1 (edited by SpaceFrank 2016-01-20 04:33 PM)

Topic: Hot Tub Lemons

It was my 30th birthday last week, so I threw a big party on Saturday. In preparation for that, I acquired a "free" hot tub from a friend's dad. Now if you're wondering why said hot tub was free, it was because the heater reportedly didn't work, and they had drained it 8 years ago and never used it since. Other than that, it basically "ran when parked." Here it is after we removed the shitty enclosure:

http://i.imgur.com/0z9wGFt.jpg

Here it is on Bob's trailer after he and I and 2 other dudes overhead-pressed it over a fence. That was unpleasant.

http://i.imgur.com/N52cqUW.jpg

Here it is on my back patio, after I built a temporary cradle so some more friends and I could tip it onto its side and carry it through my back gate, and then I spent most of last week building a proper frame. Lots of boring rough carpentry is left out here.

http://i.imgur.com/Qca5611.jpg

Luckily, Bob and I were able to figure out how to get the pumps and jets working. Of course, this brand of hot tub ("Sun Wave") hasn't been made since 1987, and there is almost no info and no manuals available online, so I wasn't able to acquire a replacement heater element in time for the party on Saturday. Here's where the Lemons part comes in. I just happened to have a slightly dented but non-leaking aluminum radiator, which we pulled out of the race car last year after a "jacking incident." A few PVC fittings and some radiator hoses pulled off the rack at O'Reilly resulted in this:

http://i.imgur.com/WFzDVd8.jpg

The radiator was placed in series with a couple of jets on the back side, and it didn't seem to diminish the flow at those jets at all. Unfortunately, this first iteration of redneck spa heater didn't work too well, because my shitty old gas grill is basically broken and terrible. The above picture was taken after we added charcoal, which helped a lot, but we weren't able to really start adding BTUs until around the time the party started, so it was pretty lukewarm at first. Then Bob's wife showed up with a larger gas grill. Once the upgraded heater had some more time to work, it started to get warm.

http://i.imgur.com/CYFFfYR.jpg

After we displaced more water with humans and correspondingly reduced the load on the heater, the tub started to get downright hot. We actually had to turn down the grill around 1 or 2 AM. As I recall, we maxed out at 16 people in a hot tub that couldn't have been built for more than 9. The rest of the night is a little fuzzy. See below for my favorite picture of the night, which I like to call "Whirlpool of Souls." Identities censored for posterity.

http://i.imgur.com/aLMeiRM.jpg

The next day's aftermath. By my calculations, the average person in a hot tub displaces about 15 gallons.

http://i.imgur.com/QgyWjgX.jpg

All in, between pressure-treated lumber, deck screws, PVC fittings, and pool chemicals, this project cost me about $200. That should leave plenty of room in the budget for a proper replacement heater. Or a junkyard turbocharger.

Command Pilot/Flight Director, Escape Velocity Racing
Index of Effluency, Heroic Fix, Class C Trophy, now hopelessly gunning for Class B.
Currently 1-2 vs. Team Fairlylame in the Class of 1964 Championships

Re: Hot Tub Lemons

Fully expect you to bring this to your next race!

Apocalyptic Racing - Occupy Pit Lane racing
Racing the "Toylet" Toyota Celica powered by Chevrolet Ecotec.
16x Loser with the Celica. 5 times loser in other fine machines

Re: Hot Tub Lemons

Brett85p wrote:

Fully expect you to integrate this into your car for your next race!

FTFY

Re: Hot Tub Lemons

If you are ever planning to implement a less lemony fix, I helped a friend repair his hottub without knowing what the hell I was doing and bought parts from these folks. They were quite helpful in diagnosing which parts needed to be replaced as well as give tips on install (ex: for my friends tub, we learned to NOT overtorque the nuts that holds the heater element to the control board as doing so will lift up the contact on the board and eventually this will be a point of failure).

http://www.spadepot.com/shop/Spa-Parts-C630.aspx

Myopic Motorsport's #888 Bosozoku Texino Thunderbird (1995 tbird w/ 93 V8 swap + shopping cart rear wing)

Re: Hot Tub Lemons

Yeah, I don't ever want to move this thing out of my backyard again. This is definitely doable at a Lemons race, but I'd use a smaller hot tub. This one is 8 feet square and holds around 500 gallons. I think you could easily set up a smaller tub on a flatbed trailer. Of course you'd have to fill it up at the race track, since water is really damn heavy. Also this tub is 240V, and I'm not sure how available that is at race tracks, or how many hot tubs run on 120V.

Gunn, thanks for the info! I actually found that website when searching for parts, but I didn't bother calling since I didn't have time to wait for shipping from anywhere. Good to know they're helpful and know their shit. I definitely intend to fix this thing properly before the next major use.

Command Pilot/Flight Director, Escape Velocity Racing
Index of Effluency, Heroic Fix, Class C Trophy, now hopelessly gunning for Class B.
Currently 1-2 vs. Team Fairlylame in the Class of 1964 Championships

Re: Hot Tub Lemons

You sir, are winning!

RetroRacing-1973 Super! Beetle: 2010 CMP Fall-Judges' Choice, 2014 Barber-DFL and I Got Screwed!, 2-time winner: You Talk Shit Better Than You Race (YTSBTYR) Award
Now available west of the Rockies as... Nine Finger Drifters- 1982 te72 Toyota Corolla Wagon (it's got a HEMI!)
Also, fall in love with my one man show: G. D. Yo-Man: No! YOU Ams Da A&&hole! (coming soon to a racing venue near you)

Re: Hot Tub Lemons

The easy way get a "hot tub" at a race is to use an inflatable pool. You don't get the jets but you can still heat the water. There's an offroad race in Crandon, WI where they do it with soapy water and a slip n slide. You can kinda see the set up here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/58946340@ … otostream/

Re: Hot Tub Lemons

Cool.  Guess I should have done that when my heater crapped out.

Re: Hot Tub Lemons

Yall aren't thinking right. Getting a hot tub to a Lemons race is EASY.

Friday, check Craigslist. There is ALWAYS someone giving one away to get it out of their yard.  Just get a few guys and one of the many trailers and go pick it up. Set it up in the pitslot and enjoy!

At the end of the race, Just Sawzall it up and toss in the least Full dumpster. Worst case a few different teams might have to carry pieces of it home to toss.

Jason
Car #111
91 Toyota MR2

Re: Hot Tub Lemons

I thought for sure you were headed to some sort of water to water heat exchange and a car or something.  Nice solution in the end.  Alaskan hot tubs use a steel tank and fire wood to heat them up!

Organizer's Choice Award 2011 Heaps in Heart of Texas
IOE 2012 North Dallas Hooptie
2014 ECR Class C WIN;  2015 MSR Class B WIN
Speedy Monzales

Re: Hot Tub Lemons

How much for the green hair girl?

Re: Hot Tub Lemons

rcazwillis wrote:

I thought for sure you were headed to some sort of water to water heat exchange and a car or something.

We thought of that. There was a 3L Mercedes diesel sitting in the garage not thirty feet away that I suggested we use...

Logistics Pessimist/CAPCOM for Escape Velocity Racing
Heroic Fix - Gator-o-Rama 2014

Re: Hot Tub Lemons

My original idea was to pull the racecar up to the gate (between mine and my neighbor's house), find hoses long enough to run from the engine to the hot tub, and leave the car idling all night. This idea was quickly shot down because we didn't want to fill the hot tub with rusty water, and actually submerging the radiator in the hot tub would have been obtrusive and possibly dangerous. Also, my neighbors would have called the cops at 10:01 PM about the car idling next to their bedroom. I don't have access to actually pull a vehicle into my backyard, sadly.

Command Pilot/Flight Director, Escape Velocity Racing
Index of Effluency, Heroic Fix, Class C Trophy, now hopelessly gunning for Class B.
Currently 1-2 vs. Team Fairlylame in the Class of 1964 Championships

Re: Hot Tub Lemons

I use small and "relatively" cheap plate heat exchanges to scavenge heat from generator engines for heating water.

You can search around and find something that will easily heat the hot tub from the cooling system. put a strainer on the inlet side coming from the engine to catch the chunky bits.

With the right setup this HEX will heat a small home. This one is sized for about 10gpm. You can run smaller ports with lower flow if you like. They will be a little cheaper. The delta-T will just be higher. Put it in a sidestream downstream of your pump and feel the heat.

https://www.amazon.com/10-Plate-Water-H … anger+1%22