Want to install an Engine Block Heater yourself? This guide may help.

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by Green Hokie, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    This is a guide to help you install the EBH from the bottom of the vehicle. Nothing to remove, except the plastic engine cover (which is extremely easy). Here goes.

    1. Place front of vehicle on jack stands or drive it onto some ramps.


    2. Remove front engine cover. See photo below. Or, refer to page 424 of the owner's manual. You do not have to remove the engine cover until final routing of the EBH power cord. However, the cover is so simple to remove, you may as well get it out of the way.

    remove_engine_cover.JPG



    3. Drop/feed the male end of EBH cord down into the engine compartment directly behind the Inverter Coolant Reservoir. See photo below. This should bring that end of the power cord close to where the EBH hole will be on the engine block. HINT: before dropping the cord down into the engine compartment, you should pre-fit the connection between the power cord and the heating rod by plugging & unplugging the two a few times. This will give you a feel for how the two ends will fit together and perhaps make it easier when you have to connect the two by feel in the later step below. Also, make a mental note of the orientation/position of the pins on the heating rod relative to where the metal clip is. You will need to remember this orientation later to make it easier to plug the two together by feel.

    drop_power_cord.JPG



    4. Slide underneath the engine compartment w/ feet facing front of vehicle. The photos below are taken from this position and will show the location of the EBH slot on the engine block. These four photos are basically of the same area but with each zooming in closer & closer. You will not be able to see the opening of the hole and have to feel for it with your fingers. The hole will be on the left side.

    Underneath_1.JPG
    Underneath_2.JPG
    Underneath_3.JPG
    Underneath_4.JPG



    5. Reach into the area shown in the above photo and feel for the hole. For me, it was easier to use my right hand. Should be pretty easy to locate it with your fingers. To get a feel for how the heating rod will fit into that hole, you should take a practice run (or two) at trying to insert it. Note, the metal clip on the heating rod needs to face the rear of the vehicle. Otherwise, you will not be able to fully insert the rod and not hear the snap from the metal clip as tries to lock itself into place. Once you are comfortable with finding & inserting the rod by feel, you are ready for the next step.



    6. Take the grease that was supplied with this EBH kit, place a small dab on the tip of your finger and rub it into the opening of the hole on the engine block. Then, coat the heating rod with the remaining grease. Do not grease beyond the metal clip and avoid getting it on the plug end of the heating rod. Carefully insert the heating rod into the hole on the engine block. Remember, the metal clip on the rod should be facing the rear of the vehicle to allow complete insertion. You should hear the snap of the metal clip as it locks into place.



    7. Feel for the end of the power cord that was dropped down in step 3. Remembering how the power cord fit into the heating rod from step 3, carefully plug the two together by feel. You are now done with the most difficult part of the installation!



    8. Now, time of get out from underneath the vehicle and finish the installation. Route the power cord along the end & side of the engine compartment and then behind the front grille. Before securing the power cord with the supplied cable ties, test the heater to make sure it works properly by plugging it into a power outlet. In less than a minute, the part of the engine block where the heater was inserted should become too hot to touch. If the heater works, then disconnect the power and begin securing the EBH cord along the engine compartment. The photos below should be fairly self explanatory on where you should route the cord. If your EBH power cord does not have a protective wire loom running the entire length, I suggest doing so and wrapping the loom every 5-6 inches with electrical tape.
    plug_in_grille.JPG
    top_view_of_cord_behind_grille.JPG
    finished.JPG
    routing_cord.JPG



    9. Carefully lower the front of the vehicle back on the ground and you are done! I hope this guide was useful and will encourage you to perform your own EBH installation. Good luck & happy hypermiling!!
     
  2. JenVanVooren

    JenVanVooren Junior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Green Hokie @ Jul 15 2007, 08:09 PM) [snapback]479353[/snapback]</div>

    THANKS SO MUCH!!!! I have printed this off and will hold onto it for fall installation. Your guide is great, thanks for your time with this.

    Sincerely,

    -Jen in IN
     
  3. 1fixitman

    1fixitman Member

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    These are great pictures and commentary to start. There are many threads already on the EBH and how to install. Great job. Do you run yours in the summer also?
    D Rock
     
  4. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    This is great! Those directions with pictures are awesome.

    I was going to skip doing anything like this because I live in a mild climate. But now I'm thinking that this isn't so hard and it might help my mileage in the Winter. Combined with some grill blocking and I can increase my mileage even in So. Cal's mild winters.

    Thanks so much for those step by steps. They do a lot to boost confidence.
     
  5. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    It appears as though Wayne (FireEngineer) might have an East Coast surrogate now. ;)
     
  6. likesmpg

    likesmpg Junior Member

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    Hey, that looks like the same timer I have! By the way, I mentioned in a different thread that my EBH power wire was shorter than yours... well it isn't. I re-ran the wire over the weekend and now have it coming out next to the tow-hook. No more opening the hood every night!

    p.s. I installed mine from the top (via. removing the cowl) and it was very easy for those of you who don't want to crawl under the car.
     
  7. FireEngineer

    FireEngineer Active Member

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    Great...there goes my excuse for going to San Diego, Georgia and Indiana :angry: . A good guide, however a few pointers.

    If you don't have the whole cord protected with the wire loom you can run it down behind the headlight and bring the cord through the baffle between the bumper and radiator at the bumper. To do this you will have to loosen a couple of bolts on the underside tray/spoiler (10mm) and stick your hand in to route it.

    Speaking of cords, do not wire tie the cord until you have plugged the cord into the heater and then plugged it in to test it for heat (feel the cylinder when someone plugs it in). Take up all the slack between the heater and your first wire tie, don't want that cord touching the manifold or manifold shield.

    When you grease up the heater you should use as much grease as possible to maximize heat transfer and make up for what you will lose making your attempt at the hole. Having said that only grease 3/4 of the heater, leave a strip along the length of the heater free of grease where the clip is. This will prevent locking air in the cylinder and you trying, at an awkward position, to push against this trapped air. You won't win and will have to take the heater out, wipe it down some and try again. For the same reason I don't suggest putting the grease in the hole, many times the grease goes where it wants and you'll probably twist the heater during install, air lock.

    Speaking of the silicone grease for the heater, try not to get that grease or any other dielectric grease on the plug that goes into the heater. The orange end that goes into the heater appears to be a heat resistant silicone. If you use a silicone grease on it, the solvents in the silicone grease will slowly affect the plug. Best to use an anti-oxidation compound for home wiring, a little in the holes. And...

    Speaking of holes, pre-fit the plug end into the heater before anything else. Sometimes it is a tight fit the first time and you don't want to work against the tight fit with your hand up inside the car with little leverage.

    When routing the cord, when you start going toward the front of the engine from the cowl, go under the black wire loom to the inverter. If the inverter needs to be serviced this will help the tech not take apart your handi-work. Also, watch the routing by the front near the coolant storage tank, if your attaching a wire tie near there, make sure your clear of the attachment of the hose to the tank (again for service tech's).

    Do this on a cool engine, while the block may be cool enough you are working next to the exhaust manifold and that stays hot a lot longer.

    Consider wearing fingerless rubber/latex gloves, longer the better, if you want to keep all your skin and more :blink: . If you can work with fingered gloves fine, but most people need the feel up where they can't see with their skin. Remember, you will get poked and scraped and pinched at some point. Each newer model year seems to have just a few more things poking out to catch yourself on.

    Have fun! If it's taking longer than an hour take a break and relax a little and try again.

    But if you don't want to do it yourself....you can always call....

    Wayne
     
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  8. FireEngineer

    FireEngineer Active Member

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    Could you lighten the pictures a little.

    Wayne
     
  9. bestmapman

    bestmapman 04, 07 ,08, 09, 10 and 16 Pri

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(FireEngineer @ Jul 16 2007, 10:51 AM) [snapback]479578[/snapback]</div>
    What type of grease should I use?
     
  10. FireEngineer

    FireEngineer Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(bestmapman @ Jul 16 2007, 10:17 AM) [snapback]479586[/snapback]</div>
    There is a tube of silicone heat transfer grease that comes with the block heater in the box.

    Wayne
     
  11. Mr.07Prius

    Mr.07Prius New Member

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    Great to know that someone took the time to do this with plenty of pictures. This will be of great help when I do this mod in the near future before witer gets here. Once again Thank you.
     
  12. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    You're welcome, everyone. It's just my way of giving back to this forum & its members who have been so helpful to me.

    Wayne, thanks for the additional comments & tips. For me, putting just a small dab of grease into the opening of the hole prior to install made up for some of the grease I lost (scraped off) during the feel & insertion step. That small dab of grease will not fill the opening of the hole completely. Therefore, there's absolutely no risk for air to get trapped as you push the heating element into that slot.

    I will try to brighten up the photos later tonight.
     
  13. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    OK, folks. Made a few changes to the guide, based on some of the feedback. Should be a little easier to follow now.
     
  14. hj0102

    hj0102 New Member

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    I tried last night, I guess it took around 1 hour. I didn't want to crawl under the car, however, I did it.


    I felt some hotness on heater which I put into engine block. I set timer, hope not to cook my prius tomorrow morning.


    Thanks for wonderful picture, however my finger can't see that well.
     
  15. FireEngineer

    FireEngineer Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(hj0102 @ Jul 27 2007, 02:31 AM) [snapback]485999[/snapback]</div>
    An hour is good for a first time. And don't worry, your Prius won't cook, just simmer nicely.

    Wayne
     
  16. forwardswing

    forwardswing New Member

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    I want to purchase the EB Heater via the Group Buy but we are on 240 volts in the UK.
    I can source a stepdown transformer but any advice on the load the heater would pull on max, so that I can ensure I do not blow the unit.
    Many thanks
     
  17. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(forwardswing @ Aug 3 2007, 05:36 PM) [snapback]490167[/snapback]</div>
    Greetings! If I recall correctly, somewhere around 400-420 Watts max. Good luck!
     
  18. kohnen

    kohnen Grumpy, Cranky Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(forwardswing @ Aug 3 2007, 04:36 PM) [snapback]490167[/snapback]</div>
    The heating element is just a fancy resistor. So, you can use the cheap voltage droppers (they work like light dimmers instead of transformers) that should be available. The heating element won't care if the Voltage to it is a nice smooth sine wave.

    Something like the Recoton ADF1650 50/1600W Dual Wattage Travel Converter set at the high wattage (your heater won't care, sophisticated electronics would) would work fine.

    (for those more technically inclined, the high wattage cheap converters work by only supplying small parts of the sine wave for each wave. They work like a non-adjustable light dimmer, set to the right level so that a 110 Volt bulb plugged into 220 Volt power would light up at the correct brightness. This approach is ideal for resistive loads, but electronics [computer power supplies, TVs etc.] will choke on it.)
     
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  19. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Green Hokie @ Jul 15 2007, 09:09 PM) [snapback]479353[/snapback]</div>
    Thanks ever so much. I just installed mine, took 1.5 hours (not including the 1/2 hour to make enough space in the garage to get the front 1/3rd of the car in it!!).
    A few notes:
    • I apparently don't NEED all of the skin on the back of my right hand or inside my elbow :lol:
    • Figure out EXACTLY how the plug goes into the heater while you take Wayne's suggestion to put the plug on and pull it off a few times before starting the installation (VERY GOOD SUGGESTION). After the heater is in and you still can't see anything, knowing that the angled part of the plug will be in line with the clip (I THINK, I'm not taking it out to check!!) on the heater will save some time and frustration. Once you get it on, PUSH HARD to seat it. There really is NO easy way to get a good angle for this.
    • When you lower the plug down behind the coolant tank, drape the business end over the front bumper. I found it necessary to pull it some with my left hand to get the heater plug in the right general place with my right hand. The plastic over the wire tends to hang up on stuff.
    • Take a good look at the 5th picture before you start. It took me some time to figure out that the heater goes in perpendicular to the 3 preceding pictures which are really just to make sure you are shoving your hand in the right general place.
    • The slot is much higher up than I was expecting, perhaps the camera shots are compressing the distance
    • You can feel the shape of the heater slot shown in the 5th picture. Run your finger to the left and find the hole on the perpendicular surface going forward. When your finger finds the hole, the upper edge of your hand is touching a heater hose (I think).

    • I spent a good half hour finding the hole and doing the test insertion a BUNCH of times trying to figure out how I was going to hit it after the heater was all greased up. A slight tilt down on the plug end seemed to work best. Of course, after it was greased, figuring out how to get it back up to the whole without touching anything was still a challenge.
    • The lower grills to the left of the vertical support shown in the last picture will deflect some. I managed to get my hand in to grab the plug. I then followed Green Hokie's example and put the plug out near the fog light and the cap out on the other side of the vertical grill support then wire tied the wire to the support. As shown in his picture, it is barely visible when capped and pushed into the grill but easy to get out for use.
    OK, now I have a question. For those of you who don't garage the car, do you use some sort of weather protection on the plug overnight? Seems like the connection shouldn't be just hanging out in the rain and snow when plugged in. BTW, I installed a new 20A GFI breaker and new outdoor outlets so I'm not worried about frying anything, just want a dry connection.

    Thanks,
    Bruce
     
  20. CIA_Guy

    CIA_Guy Junior Member

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    Okay...dumb question here....other than waiting for the next group buy, where can I buy a block heater for my Prius? I searched the forum, but didn't see a link to a website.
     
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