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    Thread: How to install tank style engine heater

    1. #1
      Senior Member josefb134's Avatar
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      Exclamation How to install tank style engine heater

      I just bought an old Heatmaster tank style engine coolant heater and the packaging said it included detailed instructions on how to install but there isnt anything besides this!

      Could someone post pictures or even just give a detailed description on how to install the engine heater and where the y-connector and such is connected to? I was really hoping to get it installed in the next few days before i have to work again!
      Thank you so much!

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    2. #2
      Administrator Daox's Avatar
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      I would see if there is enough room to install it vertically on one of the heater core lines. They go between the engine and fire wall.

    3. #3
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      the important thing is to make sure your circulating coolant in the block and not outside the thermostat. On the firewall rerouting one of the heater hoses would be good. Its hard to give you specific instructions because your basically cutting a line and putting that heater on both those ends.

    4. #4
      Senior Member josefb134's Avatar
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      Thanks guys for your thoughts! I went and talked to a older mechanic buddy of mine and we exchanged ideas and i went for it. I figured i would post my findings/ how to pictures on this thread. This is my first how-to thread ive done myself so bear with me, it might be a bit of a hit and miss ordeal lol Let me know if this helps you out with installing your own or if you did/would have done something differently!

    5. #5
      Senior Member josefb134's Avatar
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      Lightbulb How To Install Tank Style Engine Coolant Heater

      Please read entire post before attempting anything so you do not run into any surprises.

      First off you will need a Tank-Style Engine Heater, about 6 feet of 5/8" Heater Hose from your local mechanic shop or auto parts store, 8 Hose Clamps, two T-Connectors made for Heater Hose, zip ties, electrical tape, car stands/ramps, new 50/50 coolant, nuts of various sizes for mounting, a bucket, various tools and lighting and sanity.... Haha

      Also, I am installing this coolant heater on a 2005 Chevrolet Aveo LS Hatchback.

      P.S. Be prepared to get dripped on, splashed, and get coolant trickled down your hands and arms haha

      Put the car up on stands or ramps so it is stable and at a comfortable height to where you can have room underneath to work.
      Locate then unclamp the lower radiator hose.
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      Wiggle hose until it comes off of radiator.
      Immediately pull bucket under drippage/spillage to catch coolant from the radiator and hose.
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      While the radiator and hose are draining, unscrew the two nuts holding the coolant overflow tank in place.
      Wiggle the tank out if possible and unclamp and remove the three hoses connected to the overfill tank and set them aside. You may want to wash out the overflow tank with warm water and soap to get out deposits and sludge (be sure to rinse thoroughly).
      For those who could not seem to remove the tank as easily as described (I know i couldn't) follow the following four steps.
      Remove the four bolts securing the windshield wiper motor in place. (It is the black cylindrical shaped motor directly above the overfill tank)
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      remove the fuse box cover in front of the overfill tank and remove the 8 grey colored cube fuses from the fuse box.
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      Remove the two battery terminals and set them aside.
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      Unscrew one of the arms in the middle of battery keeping it in place.
      Remove battery from engine bay. This allows for more working space and such.
      Unclamp and remove the three hoses connected to the overfill tank and set them aside.
      Wiggle the overfill tank out and set aside. (wash and rinse if desired)
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      I forgot to take a picture before hand but everything is still perfectly visible.
      Locate the heater core hoses the are leading into/out of the firewall.
      The hose on the right (outlet hose) in the next picture with the T-connector already installed is the line that runs coolant from the cabin heater core to the engine.
      The dirtier hose directly to the left (inlet hose) is the hose that runs the coolant from the lower radiator hose to the cabin heater core.
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      I cut the 6 feet of red heater hose i bought in half so i could have three feet of play on the inlet and outlet hose connections. You can always do it differently but i would rather have too much than too little.

      Cut about a 1-2 inch section from the outlet hose, catch the drippage, place the loosened hose clamps on the hoses and install one of the T-Connectors with the bottom of the T connecting to the new hose you bought.
      The new hose connected to the outlet hose will connect to the outlet nipple(Where the arrow on the tank heater points) of the tank heater. (if you connect them now, be sure to put hose clamps on all 3 of the T-connections and the heater outlet nipple)
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      For this connection, i found it easier to follow the inlet line to the heater core up and into the engine bay for easier access.
      Cut either a very small section like 1 inch or just make a single cut in the inlet line, its up to you.
      Connect your T-connector as shown and just like before. Make sure to hose clamp all the connections (i didn't have a picture of mine all clamped lol).
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      I took my water heater and wrapped the point where i would be attaching the bracket to it in electrical tape to ensure a snug and tight fit.

      Look down and to the right as if you were looking into the overflow container. You should see two studs that you can bolt your bracket onto on the sidewall of the engine bay. You'll have to find a nut that fits the studs or you should be able to drill a hole into the sidewall on order to screw in your bracket somewhere that fits you best.

      Connect the bracket to the water heater and the bracket to the studs or hole you drilled and figure out where it best fits on the heater to provide good, unkinked connections to the hoses.

      Before securing the bracket and heater to the sidewall, i would recommend to start connecting your inlet and outlet hoses. Make sure to use the hose clamps and connect the inlet hose to the inlet nipple on the bottom of the heater.
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      Last edited by Daox; 01-17-2014 at 08:42 PM. Reason: formatting

    6. #6
      Senior Member josefb134's Avatar
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      Now run the outlet hose behind the brake booster line sticking out the furthest, and connect it to the outlet nipple on the heater (The nipple where to arrow on the heater is pointing). Be sure to use a hose clamp once again!
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      This is a different view that might show you exactly what is described above.
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      I didn't have an 8th hose clamp so i had to use zip ties. The top zip tie was placed there to prevent the hose from kinking at that point. I also used a zip tie in the picture above that is connected to the booster line to hold the hose up and prevent kinking.
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      Ensure all hoses are tightly connected and secure. Attach bracket to sidewall and make sure it is stable.
      Run power supply cord through the back of the fuse box, past the battery tray at the top of the next picture...
      This picture is looking directly at the right side of the engine bay where the battery would go.
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      Run the cord from the battery tray, down the side of the radiator, to the bottom grill on the front of the Aveo.
      The cord runs from the left hand side of the picture and s curves down next to the radiator and out into the bottom grill of the Aveo.
      This picture is as if the driver is looking through the windshield and at the hand in the picture above. (if that makes any sense... haha)
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      I zip tied the cord to a bridge connection on the upper right side of the opening of the grill in the next picture. Then i ran it along the middle bridge to my license plate.
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      Then i ran it along the middle bridge to my license plate. I also used a power adapter/connector that takes it from 3 prong to 2 prong in order to plug it into and protect the 3 prongs from the weather. I then zip tied the 2 prong connector to my license plate and plugged the 3 prong into the 2 prong.
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      Make sure to reconnect everything you disconnected like the radiator, coolant overflow tank, battery, windshield wipers, and anything else you might have taken off in order for easier access.
      Make sure to go back through all of the steps i described in order to be sure you reconnected everything.
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      I recently had my coolant flushed so i am pouring in the coolant i drained but i would recommend to put new coolant in the system. Fill your coolant system slowly through the overflow tank. If you repeatedly squeeze the lower radiator hose, you will pulse coolant through the coolant system and will help the coolant system totally fill up.
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      Once the coolant level no longer drops in the overflow tank while pulsing/squeezing the lower radiator hose, do one last check of all of the hoses and such.
      Start your engine and let it idle on the stands/ramps for a few minutes. Turn off the car to see if any of your connections have leaked.
      With a rag laying over the overflow tank cap, very slowly turn the cap and release the pressure inside, fully unscrew the cap and check to see if more coolant needs added. If so add more coolant.
      Now take it for a 10-20 minute drive and let the engine reach full operating temperature for about 5 minutes.
      Go back home and check the connections again for leaks and check the coolant level again.
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      There's a light underneath the car making the connector glow haha

      It is recommended to put the heater on a heavy duty outdoor timer (a heavy duty indoor timer is okay if parked in a garage). Set the timer to turn your heater on 2-3 hours before you will leave. Any longer period of time is deemed useless because maximum temp is achieved usually within 2 hours.

      Sorry if this was a bit hard to follow! I was just trying to make sure all details were brought about!
      Good luck with your heater installation! I hoped this helped!

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