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Thread: WTB Gas Burning Pre Heater Wanted

  1. #1

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    WTB Gas Burning Pre Heater Wanted

    Hoping to find an engine pre heater that burns car gas. Looks like they are not made anymore? Think there was one called a Red Dragon.
    Last edited by Backpacker; 09-23-2022 at 04:53 PM.

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    I carry an antique gasoline blowtorch and a pipe to carry the heat to the cowling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vortex Generator View Post
    I carry an antique gasoline blowtorch and a pipe to carry the heat to the cowling.
    Is that the same as a blowpot? How heavy is the torch and how hard are they to find? Got pics?

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    Mine weighs 55oz. Add a length of steel tubing to reach under the cowling with the torch on the ground and leave a bit of engine cover loose to allow a draft. If there is power I use silicone heating pads and a little buddy car warmer.
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  5. #5

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    The Red Dragon uses propane and 12 volt power to run blower. The Northern Companion uses MSR stove and burns mogas/avgas fine. You can build one yourself pretty easy if you have a stove. Do a search lots of info and pics posted.
    DENNY
    Last edited by DENNY; 09-25-2022 at 10:13 AM.

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    1000W Honda generator and electric car interior heater. But seriously a Red Dragon that requires propane and 12V (some don't use the fan) is complicated and propane liquifies at -40F/C. I own one but hope I never have to use it. Anything that creates a flame from fuel can create fires so be careful.

    Gary

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    If you can find one of these you'll get all the heat you'll ever need. Just be careful, I burned the generator belt off one of my planes with one. There is a long flexible steel tube which connects to the outlet. It only needs gasoline and a match.

    google: military surplus hand crank heater

    Last edited by skywagon8a; 09-25-2022 at 05:41 AM.
    N1PA
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vortex Generator View Post
    Mine weighs 55oz. Add a length of steel tubing to reach under the cowling with the torch on the ground and leave a bit of engine cover loose to allow a draft. If there is power I use silicone heating pads and a little buddy car warmer.
    So that must be what they call a blowpot then eh?

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    stewartb's Avatar
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    Make your own. Do you have an MSR or similar camp stove? Hereís one made from a bell reducer and duct cap from Home Depot. It shows my Coleman dual fuel stove in it but an MSR stove works, too. I have XGK Expeditions and a Whisperlight. Both have the same heat output. Or search this site for ďammo can heater.Ē I still have that but never use it. Heating with an open flame requires attending the plane. Not fun. That makes a generator worth the price. Plug it in and go back inside!
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    Forgive my ignorance here, but could someone enlighten me as to how quickly one of those heaters as stewartb posted would warm an engine from say 0* to say 30-40*F ?? I’m wrestling with the flame vs generator thing, and am curious about the difference. I’m believing that the generator would be slower with just sump pads??

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    Most of the electric systems use cylinder bands (always get the 100 watt ones) or head probes along with the pan heaters 1 - 1 1/2 hour is usually plenty for the electrical systems. Not much longer for the smaller gas fired if you have cowl blanket and a good system Red Dragon throws out a tremendous amount of heat if you are not careful you will melt stuff. Lycoming says you don't have to preheat until below 10 degrees F. I always carry the gas system in the winter but will use a generator or other power source of possible. DENNY
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  12. #12
    stewartb's Avatar
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    With combustion heaters it depends on the wind and temperature. Electric heat is applied right to the cylinders and sump. Combustion heaters have to heat the cowl cavity and some of that heat transfers, but you have to heat the accessories, firewall, exhaust, etc first. Definitely less efficient and slower than electric. My Reiff system can have my engine ready to go in 2 hours in below zero weather while I sit inside. If you have a choice? I’ve stood watch with combustion heaters. I’d rather not do it again.
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    Grand Pooh Bah soyAnarchisto's Avatar
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    For hangar use or for backcountry use?


    If you have an AC outlet to provide the juice, then an electric pre-heater is the way to go - Tanis makes awesome kit that heats from the inside out and much more efficient. That’s not an option if you are camping in the backcountry unless you carry a generator which weighs quite a lot - and then you're carrying two type of fuel (maybe genset converted to propane is the way to go).

    An improvised or dedicated combustion heater can be made out of a backpacking stove such as the MSR expedition XGK multi fuel stoves. Mine has a lightweight aluminum snow platform and aluminum wind screens. I use white gas because that’s easy, clean cooking fuel but it will burn leaded a gas in an emergency. A big of scat hose or dryer vent hose would compete the kit.

    I’ve never used it for real yet. But it is part of an emergency kit. Requires close supervision IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    With combustion heaters it depends on the wind and temperature. Electric heat is applied right to the cylinders and sump. Combustion heaters have to heat the cowl cavity and some of that heat transfers, but you have to heat the accessories, firewall, exhaust, etc first. Definitely less efficient and slower than electric. My Reiff system can have my engine ready to go in 2 hours in below zero weather while I sit inside. If you have a choice? I’ve stood watch with combustion heaters. I’d rather not do it again.



    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    Last edited by soyAnarchisto; 09-26-2022 at 10:34 AM.

  14. #14
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    One of these or similar works well> https://www.amazon.com/Zerostart-260.../dp/B000NM73ZA Placed in the bottom of the cowl that's covered with a insulated cover plus a propeller cover, it takes maybe an hour from 0* to warm, but that depends on what size engine is being heated.

    The advantage of a small generator and electric heater is if you have to camp you got instant heat for you or a shelter plus probably plenty of aircraft fuel for the generator. If the aircraft battery is dead at some point you got 12V charge from the genset. Carry a light cord and bulb and you got light at night or heat from the bulb to keep the engine warm.

    If it's windy don't expect a combustion heater to be as effective plus they can get even more dangerous.

    Gary

  15. #15
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Here's a range of preheating options - from catalytic in the cowl to electric heater. (https://fairbanks.craigslist.org/avo...537811178.html) The ad may not last. I tried them all from plumber's pot, propane weed burner, white gas and propane catalytics, propane red dragon, white gas stoves, coleman gas lanterns, and attached or clamped heaters with hot probes. The small but adequate gasoline generator worked the safest.

    Gary
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    stewartb's Avatar
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    If you have your own MSR stove and would like to buy my ammo can? $100.00 and itís yours. Iím sure the scat hose costs more than that.

    I still have a couple of unused Coleman Survival Cats, too. Juryís out on how good they are.
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  17. #17
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    I have some rigorous experience with propane catalytic heaters...I unintentionally burned a building in Umiat AK. at -50F using one to heat a generator. The unleaded gasoline fed ones work until they quit. All catalytics make water vapor that finds cold and freezes, especially the heater valve to the cockpit interior. They like to coat the inside of windows with ice. And so on.

    Gary

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    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Anyone try ducting the Genset exhaust into cowl to double up the heat?

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

  19. #19
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    I've seen a 2" scat duct adapter fastened to the hot air outlet grill on a Honda genset, but not ducted exhaust gas.

    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    Anyone try ducting the Genset exhaust into cowl to double up the heat?

    Glenn
    I think you would be throwing a lot of moisture up there with the heat. The best is to fly with a 185 pilot they usually run that 2000 watt Honda, a 50 foot extension cord solves all my problems.
    DENNY
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    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    If you can find one of these you'll get all the heat you'll ever need. Just be careful, I burned the generator belt off one of my planes with one. There is a long flexible steel tube which connects to the outlet. It only needs gasoline and a match.

    google: military surplus hand crank heater

    That thing is awesome.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    That thing is awesome.
    Except for the poor soul cranking that bastard. Took me a couple hours with a Northern Companion, I couldn't even imagine cranking that thing for that long in the cold.
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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    If you have your own MSR stove and would like to buy my ammo can? $100.00 and it’s yours. I’m sure the scat hose costs more than that.

    I still have a couple of unused Coleman Survival Cats, too. Jury’s out on how good they are.
    Hi, check your private messages I will buy it.

    thx

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    Quote Originally Posted by Backpacker View Post
    Hoping to find an engine pre heater that burns car gas. Looks like they are not made anymore? Think there was one called a Red Dragon.
    I would think the JetBoil butane/propane cannisters and the space/weight savings would trump the gas eating heaters......and you can cook and make coffee with them.
    I use the Northern Companion......no issues.........but never tested below zero.
    "Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar"
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  25. #25

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    JetBoil doesn't work well in cold weather.

    I have used Northern Companion in the minus 30's - works well, just takes longer. The Coleman Dual Fuel stove is easier to handle in cold weather and pretty easy to make a heater with parts from Home Depot. And it will burn 100LL.

    PS - the feds don't like butane in passenger airplanes but might be OK Pt. 91.

  26. #26
    akavidflyer's Avatar
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    all in one diesel parking heater on ebay. Pretty tough to beat the hot DRY AND CLEAN air they put out. Great for preheating the plane, warming a trailer or tent and a ton of other handy uses. I have several of them for tents, boats, motorhome and plane.

    I have an ammo can heater as well I use out in the field if need be, but I prefer the diesel heater any time I have the generator around or a car battery.
    Last edited by akavidflyer; 10-10-2022 at 10:55 AM.
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  27. #27
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randyk View Post
    JetBoil doesn't work well in cold weather.

    I have used Northern Companion in the minus 30's - works well, just takes longer. The Coleman Dual Fuel stove is easier to handle in cold weather and pretty easy to make a heater with parts from Home Depot. And it will burn 100LL.

    PS - the feds don't like butane in passenger airplanes but might be OK Pt. 91.
    Agreed. Butane/propane liquifies and fails to gasify at very cold temperatures. No gas, no fire. I've used them at -20, but wouldn't trust them any colder.

    MTV

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    Iíve used them down to -30F in Willow Ak. Had to keep the battery, regulator and hose caped off and inside where itís warmish. Cracked the propane bottle to clear moisture before connecting. Kept the 25# bottle and red dragon heater out in the cold.


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    Per Google: "Propane is more suited to colder environments since it evaporates at -44oF (-42oC) at atmospheric pressure. Butane evaporates at 33oF (0.6 oC) at atmospheric pressure."

  30. #30
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Yep, my propane tank in FAI quit delivering propane to my oven at about -44. I stuck a very small stick on silicone heat pad to the side, plugged it in, and it gasified enough to keep the oven working at -58 at least. Just need a tiny bit of heat to gasify. And, as Randy points out, butane is worse.

    but not something you want to be doing in the boonies to pre heat. Stick with white gas.

    MTV
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    You might look for an Espar heater. They are made for trucks and boats. They have or had gas, or diesel. You could heat water or air.

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    akavidflyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyinwild View Post
    You might look for an Espar heater. They are made for trucks and boats. They have or had gas, or diesel. You could heat water or air.
    espar is way over priced. I have seen guys basically putting one in a box and selling them for over 1200 bucks when you can get a heater that works every bit as good for 100-150 bucks that's already made into and all in one heater.
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    These military heater are great. I have 2 of them. Never use them just take them out once in a while to show them off.
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    If you want something that always works no matter what the MSR XKG is the stove to get. Burns everything from camp fuel to jet fuel, The fuel is heated by the burner before it atomizes so it can handle -40 without a problem. You can pull the guts and clean it out if it ever clogs. The old ones sound like a jet taking off drove my hunting partner crazy so he got me a new whisper lite that also has a butane adaptor but I still keep the XKG in the plane year round because it will do everything, every day. Not as easy as a generator because you have to tend it closely but it works. DENNY

  35. #35

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    Just wanna share a DIY stove I use a bunch,, very handy for lots of things. I keep one full and ready in the pod for survival situations, but use it quite often to just warm up. Works great in the ice shack and have even preheated with it. I use alcohol stove fuel or heat, lights even in the coldest weather, cheap and easy to make. I get the empty paint cans from Lowes of Home Depot, this one is quart size, but I have made them with gallon size too. Can get hours outta a full can, stick the TP in the can and pour the alcohol in until the TP is saturated, to extinguish just place the lid on the can. Once the paper starts to burn, put it out, allow to cool and then refill. I use an empty can drilled with holes to catch the heat and protect the open flame.







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  36. #36

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    This is what I made from some exhaust pipe and an MSR pocket stove.

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  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by General View Post
    This is what I made from some exhaust pipe and an MSR pocket stove.

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    Might want to cold test your stove,, iso and propane stoves don't like to flow here in Alaska below 0 or so.

  38. #38

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    I've tested it. And yes, there are times it does not want to flow. I keep a cigar torch in my pocket for lighting it and the canister in my coat to keep it warmish.

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