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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Shelton, CT
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    1,719

    Default Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Saw the dipstick engine oil heaters on ebay. Anyone use these? Do they work? Heat the oil for cold start-ups?
    1971 Buick Skylark
    1975 455 Block-Bored .020 over. Cast pistons and rings. 8.5 to 1 compression ratio. TA 284-88h cam.
    ARP bolts for everything!
    1973 Heads, gasket matched with Edelbrock Performer manifold. Stage 1 Springs new guides and valve job. Heads cut .018. Block decked .005. Pistons .050 in hole. Both my 7041540 800 Q-Jet 73 jets all recalibrated and 3.23 Posi rear both proudly built by Everyday Performance LLC. (techg8)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Upstate NY 13901
    Posts
    5,820

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Haven't personally tried one, but certainly seems like a good idea up here in the northeast.

    That, coolant heaters, and battery warmers depending how cold and if you run a diesel engine.
    Scott B.


    72 GS 455 Stage 1, 70 Skylark, 92 Roadmaster

    Acts 4:12 - Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    I had one, it worked. Maybe not as well as a block heater but it kept the oil from getting too thick in the cold weather.
    Lee
    71 Skylark Convertible 350/350
    79 Corvette 5 spd.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Garfield Hts, Ohio
    Posts
    2,827

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    I considered one awhile back for my trips up to Northbay Ont. in the winter to visit family. ALOT easier than trying to pull a core plug if your only going to use it once in a while.
    71 GS 350 (mine)
    87 Grand National (Hers)
    00 Monte Carlo
    2001 GMC Safari AWD
    2007 Mazda 3
    Ranch house with 3 dogs and a cat

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    35 miles east of Pittsburgh
    Posts
    1,765

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Years ago we tried them on the older 6volt tractors during really cold winters to help them turn over easier. Didn't seem to help much down in the single digits or below zero but they probably did allow better lubrication at startup.

    It was better than nothing down to a certain temp but can't compare to a block heater in the water jacket. Think about how much oil contacts the dipstick and the volume of oil it needs to heat.

    When not using a heater in the water jacket, if you have room I prefer using a magnetic heater that sticks to the side of the oil pan like this. Better heating and the heater doesn't contact the oil. These do work pretty well and are very convenient
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jason Z
    66-67 Rivs
    ROA & BCA Member
    Check out ROA Right Here http://www.rivowners.org/

    "I am too poor to buy anything but the best"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ottawa, ON
    Posts
    1,925

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    My freind's GF daily drives her 1967 cutlass with a 300. We used 20W50 in the summer, and 10W30 in the winter.

    When its -20*C oil doesnt look so much like oil as it does jello or something solid.

    A no no, for classic car. So she installed one of these, and it works really well. They say to plug it in for 45mins, but 20-30 mins is enough to do the job on the coldest of morning. She has it setup on a timer so it comes on 30 mins before she leaves for work in the morning

    http://www.canadianpolarpad.com/installation.html
    Azeem
    Ottawa Ontario Canada

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Medway, MA
    Posts
    8,490

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Quote Originally Posted by JZRIV View Post
    Years ago we tried them on the older 6volt tractors during really cold winters to help them turn over easier. Didn't seem to help much down in the single digits or below zero but they probably did allow better lubrication at startup.

    It was better than nothing down to a certain temp but can't compare to a block heater in the water jacket. Think about how much oil contacts the dipstick and the volume of oil it needs to heat.

    When not using a heater in the water jacket, if you have room I prefer using a magnetic heater that sticks to the side of the oil pan like this. Better heating and the heater doesn't contact the oil. These do work pretty well and are very convenient

    I go along with Jason on the dipstick heater. Most dipsticks only project a couple of inches into the oil. Better then nothing? Maybe. But not much better then nothing. If you are going to put a heater on the engine, I would recommend that you bite the bullet and install a core-plug block heater. they work well and will save you some gas. The car will need virtually no warm-up time. Another fringe benefit is almost instant heat for the car's occupants.
    John Codman
    Formerly owned Buicks:
    '33,'48, '51, '52, '54, '55 (3), '56, '60 LeSabre 3 sp stick.
    264 powered '53 Mercury
    322 then 264 powered 55 Ford
    264 powered '56 Chevy
    Presently - 431 nailhead powered '82 C-10

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Erie Pa, AKA crap town part deux
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Codman View Post
    . The car will need virtually no warm-up time. Another fringe benefit is almost instant heat for the car's occupants.
    Thats not true. The block heaters will not get above 80 degrees. With my diesel vehicles, its enough to get them started in the mornings, but thats about it really. the warm up time is basically about the same. afterall, the radiator, heater core, and the rest of the coolant is still ambient temperature. once the -20 coolant starts circulating, the 80 degree block is back to nothing pretty quick...
    Joe
    71 Skylark Custom- 430, 4 speed, 3.42s.

    71 Skylark "Buzzin' 1/2 Dozen"
    250-6, TH350, 3.42s

    74 Apollo, 70 350-4, 2004r, 3.73s. Buckets/console. Her daily driver. 17.2 Mpg, driving rudely!

    62 and 65 Scouts, needing restos, after the buick is done.

    05 2500hd Duramax- Short cab, long box- awesome!

    96 P30 step van- Mac Mobile!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Clearwater MN
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Ive used the magnetic oil pan heaters. Your suppose to remove them before you drive off. But the front wheel drive that I used it on, I was able to stick it on the oil pan facing the radiator, plenty of clearance. Added a mounting strap just in case the magnet lost its hold some how, and drove with it in place. Just had to plug, unplug like a block heater. No reachin under the car to stick, unstick it.
    If you don't like messin with the frost plugs for a block heater, a lower rad. hose heater is a nice alternative.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2005
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    Medway, MA
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    8,490

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Quote Originally Posted by 436'd Skylark View Post
    Thats not true. The block heaters will not get above 80 degrees. With my diesel vehicles, its enough to get them started in the mornings, but thats about it really. the warm up time is basically about the same. afterall, the radiator, heater core, and the rest of the coolant is still ambient temperature. once the -20 coolant starts circulating, the 80 degree block is back to nothing pretty quick...

    Sorry, I'm going to stick to my guns on this one. The core plug heater keeps the coolant (and engine) warm. When my Now-Nailhead-powered C-10 pickup was a Diesel; my five-mile commute to work was cold. If I plugged in the block heater, it was warm. The truck was a Diesel (when I owned it) for seven years. My experience was no fluke. Install the core plug heater.
    John Codman
    Formerly owned Buicks:
    '33,'48, '51, '52, '54, '55 (3), '56, '60 LeSabre 3 sp stick.
    264 powered '53 Mercury
    322 then 264 powered 55 Ford
    264 powered '56 Chevy
    Presently - 431 nailhead powered '82 C-10

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Elmhurst, IL
    Posts
    6,194

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    At work I started to use Wolverine Engine Oil heaters. http://www.wolverineheater.com/

    It uses a really strong adhesive and bonds to the oil pan. With an infrared temp gun we saw temperatures of 50*F on the oil pan and block. But I'm talking about Caterpillar C7 and 7.8 I6 Duramax (Izuzu) engines. 20+ quarts of molasses in the pan. Also doesn't draw a ton of juice so no more problems tripping the breakers.
    Rob

    1971 Buick Electra 225 Custom Limited 4dr, 56,934 miles
    1995 Buick Park Avenue
    BPG #2020

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Erie Pa, AKA crap town part deux
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Codman View Post
    . Install the core plug heater.
    Thats what I have in my vehicles, and I get no where near that much warmth. they do they there job- if not plugged in, the truck won't start.
    Joe
    71 Skylark Custom- 430, 4 speed, 3.42s.

    71 Skylark "Buzzin' 1/2 Dozen"
    250-6, TH350, 3.42s

    74 Apollo, 70 350-4, 2004r, 3.73s. Buckets/console. Her daily driver. 17.2 Mpg, driving rudely!

    62 and 65 Scouts, needing restos, after the buick is done.

    05 2500hd Duramax- Short cab, long box- awesome!

    96 P30 step van- Mac Mobile!

  13. #13
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    Nov 2005
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    Medway, MA
    Posts
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    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Perhaps the core plug heater that was installed in the GM 6.2 Diesels were different then some other core plug heaters. I never took any actual temperature readings, but with the block heater in use, I had heat by the time I reached the first major intersection on my street (.6 mile). If I did not use the block heater, I got warmth at about 4 miles. The 6.2 was a great starting Diesel, and it would commence at 10 degrees F, but it was an angry engine. With the heater it would start instantly at any temperature, and was a happy Diesel.
    John Codman
    Formerly owned Buicks:
    '33,'48, '51, '52, '54, '55 (3), '56, '60 LeSabre 3 sp stick.
    264 powered '53 Mercury
    322 then 264 powered 55 Ford
    264 powered '56 Chevy
    Presently - 431 nailhead powered '82 C-10

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    10,128

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Also the core plug heater was a option from GM. A 72 GSX from Canada at BG years ago had it and it was on the window sticker. My Diesel will not start here in St Louis winters without being plugged in
    John & Terry Kemper
    GSCA #4322
    BPG #1373
    72 Stage 1 Suncoupe
    72 Stage 1 Suncoupe clone
    70 Sportwagon

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    manitoba canada
    Posts
    1,769

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Well, It is going to be -35c here tonight......I plug in my block heater around -10c, and I plug in the 1000 watt circulating heater to the timer set for 1 hour before I go to work. The block heater just keeps everything above freezing, my circulating heater in 1 hour will provide me with instant heat as soon as the truck starts.
    THE GREATEST TRICK THE DEVIL EVER PULLED WAS CONVINCING THE WORLD HE DIDN'T EXIST.

    Don't tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon


    1972 skylark, 14,000 miles, sbb 355, TA intake, comp 268h cam, full msd ignition, 200-r4 conversion. next project: fuel injection!! It still has the original "old guy" smell and nos spare tire air(not that ropop stuff)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Windsor Ontario
    Posts
    7,402

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    i believe that my 72 GS had the block heater option from the factory. It is long gone. the car was originally an Alberta vehicle.
    Gerry
    1972 GS 350 ht #s
    2008 Astra XR 3 door
    2011 Chevy Cruze

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    S.C.
    Posts
    343

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Moving South=no block heater required=no winter storage=drive all winter

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    4,993

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman8.6 View Post
    Moving South=no block heater required=no winter storage=drive all winter
    Shhh!! Don't tell them that, they'll all want to move down here.
    Cason P.
    71 Skylark 350-4V
    Hooker Headers
    Ken G. 1973 Q-Jet
    D5 GN Converter/200R4
    3.42 Posi Rear
    In Development:
    Either this Car kills me, or I kill the car first!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    6,432

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Codman View Post
    Sorry, I'm going to stick to my guns on this one. The core plug heater keeps the coolant (and engine) warm. When my Now-Nailhead-powered C-10 pickup was a Diesel; my five-mile commute to work was cold. If I plugged in the block heater, it was warm. The truck was a Diesel (when I owned it) for seven years. My experience was no fluke. Install the core plug heater.
    I'm with you.
    My experience with block heaters has been you get heat much, much quicker than if you are starting out with everything stone cold.
    Dale

    Current Buicks...None. :-(
    Past Buicks. '66 Riv / '70 Rivs (2) / '90 Riv / '72 Skylark / '72 LeSabre / '72 Electra / '96 LeSabre / '92 Park Ave. / '96 Riviera.

    "The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius.". Sid Caesar

  20. #20
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    Nov 2005
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    Medway, MA
    Posts
    8,490

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman8.6 View Post
    Moving South=no block heater required=no winter storage=drive all winter
    Gary, that's about as much common sense as I can stand!
    John Codman
    Formerly owned Buicks:
    '33,'48, '51, '52, '54, '55 (3), '56, '60 LeSabre 3 sp stick.
    264 powered '53 Mercury
    322 then 264 powered 55 Ford
    264 powered '56 Chevy
    Presently - 431 nailhead powered '82 C-10

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    the cold north
    Posts
    818

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    I'm so sick of snow and slush and salt and not being able to drive the Buick for months @ a time ,Ect I seriously think about moving south sometimes.
    Bob Gable
    70 GS Foe Fiddy 5

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Shelton, CT
    Posts
    1,719

    Default Re: Anyone ever use dipstick block heater?

    I am having serious Buick withdrawals myself!
    1971 Buick Skylark
    1975 455 Block-Bored .020 over. Cast pistons and rings. 8.5 to 1 compression ratio. TA 284-88h cam.
    ARP bolts for everything!
    1973 Heads, gasket matched with Edelbrock Performer manifold. Stage 1 Springs new guides and valve job. Heads cut .018. Block decked .005. Pistons .050 in hole. Both my 7041540 800 Q-Jet 73 jets all recalibrated and 3.23 Posi rear both proudly built by Everyday Performance LLC. (techg8)

 

 

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