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Heating Engine in cold temperatures
#1
Need some help on getting working the engine pre-warmed on cold temperatures, the coach has been sitting for a few days in 20-30s and the lakes around us are frozen already so it is cold I was looking at the pre-heat switch but is not working as a on-off switch it only works as a toggle so not sure if by toggling starts heating the engine and also how do I know that it is working? Does this works by being connected to shoreline power? I should have tested this before but never occurred to me that the switch will be a toggle (it could be broken). I will be a few more days here so if I have to swap the switch is good to know how.

Thanks in advance for any help
1988 40ft Newell Classic
8V92 TA Mechanic
Allison 740 (4 speed)
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#2
(12-27-2017, 04:12 PM)Floridian Wrote: Need some help on getting working the engine pre-warmed on cold temperatures, the coach has been sitting for a few days in 20-30s and the lakes around us are frozen already so it is cold I was looking at the pre-heat switch but is not working as a on-off switch it only works as a toggle so not sure if by toggling starts heating the engine and also how do I know that it is working? Does this works by being connected to shoreline power? I should have tested this before but never occurred to me that the switch will be a toggle (it could be broken). I will be a few more days here so if I have to swap the switch is good to know how.

Thanks in advance for any help

I'm not sure about your 88 , but on the 86 there is a 110 outlet on the bulkhead , passenger side engine bay . The engine heater plugs into the outlet which is controlled by a regular switch ( as in light switch ) in the bedroom . There is also a thermostat behind the temp/barometer above the door . If your's has the outlet in the engine bay , you can plug a light or tester into it with the switch on to check for voltage . The engine has a lot of mass  and will take some time to warm ( my book says hours) . It's working if the engine block starts to feel warm to the touch after 2 or 3 hours  , it's working . I'm a rank beginner , but that's the way the one here works .
Good luck .
1986 #89
VIN 007
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#3
Floridian, If that preheat is a momentary "on" toggle it may be hooked up to an ether solenoid in the engine room. My '78 had one. There was a bracket that held a standard size can of ether that was plumbed to the air intake tract. It leaked ether so I never used it. If you are near 30 degrees a good shot of ether into the intake while cranking will probably start it. It would be good to have shore power or have the genny already running so you can merge the batts to help spin the starter motor.
My '93 has a receptacle on the bulkhead like Tf is describing. Mine seems to be dead but I never run in freezing weather so I havent checked it out. I didnt think about there being a switch for it.
Some old bus-nuts friends used to line a flat pan with charcoal briquets. After letting them burn until they turned white and smoldered they would slide it under the engine to warm the oil. I am not recommending this and If I tried that I would burn it to the ground although I never heard of anyone having that happen.
1993 Newell 45' 8V92,towing an Imperial open trailer. FMCA#232958 '67 Airstream Overlander 27' '67GTO,'76TransAm,'52Chevy panel, 2000 Corvette "Lingenfelter"modified, '13 Grand Cherokee.
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#4
(12-27-2017, 04:44 PM)Tf175 Wrote:
(12-27-2017, 04:12 PM)Floridian Wrote: Need some help on getting working the engine pre-warmed on cold temperatures, the coach has been sitting for a few days in 20-30s and the lakes around us are frozen already so it is cold I was looking at the pre-heat switch but is not working as a on-off switch it only works as a toggle so not sure if by toggling starts heating the engine and also how do I know that it is working? Does this works by being connected to shoreline power? I should have tested this before but never occurred to me that the switch will be a toggle (it could be broken). I will be a few more days here so if I have to swap the switch is good to know how.

Thanks in advance for any help

I'm not sure about your 88 , but on the 86 there is a 110 outlet on the bulkhead , passenger side engine bay . The engine heater plugs into the outlet which is controlled by a regular switch ( as in light switch ) in the bedroom . There is also a thermostat behind the temp/barometer above the door . If your's has the outlet in the engine bay , you can plug a light or tester into it with the switch on to check for voltage . The engine has a lot of mass  and will take some time to warm ( my book says hours) . It's working if the engine block starts to feel warm to the touch after 2 or 3 hours  , it's working . I'm a rank beginner , but that's the way the one here works .
Good luck .

That is really helpful, I've seen a power outlet in the engine bay and I was curious about why. I need to find out how to turn it on now because I haven't found a light switch inside the bedroom to turn that on. Thank you so much for that, it'll help me sleep better now that I know how to help start the coach.

By the way tonight temperature is 2 degrees.
1988 40ft Newell Classic
8V92 TA Mechanic
Allison 740 (4 speed)
Reply
#5
(12-27-2017, 04:44 PM)Tf175 Wrote:
(12-27-2017, 04:12 PM)Floridian Wrote: Need some help on getting working the engine pre-warmed on cold temperatures, the coach has been sitting for a few days in 20-30s and the lakes around us are frozen already so it is cold I was looking at the pre-heat switch but is not working as a on-off switch it only works as a toggle so not sure if by toggling starts heating the engine and also how do I know that it is working? Does this works by being connected to shoreline power? I should have tested this before but never occurred to me that the switch will be a toggle (it could be broken). I will be a few more days here so if I have to swap the switch is good to know how.

Thanks in advance for any help

I'm not sure about your 88 , but on the 86 there is a 110 outlet on the bulkhead , passenger side engine bay . The engine heater plugs into the outlet which is controlled by a regular switch ( as in light switch ) in the bedroom . There is also a thermostat behind the temp/barometer above the door . If your's has the outlet in the engine bay , you can plug a light or tester into it with the switch on to check for voltage . The engine has a lot of mass  and will take some time to warm ( my book says hours) . It's working if the engine block starts to feel warm to the touch after 2 or 3 hours  , it's working . I'm a rank beginner , but that's the way the one here works .
Good luck .

I have the power outlet in the engine bay so I don't think I'll find an ether can in there, I need to find out how to turn on the block heater now! Thanks for chiming in.
1988 40ft Newell Classic
8V92 TA Mechanic
Allison 740 (4 speed)
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#6
On my 1992, the rocker switch for the engine pre-heat outlet is on the instrument panel (marked pre-heat). I have a momentary contact switch (also marked pre-heat) on the overhead console but that is for the generator glow plugs.
Michael Day
1992 Newell 43.5' #281
NewellOwner.com
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#7
On my '93 that switched outlet in the engine bay ran power to what looked like a water heater element mounted inside one of the coolant hoses. When I bought mine it didn't work so after googling about it I figured out that mine had a thermostat so it would keep a set temperature without overheating. That thermostat wasn't working so I bypassed it and hooked it up directly to the outlet. Worked fine after that.
Forest & Cindy Olivier
1999 Foretravel 36' U320
former owners 1998 Newell 45' 2 slide #486 

former owners 1993 Newell 39' #337 
2011 Chevy Tahoe RZR 570LE

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#8
I have an '82 Newell, and there is a 'light switch' in the bedroom and a red light that comes on when the block heater is on. There, of course, is an outlet in the right side engine bay the grounded block heater cord plugs into. Takes about an hour to pre-heat in 30 degree temps, and a little longer when colder.

Clarke and Elaine Hockwald
1982 Newell Classic, 36', 6V92 TA
2001 VW Beetle Turbo
Cannondale Tandem
Cannondale F600
Cannondale Bad Boy
Intense 5.5 MTB
http://whatsnewell.blogspot.com
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#9
Thank you all guys for the comments. I do have the overhead momentary switch on the AC panel so I thino that one could be for the generator (by the way is not starting either so I'll try to keep that in the on position to start the generator) but for the life of me I can't find any switch anywhere that says block heater, the one in the overhead console says preheat but so dar is the only one I've found.

if all else fails can I just connect that power cord to a regular extension connected to 110v ac? is there a limit for how long can I ran it for?

I haven't found any thermometer or anything that will let me know if the block is heating so I guess that I'll try to connect to to 110v directly and check after a while.

I tried to start the generator and the engine but it will turn an nothing else it won't start. I tried for a little while and then gave up but after I did that there was some white smoke coming out of the exhaust for a few minutes. There is a video and a picture attached of the power outlet in the engine bay.

 (video attachment not allowed)

Starting to think I won't be able to start it but must be my inexperience.

Again, thank you all


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1988 40ft Newell Classic
8V92 TA Mechanic
Allison 740 (4 speed)
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#10
Follow the line cord from the 110v outlet to the block heater, it should be warm, if not hot.
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