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. bat4255

    bat4255 2016 Prius v #2 and 2008 Gen II #2

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    I put the plug through the grill, then slid the plug through the end of the cap with the hole keeping the cap on the cord. Attach the cap on the plug, then just press fit the plug (with the cap) between the fins of the grill. It seems to stay quite well for us.
     
  2. rpg51

    rpg51 Member

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    I do that exact same thing - tuck the plug with cap between the grill fins. I'm beginning to worry a bit thought that the constant movement of folding up the thing in the same way may cause a failure down the road. I'm searching for another way. I might make up a short "patch" cord and use that to do all the bending. Still not sure.
     
  3. Lacarp

    Lacarp New Member

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    I tried to install my heater last night and I only have one comment; you people must be double jointed contortionists! I located the hole with my left hand (after a good bit of groping) but despite about 8 attempts at a practice "dry-fit" into the hole, I can't get it in there!

    Then I thought about this; OK, now I've got the heater all goobered up with the thermal grease, how am I going to get it up, oriented and inserted without wiping all the grease off during my contortions?! I was flipping and flopping the heater around in my fingertips so many ways & directions that I can't imagine this working!

    My car ramps aren't real high (they're those plastic gradual slope ramps that are necessary to use so they don't contact the bottom cowling of the car when you drive up on them), and that might be part of my problem. My face was almost in contact with the underside of the car when I was working, and maybe that constricted my arm orientations. I'll try it again tonight with a jack and jack-stands for a little more vertical lift; but I'm teiing you, my first reaction is that my body geometrics aren't going to let this work!

    I also looked at the approach of taking off the top cowling, wipers and the rest but decided that it was even more unfeasable.

    LADIES & GENTLEMEN, I AM VERY FRUSTRATED!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. Santiago

    Santiago New Member

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    Keep us posted... I was considering an EBH until I read your post. I'm definitely not double-jointed.
     
  5. Lacarp

    Lacarp New Member

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    Yes I'm a little confused; how can all of these other folks have had no real serious issues and I can't do it? I'm not mechanically inept, just frustrated.
     
  6. Rxmxsh

    Rxmxsh Member

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    I feel you pain, believe me. I tried twice from the bottom. Then I decided to go in from the top. That was MUCH better for me. Took about an hour, but there was no stress, it just took time. MUCH easier.
     
  7. PaulHS

    PaulHS Member

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    I think you are right; you probably just need a little more elbow room under the car, that's all. I found the installation was easy; easier in fact than routing the electrical cable to the grille.

    Are you left handed? Do you have large hands? These could make the install a bit more difficult.
     
  8. Lacarp

    Lacarp New Member

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    Are you left handed? Do you have large hands?


    No I'm right handed and 6' 2" at about 200 lbs. I'm sort of tall & thin. My hands are not huge, just proportional to my height. If anything I have long fingers, but not meat-hook hands. I tried to use my right hand, I had heard some say that they found that approach easier; but I just couldn't find the way to reach the hole that way. My sort of long arms (35" shirt fit) just couldn't angle in properly. I'm hoping that my low car ramps are the reason for my problem here.
     
  9. Lacarp

    Lacarp New Member

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    I feel you pain, believe me. I tried twice from the bottom. Then I decided to go in from the top. That was MUCH better for me. Took about an hour, but there was no stress, it just took time. MUCH easier.

    I started to try that last night. I got the top cowling loosened, took off one of the black oxide nuts holding one of my wipers on and tried to pry it off. It wouldn't budge. Than I looked at other posts here that talk about doing all this and even pulling the hood off and I put the brakes on that approach. Did you have to do all that going in from the top? The only reason I started this adventure was that it sounded so easy based on what I read here.

    Not for this cowboy!
     
  10. bat4255

    bat4255 2016 Prius v #2 and 2008 Gen II #2

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    I started at the bottom, and thought it was "problematic", then thought about doing it from the top, Too many parts to remove, so I declined that Idea. After 10 minutes, I got a dry fit, from the bottom. My left hand worked best. (I'm right handed) Then I put some grease on the plug, and it was so slippery, I kept loosing it. So I took more grease, and applied it on the end of my finger, then installed it in the hole, much easier. After cleaning the plug, I could finally install it in the block.

    Total time 1 hr., including the routing for the cord.
     
  11. Lacarp

    Lacarp New Member

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    You're a better (or more nimble) man than I am. Like I stated earlier, maybe by putting the car on jack stands to get move vertical room for manuevering, I can get the deed done. Was your car far off the ground?
     
  12. bat4255

    bat4255 2016 Prius v #2 and 2008 Gen II #2

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    Using 2 jack stands on the body/frame, I raised it so the front wheels were off the floor, about 1"
     
  13. Rxmxsh

    Rxmxsh Member

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    Hobbit made a guide, and that's the guide I used. When I get home, I can help you search, but I think someone posted it in this thread for me....
     
  14. FireEngineer

    FireEngineer Active Member

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    Well if you need help just PM me, just went to VA and IN this past weekend, MN's not that far.

    Wayne
     
  15. biff_debris

    biff_debris WOOF!

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    I just installed my second EBH today!

    My wife's car finally got out of the body shop last week, so today was her turn to get an EBH. Having gone through it once, placing the heating element took maybe five minute. But connecting the cable was still the hardest step.

    Since the whole front end of her car is now new, I found that I couldn't remove the pins that hold the radiator cover in place. But, I also found that the front edge of it is flexible enough to disengage it from the upper grille, and I was able to feed the plug through the larger opening where the hood catch is to get the plug to drop down behind the grille.

    Now we're both all set for the cold weather!
     
  16. ddan

    ddan New Member

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    Thank you Green Hokie. Couldn't have done it without your excellent description along with the photos and follow-up info from all the others. I did my EBH with passenger side of the car up on a curb. It was tight but manageable. I almost gave up, but found that if my head and body were just on the driver side of center my right arm could flex into position (with feet in front of the vehicle). It seemed that my arm wouldn't fit at first, but with patience it seemed to wiggle in enough to get the job done. I found that putting a layer of medical tape around my right forearm and wearing fingerless gloves (as others have suggested) was really helpful in minimizing all the cuts and scrapes.

    Thanks again.
     
  17. Lacarp

    Lacarp New Member

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    OK, I still haven'y gotten back to this project (I've got way too many). I went to jack up my car with the hydraulic floor jack, but found a puddle of oil under it. I had to replace an O-ring seal & refill it instead of working on the car. Then I had to rake the yard: "it's always something" (Roseanne Rosanadanna).

    Within the next 2 nights I hope to be on my back under the car, hopefully not cussing like the first attempt.
     
  18. bubbacs

    bubbacs New Member

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    Wow, free help!?!?
    I see that "WE" might be close here in Illinois.
    Could I bribe you with a Prius freebie part?
    No...I can't tell you what it is, I'd have to hurt you! :eek:
    But I would love to get this installed soon.

    Thanks,
    Bubba.
     
  19. FireEngineer

    FireEngineer Active Member

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    Just PM me and we'll set it up.

    Wayne
     
  20. Lacarp

    Lacarp New Member

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    OK, I tried to install my heater again last night; this time with the car up on jack stands to give me more vertical room to work. I am pleased to say that it worked, I got the little bugger in there and it works. Here are the high points in summary:

    1. The original instructions from Green Hokie do indeed work, given enough room to work in.

    2. For me, working with the right hand was by far the easiest, just based on how your arm & wrist joints bend and the angles they produce in relation to the geometry your Prius allows you to work in.

    3. the best position to lay in (for me) was parallel with the front of the car with my head on the driver's side and feet on the passenger's side.

    4. someone mentioned putting adhesive tape on their arm to protect it from cuts & scrapes; Amen Brother! The sharp flange on the oil pan will do a number on your arm. I put duct tape on that flange and adhesive tape on the corresponding area on my arm. Try to reach the target spot on your engine once, and you'll know where to apply the protective tape.

    5. If you want to put a little of the thermal grease in the hole before inserting the heater, it is best reached with your left hand, just due to how your wrist & fingers bend. I also had to lay the other direction to best do this; with my head on the passenger side and my feet on the driver's side (again parallel to the bumper). With that angle I could get a finger into the hole. From the other orientation, I could not.


    All that being said, it is doable. But I echo what many others have said here: practice putting it in (prior to applying the thermal grease) several times first just to teach your hand the lay of the tactile landscape. All told the complete job took me about 2 1/2 hours, that includes cord routing, cable tying the cord in place and re-assembling the cowl (which is no big deal).

    Thanks to all for the great suggestions & help! NOW, I'm (sort of) ready for winter!!
     
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