DIY coolant heater install

Discussion in 'General' started by TheStepChild, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. This install is on an 88 Ranger. Your vehicle may vary but the general ideas are the same.

    1st off - follow you vehicle manufacturers recommended safety instructions for safely and properly jacking/lifting your vehicle. We're not discussing safety issues here, you are responsible for following safe work practices .

    2nd - dispose off used coolant in accord with all local/state/federal rules.


    For this project I needed:

    Flat screwdriver
    Large tote for draining coolant into. I like the ones that can slide under a bed, low profile but wide and big enough to catch the coolant.
    Enough new coolant and water to refill.
    A lower radiator hose coolant heater.
    Sharp cutting instrument.

    Start by draining the coolant. Make sure coolant and engine are cool. This truck has a drain plug on the radiator, but not all do.

    [​IMG]

    Take off radiator cap to help drain.

    After all that is going to drain drains, I pulled the lower radiator hose off. Here's a couple pics.

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    After the hose is out you need to cut a small section out for the heater. I'm starting with about this much:


    [​IMG]


    You want to cut it out on a good, straight section of hose. Pretty easy to find on this ranger.




    More after work...
    And I have to buy the heater too, Haha. Hopefully they still have one in stock. But I had to get the hose off and measure it to know which size to get. :)
     
  2. Here is the coolant heater I used, its 600 watt, $26.49 out the door. Should be good for this 2.0L

    [​IMG]

    Instructions say mount it 1-with the heater pointing towards the water pump. 2-as close to pump as you can, 3-lower than the pump, and 4 cap facing down

    Here's where I put it:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    route the power cord out of the way of all moving parts.

    refill radiator according to your vehicle manufacturers instructions.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  3. Wow, great idea! What kind of MPG increase you looking at with this thing? I've got my Ranger too, definitely thinking about doing this.
     
  4. Idk.

    This ranger is carb'd and I noticed it does not like to be Eugene until it decides its warmed up. A manual choke would help too I think but I'm not doing it.
    It really does help, I can start driving with no warm up period now.

    Haven't driven it in a couple weeks. Got a friends Tacoma and have been driving that instead. Tacoma goes bye bye today tho so I'm back in the ranger.

    I did just put snow tires on the ranger too, and the correct size tires. So I may not be able to get an accurate before/after comparison
     
  5. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    600w in a small package, I hope the plastic does not melt.
     
  6. That's very cool! Definitely going to think about doing this.
     
  7. it shouldnt. Thats what its made for. Ive had it run on a timer for 5 ish hours. no problems yet.
     
  8. 2Evil4U

    2Evil4U Well-Known Member

    This thread got me thinking. My Strat idles at 2500rpm until it is nearly completely warm. It is chronically annoying.

    I just ordered a freeze plug block heater to fix that. $15 shipped fom Amazon.

    Good thoughts.
     
  9. 2Evil4U

    2Evil4U Well-Known Member

    Just installed the new freeze plug/block heater. Surprisingly easy to access on the Mitz 6g72 in my Stratus. Took a bit to get the old plug out, but the new one fit perfectly and the hardest part was routing the cord to not touch anything hot.

    In process of testing to see how it works.
     
  10. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    That was quick..
     
  11. 2Evil4U

    2Evil4U Well-Known Member

    Seems to work pretty well. Though, The GFCI cord I built for it is now tripping. Not sure if it's the cord or The unit has already developed a short. I have to investigate further when I get home from work.
     
  12. 2Evil4U

    2Evil4U Well-Known Member

    It appears I had installed the first heater such that it touched off on the block. This caused it to fail. I've replaced it and so far have been able to get several heat cycles on it with no problems. It is very nice to get in the car and not have the engine screaming while it warms up.
     

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