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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    :D Now you can do the next one in about 1/2 hr.:rolleyes:
     
  2. Lacarp

    Lacarp New Member

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    That's probably true, but it would have to be for somone like Jessica Simpson or Halle Berry. The reasons there should be obvious.
     
  3. Santiago

    Santiago New Member

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    Lacarp, you were my inspiration. If you could do it after your rough beginning, I figured I could too. Here's my "lesson learned" adventure.

    I finally found the hole, and after several "dry" inserts, I greased it up and locked it in place. The key for me was to loosely secure it to my finger with a rubber band so I wasn't concerned about dropping it when I was moving it to the extreme left to insert it.

    After an hour or so trying to plug the AC line into it (even though I thought I knew the proper orientation of the female plug), I finally had to release the core and rotate it a couple of times (just a few degrees) and I finally made contact.

    A quick plug into AC to check it out nearly burned my probing finger but all's well that end's well. My only remaining question is how do I secure the male AC plug to the lower grill? It wants to pull out when I plug it in to the power cord.
     
  4. TEW

    TEW New Member

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    I successfully installed an EBH in my 09 Prius this Friday. Thanks to Green Hokie for the guide.

    My hands look like I fended off an enraged squirrel, but the block heats up nicely and the wiring is user-friendly.

    -tew
     
  5. Rufus T. Firefly

    Rufus T. Firefly A123 Hymotion PHEV Prius

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    Is there another EBH Group Buy going on, or planned?
     
  6. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    I finally got around to install the EBH today. Kinda tricky but doable. Patience was key. That and a certain oblivion to cuts and scratches. :)

    Anyhow, I recall there was a thread that discussed various ways to tie the power cord down using a patch cord, but can't seem to find it using different search terms. Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  7. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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  8. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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  9. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    I ordered this extension cord and received it yesterday, only to realize that it's 18AWG. I thought I read in the other thread that the recommended gauge is 14AWG.

    Q: Is 18AWG enough, or should I return this and get a 14? What is the AWG of the built-in cable?
     
  10. Aces

    Aces Member

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    I wouldn't use 18 AWG. When I was posting in that thread, I looked at a lot of on-line places to try to find a 14 AWG extender. I couldn't find one. and a lot of the sites don't even tell you what gauge there's are. I wish I could remember where I'd found the one I'm using. I'd bought it at least 2 years ago. And there's nothing on it to indicate who made it. My best guess is that it was at a home improvement store.
     
  11. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    Appears to me the built-in cable is not 14AWG. Am I missing something?
     
  12. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    Finally found a 14AWG 1' Outlet Extender made by GE at Staples. It's rated for 13A and 1600W max, so that should be sufficient.

    If anyone's interested in such a rare thing, you might want to stop by your local Staples. Those things are so hard to find...
     
  13. westy72658

    westy72658 Jim Coleman Toyota in Bethesda, Maryland

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    Green Hokie,

    Thanks for this thread and to everyone that added their incite and suggestions. This made what would have been a very difficult job one that I thought I could do. The pictures gave me the confidence that I had found the right hole. Especially picture #6 that showed the rounded side of the hole molded in the engine block.

    The job took me around 2 hours including clean up.

    One concern I had about my install is if I lost too much grease off the EBH. After a few dry runs to map out my approach to the hole, my final run with the grease did not go bad, but I fumbled with the EBH and hit it on some parts of the engine losing some grease. It slid in the hole without much resistance. Has anyone that has done this install and not lost much grease found that the EBH slid in the hole with little resistance? I have read in some threads that the EBH grease traps air and causes a lot of resistance when going into the hole. I just want to make sure I did not screw up and lost too much grease.

    Thanks again
     
  14. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Good job, there's a certain satisfaction you get doing your own little mods to the car. It really makes it your own.

    I wouldn't sweat the thermal grease issue. When I replaced my EBH it was totally dry anyway. I think it helps for a while, but it'll dry out eventually and isn't critical.
     
  15. westy72658

    westy72658 Jim Coleman Toyota in Bethesda, Maryland

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    That is a relief. What is the life span of these block heaters? Do they need any maintenance, or should I just check it periodically with a meter to make sure its pulling 400 plus watts? Kill-A-Watt I read is a good meter to use.???
     
  16. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    You'll eventually be able to tell when the engine was pre-heated and when it wasn't by the car's behavior. But yea, checking to make sure you're still drawing 400W w/ a Kill-a-watt is reassuring that all is well.

    No maintenance required, though I have been strongly encouraging people to buy one of the readily available 8" extension cords and attaching that to you EBH cord permanently. The weak point of these EBHs is clearly the cord near the plug end. By shoving that behind the grill and using the 8" extension, if anything happens to the 8" extension it's cheap and easy to swap it out. If you break or wear out the EBH cord itself it is a real PITA to repair and it can't really be replaced without replacing the entire EBH core and all.
     
  17. Green Hokie

    Green Hokie Member

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    Hey Westy,

    You're welcome. Glad the instructions/guide was helpful. I've been using my EBH daily for almost 2 years now (even in the summer). Although the heating element/rod itself is still working just fine, I did have to replace the black power cord at one point. I do not know which end of the EBH power cord failed (the end which plugs into your power outlet or the end that plugs into the heating element/rod). However, it seems that power cord failure is not unusual with these EBH's. Some users speculate that the repeated twisting/pulling/pushing of the power plug is the reason why these cords tend to fail over time. To help resolve this issue, some connect the end of their EBH power cord to another (very short) extension cord. The idea is that you shift the handling (wear & tear associated with plugging & unplugging) from the main EBH power cord to an extension cord. Unlike the EBH power cord, an extension cord is very cheap & extremely easy to replace. As far as I know, the only way to replace the main EBH power cord is to buy an entirely new EBH.

    However, I'm not entirely convinced that using an extension cord is really necessary. Why? I believe it is the other (orange) end of the EBH power cord (the end that actually plugs into the heating element/rod) that breaks down & fails due to the extreme heat generated by the heating element/rod. In fact, when I did have to replace my EBH power cord, I found that the orange end of the plug was very brittle and was already starting to break down.

    Hope this helps.
     
  18. westy72658

    westy72658 Jim Coleman Toyota in Bethesda, Maryland

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    Yeah, I will keep this in mind. Thanks again for all your help!!
     
  19. westy72658

    westy72658 Jim Coleman Toyota in Bethesda, Maryland

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    That sounds cheap enough I will keep this in mind. I sure do not want to have to reinstall that cord if I do not have to!!!
     
  20. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    The orange end does, indeed, get brittle over time from the heat. But that's not where the failures occur apparently b/c there's no motion or tension at that part of the cord.

    Having ,personally, repaired EBH cords on my car twice and my wife's Highlander Hybrid once, and replacing the entire EBH assembly on mine once I can tell you that the breakdowns absolutely do, frequently, occur just past the reinforced area of the cord from repeated flexion and use. A $2 extension will save you a lot of time and energy.
     
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