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Thoughts on preheating?

RangerPilot

Boom Shaka Laka
2,560
110
Dallas, TX
Just wondering if I could get some thoughts on preheating from you guys.

Now that winter is well set-in here, temps are down in the 20s (yeah yeah, I know that'd be welcome warmth for some of your right now). The plane is sitting for a few days at a time and being cold started in the high-teens to low-twenties. On cold starts I'm getting a delayed rise in oil pressure (5-10 seconds) and oil pressure right near the 100 psi redline.

Thoughts of fittings violently removing themselves from the engine have got me thinking about purchasing a preheating system.

The system I'm most interested in is a combined oil/cylinder preheating system, with clamp-on-band cylinder heaters (100 watts each), and dual glue-on oil sump heaters (100 watts each). They also have an optional oil cooler heater (glue-on, 50 watts).

With a 12 hour preheat time, the manufacturer reports cylinder temps of 147 degrees (normal operating on the ground around 200 degrees and in flight of 335 or so on the hottest cylinder), and oil temps of 156 degrees (normal operating 180 degrees or so).

Of course these are with the air inlets plugged and a blanket over the cowl.


My biggest concern is with the glue-on sump heaters...I know vehicle heaters tend to go in a freeze plug and heat the coolant. Are the glue-on heaters fairly reliable? I don't want this one working loose in flight and falling on/jamming up the nose gear.

What about a oil cooler preheater? The company that makes the kit says one isn't necessary when using a oil and cylinder preheating system (as opposed to just oil) as the transfer heating from the block will heat the cooler as well.

Any opinions?

Turbo%20System.jpg
 

RangerPilot

Boom Shaka Laka
2,560
110
Dallas, TX
Negative...you've obviously never been to Durant. :headbang:

The hangar is private, but it's just a basic metal structure, not insulated at all. We leave three space heaters in it and it'll stay around 40 or so on a 20 degree day if they're all running non-stop. Good for working on it but not so much for keeping it warm.
 

mrxlh

Oilfield Trash
5,904
430
Stigler, OK
Cutting torch under the oil pan is what most farmers used. Cheap, quick and effective, although not really practicle for your application. Air cooled engines always present a challenge to preheat. With an aluminum crankcase, a magnetic block heater is out of the question. the system you show looks pretty cool. Modern day epoxy is some pretty god stuff Zach, could you safety wire the glue on pieces to keep them out of the landing gear?
 
Last edited:

wyowanderer

Guest
It isn't an airplane, but I've been using a glue on pan/oil heater for years. Made by Moroso, I think. I used red silicone to glue it on, holding it to the pan with duct tape until the RTV was cured. It's never fallen off in the ten years I've had it.
If I plug it in the night before, the engine starts like it's summertime. It warms the oil, and also the entire engine.
Your biggest hurdle is doing it so that the FFA doesn't nail you. The cylinder band kit pictured is probably a good way to go.
 

RangerPilot

Boom Shaka Laka
2,560
110
Dallas, TX
The aforementioned preheater is actually sitting in a box in our hangar right now...probably going to put it on sometime this month (may get our first frost friday...woohoo).
 

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