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Author Topic: Detroit 3-53 block heater.  (Read 4532 times)

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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Detroit 3-53 block heater.
« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2014, 03:55:54 pm »
So, I have put The Other, Other Solution* into effect. The block heater now runs from the bottom of the oil cooler to the top of the head at the back of the head. I know have complete step by step installation instruction.

1. Like an Olympic athlete, you will need to warm up not only your body, but your mind as well. Working on the lower parts of a Detroit's anatomy is not for the faint of heart, or the mildly dextrous. To fully comprehend the arduousness of the procedure, I recommend removing the right rear wheel from the skidder, using only a railroad jack and a 1/2" drive socket set with the long handled breaker bar missing. Now, once you've got the wheel off, roll it up the nearest hill. Don't skip this step, you will regret it later when you realize you have not fully prepared yourself. Next, you will need to sharpen your dexterity. Defusing a high-explosive device in the dark with a pair of tweezers is risky, but exhilarating. ** You will also need to master removing bolts with only a thumb and one finger. But not a thumb and finger on the same hand. Get all the digits on the same page, you don't need to be in the middle of trying to put some 40 pound part on the engine and have your hands go all Hatfield and McCoy on you.

2. Now that you are properly warmed up, put the right rear tire back on and remove the left front, because it will serve no other purpose than to get in your way. Now, the whole exercise today is to remove a petcock from the bottom of the oil cooler and put a pipe fitting in there to supply your new block heater. Or should I say, your second new block heater, because you cooked the first one. Now, this little fitting likes to remain inconspicuous. Like BigFoot inconspicuous. No matter how many 3-53 engines you've looked at, nothing on your engine will look familiar. Yes, you finally found your oil cooler, but it wasn't in the same place as your buddy's oil cooler. You see, Detroit couldn't figure out where to put all the parts on your 3-53, so they gave you options. Lots of options. I found my oil cooler skulking around on the left front of the engine block, carefully hidden next to the frame rail. They can be skittish, so once you spot it, put a splash of red paint on it in case it moves on you while you are getting some wrenches. Now wedge whichever of your hands you prefer to have all scratched up down in that little crack between the oil cooler and the crankcase vent. Didn't fit, did it? Yeah, I forgot to tell you to take the crankcase vent off. Once that's out of the way try to remove the petcock from the bottom of the oil cooler. If you are lucky, you will accidentally open the petcock just a little bit, then the wings will strip off. You are now past the point of no return. You are fully committed to this project. You may also be committed later, but don't worry, they will haul you away in a nice, soft, rubber truck.

3. You've now realized that pulling the oil cooler and fixing this thing the way you wanted it is the only option that doesn't include an alias and a foreign passport. You would think that the next step would be to unbolt the oil cooler. No. You are wrong. Very wrong. You first must remove the solid pipe going from the water pump to the thermostat housing. You may think that is fairly simple, only two bolts and it pops right out. Well. It isn't. I can't sugar coat it. It only gets worse from here. After all, why did you think I had you do all those exercises? The upper bolt comes out like one of those toys you give a kid. You know the one. The big plastic bolt and nut with a hundred grand thread clearance that will still work even if it's cross threaded. The other one, not so much. This one will require you to place your left forefinger down between the valve cover and the pipe. You other hand will have to go in the side of the engine under the hood. You can use whichever of your thumbs or fingers on that hand that will reach. It is at this point that I'd like to discuss working conditions. By now, you should have most of the engine, your clothes and the ground covered in anti-freeze. If you have soaked the machine all the way to the operator's seat, you can take an extra 10 points. Now that you have threaded the lower bolt out until it hits the big bracket for lifting the engine out of the skidder, you should take a moment to count to ten, repeat a favorite mantra, or just quietly walk off into the woods never to be seen again. This pipe now just hangs out of the thermostat housing, wiggling suggestively. Will it help you later? I'm not sure. Maybe.

4. You've got to get the alternator belts off now. The adjuster bolt on the top is so close to the hood that you can't use a wrench on it. You either have to remove that side of the hood, or if you live in a town of over 5,000 people, borrow enough 3/8" extensions to loosen the bolt from the operator's seat.

5. Now that the belts are out of the way, you can remove the radiator hose going to the oil cooler. It's still where you left it, right? Good. You don't want to loose a half a day looking for that. Again! You now have all the hose clamps loose for all the hoses and pipes going to the water pump/oil cooler minor sub-assembly. I don't know if that's what it's really called, but the next few steps will make you really want to believe that what you are about to remove is really worth putting back on the engine. You can't remove any of the hoses without cutting them off. So, you must remove the oil cooler and slide it 1/2" astern. Oh, didn't I mention that you've started calling yourself Captain, and referring to the skidder as She? Well, you did. I can't help you there. Anyway, you've got to move the oil cooler back, down, then up and down again then pull as hard as you can and hope for the best. You now have a bouncing 40 pound baby oil cooler stuck between the engine and the frame rail. Now that the easy part is over, we can move to step 6.

6. Once you've gotten the oil cooler out from under the frame rail, you can now remove the petcock and screw in your choice of pipe fittings. Put your piece of hose on the fitting and tighten the clamp, you're never going to be this close again. Oh, by the way, how did you get the oil cooler out from under the frame rail? That part was a little blurry for me. So, you've got your pipe fittings in. You've sort of cleaned up the mating surfaces a little bit, and you've smeared so much Aviation form-a-gasket around you are in danger of being stuck to the skidder permanently. Now you start the joyous adventure of trying to stuff this contraption back into the crevice from whence it was dragged, and it couldn't seem simpler. You are wrong. Again. You just don't learn, do you? This would be a good time to recruit six of your worst enemies. You might think you want to use friends, but I found it was easier to skip that step, and go straight to enemies, you might need the friends later. Like when you want someone to visit you in your new padded room at the nut ranch. The first problem lies in the fact that you can't actually hold a 40 pound oil cooler up with one hand, engage all the hoses and pipes, while simultaneously executing an ice skating routine that would bring home the gold at Sochi. Did I forget to mention the ice? You should have the machine parked on a nice, smooth sheet of ice, no frozen slushy bits for traction. You should also have plenty of ice anywhere you might have to walk for tools. So, you now have the oil cooler propped up with whatever was around. A block of wood. A big chunk of ice. A barn cat. Whatever will stay still long enough to get just one DanG bolt started! You almost get one started, then the pipe going to the thermostat housing jumps out. Yeah. I know, leaving it dangling wasn't the greatest idea, but what are you going to do. This thing needs to run before the woods thaws out and you're pretty sure you are behind schedule.

7. Maybe you got it bolted down, maybe you didn't. Who cares? I can't remember. It's only a couple of bolts. Who's going to miss them? Now, the alternator needs to get bolted back in place. Yup, you unbolted the whole thing and threw it somewhere. It took a half an hour to find it, but that gave you time to count to a thousand. With the alternator back in, you have to install the block heater in it's new location. Block heater? That's why we're doing all this? I should have just waited until July. With the block heater installed, you can now put the coolant back in. Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, who can tell anymore, you only took two gallons of coolant out, but put four back in. Who are we to question the laws of physics? It went in the top, and didn't come out the bottom. Good enough.

8. Now, one of the most critical parts, is to run the engine up to temperature to make sure that there is coolant in the new block heater. Because they need coolant. Because they will look like a fire roasted marshmallow if you plug it in without coolant. You push the starter and it starts in seconds. It's is 50 degrees after all. Who needs a block heater?
 




*Anyone Remember Monty Python's The Other, Other Operation? :D
** Managed to spell exhilarating right on the first try. The ordeals of the afternoon are really having an effect. :o
Wood-Mizer LT40HDD51-WR Wireless, Kubota L48, Honda Rincon 650, TJ208 G-S, and a 60"LogRite!

Offline rockwall

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Re: Detroit 3-53 block heater.
« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2014, 04:12:30 pm »
Thanks for the laughs! You inspired me to install a electric block heater in my 353. I certainly didn't have as much fun as you.

Offline nhlogga

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Re: Detroit 3-53 block heater.
« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2014, 04:19:17 pm »
So, I have put The Other, Other Solution* into effect. The block heater now runs from the bottom of the oil cooler to the top of the head at the back of the head. I know have complete step by step installation instruction.

1. Like an Olympic athlete, you will need to warm up not only your body, but your mind as well. Working on the lower parts of a Detroit's anatomy is not for the faint of heart, or the mildly dextrous. To fully comprehend the arduousness of the procedure, I recommend removing the right rear wheel from the skidder, using only a railroad jack and a 1/2" drive socket set with the long handled breaker bar missing. Now, once you've got the wheel off, roll it up the nearest hill. Don't skip this step, you will regret it later when you realize you have not fully prepared yourself. Next, you will need to sharpen your dexterity. Defusing a high-explosive device in the dark with a pair of tweezers is risky, but exhilarating. ** You will also need to master removing bolts with only a thumb and one finger. But not a thumb and finger on the same hand. Get all the digits on the same page, you don't need to be in the middle of trying to put some 40 pound part on the engine and have your hands go all Hatfield and McCoy on you.

2. Now that you are properly warmed up, put the right rear tire back on and remove the left front, because it will serve no other purpose than to get in your way. Now, the whole exercise today is to remove a petcock from the bottom of the oil cooler and put a pipe fitting in there to supply your new block heater. Or should I say, your second new block heater, because you cooked the first one. Now, this little fitting likes to remain inconspicuous. Like BigFoot inconspicuous. No matter how many 3-53 engines you've looked at, nothing on your engine will look familiar. Yes, you finally found your oil cooler, but it wasn't in the same place as your buddy's oil cooler. You see, Detroit couldn't figure out where to put all the parts on your 3-53, so they gave you options. Lots of options. I found my oil cooler skulking around on the left front of the engine block, carefully hidden next to the frame rail. They can be skittish, so once you spot it, put a splash of red paint on it in case it moves on you while you are getting some wrenches. Now wedge whichever of your hands you prefer to have all scratched up down in that little crack between the oil cooler and the crankcase vent. Didn't fit, did it? Yeah, I forgot to tell you to take the crankcase vent off. Once that's out of the way try to remove the petcock from the bottom of the oil cooler. If you are lucky, you will accidentally open the petcock just a little bit, then the wings will strip off. You are now past the point of no return. You are fully committed to this project. You may also be committed later, but don't worry, they will haul you away in a nice, soft, rubber truck.

3. You've now realized that pulling the oil cooler and fixing this thing the way you wanted it is the only option that doesn't include an alias and a foreign passport. You would think that the next step would be to unbolt the oil cooler. No. You are wrong. Very wrong. You first must remove the solid pipe going from the water pump to the thermostat housing. You may think that is fairly simple, only two bolts and it pops right out. Well. It isn't. I can't sugar coat it. It only gets worse from here. After all, why did you think I had you do all those exercises? The upper bolt comes out like one of those toys you give a kid. You know the one. The big plastic bolt and nut with a hundred grand thread clearance that will still work even if it's cross threaded. The other one, not so much. This one will require you to place your left forefinger down between the valve cover and the pipe. You other hand will have to go in the side of the engine under the hood. You can use whichever of your thumbs or fingers on that hand that will reach. It is at this point that I'd like to discuss working conditions. By now, you should have most of the engine, your clothes and the ground covered in anti-freeze. If you have soaked the machine all the way to the operator's seat, you can take an extra 10 points. Now that you have threaded the lower bolt out until it hits the big bracket for lifting the engine out of the skidder, you should take a moment to count to ten, repeat a favorite mantra, or just quietly walk off into the woods never to be seen again. This pipe now just hangs out of the thermostat housing, wiggling suggestively. Will it help you later? I'm not sure. Maybe.

4. You've got to get the alternator belts off now. The adjuster bolt on the top is so close to the hood that you can't use a wrench on it. You either have to remove that side of the hood, or if you live in a town of over 5,000 people, borrow enough 3/8" extensions to loosen the bolt from the operator's seat.

5. Now that the belts are out of the way, you can remove the radiator hose going to the oil cooler. It's still where you left it, right? Good. You don't want to loose a half a day looking for that. Again! You now have all the hose clamps loose for all the hoses and pipes going to the water pump/oil cooler minor sub-assembly. I don't know if that's what it's really called, but the next few steps will make you really want to believe that what you are about to remove is really worth putting back on the engine. You can't remove any of the hoses without cutting them off. So, you must remove the oil cooler and slide it 1/2" astern. Oh, didn't I mention that you've started calling yourself Captain, and referring to the skidder as She? Well, you did. I can't help you there. Anyway, you've got to move the oil cooler back, down, then up and down again then pull as hard as you can and hope for the best. You now have a bouncing 40 pound baby oil cooler stuck between the engine and the frame rail. Now that the easy part is over, we can move to step 6.

6. Once you've gotten the oil cooler out from under the frame rail, you can now remove the petcock and screw in your choice of pipe fittings. Put your piece of hose on the fitting and tighten the clamp, you're never going to be this close again. Oh, by the way, how did you get the oil cooler out from under the frame rail? That part was a little blurry for me. So, you've got your pipe fittings in. You've sort of cleaned up the mating surfaces a little bit, and you've smeared so much Aviation form-a-gasket around you are in danger of being stuck to the skidder permanently. Now you start the joyous adventure of trying to stuff this contraption back into the crevice from whence it was dragged, and it couldn't seem simpler. You are wrong. Again. You just don't learn, do you? This would be a good time to recruit six of your worst enemies. You might think you want to use friends, but I found it was easier to skip that step, and go straight to enemies, you might need the friends later. Like when you want someone to visit you in your new padded room at the nut ranch. The first problem lies in the fact that you can't actually hold a 40 pound oil cooler up with one hand, engage all the hoses and pipes, while simultaneously executing an ice skating routine that would bring home the gold at Sochi. Did I forget to mention the ice? You should have the machine parked on a nice, smooth sheet of ice, no frozen slushy bits for traction. You should also have plenty of ice anywhere you might have to walk for tools. So, you now have the oil cooler propped up with whatever was around. A block of wood. A big chunk of ice. A barn cat. Whatever will stay still long enough to get just one DanG bolt started! You almost get one started, then the pipe going to the thermostat housing jumps out. Yeah. I know, leaving it dangling wasn't the greatest idea, but what are you going to do. This thing needs to run before the woods thaws out and you're pretty sure you are behind schedule.

7. Maybe you got it bolted down, maybe you didn't. Who cares? I can't remember. It's only a couple of bolts. Who's going to miss them? Now, the alternator needs to get bolted back in place. Yup, you unbolted the whole thing and threw it somewhere. It took a half an hour to find it, but that gave you time to count to a thousand. With the alternator back in, you have to install the block heater in it's new location. Block heater? That's why we're doing all this? I should have just waited until July. With the block heater installed, you can now put the coolant back in. Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, who can tell anymore, you only took two gallons of coolant out, but put four back in. Who are we to question the laws of physics? It went in the top, and didn't come out the bottom. Good enough.

8. Now, one of the most critical parts, is to run the engine up to temperature to make sure that there is coolant in the new block heater. Because they need coolant. Because they will look like a fire roasted marshmallow if you plug it in without coolant. You push the starter and it starts in seconds. It's is 50 degrees after all. Who needs a block heater?
 




*Anyone Remember Monty Python's The Other, Other Operation? :D
** Managed to spell exhilarating right on the first try. The ordeals of the afternoon are really having an effect. :o

This is one of the best posts I have ever read. My wife read it and she totally understood and found it humorus as well because she would have been right beside me helping with a project like this. Glad you got it all together.
Jonsered 2260
Husky 562xp

Offline Ed_K

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Re: Detroit 3-53 block heater.
« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2014, 04:38:55 pm »
Great story  :D ,you've made me happy i own a taylor with a 4-53  ;D
Ed K

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Detroit 3-53 block heater.
« Reply #44 on: February 22, 2014, 05:06:38 pm »
Play by Play.  ;D Going down into the single numbers here next week, Tuesday,wed,thurs. You could always go out and start it at 2am. have any close neighbors?? :o
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Offline Alcranb

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Re: Detroit 3-53 block heater.
« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2014, 09:44:00 pm »
OMG! That was hysterical!
 I like everyone else, I'm sure, has had it with winter but for your sake and the folks at the funny farm I hope we get a day or two of frigid weather so you get to make sure all is well with your "Other, Other Solution".
Btw, my wife read it and even though she didn't completely understand it she laughed like crazy. She said "I can see you doing that". I'm not sure that was a compliment or insult  :D
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Offline Maine logger88

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Re: Detroit 3-53 block heater.
« Reply #46 on: February 22, 2014, 10:05:30 pm »
Hahaha the barn cat comment got me laughing so hard my friends thought I should be admitted to the funny farm! I am glad you got it put back together though!
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Offline Coon

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Re: Detroit 3-53 block heater.
« Reply #47 on: February 23, 2014, 12:42:40 pm »
Captain Shepard I think we have a problem.   :D   :D  You forgot to mention what your new lady friends name is...  :D   Glad to hear the labotomy went successful.   :D  ;D  :D
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Detroit 3-53 block heater.
« Reply #48 on: February 23, 2014, 03:17:50 pm »
Her name's Myrtle, but I didn't name her, the guys who put the axles back in it last winter did.
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Offline bushmechanic

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Re: Detroit 3-53 block heater.
« Reply #49 on: February 23, 2014, 06:07:55 pm »
 Welcome to the wonderful world of mechanics, but Dave I think you may have missed your calling. Thanks for the laugh.

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Detroit 3-53 block heater.
« Reply #50 on: February 24, 2014, 10:33:19 pm »
9. Start over from step 1 because it leaks oil. ::) I guess I ended up with more form-a-gasket on my hands and sweatshirt than I did on the oil cooler. >:( Man that stuff doesn't want to come off! It only drips, but this was formerly a drip free Detroit. Seriously! I'm not pulling your leg!

I ran the block heater for about 45 minutes at 20°F this morning. It started popping almost immediately, but still took about 20 seconds to catch without ether. My friend that knows Detroits thinks the upper rings are toast, and that's why it's taking so long to start, even with the block heater. Makes sense. At least I can get it started without ether now.
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