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Block heater options?

Discussion in '1982-Present GM Diesel' started by kennyw, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    Location:
    Stevens Pass Highway, WA
    I have a leaking block heater in place of a frost plug so I'm looking at replacing it with a frost plug for $1.50 and installing a circulating type heater that I have had laying around for a few years. Probably bought it back in MN when I had an '84 Suburban with a 6.2L but never used it.

    Other option would be to replace the heater in the block that would run about $17-20. Which I could do on my next paycheck if it was a better style heater?
     
  2. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    A free plug style is 5 dollars off ebay most of the time. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    They work good at preventing block freezing, but generally wont give you instant heat inside the cab. (since their ususally only 250-400 watts). Still, much better than starting from scratch!

    The coolant circulating type is a lot bigger, usually 800-1200 watts of heat.

    Why not just do both. /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif

    You'll have to explain why your sucking up 1600 watts of power though!
     
  3. 4x4_76

    4x4_76 1/2 ton status

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    I have circulating type heater, 1500W/230V. I've been thinking that how I connect that to the engine, because it has 3/8" hose connections, but there's none on the engine. But today I had an idea: I take off block heater that is leaking, make o-ringed plug on a lathe and that plug has 3/8" hose connection. Plug is then mounted to a block with T-srcew.

    Then I take off the temp sensor from the RH head, one that's on the side of the head, and replace it with short pipe that has threads (don't remember exact term for that :doah: ).

    After those are done I make bracket that I use to mount the heater to framerail. If I remember right, it should be mounted on a same level with lower connection on a block.

    I think that engine should warm up pretty fast like that, taking cold from LH side of the block and pushing it to RH head, and through both heads and block.

    Only concern is, does that mess up normal cooling circulation?
     
  4. BKinzey

    BKinzey 1/2 ton status

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    I'm gonna say the circulating is better but I'm not sure you need that. Now parked outside in MN you probably would:D I'm sure for Finland a 1500w/230v would be a good choice as well:eek1: Roughly equal to two hair dryers on high for us in the States. Definately see that on the electric bill!

    Sorry, I can't say what effects that re-plumbing idea would have.
     
  5. ccatlett1984

    ccatlett1984 1/2 ton status

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    i have a 2300watt circuilating pump that i am mounting on my truck. I found a Tee fitting for the lower radiator hose and am putting the fluid back into the engine via the heater hose on the thermostate crossover pipe. I figure that i'll be able to run it for about 15min or so and have near instant heat in these cold Michigan winters. and while I'm at work I'll prolly just leave it plugged in and use a timer to run it for a bit before i leave.
     
  6. 4x4_76

    4x4_76 1/2 ton status

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    Coldest mornings/nights it can go to -31F (-35C) or lower. One block heater would have to be plugged for hours, and starting would still be hard.

    Only problem with coolant heaters is that they don't heat oil. Engine makes terrible noise when it tries to pump that tar like oil. So I got this idea to route suction hose through oilpan. More specifially, oilpan has a double base, and metal tube spiral is sandwiched between them. After coolant is thoroughly warmed, it starts to warm up oil. Clever, isn't it? :D

    Yes, I know that there are these: http://www.padheaters.com/ , and basically it radiates heat towards upper parts of the engine after oil is warm enough, but I believe that engine is much happier when both, oil and coolant are warmed before start.

    That idea has one weaknes; those hoses that go side of the block/oilpan are prone to come off if treebranch hits them, therefore loss of coolant. But that can be cured with these http://www.swagelok.com/search/find_products_home.aspx?SEARCH=/id-10002243/type-1 or with these http://www.swagelok.com/search/find_products_home.aspx?SEARCH=/id-10002244/type-1 Just turn those valves to off position when offroading, and no need to worry about coolant loss.
     

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