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Old 10-31-2008, 06:38 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by pugmanic View Post
Luckily I don't work shift any more, but I know where you are coming from. Don't forget it has its advantages as well... You don't have to sit in Rush Hour / School traffic.
Have perfected my deceleration so much I never have to stop at the one light on the journey, it's easy cruising.


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I think your best option for the moment will be a lower grill block. This will not only help heating but probably help aerodynamics a little.
I'll definitely look into this.

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Old 10-31-2008, 11:38 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Cool - just don't forget, this is an Internet Forum - we require pictures!
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:55 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I have a ton of experience operating and maintaining fleets of cars, trucks and weird stuff like these marvelous gasoline and diesel Sno-Cats in arctic winter conditions for a state agency over a period of 11 years.



You guys who use synthetic oil with a cold engine and do short warm-ups are on the right track because synthetic oil will usually allow short duration, minimal load, out-of-correct-geometry piston wall clearance operation* without noticable wear (unless you're getting oil dullition from a drastically over-rich condition resulting in cylinder wall gasoline flood - can you tell?), but for Ecomodders that's not sufficient for good mileage. Your computer will force a rich fuel mixture until the water temperature and/or the air feed** into your air cleaner reaches 150-160 f or so, maybe higher. For the best mileage to your short or long destinations, you have to use an electric water heater to attain operating temperature or close to operating temp before engine start.

*All pistons, forged or cast, are elliptical when cold. When cold, the piston pin axis is shorter than its perpendicular component. This is due to the fact that the casting around the pin expands farther with heat than the does the skirt. Therefore a cold piston, which is elliptical and resting inside a perfectly circular bore, presents a greater exposure of oil and compression ring area along the piston pin than the perpendicular axis until the engine warms up. Therefore, in theory, it is not a good idea to place a load upon a cold engine because of this assymetry (due to unequal loading of the piston rings), which also could result in ring groove deformation or ring shear.

**If your air-feed tubing from the exhaust manifold air heater to the cold air cleaner intake port isn't hooked up or your air cleaner thermostat butterfly isn't working properly, you risk running rich ALL THE TIME! I have seen a lot of guys disconnect this stuff for performance, thinking it will enhance airflow. This is dumb. If what you want is max airflow, just put on a taller air cleaner and raise the lid off its seat. Air will come in from all around which is great for full throttle applications -- if the computer air flow temp has been bypassed. But for mpg applications, keep the air cleaner circuit stock. This circuit is vital for telling the computer to change the mixture from cold rich to warm lean. You don't want to mess this up. There is another thread on Ecomodder where I responded to a guy who had a car where this was totally screwed up. He was getting 12 mpg from a 4-cyl Toyota!

There are two types. The one I do not recommend inserts into a block plug and is the cheapest.



These often do not warm up the entire cooling system because they only work by convection.



The one I would choose is the lower radiator hose pump heater. They really do the job! These come in several wattage versions, and depending on where you are and how cold it gets, you should choose one that warms your water to 120-degrees f or higher in the two hours of early morning before you go to work. If you don't know which one to get, choose the big one and run it for a shorter period.

Now, this is the trick. Get a timer that is designed to handle the load plus the line resistance of your extension cord (for a 100-foot cord, double the rating VxA=W). Set the timer to come on two hours before you start the car in the morning. Pop the hood and feel the upper radiator hose. It should be toasty. Now feel the top of the radiator, if it is still cold, this indicates that the water is not warm enough to pop the thermostat open and flow warm water through the radiator and back down into the engine, so set the timer for 2 and a half hours and try it the next day. Keep bumping up the duration until it works. This method will save you the most money in electricity, and the savings of gasoline by not running rich will apply against the electrical expense.

In the lower 48, there is usually a gain to be had in cost if you do this right. In the Arctic, you often have to do this for your vehicle to even start at all so it doesn't matter.

There are two additional benefits, beyond dramatically increased mpg. Your heater and defroster wll work instantly at full heat and your engine will last longer. DO NOT RUN YOUR DEFROSTER ON HIGH IF YOU DO THIS. You can crack your windshield from the sudden thermal expansion. I know. I have done this!

Something else I have done is to add one of those ceramic disc heaters to the engine heat system. The metal cases are best. Just mount it sideways to your firewall in the cabin on the passenger side with the switch on and wire it into the engine heat circuit. You'll come out to your vehicle in the morning with all the windows clear and warm and toasty inside.

If you take a climate like Chicago, for example, where electricity is .11 per kwh, then 2 hours at 3600 watts costs 2 x 3.6 x 11 = 79.2 cents. If your vehicle gets 20 miles to the gallon when warm, and 8 mpg when cold, an 8 mile trip to work can use, say, a quarter of a gallon for the first 2 miles and a third of a gallon for the next 6 miles. If gasoline is $2.60 per gallon:

(.25 x $2.60) + (.33 x $2.60) = $1.51 without the water heater.

With the water heater, you get

(8/20) x $2.60 = $1.04

The difference is $1.51 - $1.04 = $0.47 for one way.
So you have spent $0.792 to heat your engine and warm up your car, and you have saved $0.47 in fuel. This means it costs you

$0.47 - $0.792 = -$0.32 or $1.60 per week to have a toasty warm car with clear windshields every morning. But I think this is for like 10 or 15 degrees f, so it looks a lot better when it is a little warmer. One thing you can do is mark the temps on the timer dial, once you get this figured out for your vehicle. I think you'll come out ahead over the season.

All my water heaters have paid for themselves not particularly in gas savings, but in labor savings. Block heaters prevent expensive service calls to start a cold vehicle or worse, a rescue from a remote layover.

Is it worth it for you? How would I know? I live in southern California now. There is a reason! It's no longer an issue.

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Last edited by Ptero; 10-31-2008 at 11:26 PM..
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:22 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MazdaMatt View Post
Because I love my car, i let it idle while I scrape the ice off of it. More ice means more idle. If its -25C with no ice, i start it and go inside for a couple minutes. Mileage be damned, its F'in cold out there and I'm not about to submit the internal parts of my engine to the abuse of start and go at those temps. I'll be installing a block heater when i have the time and my new house has a garage that my car will fit in, once i'm fully moved in.
This isn't actually as helpful as you think. The initial startup is always hardest on the engine, and even at 25C, once the oil is flowing it's better to move it than sit. The parts where heat really matters are hot enough within 30 seconds, remember that there's very little flow of coolant, and by extension movement of the temp gauge, until the engine is up to operating temps internally.

Block heaters help, naturally, and when it's that cold, if I have to drive a car, I grab the heated gear I use on my Burgman. Forget waiting 5 minutes for a cold car to blow hot air.

And to all: blocking off the radiator is the single most important thing that MUST be done in the winter time. That radiator is sized for the engine running at high load in 100F+ temperatures, and it is grossly over-efficient in the winter time. My Burgman will not even get off the C unless my radiator is fully blocked. And it doesn't overheat below 50F unless I hit the highway. Too much air cooling going on down below.
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:50 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by IndyIan View Post
Are any engine parts splash lubricated anymore? Cylinder bores? I've heard that idling the engine when cold is bad for it as basically the oil ain't splashing when its thick and cold at idle. And idling doesn't warm up the oil quickly at all so the splash lubed parts get no lube for quite a while.

I'm running full synthetic 5W30 now so I just get in and drive, I don't use over 1/4 throttle for a few minutes but then its all go. I have been known to drag the brakes while on the gas in town to get the car to warm up quicker but that was just for my comfort... I guess its better for the engine to actually get up to temperature but that wasn't the main idea at the time.
Ian
Cylinder bores have been forced lubricated... For a while. My '90 Subird had them. I can't really think of anything gets splashed, really.

As for thick oil, this is why they make low viscosity synthetic oil. My Burgman calls for 10W40 dino, and I run 5W30 synthetic. Makes winter starting easier, and in some cases, possible. Those small batteries don't like cranking against all that useless oil pressure.
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:45 PM   #36 (permalink)
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For all of you who think that idling your cars when its cold out until it warms up because its easier on the engine are wrong to think that. When you idle your car the crank shaft is moving too slow so it just sits on the lower crank bearings and wears them out. But when you drive at slightly higher rpms it will slightly lift up and center itself in the main bearings. This is the reason why police vehicles and taxi cabs have to get their engines rebuilt so often.

The best way is to (if you can) just start it up, and drive away accelerating at the slowest rate you can until its warmed up. Of course, if you have to jump on a freeway right away you would want to get it warmed up a little first.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:31 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neal_2000 View Post
For all of you who think that idling your cars when its cold out until it warms up because its easier on the engine are wrong to think that. When you idle your car the crank shaft is moving too slow so it just sits on the lower crank bearings and wears them out. But when you drive at slightly higher rpms it will slightly lift up and center itself in the main bearings. This is the reason why police vehicles and taxi cabs have to get their engines rebuilt so often.

The best way is to (if you can) just start it up, and drive away accelerating at the slowest rate you can until its warmed up. Of course, if you have to jump on a freeway right away you would want to get it warmed up a little first.

I would like to refute your argument. Police vehicles and taxis are rebuilt frequently "chronologically" because they put higher than average miles as service vehicles than a comparable commuter car. I commute 35 mins a day, cops use their car 8-10 hours a day. They're rebuilt at like 150-300k...
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Old 11-16-2008, 09:58 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MazdaMatt View Post
Dude, you live in Texas! You don't get winter!
I clearly remember ice storms at 3 am, and 75 degree afternoons in a texas january ... like all of maines year in one day.(wichitah falls) Of course it broke some records I guess..back in 1993. lucky me. happy to be there.

I would go heat riser,get air form within engine bay, restrict intake.short trips need it fast. cars have long trip designed in them...a mod or two necessary.
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:49 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Neal, if you start and immediately drive away, you're putting the stress of accelerating a 3000 pound car on the sidewalls of your cylinders that have no oil on them. You dohn't need to idle till it warms up (my car can idle for 30 m inutes in -25*C and it won't warm up), but you DO need to give it a moment to get your oil circulating.

Cop cars and taxis are the hardest driven cars I can think of. They are not turned off for 8-10 hours at a time, they are constantly in stop-go traffic, and they are typically in a rush. Taxis are also typically driven by people that want to make the money fast, not preserve their vehicles.
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:38 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Wintertime has been here for some time now in my region. We actually got well over a foot of Lake Effect snow in my area yesterday and overnight. Way before winter, I installed a lower grille black made from truck mudflap material and used the block to mount my LED lamps and moved my license plate to be flush with the front of the car....................





This is really nice when a passing truck throws 30 pounds of slush, ice, and gravel at you when passing. My car warms up at least 50% faster than without the block.

I also installed a tank heater like described in this thread................
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...-how-5682.html







I bought a cheap mechanical timer and plugged it in overnight. I set the timer to turn on at 3:30 AM and turn off at 5:30 AM. When I got into the car this morning, I had warm heat already and my temp gauge was already in the normal operating range. My lifters and engine made none of the normal "cold weather noises" since using the block heater also.

Best 2 mods I have done to my car.

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