Engine Block Heater Install - Did I do it right?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by Green Hokie, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    Hello folks & happy Independence Day.

    Got a little brave & decided to install my EBH this afternoon. May I ask those who have installed it from the bottom take a look at the following photos & let me know if I got it right?

    This photo was taken while I was laying on the ground at about center of the engine compartment, with feet facing the front of the vehicle. The opening of the hole is on the left hand side (drivers side) but cannot be seen here. However, the red arrows inserted below kind of indicate where I believe the heating rod should sit.
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    I also took some photos of where I ran the power cord. Anything wrong with my choice of location?
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  2. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    I applaud your ambitiousness!

    I'll let others tell you whether you got the right location on the block, but the cable location is very close to where Wayne routed mine.

    Good luck! I hope things are going well north of the James.
     
  3. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Looks like the right location. Did you feel it lock in, does it fit securely or is it loose?
     
  4. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    Thanks, Jim & Evan. The clip definitely locked in place and the tube fit like a glove in that hole... very secure with no movement at all.

    I was anxious to test the result so I've been out joy riding, after plugging in the EBH for about 2 hours. To my surprise, I can't really say I noticed much of an increase in the mpg reading during the first 5 minutes. In fact, the instantaneous mpg readings were about where they usually were prior to the install. I have not driven my Prius since this past Tuesday evening, if that has anything to do with it.

    Is this normal for summer weather? I think it was in the upper 80's today. Do I simply need run the EBH a little longer next time? BTW, I did confirm that the heating element itself is working properly, since I could definitely feel the heat from the engine block after plugging it in for those 2 hours.
     
  5. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    The install looks great, and I think the results will be more noticeable in say...January.
     
  6. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    Thanks! I realize the real advantage/gain will come in the winter. However, I was expecting more than just a minor improvement during the first few minutes of driving, even in the summer months. Probably too early for me to draw any conclusions as to the EBH's effectiveness. Need more time with it. I'll plug it in for 3 hours tomorrow and see if that makes any difference.
     
  7. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Green Hokie @ Jul 5 2007, 07:03 PM) [snapback]473722[/snapback]</div>
    It depends on your driving conditions. If your first few minutes are at speeds where the ICE would run anyway, its impact is probably less. Where it may help there is getting you past S1 more quickly, so that when you give it some pedal it's not pulling almost exclusively from the battery.

    On the other hand, if your speeds are slower and you have ICE-off opportunities, either naturally or induced by gliding, then you'll probably see more of an improvement.
     
  8. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    Thanks, Jim. I'll have to pay a little more attention to my readings during the first drive tomorrow morning, especially the first 5 minute bar. I had forgotten this is probably the better way of comparing before & after results of the EBH. This afternoon, I was simply observing instantaneous mpg readings during the first few minutes and never even bothered to check the first 5 minute bar.
     
  9. FireEngineer

    FireEngineer Active Member

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    Good job! To make sure the block heater is working wait until your engine is cool, reach your hand up and touch the cylinder with the red arrow in the first photo and have someone plug in the heater. Within a minute you should feel the heat and it should be too hot to touch before 5 minutes.

    3 hours is about a minimum for plug in. As was stated by Jim, if you have a slow drive start you'll see easy over 40 MPG the first five minutes. If your start is onto a fast road quickly, then block your upper grill to retain some of the heat you put in. If you have a ScanGauge or Can-view, check your starting temp, assuming an outside temp of 70F and a three hour pre-heat, you should be over 135F. That will drop, during the initial ICE warm-up of the exhaust cat's, by about 15F to 20F but will rebound quickly and you should reach stage 4 within the mile or less.

    Also, it looks like you laid your cord over the top of the radiator support and dropped it down to the grill. Make sure you get some 1/2 inch plastic wire loom and cover the cord that is draped over the radiator support to prevent any abrasive action on the cord.

    Wayne
     
  10. Rangerdavid

    Rangerdavid Senior Member

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    I agree, plug it in for minimum of 3 hours for best effect. You will definately notice the most drastic difference in the colder months, but it helps during the summer as well, the difference is just not as drastic.
     
  11. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    Wayne (& David),

    Good morning & thank you! I was hoping the EBH Guru would chime in. :)
    I'm fairly certain the heating element is receiving power and working properly, since the top of the engine block was almost too hot to touch after that initial 2 hour heating period yesterday. However, I'll also check/feel around the cylinder itself right after plug-in just to be certain. As a side note, I was expecting the hole for the EBH to be located more in the central part of the engine block and not right at the very edge/end of it. This was the only reason why I had some doubt about where I had installed the EBH.

    I don't have a Scangauge or Can-view to check the coolant temp. This may have to be my next mod. :D Instead, I'll just have to pay attention to other things like how soon I can glide without first having to bring the vehicle speed to 35 mph or higher, instantaneous mpg readings and of course the first 5 minute avg mpg bar. If I will indeed be in stage 4 after a mile or two of gentle start-up driving, then I should be able to glide any speed below 35 mph (assuming the battery has a decent SOC, of course). I'll certainly test this later this morning.

    Regarding the plastic protective wire loom. I actually wrapped the entire power cord with it, up to the point where it tapers into the plug. Guess you can't really tell in the previous photos I took. Here are a few more I took this morning. Thanks again everyone for the feedback!

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  12. christob

    christob Member

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    I read the various posts about the EBH with a lot of interest and a touch of envy! I live in a mid-rise condo with garage parking, and have no ability to plug in anything, anywhere in the garage. (Seeing a show on the Tesla roadster made me think "I'd buy a little house, with solar panels, just to have that car!") Can't even use a vac to clean the car, down in this garage! (Nor is there a hose connection, for lovingly hand-washing my Prius. But I digress...)

    Anyway, I'm just curious what the experience has been, re: what the EBH adds to the monthly electric bill, drawing on the house current, for a full warm-up process? And, what is the trade off, pre-heating the block using electricity (which is most likely generated by the public utility... presumably with coal, but hopefully water or wind power?) vs. the mpg gain you get in the early part of a drive, in the pre-heated Prius?
     
  13. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    Hey ChristoB,
    Sorry you are not able to take advantage of this engine heater. I'm not sure what impact its usage will have on my electric bill. I think someone in this forum already ran the numbers and it seemed to make sense to use it... at least for some people.

    As an update, I did some more testing this morning and drove my Prius around, after running the EBH for 3 hours. Wayne was correct. The car warmed up nicely after about a mile or so of gentle start-up driving. I could easily put the vehicle into glide mode, even at low speeds (below 35 mph). I don't know if this meant the car was already in stage 4. However, there's no question this was a significant improvement. My first 5 minute bar was around 40 mpg. I'm definitely liking this EBH! :D

    I do have one more question for you EBH users. What type of timer did you get? I just bought the one shown below from Lowes. As you can see, it's rated for a resistive capacity of 15 amps. Therefore, it should be plenty adequate to handle the start-up load from this EBH. What do you think?

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  14. FireEngineer

    FireEngineer Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Green Hokie @ Jul 6 2007, 09:21 PM) [snapback]474398[/snapback]</div>
    That timer is more than enough, come to think of it it looks like the one I have.

    When you notice no restrictions going into a glide you are in stage 4 and warmed up.

    Wayne
     
  15. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    I have an Intermatic timer too, with the same mechanical timing mechanism and on/off thingies. The difference is that mine is designed for outside use (for an outside plug of course), with the whole thing contained in a plastic cover.
     
  16. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    Wayne/Jim, Thanks for the clarification & confirmation. I'm actually going to return this analog timer for the digital version (also an Intermatic). Decided I want a little more precise control of the on/off cycles.
     
  17. likesmpg

    likesmpg Junior Member

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    How is it that the wire from your EBH is so long!? Mine is only about half that, and I want to re-route it next to the fog-light because I'm tired of opening the hood every night.
    I also opted for a digital timer for better control, so far seeing as much as 40-45 mpg 5-minute bars with only 1.5 hour warmup, but it's sitting in a garage that doesn't get below 70-degF at night so that probably helps :)
     
  18. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    It's nominally 400 watts, and may drift down to 350 watts worth of
    resistance as it heats up. At the outside, you run it for 3 hours
    you've chewed down 1.2 kW of energy. About ten cents in most areas.
    .
    _H*
     
  19. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    Hobbit, thanks for confirming some of the numbers. I figured it would make sense (from an economic standpoint) for most people to use it on a daily basis.

    Likesmpg, I didn't realize there were variations in power cord length from one EBH to another. I purchased mine from metrotpn.com back in May. Got my Intermatic digital timer (model DT27C, $18 at Home Depot) and used it for the first time this morning. Worked like a charm!
     
  20. tdmalek

    tdmalek Junior Member

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    So, how would you rate the difficulty of the installation from underneath? Ive got big arms and it looks pretty tight in there. BTW, nice pics - the first pic should help me find the slot should I attempt this.
     
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