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6.0L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 6.0L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 2003-Up Super Duties and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 6.0L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 02-23-2011, 01:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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F250 Block Heater

I just got my F250 6.0L Turbo Diesel to Montana. It has been negative degree weather everyday and my truck doesnt want to start right away. It takes several times to get the engine to turn over. The truck came with a block heater so last night i plugged it in for the first time but this morning, the truck was still cold and struggled to start. How do i know if my block heater is working and keeping my engine warm?
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's probably working, if you have guages, the coolant and oil temp gauges will be warm. Probably anywhere from 50 to 100 degrees.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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everything was cold. The guages didnt move when i turned the truck on so my oil temp was cold
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Do you have anything but stock guages? ralderman was not referring to the stock guages. As long as I've owned my 6 liter, plugging it in has never had a visible effect on the stock guage position after a cold soak. During sub-zero temps, I can easily tell if my block heater is working-the truck starts up better, but it sounds like it's missing terribly because of the lack of distribution of heat from the block heater. what i mean is.... the side with the heater element is warmer than the other side, so upon cold start, as the engine fires through it's firing order, the cylinders on the drivers side bank make more noise than the ones on the pass side(heated) bank. You may need to check your power source, or make sure you're using an appropriate cord. Better to use a lower guage (thicker) cord, and shorter length.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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you should be able to grab the upper radiator hose and feel if its warm. Mine is quite toasty even in sub zero weather...
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm running the Edge Insight and at 15* if i plug mine in, in 3 hrs it will be up to 90* another thing what wt oil are you running in cold weather use a 5w40 and they like Syn oil right now i'm useing 15w40 Amsoil but i will be switching over to a 5w40 for the next winter will change around Oct-Nov the only time mine really runs is when it is pulling my 5er the rest of the time i use my 97 i have the best of both worlds
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Check the resistance across the two prongs of the heating element once you unplug the cord from it. It should measure somewhere between 12 and 17 ohms (Ford Specs). If your outside of that range then you need a new heating element; also make sure that there is little to no corrosion on the two prongs as this could cause an issue (in heater performance and resistance measurements). If the resistance measurement is within that range your block heater cord may have something wrong with it. You can check the resistance of your cord poles, which each should measure dang close to 0 ohms. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I only plug mine in when it goes into the teens. And as 2stroker said you only need it plugged in for 3 hrs prior to starting.

Simplest test you can do to check the heating element it is when you plug it in you should notice a small arc in the receptacle of the extension cord because of the 12Amp load of the heating element being connected to the feed (120VAC) .

I've got a scangauge2 and my ECT is around 80-90 in the morning. People call them block heaters but in actuality the heater element is just keeping the coolant in the block warm and its drawing quite a few amps wile its doing it too.

Thats another reason why a lot of guys hook up timers so as to only turn them on 3 hours before you start her up.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks guys for all the help!
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