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  #11  
Old 02-24-2020, 06:28 PM
Leopold Leopold is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 25
Default Thanks so much -- great thoughts

Dear VAF friends,

What a great set of responses. Thanks so much.

What I am getting from this is that I'm overthinking it. In my climate, Lycoming (and several in this thread) say that it should be manageable without installing anything too fancy (and thanks to gmcjetman and N941WR for the Lycoming cold weather links). Those who said so are correct: It does not get bitter cold in Seattle (and when it does, I'm not interested in flying). I have no need to be up if it's colder than 20F. The Lycoming article suggests that the magic is finding the right fuel-air mixture, and varying it (specifically, more fuel) when it's colder.

I do have multi viscosity oil in there, thanks to gasman for that link.

This parallels my recent experience; the couple times I've started it up when it was cold -- defined as high 30's after a colder night, so perhaps the innards are still cold -- I needed to run the fuel pump a second time and give it a few more pumps of throttle. It did not catch the first or second time I turned it over (and I took care not to turn it over more than a few seconds) but it did the third time, particularly when the throttle was open more than a crack.

I will just need to learn how to find the sweet spot for how many pumps and how open to keep the throttle with this engine when it's cold.

I really appreciate the good ideas and the links.

Perhaps most importantly: What a helpful, welcoming community. I feel so fortunate to be a part of it. Steep learning curve, but having so much fun.

Thanks so much,

Seth
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2020, 06:41 PM
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gmcjetpilot gmcjetpilot is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N941WR View Post
The Lycoming document I referenced above states:
I don't care what Lycoming says I'm a rebel. It works great. The thing is you have get the right length that heats the tip only and is fully in the oil. First you pull regular dip stick and store it. Then put heated one in unpluged. Then you plug in. The danger is melting the tube I suppose. Well mine I made a custom top that screwed into the dip stick tube and held it secure. I had a guide mid way as well that kept it centered, and only very end of the dip stick was heated and totally in oil. Most of the length was not hot. If you got a heated dip stick that heated whole length it's a BAD THING. So when I got ready I unplug them and let it cool while I rolled up extension chords. It is a tad of a pain because you have to wipe oil off and then put regular dip stick in. I had PVC tube to store the dip sticks in. It worked. Now I had them on all night. So it likely is not going to work fast or extreme conditions. So I understand why Lyc does not recommend, it's a bit of a PIA.
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Last edited by gmcjetpilot : 02-29-2020 at 01:38 PM.
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  #13  
Old 02-25-2020, 09:59 AM
rag rag is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Holmen, WI
Posts: 49
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If you are priming the engine with the throttle - be very careful. It can dump a lot of raw fuel into the intake.
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  #14  
Old 02-25-2020, 11:35 AM
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Planecrazy232 Planecrazy232 is online now
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Cape Coral, FL
Posts: 295
Default

I'm going to ask what might be a very stupid question, but I have to ask. I'm in the south and it's never too cold to crank an engine, but here goes.

I'm an electrical contractor and we use heat boxes to warm PVC conduit on job sites. One cool day on the job we had to do some creative pipe bending and we did not have our PVC heater. I shoved the pipe up the exhaust on my truck, waited 5 minutes, and completed my job with my nicely warmed conduit.

So, why not plumb hot exhaust up into the bottom of the cowl? Any carbon monoxide will surely be gone before you get in the plane to crank it up. What do the masses think??
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  #15  
Old 02-25-2020, 01:24 PM
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gmcjetpilot gmcjetpilot is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Planecrazy232 View Post
So, why not plumb hot exhaust up into the bottom of the cowl? Any carbon monoxide will surely be gone before you get in the plane to crank it up. What do the masses think??
I think the idea of blowing combustion products into the cowl is a really bad idea for many reasons you can think of I am sure... Keep in mind the airplanes exhaust is routed outside the cowl for a reason.
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Last edited by gmcjetpilot : 02-25-2020 at 01:26 PM.
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  #16  
Old 02-25-2020, 01:58 PM
bobnoffs bobnoffs is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: n. wi
Posts: 716
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after you preheat with engine exhaust your airplane engine will be soaking wet.
however.....one day my preheater was broken and the truck exhaust warmed my engine nicely.
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  #17  
Old 02-25-2020, 02:44 PM
Leopold Leopold is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rag View Post
If you are priming the engine with the throttle - be very careful. It can dump a lot of raw fuel into the intake.
Thanks so much. Good advice.

Seth
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  #18  
Old 02-25-2020, 03:47 PM
mr.sun mr.sun is online now
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Wet, Western Washington
Posts: 139
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I also have used pickup exhaust pipe to heat and bend PVC pipe, and seems like a good option for heating engine in a irregular, cold morning type day. I agree that moisture would condense on the cold surfaces. However, I fly thru the rain on occasion and things also get wet. Seems like a viable option to me if trying to fly out on a cold morning with no power out on a ramp some where. Seems like it would NOT be a good idea to preheat inside the hangar this way. I use a remote switched electric stick on type sump heater. Raises indicated temps about 10 degrees after 3-4 hours. Maybe I should look at the dipstick heater described above...
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  #19  
Old 02-25-2020, 04:09 PM
cduster cduster is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Hertford, NC
Posts: 43
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This is not to be taken as a suggestion, just an interesting (for me anyway) tidbit of trivia. I had a pilot that I worked with a few years back and his father commercially hunted predators from Cubs in some extremely cold temps in the Dakotas back in the 50s and 60s. It was so cold that the oil would be as thick as molasses in the morning. Their work around was to put quick drains on the aircraft and drain the oil into gas cans at night and take it home with them to be stored near the fireplace/wood stove. In the morning, they had nice warm oil to pour back in their frozen planes, which was about as good of a preheating system as they could devise back then.
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  #20  
Old 02-26-2020, 08:47 PM
David Z David Z is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario
Posts: 307
Default Vehicle's Alternator?

Would the car's alternator produce enough power to power a dedicated engine pre-warming system? Turn the car on, run the leads off the car battery into an inverter or sorts, and then you could, in theory, have 120v and hopefully enough power to preheat the airplane's engine. 600watts is 50a @ 12v. I'm sure most automotive alternators are capable of well over 50 amps.
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