Block Heater Location : Kubota Review  -- Kubota Tractors Discussion Forum and Review Block Heater Location : Kubota Review -- Kubota Tractors Discussion Forum

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 11-16-2004, 17:08 Post: 100410
jrestill



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 Block Heater Location

Recently bought a magnetic block heater and even more recently learned that the oil pan on my new (130 hours) 3130HST is made of something other than steel, i.e. the magnet doesn't "stick" to it. For the life of me I can't find a flat surface to place it on any closer than the bottom of the transmission case, which is not going to do much good starting on a cold morning.

Any ideas?

I suppose I could rig some court of strapping or clamping arrangement to hold it to the oil pan, but hoping for something simpler.






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 11-16-2004, 17:47 Post: 100412
beagle

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 Block Heater Location

The oil pan is the right place for the heater. It isn't a good idea to warm the block since that will wash the cylinders of oil and dry them out. It's harder on the engine than a cold start.

You may try epoxying a piece of 1/8" steel to the bottom of the pan if there is a flat enough surface. Then stick the heater to that. And if it works, let me know, because if your 3130 has an aluminum pan, I would bet my 7800 does too.






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 11-17-2004, 06:41 Post: 100428
Art White



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 Block Heater Location

I wouldn't think that you have anything to worry about with the starting of a Kubota in Virgina. I'd expect that if it was that cold there that they might as well close up the carribean for a winter time vacation land! I start them at 10 below without heaters all the time here in central NY during the winter. It is always a good conversation point as the other dealers won't even try on days like that.






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 11-17-2004, 08:54 Post: 100436
Murf



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 Block Heater Location

JR, Art is right, we start ours up here on a regular basis in weather colder than you'll ever see down there, no problem.

If you are concerned about helping the start process a little bit, and the machine is kept inside, don't worry about a block heater, just get one of those clip on flood lamps and put a heat lamp bulb in it. Take the hood off, the right side is probably best, and clip the light to the bar that runs to the grill guard on the FEL, this will heat the entire engine by infrared heat. I know several people up here who do this, it only takes about 10-20 minutes to make a big difference in the block temperature.

Best of luck.






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 11-17-2004, 11:26 Post: 100444
Chief



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 Block Heater Location

beagle, I would be interested in seeing what information you have or could post a link to that contends use of a block heater "washes" the oil from the cylinders walls.

When the engine is shut down; the cylinder walls are subjected to far greater heat than any block heater could achieve during cooldown after engine shutdown. The cool down period takes several hours and during this time period it would seem to me that any oil on the cylinder walls would be "washed" off or it viscosity lowered so as to allow the oil to sluff off.

In my opinion, the block heater would have absolutely no effect upon "washing" the oil from the cylinder walls but it sure would have a beneficial effect of preheating the engine so as to provide for a RAPID engine warm up to full operation temperature as well as a maximizing the rapidity of lubricating oil warm up during the engine warm up due to transfer of heat to the oil from the preheated engine block. The preheated engine would burn fuel MUCH more efficiently during warm up and also reduce the build up of excess unburned fuel during the warm up process, thus reducing the wash down effect of excess fuel.

The use of a block heater also reduces if not eliminates the requirement for glow plug or grid heater use, which is VERY tough on batties.






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 11-18-2004, 13:34 Post: 100504
beagle

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 Block Heater Location

Hey chief, haven't read it anyhwere, but I guess I could look. Was told this several times by two different people, one of them a Caterpillar Service rep and the other a GM test engineer. The Cat rep services over-the road Caterpillar diesels.

Just to clarify the position, block heaters are usefull for pre-heating an engine before use. Block heaters aren't recommneded ( by some, including me) for overnight or longer term storrage. There certainly is some oil loss during cool down, why aggrevate the problem further by warming the block to allow more oil wash. The whole idea of warming the oil in the pan is to assure lubrication as soon as possible during start up. If given a choice, it's better to warm the oil in the pan, and let the heat gently rise from the oil to keep the case "warm". It's alo useful to keep direct injection and indirect injection engines somewhat seperate. The difficulty during cold start is not the same for the two engines. Direct injection engines can be more difficult to cold start and may require the use of a block heater for about an hour before starting, or incomplete combustion can cause other problems. The engine we were discussing in this thread is indirect injection. At really cold temps, below -20 degrees F, both types may need some type of external heat to get full combustion, or use ether.

I'll check with my brother (Cat Rep ) to see if there is anything published.

Regards






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 11-18-2004, 15:42 Post: 100507
Murf



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 Block Heater Location

If oil washing off the cylinder walls was a problem with block heaters then any machine operated in southern climates would suffer considerably shortened engine life.

I have taken measurements on the block right next to where the heater unit is on my Kubota's, the highest reading I could get was still only 102 F. so the temp. would be much lower as you move away from the source of heat.

Block heaters are not very high power units and there is quite a bit of coolant and steel to absorb any heat, never mind what gets lost to the atmosphere, remember, you don't typically plug them in when it's a balmy summer day.

I suspect the heater on a Caterpillar is a slightly different, and LARGER, animal than what we are talking about here on a CUT.

Best of luck.






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 11-18-2004, 18:24 Post: 100518
beagle

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 Block Heater Location

Murf, I would speculate that an engine stored at temperatures over 120 degrees could experience wear from washed cylinders. The block heaters I am familiar with have thermostat settings between 105 and 160 degrees. They are used for cold starts of direct injection engines.

There are a few things that are givens:
Viscosity increases with temperature
Surface tension decreases with increased temp.
Gravity will act all the time (we hope)

I'm going to stick with what seems reasonable on this one. Warm the oil in the pan for good cold start lubrication, and stay away from warming the block, except for short peroids before start up if full combustion is an issue at very low temperatures.








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 11-18-2004, 19:45 Post: 100522
AV8R



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 Block Heater Location

I'm gonna have to side with Murph on this one. Beagle, if your theory is true, all the vehicles in the hot southwest should have worn out motors from just sitting outside in the summer sun. How hot does it get under the hood in New Mexico in the summer, even with the engine off?

All of our military hardware over in the sandbox right now must be in bad shape too, then.






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 11-18-2004, 19:59 Post: 100523
denwood



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 Block Heater Location

beagle, you said " Direct injection engines can be more difficult to cold start and may require the use of a block heater for about an hour before starting". I have found the opposite to be true. Indirect injection is the cheapo version of a diesel and is difficult to start. Direct inection is far easier to start in winter. I have even found this to be the case in my own collection, and given the choice would always choose direct injection.






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