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Old 12-22-2011, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,298,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alaska961 View Post
This reminds me of a question that I had. So can you tell me all about the heater blocks? Would I need one in Missoula? Are they difficult to use? I understand using one at home, but what about during the day while you are at work?

Just the thought of needing to use a HB worries me some.

Alaska
A block heater is about 2 inch in diameter and 6-8 inches long. It has two hoses coming out of it (some of the newer ones have 3 hose connections) and it hooks into your antifreeze line between the water pump and the heater. It has a power cord that you plug in when it's extremely cold. When plugged in, it heats up the water and circulates it. It circulates hot water through the engine water jacket and radiator. So your water stays warm, hence keeping the engine warm even though it's not running. When you come out to get in it, you simply unplug it, crawl in and start your already warm engine.

Completely safe, these have been out for over 50 years, so it's not new technology. They sell for less then $30. I just bought a 2000 watt a couple years ago and it was only $24.99. You don't need anything that big. I bought this one for a big diesel.

A lot of people plug in their vehicle when they get out of it when they get home from work. That is not needed and it's a waste of electricity. I put a timer on my power cord and used to plug in when I got home. However, knowing that it wasn't going to be needed until 6am, I set the timer to kick on at 4am. The 2 hours was plenty to sufficiently warm up the engine before I needed it.

I will warn you that this keeps the engine warm but does nothing for your fuel system. So if you've gotten ahold of some nasty fuel with a little moisture in it, this will do nothing to help you. So during the winter, throw a can of heat in every tank full of gas you get. Heat sells for less then a buck a can if you find it on sale. Pick up a case and keep a couple cans in the car so you can add a can every time you fill up.

Depending on how new your vehicle is, you may not even need it. We used to take a loose fitting parts engine and warm it up so when the pieces got warm, they expanded and fit nice and tight. hahaha You had to warm up a vehicle. With today's alloy's being used the engine is already at close tolerances and does not need warmed up. You can actually take todays engines at -20, start them up and as soon as you have even oil pressure, take off. You won't hurt that engine. Most engines made since about 2000 do not need warmed up like the old engines did. The fuel injection and computer chip are going to allow you to start up just fine. One thing I would caution and that is when you get in, turn your key to on and wait for 10 seconds. This allows the computer to read all of it's sensors and set the car up to start properly. If you put the key in and just turn it to start, you are waking up a sleeping computer that hasn't read it's sensors so it's going to grind for a while before it fires up. Give it time.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,298,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
..

...............or, how 'bout you pick up your keys (while drinkin' that 2nd cup of coffee) 10 minutes before you want to leave.......'press the remote-start-button on the "key fob" and then check "C-D" for a few minutes while it's gettin' all warm & cozy inside the vehicle. . (the interior is really warm if you remember to set your heater controls to MAXIMUM when you shut-er-off the night before.

......Boy, aren't we a bunch of "Candy A$$ES"
I don't have anything that will do that. My truck is a 1985 Ford F250. I used to have a Buick Delta 98 that I had an alarm installed and it would do that. It was a fancy thing. I could program it to start when it hit a certain temperature and would run until it hit operating temp and then shut down. Or I could just hit the button. I had that installed because I was working in Texas and the car was jet black in color. It had climate control in it where you set it at 72 and it would heat or cool, whatever it took to keep it at 72. I used to set in my office and hit the button 10 minutes before I left work so that it would cool down before I crawled in it. haha
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,877 posts, read 5,745,002 times
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Wow!, an '85! Nice. I have a 1967 International Scout 70. Now there are some loose fitting parts

The only air conditioning I have is the 2/55 kind where you have 2 windows open at 55 mph. I wouldn't brag about the heater either, but it might be better if there were fewer holes in the cab and floorboards. That wind whistling through when you drive in the winter adds a definite chill factor, and when it is snowing, and because of the direct draft defrosters that pull air off the front vents, it can be snowing harder inside the vehicle than outside. I keep a scraper on my visor because I usually have to scrape the ice from the inside while I am driving it.

It starts and runs pretty good, even when it is pretty cold, you just pump the heck out of the footfeed, pull the choke and hope.
Once it is running, you adjust the choke and throttle levers to keep it running until it warms up and then you climb in, put a blanket over your lap, scrape the windshield and go I love my little Scout, really basic transportation, but it is pretty economical to drive, doesn't have any computers, and will run on ethanol because it doesn't have a lot of plastic. It is my "if all else fails" rig.

Now if I can just get the brakes to quit leaking off, sometimes I have to pump the brake like a maniac to build up enough pressure to stop.
It has an old Jeep T-90 3 speed tranny just like the old army jeeps had, and while it isn't fast, it is pretty strong, and the granny low underdrive in 4 low has torque that would climb a tree. I have tried that a couple times whe the brakes failed, but was not successful.

It's an adventure to drive for sure.

Anyway, one thing I rarely see mentioned is auto transmissions when it is cold. You can let your engine run and warm up, and a headbolt will warm the block, but automatic transmissions have to pump to cycle the fluid and starting them cold can cause a lot of wear. The best thing I have found is to throw it in neutral for about 30 seconds to a minute before you put it in drive or reverse to start off.
Just a little tip to prevent damage to your tranny in really cold weather.

Oh yeah, and my new truck is a '93 Dodge V-10 3/4 ton 4x4. Lot nicer to use in cold weather, but I still have to go out and start it, it won't start on command from my Lazy Boy recliner
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:49 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
451 posts, read 844,414 times
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Interesting little thread, this.

It was especially heartening to learn that ElkHunter can still raise the flag... at least, I think it was...


mg
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montygarlic View Post
Interesting little thread, this.

It was especially heartening to learn that ElkHunter can still raise the flag... at least, I think it was...


mg
You bet I raise that flag, every morning. Unless I'm in the hospital. I would put a solar light and light it up so I coud leave it up 24/7, but then I could lay in here half alive and nobody would know. Besides, that's just plain being lazy.
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, Wa
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Elkhunter,
This does not sound too complicated...I even think that this is something that I could handle. I like the info on waiting to turn the engine after putting in the key and I have never heard of heat, but it makes sense. I highly doubt that they sell that around here

So would I need this in missoula? I see that it got down to 6 last night so I am assuming yes
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:43 PM
 
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Well, like I said, maybe I am living life on the edge, but I still don't have one. Doing okay...did buy some new boots though, mittens, coat, long johns, slippers...flannel sheets, flannel jammies, three new blankets...2 down comforters, one electric blanket.

So looking forward to going to Anaconda tomorrow.
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:48 PM
 
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well I just ran the snow plow, one mounted to a pickup...

had about 4"s of snow here last night...all between 11pm and 7 am

South of Missoula, north of Butt.

Nice dry powder , makes for an easy plow job back and forth one time...mile long gravel road from 4200 ft to 4800 ft at the house.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,298,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alaska961 View Post
Elkhunter,
This does not sound too complicated...I even think that this is something that I could handle. I like the info on waiting to turn the engine after putting in the key and I have never heard of heat, but it makes sense. I highly doubt that they sell that around here

So would I need this in missoula? I see that it got down to 6 last night so I am assuming yes
Sorry, it's HEET (I think). It's in a can, about 4.5 inches tall. Last one I saw was yellow and blue can. Wal-Mart, K-mart, both have it. It's a gas additive. It will bust up water to molicule size so that it will pass through the filter. If it doesn't, then you build up water in your filter and lines and it will freeze. It's good stuff. I'm sure they have it back in the automotive section.

If you can read instructions, operate a knife to cut the hose, and operate a screwdriver to put clamps on, you got it made. haha Then use some tie wraps to run the power cord so it sticks out the front of the car.
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