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Old 12-28-2013, 08:50 AM   #57
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Ok, thank you for the test results
In my years of driving truck and if not plugged in over night at cold temps. , you sure could tell when the oil pump picked up that cold oil when rolling over and things went down hill from there........
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:18 PM   #58
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Can you explain how that might work? All my oil is down in the sump 2 minutes after shutdown. The sump is 6" below the block and is exposed on 5 out of 6 sides by frigid air with nothing but a relatively (to the block) thin piece of stamped sheet metal connecting it to the block.

Now if you had an immersion oil heater, or stick on pan heater I'd go along with it heating the oil, but a block heater won't.
My thoughts precisely. Throw in some wind and that oil is cold and thick in the bottom of the sump. Warm water is a long way away.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:42 PM   #59
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My thoughts precisely. Throw in some wind and that oil is cold and thick in the bottom of the sump. Warm water is a long way away.
So the Cummins and Cat factory folks have it all wrong and you guys have it right.

OK...I just want to be sure I understand.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:15 AM   #60
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Thanks folks

Wow.. I would never have thought that my OP would generate so much follow-on. It shows the passion we all have for these mechanical marvels.

I appreciate reading everyone's opinions, and am especially grateful for those of you who shared Cummins and Cat recommendations. Given the investment in my coach, I've adopted the "better safe than sorry" approach of turning on my block heater the night before driving if temps are less than about 50. If I burn up a heating element over 5 years, so be it. I would consider that the sacrificial anode.

And... if it doesn't help a whole heck of a lot, I've still done no harm.

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Old 12-31-2013, 08:22 AM   #61
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Wow.. I would never have thought that my OP would generate so much follow-on. It shows the passion we all have for these mechanical marvels.

I appreciate reading everyone's opinions, and am especially grateful for those of you who shared Cummins and Cat recommendations. Given the investment in my coach, I've adopted the "better safe than sorry" approach of turning on my block heater the night before driving if temps are less than about 50. If I burn up a heating element over 5 years, so be it. I would consider that the sacrificial anode.

And... if it doesn't help a whole heck of a lot, I've still done no harm.

Following the manufacturers recommendation is usually the smart thing to do and will keep a simple process from becoming unnecessarily complex from overthinking. Use the heater as it was put there for a reason..
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:52 AM   #62
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This is a long thread and possibly this has been covered, but can you just leave the heater plugged in for days when not running the engine? In this case I am assuming that you are plugged into electrical service.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:53 AM   #63
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can you just leave the heater plugged in for days when not running the engine? In this case I am assuming that you are plugged into electrical service.
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You can leave a block heater plugged in for days, but it can make the bed and bedroom uncomfortably hot in the summer.....(don't ask me how I know).
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:20 PM   #64
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Leaving the block heater on shouldn't do any harm.....but if your using your own electricity your going to have to pay the bill. The block heaters on all three of our diesels draw between 10-12 amps.
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:11 PM   #65
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Wow! That's a lot of amps, but in certain situations it might be worth it. I will continue to plug in the night before, but I am glad to hear that I will not burn it out. With one of the previous posts, it makes more sense to start an engine with warm, less viscous oil that will flow and lubricate the engine sooner than later. Thanks.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:00 AM   #66
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So the Cummins and Cat factory folks have it all wrong and you guys have it right. OK...I just want to be sure I understand.
I haven't seen anything like that on either site, do notice however references to oil heaters on both. In fact an oil-pan heater is a factory option on Cummins stationary engines.

I wonder why they offer an oil-pan heater for engines that live in enclosures when they're not necessary for engines on OTR trucks where the engine is open to the atmosphere?

There's also several aftermarket companies that produce oil-pan heaters, Wolverine being probably the biggest, that are very popular amongst folks who operate trucks in cold climates. Again, if they're not needed, I wonder why they'd want or have them?
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:31 AM   #67
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My thoughts precisely. Throw in some wind and that oil is cold and thick in the bottom of the sump. Warm water is a long way away.
When you say "throw in some wind" are referring to wind chill factor?

If so, the only things that experience ill effects from wind chill are warm blooded creatures. Inanimate objects to not feel
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:28 PM   #68
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When you say "throw in some wind" are referring to wind chill factor? If so, the only things that experience ill effects from wind chill are warm blooded creatures. Inanimate objects to not feel
So you're saying a warm oil pan with a cold wind blowing across it will not lose any more heat than the same oil pan in dead still air?
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:36 PM   #69
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When you say "throw in some wind" are referring to wind chill factor?

If so, the only things that experience ill effects from wind chill are warm blooded creatures. Inanimate objects to not feel
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Wind, (aka: moving air), can/will cause things to reach the temperature of the surrounding air sooner..... but they will not get any colder than the ambient temperature.

Therefore, a warm oil pan with a cold wind blowing across it will not loose any more heat than the same oil pan in dead still air of the same temperature..... it will however, loose the heat faster!

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Old 01-01-2014, 12:58 PM   #70
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I live in Canada and the original block heaters were developed in Winnipeg by a company called Carter ( not the Carb. people). They also invented frost shields! Enoki stated he had a car with an oil heater. No domestically produced auto has an oil heater. They are all frost plug heaters that heat the coolant. The very best heaters are called circulating heaters. They mount in the heater hoses and have a small tank and a pulse pump. Heats the AF and circulates it through the system. Many OTR trucks use this system. They used to make diesel fired units that worked the same way. OTR trucks in the North have Webasto heaters. Much like an Aqua Hot. Some use an APU. This provides heat, air conditioning and battery charging. I am smiling when I see all he posts where owners are using the block heater @ 50 degrees. Heck @ that temp we open up our convertibles and break out the shorts. So here is a question for you. 2 nights ago the overnight temp with the windchill was minus 51 Celcius . Would you plug in your MH? I can tell you from experience that when a diesel will not start at those temps the only cure is to bring it into a warm shop for as much as 24 hours. Not fun.
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