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Old 11-28-2008, 11:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
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engine block heater for a bike

I've been thinking about ways to warm up my engine quicker during the winter, and I think I may have come up with something.

I've just replaced the battery in my bike, not because it was bad, persay, but it never has generated enough cranking amps in the coldest parts of winter to start it, and I've gotten tired of jumping it, plus my special jumper cable broke. Instead of purchasing a new battery the same size, I shoehorn'd a tractor battery I had lying around that was until recently attached to a UPS.

This new battery is several orders of magnitude physically, and capacity-wise, larger. Which gives me a great deal of extra power capacity to work with.

My idea was, to replace the oil plug, with a glow plug, and I wanted to see if anyone saw any potential problems with this. The glow plug would most likely not be coming into direct contact with the oil, but would be heating the air inside the block.

The improvement in my fuel economy would be relatively minor, perhaps increasing by 5mpg at best. So, good idea, bad idea?

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Old 11-28-2008, 12:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I don't think you'll get effective heating through air.

EG, see Overall Heat Transfer Coefficients for some common Fluids and Heat Exchanger Surfaces
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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heating the oil directly with a glow plug seems like a really really bad idea. what style engine/ bike do you have?
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Old 11-28-2008, 11:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dichotomous View Post
heating the oil directly with a glow plug seems like a really really bad idea. what style engine/ bike do you have?
It's in my tag...

But it's a Suzuki Burgman 400. When the bike is sitting on the sidestand, no oil is even near the dipstick, I'm thinking in terms of introducing high levels of heat into the blocks air, to warm it for perhaps 5 minutes before starting.
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extragoode View Post
The title pretty much says it. I was thinking about for a couple reasons: I've been advised to stay away from low viscosity oils in my bike because it uses a wet clutch, so I get more drag until the oil warms up which takes about 2 miles I'm guessing based on the hand on the oil tank test (no gauge/2.5 quarts of oil). This is about half my trip most of the time. The other reason is it runs noticeably better when it's really warm out and after it's idled for 30-60 seconds. More even rpm and less smoke. Plus, why not? It'd only take 100w heater for about an hour and I could reuse fill/check level plug. Thoughts or ideas?
You can use as low a viscosity as you can find, as long as the circle doesn't say "energy conserving". That's the clutch killer.

I run EC oil in my Burgman though, as I don't have a wet clutch, and I have to say Royal Purple 5-30 really lets it crank easy, at any temperature.

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