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Thread: oil/engine heater for Kohler

  1. Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Martin, Michigan
    Posts
    35

    oil/engine heater for Kohler

    My Dixie has an old 20hp Kohler Magnum on it. I use it for snowblowing in the winter and mowing in the summer. I have a lot of trouble starting it when the temp drops near 0 degrees (F) and have been considering an engine or oil heater for those days. Does anyone know of a heater that would work for this? Most of the engine heaters are magnetic and with an aluminum block, it won't stick. Has anyone done something similar?

    Thanks!

  2. Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Coatesville, IN
    Posts
    2,802

    Starting a frozen Dixie Chopper

    While an oil heater sounds like a good idea on paper, you still have the hydraulic system on the unit in addition to the engine creating drag on your starter. My reccomendation would be to (1)keep a trickle charger on your battery,and (2) use a small radient electric heater on the entire unit during very cold conditions.A block or dipstick heater does not work as well on an air cooled engine.Idealy keeping the unit in a heated garage would be the best way,but that is sometimes not practical or possible.Good luck!
    DC Service

  3. Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Southern Lower Michigan
    Posts
    151
    What about an electric blanket ?
    Quality Is Good !

  4. Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Coatesville, IN
    Posts
    2,802
    An Electric blanket works better on people,but a small radient heater, ( preferebly infared) would do a much better job.
    DC Service

  5. Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Martin, Michigan
    Posts
    35
    Thanks for the ideas/ thoughts. I had also thought about the fact that an oil heater only heats the oil, but there are still issues with hydraulics, etc. I actually HAVE kept a trickle charger on the battery, and it turns over well (initially) but it still has problems starting in very cold weather. I don't have access to a heated garage. An unheated barn is the best I can do, but it does keep the snow out and has electricity. I actually have warmed the dixie up with a hair dryer to get it started as of late. Seems like it helps most if I can warm the intake/ carburetor, but that might just be in my mind. I have a small electric (ceramic) space heater, but with the size of the barn, and lack of insulation, I think it would feel like a losing battle. I had also thought about wrapping electric heat tape (like is used for frozen pipes) around various parts (engine block, hydraulics, etc., but I am afraid it would get too hot before the thermostat turned it off. I will keep brainstorming and I'm sure will come up with something that will work. Thanks again!

  6. Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Walden,NY
    Posts
    946
    I dont know what motor oil you are running,but for the winter I would run a 5 or 10w30 full synthetic oil.If you are now running an SAE30 or conventinal 10w30 or 15/w40 changing the oil will make a huge difference in starting ease.This will make the single biggest difference.

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