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Moving to Alaska - Engine Heaters

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by ssoulssurfer, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. Jan 20, 2020 at 9:26 AM
    #1
    ssoulssurfer

    ssoulssurfer [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Finally got a job in Alaska, now I need to install an engine heater before leaving.

    I'm thinking I want to do an oil pan heater and a block heater with my battery tender, for a few hours when it's cold out to make sure and get a good start.

    I measured the bottom of the oil pan and it was only like 2-3 inches each way of flat area. I've seen some people put it on the side of the oil pan, but looks kind of tough to get a grinder wheel in there to take off the paint during install.

    What are some sizes and brands that people have used with good results for the V6?

    Some people have mentioned it takes several hours with theirs to heat up (obviously depends on ambient temp)?

    I want to get this, but need to go re-measure the oil pan: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H361JF2/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza

    Otherwise I'll put this, with a block heater I figure should be fine: https://www.amazon.com/Zerostart-34...words=zerostart+3400061&qid=1579539823&sr=8-3

    Both are thermostatically controlled.

    Where have people mounted coolant block heaters? Any good brands for that?
     
  2. Jan 20, 2020 at 12:43 PM
    #2
    Taco critter

    Taco critter #mall crawler , patw and ,ttc#0247

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  3. Jan 20, 2020 at 1:06 PM
    #3
    MagtechPA

    MagtechPA Thor

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    Get a battery tender for sure, they are great. I'm not sure if I would be comfortable using a grinder wheel to remove the paint from the oil pan... seems potentially disastrous. Can't you just clean it really well with a scotch-brite pad and some degreaser, then hit it with denatured alcohol?

    I had a block heater (coolant) as a factory option on a car I used to own, and it was great. It felt like the cold starts were much easier on the engine.
     
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  4. Jan 20, 2020 at 2:23 PM
    #4
    Old n' slow

    Old n' slow Well-Known Member

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    I had the orange heating pad on my Mercedes 300D oil pan for years, that plus a timer on the 120 V outlet set to come on a few hours before going to work at 5 am. It worked great up in the northern winters.
     
  5. Jan 21, 2020 at 6:58 AM
    #5
    Arctic Taco

    Arctic Taco Serenity-the Arctic Taco, another slow build

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    I would go with a zero start on the side of the oil pan. Depending on where you are going that may be enough, if you’re going to Fairbanks or up into south central then I would add a battery blanket, and a freeze plug heater. When I had my motor swap done, the shop set me up with a pan heater mounted on the left side of the oil pan, clean it good and use high temp silicone. And welcome to the great land.
     
  6. Jan 21, 2020 at 7:05 AM
    #6
    ChiveOn

    ChiveOn City Slickin' Redneck, I wear a suit with a mullet

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    Not in Alaska but Canada, so I still know the cold.

    I only have the OEM block heater and it is perfect. My truck wasn't plugged in last week when it was -40 (Celesius) here and my truck didn't hiccup once. Once the truck is running it takes 10 minutes for it to warm up to operating temperature. The main thing is making sure your battery is healthy and has a high CCA.

    Unless you are going away for a month in the dead of winter you don't need a battery tender, a simple plug in block heater is more than enough.
     
    No37 likes this.
  7. Jan 21, 2020 at 7:58 AM
    #7
    ssoulssurfer

    ssoulssurfer [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ok awesome thanks everyone. My truck will be in anchorage while I'm working in Nome, so won't be so cold like fairbanks or something. I was trying to find the oem block heater (which is from canada apparently) but none of the dealers can get it now they say. Has anyone installed a different brand, and how did you do it?

    I'm gonna take the skid plates off tomorrow and get back in there to take a look. I'll try to use a scotch brite pad to take the paint off (is that enough?), and see if I would be able to mount that bigger zerostart pad on the side of the oil pan then.
     
  8. Jan 21, 2020 at 11:20 AM
    #8
    Arctic Taco

    Arctic Taco Serenity-the Arctic Taco, another slow build

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    That would work fine, Anchorage is kinda like a colder Washington so you should be golden.
     
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  9. Jan 21, 2020 at 11:47 AM
    #9
    ssoulssurfer

    ssoulssurfer [OP] Well-Known Member

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  10. Jan 21, 2020 at 12:03 PM
    #10
    CassND

    CassND Well-Known Member

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  11. Jan 21, 2020 at 12:05 PM
    #11
    CassND

    CassND Well-Known Member

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  12. Jan 21, 2020 at 12:39 PM
    #12
    Arctic Taco

    Arctic Taco Serenity-the Arctic Taco, another slow build

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    A Webasto might be overkill for his uses down on the Kenai, kinda tropical down there, wet snow and lots of ice, and lots of inexperienced drivers- lots of new military folk, that have never really dealt with the crappy road conditions there. Then of course everyone is in a hurry....
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  13. Jan 22, 2020 at 7:20 AM
    #13
    ssoulssurfer

    ssoulssurfer [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I'm just looking for something I can plug into with an extension cord from the garage.
     
  14. Jan 22, 2020 at 7:45 AM
    #14
    CoWj

    CoWj Lost and Found at the same time.

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    I live in one of the coldest places in the lower 48, and I've started my truck in -20° without too much issues. Biggest thing it starting it with the clutch pushed in. The trans gear oil becomes so thick at that temp you can move the truck forward even in neutral. You have to hold it in for a little bit before you can release it. Or you may stall the engine.
    A battery with good CCA and a block heater are good to have. But I know a lot of people here with just pan heaters and it works fine for them even in -30, -40 temps. I personally don't have either but don't start my truck below -25°.
     
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  15. Jan 22, 2020 at 8:01 AM
    #15
    ssoulssurfer

    ssoulssurfer [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Aren't you concerned about long term wear and tear from cold starts with thick oil?
     
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  16. Jan 22, 2020 at 8:18 AM
    #16
    CoWj

    CoWj Lost and Found at the same time.

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    I've taken apart engines that have been sitting for a couple weeks. And I was shocked at how much oil was still coating everything, so sitting over night or for a day or two doesn't seem to make the engine "dry" of oil. While the oil is think, Toyota does recommend different oils for different temps in the owner's manual so they seemed to have designed them for starting in the cold. I do want to add a pan heater but I don't have access to a outlet where I live to be able to plug it in consistently.
     
  17. Jan 22, 2020 at 11:16 AM
    #17
    Mooseak907

    Mooseak907 Active Member

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    I’ve been living in anchorage for +10 years and to be honest our Tacoma’s start up every time just fine w/out block heaters. In anchorage and everything below anchorage at least, only dips down below 0 for maybe a month and as long as you start your truck every other day you’ll be fine. If you’re going north of anchorage different story, gets drastically colder further north you get.
     
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  18. Jan 22, 2020 at 11:17 AM
    #18
    Mooseak907

    Mooseak907 Active Member

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    What I do recommend for driving in Alaska is a hood deflector, good m/s tires and have the sipped, and good lights. I’m still running stock but next back Friday I’ll be retrofitting my headlights.
     
  19. Jan 22, 2020 at 11:26 AM
    #19
    FastEddy59

    FastEddy59 TTC #0061

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    I’d suggest gettin’ the factory recommended block heater. Warms the engine water jacket & don’t forget a cold weather rated extension cord. If you can’t find a good one, then make one up.
     
  20. Jan 24, 2020 at 9:36 AM
    #20
    ssoulssurfer

    ssoulssurfer [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I got the Zerostart 3.5 x 4.5 inch one from above. Fyi I got in there looks like there's enough space on the passenger side of the oil pan to mount it, ~4x4 inches of space. I don't want to take a chance and want to install something to help oil get warmed and lubricate.

    To get the paint off, people say scotch brite, are you talking about the metal dish cleaning thing, or a specific type sand paper? With brake parts cleaner of course.

    Also, it comes with small tube of silicone sealant for edges, just in case if I run out, which would be good to get?
     
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