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What type engine heater?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by trukman1, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. trukman1

    trukman1 1/2 ton status

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    Used to go to Canada each winter and noticed lots of cars around Timmins, Ontario with electric cords that hung out through the grille and allowed the vehicle to be plugged in for heat. Now I'm wondering what type heaters those were. There seem to be lots of different types on the market but I want whatever those guys used! Thanks in advance, trukman1
     
  2. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    That there plug is attached to what's called a block heater. It's installed in place of a freeze plug and has an element attached to it(that looks like a mini kettle element) that sits inside a coolant passage. When you plug it into an outlet, the element slowly and gently heats the block by warming up the coolant, thus the name "block heater".

    FWIW, I don't have to plug my truck in unless the temp. drops below -20'Celcius(-4' Farenheit).

    Hope that helps, brother.
     
  3. alaska k5

    alaska k5 Registered Member

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    Lets see....Block Heater, Tranny Pan heater, Battery Blanket, oilpan heater......yep that should cover it. But then again I lived less than a 100 miles from the Arctic Circle....lol

    To tell the truth you just need a Block Heater if the coldest your gonna ever see is about -20 or so. I plug my junk in if the temp is below +20...When I get up in the morning I just flip the switch to my outside terminal and give her about a hour to warm up while I drink some coffee and surf this site...lol.

    It really helps with the cold starts and improves your engines longevity for sure.....

    Definetly worth the 25 bucks and 2 hours of work to install.
     
  4. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I am going to put the lower radiator hose heater in all of my trucks. The idea of having heat before you even hit the key in the morning is great.
     
  5. tecton

    tecton 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Definetly worth the 25 bucks and 2 hours of work to install.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    link to get it?
     
  6. jwduke

    jwduke 1/2 ton status

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    Any Fleet-farm supply type store should have them. (Tractor Supply)
     
  7. trukman1

    trukman1 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks Guys! That's just the kind of info I was looking for! Sure is nice to be able to ask and LEARN! I figured those who live in the coldest places would have the best answers. Thanks again and I'm off to pick up parts! To all my truckin' Brothers from the REAL NORTH...Thanks! Trukman1
     
  8. blasterD

    blasterD 1/2 ton status

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    I just bought my block heater from my local Car-quest. It was only 18.99. I'm pretty sure NAPA sells them too.
     
  9. mudjunkie 82

    mudjunkie 82 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I have the type that goes in the hose on my company truck,Works great
     
  10. Mastiff

    Mastiff 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I bought a lower radiator hose style one from a brand called Kat's at the local auto parts place. The freeze plug ones seem a little better, but the install is more of a PITA. Thing is, this year it just stopped working. It's only the third season I've had it. I don't know if it burned out or what, but what a pain, since you pretty much have to drain the radiator to install it... plus, it's 20 degrees out now. /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif

    Anyone know any detail about these Kat's heaters? I wonder if I bought another one if I could unscrew the top part of the old one and just replace that without dealing with all the hose clamps again.

    I didn't purposely buy a cheap brand, this is just what they had.
     
  11. jwduke

    jwduke 1/2 ton status

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    Kat's is a good brand, as far as taking it apart and replacing the part you are thinking about. I don't think this will work, as the part that goes to crap is the element inside the heater. They make one that you cut one of the heater hose, put a "Y" in the heater hose then run a hose from the "y" to the engine heater & the block. These work great as they circulate water thru the block & heater. This is nice in the mornings, as when you start the truck up, you have instant heat.
     
  12. Mastiff

    Mastiff 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Kat's is a good brand, as far as taking it apart and replacing the part you are thinking about. I don't think this will work, as the part that goes to crap is the element inside the heater. They make one that you cut one of the heater hose, put a "Y" in the heater hose then run a hose from the "y" to the engine heater & the block. These work great as they circulate water thru the block & heater. This is nice in the mornings, as when you start the truck up, you have instant heat.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Are these the ones they call "tank" heaters? I see them for sale some places, but nobody has any description of how the things plumb into the system. The pictures look like there are only two places to attach hoses. Would it make sense for it to just go in-line with one of the heater hoses? I'm not sure how the system works, is the flow to the heater core shut off when the heat is off?

    There's not much info about heaters on the net in general.

    I ended up having to drain my entire radiator and cut the lower hose to pieces to get it off, since it was fused to the radiator, block and the heater. I had another lower hose that looked to be in good shape, so I used that, but now it looks like I might have a leak where it attaches to the radiator. What a pain. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  13. jwduke

    jwduke 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Kat's is a good brand, as far as taking it apart and replacing the part you are thinking about. I don't think this will work, as the part that goes to crap is the element inside the heater. They make one that you cut one of the heater hose, put a "Y" in the heater hose then run a hose from the "y" to the engine heater & the block. These work great as they circulate water thru the block & heater. This is nice in the mornings, as when you start the truck up, you have instant heat.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Are these the ones they call "tank" heaters? I see them for sale some places, but nobody has any description of how the things plumb into the system. The pictures look like there are only two places to attach hoses. Would it make sense for it to just go in-line with one of the heater hoses? I'm not sure how the system works, is the flow to the heater core shut off when the heat is off?

    There's not much info about heaters on the net in general.

    I ended up having to drain my entire radiator and cut the lower hose to pieces to get it off, since it was fused to the radiator, block and the heater. I had another lower hose that looked to be in good shape, so I used that, but now it looks like I might have a leak where it attaches to the radiator. What a pain. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The tank heater has a pump in it, that circulates the warm water thru the cooling system (Block & heater core) I don't think you can use the type that you just splice the heater hose on newer trucks, as there is no return to the block, These worked great where you had a hose that went from the water pump to the heater core then the other hose went to the intake. Thats why you have to use the type with the "Y" adapter, and run a hose to the block (Via a screw in hose connector, that screws into a drain plug, that you remove in the side of the block). Hope this is of some help. Good luck!
     
  14. Mastiff

    Mastiff 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    How painful is it to install a freeze plug type heater? I'm kind of uneasy about the lower radiator one at this point (I fear imminent leakage or failure of the hose).

    Are they held in by pressure like the freeze plugs, or threaded somehow, or what?
     
  15. jwduke

    jwduke 1/2 ton status

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    They are like a rubber plug, that you tighten a nut up, that expands a rubber plug. I don't like them, cause they are a hassle to install. Plus they leak easy. If you can install them in the frost plug, tht is really dry & clean, that helps a bunch. But it seems like they blow out easy.......
     

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