Oil temperature during cold months

H. Paul Shuch is a Light Sport Repairman with Maintenance ratings for airplanes, gliders, weight shift control, and powered parachutes, as well as an independent Rotax Maintenance Technician at the Heavy Maintenance level. He holds a PhD in Air Transportation Engineering from the University of California, and serves as Director of Maintenance for AvSport of Lock Haven.

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dstclair
Posts: 985
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:23 am
Location: Allen, TX

Re: Oil temperature during cold months

Postby dstclair » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:33 pm

Tried out my Thermocube plug and 75 watt trouble light and it worked out pretty well. My setup included covering the cowl with an insulated moving blanked and plugging the two air intake holes with a couple old hand towels. It's been cold (for Dallas) the last few days. I configured the light yesterday morning when the low temperature was 15F. CHT was 21F. Fast forward to today with the low temperature hitting 8F. I checked the plane with OAT being reported as 14F. CHT was 34F. I'll have to verify the plug actually shuts off at 45F later this week when we break our cold snap.

Last night was the coldest night in 22 years so I think this setup will be a pretty good Dallas preheater for our 'normal' winters with lows typically around 30F. I think I spent around $30 for the parts and bulbs.
dave

Warmi
Posts: 455
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:35 pm
Location: Frankfort, IL

Re: Oil temperature during cold months

Postby Warmi » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:27 pm

Thankfully, as our temperatures here go down to negatives, I don't have to deal with pre-heating since our hangars are kept at around 50 F.

I do have a heater similar to what DrSeti rigged up but that's there only to bring up the overall oil temperature to around 60 F wile I am doing my pre-flight tasks. If I had to start from OAT ( basically if I were in a non-heated hangar) I don't think a simple heater like that would work - I mean, it would probably take 2-3 hours to bring the temperature up from OAT to something acceptable ( mid 40s.)

Unless using a dedicated product like Tanis, I am unwilling to leave any sort of home-rigged heaters ( thermostatic plugs or not ) unattended. As far as I can tell , none of these cheap heaters were designed to be run unattended I don't want to the one to find out why :-)
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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dstclair
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:23 am
Location: Allen, TX

Re: Oil temperature during cold months

Postby dstclair » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:13 pm

dstclair wrote:Tried out my Thermocube plug and 75 watt trouble light and it worked out pretty well. My setup included covering the cowl with an insulated moving blanked and plugging the two air intake holes with a couple old hand towels. It's been cold (for Dallas) the last few days. I configured the light yesterday morning when the low temperature was 15F. CHT was 21F. Fast forward to today with the low temperature hitting 8F. I checked the plane with OAT being reported as 14F. CHT was 34F. I'll have to verify the plug actually shuts off at 45F later this week when we break our cold snap.

Last night was the coldest night in 22 years so I think this setup will be a pretty good Dallas preheater for our 'normal' winters with lows typically around 30F. I think I spent around $30 for the parts and bulbs.

Just to add another data point -- went flying yesterday morning with the morning low being 11F and was around 28F when I arrived at the hanger. CHT was 50F and plane started easily. Looks like the 75W bulb is worth around 25F of increased heating.

Also, the Sting oil thermostat worked pretty well in flight. Dynon was reporting OAT at altitude around 30F and my oil temps in cruise were around 190-195F. I made sure to climb pretty aggressively so I hit 205F in my initial climb.
dave


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