Ok...this is my weak attempt for a "How To" article so that I can get my name in the drawing for the FASS
system. Be nice Phil...
I got incredibly tired of my block heater cord always dangling out in front...where bugs, birds and the winter salt just ruined the end. After replacing the cord end a couple of times...I thought something had to be better.
I wish I could take credit for the actual idea...but that came from another user on another board. I did however...act upon the idea and made it a reality. Many guys were taking a Marinco Charger Inlet
and drilling through the bumper. You can hardwire the block heater directly to this. I don't like the idea of drilling through my bumper. I like it just the way it is.
So...what about hiding it behind the license plate? But then you need access. Ok...I remember my '76 Chevelle had a flip down license plate holder in the back to get to the gas tank. They were super popular back then...and covered a wide range of automobiles.
I gathered my parts. I need some metal strap for the license place mounting frame. A flat piece of steel for the mounting place for the charger inlet and the flip-up(in this case) license plate holder. I purchased my charger inlet, and also bought a contractor grade 3 outlet plug. I wired this directly into the charger inlet...then plugged the block heater into that. This left me two more slots incase I wanted to add an oil pan heater and/or an in cab heater.
The first part of getting the old license plate holder off and getting the new frame mounted. This
is the metal strap I used. Its 1 3/8" wide and bendable...but sturdy. I cut two pieces about 16 inches long and mounted them in the old plate holder holes. At the top...I bent them 90 degrees inward and bolted them up into the bumper from the bottom. Here
is the completed frame, and here
is how the top of the frame is mounted. I am laying on my back looking up to take this shot.
I then cut and mounted the mounting plate. I don't remember how big of hole I needed for the charger inlet...but when you order it there are instructions on how big of hole you need. I believe I cut the mounting plate 5" by 9" and bolted it to the new frame. Can see here
. I also drilled holes for the license plate holder.
Next came the license plate holder. I went to the local wrecking yard and found one right away on a mid-80s GM. Guy wanted 10 bucks...cheap enough. Got it home, inverted it and bolted it up the the frame as well. This
is now what it looks like. I then needed to figure out a way to keep the license plate up when my truck was plugged in. I didn't want it resting against the cord. A quick walk through Menards solved my problem. I screwed a gate hinge onto the back of the license plate holder and use it to keep the plate up. This
is how it looks...and this
, and this
is how it works.
Now my block heater it protected...and I will admit that I have received a lot of compliments on this set-up. Almost everybody says that I should patent it...but I'm just too lazy to go through that. Total cost of this mod was around $40...and that included the charger inlet, the license plate holder, straps, mounting plate, paint and a beer or two.
So Phil...does this get me entered? And...since it can be done on the other diesels (GM and Dodge) can I get my name entered 3 times??