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Block Heater Installed. Only one Freeze plug will work!!! #1037133 10/31/11 07:59 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 433
Sportege_Panicmech Offline OP
In short, I've had my sportage 6 years and I have pretty much worked out every bug these are known to have. They usually appear at the worst time, dead cold winter. This year, I have added a block heater to the equation. It replaces a freeze plug on the block itself and directly heats the antifreeze in the engine block coolant passages that surround the cylinders. I wanted to warn all of you that there appears to be only one suitable freeze plug that can be removed and replaced with a block heater element. It is on the driver's side of the block under the exhaust 2nd from the front. You'll notice after pulling the exhaust manifold off (easy, don't be scared) that the freeze plug I mention is raised up off the block a little. This makes just enough room to put the heating coil element inside. The other's are not deep enough. I only knew this before randomly pulling wrong freeze plugs because I have the spare block in my living room and could see down the coolant jackets that the cylinders are too close to the plugs on all the others. The block heater only costs under $30. Parts stores and get you the right one just by looking up year/make/model. If you have questions about removing the freeze plug, holla.
I also converted to an electrical fan today also. For now I have a manual on/off switch that controls a power relay for the fan but before fall comes I will have it operated based on temperatures.
So no more cold morning start ups with a cold engine and no more whirring radiator fan as I'm creeping down my street in first gear sounding like a Semi Truck. Now I'm starting up a warm engine with warm air coming out the vents and no clutch radiator fan. Engine feels a tad peppier without the rad fan drag although it could be in my head.
Don't forget to check your 4wd's before you need it and don't have it. And just cause the 4wd light is on doesnt mean your hubs are engaged! put it in 4 and start to make circles and you should feel it acting like it's puttin on the brakes or a binding up feeling like you give it gas and nothing wants to roll even though your ebrake is down. then you know the 4wd works. If it doesn't change at all and just does tight turns freely, you might want to check it out. I'd recommend a dirt/gravel road or a field to do this. Straight concrete is harsher on the drivetrain even though that's where I do my check. I imagine you could snap a hub or weak u-joint under right conditions. That's why they say don't use 4wd on drive pavement. Anyway. Just thought I'd make my rant about my Winter Prepping Fun I had today.. yay! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />

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Re: Block Heater Installed. Only one Freeze plug will work!!! [Re: Sportege_Panicmech] #1037134 11/02/11 08:31 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 433
Sportege_Panicmech Offline OP
So, to add. I found/bought a digital/programmable outlet timer that is rated up to 1000watts at home depot for just under $20. It can be programmed for specific on/off times and specific days, weekdays, weekends, etc. I got this because I'm not gonna wake up and run out in this winter weather to plug in my block heater at 5-6 in the morning when the car is parked across the apartment complex up by the garages. By the time I get back I wouldn't be able to sleep. I'd leave it plugged in all night but I don't want to leave 1000w heater on all night.. power consumption and I'm not sure how hot this heater can get yet. I hear they have a shut off at a certain temperature, but I'm not sure.. They may just have a limit to how hot they can get based on an intentional designed limit. I don't know but what I do know is that the block heater has no visible sign of 'intelligent' circuitry, just wire, and a coil, no circuits, resistors, capacitors, , IC chips, etc.
Did further research on usage and limits with the heaters. The product had good instructions on install but nothing on usage. Found some useful information on a F250 forum. They are plugging their heaters in between 2-4 hours prior to start up. Some leave them on overnight and have done so for years. So, I figure being that our coolant capacities and engine sizes are much smaller than a ford diesel pickup that I'd start with 1.5 hours tonight. First test was successful. Initial Heat vent temps not as warm as i thought it would get so i might bump it up to two hours tomorrow and see. Also my engine temp sensor was at rock bottom. However, the vent temps were not cold by any means, but a tad shy of luke warm. The engine itself started up fast and sounded smooth like it does once it's warmed up which is the more important factor. I hate beating on this engine while the block is still literally just getting above freezing tamps. I also will add a carboard sheet or foam pad infront of the radiator to reduce heat loss while the block heater is active. I'll probably leave it in while driving around so long as I am not entirely blocking the radiator's airflow entirely. I'm lovin my electric fan conversion too btw, cold start and no air blowing sounds is nice and I am noticing a slight increase in spunk. coolant leaks at the block heater. So cool beans.
Next thing is I gotta get my electric radiator fan some kinda of temperature actuation. Anyone have a cheap effective solution? I already have the load taken off the switch with the use of a fused power relay so the power is being taken direct from the battery and not through the switch.

Re: Block Heater Installed. Only one Freeze plug will work!!! [Re: Sportege_Panicmech] #1037135 11/02/11 01:28 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 316
homerdog Offline
I bought a fan temp controller at a Carquest store. They had to look it up in a catalog and order it. It was right around $30. Started working intermittently on me so I took it out only to figure out the fuse holder was rusting up. It's running off just a switch now (well it would be if I had everything back together, maybe this weekend?) so I need to rewire it someday.

2001 Sportage, TJ 106's, Everet spacers and bumpstops, Bilstein shocks on the rear, cone filter, Crager wheels, 235-75-15 Goodyear tires. Custom front winch bumper by Dave Scott. Currently DOA, but it is a work in progress.
2011 Kia Forte EX
Re: Block Heater Installed. Only one Freeze plug will work!!! [Re: homerdog] #1037136 11/02/11 01:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,224
Everet Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Go to ebay and search: radiator fan switch.
I like the 2 stage ones that kick on at 102 on the high side and turn off around 92 (C). PM me for the use of the lower stage.
Everet <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />

WWW.UPYOURKIA.COM White 96,4x4, man.hubs,K&N filter,3row rad, twin 16" fans, 3" body lift, 4" UPYOURKIA LIFT KIT,265/75 16 TreadWrights on DC2 wheels,140 amp alt. dual batts.
Re: Block Heater Installed. Only one Freeze plug will work!!! [Re: Everet] #1037137 11/07/11 03:33 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,136
Nukeiridium Offline
Body Damage is Cool
If money is no object, the Spal Fan-PWM V3 fan controller is pretty sweet.

You can connect it to your engine's existing temperature sensor and program it when to turn the fan on low, and when to turn it on High. Then it has a wire you can connect to your AC compressor clutch, so that when your AC is turned on (if it gets hot in the summer) then it will override the thermostat and turn on your radiator fan, making your AC get better airflow and work better.

It also has a wire to signal a second fan (not needed on the Sportage though), and my personal favorite, wires for status LED's that you can put on your dash to let you know when the fan is turned on, and more importantly, blink an error code if there is some malfunction or your fan is not working properly! (it will detect open, short, over-current draw, etc. so you can notice from a blinking LED that your electric radiator fan has gone bad or is disconnected or whatever)

Fantastic product really... Kinda pricey but I love it!

2002 Sportage 4dr 4x4 soon to undergo an Extreme Makeover!
Re: Block Heater Installed. Only one Freeze plug will work!!! [Re: Nukeiridium] #1037138 11/19/11 05:38 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 433
Sportege_Panicmech Offline OP
WOW that is expensive! $170ish and up! No A/C on mine. I think I'm gonna dig into the wiring diagrams to see what the two sensors are by the t-stat. I know one is a variable resistance signal to the ECM for coolant temp.. but what's the OTHER one for? two Coolant Temp Sensors? Kinda wondering/hoping that it's a temp switch that grounds when it reaches higher temp.. I could use the ground on my relay to signal the fans on. Doubt that's what it's for tho. I'm also diggin around the wiring diagrams of the ecu trying to find a possible rad fan output pin. Sometimes ECU's have outputs to things that doesn't exist on a model. but been busy with snow tire rush this last 2 weeks.

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