I'll second that. Usually what happens if it is the heater wire, it has a break in the wire that 'arcs'. This arcing burns through... worse case senario, smokes and may catch fire.... and who knows about anything else near by that is flammable (ie oil on the wire or diesel or a mouse nest, etc, etc).
I know this by first hand experience. Friend's truck had a plug that worked, then didn't. Ended up being the OEM plug right at the connector. Second experience was a block heater cord on one of my semi trucks. Plugged it in and heard this gawd awful crackling sound and then a burning smell- but the breaker in the main box didn't trip. Any how, it was the plug right where it made a 90 degree bend into the heater it self. Burned right through the insulation..... I would have imagined it could have started it on fire....
I suppose a way to prevent this stuff is yearly checks on the power cord. Make sure it's not frayed or as stated, actually is in once peice inside. A cord is cheap.... a new diesel truck/van/car usually is not. Plus, if you use a timer, you can cut down the time it's actually on..... usually 4 hours is more then enough to get a diesel warm enough to start- well, depending on your block heater wattage.
1999 E-350 Cub Wagon, 7.3L Power Stroke, E4OD, 3.55
1990 E-350 Club Wagon, 7.3L IDI, E4OD, 3.54LS
1994 Chevy C2500 6.5L TD, 3.42
1983 F-150 2x4, 4.9L, C-6 w/GV-OD, 3.55 Farm pickup
1981 C-8000, 3208 CAT, RT-6510, Rockwell SSHD Tandems (Swap)
1981 VW Rabbit Pickup 1.6L diesel (project)
1978 VW Rabbit 1.5L diesel (project)
1977 K100C, NTC-350, RT-1110, Tandem
1977 Transtar II, NTC-290, RT-9509 Single
1977 Transtar II, Formula 290, RT0-9513, Tandem (project)
1974 C-750, 391CID, Clark 5 speed, Eaton 2 speed
Last edited by Kaliburz; 11-27-2008 at 03:45 AM.