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Engine block heater install/review

Discussion in 'Jeeps' started by Jeep_thing, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Jeep_thing

    Jeep_thing Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    After last year's brutal winter I decided to get off my butt and install a block heater in my 2004 Wrangler TJ, thought I would share.

    First, there were many wrong listings on Amazon and Ebay as far as size. ALL 4.0 engines have 2" freeze plugs and the correct part number is-

    Zerostart 310-0072 Engine Block Heater

    Cost was $25 delivered from Amazon.

    The first evening that I went out to install it (in #1 freeze plug) I promptly went back inside after determining that it was not going to be a 30 minute job. The #1 freeze plug is not even visible, with the power steering pump and AC compressor covering it.

    On the second evening with more allotted time, I worked slow but steady. Removed the windshield fluid reservoir, coolant reservoir, and serpentine belt. I was able to move the PS pump out of the way,(3 bolts through the pulley) and removed the rear AC bracket, and installed the heater while leaving the compressor in place. Knocked the freeze plug sideways with a 36" long pry bar, removed it with vice grips, cleaned up the hole a bit with emery, and used the prybar to push the heater in place and hold it there while tightening the screw with the other hand. Start to finish was about 3 hours. As for the reviewer who said that it leaked from the bolt- that's 100% because he overtightened it.

    Tip- apply plumbers silicone grease to the block and the o'ring to assist in pushing the heater in place. A couple scraped knuckles later, but easier than removing the compressor. I plug the heater into a timer to allow it to heat at 4:00am so that it is warm when I leave for work.

    When going out and starting the Jeep in the morning, the temp needle is just off the cold side peg. In about 3 minutes it is at full operating temperature- MUCH faster than the 15 minutes it used to take, and much healthier on the engine itself to start at that temperature. Who knows, I may even add an oil pan heater too.

    Hope this helps.
  2. MLG

    MLG Senior Member
    from WI
    Messages: 187

    Nice write-up. Thanks for that.

    Might want to run synthetic oil and lube too ...if you aren't already. On our winter Jeeps, I run synthetic in the diffs. I just use the Walmart house brand full synthetic which is seems to be the least expensive around by quite a bit. I'm sure some will scold me, but been using it for years and no issues whatsoever and over 300k on one of the Jeeps. On my plow Cherokee though I just run regular lube.

    Thanks again...
  3. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,078

  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    As long as the oil meets specs, the brand doesn't matter.

    I prefer a block heater.
    On my 4.0 jeep I used the rear frost plug on the passenger side.

    I think ,:DI needed to move a transmission, support temporary to allow installation ,

    As for which one is better, it really can't be argued.
    Block is better.
  5. Jeep_thing

    Jeep_thing Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    I don't believe there are any freeze plugs on the passenger side- that is the camshaft/pushrods side of the block.
  6. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Your right they sure are.