*NA* Engine Block heater

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Mtns2Skies, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I've got a 5.4L Triton V8 in my F150. My truck is getting older and it's going to be a cold winter. Since engine heaters help our planes so much... is it a good idea to install one on the truck?

    Any types to steer clear of? Any good ones you can recommend?
     
  2. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    No idea here, but when it gets below 30F or so, I’ll run outside and fire up my car and just let it idle for several minutes before I’m ready to go. Helps get the juices flowing, if ya know what I’m saying...
     
  3. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    The most important thing is to make sure you have a good strong battery with plenty of cold cranking amps.
     
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  4. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Ambient Florida air.
     
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  5. simtech

    simtech Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I installed an engine block heater in ranger while stationed in Alaska. Couldn't remember the brand, I just bought what the local auto parts store had. It was a brand new truck I just drove up from Texas in and I remember the pain I felt as I was knocking out a perfectly good freeze plug. Not to mention scared I would knock the freeze plug in the block. It never leaked and never gave me a problem. I put in a junction box and had the block heater, battery heater, and trans heater pluged into it. Then a plug hanging out the front of the grille. And of course I toted around a 50ft extension cord. Never had a problem from any of it.
     
  6. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    I had it in my previous 150, it helped a lot with getting warm fast. Remote start does no good to the car, my current one has a oil pan heater, I like to keep it plugged in.
     
  7. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I had a circulator in my truck in Alaska. It was mounted in a heater hose and circulated water through the block. Also kept the windshield fog free during the cold time.

    My diesel has a freeze plug heater. Works just fine as well.
     
  8. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I live in a region where it's standard equipment on every car (except maybe the fair weather, summer only Lambos & such).

    Prefer the frost plug style of block heater over the circulating type. The current generation can be plugged in all nite and will limit the current draw once the block is up to temp to save power. Should be able to pick up one at your Ford dealer or any decent parts store.
     
  9. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Modern engines with computerized injection and ignition and thin synthetic oil don't benefit much from plugging in. I park outside and through the past 30 years with gas and diesel trucks I can count the times I've plugged in on my fingers. The primary benefit to preheating your truck is creature comfort and reduced air pollution from long periods of warming up.
     
  10. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    These changes have certainly helped. 40 years ago I used to plug in my car any night the temp was going below 25. It wouldn't start otherwise. Now I don't plug in unless the forecast is for 5 deg or lower.

    The primary benefit is to reduce engine wear in those first few moments after a cold start.
     
  11. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    My owners manuals don’t support that idea. My work trucks defy it as well. Plugging in for short term won’t hurt anything but in the context of our personal vehicles it probably won’t help anything, either. But I’m just a dumb Alaskan that parks oitside 365 days a year. I sometimes start engines at -35 and colder. They fire right up. At -40 my Duramaxes started to balk so I switched back to gas. Nothing worse than a two hour snowgo ride in -45* only to find your truck won’t start. Not a problem anymore.
     
  12. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    You don’t really need one in a modern gas engine. In theory they help reduce engine wear on startup and help get your heater going quicker but if it was me I wouldn’t feel like it was worth the effort. They’re mainly used on vehicles that are hard to start in the cold and I doubt a 5.4 would be, I know the smaller cousin the 4.6 isn’t for sure.

    What I did when I lived in WI and had lots of sub zero mornings was run a lighter weight synthetic oil in the winter... 0w-20 should work fine in a 5.4. Worked for me.
     
  13. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Of course it doesn't. What vehicle manufacturer wants your truck to last longer before you have to replace it?

    I'm an atypical owner. It gets to -40 and colder where I live too. But our winters are not quite as long as yours I expect ;). I run my trucks till the wheels fall off. Don't feel the need to wait till the engine protests before plugging it in. To each their own.
     
  14. SoonerAviator

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    If you just want the cabin heater to work more quickly, then sure go get one. My 5.4L doesn't care too much about how cold it is for the most part. As long as your battery is stout then it should be fine. My 5.4L ('08 model - 145K miles) never has any trouble starting in cooler weather, but I don't have the same kind of cold you do in WI. We normally have average lows around the high-teens low 20's Fahrenheit. I do use Mobil 1 full synthetic oil though, just because I use it in every vehicle I own.
     
  15. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    My trucks in the past 20 years have all had remote start. It used to be something the stereo shops offered but now it's hard to find a new car at a dealer that doesn't have it. Except my wife's and other friend's German cars. Apparently they aren't remote start friendly. My current truck automatically starts the heater and the seat heat when I cut start it. Pretty nice.I wish my TX truck would do the same with air conditioning!
     
  16. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    On a gas powered truck, don't bother. It's different on a diesel because diesels tend to have a harder time starting when cold, plus they have bigger cooling systems and so it helps warm up faster. Just keep on driving yours.
     
  17. SoonerAviator

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    The German cars are remote start friendly, they just make you pay an up-charge or get a luxury package to get it.
     
  18. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Maybe yours. Not my wife's Touareg. Asked several times at different shops including the dealer. One of the girls at work has a BMW. Same story. My GMCs? Standard equipment.
     
  19. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    BMW has remote start through a phone app (my friend has one), and I drove a rental Mercedes that had it last year :dunno:
     
  20. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It was a $450 dealer installed option on my car, and I was too much of cheapskate to pony that much for a remote start. $200? Yeah, I would have bought it. $450? Nope...
     
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  21. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    I solved that problem by building an enclosed garage around my car.
     
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  22. SoonerAviator

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    Same here. Ford's remote start for my F-150 back in '08 was $400-500 bucks. I declined, while simultaneously buying a $30K ($42K MSRP) truck, lol.

    Me too! I was a gentleman and had it built large enough to enclose my wife's car, too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  23. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Only one setting needed in summer in Texas.... HIGH.!!! :lol::lol:

    When I took my Alaska truck to Texas, I would turn the A/C on high before shut down so when I used the remote start it would be cool when I got in it.

    In Alabama I flew checks, so as I flew over the parking lot, I would hit the remote start. Since it was night I would see the parking lights flash and know my truck would be cooled down when I got to it.
     
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  24. chartbundle

    chartbundle Line Up and Wait

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    I waited for my new garage to be built so I could measure the interior before I bought my new pickup. People get really confused when I'm home and there's no car parked in the driveway.
     
  25. SoonerAviator

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    I built mine large enough that it didn't matter which light duty truck I bought, lol. At least until someone makes an extra mega super crew cab with 10' bed that measures out longer than 30'. :)
     
  26. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I built the biggest the builder/zoning would allow for the lot size. It's not huge, but at 26' x 32' inside dimensions it works for getting two vehicles plus a lot of other stuff in there.
     
  27. chartbundle

    chartbundle Line Up and Wait

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    In hindsight I should have figured out how to make it bigger, longer might have been easy, but wider would have required moving either the house or the existing property line. So now I'm stuck with a 2 car garage with one car and 2 cars worth of stuff. I'm considering a nice shed... maybe.
     
  28. SoonerAviator

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    Lol, yeah I went as close to the property line as I could, which gave me 24' wide. I do wish I'd thought to make the garage door a bit bigger, but oh well.