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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Diesel engine block heaters

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gun guru

12-08-2008 14:30:23
68.188.232.38



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I would like to get an engine oil heater or a block heater for my JD tractor. What is the best kind for the money to get, a dipstick insert heater or are there other kinds. I remember years ago I had a dipstick heater for my car. Fill me in on the options available.




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buickanddeere

12-09-2008 05:07:23
192.75.48.150



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to gun guru, 12-08-2008 14:30:23  
Yesterday,three and four pages ago this topic got a workout. Dipstick oil heaters are for dipsticks. Too little surface area on a dipstick to heat anything larger than a push lawnmower engine. Heating the battery is just as important as heating the engine. This site has everything. Coolant, oil and battery heaters. Even heaters for air cooled engines. Glad to see somebody asking about engine heaters instead of "how to add an ether system"? http://www.phillipsandtemro.com/UserFiles/File/ZEROSTART_Catalog_WEB.pdf

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jdemaris

12-09-2008 06:24:36
72.171.0.142



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to buickanddeere, 12-09-2008 05:07:23  
Look on pages 80-83 of the catalog link you posed. Zerostart makes some great ether-injection kits that don't do any damage when used like they should be. I've serviced tractors that were used for many hours with ether kits - with zero damgage. I've also worked on engines with only 100 hours that were ruined from overloading with ether. Anybody can ruin anything if they work at it.

In regard to batteries - any machine left outdoors should have a battery sized at least twice the amps needed in warm weather then thrice is better yet - and most are OEM. A battery loses 1/2 cranking capacity at zero - so if it's at least twice-sized to begin with, will usually work fine. Now, 35-40 below F is a different story.

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buickanddeere

12-09-2008 06:31:04
192.75.48.150



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to jdemaris, 12-09-2008 06:24:36  
Seniour's moment. I should have written "adding ether" instead of "adding an ether system". A careful mechanicaly metered wiff of ether if nothing else is possible, is ok. Somebody hand spraying ether into an engine from a can is another issue altogether. Keeps engine shops in business however. Father inlaws engine shop would go broke without ether users.



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John B.

12-08-2008 18:53:18
38.104.162.2



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to gun guru, 12-08-2008 14:30:23  
One thing to remember that combustion takes place in the combustion chamber and not in the oil pan. Heat would radiate up thru the engine with an oil heater but not like the block heater heating the coolant. A block heater will heat the oil somewhat too! A block heater also keeps the cylinder walls and pistons warm and that is where the most drag/friction is any way.

I've seen the dip stik heaters and there is not much oil to stick contact. A block heater is the better choice in my book.

You can get the ones that fit in the bottom radiator hose, or a freeze plug (most common) or the type that fits in to a heater hose and actually pumps the water as it heats it. It's a pump and a heater.

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ispud

12-08-2008 17:17:00
4.242.60.216



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to gun guru, 12-08-2008 14:30:23  
I have used them all at one time or another in differnt machines over the years and to me their are only two types I personaly will use: block heater[usually instaled in a frost plug in the block] or a tank type but only if it can be installed under thermostate so the fluid can be circulate between the block and raditor.



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Bob

12-08-2008 16:48:33
69.178.228.68



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to gun guru, 12-08-2008 14:30:23  
What model do you have... have to know that to look up what the options are for that model!



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jdemaris

12-08-2008 16:06:21
67.142.130.17



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to gun guru, 12-08-2008 14:30:23  
If you want something that can heat the engine fast (in case you forgot to plug it in the night before) - nothing works better that a circulating tank-heater. They heat fast and shut themselves off once the engine is hot. You can buy them in 850, 1000, 1500, and 2000 watts.



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old

12-08-2008 15:21:03
4.244.57.204



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to gun guru, 12-08-2008 14:30:23  
The very best is one that heats the coolant. That way the whole engine gets warm not just the oil. Plus most oil heaters can/will burn the oil and that causes problems with the oil going bad fast



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Chris in SK

12-08-2008 15:20:16
72.37.171.116



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to gun guru, 12-08-2008 14:30:23  
Heating your oil doesn't help cold starting like heating the coolant. If you’re worried about cold thick oil on start up, use a magnetic heater on the pan or dip stick heater, and good oil.

All my stuff has block heaters which work well, but my loader tractor (Ford 6cyl diesel) stands outside most of the time, and has to start. It had the block heater disconnected, and a tank heater fitted. It is 1500 Watt heater, with directional flow. It draws coolant straight out of the block via a hose fitting that replaces the block drain, and circulates hot coolant back into the block via a tee in the heater hose. Down to -20 I only need it plugged in for about an hour or two. I usually hook a battery charger on as well.

The tank heater doesn't look as neat as a freeze plug heater, but is easy to fit and maintain, and works well. Expensive to leave on all night though.

Chris

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DiyDave

12-08-2008 15:10:06
71.248.23.173



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to gun guru, 12-08-2008 14:30:23  
To keep this short, I would say, it depends on the application. Best, IMHO, is the freeze plug heater, but sometimes, access is blocked to the most central plug plug (a variant of murphy's law). Next in line would be the coffee pot style bypass hose heater, remember to always mount these vertically, within a degree or 2, or you risk burning up the element, if you park on a hill. Next in line would be the lower radiator hose heater, it needs to be installed at a 10-15 degree up angle towards the motor, again parking angle can cause it to heat the radiator, instead of the motor. Last on the list is the dipstick heater, dipsticks use it, and it don't do nuthin anyway!

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RickB

12-08-2008 14:59:10
67.158.164.167



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to gun guru, 12-08-2008 14:30:23  
Frost plug heaters are the best bang for the buck. most guys that tell you a lower rad hose heater or circulating tank heater is easier to install probably never actually installed a frostplug heater.



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Dave from MN

12-08-2008 14:44:07
96.24.108.212



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to gun guru, 12-08-2008 14:30:23  
I would say get a circulating coolant heater



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Das Unimog

12-08-2008 14:42:35
205.188.117.74



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to gun guru, 12-08-2008 14:30:23  
I would stay away from the hot dipstick for fear
of fire and I believe they are a poor excuse for a
source of real heat. Heat the water with either a
block heater in a freeze plug or a tank heater
tied into a heater or radiator hose. I have this
type and they work very good.



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Lesformore

12-08-2008 20:22:08
207.47.242.198



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 Re: Diesel engine block heaters in reply to Das Unimog, 12-08-2008 14:42:35  
Be careful if you buy a freeze plug heater. Most are held in place by a machine screw in the middle of it. Check to make sure the screw is stainless steel. If it's not it can rust away, and the heater will fall out and you'll loose all the coolant. If it happens while driving you could kill the engine. Remember your heat gauge senses the temperature of the coolant. If it's gone it won't tell you the engine is overheating.

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