Engine Bay Pie Warmer

I have always wanted to try this theory of using your car engines heat to cook or warm food.  Recently i did a body-lift on my 4wd and as the engine is bolted to the chassis, the engine basically has dropped in my engine bay. After removing the plastic cover off the engine (which served no purpose) i had plenty of room and mounting points to bring this project to fruition.

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Cardboard templateFirst i made a cardboard template to a size i thought fit best.

Cardboard template flatAfter some slight changes a more accurate one was made.

Sheet metal patternThen a stainless steel pattern was made off the cardboard one.

Folded trayAfter folding.

The lid on.Then the lid was made, and all corners TIG welded.

Copper heat exchangerAfter adding mounting spacers, and holes the copper heat exchanger was born. This will be used to carry hot water from the engines heater pipes and radiate through the base of the pie warmer.

Bottom coverThen a stainless steel cover plate was fitted to hold the heat exchanger tight against the base. This would also absorb more heat.

Fitting the pie warmerThen the completed unit was fitted into the engine bay and tested.


IMG_3726After a bit of playing around i added a filling point. This serves to fill the heat exchanger and coolant system from the vehicle and also, as it is above the radiator now, the highest point which also is used to release any air pockets in the system.

To date this unit works great. Not as hot as i first expected, i think its because my car is a fairly modern diesel engine and they run pretty efficiently not producing much heat to start with. (its a 2.5L Turbo Diesel Nissan Navara D40) The pie warmer runs at about 45C after about 30mins of driving.  Funnily enough when i turn the engine off the temp gets up to about 55C. Many times working on site we have put our lunch in there being leftovers from the night before for example and it perfect!

Thanks for reading!


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