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Old 10-23-2019, 11:53 PM   #21
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If you don't want or need to leave the heaters on all the time, Thermocube turns on at 35F and off at 45. Rated for 15 amps, under $20 on eBay. Cubes come in other temp ranges, for turning on AC, etc. I use them to turn on my Detroit engine block heaters in cold weather. If I leave them on (1500 watts each) the engineroom is 70 in a few hours in zero weather. Having them on the Cubes keeps the engineroom about 40 and protects the generators and plumbing. Although since I live aboard, I've never measured below 34 in zero weather w/o heat in the engineroom.
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:35 AM   #22
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The hassle with the 250w magnetic oil pan heaters is long term the constant heat in one spot burns the oil into carbon chunks.

Most converted coach owners will use them in an emergency , but install in block coolant heaters for long term good winter starting.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:45 AM   #23
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The hassle with the 250w magnetic oil pan heaters is long term the constant heat in one spot burns the oil into carbon chunks.

Most converted coach owners will use them in an emergency , but install in block coolant heaters for long term good winter starting.
Depends on the pad size and how well the heat gets distributed into the oil. If any spot on the oil pan inner surface is getting too hot, this can definitely happen. Synthetic oil will survive a higher temperature before this happens.

That's part of why I'm a fan of coolant heaters, but using a smaller oil pan heater so the oil isn't stone cold at startup (having both coolant and oil pre-warmed means you can load the engine up more right after startup).
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Old 10-26-2019, 12:54 PM   #24
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If you don't want or need to leave the heaters on all the time, Thermocube turns on at 35F and off at 45. Rated for 15 amps, under $20 on eBay. Cubes come in other temp ranges, for turning on AC, etc. I use them to turn on my Detroit engine block heaters in cold weather. If I leave them on (1500 watts each) the engineroom is 70 in a few hours in zero weather. Having them on the Cubes keeps the engineroom about 40 and protects the generators and plumbing. Although since I live aboard, I've never measured below 34 in zero weather w/o heat in the engineroom.
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You mean this? I have a funny story about mine.... It was in the engine room plugged in when I bought the boat, and a few weeks after, I needed to plug something in down there.

I was scratching my head trying to figure out why the AC outlet wasn't working, flipping breakers, and eventually just unplugged what I thought was an odd thing to have in the engine room - a splitter on an outlet that likely does not get much use.

It wasn't until a couple months afterwards that I realized it was a temp controlled Thermo Cube

I think I'd want one with a slightly higher temp level for my setup. But I have one
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Old 10-26-2019, 06:13 PM   #25
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Steve,
I have a automatic block heaters on Kubota Tractor. Makes all the difference in the winter. I plan on putting them on my Internationals before I splash next summer for the trip north.
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Old 10-26-2019, 07:01 PM   #26
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ThermoCube comes in several temp ranges. And there are plugin devices that let you set your own range. Some have remotes. About $25 on Amazon
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Old 10-26-2019, 09:41 PM   #27
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I bought a Wolverine from Seaboard Marine. Couldn't be easier, glue it to the side of the oil pan. After a while even the top of the engine is slightly warm to the touch. It's heat exchanger cooled so oil is warm and coolant is warm.
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Old 10-28-2019, 01:41 AM   #28
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ThermoCube comes in several temp ranges. And there are plugin devices that let you set your own range. Some have remotes. About $25 on Amazon
Yup, I've seen the other temp level ones. I've also used some IoT stuff from SmartThings and other companies to automate some of my heaters on the boat before. The ThermoCube is a lot simpler and more reliable than those though, although the IoT stuff you can at least check on remotely to see how they're doing.

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I bought a Wolverine from Seaboard Marine. Couldn't be easier, glue it to the side of the oil pan. After a while even the top of the engine is slightly warm to the touch. It's heat exchanger cooled so oil is warm and coolant is warm.
I'm definitely going to go the oil cooler route first for the time being and see how things go.
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:53 AM   #29
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The coolant heaters keep the block warmer so it is easier for the fuel to self ignite in really cold weather. Winter starting is their main purpose .

Lube oil pumps are geared so oil is pumped regardless of its viscosity. Only a pressure pre lube system might reduce engine wear during the first few seconds of cold starting.

Following the eng. mfg. ("Da Book") for out of service storage is the best way to winterize engines.

Usually a far different more complex procedure than sticking a magnet on the oil pan.
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:16 PM   #30
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Back when my father was a Deutz tractor dealer, in 1977, we had a huge snow-storm (Huge by Georgia's standards) and we went out, knocked the tractors in neutral, pulled out the starter button to start the glow plugs warm-up, then cranked them up. This was about 5 degrees F and they didn't seem to care it was cold, as long as the glow plugs warmed up first.
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Old 11-15-2019, 01:31 AM   #31
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Additional question regarding the oil pan heaters. Wolverine/Phillips-Temro have heaters that are either without a thermostat, or have a thermostat with two different ranges - 170-200F, and 270-300F.

If I am just using these for the oil pan, wouldn't I want one with a thermostat so it doesn't just heat away perpetually? If so, it seems like the 170-200F range would be the safest/best, as from my research, most oil temps in diesel engines would never exceed 200F....
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:43 AM   #32
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170-200 would be fine as a range. That would keep the oil pretty close to fully warmed up temperature (figure that running under load, oil temp can be anywhere from 180 to 250 or so depending on the engine and cooling setup).
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Old 11-15-2019, 12:30 PM   #33
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170-200 would be fine as a range. That would keep the oil pretty close to fully warmed up temperature (figure that running under load, oil temp can be anywhere from 180 to 250 or so depending on the engine and cooling setup).
Thanks! That's what my research and thought process led me to as well, but wanted a second opinion!
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:18 PM   #34
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If you have a loop from your engine to heat water, just leave the water heater on and it will heat the engine.
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:24 PM   #35
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If you have a loop from your engine to heat water, just leave the water heater on and it will heat the engine.
I do not have a loop for the engine to heat the water, although I would love to have that option mainly so I could have hot water without having to turn the generator on.

Also, I have two engines, so even if I had this, it would likely only warm one of the two Good idea though!
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:51 PM   #36
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Steve, an alternative to the Wolverine-type pan heaters are the immersion type with a heating element in the engine's internal coolant, installed in a block port with pipe threads. I have these, made by Kim, called Hot Starts. I only use them before winter starts or during sub-freezing weather. They are 500 watt and I run them on timers, 2 hours on, 2 hours off, alternating between engines. The engine room stays about 25 degrees above ambient. I've done this through 15 winters with both Detroits and Cummins with no ill effects.
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:47 PM   #37
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Steve, an alternative to the Wolverine-type pan heaters are the immersion type with a heating element in the engine's internal coolant, installed in a block port with pipe threads. I have these, made by Kim, called Hot Starts. I only use them before winter starts or during sub-freezing weather. They are 500 watt and I run them on timers, 2 hours on, 2 hours off, alternating between engines. The engine room stays about 25 degrees above ambient. I've done this through 15 winters with both Detroits and Cummins with no ill effects.
Yeah I would very much prefer to do something like this, but I am having a difficult time finding the correct block port that I can use. The Volvo Penta manuals don't really call them out, although I have found a number of things that look like one. Even searches on BoatDiesel.com and elsewhere have not resulted in a definitive answer.

I'd most likely have to drain the coolant and start experimenting before I could find the right solution...
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:07 AM   #38
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Try these
https://www.hotstart.com/product-sea...block-heaters/
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:36 AM   #39
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My $0.02

If you are worried about thick oil use synthetic oil and problem is solved. But how thick can the oil be if the boat is not ice bound?

If you want better start or less smoke heat the combustion chamber in the block where the combustion happens. The combustion chamber is the part of the block surrounded by coolant and the part that will be warmed by heating the coolant. The oil pan is a long way away from the combustion chamber. Heating the oil laying in the bottom of the oil pan will take a long time to spread any heat to the combustion chamber in the top of the engine.

If the engine has freeze plugs that you can replace with coolant heaters the installation would be so clean, simple and effective it is a no brainer to go that route. Otherwise a tank heater will work but add a lot of clutter to the engine room.

If the engine starts hard or smokes at temperatures where the water is not frozen perhaps the engine needs work. Leaky diesel injectors will cause smoke as the fuel that leaked into the combustion chamber burns off. Low compression or slow cranking speed will cause hard starting.

Failed thermostats will cause the engine to warm up slower. But remember compared to gas engines diesel engines produce less waste heat, especially at idle. A diesel engine will never warm up as fast as the engine in your gasoline car. Less waste is why we love them.

As someone said above the best way to warm up a diesel engine is to get underway.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:46 PM   #40
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Yup those are the ones I've been looking at, but my engine is from 1988 and not listed in their tables.
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