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  #1  
Old 01-09-2009, 08:40 PM
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Diesel Engine Heater

Hi All,
My son told me about this diesel engine heater that runs on fuel from your vehicle's fuel tank and will keep your coolant and oil warm and can also be tapped into your vehicle cab heating system. This will allow you to keep your engine and cab warm without plugging in at extreme cold temps (which we have had plenty of here in Alaska recently!)

Does anyone know anything about these? What are they called, who makes them and how good are they? Any problems? My poor truck just doesn't like these -45F temps and anything I can do to give the old girl a little help is of interest to me.
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:14 PM
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Look up Webasco's website, they make diesel powered heaters which can be used to heat your engine coolant, the cab ect. They use them on highway trucks to keep them warm during winter instead of running the truck while sleeping. I beleive they make smaller units for RVs and auto's but they are expensive. They use about a litre of fuel per hour. I would think the solution for a pick up is using the block heater and possibly an oil pan heater for both transmission and engine, which would really help your truck for startups and faster warm up and be more cost effective. If you search this site, you will find references for these oil pan heaters and you can wire it and hte coolant heater to a single 20 amp Marinco plug you can plug in your truck and both will be heated. We have some of these temps at times too and the solution is plugging in. But I have been entertaining the addition of oil pan heaters and the Marinco plug. My truck has been started at these temps many times but it sure seems hard on it. Heating the oil, using synthetic oil, haveing a good winter front on the truck also help for sure.
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:14 PM
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I've seen these - they're some sort of military surplus oil fired miniature boiler. Output is about 30K BTU/hr and as far as I can tell they haven't been made new in years, but come up on eBay every so often and go for $200-$500. They use 12V power for the ignitor, fuel pump, and burner blower.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:41 PM
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we have a webasto on our detroit at work. i've never used it but it looks nice and i'm sure you could adapt it.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:23 PM
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Cheventstein, webasto are not surplus and are not old. They are on heavy heavy truck practically that runs up here in Canada. They come in several sizes, large enough to heat a 18 litre highway truck and cab, large enough to heat a container, small enough to heat a small RV or Boat. Not cheap but a great solution. There are other makes, I saw a web posting on this site just recently but can't remember the name. I think buying and installing on a F350 might be a pretty tricky and costly job. But I am sure a price at a heavy truck shop could be written down if you asked. Probably $2 grand in total I would bet.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhoefer View Post
Cheventstein, webasto are not surplus and are not old. They are on heavy heavy truck practically that runs up here in Canada. They come in several sizes, large enough to heat a 18 litre highway truck and cab, large enough to heat a container, small enough to heat a small RV or Boat. Not cheap but a great solution. There are other makes, I saw a web posting on this site just recently but can't remember the name. I think buying and installing on a F350 might be a pretty tricky and costly job. But I am sure a price at a heavy truck shop could be written down if you asked. Probably $2 grand in total I would bet.
I didn't know someone still made these, the ones I'm thinking of are literally as I described - metal drums painted olive drab with water, fuel, and electrical connections and US Army markings. They basically miniature fire tube boilers with 12 volt controls and every so often someone will list some on eBay.

Either way, it's a neat idea.

My bigger problem is running out of power - when it gets really cold (< 0) my batteries will need to be charged or heated to get the truck running. Forget about it if it's gelled up. I've been contemplating putting a PTO box on the transfer case with a hydraulic motor on it driven by a small bed mounted gas engine - virtually unlimited cranking capability without having to worry about overheating the starter or killing the batteries.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:23 AM
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Im a truck driver for a living and I have a Webasto in my Peterbilt.
The webasto only heats your coolant not your oil.
It heats the coolant in your block only so the block is warm and easier to start the motor in the cold. It will not make your heating in your cab warm when you first turn your truck on and your coolant temp will still be at zero. The webasto is only a starting aid.

Some of you were talking about the webasto cab heater above. Thats a different unit itself, its called a bunk heater. It will keep your sleeper warm but it is a seperate unit form the coolant heater. Both work off the diesel from the tanks.
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:14 PM
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Here is the web site

BlueHeat® Coolant and Air Heater Selection

They are not just for big trucks.
They are not government surplus.
And they work great.
Takes about 6-8 hours to install.
Keeps coolant at 150'F.
circulates the coolant and keeps windows defrosted.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:52 PM
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A buddy of mine who was stationed in Alaska for a while claims he brought a small metal bucket of sand and would pour a few cups of diesel in it and would light it, then he had some kind of vent lid on it, and would set it right under his oil pan, and it could keep it warm for a few hours.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevenstein View Post
My bigger problem is running out of power - when it gets really cold (< 0) my batteries will need to be charged or heated to get the truck running. Forget about it if it's gelled up. I've been contemplating putting a PTO box on the transfer case with a hydraulic motor on it driven by a small bed mounted gas engine - virtually unlimited cranking capability without having to worry about overheating the starter or killing the batteries.
Why don't You jsut buy some new batteries?

Much cheaper.

I've started My trucks in -35*F without any starting aids.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean88 View Post
A buddy of mine who was stationed in Alaska for a while claims he brought a small metal bucket of sand and would pour a few cups of diesel in it and would light it, then he had some kind of vent lid on it, and would set it right under his oil pan, and it could keep it warm for a few hours.
i know a guy that used to do that with his ford diesel backhoe.

until a fuel line broke and the fuel leak dripped into the firepot, and the fire got larger, and burnt the backhoe to a crispy critter!!
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fonefiddy View Post
Why don't You jsut buy some new batteries?

Much cheaper.

I've started My trucks in -35*F without any starting aids.
My batteries are less than two months old and tested to over 1100 cranking amps each when I installed them. Good suggestion though. I've also cleaned the connections a replaced some terminals. The only thing I haven't done is replace the starter (it's not that old), but maybe that's what I need to do.
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:20 PM
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The Blue heat from Wabasto is really neat. When I go snowmachining and there is noplace to plug in I still get into a warm truck.
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:29 PM
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Average battery output at 0 degrees F is below 50%. More like 40%. This is why it's so important to have your batts fully charged and in good condition at these temperatures.

Batt warmer's also do wonders as well...
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by FARM69 View Post
Average battery output at 0 degrees F is below 50%. More like 40%. This is why it's so important to have your batts fully charged and in good condition at these temperatures.

Batt warmer's also do wonders as well...

And that makes a good point towards buying above average batteries. I am using the Sears Platnum Batteries which are a Gell Cells.
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:09 PM
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