Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

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Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby DickB » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:57 am

Just got the heater plug in. Drilled out the ~5/8" hole in the "welch port" (I think, maybe a 23/32" drill per tap specs) on a spare water intake elbow (bought from David Bennett aka "Boss Hog," and it's a good one too!). Then tapped it. 1/2" pipe tap. ORdered a Kat's 1/2" heater plug from Amazon for about $17 after learning from Kat's tech support that the copper heater element was 1.5" long -- that would fit inside the elbow. But when it arrived, it was 2.5" long. Called them, was advised it would be 1.75" long. Returned the 2.5" one to Amazon, and reordered; when it arrived it was 1.25" long. Made my day. Have adequate clearances as the fuzzy photos attest.

Next steps, when I get to them: take old elbow off after draining cooling system, installing this one, refilling, running. Heater works -- and how! Just a second plugged in without water and it is sizzling-- just enough to make sure it wasn't a dud.

After all that, would be thinking about going to the barn when a cold front comes in right after a snow storm and drops the temp. down into the 'teens, plugging the heater plug in, giving it some time (how much, I'll have to learn), and start it up like it is summertime. No more coaxing, coaxing, sweet-talking to the Cub to start.
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Re: Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby Lurker Carl » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:15 pm

Nice job with the heater.

A Cub in good tune will start with one or two yanks of the hand crank, even in single digit temperatures. A key factor is to prevent water from condensing in the fuel system, just a little water can freeze here and there to plug it up. I drain the tank and run the carburetor dry to keep condensation to a minimum. It is easier to refill the tank than thaw hidden ice.
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Re: Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby KETCHAM » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:12 am

I'm with Carl....never had anyproblem starting either of mine with a hand crank in single digits...Last two winters been warm and hardly any snow...Hoping for cold and snow this year!!!! Need to kill these damn bugs off!!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Re: Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby Smokeycub » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:57 am

I like it Dick. Any time someone puts a good idea into practical use with a little ingenuity I'm impressed. Is it necessary? Probably not. Is it a good idea? Absolutely! Especially on those sub zero days, you'll be glad you have it.
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Re: Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby Rudi » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:24 am

Dick:

I am with Ray on this one :!:

Smokeycub wrote:I like it Dick. Any time someone puts a good idea into practical use with a little ingenuity I'm impressed. Is it necessary? Probably not. Is it a good idea? Absolutely! Especially on those sub zero days, you'll be glad you have it.


It is the challenge that I like.

Up here where -30C/F is very common I have always felt that a block heater or something might be desirable even though my Cubs now sleep in an insulated pole barn. I am not a mechanic so I don't quite get how this all went together .. more pics would be useful :idea: And yes .. it is probably simple as can be and folks might be thinkin I am dumber than dirt -- but -- I am also a visual learner so pics are helpful.
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Re: Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby ricky racer » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:51 am

Rudi wrote:Dick:

I am with Ray on this one :!:

Smokeycub wrote:I like it Dick. Any time someone puts a good idea into practical use with a little ingenuity I'm impressed. Is it necessary? Probably not. Is it a good idea? Absolutely! Especially on those sub zero days, you'll be glad you have it.


It is the challenge that I like.

Up here where -30C/F is very common I have always felt that a block heater or something might be desirable even though my Cubs now sleep in an insulated pole barn. I am not a mechanic so I don't quite get how this all went together .. more pics would be useful :idea: And yes .. it is probably simple as can be and folks might be thinkin I am dumber than dirt -- but -- I am also a visual learner so pics are helpful.



I'm with Ray and Rudi. Great job. Very well thought out and great execution. When you can make a modification like that and have it look like it was done at the factory and be so clean, well, that's A+ all the way!!!


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Re: Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby DickB » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:42 am

Curiously, my tractor does not like to start up with a roar or a whimper when it is darned cold outside. Have you ever spent 15 minutes leaning over the gas tank, one hand on the choke lever, the other on the starter pull, fiddling with the throttle, and watching gas drip out of the carb? Pull, fiddle, pull, fiddle...on and on. It takes an Extraordinary Act of Kindness by the tractor to start as snow flies, temperatures drop, feet slowly freeze, fingers wince. All of this goes on while the oil pan heater has been on for hours, the battery charged and often re-re-charged. And, for those who wonder, I typically put in new points, condenser, plugs once a year. Timing, however, is static timing.

So I thought I'd try this idea out, and David B aka Boss Hog came up with the easy way, by finding for me a water inlet elbow that had one of those "welch ports" -- this one, luckily, had a threaded hole for a 3/8" NPT plug. I had to drill it out to 23/32" and then a 1/2" NPT tap followed. QED! Our local dealer over in NY wondered if the port would handle that drilling/tapping and was pleased that it worked out.

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Re: Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby wrink3 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:25 am

Looks very nice. I have 2 questions: What is the wattage of the heater element (Did I miss it?) and have you had a chance to see if the tractor cools OK on a hot day--the added restriction in a thermo siphon system concerns me. Thanks

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Re: Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby DickB » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:40 pm

400 watt. See this link on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8 ... UTF8&psc=1

and contact Kat's directly for more info. AS mentioned, I found them informative although the info varied from the product which also varied.

Not attached yet, so no info. Indeed, if the restriction of the plug messes up summer cooling I'd remove the plug and replace it with a "summer" plug, a 1/2" NPT plug.

Dick

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Re: Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby DickB » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:49 pm

Rudi, I'll try to get a few more photos, but it is as you say: dumb simple. Get an extra water inlet elbow with that "welch port" nipple on the bottom. Get it drilled out to what is right for a 1/2" NPT tap (as I say, I "think" it is 23/32" but check first before spending $$ on the drill). Because my elbow was predrilled for a 3/8" NPT plug, it was very easy to drill to 23/32"(3/8" NPT has a hole about +5/8" = +20/32"). Tap the hole. Insert the heater element plug with thread goop.

The problem I found was that Kat's has variable control over length of the copper heating element that is to be exposed inside the elbow. If too long, it'll hit the back wall of the elbow. Shorter is better. One of Kat's guys said it was 1.5", another guy said 1.75". My first plug was 2.5", the second one was 1.25" -- I kept that one.

Again, I'll put a plug in for Boss Hog. He knows what I'm talking about and if he has one, he'll get it to you for a reasonable price. I'd ask if it has a plug in it already, to see if he might have one with that plug in it -- it did make life easy for drilling.

Photos for you in a few days.

Cheers,

Dick

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Re: Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby DickB » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:37 am

OK Rudi! Here are some photos that, I hope are helpful. Finally the sun cooperated to get a few shots inside the water inlet elbow. Looks like plenty of room in there for water to circulate around and by the heater element. 3 photos here, 3 more photos next message.
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Re: Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby DickB » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:41 am

Last 3 photos, Rudi. Note that the electric goes out at an angle. A happy accident that manages to clear all. One can connect/disconnect the electric line readily.
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Re: Winterizing: Heater Plug in Water Intake Elbow

Postby Rudi » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:07 pm

Dick:

Thanks for those additional pics. Sure cleared it all up. I have never installed one so this was all new to me. Looks like an easy and a smart upgrade for winter. Let us know if there is any flow restriction issues.
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Re: Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby Bob Perry » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:17 pm

Thanks for a great post, DickB.

I agree with those who say a perfectly tuned tractor will start effortlessly in all conditions, however, not all tractors are perfectly tuned at all times, so sometimes every little thing helps. Plus, if the oil is warmed a bit, it's going to perform better, sooner.

I'm one who has to leave home art 5:25 a.m. to get to work, so plowing must be done before that. 4:30 a.m. is not a good time to have trouble starting a tractor, when the clock is ticking. If I could be home all day, every day, it wouldn't matter as much. So I think the heater is a great idea.
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Re: Winteriizing: Heater plug in water intake elbow

Postby bythepond88 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:32 pm

Apart from assisting in starting, it has the advantage of helping the tractor get to operating temperature sooner.
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