #1
macodell
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Default 1937 Ford -- Heater -- Original factory option?

We are doing a major restoration of our 1937 Ford Fordor Convertible, one that's been in our family forever. Dad had put in a South Wind heater back in the 1940s but, in an original '37 Ford brochure that our kids found, we saw that a heater was an available option. Does anyone know about these original Ford heaters? Are they hot water heaters? Or? Can we find one? Original? Rebuilt? Reproduction?
We're not too keen on reinstalling the South Wind since they are notoriously problematic, even dangerous.
And we live in New England, so we'd really like a good heater for those chilly Fall days or for winter events ... (NO, we won't be driving on any salted roads!)
Your advice is welcome!
Thanks!
Mac and Marcia Odell
603-770-3063
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:57 PM   #2
nelsb01
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Default Re: 1937 Ford -- Heater -- Original factory option?

Suggest you get a hold of the 1937 Ford Book published by the Early Ford V-8 Club. It lists all the 'fresh air' or hot air heater options that were available as Ford accessories. So, that means that although your South Wind heater could be installed, it was not the authorized heater for a 1937 Ford.
You can order the book from www.earlyfordv8.org You do not need be a member to order, but the reference and information would be worth the membership.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:58 AM   #3
blucar
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Default Re: 1937 Ford -- Heater -- Original factory option?

The only heater that Ford used in '37 was the hot air type which operated with a heat exchanger system that was attached to the right exhaust manifold.
This system has a lot of draw backs, plus the parts are hard to find and expensive. In 1938 Ford came out with a hot water heater which works very well in the earlier cars. The '38 style of heater was used through '39, in '40-41 Ford came out with a larger hot water heater that was mounted in the center of the firewall.
The firewall mounted battery box makes it difficult to use most after market hot water heaters, however, the small '37 heater will mount to the center of the firewall with no difficulty.
I have a '38-39 style of heater in my '36 coupe... It looks great and works good.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1937 Ford -- Heater -- Original factory option?

This is what I used in my 37 Ford that had no heater installed from factory or dealer for the first 65 years of its life in Ohio. It is a restored 1939 Ford hot water heater that I had readied for an aborted 39 Deluxe restoration. The template I had at the time was what dealers used to drill the firewall holes and it has markings for Deluxe and different ones for Standard firewalls which are basically the same as 37-38 Firewalls. Works good and what I think what would have been done by Ford owners when these came out in 39,if they wanted a properly fitting hot water heater. If you are going for V-8 Club points no hot water heater for 37 will be correct but this type is correct enough for me.
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Old 07-20-2010, 03:27 PM   #5
Joe KCMO
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Default Re: 1937 Ford -- Heater -- Original factory option?

My recollection is that the first "ford" hot water heater was for 1939 and was zephyer beige in color. In 1940 it was the same heater but painted gray in color. In 1941 thru 1948 , I believe they all used the same heater only different color variations of the knobs and heater. No original ford heater before 1939. Just sayin. Thats a good lookin 39 heater "37 coupe".
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1937 Ford -- Heater -- Original factory option?

I don't know about 1939 Ford hot water heaters being Zephyr beige.The paint I used was bought in 1990 or so from Tom Cherry who had a business restoring Ford heaters before his passing.It was an RM enamel that I did not open untill about four years ago and I was just happy it was still good.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1937 Ford -- Heater -- Original factory option?

Zephyr beige is also the color of the hand brake, steering column and horn button on the deluxe model, I believe.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:04 PM   #8
keith oh
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Default Re: 1937 Ford -- Heater -- Original factory option?

Macodel, You stated that the South Wind Heater is notorious for being problemetric and dangerous. I am near 80 and have owned many cars with SW heaters, in fact have had a 35 ford with one for over 50 years with no problems. My father was a ford dealer, installed many SW heaters from the 30s up thru the 40s. I have never heard of or seen a SW heater caused fire or accident. I am wondering where you got your facts concerning them My experiance with them is that they did and do a fine job and were very reliable.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:23 PM   #9
John Mc
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Default Re: 1937 Ford -- Heater -- Original factory option?

37 Coupe, thanks for posting those pictures. I've been looking for a nice clear picture of which heater would be correct for my '39 Pickup - now I know.
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:24 PM   #10
Lawson Cox
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Default Re: 1937 Ford -- Heater -- Original factory option?

I believe the pickups used a totally different heater. Someone else will pipe up I am certain.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:16 PM   #11
37 Coupe
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Default Re: 1937 Ford -- Heater -- Original factory option?

I am no expert but I think the 39 truck heater looked the same from the front mayby used the same cabinet but the back was different with almost reversed mounting holes of the passenger car. The way to tell one quick would be pickup heater only had one defroster outlet on back to just service driver window.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:09 PM   #12
Lamar Wadsworth
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Default Re: 1937 Ford -- Heater -- Original factory option?

One thing about those S-W heaters, you didn't have to wait for them to warm up, you had instant heat on the coldest day. While they weren't exactly a Henry-approved accessory, a lot of them were sold and installed by Ford dealers, so you could argue that they were correct if new cars left Ford dealerships with them. For a driver, I'd just as soon have one of the dozens of brands of aftermarket accessory hot water heaters that were sold back in the day. Bear in mind that most optional equipment was dealer installed back then. Plenty of people bought one of the aftermarket heaters instead of buying a heater from the Ford dealer. The better ones had defroster connections, attractive housings, and doors/deflectors to aim the heat where you wanted it. The aftermarket heaters are designed to be a universal fit, they work well, and you can get one of the aftermarket heaters for much less than you'll pay for the correct Ford heater. I have a '30s vintage Hot Wave brand heater in my '38 pickup, looks nice, puts out plenty of heat.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1937 Ford -- Heater -- Original factory option?

my 1938 ford had a arvin heater in it with a red ford switch at the front prob a dealer upgrade but unknown to me, 1 flip up door on each side and a bigger door on the front with a chrome waterfall looking thing my 2 cents
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