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Author Topic: Engine preheat  (Read 4810 times)
Chaz
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« on: November 06, 2006, 06:54:13 AM »

Here's another one for ya:  Roll Eyes    Engine preheater.

   While I am going to use a Webasto or comperable aux. heater to do this, a mechanic friend suggested also having a plug it type engine heater as a backup also. Seems like a good idea. (?) I understand they aren't all that much money and could possibly get me out of a jam sometime if the aux. fails. 
  What do you all think? And, what type? I understand there are oil as well as water heaters.

  Thanx for the help,
     Chaz
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2006, 07:17:02 AM »

Chaz -

Engine block heaters are far easier on that big old Detroit than trying to start it with ether when it's less than 40o outside.

Pick up the phone and call Luke (1-888-262-2434) and he'll have the correct one  on it's way to you today via UPS.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2006, 07:33:18 AM »

Good info Russ gave you if you never have to use it it is still worth the money  not that bad a price either

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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2006, 07:34:47 AM »

Like usual, Russ is dead-on. A recent thread on a block heater part mismatch (and mishaps) tells me Luke is the one to buy 'em from.

The block heater that heats the coolant is the one you want... four bolts, and just little mess with the coolant to install. A pan or oil heater won't do it as well as heating the coolant. Mine uses about 1500 watts. Although my DD can easily start when it's marginal (30-40), I plugged in the block heater for an hour before I started her in Iowa and St. Louis last week when the temps dropped below 40. It makes this nice ticking sound as the big mass of iron heats up, and the front of the block gets warm to the touch... my DD said, "Ahhhhh... warm oil starts... thanks!"

HTH,
Brian B.
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Brian Brown
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2006, 09:01:54 AM »

Echoing everyone's advice to get a recirculating heater rather than an oil pan heater.  Try pouring straight 40 oil at temps below 40 F and you will see why a little heat is important.  These old girls sure like to have just a little heat to get them going.

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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2006, 09:27:43 AM »

Chaz,
     With a Webasto plumbed to do engine preheat the addition of an electric preheater is simply not needed.  There are so many other places where a back up system is more likely to be needed.  The Webasto will preheat the engine at least 3 times as fast as an electric heater and it's a pretty reliable and dependable system.
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2006, 04:43:47 PM »

Jerry -

Good point.

However, IIUC, Chaz wanted something for the time being, until he got his Webasto system up and running.

I think. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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Chaz
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2006, 05:33:03 PM »

 Your right Russ, but my buddy brought up the idea that it's not a bad idea to have a back up in that dept in case the aux heater should fail or there is some sort of problem. (read Murphy's Law)
  I'm hoping I don't have trouble, but what do you think? Is there much to worry about there? It was instilled in me in the NAVY to "C.Y.A."   Wink

  Thanx guys.
     Chaz
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2006, 05:56:49 PM »

I guess it depends on what you plan on doing with the bus this winter. The block heater is something you could install in a few hours. A diesel-fired heater might take awhile to get plumbed in and operational, and if you need to use the bus in the interim the block heater could get you fired off.

Or, depending on your usage, you might decide to save $ and go with a propane RV furnace or something. We're presently using electric heat when parked and plugged in, which is maybe 75% of the nights. A 1500 watt oil-filled "radiator" in the back bedroom and a 1500 watt squirell-cage heater in the front has kept us toasty and still under 30A of power. We only use the propane furnace when between the poles or if it gets REALLY cold.

Diesel-fired radiant heat is obviously much nicer, but our winter usage is fairly minimal, except for the occassional skiing daytrip.

Anyways, look at your usage and plans for this winter and then decide.

HTH,
Brian B.
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Brian Brown
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2006, 07:50:24 PM »

Im not putting an engine loop on the Proheat system because the electric block heater works just fine.  Adding the engine loop also means more pumps and/or valves which means more money.  If I need to start the bus in the dead cold, the block heater heats it up enough in about an hour or so.

Ross
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2006, 04:55:29 AM »

Im not putting an engine loop on the Proheat system because the electric block heater works just fine.  Adding the engine loop also means more pumps and/or valves which means more money.  If I need to start the bus in the dead cold, the block heater heats it up enough in about an hour or so.

Yeah, but what if you have to get outta Dodge in a big hurry. Say the cops are hot on your trail; the hounds are barking at your heels. You just don't have time to wait for that slow electric element to do it's thing. You gotta have the quick start!!  Plumb an 80K BTU Webasto into that engine loop and it'll warm her up to starting temps in under 8 minutes!! You won't even have enough time to pull your sewer and water hoses and coil up the electric cable. Just get in and go!
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2006, 05:32:51 AM »

If I gotta get out of dodge in that big of a hurry, I won't be taking the bus. Smiley
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Chaz
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2006, 05:45:35 AM »

LOLOLOL The comedy team of Ross and Gumpy! lol

  I'm really just doing it as a back up. It seems like cheap insurance and if it gets me out of a jam one time, it would be worth it.

  Ross is right tho, if I have to "beat feet" that quick, I have some fast cars that would probably be a better bet!  Grin Grin Grin

  Chaz
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2006, 06:25:01 AM »

You can spend your money much more wisely than on a pre-heat back up. In fact a can of starter fluid would do that. Remember you can not back up everything and the reason people convert these monsters is due to reliability and no requirement to back up everything.
Richard
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2006, 06:40:43 AM »

Quote
the reason people convert these monsters is due to reliability

  Yeah, that is my opinion also, but starting fluid won't start her when it's cold out.
 
   That reminds me........... time to post yet another question!  Grin  "I got a million of 'em"!!  lol

Chaz
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2006, 06:53:43 AM »

I dunno.

I vote for installing the electric element. It's not real expensive and it gives you time to get the preheat loop installed.

I also found the webasto in my AquaHot didn't want to start last winter when it was well below zero and it wasn't already warmed up by the electric element. It took two or three attempts of power cycle resetting it before it finally fired off. When the tank of coolant is already hot it's not a problem, but it sure didn't like that cold start. Smoked a lot more, too, so I assume it was probably producing more soot on the inside. At least with the block heater, you could still get the engine started if for some reason the webasto wouldn't start up.

I've used my block heater up to this point, because I didn't have my preheat loop installed. I've done that now, so this winter will be a test. I suspect the electric unit won't be used much more, but I still like the redundancy factor.

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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2006, 07:00:38 AM »

Quote
the reason people convert these monsters is due to reliability

  Yeah, that is my opinion also, but starting fluid won't start her when it's cold out.
 
   Chaz

Wrong. That is what starting fluid is for and it has been used many years for exactly that purpose.
Richard
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2006, 07:07:20 AM »

Sorry, I may be wrong but she doesn't like to start when cold.
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2006, 01:05:35 PM »

I'm sorry but around here starting fluid is for breaking rings on otherwise good engines.  If the compression is already gone then maybe there is a place for ether but not on a good engine.  Its also good for drying out a flooded gasser and powering a potato cannon but that's another matter altogether.   Shocked

The best way to start a cold 2 stroke is to warm it and the batteries up a bit.  A tiger torch strategically positioned is better than ether, IMHO.

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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2006, 01:43:27 PM »

I do not disagree with you at all Bob. My main point is that starting fluid has been used for at least 50 years, if not more. It had also damaged a lot of engines because of improper use.
 However, DD put an injection point on their earlier engines to insert starting fluid, so they must have known that it could be used safely to start a cold engine. Thousands and thousands of cold engines have been started with starting fluid with no engine damage.
Richard

I'm sorry but around here starting fluid is for breaking rings on otherwise good engines.  If the compression is already gone then maybe there is a place for ether but not on a good engine.  Its also good for drying out a flooded gasser and powering a potato cannon but that's another matter altogether.   Shocked

The best way to start a cold 2 stroke is to warm it and the batteries up a bit.  A tiger torch strategically positioned is better than ether, IMHO.


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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2006, 03:51:44 PM »

Ok Chaz,

My opinion.
If it wont start with  starting fluid you have more to worry about than a block heater.

But from what Ive heard she is not in that bad shape. Check for the factory installed ether port. Usually tapped into the intake adapter bolted to the supercharger. If there is no access port in the metal, pierce a hole in the rubber coupler closest to the blower and force in an access port that (my favorite is cut off metal tire valve stem at angle, with valve removed and cap threads intact) you can cap off.

Crank the engine from factory installed rear engine start switch. After a couple of revolutions give one very short blast of ether as you are cranking, if it does not fire any cylinders off within 15 revolutions stop and let the starter cool. After a couple of miniutes try again with only a little more ether. DO NOT spray in ether in excessive amounts or dire results can occur. (s#!^ can happen) 

Factory ether injection was installed in most cold weather operated diesel units.EOMV

OH YEA your question. Its cheap, when you are at a power pole you can easily keep her warm.  Water, not oil, or hopefully not blowtorch. (I resemble that remark)

OK Now my experiences with MY bus.

She will not start without some assistance below 40? degrees.
She will start IN TIME when plugged into 110. (block heater)
She will start with ether in any temprature I have encountered.
She will Start, and heat the bus using the diesel boiler, or generator.
I have not used mine since I experimented with Ether on this bus.

Back to opinions,

Go out and start it on ether. (where is my legal disclaimer)
You will find this usefull when stopping & starting in different cold weather situations.
Its not alot of money if you have the time and it rises to the top of your priority list, go for it. you may find someplace to use it?

Fire away with the questions, I like to see the sparks.


Bill

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« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2006, 05:09:03 PM »

DML I'm not arguing with you either.  Ether can be used safely but in inexperienced hands it can cost a lot of money.  And engines quickly become addicted to ether if the operator doesn't know what he is doing.  Ether should be a last resort.  Again - IMHO.

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« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2006, 05:18:57 PM »

DML I'm not arguing with you either.  Ether can be used safely but in inexperienced hands it can cost a lot of money.  And engines quickly become addicted to ether if the operator doesn't know what he is doing.  Ether should be a last resort.  Again - IMHO.



I totally agree
Richard
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« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2006, 06:17:21 PM »

Thanx Bill,
  I'll use your method. But I do have an appt tomorrow with a guy who works on these motors. I'll see if I have any other issues. I'll keep ya posted.
 Chaz
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« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2006, 06:46:32 PM »

Bill,

That is not the correct ether starting procedure for the 6-71. The book says to put ether in the cup then walk around to the front and start the bus. If it doesn't start do it again. It says nothing about spraying ether while cranking and provides a nice little cup which drips ether directly into the blower box.

I know this is standard procedure for a 4-stroke diesel, but DDs are different.

If you crank a cold 6-71 before using ether you will make enough smoke to hide an army division.

The 8V-71 may be different, but, knowing GMC, I doubt it.

He needs to check the manual. The best place to look is the  Operating Manual, this is the small one used by drivers.
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« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2006, 07:04:53 PM »

GUSC is right about the "cup" on the top. That is where I shoot the ether. I was using a little airline that I ran from the upside down bottle (ether start set up)  into the hole on the cup and would give it a shot that way, but that can ran out. (I would not leave the line in the cup) The regular spray can doesn't seem to work as well.
  he's right about the army division too!!  Cheesy
 I don't have a driver's manual, but I do have the big one.
  Thanx!!!
     Chaz
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« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2006, 08:53:44 PM »

Chaz -

"Heat soaking" a diesel will also help you get it started w/o a block heater sometimes.

Should be done from the rear, using the rear start switch.

Hold throttle lever closed w/ LH, use RH to hit start switch.  (Will have to s - t - r - e - t - c - h  some to reach both!)

Keeping throttle closed, turn engine over for 15 seconds.

Stop, wait 30 seconds.

Repeat.

Often, after the 4th repetition, on the 5th if you let go of the throttle, it will roar to life and that distinct lopey idle.

And send all the moquitos buzzing for cover!  LOL

Once the air pressure comes up, get in it and go somewhere - best way to thoroughly warm everything up is to put it under load (drive it - not idle it!)

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2006, 05:53:10 AM »

Hmmmmmm, that is interesting. I'm not sure I understand how that works, but I will keep it in mind. The good thing is my rear starter switch is right next to my throttle.    But with an air throttle, do I have to be concerned about holding it shut?

Thanx for the tip.
  Chaz
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« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2006, 01:06:00 PM »

OK guys,
  I just got back from the shop where I had a mechanic listen to it......................... fruitless.

  He did say that the little extra "click" you would hear and then smooth out was probably an injector. And he said the extra smoke was a good indication also. Also the- what I think is- the lack of power could also be an indication.

  BUT........ he also said it takes "allota time to do the adjusting on the injectors". (I already knew that) But he also said to figure on 2 1/2 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to do the job!!!! Then he said he hadn't done one in 20 years. I wanted to say he wasn't going to do one anytime soon either!!!  Wink

So, I am back to looking for a mechanic. But it doesn't have to be done immediately as he also felt it was "ok to run like this".

 Just thought I'd give you all an update.  Smiley  Thanx for all your help and ideas so far.
Oh, my cousin who is a trucker said to add some injector cleaner. He said that since it had been doing allot of sittin, it could help. Any preferences on a brand?

   thanx,
  Chaz
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« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2006, 05:58:27 PM »

Chaz...

Starting fluid, ether, LOVE JUICE, whatever....

was invented to start the big girl in the cold.

I carry a can in my bag when out in the winter driving charter, just in case winter, Webasto/Espar and the Series 60 aren't cooperating.

Works everytime!!!

Note to purists: a small sniff, right up the air intake, with the filter removed, while cranking, won't put her in the methadone clinic.

Believe it or not!

happy coaching!
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« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2006, 09:36:25 AM »



Note to purists: a small sniff, right up the air intake, with the filter removed, while cranking, won't put her in the methadone clinic.




Note the key word here:  "A small sniff".  1 - 2 second burst is all that's ususally needed, if it must be used.

Some folk, btw, use WD-40 instead. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2006, 10:08:19 AM »

Quote
Some folk, btw, use WD-40 instead. . .

I have heard that. Anybody know the pros and cons??

Chaz
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« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2006, 12:50:33 PM »

I would not want my filter covered with WD-40 but if you’re adding it downstream of the filter shouldn't be a problem. Works because the propellant flammable i.e. A-70 HYDROCARBON PROPELLANT (ISOBUTANE & PROPANE) was the WD-40 propellant. The March 1998 MSDS for WD-40 shows that they switched to carbon dioxide as the propellant so it probably doesn’t work as well. It still may work as the WD-40 has a FP of 110 degrees F although my most current MSDS shows a FP of 131 degrees F some what higher than diesel. But what we are interested in is autoignition temperature the temperature that the material ignites without a spark or flame. Diesel is 494 degrees F; that is the temperature the combustion chamber to reach by compressing the air for the diesel to ignite. On a cold day, you are trying to get cold air to that temperature, surrounded by cold metal, just by squeezing the air. ETHYL ETHER the main component of starting fluid has an autoignition temperature of 320 degrees F; so you don’t have the air quite as hot however because the ether is mixed with the incoming air, it can ignite before the diesel is injected and you have pre-ignition and all the bad things, others have identified, can happen. The engine is going to compress the air and create heat when it is cranking if you stop cranking for a while that hot air in the combustion chamber will warm the metal better than if you keep cranking and pushing more cold air through the engine. So each time you crank and stop the piston and head ‘soaks’ in a little more heat also more fuel accumulates in the combustion chamber there by raising the compression ratio slightly and therefore more heat when cranking. So when the engine starts, all that unburned fuel turns to vapor (white) and kills most mosquitoes within several hundred yards but some of that diesel is pushed passed the rings and into the crankcase where it dilutes your lube oil. These engines are large pieces of cast iron and when they start cold; one end is very cold and the other end is getting hot fast, never a good thing for large pieces of cast iron. Get a block heater it is a better investment in a long lived engine than just about anything else you can do.
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« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2006, 12:06:40 PM »

Thanx Lee!!!!!!!!!! That was a great explaination!!! Even I understood it!!!  Grin


I'm looking to put a block heater on now, but my friend who runs the parts store isn't 100% sure what to get. He said it may be the one that threads into a 1" pipe plug hole in the head. OR, it could be one that bolts on with 4 bolts on the side of the head.

Next question: The plate I think he is talking about has what looks like about a 1" copper tube coming out and going across the back of the bus to what looks to be about a 4" cylinder (it looks a little like an air cylinder from the outside with 4 long bolts holding it together) and then back around the other side to somewhere in the front of the motor. There is also two other hoses that go to the tranny also. But I can't seem to find any other lines. What is that cylinder looking thing for? Does it put heat into the tranny?

Thanx!
   Chaz
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mikeH8H-649
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« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2006, 12:10:05 PM »

Chaz that cylinder looking thing is the heat exchanger for the trans,and the block heater I put in last week went into the 1" threaded hole in the front left of the block   Mike
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belfert
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« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2006, 04:11:47 PM »

I'm looking to put a block heater on now, but my friend who runs the parts store isn't 100% sure what to get. He said it may be the one that threads into a 1" pipe plug hole in the head. OR, it could be one that bolts on with 4 bolts on the side of the head.

As someone suggested elsewhere, buy the block heater from Luke at US Coach and you'll be sure to get the right one.  It might a little bit more than the parts store, but you won't be draining coolant over and over as you try to find the right one.

Brian Elfert

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mikeH8H-649
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« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2006, 06:09:22 PM »

Actually Brian I bought mine from luke and it was $18 cheaper than the truck supply and $23 cheaper than napa even with shipping, that was with shipping   Mike
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RJ
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« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2006, 07:19:13 PM »

Luke's Number:

1-888-262-2434

M - F between 9 - 5 Eastern.

Support those who support our crazy hobby!

 Wink
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RJ Long
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Fresno CA
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