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Author Topic: Block heater or not?  (Read 2709 times)

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Offline ehp

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #60 on: January 31, 2019, 07:23:33 PM »
with wind chill it was -42 to -44 here this morning , little snort of ether and skidder fired right up , synthetic oil sure helps in the cold weather . Just think about it , my new pickup runs 0 - 20 weight oil

Online Firewoodjoe

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #61 on: January 31, 2019, 07:51:04 PM »
Would I have to run synthetic year round then? Will it cause any issues with a old motor? Unknown hours?

Offline ehp

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #62 on: February 01, 2019, 03:33:18 AM »
I do not run it year round , in the heat I run the normal rotella 15w40  and synthetic 10 - 40  rotella . Cost me about $35 more to change my oil using synthetic compared to normal . I change my oil every 200 hours and have had zero problems and have been doing this for a lot of years . Up north further where I use to live 40 below is a common day and you work in it so you make sure your machines start, Its to rain most of next week now so your machine should start pretty easy :D

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #63 on: February 01, 2019, 04:47:58 AM »
I know this weather is crazy. -10   +44 then -1 again. They claim anyways.

Offline GRANITEstateMP

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #64 on: February 01, 2019, 12:22:38 PM »
The price of the 0weight oils has come down quite a bit in recent years.  I work at a Toyota dealer and a good portion of our new(er) vehicles are running 0W-20 full syn oil.  Heck the 2018 Camry 4cyl runs 0W-16 oil!  It sure pours easy!
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Offline krusty

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #65 on: February 01, 2019, 12:59:24 PM »
being somewhat cheap I try and use what I have.....a small salamander heater....15 mins pointed on the TJ block and it is good to go. Hauling it out with a small generator is a pain, but it works!

Offline OntarioAl

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #66 on: February 01, 2019, 01:25:32 PM »

Folks

I have been following this thread with great interest you might say over the years (50 +) I have accumulated   the equivalent of a PHD in cold weather operation of logging equipment.

I must first apologize to many on this thread I mean no disrespect starting machines in cold weather is no fun but unless you have been exposed to cold soaked equipment you have no clue as to the problems you will encounter.

 Cold soaked equipment has been exposed to -20 F  and lower  for hours even days The antifreeze is thickened, the engine oil will resemble Crisco Lard at -30 and lower, even low temp synthetics thicken, trans oils, diff lubricants  hydraulic oils they all get sluggish.

Techniques that work at around 32 F down to 20 F are a waste of time and energy at sub 0 temps.

You may ask why we go to work at these cold temps first the rhyme “ I owe I owe off to work I go” only so many winter days to put out the wood and pay the bills.  The other especially hand falling, limbing softwood becomes a dream cut them down yard them out a couple of turns in your skid trail and voila limbless trees right down to rat tailed top. The days of hand falling are long gone around here for various reasons that I will not go into in this response.

So now that leaves the big  mechanical operations and they have all gone to Wabaso type system heaters or plugged into generators at bush garage sites. The $250,000 to $500,000 machines have to start and go and in sub 0 weather they run them 24 hrs Monday to Friday sometimes even right through the weekend (spring breakup coming).

I have used many different ways  both external and internal methods of getting the engine and oil warm but i always use tarps to make a dead air pocket  to trap the heat in the engine compartment  Wind will wick away your heat .

My definition of internal is the direct heating of the coolant most efficient way. The external method is heating the engine block by hot air convection from below the stump pan not as efficient but it works but takes longer , definitely not my first choice. .

Reading your posts if I was in an area without continuous sub zero temps I would definitely go with an electric circulating heater an oil pan heater and a trickle charger to perk up the battery powered by one of those Big box store generators 2500 to 3500 watt and 50 to 100  feet of 12 gauge extension cord. I just checked Wally’s World (Wall Mart) has one for around $350 US

 Arrive on site tarp your machine start the generator and plug in your heaters occupy yourself for about an hour or less and start and go. Big advantage very little lying around as to morph legs and disappear

Those of us (I to used this system at one time) so inclined to use “ spit swappers/ quick coupler ”  set up ,they were all the rage when they first appeared on the scene 40 years ago but slowly fell out of favour for several reasons.

 They are a royal pain in the butt!! First one, has to manage the coils of the two transfusion hoses (10 to 15 ft )under the hood of the service truck .

Then get close enough to make the connection and if you have never played with super cooled antifreeze you are in for a treat it helps to circulate engine coolant though the service truck hoses to warm up half the couplers. A note here couplers need to be polarized male female to get the right circulation pattern established.

Now as to why the “system” fell out of favour and was replaced by “Hot Pots” and the Wabaso style heaters.

Antifreeze type has to be compatible

The for varying reasons the system required constant monitoring as it was prone to dump antifreeze out the receiving radiator cap and lowering the service truck coolant  level this not thermal shock trashed a few engines.

The head of the receiving engine warmed to operating temperature this quick heating did not warm the oil (0- 40 Arctic did not exist 40 yrs ago)

So those of us who knew supplied supplementary heat to the stump pan and monitored the viscosity of the engine oil before hitting the starter those that did not at their peril learned the hard way about unplanned engine overhaul.

Enter the hot pot (attached picture hooked up to my skidder) they sold like hot cakes hook it up at the end of the day leave it on all night worked on convection conduction through the block kept oil warm (it helped to tarp and park out of wind) They did like their propane though but the machine whether it be skidder, loader, slasher, bull dozer were ready to start work in the morning.

Still a few around not made any more (I still use mine if I need to start up my TJ ) as the Wabaso style has taken over.

By the way my overnight lows for the past 7 nights have been -35 to -40 degrees F and I no longer have to do this for a living.

Cheers

Al

 

Al Raman

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #67 on: February 02, 2019, 07:38:40 AM »
My machines sit for a length of time as I only am a part time ( week end warrior) woodsman. When I am done for the week end, I hook up my "tickle charger" solar panel to my batteries, place it usually among the tire chains facing south. I do have block heaters on both my tractor & skidder. I use the skidder most. what I do when I land for work I have a little 2000 watt generator, the size of a briefcase and plug in the block heater. Last weekend the skidder sat for a month during some awfully cold temperatures, so I plugged in the block heater for about an hour while I did a few things. Flashed up like it was July.. Extremely happy with this cheap system. except when you forget about the solar panel on the wheel pull away and crush it!! AARRG.. last week end mishap had a spare kicking around).

Online Firewoodjoe

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #68 on: February 02, 2019, 08:44:05 PM »
I’m thinking a small gen. And I can use it with my camper.

Online 62oliver

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #69 on: February 03, 2019, 02:37:30 AM »
I'm just playing around too, so the electric block heater and 1-2 hours on the generator works fine for me. Colder than -15C or so and it can wait.
That straight 40w in the 4-53 makes me a bit nervous tho, but I let it run at a low idle for a few minutes on start-up and hope for the best haha.
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Online Logger RK

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #70 on: February 03, 2019, 05:38:33 AM »
If your using a generator to heat the cooling system you could put a magnetic oil pan heater on also to warm the oil. Or they do make some that glue on the pan I believe. I use the exhaust from my Hot Box heater to warm my oil pans while it heats the cooling system.

Online Firewoodjoe

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #71 on: February 03, 2019, 07:26:46 AM »
Yeah. I’ll do something. This will be full time week after next but hand cutting there’s work to do while the machine warms up. My mule sat for 2 weeks through all our arctic cold. Ranging down to -14F (where my machine is) and yesterday it got up to 25F so I started it and it fired up. The engine was solid frost 😂

Offline Cub

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #72 on: February 03, 2019, 09:08:01 AM »
Went to my mule yesterday for the 1st time since Monday. We had -15 for high temps last week. Was 20 when I got out there. Hooked up the lines and 15 minutes it was running. The more I read these posts the more I want to put in a block heater or an in line tank heater like a Katz. We had those in line heaters like a Katz on a few tractors at the farm n they work really good. I like that idea. Sometimes in my experience block heaters tend to leak after a while and if they die they are a little more of a pain to change. 
Anyways what steers me away from going the heater route is then I got the generator in the back of the truck all the time in the weather. If I leave it in the woods there’s always that chance of it growing legs and again out in the weather. I guess for now I’ll just keep the swappers 

Offline GRANITEstateMP

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #73 on: February 03, 2019, 04:39:29 PM »
Moroso racing products used to make a glue on type oil pan heater. You glued it on where ya want it and run some wires.  It'd work great in tandem with a bock or coolant heater.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Block heater or not?
« Reply #74 on: February 03, 2019, 07:56:26 PM »
If youve got a generator, wrap a 30ft length of icemelt/frostfree cord around your lower radiator hose, oil filter, fuel filter and injection pump.  Just be sure that the thermostat is actually sensing temp so it shuts off properly.  I did this on the wifes southern market jetta years ago and wrapped it in adhesive foam waterpipe foil.  Was the only plug in fuel system ungeller ive ever owned. 
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