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Oil and Transmission Pan Heaters

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Old 03-13-2013, 01:38 AM
90pioneer 90pioneer is offline
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Oil and Transmission Pan Heaters

2003, 7.3 with auto trans. Truck will be going to Alaska and spending time in Fairbanks and up north during some of the winters. I am trying to get it as prepared as possible before I move.

I am looking at Wolverine Heaters for an additional oil pan heater and a transmission pan heater.

I am wondering which ones I should order. Would a 250w heater on the oil pan and a 125w pan on the transmission pan be sufficient? I would like a nice balance between my truck starting and my power bill.

I am not going to go with any battery heaters but will install a 1.5 amp trickle charger.


This would mean I will now have four plugs, including the block heater. Can anyone suggest a four way box, perhaps marine or arctic grade I can plug everything into?

I want to do the block plug heater mod http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/77...ater-plug.html

but I am concerned that plug is only rated for 15 amps. Would that be enough with the three heaters and the trickle charger?
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:07 AM
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woodnthings woodnthings is offline
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Your installed block heater is rated at 1000 watts. You really do not want to share a circuit with it. 1000 watts is about 8.69 amps at 115 volt.

What you should do is set up a couple timers to turn on the heaters about 2 hours before you plan on driving off. You will find this more effective on saving pennies with the power company.

Speaking of saving pennies you can calculate out the cost pretty easily. Where I am at electricity is being delivered to me at $0.08852 per KWHR. With a 1000 watt (1 KW) heater running for 8 hours, you can expect to pay roughly $0.70 per 8 hours it is plugged in. Pretty cheap with all things considering. That is roughly $258 per year if you plugged her in everyday for 8 hours.

A far as the wattage goes for the additional heaters, you will need more on the transmission than the oil pan if you plug in the block heater. The transmission has a fair amount of fluid to keep warmed up and it is all on it's own as far as transferred heat. With the block heater on, the engine oil will get some of the heat transferred through the block. You may find that just insulating the oil pan will be enough to keep her alive in the cold season.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:17 AM
SteveH-CO SteveH-CO is offline
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You might carefully inspect and replace your engine block heater cord. Mine had rotted rubber and corroded ends and the block end eventually failed. New Cord: Ford Dealer - $120. IH Dealer - $29.

Cheap insurance to do this now. After 10 years, it may be in rough shape and it's your most important heater on that truck in Alaska.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:41 PM
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I'd upgrade the Marinco plug to a 30 amp unit. Then run armored conduit 10 gauge wire (30 amp AC will safely run through this wire), to a non-metallic circuit-breaker distribution panel with external indicator light for each circuit (that way, each night when you plug the truck in, you just glance at the panel without opening it to know if a breaker is tripped). The indicator lights would eliminate the time if a breaker trips and your truck not possibly starting. I'd probably go with a six-breaker panel, giving you the opportunity to add circuits later, if needed. This would mean you would only plug one wire into your house or barn and your truck. I would also wire to a dedicated 30 amp breaker in the house or barn.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by nlemerise View Post
I'd upgrade the Marinco plug to a 30 amp unit. Then run armored conduit 10 gauge wire (30 amp AC will safely run through this wire), to a circuit-breaker distribution panel with external indicator light for each circuit (that way, each night when you plug the truck in, you just glance at the panel without opening it to know if a breaker is tripped). The indicator lights would eliminate the time if a breaker trips and your truck not possibly starting. I'd probably go with a six-breaker panel, giving you the opportunity to add circuits later, if needed. This would mean you would only plug one wire into your house or barn and your truck. I would also wire to a dedicated 30 amp breaker in the house or barn.
I have not been able to locate anything larger than a 15 amp Marinco plug. They make a 30 amp one but it is for RVs and will not take a standard extension cord.

I did more googling and it looks like I may have found a 20 amp plug but I can't tell if it will take a standard extension cord.

Where would you mount the circuit breaker panel? And what one would you use? I like the idea...
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90pioneer View Post
I have not been able to locate anything larger than a 15 amp Marinco plug. They make a 30 amp one but it is for RVs and will not take a standard extension cord.

I did more googling and it looks like I may have found a 20 amp plug but I can't tell if it will take a standard extension cord.

Where would you mount the circuit breaker panel? And what one would you use? I like the idea...
I'd buy a cord from a marine supply house...or direct from Marinco (they sell 12', 25' and 50' cords). They also sell the 30 amp plug for your truck. I would be leery of any plug with plastic cover, plastic doesn't take to bending often at -30F. I would mount the panel so that I could see the indicator lights with as much ease as possible OR I'd make a remote indicator light panel and mount where I could see them every time I plugged the truck in. I'd just look for a 4-6 circuit weather resistant box and adapt to my needs. You might want to check for this at the marine supply house.

EDIT: I'd also, because I am near geezer age, have an indicator light inside the cab which would light ANYTIME the cord was connected to the truck...prevents ripping the cord apart and having a 25' yellow tail dragging across the tundra .

EDIT EDIT: Do as Steve mentioned, install a new block heater cord NOW.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlemerise View Post
I'd buy a cord from a marine supply house...or direct from Marinco (they sell 12', 25' and 50' cords). They also sell the 30 amp plug for your truck. I would be leery of any plug with plastic cover, plastic doesn't take to bending often at -30F. I would mount the panel so that I could see the indicator lights with as much ease as possible OR I'd make a remote indicator light panel and mount where I could see them every time I plugged the truck in. I'd just look for a 4-6 circuit weather resistant box and adapt to my needs. You might want to check for this at the marine supply house.

EDIT: I'd also, because I am near geezer age, have an indicator light inside the cab which would light ANYTIME the cord was connected to the truck...prevents ripping the cord apart and having a 25' yellow tail dragging across the tundra .
My fear of using a non standard plug is what if I go overnight somewhere or leave for the day, the truck needs to be plugged in, but I forgot my special cord or it became damaged? That's why I would prefer to stick with an easily replaceable straight prong type cord.

Guess I'll have to put more thought into what will be the best/cleanest/safest way to get everything wired up.

Would a 250 watt transmission pan heater suffice?
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90pioneer View Post
My fear of using a non standard plug is what if I go overnight somewhere or leave for the day, the truck needs to be plugged in, but I forgot my special cord or it became damaged? That's why I would prefer to stick with an easily replaceable straight prong type cord.

Guess I'll have to put more thought into what will be the best/cleanest/safest way to get everything wired up.

Would a 250 watt transmission pan heater suffice?
They sell adapters at RV & marine supply houses to go from 30amp to 20amp. The size of the heater, in watts, will depend on whether you plug the truck in right after you drive or run a timer. Also it will depend on ambient temperature overnight. Also is this a heater which mounts externally or internally to the pan?

Make sure you go through the GPR and GP system this summer (led mod too)...I'd put in battery heaters too. Warm batteries can put out the rated CCA, batteries at -30 are not very effective at producing current.
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