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Thread: New Engine Heater on the Market

  1. #1

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    I like the idea. I wonder how it stacks up against the Reiff system, with the bands on the cylinders plus the sump heater?

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    cubdrvr's Avatar
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    Can it be left on long term?
    "Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar"

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Not even.

    MTV
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    Nice unit but I would loose my Quick drain and that is worth its weight in gold. Directions say screw it in either drain hole but I don't think it would work in the center because of the oil pick up tube and screen ( I could be wrong have to have parts in hand) so you really have only one choice of where to put it. I would not want to use it as a oil drain plug nothing like oil soaked electrical wires to make ya feel good. We heated up our 0470 with a simple sick on pad and engine Blanket so I am sure it will work if you found a hole you could use. I think you are looking at several hours compared to 1-2 with a Reiff with 100 watts per cylinder and 200 watt pad (600 watts). Tanis clams 240 watt for a 4 cylinder engine with pad and head plugs. It looks a lot easier to install than a stick on pad that is for sure.
    DENNY
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Early automotive engine heaters included an electrically heated dipstick. Pull out the factory fill level one and insert the heater. Plug it in and the nearby oil warmed up. Remove before operating but some just left them in if they didn't leak oil out the top. They tended to cook the oil if left on too long.

    Gary
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    EdH's Avatar
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    Iím no expert, but I donít see this working anywhere near as good as a Reiff. This is trying to heat everything in the engine with a 2 inch long element directly inserted into still oil. Wouldnít it just cook the oil around it before the heat is able to radiate out far enough to accomplish anything? What about the frozen thickened oil in the crank and heads? Is this relying on the warm oil in the pan to heat the engine after you start it?


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    I’m curious about it. I have Reiff XP bands on both engines. One has an old silicone 100w pad and the other has the dual hot strips from Reiff. I’d think in a test environment 200w has to beat 100w. The ASA heater is 250w and is in direct contact with oil. That with some bands should heat better than my hot strips and bands. Probably not an important difference, but maybe it has other advantages. For guys with Superior cold air sumps a silicone pad is out of the question and this new heater is easier to install than hot strips. That’s worth something.

    I like Anti Splat. I hope it’s a success for them.

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    EdH's Avatar
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    Iíd bet in addition to bands it would work great. The more wattage the better for sure. Iíd wonder if 250w concentrated into 2 inches would heat the oil too much in its immediate area? No idea if thatís actually a problem though. The typical oil pan heater spreads the heat through the pan more evenly.

    Installation wise, itís 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other for me.


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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    Nice unit but I would loose my Quick drain and that is worth its weight in gold. Directions say screw it in either drain hole but I don't think it would work in the center because of the oil pick up tube and screen ( I could be wrong have to have parts in hand) so you really have only one choice of where to put it. I would not want to use it as a oil drain plug nothing like oil soaked electrical wires to make ya feel good. We heated up our 0470 with a simple sick on pad and engine Blanket so I am sure it will work if you found a hole you could use. I think you are looking at several hours compared to 1-2 with a Reiff with 100 watts per cylinder and 200 watt pad (600 watts). Tanis clams 240 watt for a 4 cylinder engine with pad and head plugs. It looks a lot easier to install than a stick on pad that is for sure.
    DENNY
    Denny, The sump on my 0-360 has two oil drain holes. One could easily be used for this purpose while still having a quick drain in the other.
    N1PA
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Two issues I see with this:

    1. Trying to introduce enough heat to (rapidly) warm an entire engine with one small device, in direct contact with the engine oil. Is this device designed to prevent cooking the oil? If so, it will likely take a LONG time to warm the engine. A number of a/c owners installed stick on heat pads on their oil pans, with no thermostatic control, resulting in cooked oil.

    2. The purpose of pre heating is to, as much as possible, EVENLY warm the entire engine. A single point of heat is gipoing to have to be HOT to get that job done. This is why Tanis and Reiff both use multiple heating points to accomplish safe, even pre heating.

    Both Tanis and Reiff are well proven, safe pre heating devices, and not that difficult to install. If you’re trying to pre heat in milder temps, the EZ Heat silicone pad does a good job, and with a thermostat, prevents burning the oil.

    This thing needs a thermostatically controlled sensor to prevent burning the oil. Otherwise, it’s just another “quickie” solution, that really isn’t a solution at all.

    MTV
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    akavidflyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Two issues I see with this:

    1. Trying to introduce enough heat to (rapidly) warm an entire engine with one small device, in direct contact with the engine oil. Is this device designed to prevent cooking the oil? If so, it will likely take a LONG time to warm the engine. A number of a/c owners installed stick on heat pads on their oil pans, with no thermostatic control, resulting in cooked oil.

    2. The purpose of pre heating is to, as much as possible, EVENLY warm the entire engine. A single point of heat is gipoing to have to be HOT to get that job done. This is why Tanis and Reiff both use multiple heating points to accomplish safe, even pre heating.

    Both Tanis and Reiff are well proven, safe pre heating devices, and not that difficult to install. If you’re trying to pre heat in milder temps, the EZ Heat silicone pad does a good job, and with a thermostat, prevents burning the oil.

    This thing needs a thermostatically controlled sensor to prevent burning the oil. Otherwise, it’s just another “quickie” solution, that really isn’t a solution at all.

    MTV
    If you were to take the time to talk to ASA about the product instead of guessing and tossing out brown and stinky opinions, you wouldn't be so quick to bash. Remember, your "tried and true" methods were once cutting edge and unknown as well. I talked to him at length about it (his then new oil heater) when I was talking to him about the oil Seperator/crank case vac as well.
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  13. #13

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    For guys who are on a budget you could do the ASA oil heater and a Zero Start Little Buddy heater for around $250. That’s a good price for a good preheat option.
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Two issues I see with this:

    1. Trying to introduce enough heat to (rapidly) warm an entire engine with one small device, in direct contact with the engine oil. Is this device designed to prevent cooking the oil? If so, it will likely take a LONG time to warm the engine. A number of a/c owners installed stick on heat pads on their oil pans, with no thermostatic control, resulting in cooked oil.

    2. The purpose of pre heating is to, as much as possible, EVENLY warm the entire engine. A single point of heat is gipoing to have to be HOT to get that job done. This is why Tanis and Reiff both use multiple heating points to accomplish safe, even pre heating.

    Both Tanis and Reiff are well proven, safe pre heating devices, and not that difficult to install. If you’re trying to pre heat in milder temps, the EZ Heat silicone pad does a good job, and with a thermostat, prevents burning the oil.

    This thing needs a thermostatically controlled sensor to prevent burning the oil. Otherwise, it’s just another “quickie” solution, that really isn’t a solution at all.

    MTV
    This: requires no thermostat or timers followed by The oil in turn transfers this heat to the engine, and its critical components implies they have considered your observations even though no temperatures are mentioned. They do not suggest "to (rapidly) warm an entire engine". I take it to mean that you plug it in the day before you want to fly and it will be ready to go.
    N1PA

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Denny, The sump on my 0-360 has two oil drain holes. One could easily be used for this purpose while still having a quick drain in the other.
    I was looking a sump pictures and noted that some have 3 drain holes that is why I put in the little disclaimer. I agree with Stewart it is a dirt simple low buck option for some. It certainly won't be a fast as the high buck units but with an engine cover it will get the job done.
    DENNY

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    OK, It is 07:45 and still another 2 hours before I see the sun. So lets work this horse over a bit longer. Here are questions and tests I need run by other members.
    1. Will a pan/oil heater alone properly heat the entire engine? We need someone with a multi cylinder CHT and oil temp for this one. Plug it in overnight with an engine blanket and note all CHT/oil temp before start up and oil temp right after start up because who knows where oil prob is placed may need to circulate a min to get sump oil temp. Shooting the sump with a temp gun should also work. Throw in some ambient temps while you are at it.

    2. How hot does a glue on pad get. This is a tricky one to test because the silicone covering may make it hard to get a good temp with a IR gun. If you have a engine apart you could plug in the sump and shoot the inside but without oil as a heat sink it may damage the pad or glue (this is where mikes sage advice of a thermostat regulated pad comes into play). I don't have a engine apart now to test but I am sure someone does and just to keep me entertained I think it is totally worth it to plug that sucker in and give it a go with a IR gun especially if you are planing to replace the pad anyway. A quick internet search says some pads reach 300-400 degrees so this may be a fools errand

    DENNY
    Last edited by DENNY; 12-09-2022 at 01:01 PM.

  17. #17
    mvivion's Avatar
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    There’s no question that a single point heat source can in fact, heat an entire engine…….with a LOT of caveats. Like, how long will that take? What is ambient temperatures you’ll be pre heating in? Will the plane be in an un heated hangar? Etc.

    As Stewart noted, at “reasonable” outside temps where most folks will fly, this device, plugged in overnight, with a good insulated engine cover, can probably do the job. So can a simple stick on silicone heat pad.

    But, a single point of heat, to accomplish that task at, say, -20 F, is going to have to radiate a LOT of heat at that single point, to pre heat overnight.

    Whereas, the Tanis and Reiff systems ALSO heat the cylinders. That’s not intended necessarily to warm the cylinders, but rather to heat a part of the engine which is designed for high heat and thermal changes. Cylinders provide a thermal mass that can be heated, and used as a “radiator” to heat the entire engine and engine compartment.

    Maybe these folks have figured out how to provide enough heat from a very small single point to get the job done WITHOUT cooking that precious engine oil. If so, good for them, but basic physics suggests that might be a stretch.

    I like my engine too much to play that game. Reiff and Tanis systems aren’t that expensive or hard to install. But, it’s your engine.

    MTV
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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    This is from the company:

    --- Thank you for your interest in our products, and services. This unit does not use a thermostat as it is not needed.
    Submerged as it is, it will not get hot enough to cook the oil. After initial start-up, the wattage is only 200 watts, and
    the surface area of the machined aluminum part is very large providing more than enough area to prevent coking. The
    threaded portion that engages into the aluminum sump also transfers considerable heat out to the oil. We have tested
    from just over 0 degrees F, to110 degrees F. This unit generally raises the oil 80 F above outside air temp at a rate of
    15 to 20 per hour, depending on conditions and oil volume. The installation is very simple and quick, so to give it a try
    Is pretty easy. Should you be unhappy with the result you can return it for a full refund. I do think you will like it!
    Happy Holidays to you and yours. Regards, Allan

    Web
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  19. #19
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    I just ordered a couple. So if you're in the Valley and interested in checking one out, just give me a shout.

    Web
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    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    I just ordered a couple. So if you're in the Valley and interested in checking one out, just give me a shout.

    Web
    Please post your opinion after playing with them.
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    The metal sump should act like an adjacent heat sink. So unlike a heater element floating in oil this unit may not cause coking. The tests will inform. Hope they work as advertised.

    Gary

  22. #22
    KJC's Avatar
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    Oil changes will be a pain but it’s a very good price point for those on the edge.
    PA-12 N418BS

  23. #23
    courierguy's Avatar
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    Speaking of pre-heating: my home hangar never gets below 42 degrees, and I really don't need to pre heat the Rotax but I do anyway, just to cut down the time spent at the top of my ski ramp waiting for the temps to rise before takeoff. I have a 200 watt stick on pad on the bottom of the engine case, and a 100 watt pad on my remote oil tank. The oil tank is positioned in such a way that any hot oil won't thermo syphon thru the engine. I have always been a bit leery of the oil pad one, the "cooking the oil" thing I've heard of, and generally never leave it on for more then an hour or so. Neither stays on all the time, especially the oil one. This system works fine BUT it requires me to know a couple hours in advance, for optimum results, when I want to go flying.

    The other day it hit me, as I have plenty of free electricity, why not get a 200 watt radiant panel heater and position it under the engine and just leave it on? If not 24/7, at least from pre dawn by several hours, and until dark, my possible flying hours. These radiant panels are cheap and safe. Using my coolant temp head gauge, I was surprised to find that even after leaving it on for 24+ hours, in ambient temps of 42 degrees, the coolant (and as it's all around the case, it too I assume) only rose from 42 to 47 degrees. Positioned about 6" below the open cowl bottom, with the engine cozy on top and covering the cowl outlets. I was hoping and expecting more like 70 + degrees. I was a little baffled by that, as I have long had a 100 watt radiant panel on the bathroom vanity side, 12" from the crapper, and left on overnight it warms the entire toilet up to where it feels like it was sitting in the sun, no matter what the house temps are, I know I have a warm place to go in the morning

    Not what I wanted, my next experiment will use a 200 watt minature fan forced electric heater (that has very high ratings from users for reliability/long term use), and I'll see how moving hot air versus radiant heat works. I'll set the timer from midnite to 6 in the evening, and fine tune the timer settings as the results warrant. Even though its free solar power I hate wasting it, just like I don't want to divert radiant floor heat to the hangar from the shop above, as I spend a lot more time in the shop then in the hangar. I just want the engine assembly 70 or above, not the entire hangar. If I'm doing hangar work and I know in advance, I'll pre heat the floor the day before, no need most of the time. My goal is, after startup, a less then 5 minutes run up time. Using a bare light bulb under the cowl is a method I've heard of, but that seems a bit inefficent and crude to me.

  24. #24
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    The other day it hit me, as I have plenty of free electricity, why not get a 200 watt radiant panel heater and position it under the engine and just leave it on? If not 24/7, at least from pre dawn by several hours, and until dark, my possible flying hours. These radiant panels are cheap and safe. Using my coolant temp head gauge, I was surprised to find that even after leaving it on for 24+ hours, in ambient temps of 42 degrees, the coolant (and as it's all around the case, it too I assume) only rose from 42 to 47 degrees. Positioned about 6" below the open cowl bottom, with the engine cozy on top and covering the cowl outlets. I was hoping and expecting more like 70 + degrees. I was a little baffled by that, as I have long had a 100 watt radiant panel on the bathroom vanity side, 12" from the crapper, and left on overnight it warms the entire toilet up to where it feels like it was sitting in the sun, no matter what the house temps are, I know I have a warm place to go in the morning

    Not what I wanted, my next experiment will use a 200 watt minature fan forced electric heater (that has very high ratings from users for reliability/long term use), and I'll see how moving hot air versus radiant heat works. I'll set the timer from midnite to 6 in the evening, and fine tune the timer settings as the results warrant. Even though its free solar power I hate wasting it, just like I don't want to divert radiant floor heat to the hangar from the shop above, as I spend a lot more time in the shop then in the hangar. I just want the engine assembly 70 or above, not the entire hangar. If I'm doing hangar work and I know in advance, I'll pre heat the floor the day before, no need most of the time. My goal is, after startup, a less then 5 minutes run up time. Using a bare light bulb under the cowl is a method I've heard of, but that seems a bit inefficent and crude to me.
    Did you place a "tent" over the engine to trap all the heat? Try this before investing in a blower.
    N1PA

  25. #25
    courierguy's Avatar
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    I have an old sleeping bag cut down and re-shaped that covers the cowl top, and also tucks into the front of cowl inlets. I may play around with leaving the cowl inlets open, on the theory that the hot air will move more past the engine as it flows out, rather then just 'stagnate." Probably better just to button it all up, we'll see. Both the radiant panel heater and the 200 watt heater were under $100.00, total.
    Last edited by courierguy; 12-10-2022 at 11:05 AM.

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    If the heater is under the cowl and blanket I would keep it closed up tight. If the heater is below and outside the blanket having a opening in the top will help.
    DENNY

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJC View Post
    Oil changes will be a pain but it’s a very good price point for those on the edge.
    Just pointing out that this heater is supposed to go into an unused drain plug location. Most Lycomings have a couple of drain holes with only one having the quick drain, so the heater can be installed in the other.

    Web
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    I have a silicone pad on the Cessna and Reiff Hot Strips on the Cub. I can take optical temps if the pads but I’d think the sump oil temp is a better medium to measure. Maybe the temp of the dipstick tip? I have time today to test both but with different sumps and oil quantities it’s mostly a curiosity exercise. I may install an AS heater in the Cub sump and compare to Hot Strips. That would be a direct comparison on the same sump.
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  29. #29

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    I have an AeroTherm heater that circulates warm air around the engine. Have it on the Tcraft using an insulated cowl cover. It has a thermostat that will keep the whole engine and battery a toasty 60-70 degrees all the time in my unheated hangar. When I had a business plane, I had that heater on a timer that had it come on every day at 5AM and shut off at 10AM. If I wasn’t gone by 8 then I wasn’t going that day. Highly recommended but not cheap.

    Jim
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  30. #30
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    This thread made me consider options. I have a c90, so it doesn't look like the AntiSplat works.

    I'm in an unheated hangar where it rarely gets colder than 18-20F. Do the E-Z Heat pads actually work?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by RVBottomly View Post
    This thread made me consider options. I have a c90, so it doesn't look like the AntiSplat works.

    I'm in an unheated hangar where it rarely gets colder than 18-20F. Do the E-Z Heat pads actually work?
    Silicone heat pads stuck to metal with RTV work. We install them on oil pan, transmission, battery mount. Thermo regulated are safer. Also they make magnetic stick-on engine heaters that work well and can be quickly removed from your C-90 steel oil pan if not needed. I like 120V heated and blown air car interior heaters. Some links. Auto parts dealers and Amazon carry them:

    https://katsblockheater.com/magnetic-heaters
    https://katsblockheater.com/oil-pan-heaters
    https://katsblockheater.com/block-he...nterior-heater
    https://phillipsandtemro.com/solutio...cargo-heaters/

    Gary
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  32. #32

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    A 50w or 75w pad heater from an industrial bearing store works fine. No need to worry about overheating. 50w is plenty for a small 4-cylinder.
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  33. #33
    courierguy's Avatar
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    At my crane yard building in town, I heat the entire building (just 18' x 40') slab with a small electric boiler, with the thermostat (imbedded in the slab) set at 50-55 degrees, unlike the hangar the entire rig, not just the engine, really benefits from keeping things toasty.

    A smaller then 200 watt heat pad, they make them in any size, may be the simplest way to go, my 200 watter is good for fairly rapid warmups but nothing I'd want to leave on all day. Garden and green house catalogs have nifty thermotstats that accept anything plugged into them up to 1500 watts, for around $100.00 or less. That'd be one way to regulate, with a little trial and error, an unregulated pad heater.

  34. #34
    courierguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    At my crane yard building in town, I heat the entire building (just 18' x 40') slab with a small electric boiler, with the thermostat (imbedded in the slab) set at 50-55 degrees, unlike the hangar the entire rig, not just the engine, really benefits from keeping things toasty.

    A smaller then 200 watt heat pad, they make them in any size, may be the simplest way to go, my 200 watter is good for fairly rapid warmups but nothing I'd want to leave on all day. Garden and green house catalogs have nifty thermotstats that accept anything plugged into them up to 1500 watts, for around $100.00 or less. That'd be one way to regulate, with a little trial and error, an unregulated pad heater.
    I keep the car in an unheated garage about 75' away, and with a remote outdoor outlet gizmo, I don't have to go out and break thru drifts to get the 750/1500 watt 120V heater going, just click it. I do have to make sure I keep the area in front of it clear from anything, that motivates me to keep it uncluttered in general.

  35. #35
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RVBottomly View Post
    This thread made me consider options. I have a c90, so it doesn't look like the AntiSplat works.

    I'm in an unheated hangar where it rarely gets colder than 18-20F. Do the E-Z Heat pads actually work?
    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    Silicone heat pads stuck to metal with RTV work. We install them on oil pan, transmission, battery mount. Thermo regulated are safer. Also they make magnetic stick-on engine heaters that work well and can be quickly removed from your C-90 steel oil pan if not needed. I like 120V heated and blown air car interior heaters. Some links. Auto parts dealers and Amazon carry them:

    https://katsblockheater.com/magnetic-heaters
    https://katsblockheater.com/oil-pan-heaters
    https://katsblockheater.com/block-he...nterior-heater
    https://phillipsandtemro.com/solutio...cargo-heaters/

    Gary
    Slightly off topic but related to these two posts which reminded me of an accident which happened near me in western Massachusetts about 1962. My memory tells me it was a T-craft, but it could have been any small plane with a Continental kidney oil tank engine. The engine lost oil pressure and failed in flight on a cold day. It was determined the oil surrounding the pick up tube was warm. Just that oil was being circulated down from the engine around the pick up tube and back up into the engine. As time went on, that oil gradually heated the remaining oil in the sump. Eventually that oil began separating into clumps of thick cold oil floating in the warm oil. One of these thick clumps was drawn to the suction holes, blocking the flow and starving the oil pump of oil. All the while the oil temperature on the instrument had been indicating warm oil. Yet it was only the oil which was being circulated. Point being, make certain all the oil in your sump is warm before flying. I don't know, but this accident appears to have been caused by failure to preheat the engine on a very cold day. It wouldn't have been Alaska cold, but certainly could have been in the zero range.
    N1PA
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  36. #36

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    Your aluminum prop is a huge heat sink and if it is a constant speed prop also has some oil in it. If you are preheating your engine and donít have insulated blankets over your prop, you are loosing a lot of heat out the prop!


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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    Your aluminum prop is a huge heat sink and if it is a constant speed prop also has some oil in it. If you are preheating your engine and don’t have insulated blankets over your prop, you are loosing a lot of heat out the prop!


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    I was told by a very wise old pilot, years ago, that he recommended running a wood prop in extreme cold weather, due to the heat loss from a metal prop. The path for heat loss makes sense.

    Web
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    It was determined the oil surrounding the pick up tube was warm. Just that oil was being circulated down from the engine around the pick up tube and back up into the engine.
    I think that analysis would be a very interesting read. Was it documented in an NTSB report?

    How would warm returned oil get to the bottom of the tank to be available to the pickup tube? Isn't warm oil less dense than cold oil? If so, I'd expect it to form a layer over the cold oil after it is returned from the crankcase via the opening in the top of the tank.

    ref http://my.kwic.com/~sinnamon/taylorc...5%20Manual.pdf figures 28 and 29.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    I think that analysis would be a very interesting read. Was it documented in an NTSB report?

    How would warm returned oil get to the bottom of the tank to be available to the pickup tube? Isn't warm oil less dense than cold oil? If so, I'd expect it to form a layer over the cold oil after it is returned from the crankcase via the opening in the top of the tank.

    ref http://my.kwic.com/~sinnamon/taylorc...5%20Manual.pdf figures 28 and 29.
    You now know all I was told about it by my boss at the time. Everything else is an assumption. Assume, the airplane was parked outside as is typical. The engine was started by hand and let run at idle to warm up. The oil pump demands at idle are small. The warmed oil dribbles down the sides of the crankcase and enters the sump near the oil pickup tube. The metal oil pickup tube is warmed by the heating of the crankcase. The warming of the pickup tube warms the thin layer of oil adjacent to it. This thin layer of warmed oil provides a path for the free flow of the thinned warm return oil down to the inlet openings at the bottom of the tube. Thus a small percentage of the oil gets warmed and reused. As more and more oil is warmed the thinning moves outward from the tube until there are globs of thicker cold oil floating around in the warm oil. Then it happens, one of those globs gets drawn to the inlet holes blocking the flow. The oil in the outer section of the sump would still being kept cold and thick by the cold air surrounding the outside of the sump, thus retarding the warming of the outer portions of the oil.
    N1PA

  40. #40
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    Continental has an SIL describing the dangers of congealed oil in engines that are not properly pre-heated. Not specific to the small engines though and does not confirm or refute the conclusions reached after the referenced accident.

    http://my.kwic.com/~sinnamon/taylorc...5%20Manual.pdf

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