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Old 02-23-2011, 02:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Super fast warm up mod - Engine insulation

So, I have a new 7 mile commute, and it is currently winter. Of course this leaves little time for the engine to warm up let alone time to operate with a warmed up engine, or get any heat out of the vents. So, I thought about my options. A block heater is a must. I do have a 1000W Kats circulating block heater. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to install it yet. Also, it only heats me up for the trip to work, not the trip back. I'd like something that can give me a warm engine (and heat) both ways. So, I went over some ideas we've talked about here before and what OEMs have done, a coolant tank/thermos, using exhaust to heat the coolant, grill blocking (done already), and lastly insulating the engine. I've pretty much settled on insulation due to the low cost and relative ease it should be to do this. Why would you need a thermos if the engine itself is insulated? Seems to take some complexity out of the situation.

Once it starts to warm up outside this will cause issues I'm sure with my massive grill block. At that point I'll probably have to cut some holes in it or work on some type of actuated block. Until then I was thinking fiberglass duct insulation (~R3) would do well to hold the heat in. I'll probably also extend the insulation around the transmission to help warm it faster as well. I'm not sure how warm it gets though. Perhaps I'll leave this insulation as removable for warmer weather.

Thoughts? I know a guy did this with his Insight. I'm not sure how it worked out for him though.

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Old 02-23-2011, 02:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've been taking data, and I'm convinced engine temp might be the single biggest factor in determining my mileage in the city. Here are a sample of my numbers from today over various trips I've taken. The first number is my engine temp as indicated by my UG at the end of the trip. The second number is my mpg from the trip. The first trip was from a cold start; the rest were warm.

152/27.9
181/31.1
190/39.1
176/29.2

Other variables that surely impacted it included my trip distances, trip mph, intake temp, and so on. I recorded those too. Engine temp seems to have the highest loading so far, however. I've been experimenting with various forms of insulation here too. The most successful to this point have been cardboard blocks around the radiator. I'll be very interested in seeing how your numbers are affected by your mods here.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Why would you need a thermos if the engine itself is insulated? Seems to take some complexity out of the situation.
A thermos is much easier to insulate than the whole engine and/or engine bay. Also, the thermos itself isn't a source of heat as the engine is, so no risk of overheating. But I totally agree about the complexity.

My primitive engine blanket only slightly slows down how fast the aluminum block cools off (engine temp 2-3°C higher after 3 hours with ambient air temp around freezing). Better insulation will give better results, but you should watch out, since your gasser will get hotter than my diesel. Maybe you should deploy the insulation only while the car is parked, and take it off for longer trips?
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think that my gas engine will get any hotter than your diesel. It will produce more heat, but not get hotter. The cooling system should be more than capable (without a full grill block) of disspating the heat that the engine produces. As it is now, just turning my heater fan to the 2nd setting (of 4) basically stops the engine from warming up any further on the way into work at ~32F/0C. If I turned the fan up I know I can (because I have before) cool the engine down. This all changes once summer rolls around. So, I'll have to plan something for then.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...-em-10529.html

These keep engine heat in for the trip home, from the trip in.

They are the easiest, cheapest mod you could ever make.

The idea (since I don't run any bellypans) is to make the engine compartment like an open cardboard box, except upside down i.e. reduce the drafts that carry the heat away, and also reduce the radiated thermal losses. Of course a belly pan would make that even better, as would weather stripping and taping and really plugging up all the leaks, but I've seen good heat retention with the simple measures I've taken.

If needed they can be pulled out for summer duty... although, I don't pull them out any more. I guess I haven't worked my vehicles hard enough in the summer for it to become an issue.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How about manipulating the signal (with a parallel resistor) the Coolant Sensor sends to the ECU so that it doesn't use so much fuel during Cold Start?

Probably best to use a variable resisitor at the start so that you can find the max temp deviation you can apply before the engine misses too much during start up.

I've got mine set to about +60 deg C and its fine starting up, even with the 4psi or so lower FPR I threw on to minimise idle consumption.

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Old 02-23-2011, 09:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That would work if I actually let my car idle much. However, I use pulse and glide to the extent that idle time is pretty unimportant. I'm basically just trying to get heat plus the engine efficiency of a warm engine.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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MY engine is insulated on top, compartment is closed on the bottom. Engine is still half warm at lunch time in teens weather..
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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That would work if I actually let my car idle much. However, I use pulse and glide to the extent that idle time is pretty unimportant. I'm basically just trying to get heat plus the engine efficiency of a warm engine.
You do realise that the ECU still adds extra fuel on top of its look-up chart value (from another look-up chart correction factor) during acceleartion until coolant temp hits btween 60-80 deg Celcius? Meaning that 10c resistor will literally pay itself back within the first few miles..

You don't see a 7% gain in fuel consumption over a full tank worth, solely from reduced cold-start idle consumption.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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While I like the idea of a warm engine, (can't get mine to warm up in this weather).
I would keep the transmission cooler, especially if its an automatic.

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