Cummins 4BT & Diesel Conversions Forums banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok..

With the weather turning to the colder side, I've a question or two about the block heater that is standard issue on the 4BT:

1. What's the watts?

2. Is it thermostatically controlled?

3. If Yes on 2, then what temp?

I *think* the answers are 750, Yes, and 100F, but haven't been able to confirm.


Also.. Plug it in and leave it on all night, or just turn it on an hour or so before hitting the road? Guess that depends on the answer for #2..

Just doing a bit of planning for the electrical side of things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I just replaced my burnt out block heater with a new one. The standard heater is 750 watts. There is no thermostat. Plug in in and it's on, unplug and it's off. I plug mine in when I park and leave it plugged in anytime the temp is below 40 deg F. In 25 deg weather the temp stays between 100 and 110.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,089 Posts
Ok..

With the weather turning to the colder side, I've a question or two about the block heater that is standard issue on the 4BT:

1. What's the watts?

2. Is it thermostatically controlled?

3. If Yes on 2, then what temp?

I *think* the answers are 750, Yes, and 100F, but haven't been able to confirm.


Also.. Plug it in and leave it on all night, or just turn it on an hour or so before hitting the road? Guess that depends on the answer for #2..

Just doing a bit of planning for the electrical side of things.
1.750 watts per Cummins .
2.Plug it into a outside lawn light timer and set for when you need to come on.

Scott
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone! Good info to have.

While it may not be "required", I personally like using any kind of assist like this that I can. If I burn a little electricity and get rewarded with an already warm engine when I walk out on a cold morning, it's well worth it. The closer to operating temperature I can start at, so much the better for the life and efficiency of the engine (and battery, starter, etc.) The most fuel INefficient mode of operation of any engine is when it's cold and trying to warm up.

I'm also looking at putting battery, oil, and even fuel heaters on the thing when I do my swap. Hey, they're fairly cheap (I think $100 or so will cover it..), and why not?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
They use a lot of electricity but I think they go a long way particularly with wear and tear. It is not "that" cold here compared to a lot of other places but I think they are borderline required IMO at least here. If it is below about 15 degrees F the 4BTs have a lot of trouble without any starting aids... I like the lawn timer idea a lot too... If I have easy access to a 220 outlet I would wire mine up that way. Much more powerful and it uses 1/4 of the electricity... Or make a 110/220V adapter.. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
854 Posts
If I have easy access to a 220 outlet I would wire mine up that way. Much more powerful and it uses 1/4 of the electricity... Or make a 110/220V adapter.. :)
volts x amps = watts

doubling the voltage just cuts the amps in half, watts stay the same.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They use a lot of electricity but I think they go a long way particularly with wear and tear. It is not "that" cold here compared to a lot of other places but I think they are borderline required IMO at least here. If it is below about 15 degrees F the 4BTs have a lot of trouble without any starting aids... I like the lawn timer idea a lot too... If I have easy access to a 220 outlet I would wire mine up that way. Much more powerful and it uses 1/4 of the electricity... Or make a 110/220V adapter.. :)
Maybe make a plug-in adapter to allow the NEMA 5-15 plug on one end and plug into a NEMA TT-30 (aka: RV-30) socket on the other?

750W isn't really that much electricity. It's less than the average microwave, hairdryer, or small space heater.

I'm thinking that, at the $3.35/ gallon I've been seeing #2 go for around here, the reduced fuel use due to an already warm engine might offset or even turn a profit vs the cost of electricity:

I pay $0.0749 per kWh here currently. Do the math, and to run the heater for 30 hours a month (1 hour each morning) would cost me $1.68, but I'll go ahead and allow $2 just because.. So, it's gotta save me around .6 gallons of diesel a month to break even. Considering how LOUSY the fuel mileage of any vehicle will be when warming up, and if you can cut the trip to "normal operating temp" in half, I'd say that's more than doable.


volts x amps = watts

doubling the voltage just cuts the amps in half, watts stay the same.
Yep, when it's a purely resistive load, it's as easy as P=IE.. ;)

If you've got a pretty good run from your drop / main panel to where the vehicle plugs in, 220V might help lower losses for a given power delivered to the plug, so overall electric use can be reduced, or you can get more power across a given wiring size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
The pics of the 1st gen Dodge block heaters I've seen it looks like they screw in. All the freeze plug holes I've seen are smooth bore.

Can a 1st gen block heater be used? How do they install?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
4,171 Posts
Block Heater, engine coolant, replacement with power cord - NAPA- Balkamp #605-1575 Install using gasket sealer and is pressed in like the soft plug you are replacing.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The pics of the 1st gen Dodge block heaters I've seen it looks like they screw in. All the freeze plug holes I've seen are smooth bore.

Can a 1st gen block heater be used? How do they install?
Even if you don't have a cord, you may very well have the heater.. Check on the turbo side of the engine and see if you've got a round connector (2 pin??) with a threaded body.

Then all you need is a cord. I *think* that the cord has a screw-on connector, but that the complete heater is a press / expansion fit and looks a bit like these:

http://commerce1.cera.net/tacbusparts/sections/catalog/catalog.asp?cat_id=1363
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
I've done extensive biodiesel brewing using electric water heaters and elements. Supposedly 220V is 4 times more efficienct, and we noticed a drastic lowering of our power bills (and much faster heat time) once we made the switch to 220. But we are using higher wattage elements. With the 1 hour timer that makes a lot of sense, something I definetely need to get. At that rational, actual time used if you didn't have a timer is probably $10 a month, still probably worth it in my opinion...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
854 Posts
The pics of the 1st gen Dodge block heaters I've seen it looks like they screw in.
Those are NOT first gen, they are late model. I don't think there is any place you can screw a late model heater anywhere into a first gen


I've done extensive biodiesel brewing using electric water heaters and elements.
You need to build some kind of solar collector or concentrator to preheat your oil. Free heat!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,391 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
You can buy a inline heater as well for a heater hose or radiator hose alot cheaper and work just as good.You just cut out a section of hose and install heater with hose clamps.Avalible at most auto parts stores.Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,391 Posts
Hey, Vegfarmer, if you're talking about a 'tank heater' run inline that's supposed to be the very best, even better than the stock Cummins design or other types. I had a link for a reasonable one somewhere, let me look....

Yep, here's the genuine 'Hot ticket' and cheap, too! Best price I found anywhere, think I'll order one myself....

http://www.tractorpartsinc.com/tank_type_heaters_270_ctg.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
854 Posts
supposed to be the very best, even better than the stock Cummins design
They are great for getting the heater in the cab working quick, but I still think the kind that goes right in the side of the block is the best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,391 Posts
From what I've been told the tank type coolant heaters offer the benefit of a pump to force coolant circulation, in addition to a simple heating element. That gives quite a boost over simple convection heat of coolant and also forces heat to circulate through the cab heater so everything is nice and toasty when you jump in. If one is considering a tank type then be sure that it has a pump in the system so it really works, not just a heat element stuck in the coolant line. I haven't cheked out the ones at the first link I posted to be sure they have a pump. Without a pump the block heater is just as good!

Here's some links to another engine pre-heating option that works on the road without an electrical plug in being necessary. A little pricey, but if it's what a guy needs...

http://www.webasto-us.com/am/en/am_trucks_heaters_1191.html

http://www.espar.com/

My plan is for a pump-forced tank type coolant heater.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,391 Posts
Some more quick research revealed that the tank-type heaters work on a thermo-siphon pinciple to circulate the heated coolant through the engine about 4 times an hour. They are attached low in system and as heat rises they circulate warmed coolant throughout. I know one exists that has a pump but can't find it. Check out the links for more info:

http://www.jcwhitney.com/webapp/wcs...837&TID=101&productId=2000837&catalogId=10101

http://www.maesco.com/products/kim/kimtank/kimtank.html

The Kim Hotstart has a very good reputation in the industry. From what I was told by the way north crowd, like Alaskans, the tank type is what they use almost exclusively.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
384 Posts
Not to change the subject or anything, but does anyone even sell the old dipstick style block heaters? I haven't seen those around since I was a kid (Not that I'd want one).
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top