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Thread: Need opinions on block heaters

  1. #1
    Sharpest-Tool
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    John
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    Need opinions on block heaters

    I have a defective block heater on my '61 Wagon, and since it's pretty cold here, I'd like to install a new one. What do you guys prefer: one that installs in the heater hose, or a freeze plug mount, or something else? I like ones with a recirculation pump since that spreads the heat out evenly. What is the best block heater for a 226?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Precision-Fit
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    Lew
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    Not so much a suggestion as info to help. I have two diesel farm tractors and one older diesel truck and have to be able to use them when way below zero. One tractor has the Heater hose type, one has the double freeze plug type. Truck has the freeze type from factory. In my experience the freeze plugs work better deep in the engine than the heater hose type. There is also less heat lost to outside air surrounding the heater hose. That being said, we never had a block heater in our wagon and it has never failed to start in very cold weather.

  3. #3
    Sharpest-Tool
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    John
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    Thanks for the feedback, Lew. After reading it, I just eliminated what I had, installed new hose, and will see how that goes. I think my carburetor/timing issues have more to do with hard starting than warmth. As I recall, one of the few benefits to a flathead engine is that they don't take a lot to get going, if they are tuned right.
    Cheers-
    John

  4. #4
    Bigger Hammer Jackalope's Avatar
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    Jared
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    I just put a coolant heater inline (an old one that's been in my dad's garage and was never used). It doesn't have a circulating pump, just a heating element. Got it hooked up and plugged it in the other day when it was in the single digits outside. It sounded like the coolant was boiling and sputtering inside the heater. Is this normal?

  5. #5
    Well-Oiled
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    Greg
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    Lew is correct, the block heaters actually heat the coolant IN the block. In line ones just heat the coolant near the block, so the heat travels somewhat. The block type are harder to install by far, that's the problem.
    diggerG

  6. #6
    Bigger Hammer
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    Scott
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    The hose type heaters just heat the water in the hose. You would have to crank it or run it to get in circulated by the water pump, and if you have to run it to get it circulated, you aren't accomplishing anything really. I remember way back seeing block heaters advertised in JC Whitney that stuck on the side of the block and would have at least heated up the engine which is what the object is. I don't know if they were magnetic or what, and I don't know how effective they were, but maybe that would be a third option.

  7. #7
    Precision-Fit
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    Lew
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    Was reading this again and have an alternative that works pretty well if you cant plug in a vehicle. If you put an insulated blanket (we used a moving blanket) over the hood and use a 100W bulb underneath and let it sit that way over night it'll spread a surprising amount of heat all over the engine, including the oil where its equally important.

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  9. #8
    Bigger Hammer Jackalope's Avatar
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    Jared
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