So I figured out how to install my block heater

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by Bill Lumbergh, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. dmckinstry

    dmckinstry New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(efusco @ Nov 11 2006, 11:45 AM) [snapback]347514[/snapback]</div>
    Sounds good to me Evan.

    Thanks.

    Dave M.
     
  2. GeronimoPFudgemuffin

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    I know this thread is old, but I finallly got my block heater installed and...

    I JUST WANTED EVERYBODY TO KNOW IT!

    There, I said it.

    I did mine from underneath. I ain't sayin' that's the best way, but it worked. Finally. A real PITB(uttocks) if there ever was one. The side of the block just under the header pipes (on the passenger compartment side of the engine) was WIDE OPEN! Three families of Martians could camp there and be warm with plenty of living space. But did Toyota put the Block Heater hole there, OUT IN THE OPEN? Of course not.

    In all fairness, I reckon this engine family goes in a bunch of different cars and it's impossible to please everyone, but it's hard to see why the EBH hole wouldn't just lay right across the water jackets for the middle two cylinders. In which case, the EBH installation time would be about 15-seconds. Also, if the hole happened to be where I think it should be, the block would heat more evenly. Yeah, it doesn't matter that much, but I'd be tickled to learn why they stuck it were they did.

    But it's in, and my block now warms up between 6 and 8:00 in the morning. First MPG stripe is now around 45-55 instead of 35, and the second one is always in the 60 mpg range. It wouldn't do that before, even in fairly warm weather.

    GeronimoPFudgemuffin
     
  3. dmckinstry

    dmckinstry New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(GeronimoPFudgemuffin @ Nov 11 2006, 07:22 PM) [snapback]347667[/snapback]</div>
    I agree. I don't think they could have found a more difficult location (that's possible to install it), if they tried. This time of the year, my first 5 minutes is more like 25 mpg. I'm looking forward to seeing what it is tomorrow morning.

    Dave M.
     
  4. GeronimoPFudgemuffin

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    Keep us posted. I'd like to know how the block heater does for you up there. Here in SC we'll have a few below-freezing days, but it never gets REALLY cold here. Of course, WE think it's cold, but it's not. I've visited Omaha, Nebraska in February and I KNOW what COLD is.

    GeronimoPFudgemuffin
     
  5. dmckinstry

    dmckinstry New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(GeronimoPFudgemuffin @ Nov 12 2006, 07:05 PM) [snapback]348014[/snapback]</div>
    I haven't had a good test yet. Yesterday morning, my first drive away from home was only uphill a little over a mile. I still only got about 25 mpg for the first reading.

    This a.m., weather conditions are terrible. High wind gusts, some (not a lot, but enough to slow you down for a second or two at a time) slush on the road. It apparently snowed during the night, but turned to rain. It's about 4:30 a.m. PST now. I took a longer leveler route and got about 35 mph for the first 5 min. bar, I think I was in a head wind though, as I turned around and reversed the path and 75 mpg for the next bar. I continued around town to get a little over 35 mpg on the third bar. Not a very good test. When I parked the car, I could feel a side gust rock the car.

    The power went out about 10 min. ago and I'm running on my UPS. I came into work to get some work done before classes start, but although my computer will work for another 15 min., I won't really get anything done now.

    Dave M.
     
  6. tomdeimos

    tomdeimos New Member

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    Here around Boston it has been mid 40's in the AM. I started using my block heater a bit late so my morning commute got from normal summer 54-55 down to 46-48. Then I plugged in the block heater and mpg for morning commute was back up to 52 or better.

    I go 10 miles, so your benefit will vary with the trip distance. I also have a long warm up due to lots of traffic lights. Takes well over half my trip to get car up to normal operating temperature in 40 degree weather.
    Once we get down toward 0 degrees the car never gets warmed up. But block heater always gives a mpg boost over not using it.
     
  7. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(tomdeimos @ Nov 13 2006, 08:13 AM) [snapback]348121[/snapback]</div>
    I agree with Tom,

    The entrance to the Parkway for my daily commute is no more than 2 minutes away from my house and to do it with a cold engine killed my millage for a longest time last winter Now I'm seeing a great improvement, anything below 40 degrees will turn on the thermostat for a happy and worm engine block for the morning torture. ;)
     
  8. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    Inspired somewhat by mrbigh, I have *finally* gotten my own set of
    pages put together detailing my own block-heater install and showing
    how easy it really is to take the cowl that the wipers sit on out.
    There's also the second go-round with a warm-air intake. Hopefully
    this will inspire more people to get hold of Jesse ["metro" on the
    board] and order more heaters!
    .
    http://techno-fandom.org/~hobbit/cars/heatgames/
    .
    I also blocked off the top half of the grille yesterday, and may go
    after part of that *cavernous* lower opening at some point too.
    Have to do a few tests and watch various temperatures first.
    .
    _H*
     
  9. dmckinstry

    dmckinstry New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(hobbit @ Nov 23 2006, 08:35 AM) [snapback]353494[/snapback]</div>
    Great work Hobbit. If I'd see in before I did my installation, I could have saved hours. Much of my time was spent trying to decide what to do next. Also, I went through the process of cowl, etc. removal twice. The first time I did it I had greased up the block heater first. I couldn't get my hands positioned well enough with the grease on it to get it into position. I finally ran out of the grease and gave up, and reinstalled everything else. On the second (successful) attempt, I squeezed as much of two tubes of thermal grease into the hole and put nothing on the block heater. Then I had a good enough grip on the heater to get it into position. Also, since I'd been worried the first time about dropping the heater in a location difficult to get at, I tied a string around the clip, dangled it down into position and then worked it in with my fingers.

    It took a lot more time to get the grease in the hole than it did to get the heater into position and partially inserted. Of the two tubes of grease (from Radio Shack, since my first tube was gone) I probably used about half. That may have been too much even then, as I had a terrible time getting it pushed all the way in until the clip engaged. It acted like a gas piston. If pushed it in as far as I could and it would spring out at least a cm. I would then push it in, plug in the heat (after attaching the plug of course) let the air inside expand (with the hope that any excess grease would be forced out as the heater moved out) and then repeat the process. Finally, I got it to the point where the heater wouldn't come out at all when pushed "all the way in I hope" and it was plugged in. It's innermost location was about two cm further in that it had been previously.

    I might note that even after cleaning out the tray under the cowl the first time, it was quite cluttered the 2nd time several weeks later. Now I've got my garage cleaned out enough and a new garage door opener installed, so I don't intend to leave it parked outside for more than a few minutes, ever again.

    One last thing. I don't know how others did it, but the two retaining pins holding the cowl on wouldn't come out when I pushed them from below. I had to push down on the center with a screw driver tip first. That released them so I could push them up from below. I buggered the first one I tried to get out, but ordered a replacement through my Toyota dealer. A little over a buck each. On reinstalling the pin, I held the ring part around the pin down and pushed up on the bottom to lock it in position.

    Anyway, thanks for going to the trouble to write it up. The collective saving in time for future installers of the block heater will be enormous.

    Dave M.
     
  10. Catskillguy

    Catskillguy New Member

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    Installed mine EBH today.. and yesterday and the day before... I too bear the cuts and scrapes of many attempts to get my thick arm and fat hand into a space better designed for a skinny 10yr old.

    This was after two attempts at installing from the bottom, I went with the top install. I finally went with a string secured to the clip with a bread tie. After it was in the hole. the string would pull free from the tie and the tie would be pulled free. I comforted myself with the thought that if I decided or gave up the install, I was at least cleaning out the cowl of all the debris. Boy, I think I will make this a prewinter job every year. I couldn't believe all the junk that had accumulated and was 2/3 clogging the drain holes. With the ash tree seeds waiting to plug the hole, it was just a matter of time!

    With the install, I ran into one of Murphy's Laws. I had ever y size of Hex nut driver and rachet wrench attachment OTHER than 14 mm. I had 10 through 17mm.. NO 14MM!! The size was even missing from the hand wrenches. Guess I 'lost' them somewhere along the road in tooldom. So, off to Home Depot I went.

    Anyway, I am not sure if I even installed it correct. It pushed all the way in, but I couldn't tell if it is clipped into position right. I can't see it and all the edges feel the same. I couldn't pull it out, so I am guessing it is in to stay. The connection was only a few curses less frustrating to make. I am not sure how much thermal grease made it into the hole, with all the handling I did getting it in the $#%$&!^$%! hole. After all this work, I am so afraid that it may be in wrong and screw something up, I am afraid to plug it in!!

    What damage could I do? Plus it in with the hood open,and if I see smoke, unplug it???

    Any thoughts, would be appreciated. I think I'll pop another couple of Motrin before bed to soothe the pain in my hand, elbow & shoulder.
     
  11. hdrygas

    hdrygas New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Catskillguy @ Nov 29 2006, 05:59 PM) [snapback]355499[/snapback]</div>
    If you pushed it in and it will not come out I would guess you are in the groove! Plug it in and feel the engine block. You will know in an hour or so. If it is just hanging below the block it will not feel warm to the touch but you may feel some heat in the engine compartment but not a lot.
     
  12. GeronimoPFudgemuffin

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(dmckinstry @ Nov 23 2006, 12:36 PM) [snapback]353513[/snapback]</div>
    Here's what I did about those aggravating little push-to-break plastic fasteners:

    Suzuki Push-Pins

    You can probably see me smiling from where you are.

    GeronimoPFudgemuffin
     
  13. VABeachPrius

    VABeachPrius Member

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    The thread that never dies.

    Thanks efusco / hobbit for the pics and boxter_wrx_prius. It took me 30 minutes to do the whole job (pulling jacks out of garage to putting them away). I just happened to look up at the right spot. The grease did get everywhere. Thanks again.
     
  14. GeronimoPFudgemuffin

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(VABeachPrius @ Dec 2 2006, 01:56 PM) [snapback]356718[/snapback]</div>
    Congrats. Now for a new thread...

    Where do I get a transaxle heater? Yeah, I'm kinda kiddin', but then again, not. My block heater works such a treat (better mileage) that I now long for a quicker way to get the ability to REALLY coast. The weather doesn't even get REALLY cold here and already I can tell that, for the first 15-minutes, the tranny/diff is wading through molasses. Won't glide for stink 'til the third mileage stripe comes around.

    That does it, I'm moving to southern California... or Maui. I hear the weather's nice in Iran this time of year.

    Or, I could lobby the wife for permission to park next to the living room fireplace.

    GeronimoPFudgemuffin
     
  15. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    If I recall, the Toyota WS fluid is already a synthetic. Even conventional ATF is good to -30 F minimum, the synthetics good to -50 F. So unless you were driving around Winnipeg this morning, I doubt your fluids were "molasses"
     
  16. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    Catskillguy ... if you had the cowl out, you should have been able
    to SEE if the EBH was in correctly! That's one of the nice things
    about the install from above -- you can see the area in question
    and make sure the clip lands in the little metal boss correctly.
    .
    I need to update those pages at some point and add the grille-blocker
    stuff I've been playing with, too...
    .
    _H*
     
  17. DGH

    DGH Thread Terminator

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    Went to the dealer with my block heater to check on installation cost.
    This is sick, dealer told me 3 to 4 hrs. labor at $95 per.
    They said they have to drain inverter and remove headlight assembly, what planet are they from?
     
  18. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(DGH @ Dec 7 2006, 03:20 PM) [snapback]359038[/snapback]</div>
    They don't know what they're talking about. The Highlander Hybrid and some other models do require drainage of the fluid b/c the heater is actually a coolant heater. The Prius directly heats the block itself (less efficient) and does not require draining any fluids. I'd call and talk with the service manager, relate to him that you can bring instructions and photos along if their installers are unfamiliar, but that since the heater core simply slips into an existing hole in the engine block it does not require the disassembly and drainage...you can coyly ask if you'd be better finding a more experienced service department. Make sure they know that you know that this should take only 1/2-1 hour to complete.

    All that said, this is not likely something they want to mess with. I tried to get the EBH installed for my HiHy and they quoted me in the $3-400 range which included the drainage and replacement of brand new coolant fluid...so I just figured out how to do it myself, saved the drained fluid and put it back in.
     
  19. skruse

    skruse Senior Member

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    Our high school auto mechanics teacher attended a Toyota-sponsored training session at Merced College last week. He mentioned to the Toyota representative that he had difficulty attempting to install a block heater on a (my 2007) Prius.

    The Toyota rep reacted with surprise, stated EBH are aftermarket only and are not needed, even in frigid climates. He explained that the Prius has a thermos that stores coolent to facilitate engine temperature and reduced emissions. The rep totally discounted the warm-up assistance in using a block heater. There was no acknowledgment of better fuel economy.

    Toyota sponsors a Toyota training center at Merced College in association with Toyota dealers to train and maintain a cadre of Toyota-trained mechanics.

    Concern with air quality, fuel efficiency, congestion, sprawl and finite fossil fuels requires paying attention to, integrating, and making use of all tools and techniques.
     
  20. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    Was that in CA? That Toyota rep may not even know what subfreezing
    *feels* like.
    .
    _H*
     
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