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'99 & up Upgrades and Aftermarket - 7.3L Engine Upgrading or adding OEM or aftermarket equipment to your 1999-Up Super Duty or Excursion with 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

Thread: School me about Block heaters Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-27-2009 09:35 AM
JimTJr I don't know much about them,,, LOL. I NEVER use mine. (Except for last winter when it wouldn't start without it, (due to three bad injectors...) When the trucks GP system, and the rest of the motor is healthy, it is not necessary for starting, USUALLY, *Maybe northern Canada, Alaska, ect...) But not for the lower 48 I would say.
However, my truck is starting fine right now this winter, and I have heat within a mile or two literally after starting. I will let it idle for 3-5 minutes just to get the fluids flowing. But when you start and drive it warms very quickly.
So if your doing it to "Be warm" in the cab. The quickest way to get heat is drive it. (Diesels won't warm up much, while idling.) They need to "Work" to build heat.
12-26-2009 07:38 PM
Kanman
Quote:
Originally Posted by butchcassidy1 View Post
I disagree on all of the above.

I have been using an oil pan heater for years on my truck - never a problem with burnt oil and warm oil DOES help the engine start. The oil heater helps improve oil flow to the HEUI injectors, allowing for easier firing.

I also have used the OEM block heater, again easy starts compared to no plug in.

The main difference I noticed in the oil heater vs. OEM block heater is 500w (oil heater) vs 1000w (block heater).

From any energy consumption viewpoint, the oil heater is better.

My uncle who has been a diesel mechanic for years, has always used oil pan heaters on dumps, bulldozers, tractors, etc. He swaers by them. He always told me if you got a good functioning glow plug system, no need to worry about combustion chamber heat issues.

ButchCassidy1
You hit the nail right on the head. Cold oil equals extreme duty for the batteries. Although having warm heads, and warmer fuel is a good thing. Keeping that oil thin, allows those very cold batteries to still push enough current to fire-off the truck. Given a choice I would prefer heating the coolant, it transfers to the oil easy enough, but also puts heated air in the cab nearly instantly.

My 15 liter ISX Cummins with 4 brand new batteries can easily tell the difference between 8F and 25F. Plugging it in for about 4 hours makes all the difference in the world. Those batteries grunt really hard at 5-8F, and they can spin that motor like crazy when warmed to 25F.

Quote:
I've never heard of a block heater heating element cracking or breaking, so someone pulled that rumor out of their hiney.
I think I understand what he was asking. Would be like the same thing as adding cold water to a "boiled over" empty radiator, except in reverse. Although, I do agree that its non sense to think that the small amount of still cold fluid circulating through the block, and heads will cause a problem when it collides with heated engine parts, or heated coolant. If that was the case, then every time the thermostat opened the block would get cracked because of the temp differences...
12-26-2009 05:31 PM
butchcassidy1
Quote:
Originally Posted by drmiller100 View Post
heating the coolant is a LOT better then heating the oil. Heating the oil can burn the oil. Besides, warm oil doesn't help the engine start.

heating the coolant using a block heater means the HEAD will get warmer. Most of the water circulates up to the head.

Then when you crank the engine over to start it, the head is warm, top of the block is warm, vavles are already warm, and the truck will start more quickly.
I disagree on all of the above.

I have been using an oil pan heater for years on my truck - never a problem with burnt oil and warm oil DOES help the engine start. The oil heater helps improve oil flow to the HEUI injectors, allowing for easier firing.

I also have used the OEM block heater, again easy starts compared to no plug in.

The main difference I noticed in the oil heater vs. OEM block heater is 500w (oil heater) vs 1000w (block heater).

From any energy consumption viewpoint, the oil heater is better.

My uncle who has been a diesel mechanic for years, has always used oil pan heaters on dumps, bulldozers, tractors, etc. He swaers by them. He always told me if you got a good functioning glow plug system, no need to worry about combustion chamber heat issues.

ButchCassidy1
12-26-2009 04:59 PM
SmokeyWren
Quote:
Originally Posted by SyN View Post
If you start your truck right after your unplug your block heater, there is good chance that there will be a splash of cold coolant enter the chamber and crack or break the heating element? Is there any truth to this?
Zero, nada, none. Complete nonsense. The heating element is in the header of the oil cooler. It heats the coolant in the oil cooler (heat exchanger), plus the coolant in the block above the oil cooler. There will be no splash of cold coolant until after a lot of warmer coolant has flowed past the heating element.

I've never heard of a block heater heating element cracking or breaking, so someone pulled that rumor out of their hiney.



12-26-2009 04:52 PM
bugman
Quote:
Originally Posted by SyN View Post
I have read somewhere-->That U need to wait at least 5 min before u start your truck, after unplugging your block heater? For the reason--->If you start your truck right after your unplug your block heater, there is good chance that there will be a splash of cold coolant enter the chamber and crack or break the heating element? Is there any truth to this?
If there was 99% of us on here would not have a working block heater.
12-26-2009 04:40 PM
SyN I have read somewhere-->That U need to wait at least 5 min before u start your truck, after unplugging your block heater? For the reason--->If you start your truck right after your unplug your block heater, there is good chance that there will be a splash of cold coolant enter the chamber and crack or break the heating element? Is there any truth to this?
12-20-2009 12:16 AM
SmokeyWren
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewExe View Post
is the 00' the same way
Yes. '99-'03 7.3L all work the same way. The 6.0Ls and newer Ford diesels all have block heaters installed, but the electric cord was optional in most states. In the really cold states, such as North Dakota or Maine, the cord was standard. But in such tropical states as Massachusettes, Connecticut and Rhode Island, it was optional.



12-18-2009 01:41 AM
JECHKAEL I have the block heater and am currently using it with good results to minus 20 C. Bit when the temp drops to -30 C (-22 F) the truck takes for ever to warm up and throws alot of smoke. I am hesitant to through any load on it when it is smoking like that. Hope to get more heat in the engine with an aftermarket 1500W circulating heater.
12-17-2009 10:50 PM
AndrewExe is the 00' the same way
12-17-2009 10:29 PM
Flywheel
Quote:
Originally Posted by JECHKAEL View Post
I am looking for suggestions for installing and circulating coolant heater. Anyone got some ideas/instructions/locations for taping in?
What are you looking to do?
12-17-2009 08:06 PM
SmokeyWren If it's your 2002 you're talking about, you already have a circulating coolant heater, the so-called block heater.

Look at the photo in my earlier post. If yours has that orange cord coming out of the base of the oil filter, you already have the block heater and the cord to plug it in. You just need to find the plug end of that cord behind the front bumper and plug it in.

If yours doesn't have that orange cord, then all you need to buy is the cord. The heating element is already there. The special cord for the block heater is higher than a cat's back, but it's a lot cheaper that buying a whole new block heater.



12-16-2009 11:57 PM
JECHKAEL I am looking for suggestions for installing and circulating coolant heater. Anyone got some ideas/instructions/locations for taping in?
11-15-2005 10:20 PM
mattA
Re: School me about Block heaters

in the winter months here, it does get cold, however, i have mine setup on a timer, i plug it in at night, but the cord going outside doesnt kick the juice on till 2am, that lets it run for 3 1/2 hours before i fire it in the morning, i see no need to leave it plugged in all night, and it was a pita replacing the one on my dads old 91(i cant really rember for sure, but i think it was) and i dont feel the need to pay for the electrical usage, within the 3 1/2 hours its plugged in for, it will melt the snow on the hood, that usually tells me its working, and yes, my cord ends to get alittle warm.
11-15-2005 09:19 PM
drmiller100
Re: School me about Block heaters

heating the coolant is a LOT better then heating the oil. Heating the oil can burn the oil. Besides, warm oil doesn't help the engine start.

heating the coolant using a block heater means the HEAD will get warmer. Most of the water circulates up to the head.

Then when you crank the engine over to start it, the head is warm, top of the block is warm, vavles are already warm, and the truck will start more quickly.
11-15-2005 07:36 PM
klhansen
Re: School me about Block heaters

Yes, you can just replace the cord. Or if the plug-in end is bad, you can just cut it off and wire on a Marinco Charger Inlet

Makes plugging in easy - Look Ma, only one hand! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]
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