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Winter is coming - block heater installation

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by MTJohn, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. MTJohn

    MTJohn

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    I had a helluva a time finding a block heater for my 94 FZJ80 and figuring out where it should be installed. With help from CDan (of course) I found out that a Previa had the block heater as the LC. I called a Canadian Toyota dealer and ordered part number C0140-00144-S2 for $38 US IIRC. The heater has LR20976 400W 115V MADE IN CANADA stamped on it.

    Thanks to IdahoDoug, I found out which frost plug was the preferred location in the installation instructions on the US part that is no longer available. A picture is attached with the exhaust manifold heat shields removed.

    A search on ih8mud did find some instructions that helped me a bunch. I drilled a hole in the plug because I was going to use a puller on it. It never did work. I did not realize that the space was so shallow behind the plug and the screw kept hitting the engine block behind the plug and stripping out. A picture is attached that shows just how little room there is.

    I finally punched in the plug with a ¾ “ brass drift and then was able to move it to the side with some needle nose pliers – the holes I drilled actually came in handy for that. I was able to grab the edge with vise grips and pull the plug out of the hole. I used some wet/dry sandpaper to make sure the hole was smooth and clean. I did not drain the block before doing this since it had only distilled water in it since I am in the middle of a belt and hose replacement with a radiator flush. I was hoping that any “stuff” I loosened up or shavings from drilling the holes would wash out the hole with the block full of water.

    IdahoDoug told me the instructions called for the heater to point straight up, but he found the 10:30 position seemed to fit better. Mine seemed to seat quite nicely with the heater pointing straight up. The heater came with some grease for the O-ring and the engine block.

    The wire has some heat insulation on it, but since I had some Thermo-Tec Thermo-Shield Hose & Wire Protectant Tape (from buggering up the insulation on the wiring harness while trying to replace the firewall heater hoses on the driver’s side – but that’s another story) I put some extra insulation on it.

    All in all, a pretty easy job as it turned out. The hardest part was trying to source the heater.

    Block-Heater-and-Plug.jpg

    Block-Heater-Location.jpg

    Frost-Plug-Hole.jpg
    Block-Heater-and-Plug.jpg Block-Heater-Location.jpg Frost-Plug-Hole.jpg
     
  2. loquito

    loquito

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    thanks for this write up, I live in cold country and should probubly do this also. Can you tell me more about the thermotec tape?
     
  3. MTJohn

    MTJohn

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    If you Google this you will find lots of vendors - about $18 per roll. I pasted the description below from the autobarn.net website. I found that the adhesive didn't stick worth a damn and ended up putting on some some wraps of duct tape every few inches to make it stick. Maybe when it gets hot it will stick better.

    "Thermo-Shield is a combination of materials laminated together to provide a barrier against the extreme conditions that under-hood components are exposed to. Radiant and conductive heat in the under-hood environment can destroy hoses and wiring by drying out or melting the rubber and plastic of these components. This aluminized adhesive-backed tape is great for wrapping the hoses and wires you don't want to remove. Thermo-Shield reflects radiant heat up to 2000 F."

    Size: 1 1/2" x 15 ft.
     
  4. concretejungle

    concretejungle SILVER Star

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    Hey MTJohn!! Im about to install my block heater tomorrow. Have you had any issues with the heat from the exhaust and the plug wire for the heater? Now that i'm there and looking at it, it looks really tight and really hot.
     
  5. Miescha

    Miescha

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    I didn't know block heaters were so unusual in 80s. I ordered my 80 new in 1996 with the block heater. I can't say whether the heater was factory installed or dealer installed. I did get to see my truck come off the transporter at the dealer, but they took a day to "prep" it and that could have included putting in the block heater. I'll have to go find my window sticker and see if the heater is listed.

    I have to say it works great. I'm just worried now that if the thing dies it will be tough to get a replacement. Does anyone know what the expected life is for one of these heaters?
     
  6. concretejungle

    concretejungle SILVER Star

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    Well FAWK!! THe block heater i ordered off Ebay is part number CO140-00143-S2 when it needs to be CO140-00144-S2.

    This one is too small in diameter.
     
  7. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Story of your life, eh? Bwaahahahahah
     
  8. Jason Andrews

    Jason Andrews

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    What about the plug that replaces the drain plug for the radiator? Are those not the best anymore? I thought that the ones you are reffering to heat the oil and end up burning oil. I understand that if the block is going to freeze the plug shoots out to release the pressure instead of cracking the block right? any thoughts?
     
  9. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    The Toyota factory block heater replaces a freeze plug in the block. It's heating element is in the coolant and causes water circulation throughout the block via convection for uniform heating of the block itself, which includes the oil eventually.

    Oil heaters merely heat the oil in the pan for easier starts and better startup lube. But, no heat a block from home on a 0 degree day. Also, I have no idea what it would be like to change the oil with an oil heater assembly in the way.

    The radiator heater will simply heat the radiator's coolant. So the engine still starts stone cold and you drive off with the thermostat closed and block circulation only. About the time the radiator's coolant has been cooled down completely, the engine's hot and opens the thermostat to pull in the now cold radiator coolant. Doesn't make much sense to me unless it's SO powerful it opens the thermostat with heat. Doubtful.

    DougM
     
  10. Felt

    Felt

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    MTJohn, I'm curious why you are installing a block heater. Have you had cold starting issues or is your car going into winter storage? This and previous threads have got my attension, Having never had a starting problem i thought i would ask as i live in the cold land. Cheers, Felt.
    P.S. It's 15f in my garage right now, BRrrrr.
     
  11. Jason Andrews

    Jason Andrews

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    I am curious for some obvious reasons. I have some friends that live in Crested Butte and Gunnision Colo. "The coldest place in the country" supposedly. When its -20* I would even go to the trouble of running an extension cord to the truck to keep it warm rather than waiting 10 minutes for it to warm up while driving. Not to mention the decrease of wear.
     
  12. Felt

    Felt

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    [. "The coldest place in the country" supposedly. [/QUOTE]

    No, It's my garage:flipoff2:
     
  13. firetruck41

    firetruck41

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    The reason I bought a block heater (yet to be installed) is so I can have heat immediately when I get in the truck in the morning. It's probably also good that the engine doesn't have to be running for a while before heating up to normal engine temps.
     
  14. Felt

    Felt

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    Firetruck41, Since owning my LC i have always started the rig and wait for the cold idle to kick off before i started driving, Even when i lived in San Francisco. I have never thought that letting the LC sit for a few mins in the morning could do any harm. Actually, letting it warm up was the best thing to do for the engine. What do you think? I'm curious to see what others who live in the cold belt think on this also, with or without a block heater installed. :idea:s
     
  15. p8nt

    p8nt

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    I live in cold country (Northern Michigan) and have never had a vehicle with a block heater. How is it powered. Does it operate off a switch? Excuse the newbishness, these are uncharted waters for me.
     
  16. Jason Andrews

    Jason Andrews

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    I will sometimes let it idle for a quick minute, but personally my truck doesnt warm up worth a ish while just letting it idle when it is really cold outside. I just drive it and try not to push the rpms. It takes WAY tooo long for it to warm up at idle speed.
     
  17. Miescha

    Miescha

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    I ordered the block heater when I ordered the truck new (I had to wait anyway to get the factory lockers so why not wait for the block heater too).

    I currently live in St. Louis MO where it doesn't get very cold very often. But I grew up in Washington State (Yakima valley) and I also spent time in Madison, Wisconsin and Northern Minnesota (Bemidji area). It gets pretty cold in both northern areas. I first learned of block heaters in Madison, WI and really learned to appreciate them.

    The key benefits for me (even in St. Louis) are easier starts leading to prolonged engine life and nearly instant heat (for the kids ;) ).

    To answer the previous question, I never noticed a problem starting the LC when I don't plug it in, but it definatley starts quicker and easier when it is plugged in (and cold outside i.e. below 20F).

    As for the heat, I can't say there is instant heat, but it is pretty darn quick. I'd say I have heat in less than two blocks of city driving without stops.

    I also have a remote starter on the LC so I could just use that to start it up and let it get warm (and I do when in locations without an easy plug-in option). But I think it uses more fuel sitting with the engine running than it does warming up while driving.

    I also have a block heater on my '02 Yukon XL - same theory. I learned to love them in the really cold climates and figure it can't hurt in milder climates. I only plug them in when it is predicted to be near or below 20 F.

    I also have a factory block heater on my '99 F350 diesel, but that truck had more of a need given the diesel engine. I know many of the Ford drivers use an outdoor electrical timer to have their block heaters come on a few hours before they leave in the morning, but I typically leave it plugged in all night. I think their idea was that it would prolong the life of the heating element. I always figured I would just replace it when necessary, but perhaps I should reconsider given the news that it is no longer produced.

    Any chance the block heater is still available for the FZJ80 in Australia? They have cold winters and I think the LC is much more common there.
     
  18. thekirk

    thekirk

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    There's a book out there that's titled "Drive it Forever". I don't have it here, with me, but one of the points I remember the author making is that any "warming up at idle" is a waste of time, with modern fuel-injected engines. And, because it lengthens the time the engine is running cold, it causes more acidic combustion by-products into the oil. His recommendation was to start the vehicle, let it run to the point where it had stable RPM, and then go, keeping the RPM at a reasonable level--no gunning it. Getting the engine up to running temperature quickly was the point of it. The author made the point, too, that he thought it idiotic to have remote start on a vehicle, when you could install a block heater, and plug the thing in, if you wanted immediate heat.

    I've found the rest of his guidance to pretty much make sense, aside from his recommendation to never, ever park on gravel (?!!??!), because that would increase the vehicles exposure to dust and dirt. Which may make sense for a non-offroad vehicle, but pretty much boggles the mind for something like a Land Cruiser...

    MTJohn, exactly where did you order from? I'm going to call up to Victoria, BC, and see if the dealer there will do a mail-order for me, but if he won't, could you let me know exactly who you went through?
     
  19. AJP

    AJP

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    Jason... don't count on the "freeze" plugs from letting go before (or after) the block cracks....the holes are there to get the sand out of the block after it has been cast...

    Miescha....curious about which side of the block on your '96 the heater is installed..instructions for my 1997 LX call for it on the drivers side and not on the exhaust side ... maybe before concretejungle starts his install... it may be he is on the wrong side of the block..and needn't worry about heat from exhaust manifolds...
     
  20. Felt

    Felt

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