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Old 12-04-2011, 10:49 PM   #41
dbsanfte
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Default Re: Thinking about installing a Block Heater

A few minor updates from me.

1) The heater is 300W, not 800W. I need glasses. Kudos to whoever it was that called that...haha.

2) I managed, with the aid of a telescoping mirror, to fit the block heater tab into the slot on my DOHC. It was a super tricky thing. I had to angle the tab almost at 45deg and ease the corner into the slot, then push up and straighten at the same time, but it worked. The oil dipstick will ruin your day, you will curse the engineers, trust me.

Anyway...

Glad to see I wasn't too far off about the engine mount You need to replace the mount and studs, though! Pronto. I use the DEA solid mount, it's adequate and about $50 cheaper than the OEM. Slightly less vibration dampening but not too bad.

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Old 12-05-2011, 12:27 AM   #42
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Default Re: Thinking about installing a Block Heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
5w20 for winters in Minnesota..........................you do the math. No oil analysis, pour point bs. If you're not concerned about frozen engine starting in 0F with averages in the teens then so be it. It always a choice in this gray area and no one is an expert, period as some like to expound on technical terms. An engine maintaining operating temps with a heater going in 10 degree weather day in and day out isn't going to explode as some fear monger wants people to imagine.
Agreed, and well said.

If one was to assume that full operating temperatures stay the same, then a 20 weight oil might not be needed. But on every engine I've had an oil temp gauge on, operating temps drop with the weather, and significantly more when the temps are 10 or more degrees below freezing on a regular basis. Too cool of an engine oil temp can be just as damaging as too hot of a temp in the long run, and is often harder to control.

As for manufacturers specs, we are dealing with engines that haven't been made in 8 or so years, and a company that no longer exists. To say that the original vehicle spec is the only thing to use is just crazy. Ford has engines on the road that have gone from 10W30 to 5W30 to 0W20 in oil specs yet the engine internals are the same.

Without looking at the entire viscosity curve and having operating temps, to state that any certain grade of oil will cause failures is just insane IMO.

As for the fear mongering, sadly it seems part of the routine these days. I pay it no attention as I run non NGK plugs, a non Stant thermostat, and use dielectric liberally on my ECTS and some other connectors. All of which according to some will cause failure in my car.

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Old 12-05-2011, 12:46 AM   #43
dbsanfte
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Default Re: Thinking about installing a Block Heater

DEA1856905

That's the same solid DEA upper mount that I'm using. As I said it's adequate if you're on a budget. Six months on it so far and no abnormal wear.

It also comes with the three studs.

Obviously you'll want to look that part # up on an American site

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Old 12-05-2011, 12:57 AM   #44
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Default Re: Thinking about installing a Block Heater

They are very hard to find on this side of the continent. The frown mount comes under the exact same part number as the solid here and the number you posted is a number that is only available in Canada.

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Old 12-05-2011, 11:37 AM   #45
LabRat
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Default Re: Thinking about installing a Block Heater

Auto parts warehouse does list that number as a 92 SC2 motor mount

this is the picture they show



Only $27.95 right now, no affiliation yadayada...
-LR

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Old 12-07-2011, 06:02 PM   #46
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Default Re: Thinking about installing a Block Heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
I read about your coolant sensor post in the other thread. You probably realize now how this small part plays a big role in start up with smoother starting from the correct air/fuel mixtures. The broken one most likely caused all the starting and running problems you're concerned with for winter. If the engine's in good condition and starts up immediately, you should have a good daily driver.
I knew that sensors were a huge deal in 1996+ cars, because of their high degree of computer integration. And I thought that since the IAC was working fine (which told the engine what the outside was like) and the temperature gauge was working fine (at the time I didn't know that it was controlled by a separate sensor), I assumed the temperature sensing system was fine. Lo, I hadn't realized how bad the problem was.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
That is a problem. The cooling system is full of gunk also. I would think a good flushing and coolant replacement is in order.
That's on the agenda. I didn't have enough coolant on hand to do a flush, so I had to make do. I'm going to see if I can make some time next week to do a flush, and I'm debating if I'm going to do the oil or wait on that (it's got about a month before it's due for a change, so I might just wait until then, unless the temps start to nose-dive)
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Dexron 3 is all that goes in that transmission. Run away from that mechanic. Use the ATF presently marked ans Universal ATF marked Dexron/Mercon. Do not use any Dexron - 6, it is way too thin and shifting will suffer.
Well, to be fair, he's a family friend who was an automotive mechanic, but has been working as a diesel mechanic for several years now. When he suggested gear lube, he wanted to check with another source, but based on his experience, that's what he thought belonged in there. And after consulting my somewhat-reliable Haynes manual, I'll concede that we were wrong, and you were right about the Dexron III. We both had a moment of cognative dissonance between the fact that you were suggesting we put automatic transmission fluid in a manual transmission.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
You must have all 3 of those studs!. Your mount is shot. Use a Dremel to cut a screwdriver slot in the broken stud to remove it.
Top Engine Mount 21012185
long studs 11518885 use these if replacing a frowny mount and there are NO threads showing above the nuts.
Top mount nuts (5) 21006320
Transaxle Mount 21012951

The metal part that is bolted to the timing cover is different thickness depending on the mount and is easy to measure.
Frowny Mount 1.275" ~1 9/32"
Solid Mount 1.475" ~1 15/32"
The good mount is ~3/16 thicker than the frowny mount.
OK, this is where I'm going to sound like an awful car owner, but how long can I get by with just the two? I don't have a garage I can do work in, and while our mechanically inclined family friend has a heated garage, his schedule and mine don't always mesh. So it's very likely that I'm going to end up having to keep driving around with these two studs and the ruined engine mount for at least a few weeks (even if the scheduling Gods smiled on me, I'm going to have to order the monnt, which will introduce delays). I drive rather gently, I let the engine warm up before I drive it, and my commute is about ten minutes. That is, unless driving at all in this condition is A Bad Idea™. Ideally, I'd love to be able to wait until the spring, when I'd hope to be able to replace the rotors on the car too, but something tells me that certainly isn't the greatest of ideas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The synthetic myths die hard. Use the synthetic 5w-30 and you will have no problems. If the car sits outside the battery maintainer is the way to go as when you reach -21F and below there is minimal battery capacity remaining.
The Conventional/Synthetic Manual Spec/Logic/Common Sense oil debates are something I'm not too familair with (though after some research, it seems that modern synthetics have apparently resolved the seal-swell issue). Seems like that's a debate for a whole other thread. But what I do know is that synthetic oil is about 60-120% more expensive than conventional oil (depending on where you buy it), so I do have to wonder if that additional cost is worth it.

We have gear for starting the car in the event of a dead battery (and we never drive around without jumper cables), but we've never had to use to start any of our cars (except for the few occasions where my dad forgot to turn off the lights in his car), and my parents have had to deal with cars in this climate since the early/mid-'80s, when they moved out here with their old Valiant. No offense, but this ain't our first barbecue
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Heat from a small engine is always problematical. There are some 120V aux heaters that can be safely placed inside a car and turned on by a timer to have a toasty warm interior waiting for you. Definitely worth the effort.
Well, the car heats up faster than my dad's '01 Toyota Echo, and now it's faster than our '05 Chrysler Town and Country (we think the thermostat in the T&C has just recently gone out, but that's a topic for another forum). My primary concern is for general longevity of the engine and cold weather performance. The car being warmer for me when I go outside is simply a nice perk. The car being warmer without me needing to ruin my fuel economy is an even better perk.

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Old 12-07-2011, 06:18 PM   #47
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Default Re: Thinking about installing a Block Heater

The issue with seal swell degradation was the result of what they were constructed from back when synthetics were first introduced. The oil has not changed but the material that seals are made from has.

IF you drive like a little old lady and avoid brisk acceleration or deceleration and harsh shifts you will get away with it. Keep in mind that the next part to fail is not another stud, it is the timing cover.

The full flush and wash is recommended.
Full flush

Drain the system and remove the thermostat. Put the housing back on the engine then you back flush through the top radiator hose into the block and out the bottom hose. Then you back flush through the radiator, in at the bottom and let it run out the top. Flush out the reservoir. Put the hoses back on and fill system with water. Add several ( 1 to 2 total) tablespoons of Lectra-Sol or Calgon automatic dishwasher soap and the recommended amount of Finish Glass Magic Dishwasher Performance Booster. Just let it sit and idle. Once it has been hot, between 3/8 and just before 1/2 on the gauge, shut it off and let it cool down till its only warm. Now take the upper and lower hose lose again and flush through the block and radiator. You can pull the little hose off of the block and flush back through there and that will flush the heater core. Repeat the fill ,soap, heat, drain process till it is definitely clean. Do a final fill and rinse with distilled water, you will need 7 quarts or a bit less for this. Now replace the thermostat and radiator hoses. Add 1 full gallon of 100% antifreeze, yellow universal is best but use what ever you like, and top off with distilled water. Start the car, reservoir cap off, and verify that there is a solid stream of coolant returning to the reservoir from the small line on the right rear corner. Continue to run with the reservoir cap off until the fan cycles on and off at least once, top off reservoir with distilled water to the full line and then put the cap on. There is a very small little check ball port in the thermostat housing, make sure that the ball rattles. The Finish Glass Magic Dishwasher Performance Booster is now required to replace the phosphorus that has been removed from the Automatic Dishwasher detergent.

Simple garden hose flush

When you replace the thermostat garden hose out the block and reservoir with the thermostat housing and top radiator hose off. Flush the radiator from both ends. Flush the reservoir from the normal fill point. You can back flush your heater core if you pinch of the hose that goes from the reservoir to the block next to the thermostat and then using your hand and garden hose force water through the heater core backwards. The water will come out the top radiator hose and out of the open thermostat housing. Pay attention to what comes out and this will tel you if you need to wash it out with high phosphate detergent. I will post he detergent flush instructions below.

You should dig up an owners manual, try eBay. You will need it.

The small electric heaters can be rigged into the rear seat area and heat the car without setting it on fire. Helps greatly.

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Old 12-07-2011, 07:12 PM   #48
dbsanfte
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Default Re: Thinking about installing a Block Heater

Just an FYI, you can change the upper engine mount with a deep socket set, 3/8ths ratchet, and a trolley jack. No air tools necessary.

I just redid the job the other day to replace my idler pulley.

Just remember to put Loctite on the studs

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Old 12-07-2011, 07:23 PM   #49
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Default Re: Thinking about installing a Block Heater

If your doing a radiator flush, I usually replace the radiator hoses at the same time. Squeeze them and see if their soft.

Also be careful when buying antifreeze, the full strength is only a dollar more than the 50/50 premix, so your getting twice the product for only a clam more.

I usually run 60% antifreeze to 40% water

Have fun!

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Old 01-02-2012, 01:31 AM   #50
ivkowalenko
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Default Re: Thinking about installing a Block Heater

Right now, I'm leaning towards just getting some kind of aftermarket, universal heater for my car. I'd use the old magnetic heating element I've got lying around, except I can't get it to attach to anything on the engine block (damn non-ferrous aluminum!), and our driveway is beginning to crust over with ice, so crawling under the body to get to the oil pan is sub-optimal. I'm thinking either about an upper coolant hose in-line heater, or a dipstick heater. However, it doesn't look like any of the local auto parts stores carry them, so my options are either to order one (which I'm seriously considering) or get a universal heating pad, if it's about as efficient/functional as one of the other two installed heaters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The issue with seal swell degradation was the result of what they were constructed from back when synthetics were first introduced. The oil has not changed but the material that seals are made from has.
(...)
The full flush and wash is recommended.
Would a full flush be something I can get done at a dealership or something? The local VW dealership used to be a Saturn dealer, and they're still doing service work for Saturns. Plus they're two minutes away from where I work, it's directly on my route to/from home, and we get all our oil changes done there, so I could either work it into the rotation of our oil changes (other employees have done it before, and so long as we pay for our own work, and it doesn't interfere with the work getting done, no one particularly cares) or I could drop it off on lunch and have them shuttle me back to the office and have a co-worker drop me off after I clock out, or something like that. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to do the 'ole DIY on this, but finding the time in someone's garage is the problem, and I'm not sure if I want to put it off too much longer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
IF you drive like a little old lady and avoid brisk acceleration or deceleration and harsh shifts you will get away with it. Keep in mind that the next part to fail is not another stud, it is the timing cover.
Well, I try and drive to get the most fuel economy, so thankfully that seems to go hand-in-hand with longevity here. I will be trying to get that engine mount changed ASAP, though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsanfte View Post
Just an FYI, you can change the upper engine mount with a deep socket set, 3/8ths ratchet, and a trolley jack. No air tools necessary.

I just redid the job the other day to replace my idler pulley.

Just remember to put Loctite on the studs
I just checked the Richpin video for that. It looks a lot easier than I expected. I didn't expect air tools were going to be necessary, and the guy who usually helps me with my car isn't a fan of using air tools in everything, he feels that there are torque specs for a reason

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattwithcats View Post
If your doing a radiator flush, I usually replace the radiator hoses at the same time. Squeeze them and see if their soft.

Also be careful when buying antifreeze, the full strength is only a dollar more than the 50/50 premix, so your getting twice the product for only a clam more.

I usually run 60% antifreeze to 40% water

Have fun!
I think my hoses are relatively new, but given the quality of the work that's been historically done to this car, I'll be taking that advice rather seriously. And buying undiluted certainly seems to be where the smart money is. After all, why pay for the water when I can get it out of the tap for a fraction of the price?

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Old 01-02-2012, 09:45 AM   #51
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Default Re: Thinking about installing a Block Heater

The only critical hoses are the upper and lower radiator hoses and the hose from the reservoir to the block. the others should be fine. The, hose from the intake to the heater is the other one to check to asses the condition of the remainder of them.

A dealer cooling system flush is a good idea.
Upper hose heaters or dip stick heaters are not recommended. Dip stick heaters burn the oil and there is no flow path for the upper hose heater that will provide any circulation. The only thing that actually works is the Saturn heater. The oil pan heaters also burn the oil unless you can find a low power, low temperature one. And the bottom of the pan is ribbed with makes them near impossible to attach.

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