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7.3L IDI Diesels (Not Power Strokes) Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the 7.3 Liter In-Direct Injection Navistar engines.

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Old 01-01-2008, 04:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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block heater replacement

I have a 92 f250 7.3 IDI 4x4 and will be replacing my block heater in the next couple of days. Does anyone have any tips or advise on the replacement and what is the best heater to buy? Thanks!
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

Why are you replacing it...... just a guess.

First make sure the BH red power plug is in the BH, then do a continuity test with a meter on the main plug wires at the grill. If there is no continuity check the wires for breaks just behind the 120V plug. Pull on the wires and you can see the break as the shielding gets smaller, cut off the end. If the 2 power wires now have continuity through the BH just replace the 3 prong plug.
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Old 01-01-2008, 07:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

Ditto.

Just today, we tested the cord on buddies 92 7.3L IDI 4x4. One of the spade terminals came loose/broke from the wire- would smoke at the plug. We tested the rest of the wires, and it was just at the plug. We ended up using a 12V batter, some long alligator clip test wires and a test light. (Unplugged from heater end and tested each wire individually, hence the long test wires.....) No continuity tester.

But if it's smoking at the plug when you plug it in, one of the terminals came loose from the wire and is arcing. The wire isn't that big, maybe 16guage!
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

I forgot and left the block heater plugged into the ext cord after starting the truck (oops!) and I'm assuming that burnt out my block heater. When it was working and plugged in I could hear it warming up the oil. Now when I plug it in I dont hear anything and it will not warm up like it used to. I guess I will try testing the cord for a short before putting a new heater in.
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

Well, if it is a factory heater, buddy who crawled under truck said it was mounted in a freeze plug next to starter. So, looks like you'll have to remove starter to get to it.....

Well, I'll wish ya luck that it's just the cord. I thought my heater on a NTC 290 Big Cam I had a fried heater element. Got lucky, it was the cord.
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1999 E-350 Cub Wagon, 7.3L Power Stroke, E4OD, 3.55
1990 E-350 Club Wagon, 7.3L IDI, E4OD, 3.54LS x2
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
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

You don't need to remove the starter on the vans to R&R the block heater, you may be able to do the same on the F series. Try replacing just the cord before you R&R the heater.
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

Sounds like the cord and plug connection fail more frequently than the heaters go bad. I will check, change the plug(that connects to the cord) and test the wires before I commit to replacing the heater. Thanks for the advise.
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

Doesn't seem to me running the engine with it on would do anything to it. The engine doesn't get THAT hot.
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Doesn't seem to me running the engine with it on would do anything to it. The engine doesn't get THAT hot. </div></div>

Not unless you backed away with the cord still attached to the plugin and stretched it to far. You can also check for the continuity right at the Bheater....
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

FYI - if you do end up having to replace the heater, it heats the coolant, not the oil. So you'll want to drain your radiator before you take the heater out. Also, don't unscrew that screw all of the way. The screw compresses the plug side to the heater side with the engine block wall in-between. I can't remember 100%, but it might be possible to drop the heating element side into the block. The heating element is longer than the freeze plug-type hole it is mounted in, so it takes a little fanageling to get it out.
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Old 01-02-2008, 03:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

Fozz- I am also not sure, but on most block heaters they mushroom the end of the screw so the backing plate can't fall off via attempting to completely remove the screw. Better safe than sorry though.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

I may be wrong, but I was told a couple of years ago that if you leave your block heater plugged in while warming up your truck there is a good chance that your block heater will short out! Has anyone else ever heard of this?
I am very curious of the condition of my cord and plug. I have never drove away with the ext cord plugged in. My block heater quit working after leaving ext cord plugged in and warming up my truck. As soon as it warms up outside I will take a look at the BH cord.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

No, your block heater will not short out. The heater element is insulated electrically- therefore nothing will interfere. If stray voltage would be leaking with the element plugged in, it could also be causing electrical problems on your truck , which does not happen.
THE only arguement that could be made is once the truck warms up, overheating of the element could result, but three reasons eliminate that:
a)diesels will not warm up properly idling
b)if you're driving it to warm it up, you have obviously disconnected the plug, either 'manually' or 'automatically'
c)the water pump would be circulating coolant, preventing excessive heat buildup in the element.
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

The mechanics at work said that it's not good to keep it plugged in while running since an air bubble might contact the element and that is what 'burns' them out.

I have only burned out 1 heater. And it was an old style tank heater mounted on a JD 2240 tractor. Granted, I think that heater was a 1500 watt (had it sitting around for like 7 years before installing) and I kept it plugged in for a bit long (4 days straight). Not much water in a 2240....I think the rad was hot when I remembered to go unplug it. I think I switched on the ignition, and the temp gauge went to middle......
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1990 E-350 Club Wagon, 7.3L IDI, E4OD, 3.54LS x2
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)
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: block heater replacement

If your cooling system is bled, you ain't got no bubbles in the system.
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