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Air intake heater


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Okay more questions.

The other day I was trying to start my truck and it was a bit cold, 40's I think and I had a hard time getting it to start. So I had a somewhat (not-so)brilliant idea to use my 10,000BTU blowtorch as a starting aid by blowing the flame into the intake to warm the air as I cranked the engine. And sure enough it fired right up, the torch stayed lit and the flame grew dim as the air sucked it in. The engine didn't sputter or sound as if it wanted to stall. That warm air did the trick.

So I got to thinking about making it easier for me to start the truck weekly during the winter by adding an intake heater of some kind. I dont want to plug in the block heater, first off I am not always near the truck and second I don't trust the old block heater to not start a fire. And I want to avoid ether, its an old engine and I dont want to blow it up. Heating the intake air makes so much sense that it almost seems like a no-duh answer to the problem of cold starts.

The one thing that stands out in the Dodge Cummins intake heater which is a spacer block with heater elements. They aren't that expensive and look like they might do the job but I don't know the dimensions of the Dodge part. If its inner opening is big enough for the air flow required then I can fab an adapter plate to make it fit on the intake manifold. Then from there its a simple task of adapting the intake tube to match the new height of the heater+adapters.

Another thought would be to use one of those Perkins style intake heaters that use diesel fuel from the return line to run a small burner lit by an electric filament. Or perhaps weld a threaded bung onto the intake pipe and use a Ford/GM style electric coil heater (seems less elegant and powerful).

Anyone have any thoughts? Im hoping someone here has a Dodge intake heater lying around and a tape measure or caliper handy.


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They have a bunch of them on ebay for under $100, looks like they cant be more than 4inch square, just have to make a spacer adapter for it which may cost another $100. I was also looking at the tractor style that you could easily install in the manifolds by drilling and threading the holes. I suppose one could get a short piece of aluminum and drill the holes in that and stick 2 or 3 of the tractor style in it, use a rubber adapter hoses to connect into the intake and put the other end of the intake flex line to that. Then in the summer you could take it off fairly easy, run your power in parallel through a circuit breaker from the battery to a toggle switch and for about $50 you would be all set. The tractor style seem to run $8-$12 http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Ford-Thermostart-Intake-Manifold-Heater-C5NE9A436A-2000-3000-4000-5000-7000-/230794785355?pt=BI_Heavy_Equipment_Parts&hash=item35bc70f24b


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