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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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  #1  
Old 12-01-2001, 03:49 PM
lanero lanero is offline
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Tank Heater Install

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 01-Dec-01 AT 04:49 PM (EST)]Has anyone installed a tankheater on their trucks. I just picked one up today and realized, I've never installed this type of heater before. I've installed the type that just fit in the lower rad hose, but this one is different. The instructions tell me to pull the cold water for the heater from the engine block drain or lower rad hose. I know I will have to use the lower rad hose because I cannot get to the block drain. The directins also tell me to hook the hot water output into a heater hose entering the block, or a hose line entering the water pump. Now, I have a '89 F250 with a 5.0L, does anyone know which line I connect the hot water output too? I see a couple of lines going to the waterpump, but I'm not sure which one I need to use. If anyone knows the routing of the heater hose lines, any help would be appreciated.

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Old 12-03-2001, 10:07 AM
jim henderson jim henderson is offline
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Tank Heater Install

I don't have an answer other than to check your manaul and there usually are only two heater hoses(about 1 1/2inch thick) going into the firewall, usually on the passenger side.

What is a tank heater and why would you use one? Just curious since I never heard about this.

Jim Henderson
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Old 12-03-2001, 12:43 PM
lanero lanero is offline
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Tank Heater Install

A tank heater is used to keep the coolant in the engine warm overnight. That way, when it gets really cold out (love these Iowa winters), you just plug in the heater overnight and have a nice warm truck when you leave for work in the morning.

The one I got is made by a compay called Kat's. I did get it installed yesterday. Of course, the coolant will only flow thru the heater one way, and I hooked it up wrong the first time. Once I got the hoses going the right direction, everything worked fine.

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Old 12-03-2001, 07:09 PM
brown 4x4 brown 4x4 is offline
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Tank Heater Install

Tank heaters are the type of heater found lots of times on tractors. They circulate the heated coolant and IMO are better than the block heater on the lower radiator hose.
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Old 12-04-2001, 12:10 PM
jim henderson jim henderson is offline
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Tank Heater Install

Oooh, now I get it. I thought you were talking about either a gas tank heater(which really confused me as to why) or a remote heater for maybe the campershell of your truck. Yeah I have heard of those recirculating heaters to keep the engine warm on cold winter nights. Just never saw one since I lived most of my life in So Cal and now in Oregon where it doesn't get quite that cold.

My guess is that the tank heater does need to be able to pump coolant and not get stopped by the thermostat, so it would be important to get the right hose.

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Old 12-12-2002, 09:39 PM
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Tank Heater Install

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Old 12-13-2002, 03:37 AM
HeatherFeather HeatherFeather is offline
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Tank Heater Install



Hey Roger Lane, I'm moving back up north and I was
wondering if you had any advice on winter-izing my car.
I know I'm installing a tank heater and having my coolant
system flushed and done for like 25 below... any other
advice? And how much do you think a tank heater will cost?
Anybody can answer this...
Just so long as you aren't talking out of your you
know what. If you live in California and have never seen a
snowflake you probably can't help me out!
Thanks
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Old 12-13-2002, 07:34 AM
gamehunter gamehunter is offline
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Tank Heater Install

I live in the Far northwestern part of North Dakota. If there is ever a coldest spot in the nation, it probably is here. To be honest, I have never heard (or at least when ive been paying attention ) a tank heater. Not saying their a waste of money because it does sound like they are better than the block heaters. But the block heater will work in just about any humane temperature anyone will see in the continental US. With my block heater pluged in last winter my truck would only take a couple minutes to get warm air blowing out the vents when it was 35 below zero and by the way, that was with the truck ouside. The wind was slightly blowing so the wind temp was below that. I can see the added benefit of the tank heater circulating the fluid because it can't freeze then.
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Old 12-13-2002, 04:17 PM
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Tank Heater Install

>air blowing out the vents when it was 35 below zero and by
>the way, that was with the truck ouside. The wind was
>slightly blowing so the wind temp was below that. I can see
>the added benefit of the tank heater circulating the fluid
>because it can't freeze then.

Wind chill doesn't affect inanimate objects.

If you've got the right mixture of coolant to water it shouldn't freeze anyway. The circulation simply heats the whole system more evenly.

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Old 12-13-2002, 04:48 PM
galaxiefiveohoh galaxiefiveohoh is offline
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Tank Heater Install

Honney, You are not EXACTLY correct about wind chill not affecting inantimate objects. I will try to explain short and to the point. The harder the wind is blowing the more heat (or cold) is being drawn away from the object that the wind is blowing against. Take an overpass for example. If a snowy road is salted and the water is sitting on the bridge, the water will freeze faster if the wind is blowing than it would if the wind was calm.
Objects left in the cold will not freeze any faster as long as the wind is not blowing against it. Folks insulate their household well pumps with a wooden box and batts of insulation not to actually keep it any warmer but only to protect the pipes from the wind.
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Old 12-13-2002, 06:42 PM
gamehunter gamehunter is offline
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Tank Heater Install

Galaxie is right, wind does affect your truck if its sitting outside. You will notice a major differance because the engine block has cold air blowing on it when the block heater is trying to heat the engine. In some cases, wind tends to minimize the effectivness of a block heater. If you park were your truck is protected at least a little from the elements your truck will be much appreciative. Subzero temps are hard on every part of a vehicle.
For the guy who is wondering about storing a vehicle...I definately wouldn't worry about leaving any type of heater pluged in the whole time you have it in storage if that is what your wondering. As long as its not running and the coolant is mixed right so it wont freeze( about the only thing you will need to watch for) it will be absolutely perfect when you come to start it in the spring. I have relatives that go south for the winter and leave their wagon outdoors in the driveway all winter long. NO heater, no nothing. Just park it and forget about it. Been doing that every winter for the past 10 years.
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Old 12-13-2002, 07:22 PM
PigFarmer PigFarmer is offline
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Tank Heater Install

I agree wind-chill should not be an issue with inanimate objects. They don't produce heat internally-at least when not running- and they don't sweat so cooling caused by moisture evaporation should not be an issue. On the other hand I remember in my younger days we had an old John Deere model A tractor that you started by flipping the flywheel over by hand. This tractor was rarely used except when we had to go blade deep snow. It was especially usefull in this situation cause it was on steel wheels. As long as this tractor was out of the wind on the east side of the shed, you could always start this thing no matter how cold or how many weeks or months it sat. If it was left parked unprotected on the west side or in the middle of nowhere that sucker wouldn't start for anything unless you hooked up another tractor and pulled it. Go figure.:-X23

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Old 12-14-2002, 04:40 PM
gamehunter gamehunter is offline
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Tank Heater Install

I think we got on different tracks. If the vehicle is not plugged in (ie no heater block or tank heater) wind will not make a difference on the engine. If it is plugged in, however, the heat that in generated by the heater will be "swiped" away by the wind. I live with this every day.
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Old 12-14-2002, 10:04 PM
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Tank Heater Install

Heather Feather, to answer your question the tank heater in my 91 f-250 cost about twenty dollars four years ago. I call it a recirculating heater, but from the description I am sure we are referring to the same thing. The heater I have spliced right into the heater hose and took about 10 mins to install. It circulates the coolant at a warm enough temperature to keep the thermostat open. In the morning, no matter how cold it is the truck is immediately warm. IMO this helps reduce start up wear on the internal engine components caused by molasses thick oil in the winter. Like I said it is an opinion, but 190,000 miles later the truck still runs like a top(original engine, never apart). This truck pulls trailers and pushes plows all year long, so for the money I feel a tank heater is a great investment.
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Old 12-14-2002, 10:04 PM
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