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Thread: Engine heater

  1. #11
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2011
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    Boise, Idaho
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    Default Re: Engine heater

    Quote Originally Posted by seastar View Post
    Here in Indiana the temperatures drop pretty low in the winter.
    We have had some 15 dF mornings so far.
    Our Carbon Cubs don't like to start at anything below freezing unless they are heated.
    To help solve the problem I built a heater.
    This is the unit I purchased from Ace Hardware for $20


    I popped the handles off the front and added an aluminun right angle vent adaptor from Home Depot to the front with sheet metal screws.
    A dryer vent hose and a plywood base to keep it from tipping completed the unit. Total cost -- less than $40.


    I added a movers blanket from Harbor Freight for $7.99 on sale.
    This keeps the engine warm to the touch on the lowest (750Watts) setting.


    Works great!
    Bill

    PS - nothing gets very hot . You can lay your hand on the bottom surfaces.
    When It gets really cold I will use the 1500 Watt setting.
    Hello..like the heater but having a difficult time locating the aluminum right angle vent adapter. Have
    checked the local Home Depot but unable to locate. Any suggetions for a source. Thanks, Wally

  2. #12
    Senior Member Clay Hammond's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
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    Hudson Valley, NY
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    264

    Default Re: Engine heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Centmont View Post
    The lower teens (above zero) would be a moderate winter day for us here in N. Montana. This is a labor intensive process because the key is getting the old sleeping bags on the cowl tightly. When I start the engine, even at sub-zero weather, the Dynon oil temp reads right at 70 deg. This won't warm an engine quickly either...it fits what I need, doesn't add weight to the plane, doesn't use much electricity, and is cheap to buy....I'm sure it doesn't fit all missions. R
    +1 for the light bulb. The key isn't the bulb itself (although max wattage will certainly garner the most heat output), but rather the insulation as Ralph says. We've used light bulbs for years here in Georgia and Kentucky on our Cubs and my brother's Champ. Lots of blankets and foam plugs all bound together with a couple bungee cords always did the trick to insulate. Nate went so far as to cannibalize an old big fluffy sleeping bag, cut it up, then sew it back together as a custom job. Works great. We get temps rarely below zero in the depths of winter, and usually down to the mid teens to low twenties is the lowest we get. Lights work great for us in these conditions. We'll stick a second one in there if its an especially early start and/or we think it will be extra cold. Nice thing about the bulb is you can confidently walk away from it and not worry one bit. In the winter we just leave them on 24/7. Also can cut down your pre-heat time using an electric or gas heater when you do need to use it...gets you in the air quicker.

    Of course the bigger the block, the harder it will be to warm, So I would say the bulb trick is only good up to an O-360 type, and only then if it is tightly cowled.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Dan L's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    NW MT
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    Default Re: Engine heater

    I tried various solutions to the pre-heat situation with the Carbon Cub too. With my previous PA18 I had an sump heater. And I also used a propane catalytic heater with a cowl blanket to keep it warm if I was away from the hangar and electricity. But with the Carbon Cub there wasn't room in the cowl area to slide in the catalytic heater. Heating was no problem in the hangar with a sump heater and cylinder bands but when I was out and overnight somewhere the dryer heat vent and catalytic heater method I tried and described in another thread didn't work out so well. There was too much heat loss through the vent tube.

    So here is my current solution; bring the electricity with me.

    IMG_0315.jpg

    It is a Honda 1000 watt generator. I had a BFR at Kalispell City airport last month and Murdochs Farm & Ranch Supply is located on the airport property so I went over there and picked one up. It weighs 29 pounds. Plugging my engine heat system into it to test things while it was still warm outside in September had the CHT's showing over 400 in about 30 minutes.

    I'll be already come ski season.
    Flying Carbon Cub EX #11 since 2011

  4. #14
    Senior Member Pete D's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    Yakima, WA
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    Default Re: Engine heater

    I know of another CCK customer who uses one of those generators for pre-heat in the winter as well. Its amazingly quite!
    Pete Dougherty
    R & D Shop Manager
    Cub Crafters Inc

  5. #15
    Senior Member Clay Hammond's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
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    Hudson Valley, NY
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  6. #16
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis
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    Default Re: Engine heater

    Thats clever and portable but ---------
    I don't want anything homemade that has flames putting heat into my $200,000 airplane.
    The only way I would use anything like that is if it was a dire emergency and I was standing by with a fire extinguisher.
    Bill

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