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Author Topic: block heaters  (Read 2663 times)

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Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2018, 09:41:46 AM »
Have a block heater on my 20 year old Kubota 2900 that's never been used. No electricity. When glow plug light goes off starts the same winter or summer. Let it idle for 20 minutes or so for hydraulics to loosen up.

Just because it will start doesn't mean that it is the best for the engine. A warmed block experiences much less wear on cold starts. Also many tractors don't have good plugs.

Offline moosehunter

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2018, 10:14:35 AM »
Sometimes when ordering a block heater you have choices with wattage. If you leave it plugged in all the time get a low watts model, for occasional use get the mega watt model and you won't need to wait as long for warm up.
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2018, 02:25:21 PM »
Sometimes when ordering a block heater you have choices with wattage. If you leave it plugged in all the time get a low watts model, for occasional use get the mega watt model and you won't need to wait as long for warm up.

I seen up to 300 watts on E-bay... Whats a good wattage for leaveing it plugged in all the time
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Offline 51cub

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2018, 03:58:22 PM »
I have to second barbender's question. Please elaborate about corrosion. I have times when I'll need to leave at all hours of the night. It's easier to leave it plugged in for awhile sometimes
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Offline John Mc

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2018, 07:50:28 AM »
I have to second barbender's question. Please elaborate about corrosion. I have times when I'll need to leave at all hours of the night. It's easier to leave it plugged in for awhile sometimes

Here's an attempt at explaining the corrosion issue if a preheater is left operating long-term without starting the engine and getting it up to full operating temperature regularly:

I know it is a concern on air-cooled piston aircraft engines (but I'm less sure about tractor engines). The main concern there is that you can start air flowing through the engine - warm air rises, pulling in cooler air. As the air rises, it travels to cooler parts of the engine, where the moisture in the air condenses. If you leave it on continuously, you are constantly pumping in new outside air and keeping that condensation cycle going. To add to the problem, as you put hours on your tractor, by-products of combustion build up in the oil. That mix is also corrosive. As you warm it, the moisture and combustion products in the oil can evaporate out and be deposited in other parts of the engine.

The longer you leave that preheater running, the more moisture you are putting in to the system (it may not seem like there is much moisture in winter air, but there is some, and over time you are continuously adding it to the engine. Starting the engine and getting it thoroughly warmed up and keeping it at temperature for an extended periodburns the moisture off. (In my Cessna 172, I'm told to get the oil to 180˚ and keep it there for at least a half hour. I assume this can vary significantly with the type of engine and volume of oil it holds. It also may be completely different with a water cooled engine.)

One thing that helps minimize this is trying to get the whole engine warmed up - the more evenly it's warmed, the less chance of condensation inside the engine. This is one of the reasons that many aircraft preheaters have a heater on each cylinder, plus a heating pad on the oil sump. (On an air-cooled engine, those cylinders are hanging out off the main block of the engine, rather than being inside the block on most liquid-cooled engines. They also have fins designed to carry heat away - a good thing when running, a problem when preheating.) Inside storage out of the wind and/or throwing a blanket or old sleeping bag over the engine cowling on the aircraft does two things: the preheater heats it more quickly, and the heat gets more uniform - at least if you leave it connected long enough for the heat to flow out to the further parts of the engine.

As I mentioned, this is an issue on air-cooled aircraft engines. I suspect it can also be a factor on water-cooled gas and diesel engines, but someone more familiar with them will have to comment on that. The cylinders are a more integral part of the engine block, which helps heat flow to them, but on the other hand, most of these engines are heated with a single source of heat, which could lead to less uniform heating. I'm not sure whether the internal air flow concerns are the same or not.
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2018, 07:57:58 AM »
Learned something new today... Thanks for the education ...
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Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2018, 08:56:08 AM »
I'm assuming oil viscosity and/or use of synthetics are topics that play during these temps.

I've tried to move all my machines to synthetics, not only for their wear characteristics, but for their ability to flow better at lower temps. (ie. can go with lower viscosity synthetics, over dino oils, and get same or better performance).

I often hear theories, conjecture, blah blah about "modern engines don't need warmed up..." or "that was during the era of carb engines..." blah blah, but some good common sense would dictate that most wear is during the transition from cold to hot and during those times, the engine is most stressed. For me, some nice/long warmup times is the standard.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2018, 09:03:22 AM »
I feel the engine is nice and warm,with a block heater. No spit and sputter. I have 2 tractors and both will start right up and sound good.  But needs a block heater for the hyds.  ;D  That motor will make some noise.  :o I have no idea how long it takes,but when I go back to the tractor,after about 10 minutes, all is quiet
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Offline gspren

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2018, 10:10:18 AM »
  My late 80s JD has a block heater in a water jacket which is normal but my newer Kubota doesn't have anything built in although it's easy to stick a magnetic heater on the bottom of the oil pan which I feel is good enough. I may look under and see if there's a place to stick a magnetic heater on the hydraulic reservoir, they are cheap and easy.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2018, 10:19:58 AM »
Hydraulic reservoir is probably the rearend/transmission. I have a Kubota L48 and I let it run for 5-10 minutes then go easy until everything is limbered up.  The loader, backhoe, and hydrostatic transmission are noticeably stiff until some warm hydraulic fluid has been circulated.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2018, 12:09:57 PM »
Learned something new today... Thanks for the education ...

No guarantee it works the same way on a diesel as on an air-cooled aircraft engine, but the concept at least makes sense to me.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2018, 12:51:25 PM »
I've got frost plug heaters on the Bobcat, 3-53 in the Franklin, 706 Farmall, and 401 Case.  I had a circulating heater on the Perkins in the Iron Mule.  The Fabtek harvester has a ProHeat and the Dodge Cummins and 7.3 Ford have their stock heaters.  The Dodge will start with the grid heater when it's cold and is seldom plugged in.  The Ford needs to be plugged in below 15 degrees and likes to be plugged if it's 25 or colder.  The Bobcat's Kubota starts good with just the glow plugs unless it's 20 or colder but I plug it in for good measure if it's near an outlet.  The 353 in the Franklin has a 1,000 watt element.  Plug it in for an hour and it starts like it's 70 degrees.  The 706 it doesn't matter.  Plug it in and it still needs a shot of ether in July when it's 80  ;) ;D
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2018, 01:01:52 PM »
I'm guessing the 706 has the D282? We had one of those that needed to be glowed in the middle of summer right after it was shut off.  :D We replaced it with an engine out of a TD9B. It has a different style injector pump and starts very well in the cold. Has a turbo, too.  :D
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Offline Corley5

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2018, 01:06:39 PM »
Ya, it's an early one with a low 4 digit serial #.  Haying with it I never shut it off unless I really had too like to unplug the baler.  And to get it restarted a shot of ether helped ;D ;D
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2018, 01:19:48 PM »
The glow plugs must not be working at all, then.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2018, 01:26:47 PM »
I had them checked along with the injectors when the pump was rebuilt.  They replaced  three of them then.  I think.  That was a several years ago.  I think a lack of compression is big factor with this one ;) ;D
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2018, 01:36:57 PM »
 Yeah, that'll do it.  :D Probably only has 18,000 hours.
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Offline snowstorm

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2018, 02:34:47 PM »
Your 7.3 needs glow plugs or the relay. Mine will start to -15 at least. When I first got the 6.7 I tried it at 30 below. It started

Offline Grizzly

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2018, 02:45:15 PM »
Y'all keep discussing this and it keeps popping up in my unread page and my pathetic humour has finally broke and I will share the first version of "block heater" that I learned. It looked something like this:

 

 

I learned about the real ones later.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: block heaters
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2018, 05:01:37 PM »
Some of the glow plugs work in it.  It won't start at all if they're not used ;D :)
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