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Old 06-04-2013, 06:41 PM   #1
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Warm Engine When Not Running

As the title stated, I have a 1998 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager with the 8.3 cummins. I was under the rear this am and reached up to reach for something and the engine felt warm. I went inside and lifted the bed to look at the top of the engine and it was warm inside as if I had run the engine a couple hours prior - which I hadn't. I do live in the desert where it is warm, but I've never had an engine block warm that hasn't been run in a couple days. I do not have an engine block heater.

Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated. Didn't mean to be so long.

r/Bob
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:46 PM   #2
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Are you sure about NOT having a block heater?? Most diesels do.

How many hours had it been since it was running at full temp?
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:07 PM   #3
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Check on either side of the engine block for a magnetic 'hockey puck' with an electric cord attached. I'd bet you have a heater plugged in. Were you plugged into shore power? Unplug it for a night and check engine. If it's cool, you've got a block heater plugged in.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:10 PM   #4
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Are you sure about NOT having a block heater?? Most diesels do.

How many hours had it been since it was running at full temp?

It has been probably 96 hrs at least. If I had a block heater, wouldn't I have to plug it into something - OR - is there a switch somewhere that I may have switched?
I do have a switch on the left side of the drivers seat that says heater, but I have no idea what heater it is referring to.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:16 PM   #5
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It sounds to me like it is time to experiment with that switch. It may be a block heater as well as having something to do with the cab heater. On my MH there is a cord with plug end that hangs within the compartment that the shore power is in. There is also a female receptical and you plug in the blockheater there. My MH is made by a different maker so the chances are that mine would be different.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:56 PM   #6
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Check on either side of the engine block for a magnetic 'hockey puck' with an electric cord attached. I'd bet you have a heater plugged in. Were you plugged into shore power? Unplug it for a night and check engine. If it's cool, you've got a block heater plugged in.
I am plugged into shore power. I will look after dinner and see if I can find it. Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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It sounds to me like it is time to experiment with that switch. It may be a block heater as well as having something to do with the cab heater. On my MH there is a cord with plug end that hangs within the compartment that the shore power is in. There is also a female receptical and you plug in the blockheater there. My MH is made by a different maker so the chances are that mine would be different.
That's the same as our Dutch Star too. Our switch is in the overhead cabinet over the passenger side. It is clearly marked "Block Heater" and has red light that shows it's on. I also use it to plug in a light for the wet bay in the winter since I don't use the block heater.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:30 PM   #8
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Do you have an Aqua-Hot System?

If so, it's possible that the engine Pre-Heat switch (Motor-Aide) got turned on by accident.

If not, then you still may have a Motor-Aide System but using your normal Hot Water heater to heat the motor coolant running through the engine.

I discovered 2 years back that my engine Pre-Heat switch had been wired wrong from the factory. I thought I had the switch off because the indicator light told me so. However, the Aqua-Hot Motor-Aide pump had been running constantly for 10 years straight. After discovering the mix up, I completely re-wried the switch correctly.

I often wonder what the big attraction was during the winter months for the Raccoons that often congregated around my engine compartment. Luckily they never did any damage other than leave a pile of scat every so often.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:55 PM   #9
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It has been probably 96 hrs at least. If I had a block heater, wouldn't I have to plug it into something - OR - is there a switch somewhere that I may have switched?
I do have a switch on the left side of the drivers seat that says heater, but I have no idea what heater it is referring to.
That would most likely be your block heater. Turn it off and then check the engine. My switch is on the driver's left, but it clearly states "Engine Block Heater"
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:41 PM   #10
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The block/engine heater for our MH (see sig) is a standard wall switch in the bedroom. It is identified by a small clear plastic sticker with faint printing on it "engine heater". Were it not for the salesman pointing out the sticker, neither of us would ever known it had one.
Dr4Film, I'm going to replace the standard wall switch with a lighted one, so we know when the switch is in the on position, (gotta reverse the feed wire to make the light on when switch is on) thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:20 PM   #11
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I checked the heater switch with a volt meter. That was not the switch for a block heater. There is a switch on the wall behind the dinette that the original owner didn't know what is was for. I put a meter on it and it was in the on position, so I turned it off. Will check in the am. BTW, it was not labeled at all.
I did find a puck looking thing on the rear of the block on the drivers side the referred to in an earlier post. I did not disconnect it - yet.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:17 AM   #12
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A block heater is powered by a 120 VAC outlet. Typically there will be a power cord that goes into the engine and down into the oil pan to warm up the oil.

The Motor-Aide system heats up the entire engine block because it's the coolant that is being heated versus the oil.

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Old 06-05-2013, 06:38 PM   #13
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I really appreciate all the advice. I did solve the mystery brown switch on the wall behind the dining table. It turns on the floor lights that are about 3-4 inches off the ground. We had been turning the switch on and off only during daylight, therefore couldn't see the lights.
I will now have to wait until tomorrow morning to see if the block is still warn as I ran it up to temp to change the oil this am. It hadn't been changed in 5 yrs.
I also sent GS an email asking about the block heater.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:59 PM   #14
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Just a quick update and end to my problem. In the bay where the power cord is stored is an outlet that the block heater is plugged into. I saw it before but paid no attention as it wasn't marked. There also apparently is a breaker inside that I can turn off, but hard to read the panel 4 inches off the floor.
Thanks to all for your advice. Happy RVing to all.
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