How-To: Custom block heater plug mount through Euro grille
Have a Euro grille with the flip out badge?
Like to use your engine block heater, but hate opening and closing that darn hood every time?
Have I got the solution for you!
Inspiration credit for this project goes to OrangeSVTguy and this thread.
1. Winter package, with engine block heater
2. Euro grille, with flip-over badge
(Aside: I realize that there are probably very few cars with this combination, but oh well!)
3. Dremel with cutting wheel, or similar tool
4. Small saw or sharp kitchen knife (optional)
6. Epoxy, super-glue, etc. to secure plug.
7. 10mm socket, probably a 6" extension.
Remove radiator cover thing (snap clips, may need screwdriver). Remove grille, two 10mm bolts.
Check out the hood latch area, and notice how there's the part sticking out that would normally be used for the key lock mechanism. It sticks out too far for our purposes, so start sawing/Dremeling this away. I found that a sharp kitchen knife actually worked better than the Dremel for whatever reason. I think I removed about 3/4 inch of material.
Keep removing material until you can do this with your plug. As you can see, the support structure inside all this plastic seems to hold the plug in perfectly. It's like it was meant to be.
Modify the grille. You'll have to widen the dime-sized keyhole to fit a rectangular 3-prong extension cord. Exactly how wide to make this hole will depend on the cord you want to use. Just keep removing material until it fits. The extension cord plug will actually go through the grille and meet up with the plug.
Reattach grille, test fit, modify if need be.
Step 6 (optional):
If you haven't done so already, cut the grille to create recessed area for the hood latch release. Mine looks like this.
Step 7 (optional):
Secure the plug. Use epoxy, glue, whatever you like, just make it work. Consider using zip-ties to secure the block heater cord to things in the engine bay to keep it from moving around.
Put it all back together. I suggest routing the plug cord under the radiator cover and securing it with zipties.
Disclaimer: I actually have not yet secured the plug in any way, and I don't think I will. The plug just sits in the latch area, and stays there from friction. What this means is that I have to open the hood to plug in the extension cord (it takes some force), but I can then close the hood and forget about it. I plug in at night, and the outlet is on a timer that comes on a few hours before I go to work. In the morning I just unplug, flip the badge, and off I go. I don't want to secure it because I may want/need to remove the grille and separate the plug from the grille without ruining either. If that doesn't concern you, go ahead and permanently attach them for easier plug-in.
That's it, hopefully someone else finds this useful, I sure love it! Now I can make "Look at my silly electric car!" jokes too!
I used your idea as inspiration, but took it a step further and used a IEC power jack (Like a computer uses).
Here is the grill when latch is closed. I plasti dipped the grill.
Here it is open. You can see the plug.
Here it is plugged in. The cable I'm using is a 25ft 14AWG Power Cord from monoprice.
That is a kick ass idea! If i had to use one of these I would definitely do it.
To be honest I haven't utilized my front grille plug in trick since last winter. The heater plug and the cord I use to plug it in take quite a bit of force to separate, and by trying to unplug them numerous times I stretched the hole in the plastic such that the heater cord comes right through with very little effort [:(]. So I'm back to leaving the hood up overnight until I decide to get creative again.
To make the adapter I cut about a foot off the female end of an extension cord and then soldered the IEC jack to the end.
I actually ran the cable through first because it wouldn't fit with the jack on it.
Then I soldered the jack on. I don't have any pictures of it mounted but its held in place with some long screws.
i like the idea , but i never use my block heater and have the euro hood latch
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