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richparker
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:09 pm    Post subject: Oil sump heater Reply with quote

I was at the VW shop today (again) talking to the mechanic about an oil heater. He told me about the oil sum heater. I went home and googled it and low and behold there it was. Has anyone ever used this? If so, how did it work for you? How does it survive the winter elements? Here is a pic and a link to the for sale on eBay.


http://m.ebay.com/itm/Phillips-Zerostart-Volkswage...0894377173

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Thanks,
Rich P.
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Brian
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand the theory, but in all practicality wouldn't you really only need this if you don't have the correct oil weight for the season?
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian wrote:
I understand the theory, but in all practicality wouldn't you really only need this if you don't have the correct oil weight for the season?


Its not "needed" if like you said, that you have the correct oil for the season. It would still make cold starts easier on your engine/oil pump in the winter. I wanted to do something like this, combined with a battery warmer For the PA winters, been getting colder each winter, damn global warming Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In theory, anything you can do to get your engine up to operating temps quickly is going to increase the life of the engine. While our ACVWs don't need block heaters to keep the coolant from freezing, it sure would help the engine to warm the oil first. Thermal expansion rates is usually why we talk about thermostats, but the flap system helps heat the oil quicker to burn off moisture, so why wouldn't pre-heated oil help that system? Personally, I would just put a light bulb touching the sump on a timer to turn on a few hours before I leave in the morning. That way, when I forget to unplug it, I'm only out a 30 cent lightbulb.

Overall I like that warmer; it could come in handy in the really cold season that some people claim they get…… I surfed (no wetsuit yet) yesterday, and still have to run the AC at work…… Keep your regional experiences of climate change off the world-wide internet; not everybody lives in the same place Brick wall

Robbie
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

asiab3 wrote:
not everybody lives in the same place Brick wall


Yea, but we do Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian wrote:
asiab3 wrote:
not everybody lives in the same place Brick wall


Yea, but we do Laughing


Laughing O.K. we all live on the same planet, but live within different climates on said planet Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went skiing at Jackson Hole with my '69 camper. The first morning, wrong weight oil, the engine would not turn over. Bought an oil sump heater at a flaps and got the engine started at noon. After skiing the engine was difficult to turn over and would not start, but it was all downhill out of the parking lot. Got the engine started with a combination of starter and bump start in third gear at about twenty. Went back to the flaps and did an oil change on the ice in the parking lot.

There have been other posts regarding these sump heaters. I think bigbore did a reply once and mentioned all the cars he sees trailing extension cords.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian wrote:
I understand the theory, but in all practicality wouldn't you really only need this if you don't have the correct oil weight for the season?


Depends on how cold it gets. Much below 0* F, the oil will be very slow to flow and will take a very long time to warm up. My guess is that you'd be damaging your engine at least some until the oil got to a reasonable temp, somewhere above zero F. IMO any oil thin enough to flow good below zero would not protect an AC engine at normal operating temps.

I would use a heater in temps below zero, if I was even going to run an ACVW at all. We used block heaters in Idaho in the winter in water-cooled vehicles...started right up, heater worked faster, and no battery worries. Also in extreme cold it kept the coolant from freezing.

Also without a heater, your battery and starting system would need to be in great shape to even crank the engine.

You'd leave a water-cooler plugged in all the time but that was because the coolant might freeze. You don't need to run an oil heater constantly on a an ACVW, only a few hours, or the night before you plan to start it. Cheap alternative would be to leave a shop light plugged in inside the engine compartment...won't get the oil as warm but would help a bit.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

asiab3 wrote:
In theory, anything you can do to get your engine up to operating temps quickly is going to increase the life of the engine. While our ACVWs don't need block heaters to keep the coolant from freezing, it sure would help the engine to warm the oil first. Thermal expansion rates is usually why we talk about thermostats, but the flap system helps heat the oil quicker to burn off moisture, so why wouldn't pre-heated oil help that system? Personally, I would just put a light bulb touching the sump on a timer to turn on a few hours before I leave in the morning. That way, when I forget to unplug it, I'm only out a 30 cent lightbulb.

Overall I like that warmer; it could come in handy in the really cold season that some people claim they get…… I surfed (no wetsuit yet) yesterday, and still have to run the AC at work…… Keep your regional experiences of climate change off the world-wide internet; not everybody lives in the same place Brick wall

Robbie


A lot of good stuff there Robbie. Then, bam! What happened? Personally I'd take snowboarding in October over surfing in any winter month. That's just me.

I don't want you guys to think my bus is not starting. This morning it was 5* out when I turned it over. I lowered my oil viscosity from 20/50 to 10/30 for the winter already. I am just looking to get the oil a bit warmer so it's not like syrup when I turn it over. I've dicussed the light bulb idea and a heating pad on the sump idea. But this product is made to heat and it's not that expensive. If it holds up to the winter elements it could be a good product. Regional information here, read at own risk Razz They don't use salt on the roads here so I'm able to drive all winter as long as it's not storming.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

richparker wrote:

I don't want you guys to think my bus is not starting. This morning it was 5* out when I turned it over. I lowered my oil viscosity from 20/50 to 10/30 for the winter already. I am just looking to get the oil a bit warmer so it's not like syrup when I turn it over. I've dicussed the light bulb idea and a heating pad on the sump idea. But this product is made to heat and it's not that expensive. If it holds up to the winter elements it could be a good product.


Want to take the plunge and let everyone else know how it holds up? The plug looks vintage, but even economy products from back then are better than most of what's on the shelves now. Cool

The auction page says "more than 10 available" so these might be a good find for those who have seasons where they live.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sump heaters are SOP for my air cooled engines... rarely need 'em but it's nice to know you have it... and we do get some -35C days where it's nice to be able to give the starter a break. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is another way to warm your engine. Try the old round reflector work lite with a 100 watt incandescent bulb. Place under engine for however long it takes to warm your engine. Another method is a good round lighted pan of charcoal under the engine, starts up in about 45 minutes. I have user these methods on all kinds of equipment when I lived in NNY, and temps used to drop to minus 40 a bunch.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Name brand for ACVW I think was 'Kats' I use one on my Kabota tractor Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plug it in and drive away.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to keep a Benz diesel on the street in Brooklyn NY and the block heater, plugged in an about 1/2 hour before car use did wonders for ease of starting.
Getting a parking spot close enough for my collection of extension cords, that was a challenge.
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are running synthetic oil, there is no need to do it. IF you are running 10-30 dino still no need.

You would be better off to trickle charge the battery to keep it warm as at 0º they have about half the power as they do at 32º
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Randy in Maine wrote:
If you are running synthetic oil, there is no need to do it. IF you are running 10-30 dino still no need.

You would be better off to trickle charge the battery to keep it warm as at 0º they have about half the power as they do at 32º

Randy, I rarely disagree with you, but I run my bus year round and when it is 20 below even with synthetic oil I find using a sump heater would be beneficial.
Or better yet an engine compartment heater to warm everything. I use VR1 by the way. Has proper zddp content.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is 18* this morning. I checked the temp of the sump with the IR gun, 14*.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

richparker wrote:
It is 18* this morning. I checked the temp of the sump with the IR gun, 14*.


Nice! How did it start?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As part of my regular job I operate two turbine engine driven generators. These are each roughly the size of a railroad car and each have oil tanks that hold several hundred gallons of oil. Each unit has an internal oil tank heater which keeps the oil at a constant 80 F. Keeping the oil warm prevents water accumulation and damage. I'd say that for people who plan to moth ball their buses over the winter it would be a great idea to keep the engine warm.

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