View Full Version : Coolant Heater

04-02-2013, 09:08 AM
Who has installed a diesel coolant heater on their D6 9U, and how well do they warm the engine?

Background: Converted my D6 9U to electric 12V start.
Starter spins her fast, even in cold weather
Glow plugs are not an option, unless I convert to 24V.
Looking at quite a deal on a Webasto DIESEL coolant heater.


South Central Virginia

04-02-2013, 09:36 AM
I have an espar heater on my diesel pickup and it works a treat it is a lot smaller than a webasto for btu output, and physical size is very compact, our local school disrict and most trucker use webasto heaters on diesel busses and trucks, you can be up to operating temp within 20 minutes on average from a starting point temperature of -25 c. they are a little expensive to set up but the advantage is that you do not need 110v power and you can leave the machine in the bush overnight and still get it going the next morning without a problem. the webasto's are a very good unit and relatively maintenance free. you need to ensure your exhaust and intake for the heater are kept clear at all times, and have a good clean source of fuel. they have an internal fuel pump but it is best if you can place the unit below the fuel tank so it has head pressure from the tank to feed the internal pump.

I was concerned that there wasn't a filter on the inlet to the heater from the fuel source so i installed an inline filter. this was a mistake as the filter would create a low fuel pressure to the suction of the internal pump and the unit would "flame out" at temps below -20c, removed the filter and chucked it inthe bin, now it works perfectly at temps as low as -45 c.

they are easy to plumb in, just make sure you plumb the hot line from the heater into the lowest point on the block that you can, and take the coolant suction to the unit from the highest point on the block or head that you can. it is also advantageous to have as large a distance between the two points across the block from front to back. Ie send hot coolant in the block drain at the front of the block, and take the cold coolant out a port at the back of the head. this gives the most engine surface area between your circulating points and prevents a short loop or circuit inside the block. it will drastically reduce heating time. on my 6.5l chev diesel i send the hot coolant from the heater into the discharge of the water pump (the 1/2 inch npt plug on the inlet to the block from the pump chamber) and i take the cold coolant from the engine to the heater pump suction from the rear of the head near the firewall, that way the coolant has to pass through the whole block before it returns to the heater.

04-02-2013, 01:49 PM
Looks any route I take other than ether is expensive; and that route could be the most expensive in the long run.
Pre-cups and 24V glow plugs is a pocketful of dollars, not to mention starter and battery.
The Webasto approach is a tad expensive, but cheap often merits poor performance.
I cannot find a good solution on the cheap.

Even in the summer/spring/fall, I have noticed if I wait 30-to-an-hour, engine is cold enough to hard start w/out ether.

There is an old saying, "in it for a dime- in it for a dollar..."

My 12V starter system is great, I have a 2150 CCA Oddysey AGM battery, everything works great, and to be true, the thing starts right up with a shot of ether. But I have had so many trucks that became "ether-babies" that only start with ether after a while, and I want to avoid that. What I have is done so far, looks and fits professional. Lacking is cold start kit. I thought of using a couple of "ferguson type" fuel over glow plugs in the intake, but really - if it had been a good idea, Catterpillar would likely have done it.

These things need a starting aid. Not to mention oil can get pretty thick in the winter.
If I go Webasto, I will use the pony tube thru the intake as my MUFFLER exhaust extension, and mounting is likely above the battery for protection.

If I go this route, I will post the results.


04-02-2013, 02:13 PM
A lot of the logging equipment here in Northern Minnesota are pre heated by the Webasto type heaters. Most of the time they work great. I would caution however about leaving them on overnight or unattended. A local logger here lost a near new Feller Buncher to a heater fire winter before last. It had an automated heater that had a clock on it and was supposed to have it warm when you arrived at the workplace on work days. It was warm when they got there, to warm. The heater manufacture blamed it on an percieved machine oil leak. We will never know for sure. Fortunately the logger had it insured. As quickly as they warm up the engine I am comfortable with them as long as one is in the area to keep an eye on things. A good time to have a cup of coffee and look things over.

04-03-2013, 06:12 AM
How about a grid heater in the intake. might burn off some oily residue each time you use it because of the oil bath air filter, but should be relatively easy to install one behind the air filter where it bolts to the intake pipe or where the intake pipe bolts to the manifold.

04-03-2013, 09:00 AM
I've always wondered if a grid element like in the heater beneath my desk wouldn't be more effective than a glow plug.