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Fuel Tank Heater?

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Old 02-17-2012, 10:41 PM
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Fuel Tank Heater?

Ok, as I was laying down trying to sleep for about an hour the only thing I think is trucks and what can I do to all 4 that I have. Then I realized that I have never seen or heard of a fuel tank heater pad like they have on RV's for the clear/gray/black water tanks to keep from freezing. Do they make one like that that you can just stick on and plug into the wall to keep your diesel from gelling? Or be able to tie it in with the block heater so when you plug your block heater in your fuel tank would turn on also. Of course only the nothern/cold states would benfit from this but it makes sense to me. Has anybody heard of this being done and would it be worth it?
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:49 PM
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Uhh...Living in CA, thought never crossed my mind, however, a friend of mine, told me that, his buddy was told, if you dont have a block heater, is to get a big pan of coal, light ur up, let it get the white hot ashes, then shove it under your truck...
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:06 AM
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The problem is when you start driving, the wind against the tank will cool it enough to gel again. You can install an ArticFox fuel heater but they work off coolant so you would have to keep the engine running or park inside at night.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:24 AM
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Fuel that is sold at latitudes where this is a problem is formulated to eliminate or minimize this. I lived in Fairbanks for over ten years and never heard of anyone heating a fuel tank (other than propane tanks). While there is an amazing variety of heating devices for cars, I knew old timers who lived out in the bush with no electricity that would cover the front section of their car or truck with rectangular sleeping bags, or quilts at night and would be able to start in the morning in spite of temperatures below minus 40 degrees F.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:49 AM
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I'm not sure how much air is directly hitting the tank for it to gell up but i'm just thinking for when your truck has been sitting overnight in the cold and you have your block heater plugged in you could have this on as well to ungell any disesel in the tank. I'm not sure what temp diesel starts to gell at but I'm sure its diff from #2 diesel to bio 20% and up to 100%. Im just thinking out of the box.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmyboy76 View Post
...a friend of mine, told me that, his buddy was told, if you dont have a block heater, is to get a big pan of coal, light ur up, let it get the white hot ashes, then shove it under your truck...
You first....
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:38 PM
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I do not have a pad but they are available through alternative energy vendors (vo) .
Visit Forums and you will find some info in the SVO section, maybe the biodiesel too.
Similar to this site, there are vendors who are members.
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:26 PM
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Solution = Use of Winter Grade Fuel

Never heard of anyone heating fuel in their fuel tanks. You'd still have the potential for the fuel to gel in the fuel lines anywhere between the fuel tank and the fuel injectors. Start driving the truck down the road in cold temperatures, and the wind chill on those fuel lines would be terrific, quickly chilling the fuel down to near ambient outdoor temperatures. I believe the only reliable prevention is to ensure the fuel in the vehicle is gel-proofed down to the anticipated/potential minimum temperatures. Otherwise a person is just asking for headaches.
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:06 PM
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I think these guys are talking about biodiesel gelling in cool weather, in which case I'd be looking at ways to keep my fuel above ambient as well...
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:15 PM
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Ahhhhh, that could be. For fuel that thickens at 30F, there may be some benefit. And in those milder temperatures, heating the fuel in the tank may keep it warm enough to make it to the injectors prior to re-gelling.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:16 PM
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Roger that. The best solution would be figuring out what in the mix is thickening, and then adding something to break that molecule down into smaller H-Cs that don't gel. If that is not possible, I do think that keeping the fuel above ambient would be the only other solution. I'd think about spray foaming the tank after applying a silicone heat patch to the tank. It may not be possible to do this if the foam doesn't stick to the plastic fuel tanks...fabricating one out of aluminum might solve this, and a clever welder could build one with clearance to allow for a good foam coat on all sides...something that might not be possible with a stock plastic tank. Plugging the heat patch in would then warm the fuel with the insulation helping to keep it that way.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulDH View Post
...Never heard of anyone heating fuel in their fuel tanks...driving the truck down the road in cold temperatures, and the wind chill on those fuel lines would be terrific, quickly chilling the fuel down...
I do not heat my tank but i do heat my fuel lines and have them insulated. No wind chill for me.

As to the topic here, fuel tank heaters are available.
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:24 PM
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Here you go. Fuel & Fluid Warming Systems & Products
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
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Well there ya go, my question has been answered. Thanks Paul
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