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    Cummins block or oil pan heater

    Hello all, my pre heater doesn’t work on my port engine and it’s VERY hard starting when the ambient temp is cold. I live in the NE and need to move my 47 next week. Any thoughts? Thanks Dave

    #2
    Tony Athens describes the merits of the intake air heaters versus block heaters. The only thing I don't understand is the power usage. Can't imagine leaving block heaters on while away from shore power and not sure how long they take to heat the block before starting.

    https://www.sbmar.com/articles/elect...eater-circuit/
    Tony Bacon,
    Washougal, WA
    Caspian
    1997 3788 Twin Cummins 250hp

    Comment


      #3
      Check the fuse on the port side of the engine as shown in the pictures in the link Bacon posted above. If that is not the culprit then you need to replace the magnetic switches on the starboard side of the engine. there are two of them mounted on a plate below the ECM. They are the same magnetic switches as the starter uses ( a single one a little further back by the starter) so it is always good to have a couple in your parts box as sooner or later you will have to replace one or two of them. Change them out one at a time as you will notice that one is mounted upside down from the other.
      "Adios Dinero"
      1997 3988 with new 330 Cummins
      Photo Credit: Whiskywizard

      Comment


        #4
        All other problems aside from the sound of what you need a oil pan heater would be easiest
        it's magnetic. Put it on oil pan plug in wait a couple hours and start. It would take all of 5 minutes to install. They come in various power levels. I just bought one so I can change the oil in cold temps without starting and warming the engine oil.
        1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
        twin 454's
        MV Mar-Y-Sol
        1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
        Twin chevy 350's inboard
        Ben- Jamin
        spokane Washington

        Comment


          #5
          Yachtman, good advice but it won't work for a Cummins diesel as the oil pans are cast aluminum and the magnetic models will not stick. The best repair is to get the air heaters working as per the original design.
          "Adios Dinero"
          1997 3988 with new 330 Cummins
          Photo Credit: Whiskywizard

          Comment


            #6
            We leave our block heaters on all winter when on shore power. They keep a little heat in the engine room but more importantly keep your oil warm and thin for easier starting and less wear. It’s my understanding that the grid heaters that come with the engines are more about reducing smoke immediately after starting.
            Partner in a 1999 4788

            Seattle, WA

            Comment


              #7
              Regarding the "magnetic switches" aka relays. What is a good source for those? I found some on amazon that seem to be what is needed but I'm not 100% certain. I am thinking of adding the 250watt wolverine block heaters recommended by Tony Athens, looks like they are glued to the pan after sanding the paint off where they will go. I am also thinking of following Tony's recommendation to install switches to enable/disable the intake air preheat only using it when I'm off of shore power (block heaters not heating) in cooler temps (late fall, winter and early spring around here).

              https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...3JCU0DOL&psc=1
              Last edited by Bacon; 01-27-2018, 09:24 AM. Reason: Added link to relays on amazon
              Tony Bacon,
              Washougal, WA
              Caspian
              1997 3788 Twin Cummins 250hp

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by The_Other_Gary View Post
                Yachtman, good advice but it won't work for a Cummins diesel as the oil pans are cast aluminum and the magnetic models will not stick. The best repair is to get the air heaters working as per the original design.
                Well good point but they also don't have to be on the oil pan. It could be attached any where on the block best on a water jacket area if not the oil pan.Over time it would radiantly heat the entire block anyway.
                However if I was going to do it on a regular basis the best type heater would be one permanently installed in a cooling line or soft plug hole.

                I'll also agree if there is a problem it should be fixed if it can I'm the time needed but I'm trying to answer the question that was asked.

                I am also of the opinion that any diesel engine would benefit from some kind of engine heating system. Not just air intake heat. Starting and running on thick oil isn't good for the starter or engine or injectors. Those engines are expensive to repair or replace and a little pre heating can help a lot.
                1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
                twin 454's
                MV Mar-Y-Sol
                1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
                Twin chevy 350's inboard
                Ben- Jamin
                spokane Washington

                Comment


                  #9
                  I'd fix the stock one, but some like these: https://wolverineheater.com/
                  1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It’s all about heat, to get the engine to spin faster and easier for faster compression.
                    Ways to do that:
                    Install wolverine 250 watt heaters on the oil pans. Check the web and call. Need to be plugged in for at least 24 hrs.
                    Install coolant block heaters, available from Cummins. Needs time to warm up also.
                    Fix the preheater, as described above.
                    If pressed for time:
                    Heat the engine room, engines, start batteries with space heaters, with due caution.
                    Ensure start battery is fully charged, full strength.
                    If comfortable motoring single engine, that could be a source of heat until the engine room warms up.

                    "Impasse". 2001 3988
                    Cummins 330's
                    Puget Sound

                    "You don't want to be the richest guy in the nursing home..."

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you all great information

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Bacon View Post
                        Regarding the "magnetic switches" aka relays. What is a good source for those? I found some on amazon that seem to be what is needed but I'm not 100% certain. I am thinking of adding the 250watt wolverine block heaters recommended by Tony Athens, looks like they are glued to the pan after sanding the paint off where they will go. I am also thinking of following Tony's recommendation to install switches to enable/disable the intake air preheat only using it when I'm off of shore power (block heaters not heating) in cooler temps (late fall, winter and early spring around here).

                        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...3JCU0DOL&psc=1
                        Those are the ones, there are 3 on each engine and the air heater ones fail faster than the starter.
                        having a couple on board is a good thing to have as with twin engines you have 6 to possibly fail.
                        "Adios Dinero"
                        1997 3988 with new 330 Cummins
                        Photo Credit: Whiskywizard

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I can give you a good idea what leaving a block heater on all the time costs. Keep in mind this was electric fees about 20 years ago. I had to use the block heater in my motorhome before we left Michigan. I forgot to turn it off. When we got to Florida our electric bills were $50 a month more than usual. Didn't think much of it at first but month after month got my concern. I had contacted the power company to check my meter.
                          Then I thought I would turn off each breaker one at a time. Meter turned just as fast. The only thing on was the garage.
                          Then I thought about the heater. Yup, that was it. Called the power company and told them never mind.
                          Doug
                          Started boating 1955
                          Number of boats owned 32
                          Bayliners
                          2655
                          2755
                          2850
                          3870 presently owned
                          Favorite boat. Toss up. 46' Chris Craft, 3870 Bayliner

                          Comment


                            #14
                            These days with the Internet of Things (IoT) and marina WIFI it should be fairly simple to install a wifi controllable receptacle to plug the block heaters into and connect to them remotely to control when they are on and even put them on a schedule so that they are only turned on when needed instead of 24/7.
                            Tony Bacon,
                            Washougal, WA
                            Caspian
                            1997 3788 Twin Cummins 250hp

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Good news, I installed two solenoids and my heater is working.

                              Comment

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