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Old 11-09-2018, 08:00 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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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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Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
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.

Ted
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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.

Ted
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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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