The risk of engine damage from improper preheating is well documented, and concern about this should far outweigh concerns about “oil runoff.” Our heaters have proven to be so bulletproof that we do not exclude warranty coverage for failures due to improper installation, as other brands do. Check the oil temperature meter to make sure it is accurate.
Continental Motors installs our system in its factory repairs. The same goes for Cirrus, Mooney and several other aircraft manufacturers who install our systems as factory-installed options. “30F outside, but after about 8 hours with a sleeping bag in the case, I had a 100F-130F motor ready to ride with an O-320 Citabria and fairly even temperatures… even heat the accessories.” Like Aviation Consumer, we “just don’t” buy the claim that it’s more important to warm the head than the rest of the cylinder.
Depending on the application and temperature requirements, many sizes and types are available, including hinges and expandables. If you would like to learn more about infrared heating elements, please contact our team here at the UCI. We have excellent knowledge in this field, store a wide range of quartz and ceramic heaters and can help you find the best product for you.
However, if your goal is to start the engine AND avoid damage and wear to the engine due to cold start, the entire engine and oil should be heated evenly. To do this, it must be preheated long enough so that heat can be conducted along the entire length of the engine. You can do this with a propane heater, but the typical hot air blast does not. Some propane heaters are portable and can run on a battery, so you can take them with you when traveling and use them in remote locations. However, they weigh 15 pounds or more and take up luggage space. During the development phase, we discussed the idea of this cylinder heater with Rick Moffet, Vice President of Engineering at Lycoming.
Our systems are robust and built with high quality materials to withstand the extreme temperatures and difficult operating environment in your engine compartment. For example, wiring with Teflon is insulated to tolerate long-term exposure to high heat and abrasion. Then the wiring is covered with a silicone jacket reinforced with fiber optics. We use high quality AMP connectors with nickel-plated connectors for corrosion resistance.
This design approach gives you the advantage of a maximum oil temperature controlled by the thermostat without the disadvantage of a limited life of the thermostat due to a constant turn on and off. Engine manufacturers say 20F is hot enough to start the engine. Many people want to treat their engine more conservatively, just as they change the oil more often than the book says. It also doesn’t pump very well through all the small tight spaces it has to lubricate its engine. Type R Construction is an uninsulated ceramic belt heater with a perforated stainless steel outer shell for more efficient cooling. It is usually used in multiple quantities with forced air cooling systems such as Tempco’s cool TO-THE Touch Shroud systems.
Two advantages of silicone pads are that they are thin and light. The aluminum HotStrip retains these benefits as it is only 1/8″ thick and 1 ounce. It’s also lighter and less bulky than a competitor’s thick metal plate heater. Besides us, there is only one https://www.thermalcorporation.com/mica-band-heaters/ other company that manufactures multi-point engine preheating systems for aircraft. The other company’s systems cost about TWICE as much as ours, with about half the warranty, and after the warranty expires, their parts cost up to 5 times more than ours.