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. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    I think that this REP. needs to go back to TOYOTA school to get up to date!! ;)
     
  2. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(mrbigh @ Dec 7 2006, 03:06 PM) [snapback]359072[/snapback]</div>
    Some people you can train but lots of trainers are un-trainable. Reminds me of a brush with the local hybrid trainer. Didn't even realise you could actually get the can codes from a Prius and when I asked him what some of the lines of code ment he asked why we took the trim rings off the wheels? Can you say wall paper.
     
  3. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Frank Hudon @ Dec 7 2006, 07:58 PM) [snapback]359098[/snapback]</div>
    Geez Frank ... what the hell are they smoking out there??
     
  4. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jayman @ Dec 7 2006, 07:20 PM) [snapback]359122[/snapback]</div>
    ya well what can I say. without getting in a lawsuit. I actually had a service manager say the Prius was just a fash in the pan. Sometimes the early adopters are a little in front of the pack.
     
  5. GeronimoPFudgemuffin

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jayman @ Dec 3 2006, 06:30 PM) [snapback]357139[/snapback]</div>
    I call the above "drive-by sniper posting." Nothing to say, but says it louder to make up for lack of content.

    Your implication that synthetic fluids don't thicken in cold weather are laughable. Perhaps you should spend some quality time over at www.bobistheoilguy.com and try again. But, in the meantime, if you think of something intelligent, please, jump right in.

    As a public service, the thread here is block heaters. I bought one and it's helped my mileage. The first (5-minute) mileage bar is in the 40-50 mpg range instead of the 30-35 mpg it was previous to the EBH install. Let's think about why this would be.

    Several reasons, the largest of which is OIL VISCOSITY. Yes, the ICE likely gets into closed-loop mode quicker with the EBH, but I'm betting the main reason for mpg increase is that my SYNTHETIC oil starts out much closer to optimum temp. My crankcase is full of Mobil 1, and has been since before the EBH install. So, if I'm getting an mpg increase by using the block heater (and I am), and if even synthetic oil gets thicker when cold (and it does), then you tore your britches when you equated a lubricant's being "good down to -50 F" with "maintaining the same viscosity down to -50 F."

    If the EBH helps First-Five fuel mileage (and it does), then a transaxle heater would do the same thing for most of the same reasons. It would be even funnier if you were to tell us that you can't tell the difference in the way your Prius "glides" when it's 20-degrees Vs. 75-degrees, though such a decree would certainly round-out your personality profile portfolio.

    And if there IS a difference between warm and cold glides (and there is), let's think about why this would be. Well, there's: wheel bearing grease, tire pressure, air density, and... get it? All the preceding are factors, but the overwhelmingly dominant reason is surely the transaxle lube viscosity at 20-degrees F.

    Also, I think you know that my "molasses" reference was a thing called "hyperbole" but, lacking knowledge, you decided to capitalize on the terrorist aspect. Still, you probably did the best you could do.

    While I'm a bit uncomfortable posting with this tone, the sniper aspect was uncalled for when responding to a topic that should, to a bunch of gas mileage gurus, be of more than "general" interest.

    GeronimoPFudgemuffin
     
  6. Catskillguy

    Catskillguy New Member

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    Hello out there, who have installed and used the EBH.

    Again, I'm not sure if I installed it correctly. I plug it in, and after maybe 15-25 seconds, I hear a clicking/humming sound. Is that normal? I have immediately unplugged it because I am not sure.

    Thanks
     
  7. Tom_06

    Tom_06 Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Catskillguy @ Dec 8 2006, 08:08 AM) [snapback]359237[/snapback]</div>
    Mine is silent. I have monitored the current with an AC ammeter and it is constant. There is no thermostat cycling going on.

    - Tom
     
  8. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tom_06 @ Dec 8 2006, 08:21 AM) [snapback]359244[/snapback]</div>
    This smooth operation of the EBH is as it should, is distributing the heat efficiently through the hole bored in the engine block, hence, doing it's job.

    Catskillguy:For a clicking sound...?, more likely that the EBH is NOT al the way inside the engine block and the clip never catch-ed the boss on the block and /or it has not sufficient heat sink grease compound ;)
     
  9. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    Is it the brake ECU and/or accumulator pump doing its little dance,
    which could sound like it's roughly from the same area behind the
    engine? Don't forget, when you open the door to pull the hood latch,
    a lot happens in the braking system as it anticipates you getting in
    and going somewhere.
    .
    Do the same experiment but don't actually plug the heater in right
    away, and see if you hear the same thing.
    .
    _H*
     
  10. DGH

    DGH Thread Terminator

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(efusco @ Dec 7 2006, 03:44 PM) [snapback]359043[/snapback]</div>
    Thanks Doc,
    The advisor did shows the instructions to the tech.
    I also am of the opinion that they don't want to bother with it.
    This is the same dealer that spent an hour trying to reset my tire pressure sensor light, without success.

    So bottom line, I will buy a set of ramps and do it myself.
    Thanks for the advice, one other thing, may I PM you with an ER med. question?
    Regards,

    Dan.
     
  11. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    I've updated my pages on this topic slightly and added a fourth page
    to it all, showing the last step -- grille-blockers to cut down the
    airflow, but not cut it off completely. Data-collection will likely
    proceed over the course of next week...
    .
    _H*
     
  12. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(GeronimoPFudgemuffin @ Dec 8 2006, 07:35 AM) [snapback]359232[/snapback]</div>
    Since you’re new here, let me explain something: personal attacks of any sort are not tolerated outside of Fred’s House of Pancakes. Even within FHOP, personal bitter vicious attacks are generally not tolerated.

    If you have a problem with something I have said, either send me a PM and we can settle it like gentlemen, or click “Report†and the Moderators will take immediate action. Of course, what is one person’s dry British humor can be another person’s insult, so perhaps I should apologize for that right off the bat.

    I would like to examine your post without getting personal in any way, starting with the assumption that I’m “lacking knowledge†and “if you think of something intelligent, please, jump right in.†Those familiar with my background will naturally skim over this.

    I have two college degrees - Computer Science and more recently Chemical Engineering. I have a bit over 20 years experience in the field of control systems engineering, the vast amount of that in the petrochemical and specialty chemical industries. Among the contract work I’ve done was work in oilfields, refineries, and even tar sand, uranium, and diamond mines Up North. I currently contract for a large global engineering firm, my duties include design/development of new industrial sensors and actuators.

    Among the protocols I know include HART, ProfiBus DP and PA, AS-I Bus, CANBus, Foundation FieldBus, DeviceNet, and ControlNet. I refuse to use BACNet, ask Moderator Tony Schaeffer why. Over the years I’ve used them all in the field, and in the future would like to share some humorous incidents I’ve had atop distillation columns, inside trays, and fighting with pumparounds. Don’t get me started on cycloalkanes and alkenes, it’s stinky and messy work.

    With that experience I’ve been fortunate to know a lot of REAL experts in the field of lubrication. Thanks for the reference to “bob is the oil guy†but if I have a choice of reading the exploits of somebody mixing x quarts of 10W-30 to x quarts of 20W-50; or, listening to a Ph.D. Chemical Engineer who is PE certified, I’ll stick with the “real†expert. Thanks anyway.

    When I stated the range most oils were “good†at, that was also a “hyperbole.†In reference to lubricating oils, almost all lubricants are non-Newtonian fluids. A Newtonian fluid has a directly proportional response to temperature change at a given shear rate, so if one plots datapoints with temperature on the horizontal axis and viscosity in Poise on the vertical axis, one could easily draw a straight line with a ruler to connect all the datapoints.

    Non Newtonian fluids behave much differently, thanks to additives like polymers, metallic anti-wear additives, surfactants, overbased TBN, etc. Imagining the same graph, your plot slope now has become a complex function. If the coldest temp point is on the left of the graph, the plot will initially be a flat line then rise without bound upwards towards the left. To fit a curve to such datapoints will require some icky Calculus, but keep in mind that in most cases Calculus is actually our friend, not our enemy.

    At the opposite extreme of heat, Newtonian and non-Newtonian again show differences. For example, a Newtonian fluid will remain fairly stable as temperature is increased at any given shear rate, whereas the non-Newtonian fluid will initially be stable, then “unwind.†Since this discussion is about cold temperatures, I can visit that topic another time.

    The only way to determine if a given lubricant is “good†at a certain temperature is to perform testing on it. Pour point alone is of little help as most engines, transmissions, and drivetrains will experience rapidly increased wear and possibly failure before pour point is reached. For that reason pour point alone is not considered in lubricant testing.

    If you want to know if an engine can be started, the Cold Cranking Simulator meeting ASTM D5293 is used to measure fluid viscosity in Poise or centiPoise: the test chamber can be precisely controlled down to -40 C.

    More importantly, if you want to determine if a fluid will “slump†and be capable of cold flow, a kinematic test using a Mini Rotary Viscometer test meeting ASTM D4684 is performed, with results recorded in Poise or centiPoise: again this instrument is precisely temperature controlled down to -40 C.

    For engine oils, it is generally accepted that an oil is unsuitable if it has an MRV greater than 600 P. Beyond 600 P, the oil pump can’t move the oil and may result in no oil pressure.

    Gear oils are rated in Brookfield viscosity. A given gear oil will typically cause failure if it tests at 1,500 Poise, as this will usually cause the ring gear to “channel†through the oil instead of splashing it around. This “channel point†causes rapid wear and failure of the ring/pinion gear teeth surfaces, and will also result in quick failure of the pinion gear bearings(s).

    Transmission fluids must be “lighter†than engine oils and certainly lighter than gear oils, especially for powershift devices in industrial machines. A tested viscosity of 100 Poise is generally the limit at which a conventional automatic transmission or powershift industrial transmission will cease working.

    Of course, the CVT in the Prius is NOT an automatic transmission. It actually has much more in common with a manual transmission. If you search this site for cutaway drawings of the CVT, you will note the Power Split Device, which is a planetary gearset, and the drive chain among other items. Still, there is an oil pump of sorts, and one of our members Frank Hudon has even fashioned an oil filter assembly to filter the CVT fluid.

    Toyota has refused to release to me any MRV data on their Type WS fluid, so I have no idea how it performs in temps below -20 C. To perform such a test usually costs $1,500, so I’m not that curious to get results. In contrast, Imperial Oil of Canada is very willing to share their data, which is why I have a lot of respect for them. Here are the test results for one of their ATF’s:

    http://www.limperiale.ca/Canada-English/Fi...Dex_III_Mer.pdf

    So the Imperial Oil conventional ATF is quite fluid at -20 C, is still capable of flow at -35 C, but will not properly flow at -40 C. Back when Mobil used to offer detailed test results, their synthetic Mobil 1 ATF had a Brookfield of around 50 Poise at -40 C

    As to why the Prius takes a big hit in fuel economy in the bitter arctic cold of South Carolina, and especially why it won’t glide, may I ask what the temperature of the NiMH battery pack was? See, the NiMH battery pack appears to work best at the same room temperature us humans like.

    Toyota was very wise in writing control software that keeps the NiMH pack within a narrow absolute charge range – btw not at all corresponding to the SOC displayed on the MFD which would imply 0-100% charge range – and also using thermal management to further lengthen the traction battery life.

    The first winter I had my Prius, I left it outside and not plugged in at my hobby farm at -34 C just to see how well it would start in winter. It starts instantly even at that temperature, but for the first 15 minutes of driving it was completely gutless, like it suddenly had a 2 cylinder motor. My fuel economy during that experiment averaged 25 l/100km.

    Driving around Winnipeg in temps of -30 C to -40 C - keeping in mind I have heated underground parking at my condo – my fuel economy tank average was 9.8 l/100km. I also had no cabin heat to speak of and was generally miserable. The ICE never shut down and it refused to glide.

    The next winter I rigged up a winter front to completely cover the lower grille and two upper slits. I also decided to run Mobil 1 0W-20 for 10,000km and do a used oil analysis, to check on the potential for increased engine wear. At the same temps my fuel economy was around 7 l/100km and I was toasty inside.

    The oil analysis actually proved lower engine wear with the lighter oil, something I expected. The ICE will readily shut down at red lights, though usually it will restart after 30-40 secs at -26 C. While coasting in city traffic it will also glide nicely, though still not as nicely as summer.

    In temps of +20 F, with the winter front and Mobil 1 0W-20, I can generally get a tank average of 5.7 l/100km. This is a far cry from my fall tank average of 4.5 l/100km in temps of +8 C.

    Some folks have thought of rigging up a sort of electric blanket heater for the NiMH battery pack to keep the cells at an optimum temperature in bitter cold. “Bitter†cold defined as perhaps 0 F and colder. I personally think it would be easier to just insulate and heat a garage than to go through all the steps to keep the Prius at an optimum temperature.

    An electric interior car warmer would actually make a lot of sense for the Prius in the bitter arctic cold temps of +20 F. The NiMH battery pack would be kept much closer to ideal temperature. I personally am leery of electric interior car warmers as they usually cause a rash of car fires here during our winters.

    So if you have to park outside or in an unheated garage, about all I can suggest is a winter front, the block heater, and perhaps an interior car heater that you have personally verified will not set the Prius on fire.

    To your idea of a CVT heater, it would be problematic to rig up any sort of heater to that magnesium case. There is no pan to speak of, just the two halves bolted together, a fill plug, and a drain plug. The first generation Prius CVT had a little sheet metal drain pan, one could have used those heaters with big magnets to stick onto the pan. You can still buy those heaters here, they put out anywhere from 150 w up to 1,500 w.

    In my oilfield and mining work, I’ve seen equipment with supplemental heaters for the diesel tanks, hydraulic fluid return tanks, oil pans, transmissions, even axles. At temps of -40 to -55 C, even a synthetic oil begins to reach the limit of operation. Typically, in temps -40 C the equipment is left running.

    Most of the on-highway tractors here had oil pan heaters when they ran 30 or 15W-40 year round. Now that most operators have gone to synthetic 5W-40 diesel oils, not too many have pan heaters.

    Oh, and depending on how they brew the winter fuel blends, that alone may be the biggest single contributor to your fuel economy and why the car sometimes is so unwilling to glide.

    To further qualify my results, I always run winter tires in winter. This winter I’m running studded snow tires, so I expected and received a big hit to my fuel economy and ability to coast/glide. Those studs create a lot of rolling resistance.

    This was quickly typed. If anybody has spotted any math, or technical, errors, please let me know and I’ll immediately correct them. Gotta run, meeting in 1.5 hours.
     
  13. eagle33199

    eagle33199 Platinum Member

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    Just thought i'd add the installation story i was telling everyone saturday night after struggling with it (warning, may bot be entirely PG):

    First, I took her feet off the floor, then crawled underneath.
    I groped around for a while, getting familiar with all sides until i finally found the hole i was looking for.
    I pulled out the stick, and got it all lubed up, then prepared to insert it.
    Found the hole again, and lined up the stick - it wouldn't go! i pushed and twisted and turned, but just couldn't get it to go in - Finally, i tried a new angle and it slid in without complaint.
    Once i was in, i twisted around to the proper orientation, and pushed a little more, ensuring that it was in as deep as it could go.
    I finally wrapped around the cord, providing easy access for future use.


    Like i said, not entirely PG, but true enough. Now my arm hurts from the numerous scrapes, and my neck is sore from trying to crane it around to see what i was doing... but at least it did its job this morning!
     
  14. Beryl Octet

    Beryl Octet New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(eagle33199 @ Dec 11 2006, 02:28 PM) [snapback]360477[/snapback]</div>
    I just ordered a block heater from Metro, those 25 degree mornings last week convinced me to give it a try. But after reading that article, I'm not sure my heart can't take the strain!
     
  15. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    I think Jayman just invented a new sleep aid!!
    Anyway, I think I'll declare him the winner of this lopsided debate.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jayman @ Dec 11 2006, 12:41 PM) [snapback]360448[/snapback]</div>
     
  16. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(efusco @ Dec 11 2006, 03:53 PM) [snapback]360548[/snapback]</div>
    Hope I can sleep tonight. Just got a new automatic Bunn coffee maker in the break room, and fresh Nabob Breakfast Blend.

    Trust me on this: after 6 cups of that stuff, I was so wired I could have flapped my arms and flown across the room!
     
  17. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jayman @ Dec 11 2006, 10:41 AM) [snapback]360448[/snapback]</div>
    so what does this have to do with your block heater burning out? :lol:
     
  18. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Frank Hudon @ Dec 11 2006, 09:56 PM) [snapback]360709[/snapback]</div>
    I guess the frustration of dealing with it led to me overdosing on Nabob Breakfast Blend in the breakroom yesterday.

    Man was I ever wired ...

    No more frustration though, it's a warranty fix and I take it in tomorrow. Then I'll probably never use it again. What with the heated underground parking ...
     
  19. member

    member New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Boxster...WRX...Prius? @ Oct 7 2005, 10:33 PM) [snapback]138149[/snapback]</div>
    Personally, I found it just a little harder than this, possibly because my arm is thick(er?). I recommend using
    a thin arm to reach for the machined hole. I regretted not leaving the cord plugged into the heater when I inserted it - was pretty hard for me to orient the plug into the socket in such an awkward position with fingers lubed up by the silicone grease.

    I'm extremely glad I put this in. Car warms up quickly and gas mileage has been pretty good in cold weather (~42mpg average with nights < 20F)
     
  20. DGH

    DGH Thread Terminator

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    Installed today, lost some skin, until this lefty figured out to use his other hand. The hardest part was finding ramps that would clear the front bumper.
    Thanks for the tips....Dan.
     
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