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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: harleyman_1000 on December 13, 2013, 04:06:37 PM



Title: Engine heater?
Post by: harleyman_1000 on December 13, 2013, 04:06:37 PM
 I need to start my bus in below freezing  weather and move it. What type of engine heater do I need? Will a magnetic or dipstick heater work the same?


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: luvrbus on December 13, 2013, 04:24:02 PM
No, check on the right side looking from the front just above the oil pan the heater may be there and just the cord is missing

good luck


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: Geoff on December 13, 2013, 05:15:38 PM
I have a few electric engine pre-heaters in stock.  Give me a call and I'll tell you what is available.

--Geoff
928 771 0045


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: TomC on December 13, 2013, 10:32:34 PM
Putting a 500 watt halogen work light under the oil pan over night gives it a head start-cheap but effective. Good Luck, TomC


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: treeplanter on December 13, 2013, 11:16:35 PM
make sure the fuel has not congealed from the cold.


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: eagle19952 on December 14, 2013, 08:39:42 AM
Alaska (emergency only.... :o )  cold start method.

12-16 feet of 4-6 inch stove pipe
one 90 degree elbow
plywood enough to skirt wind
one  bottle of propane
one weed burner
two fire extinguishers... ;D


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: Jriddle on December 14, 2013, 09:25:42 AM
Alaska (emergency only.... :o )  cold start method.

12-16 feet of 4-6 inch stove pipe
one 90 degree elbow
plywood enough to skirt wind
one  bottle of propane
one weed burner
two fire extinguishers... ;D

I thought this was standard practice growing up in MT. Iím not sure I would classify it as emergency only. Seems like a lot of pipe for safety sake. LOL
 John


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: harleyman_1000 on December 14, 2013, 10:22:01 AM
 I treated the fuel, so hopefully that should be ok.


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: belfert on December 14, 2013, 01:01:19 PM
Interestingly enough, I have never had a problem with gelled fuel on the rare occasions I have started my bus in the winter here.  I typically fill my tank around Oct 1st and I don't think winter blend has started by then.  It was plenty cold when I left for Arcadia in 2010 and no fuel issues.  (I've had gelled fuel once at -9F in a brand new pickup.)

What do folks do when the typical location on the Series 60 for a block heater is hooked to a heater hose and not available for the heater?


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: eagle19952 on December 14, 2013, 01:45:05 PM
I thought this was standard practice growing up in MT. Iím not sure I would classify it as emergency only. Seems like a lot of pipe for safety sake. LOL
 John

We called it emergency because we usually had a 1M BTU Tioga  furnace, truck mounted with a never ending supply of parachutes and laborer's to set-up....
the extra pipe is so you can control the weed burner from a position near your pick-up truck...w/o crawling under the rig which is usually dripping melted ice......if the Tioga isn't available.... ;D


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: Boomer on December 14, 2013, 10:01:06 PM
Metal garbage can lid and charcoal.  Be careful, it's Rube Goldberg.


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: bobofthenorth on December 15, 2013, 05:53:46 AM
You've got two problems that compound when you are trying to cold start:
- your oil is thick so the engine drags hard when it turns over
- your battery effectiveness goes way down as it gets colder

The suggestions so far have focussed on the engine oil temperature and that's important but the battery temperature is equally if not more important.  The simple step of taking the batteries inside the night before the start will make a huge difference.  Those of us who regularly cold start vehicles invest in battery warming blankets but for a single start just using warm batteries will suffice.


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: oldmansax on December 15, 2013, 04:07:06 PM
We had a '54 Autocar with a 220 Cummins we regularly built a small wood fire under the base pan of to warm it up enough to start. I set it on fire several times.  ;D ;D  It would be more of a problem with a leaky Detroit. 

TOM


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: chessie4905 on December 15, 2013, 04:37:41 PM
   For a temporary fix, two magnetic oil pan heaters, one on either side should suffice with minimal effort. Probably should use separate extension cords rated for draw of heaters to one or two different receptacles as load dictates. They can come in handy in the future. Also put a charger on the batteries to warm them up and top off.


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: eagle19952 on December 15, 2013, 05:17:24 PM
With a little more experience you can use less stove pipe... :o

we built drywall/texture dryers using the same items...never lost a house.... ;D


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: bobofthenorth on December 15, 2013, 05:39:45 PM
We never used stove pipe & I don't think I'd want to.  We always used 3 or 4" pipe or square tubing with a 90 elbow on the end of it.  You only need enough pipe to direct the heat and prevent any actual flame coming out the end - 4 feet is more than enough.


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: eagle19952 on December 15, 2013, 07:44:33 PM
We never used stove pipe & I don't think I'd want to.  We always used 3 or 4" pipe or square tubing with a 90 elbow on the end of it.  You only need enough pipe to direct the heat and prevent any actual flame coming out the end - 4 feet is more than enough.
Not if it is to short to reach the motor....:)....not if it's your first time...LOL
Stove pipe works extremely well for wood stoves and it is not as much $$ as 4 inch Schd. 40 and elbows....just saying.
I have used air duct in a pinch. at -40/-60 you use what you got.
back in the mid/early 70's you would not want to be in the Yukon/NW Territory w/o a set-up to start your car.
FWIW I agree....12 feet is way more than you'd need, but I assure you the heat will get to the engine bay, AND your bus will not burn to the ground.
All I wanted to express is Safer is better than sorry.
PS It beats lugging around 40 lbs. of pipe....I guess exhaust tubing would work too.


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: B_K on December 16, 2013, 05:48:29 AM
Way back before I got into buses we used to have to warm up the engines on the big wreckers we had.
We always used a small throw away bbq grill or hub cap with charcoal in it.
We'd start it and let the flame die down then slide it in on top of the front axle and drag link and it'd make the engine nice an toasty in no time.
;D  BK  ;D


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: harleyman_1000 on December 19, 2013, 06:48:25 PM
Ok bus started right up without doing anything. Of course it was 56 degrees here today   :)


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: chessie4905 on December 20, 2013, 06:19:50 AM
    As soon as the temp hits zero, everyone needs to go out and try to start their coach with low batteries and no engine heater. Use lots and lots of ether. :o


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: Oonrahnjay on December 20, 2013, 09:59:28 AM
       As soon as the temp hits zero, everyone needs to go out and try to start their coach with low batteries and no engine heater. Use lots and lots of ether. :o   

     My bus *starts* OK at freezing (after it's been about that temp overnight) but it shakes and rattles and smokes for a bit.  I think that it would be a good thing -- not necessary but a good thing -- to warm my engine anytime it's below about 50 degrees.  (At 60 or above, it snaps into running with a couple of piston strokes and runs smoothly immediately).  It's a 6 cyl 4-stroke. 


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: TomC on December 20, 2013, 10:47:07 AM
My mechanical Cat 3406B would start well in sub freezing weather. It would turn over several times then start coming up to speed and do what we call pop corning-stamering and missing until enough heat built up to start running consistantly on all 6. Usually would take about 2 minutes of pop corning to come up to speed. Good luck, TomC


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: Oonrahnjay on December 20, 2013, 12:01:24 PM
  My mechanical Cat 3406B would start well in sub freezing weather. It would turn over several times then start coming up to speed and do what we call pop corning-stamering and missing until enough heat built up to start running consistantly on all 6. Usually would take about 2 minutes of pop corning to come up to speed. Good luck, TomC   

     Interesting, the lump of British iron only "popcorns" for about 6-8 seconds, but it's rough for that 6-8 seconds and the smoke goes on for another 30 seconds or so. 


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: Lin on December 20, 2013, 02:07:48 PM
A block heater is not expensive and does a great job.  We don't live in a particularly cold area, but I still consider it almost an essential.  We have a timer for ours since I generally forget to turn things off.  I set it for an hour, and the bus starts like it's in the tropics.  I think even a half hour would work though.  As said before, it works so easily that you feel like your cheating.

This thread was about a one time thing, but I would recommend installing a block heater for future happiness.


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: wg4t50 on December 20, 2013, 03:37:29 PM
Jelled fuel, had that happen at 18 f, in Va,  also have driven truck in ND at -25 f no issue. All depends on the supplier how they handle it. 
Today, I preheat with either the 1500 watt water jacket heater or the Aqua Hot, Love the nicer things?
Dave M


Title: Re: Engine heater?
Post by: belfert on December 20, 2013, 08:34:26 PM
I've started my Series 60 at zero degrees with no block heater and no ether.  I had four new group 31 batteries at the time.  Not an ideal thing to do, but we don't always have a choice.