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Block heater / battery maintainer install.

Discussion in 'Equipment, Tools & Vehicle Pictures' started by plow/truck, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. plow/truck

    plow/truck Member
    Messages: 57

    This is our community snow plow and I wanted something that was simple to plug in, and in a spot so nobody would forget to unplug it (like the extension cord dangling in the front grill that gets covered in snow).

    We used J.Jeb heater power inlets on our trucks at work, and knew it’s what I wanted for the snow plow. So I went to the local truck salvage and got a used one. The local shop didn’t have one in stock, and they quoted $40. The used Freightliner unit I got isn’t as heavy as the J.Jeb unit, but is similar.
    I inquired about block heaters here and it was suggested by Streetsrufin` to use a lower radiator hose heater. It heats the water that flows throughout the engine and provides a fast warm-up. The unit I got at NAPA (similar to the unit in the picture) is a 600w thermostatically controlled unit, and makes the engine hot enough it gives good warm air when you first start off. To my surprise the heat only goes up, as the lower half of the hose is cool to the touch!

    I also got a battery tender by Deltran. (They are recommended by Odyssey Batteries
    as being a real good unit.). I got the 800mA waterproof model; it has mounting screws included to make it a reliable, permanent install.

    I started by draining the radiator. While it drained I mounted the battery tender and ran the wires along the fire wall to the battery. This unit has battery clips and eyelets, I chose the eyelets for my install and mounted it to the battery.
    I then removed the old lower hose and tossed it aside. I had purchased a new hose, and had to trim to fit, then I marked the hose with a straight line length wise, & cut it as close to the water pump neck as possible. I cut out the necessary amount for the heater and situated it so it would clear the belts & fuel pump. I lined up the lines on the two halves (that I put length wise on the hose) so it would be routed like it was intended.
    Filled the radiator and toped off the radiator with 50/50 antifreeze mix.

    Next I drilled the hole for the power inlet and mounted it to the fender. I routed the cord to the area I wanted the power to go. I marked the cord where I wanted to make my splice for the extension cord end to go, un-plugged the cord from the inlet base, (simple quick release). I soldered the extension cord end into the Freightliner inlet cord. (This gave me necessary outlets to plug my devices into). I soldered and heat shirked each conductor & overlapped the splice with 3 layers to help keep the moisture out.

    Then I routed the cord out of harms way and used Adel clamps to hold it in place. Used tie wraps to secure the heater & battery cables in place for a neat & clean look.
    Plugged it in and tested it out.
    Hope this helps someone who wants to install something like this in the future. If you have any suggestions or other ideas please feel free to include them.

    Parts total:
    Lower hose $22.88
    Heater $39.98
    Gal. Antifreeze $10.75
    Battery tender $39.99
    Power inlet
    (used) $10.00
    Extension cord $9.50
    Adel clamps (5) $3.00

    Snow Plow heater mod 009-1.JPG

    Snow Plow heater mod 012.jpg

    Snow Plow heater mod 005.jpg

    Snow Plow heater mod 001-1.JPG

    Snow Plow heater mod 003-1.JPG
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2007
  2. flykelley

    flykelley 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,127

    I have to say that you did a nice, neat job there. Why the battery tender when you are running a red top?

    Regards Mike
  3. plow/truck

    plow/truck Member
    Messages: 57

    Thanks for the reply.....The battery is going on 4 years, and it does more sitting than driving! :D I look at it as cheap insurance. :nod:

  4. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    You did a nice job on the install and the report. Cold coolant on the low end proves it is circulating the coolant. As the hot coolant rises it travels through the system forcing the cold back toward the heater, in a continous loop. Have a happy, warm, fully charged new year!
  5. plow/truck

    plow/truck Member
    Messages: 57

    Thanks, I should have taken more pictures. I didn't get any of the splice and it came out bullet proof!. I hope I described it well enough. :p
    Question for you. They want to put a timer on the pole where we park the plow. it will come on late night and off early AM. I'm wondering how quick it will heat.
    But one thing I'm not sure about is if it can be on all the time anyway. Any thoughts on this?
    There was nothing in the box about how to operate it. :confused:
  6. occ3377

    occ3377 Member
    Messages: 69

    my thinking, understand that it is from a diifrent size truck, is that on semis with plugs like that we park them in sheds and plug em in till we need them, and heck that could be days! so as i said i dont know if the same applies to your situation but thats my perspective:salute:
  7. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Correct, you can definitely leave them plugged in for long periods. The literature with mine states they are desinged for all night operation, but that 2-4 hours is usually sufficient.