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  #1  
Old 01-23-2013, 09:03 AM
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Dipstick oil pan heater

I was wondering if a dipstick oil pan heater would work in my 85 (300 SD).
I already have a lower radiator hose heater but does not heat the block like I would like it to and was thinking maybe a dipstick heater of the oil would be better but when I pulled my dipstick out to measure it which was 22" and tried to put a rod that was about 1/4" diam. in to see how far till it would bottom out I could not get the rod in more then about 3" and it stopped.

I was puzzled because it looks like the dipstick tube is about 1/2"diam. down to the pan do not know why the 1/4" rod would not go down might check with a thinner wire later.
I ask this because the sites where they sell the dipstick heater say you need a 1/2" opening to get them in. Is anyone using a dipstick heater on a Benz if so how do they work?

Last edited by whunter; 01-24-2013 at 05:53 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2013, 09:43 AM
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Get a battery heater. Battery loses about half its power when it gets real cold.
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2013, 09:56 AM
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First a question: why do you say the rad hose heater isn't heating to your liking?

Now my $0.02:

x2 on the battery heater. Nothing like warm battery to crank fast enough.

Dipstick heaters are a last resort. A better alternative is a magnetic heater like this:

Kat's 1153 Handi-Heat 200 Watt Magnetic Heater : Amazon.com : Automotive

I keep one in reserve, after my block heater died in the middle of a cold snap a few years back.

I have the heater handle taped to a golf club shaft, so I can manouever it into place without crawling under the car. Does an excellent job, not quite like the block heater but close enough.
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2002 e320 4matic estate│1985 300d│1980 300td
Previous: 1979 & 1982 & 1983 300sd │ 1982 240d

“Let's take a drive into the middle of nowhere with a packet of Marlboro lights and talk about our lives.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
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  #4  
Old 01-23-2013, 10:21 AM
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likely, the 1/4" rod is incapable of making the bend into the tank, the dipstick blade is over 1/4" likely around 10 or 12mm wide, so 1/4" (6ish mm) should fit easily, but it would have to make the bend to do so.
you do NOT have 1/2" (just under 13mm) into the pan though.
instead of the tube heaters, try a magnetic pan heater.
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2013, 10:21 AM
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Did the 300SD....

have the block heater installed from the factory? My 350SDL had the prongs on the freeze plug. Just needed to install the cable/plug set up and voila!
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2013, 10:34 AM
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the only steel part of the pan is the lower section, so the magnetic heater would have to either attach to the bottom, or to the short sides of the lower pan to stick...

looking on amazon, I found this...

1500 watts... with a circulating motor! wow, that ought to warm the vehicle as well as the motor!
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!

Last edited by vstech; 01-23-2013 at 10:45 AM.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2013, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vstech View Post
looking on amazon, I found this...

1500 watts... with a circulating motor! wow, that ought to warm the vehicle as well as the motor!
The PO installed one of those on my w116 300sd and it was really, really effective for the motor. You also got heat really fast, but it couldn't circulate through the heater when the car was at rest because of how the climate control is plumbed.

I thought there had been discussion on the board about it not being an easy install on cars with the later auto climate control system either?

If it can be done, that is what you want to have. Leaves a block heater in the dust.
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Mac
2002 e320 4matic estate│1985 300d│1980 300td
Previous: 1979 & 1982 & 1983 300sd │ 1982 240d

“Let's take a drive into the middle of nowhere with a packet of Marlboro lights and talk about our lives.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2013, 11:35 AM
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My 85 300 TDT had it installed from the factory and was not a option. Its in freeze plug hole and had a cord going to the grille
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2013, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zacharias View Post
The PO installed one of those on my w116 300sd and it was really, really effective for the motor. You also got heat really fast, but it couldn't circulate through the heater when the car was at rest because of how the climate control is plumbed.

I thought there had been discussion on the board about it not being an easy install on cars with the later auto climate control system either?

If it can be done, that is what you want to have. Leaves a block heater in the dust.
... IDK, any monovalve system should handle it fine, as the valve is open at rest... also any manual climate system should also...
AND with the Tee it comes with, you could install it to the heater hose, and bypass the heat control system if it's not normally open... all you'd have to do is install the Tee in the return line, and run a hose to the outlet of the engine to complete the circuit. maybe a check valve would be wise in there... not a difficult setup on the evil servo systems I'd think...
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2013, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vstech View Post
the only steel part of the pan is the lower section, so the magnetic heater would have to either attach to the bottom, or to the short sides of the lower pan to stick...

looking on amazon, I found this...

1500 watts... with a circulating motor! wow, that ought to warm the vehicle as well as the motor!
Reading through the Amazon reviews Kat's 13150 1500 Watt Aluminum Circulating Tank Heater : Amazon.com : Automotive it does not appear to have an actual circulating motor. One review states that "The thing is not motor driven but works on fluid convection and has to be installed in a vertical position only." Looks like you plumb it into the heater hose and lower radiator and/or freeze plug/block drain, etc.

Interesting idea. I wonder where the best place to install on a 240D would be?

Packman
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2013, 12:06 PM
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Hmm. no circulator eh... misleading name on the thing... I noticed Amazon also has the 850watt model...
should be called an convection heater...
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John HAUL AWAY, OR CRUSHED CARS!!! HELP ME keep the cars out of the crusher! A/C Thread
"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
1994GMC 2500 6.5Turbo truck... I had to put the ladder somewhere!
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2013, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PackerEdgerton View Post
"The thing is not motor driven but works on fluid convection and has to be installed in a vertical position only." Looks like you plumb it into the heater hose and lower radiator and/or freeze plug/block drain, etc.
IIRC, there is a detailed DIY somewhere on a TDi site that shows the setup on a Passat, and I believe he used his block drain. I do remember there was something non-standard about what he did.

The usual intent is to use the heater hose, however.

What vstech said has me interested to try to install one for next year.
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Mac
2002 e320 4matic estate│1985 300d│1980 300td
Previous: 1979 & 1982 & 1983 300sd │ 1982 240d

“Let's take a drive into the middle of nowhere with a packet of Marlboro lights and talk about our lives.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2013, 03:13 PM
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I've found the lower radiator hose heaters to be effective down to about 20 below zero F.

I have tried a magnetic pan heater and it did didley squat. A couple of magnetic pan heaters on the fuel tank might stop the fuel from gelling though.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:17 PM
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dipstick oilheater

I get the drift the dipstick heater is worthless. I ordered a Kat battery blanket heater I think this will help me out greatly as my battery is only about a yr. old but in 5 degree weather it barely turns the engine over before it starts dying where as in 30 or better it spins it great. Thanks for replys will let everyone know how it works.
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  #15  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuke View Post
my battery is only about a yr. old but in 5 degree weather it barely turns the engine over before it starts dying where as in 30 or better it spins it great. Thanks for replys will let everyone know how it works.
At those temps, if you want the motor to spin fast enough to start, you need at least two out of three of the following (assuming your glowplugs are working properly):

1. Lots of battery grunt (so heat to the battery is good) and/or
2. Synthetic oil in the crankcase and/or
3. A healthy starter.

HOWEVER, I would expect a one-year-old battery to have a bit more life at that temperature than you describe. Questions:

1. Have you checked that the battery posts and cable terminals are nice and shiny (clean)?
2. Are you sure you have the correct spec battery?

You may want to check your battery at rest and while running with a voltmeter, to make sure everything is up to snap....
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Mac
2002 e320 4matic estate│1985 300d│1980 300td
Previous: 1979 & 1982 & 1983 300sd │ 1982 240d

“Let's take a drive into the middle of nowhere with a packet of Marlboro lights and talk about our lives.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
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