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Thread: Block Heater

  1. #1
    Senior Member AmericanLandMgt's Avatar
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    Block Heater

    Since the day I bought my TD-20 I havent been able to start it if the temp gets below about fourty degrees. When its hot in the summer it cranks up no problem. In the past I have just parked it for the winter because the ground gets really saturated and its really easy to get stuck. This winter I have a few jobs I need to do with it and I would like to put some sort of block heater on it. Ive seen heating blankets designed for engines but they dont seem like they would be all that efficient. Somebody told me the other day to put a coolant heater in it, Ive never heard of that but it sounds like a good idea. Any body have one of these or have any experience with any sort of add on block heater?

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    i have seen two kinds. there are the kind that replace the freeze plugs in the block and there are ones that tie into the heater hoses.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tinkerer's Avatar
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    I had a 120 volt/ 1500 watt tank type heater and it worked really well. You can plug it into a heavy duty appliance timer and set it turn on about 3 or 4 hours before you need to start the machine. They are real easy to plumb into about any kind of machine you have. Just do a Google search for tank type engine heaters. Amazon.com shows quite a few on one webpage.
    I currently use a heater that fits in a freeze plug hole in the block. It works ok but the tank type doe's a better job.
    There are some that fit in a radiator hose but I think it would take a lot more electrical energy to warm the radiator in addition to the block.

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    We don't have a machine that doesn't have a block heater, (coolant heater), because we'd be sitting all winter without them. Some have the external heaters and they are available up to 1,500 watts in capacity. The in block /frost plug types are not usually quite as high in wattage but they are probably a little more efficient. They do have the disadvantage of seeping coolant sometimes. We also use oil pan heaters, usually from 300 to 500 watts depending on the capacity of the oil pan. They can be either magnetic - stick em on when you need em, semi permanent plates on the bottom of the pan or drain plug type. Warm motors are happy motors!

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    All our engines have block heaters, and they do get used around here. The freeze plug variety are readily available at any heavy truck or equipment supplier. They are an aftermarket component. Easy to get, inexpensive at $25, and easy to install. They work well too.
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    Td-20 Bulldozer

    Is your dozer a 12 or 24 volt system? We have a Td-20E that is a 12 volt and the Td-20G's are 24 volt. We stop using the Td-20E when the temp. starts to fall below freezing.

  8. #8
    Senior Member AmericanLandMgt's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the good info guys. I think Im going to go with the freeze plug heater because its inexpensive and looks pretty easy to install.

  9. #9
    Senior Member fast_st's Avatar
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    Another few inexpensive options possibly, do you run a lighter oil for the winter? nice easy flowing synthetic? What's your cranking voltage measured at the starter? I'm guessing this lovely machine doesn't have an intake heater or glow plugs? Now Ford powerstrokes 99.5 and up have a heating coil in the air stream right atop the engine looks like a 1/2 pipe plug with a couple wires, two of them just ahead of your intake manifold will likely do wonders, can use a manual relay, a few seconds run time to warm up the air and then crank, fire em up for a bit after it starts to smooth it out. There is a cummins one 300438001174 on ebay. I suppose a real issue might be that compression is starting to get low and making it harder to fire.

  10. #10
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    We use block heaters here, almost every vehicle has one. I have used both the freeze plug type and the inline type. I prefer the freeze plug type, they are foolproof and dependable and seem to get the engine warmer than the external inline type.

    Hey wait a minute, I should move down where you are and i wouldn't need to plug anything in during the winter.
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  11. #11
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    need to put something on a d8k and just wondering if anyone has any recomendations for what heater to use

  12. #12
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    We have block heaters on all diesel engines, mostly the freezeplug type with very little problems. They help out greatly in cold weather starting, let alone the load it takes off the starters & batteries.

  13. #13
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    Its been awhile but there used to be dip stick heaters that you put in the dip stick tube and remove after starting. Don't know if thay are still around or not.

  14. #14
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    We like to have both, a block heater and a circulating heater. we usually only use the block heater but if we need to start something in short order we will plug both heaters in.

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