Heater part 3: Air intake, front, with motor 1493.54.708

The car I’m working on will eventually retire to a leisurely life in Washington -a state well known for its rainfall.  As such, I decided a good forced air system to heat the cabin and defog the windscreen was a good idea.  I have the original fan impeller mounted on a modern motor in my Sprint and it works okay -you can feel a little moving air, but it’s not very impressive (admittedly most of my ducting is leaky original BS or ill-fitting replacement BS, so maybe an unfair test).  Anyway, I was perusing the McMaster catalog when I found a 4″, 12 volt all-in-one in-line blower fan.

Applications: Sprint and sprint Veloce.

Failure mode: electric motor failure.

Current state of parts: repair original or find something to adapt in place of the original.

This is where the Air intake plenum lives.  It’s designed to act as a ram-air and I imagine at over about 40 mph the air forced in is moving faster than the original fan could push it in.  The rest under here looks pretty nice…

Here’s the unit after it came back from the powdercoat shop.  The fan, motor, mount, rubber buffers for the integral mount strap and pins are all original items pulled from this plenum.  A big thanks to Glenn for keeping this part in storage for all those years then selling it to me!

It’s not a Pebble Beach resto, so I’ll not be attempting to rebuild this original IPRA electric motor for this car -maybe later though as an exercise in curiosity abatement.  I was looking for a replacement motor like the one in my car from McMaster-Carr (~$100) and stumbled upon another (and cheaper) approach.

This inline blower was $66 (I think) and seemed worth trying out.

I suppose I could have mounted this without the original plenum, but decided to cut the mounts off and mount it inside the original plenum.  No going back now!  Note the motor even has a nice rubber water resistant cover.  Light weight too!

Look at that -it just wedged in there perfectly.

I decided this length of old vacuum line would make a nice seal between the new motor and old plenum and help reduce vibration.

Looks deceptively like this mounting screw will hit the fan blade, but it doesn’t.  One screw has this assembly very solid.

I utilized one of the old fan’s rubber mount holes for the screw.  No modifications to any original parts -the perfect upgrade!

It blows pretty hard!  With all new ducts and the heater box I built I think a lot of air will get pushed.  I’m going to try and use the original fan speed rheostat, but may have to try and find something in the catalog that will fit.  I don’t think this fan will be desirable as a one speed.

Motor specs and part number if you’re interested.

Up next?  Whatever I decide to do I guess…


10 thoughts on “Heater part 3: Air intake, front, with motor 1493.54.708

  1. Nice adaptation, If the rheostat doesn’t provide the range you want you could always install a resistor to adjust the range. Ohm’s law is very handy for making these adjustments.

    • Thanks for finding it cheaper. I didn’t think to look elsewhere as I was getting some other stuff from McMaster too, and with their catalog you never know who makes the item until you get it. I paved the way -you found out how to do it cheaper Oh well -hopefully the next guy saves a few bucks.

      Maybe I should buy one on Amazon and return it to McMaster…

      I wonder if I can get a 101 Veloce air box on Amazon??


  2. Be careful of amperage draw. I friend who was an engineer at a vacuum cleaner company declare the IPRA motor “unbelievable junk”, so he gave me a modern motor. It fit in the original rubber mount and really blew! However, when I fully installed the unit it would blow an 8 amp fuse. I think the the air intake plenum, hoses, and heater core created enough air resistance for the motor to overcome that is increased the amperage drain. My solution was to cut the fan blades down to half the original length. Still blew plenty of air. Still working a couple years later.

    • I was going to figure out a test set up to make sure it wasn’t drawing too much, but may just dial it back until it’s an acceptable for a drizzly day, then add a ‘boiling a pot of soup in the car’ switch for extra defogging oomph when needed.


      • I’m more worried about the generator and overall system load -if the fan is going there’s a good chance the wipers and lights are too.


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