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i have a remote starter on mine. also have the 3 cyllinder idle and auto high idle when cold. i have a 1200W electric heater in the cab along with the factory radiator heat. so on RS if below 30F the electric heater powers at 600W and high idle kicks on. if under 15F the 3 cyllinder kicks on and the electric heater runs at full 1200W. if engine temp reaches 100F and RS is still active the blower motor will power on and then shuts off for manual control upon remote start shut down.
i also have my wiper motor wired to aux on the remote start so it will activate from my remote or phone if i want to clear snow with out having to go outside.
the defrost auto triggers with remote start under 35F as well.
 

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i pulled my hvac system and resealed it with weather stripping and hvac tape. i also installed a small filter in my cowl for cabin air. i have a coolant bypass on mine, goes from rear of head (freeze plug) to thermostat neck on front of engine. prevents cavitation of heated coolant on cylinder 6 under heavy load.
 

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my truck goes to auto high idle when the engine is below 120F. mine is a vp44 so i just set digital limits but a small actuator with a PLC would easily handle this with out needing to put a brick on your pedal.
 

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you could use a short throw solenoid off an aux POC from your remote starter. it would allow you to set a tempature to depress the throttle at so as to give you 1200rpm below a set temp
 

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as for low heat while driving. id check the seals on your hvac system. mine were worn to ****, lost lots of heat into the dash
 

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I'm just using a $15 heater from Menards, and a couple relays
 
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