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    #16
    Timely discussion! I disconnected my air heaters on the advice of my local Cummins mechanic three years ago. Engines generally start right up with very little smoke. They were a bit hard to start in January however. Tony suggested pan heaters for when it’s cold. I’ve been thinking the heaters would be just plugged into a 120v outlet I’ll install in the engine compartment. The outlet would just be wired into an extra breaker on the main electrical panel. I would leave the breaker on and it would get power from either shore power or anytime the genny is running. Maybe intermittent heat under twice a day genny operation helps a little but not enough? Any thoughts?
    2000 4788 w Cummins 370's, underhulls, swim step hull extension
    12' Rendova center console with 40HP Yamaha
    MV Kia Orana
    Currently Alameda CA

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      #17
      That is exactly what I intend to do on the pan heaters. I am also going to do a modification suggested by Tony Athens adding switches at the lower helm to allow me to use the air preheat only as needed.
      Tony Bacon,
      Washougal, WA
      Caspian
      1997 3788 Twin Cummins 250hp

      Comment


        #18
        Oil pan heaters are fine if you have unmetered electric or want to add a little heat to the engine room but at the end of the day ensuring that the Cummins are set up the way they were designed is the key to good starts in varying temperatures. The air heater selector switch is a good idea if you are boating most of the time in warm water but the air heaters were also designed to cycle for a short while after initial starting to minimize smoke. It is one of the world's most popular engines in it's size and a lot of smart engineers set it up that way.
        "Adios Dinero"
        1997 3988 with new 330 Cummins
        Photo Credit: Whiskywizard

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          #19
          I installed the wolverine oil pan heaters on my Cummins 370's (easy job took about an hour) after one of my pre-heaters failed. Without the pre-heater if the engine hadn't run in a few days and the weather was cold I had slow starting and a lot of smoke. With the oil pan heater this was eliminated. It starts right up no smoke and, from my perspective, works as effectively as the air heater. It has the added benefit of keeping the engine room warm through the winter and the benefits noted by others of keeping the oil warm. The only downside I can think of would be the electricity draw but in the spectrum of boat dollars it is fairly low cost.

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            #20
            Just finished the wolverine pan heater install from SBMAR. Ran a circuit on a WEMO switch so I can turn them on or off by smartphone. Can also schedule with the WEMO app if desired. Bottom line, in the Puget Sound area a pair of 250w heaters takes about $.05 per hour to run and has made a tremendous difference in starting- next week the air heaters that have been operating sporadically are coming off. The port air heater likes to stay on after starting and is trying to kill my alternator and the starboard heater participates when the mood strikes. BTW install time for the pan heaters and WEMO switch = about 1/10th the time spent chasing the air heater gremlins. Just sayin'.

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              #21
              I prefer to keep pre-heaters installed because we boat year-round and anchor a lot.
              1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
              2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
              Anacortes, WA

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                #22
                How did you bond them to the oil pans?
                Tony Bacon,
                Washougal, WA
                Caspian
                1997 3788 Twin Cummins 250hp

                Comment


                  #23
                  Norton- we also boat year round and when we anchor out starting isn't a problem . It's prolonged time at the dock when we need the heat.

                  Bacon- the heaters come with an install kit for bonding the heaters to the oil pan

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by sfladgard View Post
                    Norton- we also boat year round and when we anchor out starting isn't a problem . It's prolonged time at the dock when we need the heat.

                    Bacon- the heaters come with an install kit for bonding the heaters to the oil pan
                    From an engine starting perspective there's no difference between prolonged time at the dock vs. prolonged time at anchor. One day at anchor or at the dock will cold soak the engines just the same. In my area the water temperature is 48-52 Deg F year round and the engine room will be somewhere between the water temperature and outside air temperature. We have been at anchor a number of times in sub-freezing weather and the engine compartment gets mighty cold. I had the pre-heater on the starboard engine fail and it definitely was harder to start in cold weather. So it does make a difference.

                    At the dock I keep an oil filled heater in the engine compartment. I prefer that over the oil pan heaters as it also keeps the moisture in the compartment down.
                    ​​
                    1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
                    2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
                    Anacortes, WA

                    Comment


                      #25
                      I disconnected the preheats by just removing the ground wire. It took about 5 minutes and simple to reverse. I believe it is also possible to just disconnect the control wire plug. This is the same plug I believe is used to interrupt if installing a manual switch.
                      2000 4788 w Cummins 370's, underhulls, swim step hull extension
                      12' Rendova center console with 40HP Yamaha
                      MV Kia Orana
                      Currently Alameda CA

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Tony Athens suggests putting switches at the helm to control the preheat circuits. Two wires spliced into the part of the circuit near the relays which has the 5 amp fuse in it run up to SPST switch at the helm does the trick. Done this way you have the preheats easily when you want them and can leave them off the rest of the time. That is the approach I will take.
                        Tony Bacon,
                        Washougal, WA
                        Caspian
                        1997 3788 Twin Cummins 250hp

                        Comment


                          #27
                          I installed oil pan heaters on my engines, 250 watt units wired into a timer { think xmas lights timer}. It is digital programmable so I have them cycle on for 2 hr and off for 3 . I can also just turn them on full time.

                          I leave these on { cycle} full time, keeps the oils fluid and the engine room cosy. It also has the added benefit off keeping moisture out of the intake system, valves etc . Much less smoke on startup .

                          over all electric costs at 12c/kwh = around 60cents per day.
                          Afterglow 4788
                          Gary Weiss
                          Sidney BC
                          ArbutusCoastYachts.com

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by Norton_Rider View Post

                            From an engine starting perspective there's no difference between prolonged time at the dock vs. prolonged time at anchor. One day at anchor or at the dock will cold soak the engines just the same. In my area the water temperature is 48-52 Deg F year round and the engine room will be somewhere between the water temperature and outside air temperature. We have been at anchor a number of times in sub-freezing weather and the engine compartment gets mighty cold. I had the pre-heater on the starboard engine fail and it definitely was harder to start in cold weather. So it does make a difference.

                            At the dock I keep an oil filled heater in the engine compartment. I prefer that over the oil pan heaters as it also keeps the moisture in the compartment down.
                            ​​
                            In our case the boat will sit for weeks at the dock; at anchor maybe 2-3 days in the winter so that makes a difference. Our generator runs regularly while at anchor so the pan heaters have a chance to do their job.

                            Re the oil filled heater; I find that 2 engines with warm oil to be the equivalent of a portable heater- that's a lot of mass keeps the engine room dry as well.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by sfladgard View Post

                              In our case the boat will sit for weeks at the dock; at anchor maybe 2-3 days in the winter so that makes a difference. Our generator runs regularly while at anchor so the pan heaters have a chance to do their job.

                              Re the oil filled heater; I find that 2 engines with warm oil to be the equivalent of a portable heater- that's a lot of mass keeps the engine room dry as well.
                              That's the big difference; we do not run a generator. All the loads on our boat are DC and we rely on a large house battery bank.
                              1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
                              2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
                              Anacortes, WA

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