Okay, it's not a block heater, it's actually an inline coolant heater. The 375 watt element makes problematic winter startups a thing of the past. I've been using this contraption for the past three years.
I understand ATVTech how a block heater in a car works keeping the antifreeze in the water jackets warm thus the metal of the block. Since the thermostat is closed & the antifreeze not circulating do you feel its warming back to the jackets in the single cylinder jackets of the Rincon? I assume it must be working if you used it for 3 years.
Quote: "Since the thermostat is closed & the antifreeze not circulating do you feel its warming back to the jackets in the single cylinder jackets of the Rincon? I assume it must be working if you used it for 3 years."
With all due respect, I would think that the thermostat would open once the coolant adjacent to it reached operating temperature. Perhaps the coolant would flow by convection once the thermostat opened.
I looked through my service manual and I didn't see where there were any "freeze plugs" on the engine block. I had wondered about this before, thinking that maybe a block heater could be rigged up somehow. Looks like this inline heater is the next best thing.
I don't think that heater will warm the coolant to the point the thermostat would open but it will warm the coolant in the hose, radiator and back to the block in both directions it will probably warm the coolant up about 50-60 degrees over the ambient temperature remember the cooling system isn't very large on our rincons.
I had one on an old International scout and it worked great. An automotive type thermostat does not totally block the flow of coolant and the coolant flows because of convection as Dad explained. I'm not sure how the thermostat in a Rincon operates, being a new owner and all, but would assume that it is similar to the automotive type thus allowing the coolant to circulate.
If you look at the Rincon's coolant flow chart (see pic), you'll see that I placed an arrow pointing to the hose where I spliced in the heater. The coolant flows from the radiator to the water pump, then from the water pump to the cylinder. The thermostat is irrelevant. I've plugged in this coolant heater at -35 Celsius, and after LESS than an hour, the cylinder is warm to the touch. It works that well.
Here's another look at the hose I spliced into. See how there's an upturn in the hose? What happens to heat? Heat rises. In this case, it rises directly from the heater right into the cylinder. The radiator doesn't even get warm. The cylinder gets all the heat.
Could you not just slap a silicon pad heater on the side of the block? It would warm the aluminum case directly and could put the same amount of power into the engine. I'm trying to understand why go to the trouble of warming the water...unless it's that you can dump more heat faster into the engine and spread it around quicker. But a pad heater still seems to be pretty good at getting the heat into the cylinder & head.
I have tried the pad heaters on oil pans and they just don't work as well as heating up the coolant but that was on old iron deisels not a one lunger aluminum atv motor I am not sure if the aluminum would disapate the heat so fast that it would have little effect on keeping things warm.
1) The pad heaters attach with contact adhesive...already applied to the pad. Peel the film off as slap it on. If it's anything like some of the super strong hi temp film adhesives that I use to attach heat sinks to x-ray tubes, it's stronger than the base silicon...you could not peel it off, you'd have to tear the silicon then scrape off the residue with a razor and some acetone.
2) Aluminum conducts heat very well and being silver, has a very low emissivity. It is WAAAAY better at conducting heat than cast iron and has a lower specific heat too. I was all set to actually run the calcs this morning on how long it would take to heat up the engine & transmission with a 150 watt pad heater but just got too busy. My employees start looking at me kinda funny if I spend too much time farting around on RinconRiders anyway . Suffice it to say that I think 150watts would heat it up in, oh, 1/2 hour or so unless it was outside somewhere with a really cold wind blowing through the chassis.
3) the pad heaters are very flexible...they will conform to curved surfaces to a reasonable degree. Probably a pad heater will take longer to heat up a Rincon lump than that water heater, mainly because the pad heater has only about 45% the power...however, you are heating the aluminum engine directly, not heating the water in the cooling jacket and using that to heat the aluminum, so there is some real efficiency gained by the lower power pad heater...also it seems to be maybe simpler to install and less likely to cause a water leak out on the trail.
Anyway, any good argument should stop after three points so I'll clam up now.
Mudbuddy, you're such a chucklehead that I just want to give you a noogie LOL!