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Power Strokes 1994-1997 General Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the Power Stroke engine in 1994 through 1997 models.

Thread: Battery generator block heater Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-13-2019 07:48 PM
bugman I think that the OP is worried about nothing as long as the glow plugs and batteries are in good shape. I have cold soaked mine at 10,000 feet and a -20 and started just fine without the block heater

Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
07-13-2019 06:22 PM
DENNY On a side note always carry a good set of jumper cables and back into you parking spot so it is easy to jump just in case.
07-13-2019 06:21 PM
DENNY So how cold will it be when you are out camping? Anything above zero degrees Fahrenheit should be fine with out preheat if you batteries/glowplug/starter are in good shape.
07-13-2019 03:40 AM
klhansen There's also the propane weed burner and stovepipe approach if you really want to go the cheap route. Might be really expensive though if you burn down your truck.
07-12-2019 07:12 PM
ArcticDriver It would depend on how many days you return to your truck after a very cold winter camping trip whether its cost effective.

The rest of the mornings you could just plug in the block heater.

One downside is the tapping into the fuel and coolant systems is that new potential leaks are created. Its always good to get a fresh perspective that breaks from conservative thinking like mine so I hope it works out and you follow up on your thread.

Ofcourse the guys here will be able to offer expertise on the best location and install practices.
07-12-2019 07:00 PM
RedLance It could be mounted down on a frame rail, or behind the bumper. As far as I know, once it's installed you do not need regular/easy access to it. It plumbs into the trucks fuel and electrical systems.

Yes, a gas generator would be more useful overall, but the Espar would be more convenient since it is always installed and ready to go and uses the same fuel as the truck and should be significantly faster, since it makes 5000 watts worth of heat, verses the 1000 from the electric block heater.

I agree the Espar option would be more cost effective if the truck were used exclusively or at least extensively in sub freezing temps.

A 1000 watt Honda generator is around $950, and the 2200 watt Honda is around $1200, I see Webasto brand diesel fired coolant heaters on Ebay now for $900 or $920, so again the generator is looking like a better value as far as overall usefulness.
07-12-2019 08:26 AM
ArcticDriver RedLance.
That is quite a heater unit.

I wonder where a good location would be under the hood?

I would be inclined to purchase the Honda generator since it can be used for multiple tasks and can be resold.

This heater unit won’t add value to your truck in the event of resale.
07-11-2019 06:46 PM
RedLance Something like this Espar diesel fired coolant heater would work very well, and only draws 42 watts including the water pump, and makes up to 5 KW of heat. That would warm the engine, deice the windows and preheat the cab all at once. Uses 1 liter of fuel per hour, that's roughly 1/4 gallon.


They are pricey though...
07-09-2019 10:56 AM
Originally Posted by klhansen View Post
...would drain the batteries too low to run the starter in short order, or the block heater would be too wimpy to do any real heating.
Yeah, I wasn't suggesting he do that - only that it would be a better use for the batteries' energy than wasting half of it in an inverter. At least with a 12V block heater, much more of that energy would go where he wants it - into the block.

But the little quiet generator is the most-logical solution, if he can't get the engine to run well enough to start off the stock glow plugs.
Originally Posted by BMcClue View Post
...what else is there that I should know about them
That depends on what you already know...

But generally: the same as any other vehicle. Maintenance is cheaper than repair. Cheap parts are more expensive than quality parts. Ford built it right, so the closer to stock you keep it, the better-off you'll be (with a few very specific exceptions that will be explained as you encounter them). And you should read the owner's manual, the diesel supplement, the Haynes manual, and search the old threads here for anything you're considering doing to the truck.
07-08-2019 11:22 PM
BMcClue Since I'm fairly new to the diesel world what else is there that I should know about them
07-08-2019 11:17 PM
BMcClue Yeah it would be better off with a gas one like a Honda and thanks for the info on the block heater wattage I wasn't figuring it would be that much wattage 🙃
07-08-2019 09:47 PM
Originally Posted by Steve83 View Post
.... They'd be better-used either powering the glow plugs, or a 12V block heater .....
Except a 12V block heater of 1000W capacity would drain the batteries too low to run the starter in short order, or the block heater would be too wimpy to do any real heating.
07-08-2019 09:19 PM
Originally Posted by BMcClue View Post
And I don't have to listen to some bloody horrible noise if you know what I mean

Yes, that's an inverter. It's just packaged with a battery & charger inside the case so that, if any ONE of them goes bad, they want you to toss the whole thing & buy a new one. You'd spend less & get better performance buying them separately. But you don't really need to buy batteries (your truck already has 2) or charger (the truck has an alternator). Of course, that just gets you back to my first reply - the inverter will put off about as much heat as the block heater, so you're wasting the batteries. They'd be better-used either powering the glow plugs, or a 12V block heater (no waste, except a little in the wiring & connections).

But modern inverter generators are VERY quiet & compact. Some can be ganged.

07-08-2019 04:18 PM
klhansen So that's a battery/inverter package, that's capable of being recharged with a generator. I see it's rated for 288 WH which means it would last less than 20 minutes if loaded at 1000W. The battery would be drained in short order. Not going to help much

What everyone else said about keeping your glow plug system and starting batteries up to snuff. I once started my cold-soaked truck at minus 6F without a working block heater or a working glow plug system. When it finally fired off, I mosquito fogged the whole neighborhood (if there had been any mosquitoes around at that temp). With a working GP system and good batteries, you should have no problem starting without a block heater plugged in well below zero.
07-08-2019 04:18 PM
bugman I don't see any actual specifications on what you linked to on Amazon but you need one that is rated at a minimum of 1000 watts that will run for 1.5-3 hours to do any good to be used for the block heater.

Solar doesn't work at night and you will be using it mostly in the early morning if needed after your truck has cold soaked overnight and won't start. You also have to consider the cold effect that is going to affect the battery of the device.

As I mentioned before, just make sure that your glow plug system is in proper working order and then don't worry about it. I live in the mountains of Colorado and my truck will sit for weeks at a time during the winter at temperatures down to a -40 and I have no problems starting it. It argues until it warms up a little bit but it will start without the help of the block heater. It has done this for 23 years now.
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