A seat cooler made from garbage..

Discussion in 'How-to Guides' started by the phantom, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. the phantom

    the phantom Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Saw this and thought I would share.. Might be more appropriate in the Redneck Pictures. LOL Enjoy.
    A seat cooler made from garbage…written by streetsidemechanic | August 3, 2012 [​IMG]
    So here’s my idea:
    I’m not rich enough to own a car with air conditioned seats, and this summer has been hotter than three Minis full of Torinesi Gold. Though the breathable racing seats in my WRX are more than a match for normal helionic radiation, they still, sadly, leave my back a soggy mess by the time I get out of my car and hug whatever former potential wife I might be visiting. It’s time for some slap-together ingenuity to carry me through to October.
    It’s an in-seat ventilation system, done for less than 50 bucks with a heap of things people usually throw away. It slides easily under your seat and theoretically, you should be able to put it together in an afternoon. Here’s how it goes down:
    Materials Needed
    -The biggest PC case cooling fan you can find for cheap. You can get a new one with a 20 cm diameter for about $15 online, but Craigslist will likely find you a used one much cheaper. Keep the screws that hold it to the case. Most run on 12 volts, the same as your car’s cigarette lighter.
    -A good, long vacuum cleaner hose. You likely passed a free old vacuum sitting beside the road on your way to work this morning. If not, the free section in Craigslist should help again. Extra points awarded if you can just snatch the hose. Vacuum cleaner hose is soft, lightweight, bendable, and usually free. Just wash it out first.
    -About 2 square feet of thick plastic sheeting. This might be tougher to track down. You can use plain old duct metal, too, if you want to get shiny.
    -Gorilla Glue.
    -Metal mesh desktop paper tray. Free, if stolen from a coworker.
    -Various hardware, wiring, and a switch. Root around in your garage. You’ll likely find everything you need.
    Step 1: Prepare the Plastic
    I’ll leave the specifics to the diagram. This piece serves as an adapter between the fan and the vacuum hose, which will be the duct leading up into the seat. It will have a hole in one face to accommodate the vacuum hose. Measure the hose where it’s narrowest – between the ridges, so you can pop it in the hole and have friction hold it in. Once you cut everything out, fold it together until it’s triangular in profile, then glue it together. It should be square from the top, the same size as the fan. Be sure to leave tabs so you can mount it to the fan assembly.
    Step 2: Prepare the Fan
    Here you’ll need to mount the fan, face down, to the bottom of the paper tray. It has holes on the side for mounting to the PC case, so use those and whatever hardware genius you must employ. If the tray has legs, snap or cut them off. The tray serves as a cage to keep leaves, snack wrappers, and toes out of the jaws of the fan. Butt the open end of the tray up against the center hump, then figure out a way to anchor it in place.
    Step 3: Prepare the Hose
    First determine how much hose you need. Put one end under the seat, and hold it outside the seat in an upside-down U-shape. Cut off the extra. Then you can use a hobby knife (does anybody actually have one of those, Boys Life?) to cut holes into the vacuum cleaner hose. Keep them small, probably no more than 1 square cm each, and all in a straight line, starting from about a foot in, and going to the other end. You can also slice off the hard plastic bits at the remaining end. Find something for plugging the far end.
    Step 4: Put it together
    Mount the fan-tray under the seat with the fan facing up, screw the adaptor down over the fan, with the hose socket facing the back, and pop in the hose. Make sure it’s not interfering with fan rotation.
    Step 5: Run the duct
    If your seat back is like mine, it will have a couple of zippers running down the back, so you won’t even have to cut any holes. The hose will run into the bottom of the right side zipper, up the seat, and back down to the bottom. Point the holes toward the center of the seat back. Zip ties will likely come in handy. This should ensure great air distribution across your spine, or as we like to call it, “The Amazon.”
    Step 6: Wire it up
    This stage is where I got the idea. I have a couple of blank button slots in my center console, probably to accommodate a factory option for this very hack. But when I see a space for a button, I want to put a button there. Some simple wiring run up to your center stack with a switch in the middle should do just fine. You can slip the switch-to-fan wiring out of the bottom of the center console for tucktastic cleanliness. Please do not attempt to electrocute yourself – in the event that the fuse doesn’t blow, you’ll make the car smell worse for its next, sudden owner.
    The Amazon will turn into a scene from an Alaska tourism commercial, and you’ll have taken revenge on the merciless summer of 2012.

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