Heater Element - Delete it or put it back in?

doublespaces

Administrator
Oct 18, 2016
8,869
AZ
So right now the heater element is unplugged from my car and I'm about to route some hose off it to a more convenient location. I cut off the plastic hose from the crank case flapper and am deciding if its worth putting this back on. If I tried, the problem is finding a way to mount the odd shape to more hosing. What did you do with it? Plug it in and zip tie it to the car? remove it?

IMG_20170510_231933.jpg

IMG_20170510_232137.jpg
 

camberadam

Sergeant
Feb 15, 2017
257
Baltimore
I ditched mine. Melt a piece of shrinkwrap over the connector, then ziptie it right under the junction box. There's a bunch of small looms you can neatly bundle together. :cool:
 
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doublespaces

Administrator
Oct 18, 2016
8,869
AZ
I ditched mine. Melt a piece of shrinkwrap over the connector, then ziptie it right under the junction box. There's a bunch of small looms you can neatly bundle together. :cool:
Good idea with the heat shrink. That probably eases my OCD enough to go that route :)

I heard the water pump runs a little longer, if my turbo had waterlines that would actually be a good thing.
 

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Lieutenant
Dec 7, 2016
626
St. Louis, MO USA
The heating element is really for the PCV valve and vent hose flapper assembly as they can freeze in some state and not function properly if frozen. With freezing environments (and affiliated moisture) you can get critical PCV related components that end up seizing and no longer functioning as they should, which is not a good thing whatsoever. The heating element is something that helps to alleviate this problem so we would suggest leaving it in place regardless wherever possible especially in a colder climate.
 
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dyezak

Major
May 4, 2017
1,768
Plano TX
The heating element is really for the PCV valve and vent hose flapper assembly as they can freeze in some state and not function properly if frozen. With freezing environments (and affiliated moisture) you can get critical PCV related components that end up seizing and no longer functioning as they should, which is not a good thing whatsoever. The heating element is something that helps to alleviate this problem so we would suggest leaving it in place regardless wherever possible especially in a colder climate.
To be perfectly fair Rob, how many other forced induction cars have a heating element on their PCV systems? I've been playing with forced induction cars since the mid 1990's and this is the first time I have ever seen this. I can understand (theoretically) the benefit of the heater, but I've never experienced a single problem in any previous car without one.

Add to that the fact that you should be warming your car up before you just drive off means that any moisture that would be in the PCV in a frozen state would be melted before you took off and started beating on your car.

The way I see it the heating element is for idiots who are going to start their car in below freezing temperatures, while the oil is thicker than honey, and immediately go WOT, hit boost, and do stupid shit. And if they are going to do that, having a stuck/frozen PCV valve is the least of their worries.
 

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Lieutenant
Dec 7, 2016
626
St. Louis, MO USA
Yeah I get your point as well but there are in fact many other platforms with a heating function in place as well. Much of it depends on PCV components location, materials (ie. N54 is an extreme plastic case), obviously residing climate of engine, and probably a bit of manufacturer error'ing on the side of caution as well.

To each their own but we see no reason to eliminate what is in no way shape or form going to harm anything by its retention (and if anything help) unless you have some custom setup that simply can not accommodate the concept any further.
 

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Sergeant
Platinum Vendor
Jan 23, 2017
457
The heater element is to prevent PCV condensation from freezing over the intake inlet opening during very cold weather. With an OCC in place it's less of a factor because condensation collects in the OCC itself and if properly designed (like a BMS OCC) it is highly unlikely that would freeze over.
 
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matreyia

Major
Apr 19, 2017
1,713
If you ran the car with this popped off and there was a gap exposed at this PTC heater connection... would you get creamy gunk under your oil cap and condensation in you low side occ and oil film in your charge pipe but nothing in the intercooler? I figure this device plugs the pcv system and if it is missing with a hole left behind on the rear inlet pipe...you have a leak in the pcv system and thus you would have condensation issues with creamy oil residue in the valve cover and occ?
 
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matreyia

Major
Apr 19, 2017
1,713
These N54s are far too complicated to be reliable. Is this the piece that ive seen smouldering in some you tube vids?
Back in my day, vent to atmosphere. <Period
They are average reliable if all the complicated parts are consistently maintained... but there are too many parts to keep track of, even for idiot savant maintenance persons like me.
 

matreyia

Major
Apr 19, 2017
1,713
Ok... I just learned something about this heater element today.
Yesterday, I installed the Radium OCC and to remove this element to connect some AN fittings. I put it back on the rear intake and notice that the wire connecting to it got kinked and was less lengthy and it BARELY could connect to the heater element. I forced it to connect and left the wire all tense and called it a day.

Today, I started my engine and was warming up, I decided to do a MHD diagnostic code test. I also noticed that the car ran rough...almost like it was about to misfire. Lo and behold... the MHD code test showed me these errors:


2C2C - DME: Oxygen sensor 2 before catalytic converter: System check.
2C3E - DME: Oxygen sensor 2 before catalytic converter: Line fault.
2C7F - DME: Lambda control 2.
2CAB - DME: Oxygen sensor 2 before catalytic converter: Temperature.

So...now I am totally confused and start to do the typical mental replay of engine parts that I touched last night. I could only remember the one thing that was different... the super taught wire connection of the heater element...nothing else was changed.

So I get home, smelling tons of fuel, like it was running rich. Open the hood and immediately get to work.
Took out the wire, rerouted in order to get more length. Re-installed the connection to the heater element without any tension. Went for a long ass test drive using all kinds of driving styles... and car ran perfect.

SO... I theorize that if this heater element connector is not good, the DME will give you those errors above and your car will run rough and rich. I went ahead and ordered a new heater element (this small part is damn expensive for what it is, like almost $200 bucks). I got a new one because 1. I am insane and 2. I am OCD and I have a nagging fear that the current cracked connector on my heater element is going to bite me in the ass sooner or later.

That is all.
 
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