Block heater and freeze plug - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 01-18-2005
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Block heater and freeze plug

Does the 4.0 have a freeze plug in the engine block that is easy to access? One of my buddies said they are often behind the exhaust manifold but wasn't sure about out trucks.

This leads me to my next question. I want to get a block heater that goes in that freeze plug so my engine will be nice and toasty when I go to crash at 2am or I forget to warm the truck up before I leave for work. Anyone know where I can get one that will work on our trucks? JC Whitney doesn't have them.
(2003 4.0 Auto)

Matt
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Old 01-18-2005
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Ford sells a block heater/battery blanket kit. Every Ford kit I have seen installs in place of a freeze plug.
http://www.fordaccessoriesstore.com/...939&detail=yes
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Old 01-18-2005
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It will obviously be warmer than it would have been without the block heater, but it isn't going to get you to operating temperature, or even close really. It isn't designed for that.
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Old 01-18-2005
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I know. But it would be nice to have it at a temp that isn't 0.3. Very often, I do not have time to let it warm up at all. And for that matter, running from a warm bed to a frozen truck at 3am is not fun.
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Old 01-19-2005
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i was going to order a setup for my F150, but my friend from north dakota said they just went to NAPA and got a universal one for like half the price. i havent gotten around to doing it though, so i couldnt tell you first hand
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Old 01-19-2005
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Anyone know WHERE the freeze plug is located on the 4.0? Just want to gauge how much of a pain it is going to be.
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Old 01-19-2005
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I have a heated garage so I often forget what it is like for people that park outside. My vehicles are always 40 degrees even on the coldest nights.

When you get one, just put it on a timer so it turns on a few hours before you leave in the morning.
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Old 01-19-2005
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NOW i know what that plug on the front of our Explorer is for!!! :D I could benefit fromt that warmer (If only i didn't have to park on the street) , but does a battery really need to be warm. I replaced the dumb stock battery with an Optima Red Top.
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Old 01-19-2005
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A warm battery is a happy, non-dead battery :) Still wondering where the freeze plug is.
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Old 01-19-2005
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It depends on how cold it is and how charged the battery is. The lower the charge the less acidic the fluid is, the less acidic it is the higher the temperature it freezes at. And when it freezes it's game over, it cracks and the fluid drains out.
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Old 01-19-2005
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The colder the battery the lower it's cranking potential is. That's true of any battery, Optima Red Top or 'dumb' stock battery alike.. Now a premium battery may retain it's power better than a stock battery, but it still isn't immune from the effect.

Those in very very cold environments will have problems getting their engines to turn over unless the engine AND battery are kept warm. I've lived in New England, a relatively cold environment (we've started days low in the single digits all this week!) all my life and we've never had a problem.

To the best of my knowledge, the heater blanket won't really help the engine warm up any faster, will it? It will help it start when it might not anyway, but it won't help the engine warm up that much faster and prevent wear or get the heating system going any faster.

Fireranger, it sounds to me that what you need is a remote start..
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Old 01-19-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger
Anyone know WHERE the freeze plug is located on the 4.0? Just want to gauge how much of a pain it is going to be.
In the shop manual, there aren't many pictures that show the freeze plugs but it looks like there are two on each side of the block. Yes, they are behind the exhaust manifolds but it looks like there is probably enough room to maneuver. Of course, you must drain the coolant system before starting and you will need the means to remove the freeze plug. This installation would have to be a lot easier working from below so a hoist would be a big help.
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Old 01-19-2005
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yes, remote starts are very pimp.....just wake up in the morning, reach out a door/window, turn the sucker on, and rememever the night b4 to turn the heater all the way up b4 u turn the truck off.....then go eat breakfast, get ready, and by the time u're done, the truck should be at the desired temp.
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Old 01-19-2005
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I have a remote starter already. It is also connected to my two-way radio, so my fire tones and commands from the console at work can remote start it. But none of this does any good when it is 1.2 degrees and I have to run out to the truck at 3am because someone wrapped their car around a tree (or I oversleep and don't have time to wait in the morning to go to work).
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Old 01-19-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
Those in very very cold environments will have problems getting their engines to turn over unless the engine AND battery are kept warm. I've lived in New England, a relatively cold environment (we've started days low in the single digits all this week!) all my life and we've never had a problem.

To the best of my knowledge, the heater blanket won't really help the engine warm up any faster, will it? It will help it start when it might not anyway, but it won't help the engine warm up that much faster and prevent wear or get the heating system going any faster.
I agree, Colin.

In extreme cold, the battery warmer may be even more important than the block heater. I was in Yellowknife, NWT, Canada, working on an Econoline. When the temp got below about -35F, the block heater was useless because the available battery power was so low - no start. With both the blanket and the block heater, it started quite well. Using only the blanket, I was able to start the engine at temperatures as low as -50F (actual temp, not an artificial index like wind chill). The engine was not too happy about it but it started and stayed running.

So, in extreme conditions, the battery blanket is the single most important item for successful cold starting but the block heater will save you a lot of engine and starter wear. The Ford kit comes with both.

Last edited by V8 Level II; 01-19-2005 at 12:37 PM.
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