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  1. #11
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    2,273
    Location
    western NC
    Tractor
    JD 2320; 4520

    Default Re: Engine Block Heater: OK to leave plugged in?

    Is there any truth to diesels becoming "dependent" on block heaters to start? I have had a couple diesel mechanics tell me with certain trucks they have seen that have regularly been plugged in that in any cold weather they will not start without being plugged in. Also, I assume it is better for the engine to be plugged in very cold weather to warm and help with initial lubricant circulation, but does one really need to do so if the tractor or truck or whatever equipment starts? JDG lives where it can get quite cold, but I know we had a minus two night here last week and my 3720 started up without any trouble. I usually park inside but had it out that night. Am I doing wrong by not running a block heater myself?

    John M

  2. #12
    Super Member JB4310's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    5,645
    Location
    Central CT
    Tractor
    J.D. 4310 E-hydro

    Default Re: Engine Block Heater: OK to leave plugged in?

    Start up is the most stressful time for the engine so extreme cold start up is even harder on it, having a prewarmed block helps to lessen the stress, I use my heater at temps lower than 20 degrees and you definitely should when the temps get down to zero, your engine will thank you.
    With the truck it's more of a necessity, with 6 cylinders it would take forever to warm up with out the block heater, takes 10 to 15 minutes to get cab heat when not plugged in, as opposed to 5 minutes with it plugged in.
    JD 4310; E hydro, 300CX, 48 BH, 60" box, 72" rake, 72" rear blade, cast pallet forks, 48", 61"HD & 73" high volume bucket.
    FORD 1700; 2 WD, 2600 hrs.
    JD 320; Hydra lift, 48" deck and 48" snow blade.
    2007 Dodge Ram 3500, Cummins 6.7L, Aisin 6 speed, 9ft utility body.

  3. #13
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,437
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Tractor
    2006 JD 3520 w/cab & 300CX loader. 1995 JD 870 w/440 loader & 8b backhoe.JD 455 w/54" mower deck.

    Default Re: Engine Block Heater: OK to leave plugged in?

    ?????? What would be the difference between the anti freeze heating up under operation or with a block heater? If the trucks are starting hard it would be from another problem not a block heater.
    "Good judgement comes from experience.Experience comes from bad judgement."

  4. #14
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    831
    Location
    Tidewater VA.
    Tractor
    Ford '92 2120

    Default Re: Engine Block Heater: OK to leave plugged in?

    Just some info for figuring your electric usage if you leave it on all the time. Most block heaters are between 400 and 600 watts for small diesels. Just replaced mine because water got under the power cord plug at the heater end and electrolysed the brass heater contact pin to dust. Should have known when it kept tripping the GFI. $35 got me a new heater and power cord. Old unit was 400 watts and new unit was 400 watts. Google ZeroStart for block heater info. Most don't know the power cord also plugs into the heater with a very small half moon connector. Put some RTV or grease on the heater pins to keep them dry.
    Steve...

    "My biggest fear is that when I'm gone my wife will sell all my tractor gear for what I said I paid for it. "

  5. #15
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,015
    Location
    midwest
    Tractor
    JD 4520, Toolcat 5610, Bobcat S300, Case-IH 125 Pro, Case-IH 245, IH 1086, IH 806

    Default Re: Engine Block Heater: OK to leave plugged in?

    Quote Originally Posted by shaley
    Just some info for figuring your electric usage if you leave it on all the time. Most block heaters are between 400 and 600 watts for small diesels. Just replaced mine because water got under the power cord plug at the heater end and electrolysed the brass heater contact pin to dust. Should have known when it kept tripping the GFI. $35 got me a new heater and power cord. Old unit was 400 watts and new unit was 400 watts. Google ZeroStart for block heater info. Most don't know the power cord also plugs into the heater with a very small half moon connector. Put some RTV or grease on the heater pins to keep them dry.
    Like shaley says, most block heaters are aabout 400-600 watts. I don't think a commercial duty timer is necessary unless your using some of the higher inline heaters which are up to 1500 watts which is still just over 12 amps.

  6. #16
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    613
    Location
    Amanda, OH
    Tractor
    John Deere 5400, Farmall H, Farmall Cub, Allis Chalmers CA

    Default Re: Engine Block Heater: OK to leave plugged in?

    I found this past weekend in near o degree temps I only need about 2hrs to sufficiently warm the block. When I turned the key to run the temp gauge on my 5400 was in the green same as an all night cook.

  7. #17
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    123
    Location
    Jackson Co., WV

    Default Re: Engine Block Heater: OK to leave plugged in?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcmseven
    Is there any truth to diesels becoming "dependent" on block heaters to start? I have had a couple diesel mechanics tell me with certain trucks they have seen that have regularly been plugged in that in any cold weather they will not start without being plugged in. Also, I assume it is better for the engine to be plugged in very cold weather to warm and help with initial lubricant circulation, but does one really need to do so if the tractor or truck or whatever equipment starts? JDG lives where it can get quite cold, but I know we had a minus two night here last week and my 3720 started up without any trouble. I usually park inside but had it out that night. Am I doing wrong by not running a block heater myself?

    John M
    Nope. It's an inanimate object. It can't be trained to do anything.

  8. #18
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    2,273
    Location
    western NC
    Tractor
    JD 2320; 4520

    Default Re: Engine Block Heater: OK to leave plugged in?

    But....I talk to my tractor, and sometimes it talks back!!!

    John M

  9. #19
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,437
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Tractor
    2006 JD 3520 w/cab & 300CX loader. 1995 JD 870 w/440 loader & 8b backhoe.JD 455 w/54" mower deck.

    Default Re: Engine Block Heater: OK to leave plugged in?

    John, you are over medicating yourself. Please let your wife give you your daily meds from now on.
    "Good judgement comes from experience.Experience comes from bad judgement."

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