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Old 11-09-2018, 08:00 PM   #1
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Engine block heater?

Hi, we have our crown bus spending it's first time in the winter. We live in Missouri and won't be driving it much if at all. It's parked at my parents property where we will start renovating the interior. I plan on buying a battery charger for it to keep the batteries charged. I plan on turning it on at least once a week and running the engine. My father mentioned we need to have something warm the engine and under the bus before turning the bus on. I can't seem to find anything on Amazon it's all like 12 volt heaters and some Small block heaters for smaller vehicles. What would the correct term for this be? I guess we are worried about the oil pan being too cold, and any fluids needed to turn the bus on, along with the diesel fuel being too cold. I think the diesel in it now is a blend b15 I believe and some diesel #2. The tank is about half full (80 gallon tank) I heard diesel starts to jelly up when it's cold out, should we fill up the tank, or is it okay to leave half full? If someone can give me an insight as to how to keep our bus, engine, transmission healthy during the cold months I would really appreciate it.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:13 PM   #2
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Somebody else will probably chime in on it, but I just saw a response to another post that said starting the bus once a week, for maintenance reasons, is actually a really bad idea. It puts unnecessary wear on the engine.
As for the fuel gelling, Power Service Products sells an additive that prevents gelling. I believe you'll want to add the proper amount to your tank then run the engine so it gets into your filters and fuel lines.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:22 PM   #3
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Somebody else will probably chime in on it, but I just saw a response to another post that said starting the bus once a week, for maintenance reasons, is actually a really bad idea. It puts unnecessary wear on the engine.
As for the fuel gelling, Power Service Products sells an additive that prevents gelling. I believe you'll want to add the proper amount to your tank then run the engine so it gets into your filters and fuel lines.
Thanks for the feedback, I wonder how bad it is to turn it on once a week and run it a bit, is it worse than not turning it on at all all winter, I feel like not turning it on andletting water, fuel, oil etc flow through the engine is bad :/

As for the gel is this power service product additive safe to use on our engine we have a Detroit 671. I'm very reluctant to add things to this engine just cause it may not like it. Also the bus is on its last like 200-500 miles until oil needs to be changed, should I change it now or wait till the spring?
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:35 PM   #4
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i don't think MO is usually cold enough to worry about gelling fluid. #2 diesel is the culprit and a bottle of that fuel treatment will be fine to keep it from gelling.

my 2 cents is to fill the tank and let the beast sit. if you aren't planning on using it, trying to start it on a cold winter day probably is more damaging than letting it be.

a half full fuel tank lets moisture condense on the tank walls and contaminate the fuel.

treat the fuel, fill it up and park it.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:46 PM   #5
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I'm in the no start camp in cold weather unless you are going to go somewhere and get it properly warmed up. This doesn't happen at idle sitting at home. The coolant warms sure but not the oil, trans fluid, fuel, belts, filters and the block itself along with everything bolted to the block. Metal expands so gaskets need to be warm in cold weather to make good seals. Idling doesn't help do that either every week or so.
Batteries should have a tender to keep them fit, should you need to drive the bus.

You put unnecessary strain on just about every component from the batteries, to the starter..well you get the idea I hope.


Yes do find how to install a 120v black heater or better yet if you aren't sure, have a tech do it. Two hours on before startup is usually good when the engine is cold and may take longer depending on how low the temp is. Makes for quick defrosts, cabin heat too. A must!

Antifreeze should be at least 50/50 in the cold to about -30F but your bus will have specs to follow.


Good luck over your winter in the cold and continued when Spring comes.



John
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:56 PM   #6
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I'm in the no start camp in cold weather unless you are going to go somewhere and get it properly warmed up. This doesn't happen at idle sitting at home. The coolant warms sure but not the oil, trans fluid, fuel, belts, filters and the block itself along with everything bolted to the block. Metal expands so gaskets need to be warm in cold weather to make good seals. Idling doesn't help do that either every week or so.
Batteries should have a tender to keep them fit, should you need to drive the bus.

You put unnecessary strain on just about every component from the batteries, to the starter..well you get the idea I hope.


Yes do find how to install a 120v black heater or better yet if you aren't sure, have a tech do it. Two hours on before startup is usually good when the engine is cold and may take longer depending on how low the temp is. Makes for quick defrosts, cabin heat too. A must!

Antifreeze should be at least 50/50 in the cold to about -30F but your bus will have specs to follow.


Good luck over your winter in the cold and continued when Spring comes.



John
Awesome thank you guys for your input. So the next few days is going to be in the 30s during the day and 20s at night. Next wee it's supposed to get in the 50s during the day. Would that be enough to add the additive to the fuel? As I said it has b15 diesel (from loves) and I think some diesel #2 that I added last time on a little fill up. So should I still add additive?Take her to truck stop, fill her up so there's not much room for water /condensation around the walls. Missouri usually 30s and 40s during the day and 15s 20s at night. So I'm planning on doing this next week when it's 50s. And then just park her all winter. Does anyone have a block heater in mind that would work, and does this get hooked up to the engine somehow or is it just something that goes under the bus (engine is mid engine it's in the middle of the bus underneath the bus) so is it something a slide under the bus and shoots up hot air? Or is it something that is actually installed into the bus engine etc?
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:06 PM   #7
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For storage I was told by my fuel supplier to make sure the tank is full and use an anti gel additive as well as an algaecide. The full tank reduces condensation inside the tank which keeps water out of the fuel. You will want additives that prevent gelling and algae. An additive to lube your injectors and fuel pump is a good idea as well. Make sure to drive the bus long enough to get the additives into the fuel system.

It is a good idea to drive the bus periodically. Just starting the bus and idling it could do more harm than good as at idle the cylinders my get washed with diesel. It would be best to start the engine let it run for a few minutes until the engine temp starts to come up and oil pressure comes down to your normal idle pressure. Then drive it long enough to get the engine up to operating temperatures a for 20 to 30 min. Getting up to operating temperatures will remove moisture from the oil and crank case. Driving the bus will also keep the seals in your diff and tranny from drying out.

Doing this a couples times a month should be enough. Take advantage of warm days. Starting a cold engine will do more damage than letting it sit. Check to see if you have a block heater. A magnetic oil pan heater is a good idea if your running 40w oil and its getting cold at night. I'd check an oil chart and see what the recomended temperature range for 40w is for your engine. If in doubt put the block heater and the oil pan heater on it for a few hours before starting.

If your batteries are fully charged put a battery maintainer on them and leave it plugged in. Dead batteries can freeze and split and when you have a nice day to drive your bus you won't want to wait for a dead battery to charge.

Also check that you coolant mix is right for your expected low temperatures.

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Old 11-09-2018, 09:24 PM   #8
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For storage I was told by my fuel supplier to make sure the tank is full and use an anti gel additive as well as an algaecide. The full tank reduces condensation inside the tank which keeps water out of the fuel. You will want additives that prevent gelling and algae. An additive to lube your injectors and fuel pump is a good idea as well. Make sure to drive the bus long enough to get the additives into the fuel system.

It is a good idea to drive the bus periodically. Just starting the bus and idling it could do more harm than good as at idle the cylinders my get washed with diesel. It would be best to start the engine let it run for a few minutes until the engine temp starts to come up and oil pressure comes down to your normal idle pressure. Then drive it long enough to get the engine up to operating temperatures a for 20 to 30 min. Getting up to operating temperatures will remove moisture from the oil and crank case. Driving the bus will also keep the seals in your diff and tranny from drying out.

Doing this a couples times a month should be enough. Take advantage of warm days. Starting a cold engine will do more damage than letting it sit. Check to see if you have a block heater. A magnetic oil pan heater is a good idea if your running 40w oil and its getting cold at night. I'd check an oil chart and see what the recomended temperature range for 40w is for your engine. If in doubt put the block heater and the oil pan heater on it for a few hours before starting.

If your batteries are fully charged put a battery maintainer on them and leave it plugged in. Dead batteries can freeze and split and when you have a nice day to drive your bus you won't want to wait for a dead battery to charge.

Also check that you coolant mix is right for your expected low temperatures.

Ted
Thanks Ted, 2 questions, how would I lube the injectors? Is this the same additive I add to the fuel and just drive the engine to get this through the system? Or do I have to manually lube the injectors, sorry if I'm asking stupid questions I'm trying to learn everything as I have very little knowledge in this.

Also for the coolant mix how would I go about knowing what the ratio of it is currently, I know it should be a certain water percentage and coolant, but how would I know and also how would I know what type of coolant to put in it, would it be marked somewhere, I don't want to add regular Napa coolant without knowing what type :/
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:01 PM   #9
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There are fuel additives that will take care of the injectors. For the coolant pick up either coolant test strips or a coolant tester.

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Old 11-10-2018, 07:07 AM   #10
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Just from the tone of your questions regarding block heaters I would recommend a pro once again. Someone who knows that engine. You may already have one installed but have you looked?

The heater goes into a hole where a frost plug is now, an accessible one at that. Likely your antifreeze will have to be drained to do this properly and then refilled. Are you sure you know how to do that?
You would do well to start reading these threads heavily if you intend to remain a happy bus owner.
Those members here that own a bus with your engine etc are and can be more than helpful but you have to gain some more understanding on your own. All your questions haave been covered here umpteen times if you care to research.


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Old 11-10-2018, 08:16 AM   #11
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I understand people want to protect their investment and it makes us come up with all sorts of ideas to actively keep things healthy. However, as has been said, the best thing to do to keep your bus happy and healthy for a winter sit is to top up fluids, put a trickle charger on the battery (small solar panel even) and walk away. Leave it at that. Well, maybe set some mouse traps, too

While active vehicles get beat up by the winter with salt and spray, sitting vehicles do just fine. If you aren't actually taking it for a drive somewhere don't start it. All winter long even. Just let it sit. Short cycles of the engine and excessive idling will ADD condensation, not remove it. Also, as mentioned, cold cylinder walls condense the diesel sprayed into the cylinders and effectively wash away the oil. Then it can drip into the crank case and dilute your oil.

If installing a block heater sounds like effort beyond your skillset then perhaps an oil pan heating pad would better suit your needs. They adhere to the bottom of the oil pan and heat the oil instead of the coolant, which is a better approach in my opinion.

Here's an idea of what they look like. Should be able to find them at most heavy duty parts stores. Canadian Polar Pad

Again, they only need to be turned on a couple hours before you plan on taking a trip in the bus. There's no need to leave them on indefinitely. Let the sleeping bus lie
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:57 AM   #12
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I understand people want to protect their investment and it makes us come up with all sorts of ideas to actively keep things healthy. However, as has been said, the best thing to do to keep your bus happy and healthy for a winter sit is to top up fluids, put a trickle charger on the battery (small solar panel even) and walk away. Leave it at that. Well, maybe set some mouse traps, too

While active vehicles get beat up by the winter with salt and spray, sitting vehicles do just fine. If you aren't actually taking it for a drive somewhere don't start it. All winter long even. Just let it sit. Short cycles of the engine and excessive idling will ADD condensation, not remove it. Also, as mentioned, cold cylinder walls condense the diesel sprayed into the cylinders and effectively wash away the oil. Then it can drip into the crank case and dilute your oil.

If installing a block heater sounds like effort beyond your skillset then perhaps an oil pan heating pad would better suit your needs. They adhere to the bottom of the oil pan and heat the oil instead of the coolant, which is a better approach in my opinion.

Here's an idea of what they look like. Should be able to find them at most heavy duty parts stores. Canadian Polar Pad

Again, they only need to be turned on a couple hours before you plan on taking a trip in the bus. There's no need to leave them on indefinitely. Let the sleeping bus lie
Thank you, yes I plan to let it sit all winter and rest, I like the idea of the oil pan heater in case I need to turn her on and drive for like 30 minutes or 1 hour on a warmer than usual day. I planned on driving her maybe twice between November and March just to make sure everything is okay. So after reading your comment I'm guessing a block heater heats the coolant and oil while a pan heater just heard the pan which has the oil in it?
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:13 AM   #13
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block heaters and boom

I dont think running your 6-71 is a good idea, drive it yes, start and idle, maybe not. I believe another member here had a runaway 6-71, believed to have been caused by starting repeatedly but not driving. Now has to remove the cylinder head repair a problem.

A possible block heater -Google "magnetic block heater" these are usually pretty small 200w and will take a while to heat up the engine oil.


I would second using a heater that installs into a core plug or what is commonly called a freeze plug.

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Old 11-10-2018, 08:30 PM   #14
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Just make sure that a magnetic oil pan heater will fit on your pancake engine's oil pan. It's not a normal 6-71 oil pan.

And PLEASE don't start the bus unless you'll be driving it for half an hour or more.

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Old 11-11-2018, 09:51 PM   #15
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Just make sure that a magnetic oil pan heater will fit on your pancake engine's oil pan. It's not a normal 6-71 oil pan.

And PLEASE don't start the bus unless you'll be driving it for half an hour or more.

John
Where would this magnetic pan heater go, I'm guessing right underneath it, isn't it universal and you just place somewhere on the pan?

Also guys I ordered this charger it's for 12 volt 1.1 amps. I read reviews that its more of a trickle charger which is what I want so it doesn't damage the battery?

This is the link: NOCO Genius G1100 6V/12V 1.1A Advanced Battery Trickle Charger Maintainer

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004LX3AXQ..._GMo6BbEXHTTN3

Would I just hook this on each end of the batteries? I have 2 big batteries in the bus I'm guess it's 12volt system. Would it have 2 bolts 1 negative 1 positive on one of the batteries and it charges both?
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:23 PM   #16
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Block heater is better than heated dipstick or magnetic pan heater, heating oil when really cold can prove to be of no value as I have seen the pan stay warm on some of my customers trucks and transfer no heat to the rest of the block.It absolutely gets cold enough around here to gel fuel, although as long as you are buying quality fuel from a good supplier it will be "winter fuel" I ran a fleet of trucks all winter long never had a gel problem but did have a algae problem one winter turns out supplier treated for gel but not algae was an expensive winter for that supplier.I would however fuel treat a unit that was going to sit all winter with Howes or Powerservice just for peace of mind either one will provide good gel ,algae,and injector protection for your DDA.
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:26 PM   #17
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Also a trickle charger is fine as long as it has a maintainer cycle. Plus if it is cold enough to gel fuel it is too cold to start the bus unless you absolutely have to. Gene
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:26 PM   #18
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If your batteries are cabled + to + and - to - it's a 12 volt system. Put the positive charger lead on one battery and the negative on the other battery to get even charging. That's probably not a big deal with a trickle charger but it's good to get into the habit.
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:39 AM   #19
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Unless someone's changed them to something else, you should have two 8D start batteries in parallel. The only 24V Crowns were the tour buses such as the Atomics. The Noco is hardly a charger - at only 1.1A it's really just a maintainer and not much more. Because 1.1A split between two 8Ds won't do much, it may be better to buy another identical Noco and use one of them on each battery, then if one battery needs more oomph than the other you won't run the risk of over- or under-charging either of them. I do the same, sort of, with my two Group 31 start batteries - each has its own Ultra Trik-L-Start battery maintainer to allow for one of the batteries always needing to supply 8mA to the DDEC even when the battery main isolator switch is turned off. Besides, as batteries age they often develop slightly different charging requirement than their siblings, so being able to charge them separately is not a bad idea.

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Old 11-12-2018, 12:29 PM   #20
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Unless someone's changed them to something else, you should have two 8D start batteries in parallel. The only 24V Crowns were the tour buses such as the Atomics. The Noco is hardly a charger - at only 1.1A it's really just a maintainer and not much more. Because 1.1A split between two 8Ds won't do much, it may be better to buy another identical Noco and use one of them on each battery, then if one battery needs more oomph than the other you won't run the risk of over- or under-charging either of them. I do the same, sort of, with my two Group 31 start batteries - each has its own Ultra Trik-L-Start battery maintainer to allow for one of the batteries always needing to supply 8mA to the DDEC even when the battery main isolator switch is turned off. Besides, as batteries age they often develop slightly different charging requirement than their siblings, so being able to charge them separately is not a bad idea.

John
Great, thanks John, so if I go ahead and buy a second identical 1.1amp noco would I just hook each noco charger to each battery? Would I have to disconnect the batteries from each other or do I keep them how they are and just connect a charger to each? I guess my plan is to keep them in the bus where they are at and just have the charger plugged in. Is it totally fine to have 2 chargers hooked up at the same time? Just want to make sure I don't cause damage to batteries. They have other noco chargers 3.5 amps, 7 amps and 15 amps, I guess I chose 1.1 amps cause I read somewhere you don't want to have such high current and quick charging you just want to slowly charge them and then maintain them all winter. Your advise is greatly appreciated
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