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Thread: Pre Heaters

  1. #81
    nanook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    I bought one through Spruce and received it yesterday or the day before. First impression? It has a lot of wires. Two conductors from battery to control box, two from control box to heat pad, one from control box to ambient heat probe, and one more for a little heater status LED indicator light. A heat pad with a cable and two alligator clips would suit me better but clearly these guys made this unit for extended/unattended use. I'll set it up outdoors and monitor a battery for charge consumption later this weekend. I didn't buy it for airplane use but thought it may be handy for one of my snowmachines. One thing's for sure, I'd never drop my bottom cowl to cozy this temporary heater up to my sump prior to a flight. That's a crazy notion in a Cessna and not much better in a Cub!
    those pads won't transfer much heat to a surface unless they are bonded to it. The picture on their website showed four little springs somehow holding the pad to the oil sump.

  2. #82
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    American labor cost way more than Chinese? Probably put a lot more into the design than a Chinese engineer that doesn't really care if your airplane catches on fire as well.
    Steve Pierce

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  3. #83

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    Little Buddy is made in the USA. After 20 years of abuse mine works perfectly.

    After several years of having mine attached to my engine mount I removed and replaced it with high output Reiff bands. The heat bands work better, heat faster, and are safer. I'm a generator powered preheater. Faster is priority one. Even with that what I really want is to start the generator, plug the heater in, and drive away without any worries of fire. Arguing about which car interior heater works better as an engine heater is a waste of time. The correct answer is that neither works as well as dedicated oil and cylinder heat systems. This isn't breaking news. This thread started in 2002!
    Last edited by stewartb; 01-16-2016 at 01:03 PM.
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  4. #84
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    The nice things about the little buddy is; cost, simplicity, because you don't have to mount it anywhere. Most folks don't fly much in the cold. They don't want to spend a thousand dollars wrapping electrical wires around their engines for 6 weeks worth of preheating. The old KISS principle works well here.
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  5. #85

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    I put an E-Z heat on my supercub after the rieff unit failed and started to burn up. I am amazed how warm the cylinders get with the heater pad on the bottom of the sump. My CHT gauge show +65 degrees at -11 outside and the oil temp was 145 degrees. I have had other types of heaters on other planes and I would highly recommend the E-Z heat system over the others, much easier to install, it has a thermostat, and no expensive probe adapters. The best part is the price, $169, that is nice to see in aviation nowadays, something that works well and doesnt cost the farm!

  6. #86
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    I would second the EZ Heat unit, particularly if you're not starting in REALLY cold temps, and/or if you have lots of time to pre-heat. As noted, the key feature with them is the thermostat.

    As to failures in the Reiff or Tanis systems, each of the components in both systems just unplug and are replaceable, I believe. I had the old style Reiff silicone pad on the sump of my 170. It gave up the ghost, and would trip a circuit breaker when plugged in.....called Reiff and had a new style pan heat pad, which was a much better unit. took a few minutes to replace. I sure wouldn't remove a whole system because of one component failing.

    MTV

  7. #87

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    As with most things, us Yukoners are still 10.years behind. Pretty much everyone I know still uses the Little Buddy. One stuffed through a cowl opening and one inside the cabin on the floor. They work down to whatever temperature you want to fly in. The school cuts you off at -25 (celsius) and my personal limit is about -15. If I want to wear a snowsuit then I go snowmobiling. Now I've only been flying for 20 years up here, but I've never seen or heard of a Little Buddy catching fire. Not saying that it's not possible...

  8. #88
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    I once plugged a Little Buddy in for a friend. I ran into him on my way to the airport, and he asked me to plug in his plane to save him a trip. He'd be out there in a couple hours. He said there was an outlet at the base of the light pole next to where his plane was parked. The Little Buddy was already in the engine compt.

    I plugged the cord in, then listened to make sure the fan started (that's about the only frailty with these things....if really cold, the fan may not start, causing overheat and shutdown) The fan came up to speed so I went flying in my plane.

    Couple days later, I ran into the guy in town and he accused me of plugging his Little Buddy into 220 volts......WTF? I responded that I plugged it in to a 110 outlet. He laughed and said the mechanic who ran the lot where he parked had wired that outlet, not realizing those lights were 220. He said that Little Buddy sounded like a J-57 jet engine when he got there an hour or so after I plugged it in, and the engine was plenty warm.

    He he bought a new Little Buddy, and kept the old one as a souvenir. I couldn't believe the thing didn't fry......

    MTV
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  9. #89

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    B0ED0BA2-75B4-4D4D-BBAA-6D60F2D81374.jpeg

    Lost my heated hangar for a few months, so in need of heat.

    My oil pan has this stove top coil running under it (circled in red) held on with metal bands, and has a (circled in white) cannon plug on the end. I got ready with a fire extinguisher and an infrared heat sensor, 40f day, and plugged it in. After about 20 minutes, the oil pan was 75f, and the coil seemed to be holding steady at 237f. I only had 20 minuets that day to check it, so I don’t know where it would have gone from there.

    How bad is this old heater? I haven’t been able to find any info on it.

    Thanks
    M O J

  10. #90

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    Is not anyway i would use that.

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoJo View Post
    How bad is this old heater? I haven’t been able to find any info on it.
    Thanks
    M O J
    Maybe one of these? https://www.wagaero.com/engine-parts/preheaters.html

    Gary
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  12. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    Thanks!
    https://www.wagaero.com/engine-parts...o-320h2ad.html

    That looks closer to it than anything I could find.

    any info on these?

  13. #93
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    I'd call Wag Aero and inquire. They still sell them but the reduced price may indicate they are no longer produced or supported. These heaters have been on their catalog for many years. I had one for an earlier C-85 and it worked well, but then silicone heat pads became available and most folks now use them.

    Zero Start-Tempro (https://phillipsandtemro.com) is still in business and they have been the manufacturer. Give them a call as well.

    Gary
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  14. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoJo View Post
    B0ED0BA2-75B4-4D4D-BBAA-6D60F2D81374.jpeg

    Lost my heated hangar for a few months, so in need of heat.

    My oil pan has this stove top coil running under it (circled in red)

    How bad is this old heater? I haven’t been able to find any info on it.

    Thanks
    M O J
    Ok , when you said stove top coil , nope i would not use that. But since it is a approved device ok i conceed I would use that lol. We use the crystal airways sure start preheaters . 12 volt propane heaters. Not sure if they are even available anymore.
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  15. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post

    Zero Start-Tempro (https://phillipsandtemro.com) is still in business and they have been the manufacturer. Give them a call as well.

    Gary
    Thanks. I gave Zero a call, and left a message. Curious if this thing is capable of burning oil and turning it to tar.

  16. #96
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    As long as the oil stays in the mid-200's it should be no worse than the engine on a summer's day. Maybe shoot the sump with an IR gun to check temps? I doubt it'll be a problem as the whole engine is mostly aluminum, connected, and a heat sink. On the small Continentals the sump is more detached but I don't recall a problem. Plug it in for a few hours and see if the oil runs off the stick. Coverthe engine of course to hold the heat.

    I would take note of any synthetics or meltables nearby as the heater will throw off infrared heat. That's probably why silicone pads are a better choice. We use them up here on all the vehicle's lube sumps and battery in extreme cold. Direct contact and little radiated heat.

    A long time ago (1960's) we only had heated coolant circulation pumps and dipstick heaters for cars. Oil would eventually cook to the dipstick heater but didn't seem to bother the rest much.

    Gary
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  17. #97
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    I've been using one of these last 4 winters. Made in USA

    http://www.katsblockheater.com/oil-pan-heaters


    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  18. #98
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    I snap one of the Magnetic Magnums on my C-85 oil tank: http://www.katsblockheater.com/magnetic-heaters

    Then put a 900W interior car heater in the cowl and wait. Takes an hour or a bit more with the prop and engine covered...especially the prop to let the crank warm up.

    Gary

  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by eskflyer View Post
    Is not anyway i would use that.
    I will 2nd that motion...

  20. #100

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    I installed reiff xp bands in addition to the already installed oil pan heater. There is a significant difference in heat when using the reiff system vs a space heater in the engine cowling. I also purchased a Honda 1000 generator and enjoy the lighter weight vs the 2000. With the small fuel tank I will have to connect it to a second tank for longer run times however.

  21. #101
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    You should find that Honda 1000 won’t need an extra fuel tank for normal single preheat, even at extreme temperatures.
    =========
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  22. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter7779h View Post
    You should find that Honda 1000 won’t need an extra fuel tank for normal single preheat, even at extreme temperatures.
    Next time I preheat I will time it, but I think it only ran for 3 or so hours. How long do you prefer to preheat with this Honda 1000, bands and oil pad heater? How long does yours run for?

  23. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by vj88 View Post
    Next time I preheat I will time it, but I think it only ran for 3 or so hours. How long do you prefer to preheat with this Honda 1000, bands and oil pad heater? How long does yours run for?
    I have the high output Reiff system with 6 bands and two pads on my 180 and last time I used it in single digit temps I got 2:15 minutes (without the economizer switch turned on) and my IO520 was definitely ready to go.
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  24. #104
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    I'm curious as to just when people think pre-heat is needed?
    My airplane is hangared in the Puget Sound area-- not the arctic circle, but definitely not the tropics either.
    It takes a pretty good winter cold snap to get it below freezing inside the hangar, it only happens once or twice a year.
    With my C150/150 and my C170 before that, I used to throw a blanket over the cowl and hang a drop light with a 125W heat bulb under the engine all winter. Worked great.
    The cowl flaps don't allow that on my C180, I can hang the light down through the oil door but it's not in a position there to do much as far as heating the whole engine.
    So I've been going without preheat. I do run Phillips 20-50 oil.
    FWIW the air taxi outfit we used to have here never preheated and ran everything to TBO.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  25. #105

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    In cold weather, preheat is another factor that must be considered prior to starting the engine. There are specific guidelines in Lycoming service instructions which establish when preheat should be used, but how much, or the method of preheat is generally left to the good judgment of the pilot or maintenance person doing the preheating. Use of the heated dip stick is not recommended by Lycoming, although most other methods are considered to be satisfactory. For most Lycoming models, preheat should be applied anytime temperatures are at 10˚ F or lower. The exception to this rule is the 76 series models that include the O-320-H, and the O/LO-360-E. These engines should be preheated when temperatures are below 20˚ F. It is recommended that these guidelines be followed even when multi-viscosity oil is being used. In addition to hard starting, failure to preheat the entire engine and oil supply system as recommended may result in minor amounts of abnormal wear to internal engine parts, and eventually to reduced engine performance and shortened TBO time.

    My body does not like to move at 35 degrees , So I figure my engine would not either. That is my cutoff for preheat or not 35 degrees Farenheight.

  26. #106
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    Another reason to preheat is to promote fuel vaporization during cranking. Cold metal condenses sprayed or atomized fuel and then it can take an initially overly rich mixture to get the fires burning. Raw fuel can break down the oil lube film and promote wear.

    Fuel injected engines (I believe) are less problematic, but carbs with up flow fuel induction can be slow starters in the cold. Priming all cylinders helps vaporize the fuel just upstream of the intake valves but it still can recondense when it hits cold metal.

    When it goes below freezing I like to preheat and find it makes for quicker starts.

    Gary

  27. #107
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    My cutoff for “cold starts”. Has been +32 F (or 0 C) for many years. I believe Lycomings numbers are a little too cold, at least for regular ops. If I need to start at, say 20 F, and preheat isn’t practical, I’ll fire it up, but not as a regular thing.

    For preheat, I really like the Reiff systems. They do a great job.

    MTV
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  28. #108
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    Dated info but local pilot and instructor Bill Griffin used to pull up to his C-150 and run a hose from his car exhaust to the covered engine. Then while he and the student reviewed the upcoming lesson in his vehicle the Cessna engine got wet and warmer. Bill's passed but I can still hear him yelling at me every time I screw up.

    Gary
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  29. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    Dated info but local pilot and instructor Bill Griffin used to pull up to his C-150 and run a hose from his car exhaust to the covered engine. Then while he and the student reviewed the upcoming lesson in his vehicle the Cessna engine got wet and warmer. Bill's passed but I can still hear him yelling at me every time I screw up.

    Gary
    I've thawed out many a water meter that way, but I can't imagine how long it would take to properly pre-heat an airplane engine.
    Last edited by OLDCROWE; 11-17-2017 at 07:26 PM.
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  30. #110

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    Using car truck exhaust is a terrible idea. do you know how much water vapor you are pushing around your engine and the corrosive crap that is coming out of it. Not for me. If you like your engine preheat it, if not then you must have deep pockets.
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  31. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by eskflyer View Post
    Using car truck exhaust is a terrible idea. do you know how much water vapor you are pushing around your engine and the corrosive crap that is coming out of it. Not for me. If you like your engine preheat it, if not then you must have deep pockets.
    Of course...but Bill didn't care at the time and now it's just a note in history.

    Gary

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