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best block heater for a 318

Discussion in 'Repairs, Maintenance, Help' started by graywolf71, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. RalphP

    Level 2 Supporter

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    Suggestion: Cruise through the electrical, fuel, and emissions sections on RockAuto for your vehicle; when you spot it, note the manufacturer and part number, and if they have the OEM numbers in the "INFO" button, note those also.

    I find that helps when the part in question has a decade or more on the parts guy ...

    RwP
     
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  2. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    First thing I would do - while car back at your home and engine still 'warm' - is to drain all you can from bottom of rad 'fitting'. That's the little 'lefty-loosey' valve (usually at left side). Not sure how much will drain but you'd be looking for between 4 and 6 quarts. Total system will hold about 16.
    If you do not have a (cheap to buy) tester, then get one. If the overflow tank formed slush during the time you were at work, the strength of the mixture is very weak.
    Are we talking about -9 F.? You would need at least a 35% coolant to water mix. Without even testing the strength, I'd suggest to replace 4 qts./liters of your current mix with 4 of pure.
    If car took that long to start - even with good 'jumper-vehicle' and cables, there is something uncommon happening. Test for a GOOD spark and proper carb choke setting. It must be closed on a cold engine. Also, look inside (with plate open) for a consistent 'squirt' from accelerator circuit - ie: two good pumps. You only need to move throttle linkage about an inch for this.
    If you have a small volt-meter, use it to check values at the coil and the ballast area - as well as battery itself.
    We could trouble-shoot all day as there are so many possibilities, yet another being 'loose' connections as wiring passes thru bulkhead. The (12-gauge?) red wire feeds into ammeter - then ignition - and most of the others return back into the engine bay.
    Please note that there are TWO separate wires that come from the ignition switch to the coil/module circuits. One provides battery voltage while cranking and the other when key back to 'run' position. Again, either of these can cause an issue - or, it can be the electrical portion of the ignition switch itself. - etc., etc.
     
  3. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh the good old days. Every morning on a cold winter day. Will my car start this morning?
    I don't know what you can do at work unless you have acces to use a extension cord. I had this "thing" it was a electric heated dipstick, not sure if it helped but the tip did get pretty hot. The most helpful was I kept the battery on a trickle charger over the night and at at work.
     
  4. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    The terminals and posts should still be checked, and cleaned if necessary. I changed my battery and terminals a few months ago; the positive terminal already has some corrosion on the bottom of it that I'll have to clean.

    If it's taking an hour to charge your battery, something is wrong. If the terminals and posts are clean, then the battery may be bad. If it's under warranty, you might see about having it replaced.

    The vacuum hose should be easy to find. You might take the old one in to your local parts store and match it. Most parts stores sell it by the foot.
     
  5. hemirunner426

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    What state of tune is your engine at?plugs,wires,cap,rotor?Sounds like your battery is toast.A carbed 318 in a good state of tune,with a good battery should have no problems starting in the temperatures you are referring to..
     
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  6. Shane Estabrooks

    Shane Estabrooks Active Member

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    The best heater for our car/truck is a Wolverine heating pads. They use less electricity and take less time to heat up your vehicle. Takes a bit of work to install them. If your vehicle has perforated oil pans then they will not work.
    We live in 6 mouths of winter where 4-5 of them were plugging in. I have 3 Wolverine pads on my truck, 250 watt on the engine oil pan and 2-125 watt pads on the tranny oil pan. At -40 I plug my truck in for 2 hours and it's ready to go... warms up fast, doesn't howl the cold oil blues.
    An other thing to consider is the coolant mixture. I mix 60/40 for a -55c rating, when coolant is mixed weak in cold weather is gets thick and hard for your pump to work it. Which is why we do not use the coolant pump heaters (these are great probably best for you.. easiest install) but they eat coolant so keep topping of the coolant.
    Good luck with that 318, I've had a few 318's in this cold weather and they all were awesome.
     
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  7. graywolf71

    graywolf71 Member

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    It might have been because of the size of the cables or that person's truck. I have a 50 amp RV battery charger that can charge it up enough to use in 10 minutes. And it's not the hose itself, but the little fitting on the valve that you slip the hose onto that's broken off.



    Not sure what the state of tune is. Replaced the plugs last year. It does seem to run a little rich as even when it's warm if you try to accelerate fast it bogs down. Battery isn't even a year old yet.
     
  8. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha. If IC's still watching, he's usually pretty good at finding original part numbers. You'll probably have show the part to the counter guy to see if he has a match. Meanwhile, you might plug that hose, since it's a vacuum leak, and could be part of your problem.

    Might a nearby junkyard have that part?
     
  9. chargermike

    chargermike Active Member

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    Does it have 3 hose nipples and one harness plug? I have one off a 76 volare 318 but i don`t know if it is the same as yours.
     
  10. ImperialCrown

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  11. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    While at auto parts store, ask them to bring out their Load Tester and hook up to your battery and switch it on for (up to) 10 seconds. Be sure to note the voltage drop - and you will know, once and for all, how good your (11 - month old) battery is.
    After battery is confirmed good, you can concentrate on ignition and fuel. Any broken or removed (leaking) vacuum hose will not affect the starting of the engine. Even if you were to disconnect the PCV hose at the carb/manifold connection, the engine would start as usual - however it would not run long or very well - due to massive lean condition.

    Hang in there as we are all waiting on pins and needles and praying for your success. :confused:
     
  12. Steve A

    Steve A Member

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    Remember the battery needs a full charge (but NOT just off the charger) before load testing for the results to be valid. If the battery cable ends or posts are dirty/corroded the battery doesn't charge much either no matter how good the alternator is. Sounds like multiple issues here, starting for one and continue running after started for another. Sounds like carburetor as most likely for dying after initial start/needing multiple starts.
     
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  13. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    (Steve A) - - You joined Allpar exactly 2-1/2 years ago? - and this is your first Forum posting? Did it really take a submission by me to get you activated? Wow - I feel honoured. If you'd just joined today, I would welcome you - (or someone else would) but, by all means, stay with us.
    Opinions are what it's all about. Some from experience and some from instinct - - but they're all good. :cool:
     
  14. graywolf71

    graywolf71 Member

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    Well there's a new development.
    Wednesday night I decided to try disconnecting the battery overnight. Yesterday I hooked it back up and the car started without any trouble. Just in case it was caused by the sun warming the car up I did the same thing at work. This morning (temps in the single digits) I hooked it back up and though it still took a few tries, the car started without needing a jump. Looks like something is draining the battery when it get's that cold. It doesn't do it when it's warm outside. The only thing connected to it is my 2 meter ham radio, but I never have it turned on.
     
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  15. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Well - - let's see what the experiences and the instincts have to say about that development.

    My first 'instinct' would be that a warm engine requires significantly less battery current (amperage) than a cold engine. The battery has more time to 'discharge' while engine cooling down - and not restarted for at least 24 hours. A warm engine would mean car hasn't really sat long - so even a good battery with 'dome light' (etc.) left on for an hour or two would not drain enough to create 'cranking' issues.
    Your (warm vs. cold) theory may be just a coincidence, so at the very least, I still suggest you do the 'blue spark' test. You are half-way there, simply by disconnecting battery (neg. cable) you have eliminated any (phantom) discharge.
     
  16. chargermike

    chargermike Active Member

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    Remove the battery cable when the car sits until you can find the drain.
     
  17. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    With cable removed 'overnight' you are pretty much guaranteed there won't be a 'drain' - so battery strength should be maintained - - until you reconnect and then start the engine (or attempt to).
    When time and weather permit, go ahead with the 'spark test'. I suggest pulling one fuse at a time and, if possible, look (or listen) for the 'blue spark' while someone else lays upside-down to remove each fuse. ;)
     
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