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Anyone Out There Ever Install a Block Heater on an M20 Engine?

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by 190604, Nov 17, 2008.

    190604 guest

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    OK, so I bought this 325iX for a winter driver. It has to stay outside under the carport, however, as my summer driver presently is in the garage up on jackstands for what appears to be an extended stay.

    To alleviate both some of the wear and tear of cold starts on the iX engine and to warm up the interior more quickly for the driver on frosty days, I have purchased a block heater for the iX.

    I have installed block heaters on Detroit iron in the past with excellent results. Never tried it on a German vehicle before, however, and I have long since learned that knowledge of a given procedure on a Detroit vehicle does not necessarily transfer well to German automobiles.

    So---any first-hand experience out there on removing a core plug---often referred to as a "freeze plug" or "frost plug"--- and installing a block heater on an M20 engine?

    Thanks.

    Digby
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    mooseheadm5

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    Most of the cold start wear and tear takes place due to cold oil being hard to pump and no oil film on the cylinder walls/bearings/cams. This can be alleviated with quality synthetic oil. Where are you located? It must get mighty cold there. If I were to install a heater, I would get one of the ones that goes in the lower radiator hose. Don't know that I would want to remove a core plug for that, but it never gets super cold here in VA.

    190604 guest

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    Core Plug-type Block Heaters

    Thanks for you insight.

    I'm in the Kansas City area and although our winters are not super-cold, I like to use a block heater when the temp drops below freezing. I have a timer that I use to turn on the block heater up to several hours in advance, to give plenty of time to get it warm. This makes the engine much easier to start and it is up to operating temperature within a mile or so. It also warms up the transmission, and on FWD vehicles it warms up the whole drive train. It also improves gas mileage, which is absolutely terrible the first few miles on a cold engine.

    Although there are perhaps other options for a block heater that would work as well or better, I have had good success with the core plug type block heaters that I have installed on vehicles, and also on vehicles in which they apparently came as a factory option. Based on sales literature accompanying my owner's manual, by the way, BMW sold this type of block heater as an accessory item for the '88 325iX at least, and I would assume that it could be specified as a factory option. If they are good enough for BMW, they're good enough for me.

    Digby
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    MGarrison

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    this person mentions a generic magnetic block heater that he couldn't use on his aluminum engine - shouldn't be a problem for an M20, theoretically, w/ its iron block, if you could figure out where to get one -

    http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80718

    You don't happen to know anyone in Alaska, Norway, Sweden, Finland, or Siberia do ya? ;)

    190604 guest

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    Magnetic Block heaters, etc.

    Thanks for your insight. I'm familiar with the magnetic-type block heater, and in fact have a Kats magnetic block heater, P/N K1153, that I use on my wife's car during very cold weather. It would also work on the 325iX, though obviously not on both cars at the same time. Though I got mine at Western Auto several years back, similar models are available thru Amazon.com.

    Finding the block heater isn't a problem, nor, in actuality is the installation, though I would prefer to discuss the finer details with someone who has already installed a core plug-type block heater before I tackle it.

    Digby

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