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Block Heater

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Did a search, and did not find exactly what I was looking for.


So here it is:


At what temperature should a block heater be used.


I've never had my truck not start because it was too cold but it deffinitly struggles as soon as winter hits. I want to keep my Jeep happy.

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a block heater can be used whenever you like. :thumbsup: I don't think you can hurt anything with it.


We've got one in the CRD Libby and we use it whenever the temps fall below freezing. She makes a horrible racket if we don't. :(

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Ya my friend thinks you only need it when your car won't start but I was thinking it would help start up as soon as it gets near freezing temps. Especially with a 20 year old engine.

$#!&, it would probably help as soon as the coolant temp drops below the temp of the heater core. I'm getting one seeing how it's -15 when I go turn the key after work.

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Almost everyplace I've been, Alaska, Greenland, Scandinavian countries, uses both a block heater and a battery charger. They're hooked together under the hood so there is only one cord coming out. Don't need a big charger, 2-5 Amps. Even if you have a easy starting car the heater makes life easier on the motor.

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Both Sears and Wal-Mart sell a small, flat battery charger/maintainer that can be permanently mounted under the hood, right next to the battery, for this purpose. And Jeep probably still can provide the factory block heater that was offered as an option on the 4.0L engines. It replaces the forward freeze plug on the driver's side of the block and keeps things nice and toasty.


Between the two, you can be fairly certain the engine will start. But you still need to drive it like a little old lady for about the first ten miles or 15 minutes, because the lube in the tranny and the differential will be icy cold, and until they get stirred up a bit it's not a good idea to accelerate hard or drive fast.


Many years ago I had an engine oil temperature gauge in one of my cars. For the engine oil to get up to normal operating temperature on a cold morning took all the way to where I would get on the highway going to work -- about 8 miles/15 minutes. I'm sure the axle lube was just barely getting the wake-up call by then, with no source of heat other than friction (which, of course, is what we're hoping the lube will prevent).

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I've put block heaters on every vehicle I install a motor in.



my 87 (current semi-D/D and wheeling rig) had both a block heater, and a oil pan heater. the oil pan heater is just a "temporary" magnetic heater...it comes off in the warm months when I'm wheeling, because I don't need THAT falling off.




aftermarket block heaters are available for around $23. they're more or less identical to the factory ones, and replace the forward freeze plug. takes a complete coolant drain and about 15 minutes more of time to install.



with the magnetic heater on the oil pan, the pan stays a nice, toasty 45 degrees all around (tested with a thermal thermometer gun thingymubob.

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  • 3 weeks later...

so i ordered a block heater at work from lordco i think, and it was a cheap looking pile of $#!& that had the worst screw for tightening it in.


i punched out my frost plug, drivers side closest to the front.


punched it through by accident but grabed it with pliers.


noticed there was a serious edge going on halfway into the hole where the frost plug must have been pressed in slightly crookedly or maybe it was pusehed out slightly doing its job.


either way this caused the suplied oring to break and leak like a mother @#$%er.


the screw needed a socket that also has a flathead built in and i didn't even know such a thing exsisted. none the less the screw stripped out on the second go, and i've had no leaks with the new o ring so i'm going to leave it.


beacuse i didn't know if the new o ring would seal, i put water in so that i wouldn't waste any more coolant. i didn't have time to put in coolant so i had to leave the truck for a few days with the water in and snow on the ground. the block heater did its thing and kept my engine about 40 to 45 degrees judging by my water temp guage. i havn't noticed it help starting yet but it does make my defrost kick in immediately instead of after i've gotten to work.



i routed it down one of the O2 sensor cables, to the spedo cable and then the frame, and then by my inactive t-case linkage, and up through the floor at the shifter and under the console by my feet so i can get in, fire up, unplug and throw the extension out the door.

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