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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Now that temps have turned cold in my area, I've been experimenting with my block heater, and I'm finding I'm disappointed with it's effectiveness. As some background, I have a pilot's license and my own plane, and engine preheating is IMPERATIVE on aircraft engines at temps less than freezing. Let me say that I understand that there are considerable differences in aircraft engines vs the Ram diesel, and considerable differences in the reasons for preheating both engines as well. But that said, both types of engines (actually ALL types of engines) can benefit from pre-heating when it comes to cold-start-wear, quicker running temps, battery draw on startup, etc.
What I'm finding with the Ram pre-heat is just how little it is doing. I see that even in my garage, plugged in for a full day, oil temps are virtually unaffected, while coolant temps seem to be raised...that is until the engine is started, and that coolant circulates around the cold block. Then within a few moments of start-up, my coolant temp drastically drops again, back to within a degree or two of ambient temperature. I checked the plugged-in block heater with a kill-o-watt meter, and its showing 400 watts as it should. So, although it is working, its not doing much.
Again I compare it to my aircraft: my aircraft has two pre-heat systems, an oil pan heater (400 watts), and individual cylinder heaters, (200 watts @ 50 watts per cylinder). My aircraft engine is 320 cubic inches, or just over 5 liters, but it only weighs half of what the 3 liter ecodiesel weighs. To get the type of heat to actually do something, the Ram heater should be about 800 watts, or at least two ~ 300 watt heaters, one for oil and one for coolant, IMO.
So, I'm considering adding an oil pan heater. Something like this:


Anyone else try a pan heater?
 

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There is a noticeable difference to me on how much noise the truck makes.

I started mine this morning and it was 21 degrees outside plugged in. It sounded like it was a 75 degree summer morning up till the high idle kicked in because I had the heater on.

If I was to have started it without being plugged in it would have sounded like I was shaking a tin can with a handful of nuts in it.

Although it does show water temp to drop back down after you start it, it warms up faster for me and saves me a couple miles per gallon during the winter.
 

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These are two extremely different animals.

The Eco just needs a slight warming of coolant to help it fire and warm up faster. It does not need nor does it have an oil warmer. The multi vis oils do just fine and we dont see much wear from oil analysis.

I find in cold temps the truck starts much easier and like said above, is much quieter since the slight increase in temp is enough to improve any delayed ignition timing.
 

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2015 Outdoorsman EcoD CC w/6.4' 4X4
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Along with using the block heater, you need to use the winter front with at least one of the upper holes closed we've been having in Michigan recently. If you don't drive over 65 mph much you can block off the entire top till temps get into the low teens then fully block off the bottom by 0°F and below.
If you don't use the winter front it will hemorrhage off any heat from the block heater pretty quick. Usually with the block heater running about three hours, I'll remote start the truck and by the time I get in after unplugging the coolant is 80°F and will be over 100° within two blocks of the house. I don't idle the truck much.
To give you a size reference, the 6.7 CTD uses a 700 watt block heater.
 

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Can u show some actual numbers? My truck will warm up to 85 deg in 3 hours with outside temp @ 12 deg.
Water temp will drop to around 70 -75 deg after running but will warm up quickly after that.
These are block heaters so they ONLY heat the coolant. They will not heat the oil.
I think that an oil pan heater is good Idea but I just hate the thought of the extra wiring and plugging in TWO things to the truck.
 

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I believe one user on here reported splicing the block heater cord with the oil pan heater for just one plug as the cords and connectors were sufficient to run both.
 

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I believe one user on here reported splicing the block heater cord with the oil pan heater for just one plug as the cords and connectors were sufficient to run both.
Hmm, I will definitely look into that. Thought that it may trip a 15A breaker. (y) Thanks!
 

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I had my block heater turned on for about 4 hours this morning when I started it at 7AM it was -2F the truck fired up nicely and I let it idle about 5 minutes before I left the water was at almost 90F it took several minutes and about 18 miles to reach 190F and thats with the stock winter cover on.
I would like to see a small 3-400 wat oil heater also just to be nicer to the engine.
 

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I have tried magnetic heats before they are about useless, if I get one it will be a glue on for good thermal efficiencies.
 

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Now that temps have turned cold in my area, I've been experimenting with my block heater, and I'm finding I'm disappointed with it's effectiveness. As some background, I have a pilot's license and my own plane, and engine preheating is IMPERATIVE on aircraft engines at temps less than freezing. Let me say that I understand that there are considerable differences in aircraft engines vs the Ram diesel, and considerable differences in the reasons for preheating both engines as well. But that said, both types of engines (actually ALL types of engines) can benefit from pre-heating when it comes to cold-start-wear, quicker running temps, battery draw on startup, etc.
What I'm finding with the Ram pre-heat is just how little it is doing. I see that even in my garage, plugged in for a full day, oil temps are virtually unaffected, while coolant temps seem to be raised...that is until the engine is started, and that coolant circulates around the cold block. Then within a few moments of start-up, my coolant temp drastically drops again, back to within a degree or two of ambient temperature. I checked the plugged-in block heater with a kill-o-watt meter, and its showing 400 watts as it should. So, although it is working, its not doing much.
Again I compare it to my aircraft: my aircraft has two pre-heat systems, an oil pan heater (400 watts), and individual cylinder heaters, (200 watts @ 50 watts per cylinder). My aircraft engine is 320 cubic inches, or just over 5 liters, but it only weighs half of what the 3 liter ecodiesel weighs. To get the type of heat to actually do something, the Ram heater should be about 800 watts, or at least two ~ 300 watt heaters, one for oil and one for coolant, IMO.
So, I'm considering adding an oil pan heater. Something like this:


Anyone else try a pan heater?
PErhaps you can tell us what temperatures you are starting at since I cannot square your comments with the experience I had with my 2014 over 5 winters. In temps 0 deg f or above the heater did all the heating it would do in 2 hours below that it could take a bit longer but not much. The heater has an internal thermostat and it cycles on and off when it gets as warm as it will get. You can here the 'sizzle' stop and start if you listen carefully. The heater is a block heater and heats the water in the water jacket of the engine which heats the engine and does some warming of the oil. The reason it cools off quickly when you start up is that the water in the radiator and other hosing is not materially heated so the thermostat safety bypass allows cold radiator water to mix with the warm water in the block. My truck would raise the water temperature approximately 100 deg F in 0-10 deg F weather and about 80 deg F in minus 15 to 20 Deg F. So at minus 20 I would see a water temp of 60 deg F and at 0 about 100 deg F. That means the heads and cylinders are essentially that warm and plenty good for starting the truck and providing heat and defrost very quickly.

with the full synthetic 5W 40 oil I don't think there is any real reason to heat the oil above what it gets with the heater.

We had a lot of discussions about this subject during the 14/15 and 15/16 winters and I tried to find my posts from that time where I had actual oil temps but could not.

ANyhow, something doesn't sound correct to me about what you are seeing compared to what I was seeing with my Ecodiesel over 5 winters.
 

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On average in northern Ontario in the winter we have temps of -18 degrees F (I converted for you American folk) and can reach colder temps of -40 F. My block heater doesn't do much in this weather. I have never had any issues starting up even while unplugged but it would be nice to have warmer air heating up the cab. Maybe an in line heater pump would be best?

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Can u show some actual numbers? My truck will warm up to 85 deg in 3 hours with outside temp @ 12 deg.
Water temp will drop to around 70 -75 deg after running but will warm up quickly after that.
These are block heaters so they ONLY heat the coolant. They will not heat the oil.
I think that an oil pan heater is good Idea but I just hate the thought of the extra wiring and plugging in TWO things to the truck.
Next time it turns cold/steady, I'll write them down. Its warmed up to the 50s F here now.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
picture from a member a couple years ago , maybe Thermorex ,
not 100% sure .Installed behind engine oil pan. View attachment 84701
That's exactly what I'm thinking...I haven't climbed under the truck yet to look at the pan, and I didn't realize its unusual shape. I long/thin 300 watt heater looks perfect from that pic!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
On average in northern Ontario in the winter we have temps of -18 degrees F (I converted for you American folk) and can reach colder temps of -40 F. My block heater doesn't do much in this weather. I have never had any issues starting up even while unplugged but it would be nice to have warmer air heating up the cab. Maybe an in line heater pump would be best?

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
A circulating heater would be awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
...The Eco just needs a slight warming of coolant to help it fire and warm up faster. It does not need nor does it have an oil warmer. The multi vis oils do just fine and we dont see much wear from oil analysis...
...with the full synthetic 5W 40 oil I don't think there is any real reason to heat the oil above what it gets with the heater...
Neither of you have read any studies on cold start engine wear. If I have time later, I'll dig up and post an article or two on the subject.
Yes, multi oils help considerably on cold start wear, but its still present in all engines when cold. I remember reading a study that showed even with 0W-30 (the subject of the study was a gas engine), on a below-freezing day / 200 mile trip, there is 5x more wear in the first 5 miles than the remaining 195.
Now you can say that the 5x wear is still small, maybe. Or say its not worth it to you...ok fine. Maybe even argue that the energy wasted in electricity doesn't pay out over long term, perhaps. But the way these engines seem to like to grenade without warning, I'm gonna play every angle. I don’t feel it’s necessary, but I do think it’s beneficial.
 

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Neither of you have read any studies on cold start engine wear. If I have time later, I'll dig up and post an article or two on the subject.
Yes, multi oils help considerably on cold start wear, but its still present in all engines when cold. I remember reading a study that showed even with 0W-30 (the subject of the study was a gas engine), on a below-freezing day / 200 mile trip, there is 5x more wear in the first 5 miles than the remaining 195.
Now you can say that the 5x wear is still small, maybe. Or say its not worth it to you...ok fine. Maybe even argue that the energy wasted in electricity doesn't pay out over long term, perhaps. But the way these engines seem to like to grenade without warning, I'm gonna play every angle. I don’t feel it’s necessary, but I do think it’s beneficial.
Your clairvoyance regarding what I have and haven't read is truly amazing.

I believe the research and the results show that the biggest issue is the hot shutdown that precedes most cold startups. The oil is at its thinnest and the lubricated surfaces are quite hot and the majority of the oil drains off these surfaces leaving little lubricant on them for their cold restart. If you believe that a lack of startup lubrication is a significant contributing cause to the engine failures we have seen then the real way to address that issue in an effective is with the addition of a prelube pump to build oil pressure and distribute oil throughout the system before you turn the engine over with the starter. This will definitely provide lube to the rotating elements and virtually eliminate startup wear on them. How well they prelube the rings/cylinder walls is much more variable and depends quite a bit on the engines design. That said cylinder wear seems to be a very small problem in our engines or most other modern engines using modern lubricating oils.

With my understanding of the technical facts out of the way, I will say that I agree with the point you hinted at that such devices are unlikely to make any economic sense for a light duty vehicle. However individuals do all kinds of things to their personal vehicles that make no economic sense. Commercial companies are usually different and do try to make economically justified choices and they have generally accepted that the manufacturer's design and recommended oil specification and change intervals is the correct economic balance for light and medium duty engines in transportation service. In my experience prelube pumps are more likely to be used in stationary equipment that is running continuously or near continuously and have few other components to wear out and replace compared to a vehicle, I am thinking of generator sets in remote locations, compressors, hydraulic powerplants and such devices where the driver and driven equipment are typically repaired/replaced and run for years or decades. Not like a vehicle where the ancillary 'stuff' around the engine is significant and it all eventually wears out and collapses and it makes little sense to spend money to have a still well functioning engine surrounded by a vehicle where everything around it has collapsed/is near to collapse.

All the best,
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Your clairvoyance regarding what I have and haven't read is truly amazing.

I believe the research and the results show that the biggest issue is the hot shutdown that precedes most cold startups. The oil is at its thinnest and the lubricated surfaces are quite hot and the majority of the oil drains off these surfaces leaving little lubricant on them for their cold restart. If you believe that a lack of startup lubrication is a significant contributing cause to the engine failures we have seen then the real way to address that issue in an effective is with the addition of a prelube pump to build oil pressure and distribute oil throughout the system before you turn the engine over with the starter. This will definitely provide lube to the rotating elements and virtually eliminate startup wear on them. How well they prelube the rings/cylinder walls is much more variable and depends quite a bit on the engines design. That said cylinder wear seems to be a very small problem in our engines or most other modern engines using modern lubricating oils.

With my understanding of the technical facts out of the way, I will say that I agree with the point you hinted at that such devices are unlikely to make any economic sense for a light duty vehicle. However individuals do all kinds of things to their personal vehicles that make no economic sense. Commercial companies are usually different and do try to make economically justified choices and they have generally accepted that the manufacturer's design and recommended oil specification and change intervals is the correct economic balance for light and medium duty engines in transportation service. In my experience prelube pumps are more likely to be used in stationary equipment that is running continuously or near continuously and have few other components to wear out and replace compared to a vehicle, I am thinking of generator sets in remote locations, compressors, hydraulic powerplants and such devices where the driver and driven equipment are typically repaired/replaced and run for years or decades. Not like a vehicle where the ancillary 'stuff' around the engine is significant and it all eventually wears out and collapses and it makes little sense to spend money to have a still well functioning engine surrounded by a vehicle where everything around it has collapsed/is near to collapse.

All the best,
I wasn’t trying to offend...sorry you took it that way.
I think you’re only seeing one side of a two sided coin. Additionally, unless my google-foo is failing, no one makes a pre-oiler for this motor. Since you seem to be saying I’m wrong, perhaps you could point me to a prelube pump?
 

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Adding a prelube pump would be easy with an external oil cooler setup but in stock trim it would be difficult. It would be easier to wire in a switch so the engine well crank but not fire until it builds oil pressure. Either way I think both would be overkill for this engine.
 
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