Plug-in preheating

Single Tank WVO systems and blending SVO WVO to thin it.

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Plug-in preheating

Postby John Galt » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:46 pm

With blends it's a good idea to add plug-in preheating. Most of the engine damage and deposits happen with cold start-up. If your blend smokes on start-up, you're damaging the engine, or at the very least reducing it's useful lifespan.

Lower radiator hose heaters
Frost plug engine block heaters
Silicone pad heaters
Battery blankets

can all be used to warm the engine and fuel system before start-up.

Plug-in preheating is way more effective and much less expensive than 12v preheating.

My truck runs a single tank blend of clear clean dry recycled canola <30% + JetB + ULSD all year to winter temperatures in the minus 30s. It gets colder than that at times but I generally don't run the diesel below -30°F.

The engine has a 115v lower rad hose heater
an 80W silicone pad heater on the fuel filter,
and a battery blanket across the injector area that brings the fuel system up to temperature to avoid cold starts with VO mix.

When the outside temperature is in the 20s the 50W battery blanket gets the injector area to >100°F.
There is a timer on the plug-in that turns on the pre-heating before start-up. One half hour when it's below 70°F and a minimum of one hour per 10°F below freezing seems to work for my 3.4L engine.

Smooth starts with no exhaust smoke every time.
Last edited by John Galt on Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Burbarian » Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:33 pm

In areas where there is no available AC line power, you can still preheat your engine. The most obvious if rather inefficient way is to lug around a small portable gas generator to plug your electrical heaters into.

Another way is:

Put a 'T' on your heater coolant lines, add a ball or gate valve, an inline low power 12V RV water pump, a return check valve, and about 20ft of hose. The other end of the hoses is another heater core. They're very cheap from the scrap yard. Pick one that is thick. The thicker, the better. Or use two or more stacked and plumbed in series.

Open the valve, turn on the water pump, then just put this extra heater core on top of a small wind proof propane camp stove (with adequate spacing - a length of flat bar coiled into a spiral works great). These are powered by disposable $3 propane cannisters, good for about 10 hours on low or 2 hours on high depending on the type of burner you have. You can also connect an adapter to it and run it off a 20 pound propane tank.

You can put a small kettle of water on top of the heater core and by the time you've had your 2nd cup of coffee, your engine should be about ready to start.

The propane stove puts out plenty of heat, which goes through the heater core, through which is circulating coolant, which picks up that heat, goes through the engine to distribute said heat, and then goes back out for another round. It will slowly preheat your engine, cab, and even your HIH/HOH and FPHE if you give it enough time.

I've found that on high, it takes a half hour to warm up Big Bertha from 0F to 40F. If it is windy, it will take longer. Best to keep the hood (bonnet) closed or at least lowered. For convenience, you can run the hoses up from underneath and install on butterfly or fold down mounts on the front bumper. Where you can also mount the stove.

Apparently it's not illegal so long as you remove the small propane cannister before you hit the road.
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Postby Ty Hensley » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:49 pm

Hey John, first that was a great thread on cold upflow filtering you introduced on another forum. I am working on mine now.

My goal is to run a single tank system on a 99 benz. I live in Charlotte NC were the temp is at least 70 deg F. in the mornings about 60% of the year. The car will be garaged overnight and I anticipate putting the block heater on a timer that heats beginning about an hour before my start time in the winter months. If I want to add an additional electrical/ battery heat where should I add it - fuel filter?

If my goal is to operate @ 70wvo 30dino, do you think I have a good achievable goal?
99 E300 Turbo Diesel - Working toward single tank
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Postby John Galt » Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:28 am

In addition to the engine coolant heater, I installed a 65W silicone pad heater around the fuel filter and a 50W battery blanket across the injectors. They're all plugged into a timer adjusted for temperature.

That blend should run OK for most of the year as long as you're not getting exhaust smoke on cold start.
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Postby coachgeo » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:37 am

other options:"

RV propane hot water heater plumbed into the system should work just fine. Need a pump too.

Inline 12v heating element made for 12v hot water heaters could be made. Generator (small) would need to be installed to keep batteries up to snuff. Design it to kick on when battery goes below certain voltage or simply run the 12v element and subsequent pump off the little genny
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