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Author Topic: Block Heater Question  (Read 4348 times)
Lin
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« on: November 02, 2008, 09:19:02 AM »

As far as I know, I do not have a block heater.  I thought it would be useful but not essential in our Southern California desert winter.  Anyway, I spent some time the other day looking for a wiring problem.  I had to cut an access panel into a chase and pull out some other stuff to find where someone had spliced into the neutral wire on a circuit leaving the outlet hot with no neutral.  The splice was even soldered.  I don't know what the heck they were doing with it.  Anyway, I came across a piece of romex the was labeled, "maybe for block heater."  It was not.  It was the end of the crazy splice that was causing the problem, but it started me thinking that maybe I had a block heater without knowing it, but do not even know what to look for.  Can anyone direct me on this?
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2008, 10:19:51 AM »

Lin; if it's factory on a 8V71 it is on the right hand side looking at the front on the block below the head on the front on a 92 series it is on the right side of the block front lower corner looking from the front also   have a great day
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Lin
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2008, 01:44:15 PM »

2stroke,

Just to clarify, the starter is on the right side looking at the engine toward the front of the bus.  Do you mean that side?
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white-eagle
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2008, 05:14:38 PM »

i put mine on a year ago at Jack's place in Florida.  Bad idea when you don't know what you're doing cause you catch a lot of flak from all the watchers.  good idea in that it helps to have someone letting you know when you're about to screw up. 

they work great.  i have an 8v92.  as i look at the engine, as mma2s says, it's on the right sides down ahead of where my dipstick goes in the side, about a 4x3 rectangle, with a chrome circular cap where the wires for the plug go in.  mine came with a 3 foot cord with a plug on it, coming out of that cap. 

i don't have the experience to know if that's the normal for most buses, i just know i didn't have one and that's the part i got from the truck parts store.

when it gets down the 40 or less, i plug in for an hour of so to make it easier to start.  here in ohio, winters can get to -10, but regularly are 25-30 all day in january/february.
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Tom
1991 Eagle 15 and proud of it.
8V92T, 740, Fulltime working on the road.

Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2008, 07:27:14 PM »

2stroke,

Just to clarify, the starter is on the right side looking at the engine toward the front of the bus.  Do you mean that side?

You're looking at the correct side.  The block heater will be located on the starter side. 
Look for what would appear to be a cut off 110Vac lead.   It may be intact.  But the heater wires usually look like any household plug cord. 
In warm climes they are often left off when replacing engines. 
If the bus cranks easily in your weather, don't worry about installing one.  If it gets hard to start in your low temps, a block heater will considerably improve the startability.
A '92 heater is located on the RH lower block water jacket right behind the dipstick.  A 4 bolt plate is in place if no block heater. 
'V71 may be in a 1" pipe plug fitting on the RH side near the head. 
Aftermarket block heaters are mounted all over...in hoses, oil cooler/lines.  Look for an odd looking cord. 
JR
 
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.

Ayn Rand
Lin
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2008, 08:22:50 PM »

I did not see anything that I would imagine to be one.  I could be wrong, but since I started the search based on a ridiculously mislabeled wire, it is a good chance there is none.  Thanks for the directions.
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Hi yo silver
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2008, 08:30:26 PM »

Speaking of block heaters, is it normal not to see an increase in the current draw from shore power if I switch the block heater on when it's above about 40 degrees.  In other words, does it have a built-in thermostat that keeps it from coming on when the outdoor temp is not low enough to need it?  I'm trying to figure out whether or not mine is working.
Thanks
Dennis
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billy6941
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2008, 09:40:00 PM »

We just bought a 57 4104, in Florida. We will be coming back to cold country, in the spring. Any help on a block heater installation on a 6-71 will be appreciated. I have installed many heaters on cars and light trucks, but this will be a first for me....Thanks....Bill
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GM0406
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2008, 02:59:29 AM »

Why would anyone use a block heater when you can use a pan heater on the bottom of the oil pan.  Block heaters are normally high.  Last time we checked, heat rises.  You need to heat the oil for good rpm in cold weather.  Also Obamination might set off rising energy prices again which means lower wattage crankcase heaters are your best choice as they use a lot less energy.  Bill T.
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Paso One
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2008, 06:47:40 AM »

I would recomend a circulation heater ( tank heater) They come in various wattages up to 1500 watts.

It is simple to install as it draws from the lower block and installs the heated water in one of the top heater hoses.

Being in Northern Saskatchewan we will get weeks of minus 40  weather.

A lot of the service trucks and heavy equipment use them.

The one on my bus has been on the bus for at least 10 years.

Plugged in overnight (too long) the temperture gauge is off the lower peg.

They sell for around $100.00 around here.
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Lin
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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2008, 09:53:49 AM »

GM,

Is this what you meant?  http://www.padheaters.com/

Are these any good?
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Utahclaimjumper
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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2008, 02:26:50 PM »

Dennis, the answere is no.>>>Dan
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David Anderson
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« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2008, 05:21:41 PM »

GM,

Is this what you meant?  http://http://www.padheaters.com/

Are these any good?


I have one of the these on my 6v92.  I used it last week in 39 degree weather.   I left it on all night and checked the oil pan temp with my temp gun the next morning before startup and it was 109 degrees.  Not bad.  I did turn on the webasto, also to warm the heads, so the pan heater was not running solo. 

You need to leave it on overnight to really be effective. 

David
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NJT5047
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« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2008, 07:10:25 PM »

"Stick on" pan heaters suffer from several shortcomings...they are difficult to keep stuck on the pan.  The heat on the pan may cause cracking on some pans.   While warming the oil is good, warming the coolant near the heads is much better for easy starts.  If anything hits the pan, the heater will be damaged.   
Pan heaters are used successfully.  Often on off-road equipment.  Both may be used for extreme conditions.
My block heater, DD style in the lower block water jacket, warms both heads within 45 minutes or so. Fires up like summer in the coldest of weather. 
I'd recommend use of a screw-in, or plate type heater that is designed for your Detroit engine.  A pan heater will take much longer to achieve enough heat to make starting easy. 
Unless it's really cold..like less than 20*...the block heater can be plugged in an hour or two before cranking the bus. 
Cranking the engine with the block heater plugged in is not recommended.  Unplug the heater just before cranking.  The element may be damaged by the 'ringing' when hot.  Another caution with element style block heaters is to make certain that the heating element isn't touching any metal inside the water jacket.  If it touches metal, it'll fail rapidly. 
I've cranked my engine in 25* weather without a block heater.   It'll start...but it's rough on the engine.  Cranks..eventually a few cylinders will fire...smokes (big smoke!)...few more cylinders pick up, and suddenly it's running on all 6.   I don't make that a habit.  I use the block heater an hour before cranking...fires up like it was just shut down. 

BTW, regarding a block heater wired into the house system, if the block heater is wired thru the breaker panel, it will register on the house amps.  No indication may mean that the heater is wired ahead of the toroid, or the heater isn't functioning.  It should show about 8+ amps @ 120Vac. 

In addition to the above, avoid dipstick heaters.  They are all but useless on large diesels.   And, avoid units that circulate water thru various hoses.  Stick with the correct DD recomended unit.  They are cheap to buy.  May be a PITA to install.  You'll have to drain the coolant.   Have fun!   Wink
HTH, JR


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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.

Ayn Rand
Hi yo silver
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« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2008, 08:56:37 PM »

Thanks, everybody.
Dennis
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