('03-'05) Block heater? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Block heater?

Looking at one. My house is in a weird micro climate and temps get into the teens at night. It'd be nice to hop into a warm car and cut down on the cold day piston slap. Cut down on gas usage a bit. It *seems* win-win

I have 3 things on my mind though

How hard it is to install?

And how safe is it? I'm concerned by this post regarding engine wear
Block heater users, raise your hands

Are they all created equal? I noticed the post mentioned freeze plug heaters. I was interested in the OEM one. Would this be a freeze plug or elsewhere?
2000-2011 Subaru Forester Engine Block Heater 400 Watt, 115 Volt Heater
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 05:47 AM
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Yes, the one you posted would go into a freeze plug. I haven't done one on a Subaru, but in other cars those freeze plugs are usually (well) frozen. I wish you luck if so.

Regarding your expectations, the engine won't be warm when you get in. It just won't be as cold as it might otherwise have been. They're only designed to give the engine an edge in very cold starts, not pre-heat it.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 06:35 AM
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I tried to install the Subaru freeze plug heater a few years ago and the threads had gotten so corroded over time that the plug wouldn't budge. It seemed to be too risky to try anything more forceful considering the aluminum engine.

2003 XS Premium MT >200k miles! ● 2005 Impreza 2.5 RS MT ● Robin-Subaru Powered Generator
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 08:46 AM
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PB Blaster, heating the surrounding metal, and a good impact (start on lower setting) would be my plan of attack. Though, I don't shy away from drilling and using easy outs or reverse bits.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 09:11 AM
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I'd consider a plug screwed into the engine to be a in a bit more sacred territory than a mere bolt in a tapped hole.

2003 XS Premium MT >200k miles! ● 2005 Impreza 2.5 RS MT ● Robin-Subaru Powered Generator
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 09:42 AM
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Block heaters work, they do what they were designed to do. As mentioned they don't get the engine up to operating temp but do keep it heat soaked at a temperature above the ambient air temp, which decreases warm up times.

Yes the plug you linked is the correct one.

These frost plugs aren't really frost plugs, Frost plugs are ment to push out should the engine coolant freeze allowing a place for the pressure of the freezing coolant/water to go. These plugs are threaded in and take a lot of torque to remove when a few years have gone by. These plugs can be/are a massive PIA to get out. Best done when the engine is out of the car or the exhaust off. Be forewarned.

Torch around the plug to heat the aluminum and a good high grade allen socket. Spray lubes don't do much good because there is a gasket on the plug.

His - 08 X Prem 5mt
Hers - 08 X 4EAT
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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How warm to they get it? I was under the impression of ~120-130 degrees. Not quite operating temp, but a fair bit closer than 15-20 degrees.

Hmm.... I may have to rethink this.

If I may ask, what is involved in removing the freeze plug(s) and where are they located? I have a couple impact wrenches ranging from 80ftlbs of torque to 1400 ftlbs laying around that might work well for removing them. But by the same token I don't want to break anything
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 01:12 PM
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IIRC there is a write up on scoobymods on the install.

His - 08 X Prem 5mt
Hers - 08 X 4EAT
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-02-2013, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Would you be referring to this one by chance?
http://www.scoobymods.com/showthread...ater-9407.html

None of the pictures are working :(


Really what I was hoping to do is knock down some of the cold-start piston slap. Sounds god awful. And cut down on the warm up time since I need to use my defroster before I can drive.

Hell I could even put 2 block heaters in there if it would help. Could spread out the heat a bit more too perhaps? I'm just brain-dumping right now. It's tough for me to climb under and look since it's been raining a lot lately. The car is outdoors 24/7 and I don't have a garage available
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-02-2013, 10:07 PM
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If you're going to install a block heater, then you must be close enough to the garage to have AC power. Why not just place a electric space heater in your Forester, which can be turned on a half hour or even an hour before you need to leave home?

Once the inside of the Forester is warm, the windows won't fog & if there's any frost, it will melt. No need to warm up your engine, just start & drive off. Your engine should start giving you interior heat within a mile, even during the winter months in our climate.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 06:44 AM
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We have a block heater in our 08 (Canadian eh?).
It gets used in the winter when the temps get below -25C. It won't melt snow off the hood or anything but it does reduce the warm up times and makes it a bit easier to start.

There are lots of options, I've seen others use battery warmers, oilpan heaters, and interior ceramic heaters to make short work of cold temps.

mike

Daisy
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Bobby that's actually a really good idea. My only concern would be accidentally scorching something with the heater lol.

I also found this. Or am I just having unrealistic expectations?
Engine Heater | AutoZone.com
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow drifter View Post
Bobby that's actually a really good idea. My only concern would be accidentally scorching something with the heater lol.

I also found this. Or am I just having unrealistic expectations?
Engine Heater | AutoZone.com
I used something like this on several cars in the past - with good results. I had to make a cut in a water hose (I used the one going to the car's heater). When plugged in, the heater actually has a pump inside (similar to the passive pump in a Mr. Coffee maker). If you use the car's water heater hose, make sure the car's temperature control is full on when using the electric heater.

I wouldn't never attempt a freeze plug heater.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 10:33 AM
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Bobby that's actually a really good idea. My only concern would be accidentally scorching something with the heater lol.
There's always the possiblity of causing a problem when we MOD, but with caution, you should be good.

Take a look at my write up here. It may not be the coolest looking MOD, but it's 100% functional & it makes me smile when I get into a warm cabin + I never have to scrape frost off the window!

This MOD actually started out years & several vehicles back, where I'd just place a space heater on the floor. Wanting something that was easier to use, I came up with the above MOD.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport

Last edited by 2.5x_sleeper; 10-04-2013 at 10:42 AM.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 11:34 AM
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Having a cabin pre-heater is nice, but it doesn't accomplish the reason block heaters were brought about. Easier engine starting. When it's below zero, batteries and starters have a hard time turning over the engine with cold thick oil.

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