PDA

View Full Version : Oil dipstick heater


Brn85ss
11-15-2004, 12:35 PM
I'm using a oil dipstick heater after I winterize. I have not read any other threads on this subject,It only uses 90 watts and keeps the oil warm all winter long.My garage gets alot of afternoon sun,so after a cold night condensation can be a problem. Im surprised nobody has talked about this option.

jake
11-15-2004, 05:47 PM
I'd be interested in what others think about this. I've thought of putting a frost plug block heater in mine for late fall and early spring. My reasoning being, I live in Minnesota and also travel out of town nearly every week for work. I often end up winterizing my boat in mid-late October, even though I could ski a couple more weeks because I don't want to be out of town and have a cold snap hit.

Anyone else done this?

ktn_cmu
11-15-2004, 05:51 PM
I think the fact that the cooling system is not a closed system (unless yours is) would cause a problem using the traditional freeze/frost plug type block heater. I could be wrong though, maybe someone has better knowledge of them than I.

Other types of heaters include a stick on oil pan heater or a magnet heater. Those basically just stick to the outside of the oil pan and heat the oil that way. I like the idea of those because they can be left on always, and there is no direct contact between oil and heating element. I have no experience with a dipstick type heater.

Kyle

jimmer2880
11-16-2004, 06:49 AM
All I can say is that I use the magnet type on my diesel tractors & they work rather well. I ended up not needing to use one this year (I ended my season 2 weeks ago), but if I were to extend it a bit, I'd probably go with the magnet type. You could put one on each side of your block to be sure you got complete coverage. That would be more than plenty to keep the entire engine compartment warm.

Don't forget to keep the water out of your speedo tubes. There shouldn't be any in there, but I know of more than a couple that busted over winter from people not blowing out their speedo lines when winterizing.

east tx skier
11-16-2004, 11:51 AM
Jimmer, this is one thing I wasn't able to do when I winterized last week. I made sure the pitot tube pickups weren't clogged, but I couldn't get to the lines on my 93 Prostar. I called a local dealer and they said that they never do that as part of winterization and haven't had any problems reported. I was thinking of removing the tube from the pickup and, using a syringe, sucking water out. Anybody see any downside to this method?

jimmer2880
11-16-2004, 12:34 PM
Jimmer, this is one thing I wasn't able to do when I winterized last week. I made sure the pitot tube pickups weren't clogged, but I couldn't get to the lines on my 93 Prostar. I called a local dealer and they said that they never do that as part of winterization and haven't had any problems reported. I was thinking of removing the tube from the pickup and, using a syringe, sucking water out. Anybody see any downside to this method?
Since it's in theory a closed system, I doubt you'd be able to get much & have the potential to hurt your speedo's. You have to blow it out from the dash end of things. The only way to get to mine on my '95 is through the front of the dash. not a fun thing to do. That's the only thing on my MC I dispise since I boat in water that is usually full of weeds, etc.

All I can tell you is that in my kneck of the woods, I've seen more than a couple that froze & split. It may be easier (it is for me) to remove the rear carpet piece just in front of the gas tank, then remove the host from there & let it drain. I wouldn't blow air from the back of the boat front, as if anything is in the tube (other than water), it needs to travel the entire distance to come out.

just my .02 worth...

lakes Rick
11-16-2004, 08:56 PM
Use to have a freeze plug heater in one of my EX's car.. Worked great but, as said above, it would not work in a raw water cooling system.. It needs to be submerged in water or it would burn up..

Someway to heat the oil and block, dipstick or magnet, sounds like a great idea...

My tristar came with a hose hooked to the block drain. ( poor mans shower). I use to winterize with Anti freeze.. That year my boat had to stay out in my friends covered patio. ( Divorce years).. The nozzle, at the hose end, froze and broke. Pretty scary, and I was glad everything was OK that spring. Apparently NO antifreeze got down the hose to the nozzle. These things do happen..

jimmer2880
11-17-2004, 07:03 AM
Use to have a freeze plug heater in one of my EX's car.. Worked great but, as said above, it would not work in a raw water cooling system.. It needs to be submerged in water or it would burn up..

Someway to heat the oil and block, dipstick or magnet, sounds like a great idea...

My tristar came with a hose hooked to the block drain. ( poor mans shower). I use to winterize with Anti freeze.. That year my boat had to stay out in my friends covered patio. ( Divorce years).. The nozzle, at the hose end, froze and broke. Pretty scary, and I was glad everything was OK that spring. Apparently NO antifreeze got down the hose to the nozzle. These things do happen..
Without any cold water mixed in - that must have been 1 very hot shower! :eek:

lakes Rick
11-17-2004, 09:33 PM
If you were real quick it wasnt bad.. Pretty much worthless except for water fights....

Cary K.
10-14-2005, 04:04 PM
...Worked great but, as said above, it would not work in a raw water cooling system.. It needs to be submerged in water or it would burn up.

Well look what the search function turned up. Exactly what I am looking for. Didn't even have top make a new thread. :)

Here is where I am at:
It never gets terribly cold here, snows maybe once/twice a year.
I do not winterize, I ride year round.
Boat stays in garage.
I have always used the magnetic block heaters. They work well, but after a few years, bilge water and condensation break them down.
I am interested in learning more about the freeze plug heaters. My buddy w/ a diff brand boat has one and seems to work well.

What / where is the freeze plug(s)?
Why (above) would these not work in an un-winterized raw water cooling system? My engine should stay full of water, right?
Any other suggestions for heaters?

I am not opposed to staying with the tried/true magnetic heaters, but thought I would at least seek other input. Thanks...

lakes Rick
10-14-2005, 07:56 PM
From what I know the freeze plug heaters MUST be submerged in water or they will burn up from too much heat.. IF your block stays full of water it should work. My concern is the water in your block will evaporate from the heat after a while and then burn up.. unless you are using your boat every two weeks or so.. The block heaters I have seen do get quite warm +- 100 degrees F.

If your friend uses them why aren't you talking to him and asking questions????? Thats where I would go......

Cloaked
10-14-2005, 08:28 PM
I'm using a oil dipstick heater after I winterize. I have not read any other threads on this subject,It only uses 90 watts and keeps the oil warm all winter long.My garage gets alot of afternoon sun,so after a cold night condensation can be a problem. .........Why? I mean what's the reasoning of keeping oil warm in a winterized engine? I don't get it. :popcorn:

Cary K.
10-14-2005, 08:34 PM
...If your friend uses them why aren't you talking to him and asking questions????? Thats where I would go......

Because he's is clueless. He didn't even have sense enough to buy a MC, I'm not sure I trust his judgement :D Actually he had the dealer install his and he knows nothing about it. Tried that route.

Thanks for the info. Most of the time I do use the boat every two weeks in winter, so that may not be a problem. And I also have a thermostat outlet that only powers up whatever is plugged into it if it gets below a certain temp, so it won't run constantly.

Are the actual freeze plugs threaded or press-on? I have no experience but if it is what I think it is, they are a press-on type fitting.

Brn85ss
10-14-2005, 09:45 PM
Why? I mean what's the reasoning of keeping oil warm in a winterized engine? I don't get it. :popcorn:


You don't need the oil to be warm but the block needs to be warmer than the ambiant temp to keep condensation at bay.My garage can have a 40 degree temp swing in 12 hrs so for me it works great.

JDK
10-14-2005, 10:57 PM
Sorry Brn, I'm with Sporty on this one. If you've got these big temp swings in your garage and you want to keep consensation from happening, you need to ventilate the garage .....not heat the engine oil.

Footin
10-14-2005, 11:20 PM
I agree with Sporty (he is my hero)!

JDK
10-14-2005, 11:23 PM
Are the actual freeze plugs threaded or press-on? I have no experience but if it is what I think it is, they are a press-on type fitting.

The freeze plugs are pressed in, and the block heaters you are referring to fit into the freeze plug hole, but they seal with an O ring and are held in place with a bolt and wing type backer (kind of like the heavy duty dry wall picture anchors).
IMO this is not a good way to protect against freezing because if the block heater element ever comes on when it's not completely submerged in water, it will burn out very quickly......then you're left with some water in the block and NO freeze protection. I would use a magnetic heater on the oil pan.

Cary K.
10-15-2005, 11:22 AM
It sounds like it is too risky to not have water in the block. The magnetic ones I have been using are not for the oil pan (although I bet they would work there) These stick directly to the block and keep the core temp up. The have worked great in the past, but need to be replaced every 3-4 of years. Small price to pay for peace of mind.

Here is what I have been using, and what it seems like I will continue to use.

http://www.partsamerica.com/product_images/img/fiv/1153.jpg

And here is the link to the part if anybody is curious:
Magnetic Block Heater (http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductDetail.aspx?categorycode=3355&mfrcode=FIV&mfrpartnumber=1153)


Thanks for all the help.

jimmer2880
10-15-2005, 07:25 PM
It sounds like it is too risky to not have water in the block. The magnetic ones I have been using are not for the oil pan (although I bet they would work there) These stick directly to the block and keep the core temp up. The have worked great in the past, but need to be replaced every 3-4 of years. Small price to pay for peace of mind.

Here is what I have been using, and what it seems like I will continue to use.

http://www.partsamerica.com/product_images/img/fiv/1153.jpg

And here is the link to the part if anybody is curious:
Magnetic Block Heater (http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductDetail.aspx?categorycode=3355&mfrcode=FIV&mfrpartnumber=1153)


Thanks for all the help.

That's the style I use on my diesel tractors. The lifespan is greatlyl shortened when you forget to remove before backing out the driveway & drive over the cord though (don't ask).

Gofast
10-15-2005, 08:05 PM
Do you use 1 on each side of the block or will one work fine?

Also, do I need one for the V-drive tranny?

Thanks Rob

lakes Rick
10-15-2005, 10:25 PM
Do you use 1 on each side of the block or will one work fine?

Also, do I need one for the V-drive tranny?

Thanks Rob

Me experience with a freeze plug block heater IN A CAR ( that was driven daily) was that the ambient heat it developed spread quite far in the engine.. You could touch the block anywhere and it would be warm.. I can imagine it would spread to the tranny also.. Remember, all you have to do is keep it above freezing, so if it stayed at say 70 F, it would be quite warm on a cold night....
In the EX's diesel VW, it was nice having the heat work in her car from almost the start as the frigid Bi*ch was always cold... Everyday after she went to work she forgot to unplug it, and the extension cord was stretched out 50' to where it "unplugged itself" daily..

God I miss her

JDK
10-16-2005, 01:39 AM
God I miss her

Which one, the car or the Ex???

NeilM
10-16-2005, 03:42 PM
Which one, the car or the Ex???

uh - oh .. :popcorn:

jimmer2880
10-16-2005, 07:18 PM
My F250 powerstroke had a oil heater. I have to agree with Lakes. It sure was nice to be able to turn the heat on 100' out the road.

Lucky for me, I only forgot to unplug it once (and paid the price for it also - had to re-wire the plug).

milkmania
10-16-2005, 09:18 PM
That's the style I use on my diesel tractors. The lifespan is greatlyl shortened when you forget to remove before backing out the driveway & drive over the cord though (don't ask).

I had an angle grinder with the same life expentancy:(

jimmer2880
10-17-2005, 05:14 PM
I had an angle grinder with the same life expentancy:(

I did that to a buddy's angle grinder also. The way those things spin when you put them down, it's a wonder I've only cut one cord. It's a shame it wasn't one of my own that I cut.