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LX450 Tank Type Engine Block Heater

FEATURES (the information below was taken from the warehouseautoparts.com link at the bottom of this page)

  • Made of die cast Aluminum

  • One piece molding

  • Tapered outlet design, pushes coolant more efficiently than other styles

  • Available in 850W, 1000W 1500W & 2000W 120V (also available in 240V. Call for special order.)

  • Thermostaticly controlled 135 - 175

  • 5' HPN 105 C cord

  • Uses versatile strap type mounting

  • CSA Approved

Short warm-up periods should be avoided when it is extremely cold.  It is better to operate the heater all night.  This will eliminate frozen water hoses.  Kat's heaters are thermostatically controlled to obtain the most efficient operation.


First off, drain the cooling system. You are going to be removing the lower radiator hose, so you might as well get all the messy work out of the way before you start.

I used a Kats P/N 13100, 120 volt, 1000 watt tank type heater, using the supplied upper "Y" fitting and a Kat's lower tee (1.25 x .625"). Total cost including the Tee, hoses, clamps, split loom, and various supplies (but not including new Toyota Red coolant) was about US$110.

 The heater tank MUST be mounted with the top (outlet) port below the level of the Y fitting on the firewall, and with the lower port (inlet) above the source of the cold coolant (the lower radiator hose, on the right side of the truck). If the tank is improperly located, the coolant may not flow properly by convection! Don't attempt to install the Y into the steel return line immediately aft of the water pump, near the thermostat - it's the WRONG location, and the engine will never warm up after starting  - don't ask me how I know ;)

I found a nice spot below/ behind the right headlight that would work well. I used the supplied steel clamp, but I re-bent it and drilled two new holes to prevent rotation of the tank clamp. The original clamp as it comes from the factory is pretty useless.... I drilled through the inner fender and bolted the tank solidly to the inner fender using a couple of 1/4 inch bolts and self locking nuts. Access to the nuts is easy without removing the front wheel. Before installing, I wrapped the tank with half a dozen wraps of black electrical tape to make sure the clamp grabbed well.

The 120 volt power cable runs up and outward from the tank, secured with a steel and rubber Adel clamp into an existing 8 mm threaded hole on top of the inner fender. From there the cable runs under the headlight to the center of the lower grill. The cable is covered with 1/4 inch split loom and secured with nylon ties.

Looking down onto the heater from the right side of the truck. The Kat's Tee fitting can be seen as an out of focus blob to the left of the tank. For the lower connection I used a length of 5/8 inch heater hose with a 90 degree formed elbow at one end - the friendly sales droid at the auto parts store found one that would work. The upper hose is a straight section of standard 5/8 inch heater hose, covered with 1 inch ID split loom. The upper hose curves up to and along the OEM steel heater pipe and runs beside the valve cover to the firewall. The instructions stress that there must be no loops or high points to cause an air lock.

A better shot of the lower Tee. I removed the OEM hose completely so that I would be able to cut out a 1/2 inch section without messing up the angles of the cut. You "might" be able to cut it in place without screwing up, but I would not count on it...

The Kat's 1.25 inch Tee - used to suck cold coolant up to the tank heater from the big Toyota return hose at the bottom of the radiator, the lowest point in the cooling system.

The supplied Y fitting should be placed as shown into the inlet hose leading to the heater (or heaters, if you have rear heat), just "upstream" from the control valve. It is necessary to install a longer lower hose to match the new length of the upper hose and Y. Warm coolant flows up to the Y from the heater tank, then through the control valve (assuming it is open) and through the cabin heater(s) and then into the cylinder head. If the valve is closed, the warm coolant will flow backwards, to the left in the picture, and down into the cylinder head at the Pesky Heater Hose (PHH) connection below the intake manifold.

The excess cable is secured to the lower grill sheet metal with tie wraps, and the plug hangs down into the unused winch cavity of the Slee bumper.

After servicing the system with coolant, check for leaks and run the engine to operating temperature with the heat turned to HOT, then let the system cool down. Any air in the block heater "should" self bleed. I used a Stant cooling system tester to make sure all the connections were tight. NOTE: It is MOST important that you never plug in the heater unless the heating element is submerged in fluid, or it will burn out quickly.

I usually set the HVAC controls to Defrost/ Full Hot before turning off the truck. That way the heater cores will be warmed, as well as the engine block, and some of the heat will drift upward onto the windshield to defrost it. On the LX450, the heater temperature valve is controlled electronically by an electric servo, so the key must be turned to the Ignition position for the valve to move. You can hear a small whine when the servo actuates. I don't know how the Land Cruiser system works.

When I plug in the heater, I place a home made warning placard on my steering wheel so that I don't drive off without disconnecting the extension cord. Inside the garage, I use a Sylvania Heavy Duty Appliance Timer set to come on about 3:00 AM, so my engine will be warm by the time I need to start it. There is an over ride switch on the side of the unit that bypasses the timer.... in case it is bugger-all cold and I want to run the heater all night long.

Sylvania SA110 15 Amp Timer at Amazon.com

Kat's Circulation Tank Heaters

To contact the manufacturer: Five Star Manufacturing 1-888-872-7278

Page New 01-04-10


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