So, I installed the Acura-spec engine block heater on the Integra this weekend. First of all, the coolant drain plug was a BUGGAH getting off -- sheared off two wrench extensions in the process. Then once off, disposal of the flood of coolant was a challenge. BUT...
Installation was a breeze (after bleeding the system)...then when it was all said and done, I started her up this morning and went for a drive. Immediately warm air from the vents, and within 5 minutes, the torque converter locked-up! It normally took 10-minutes+ on a good day. This means closed-loop much, much quicker. I'm looking forward to perhaps better mileage as a result.
Long story short, the draw of electricity has to outweigh the fuel saved, and the convenience of a warmed-up transmission. I recommend it for now -- we'll see what develops in the way of economy...
How much did the piece of junk cost from honda is what I wonder? I think about just grapping some random thing on ebay for a buck and taping it to my engine,
I can't even tell when my torque converter locks up, is that when it stops revving too high and will **** into the gear you want it in properly?
Well dear boy, it was $42 with illustrated shop-manual instructions provided from my Acura dealer's service department (helps to know the service manager). I wouldn't settle for anything less than what the Honda engineers designed for my car. So, I paid an extra 20-spot, but I got the proper routing of the wire, protective cap for the plug, zip ties, sponge wrap to attach the wire to the radiator line, torque specs, and metric sizes for the bolt heads (in addtion to the proper procedure to bleed the coolant system). Well worth it in my book.
As for the torque converter, it's that sliding engagement around 45-50 mph (for me) where the transmission drops the RPMs by around 500, and you have a direct link-up to the tranny. At 55mph, before the TC or OD engages, applying gas raises the RPMs by about 1000, lifting the gas results in the same drop. When the TC/OD locks-up, stepping on the gas shifts the converter into lockup mode and the RPMs drop with the input, and there's no slush when you press the gas or lift off of the gas. It's hard to explain -- when you step on the gas, the RPMs don't go up, they generally go down slightly and it goes.