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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Maybe we should have gotten a crankcase heater in the L3940!

    Our L3940 is used everyday for feeding 50 head of cattle or doing something else. It's kept in an unheated insulated steel building but even with temps in the 30's outside it's having some difficulty starting. It hasn't failed to start yet but it's pretty darn sluggish at turning over. It's run long enough everyday to bring the coolant temp into the normal range, I'd say it's run at least 15 minutes everyday. Today we never shut it off while using it so I'd say it ran a good 30 minutes air temps in the 30's. My wife does the majority of the driving and she always waits for the glow plugs to click before trying to start it. Is a crankcase heater user installable? Are we running it enough each day? Is this normal or could we have a charging problem? Do we need to run a lighter weight oil than the 15W40 we run in all our tractors except the gas antiques.
    '11 John Deere 5065M /cab
    '10 Kubota L3940 w/FEL
    '09 JD X720
    '91 CaseIH 5140 Maxxum w/cab
    '78 IH 686 w/M&W Turbo 106 PTO hp w/canopy

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    kubota L2900

    Default Re: Maybe we should have gotten a crankcase heater in the L3940!

    I have a L2900 and it starts great in even colder weather.I do have 5w30 oil in for the winter and I have a battery tender on all of the time and it starts quick.I would check your battery it may be weak.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    NE USA
    JD LA115, WH 244, Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: Maybe we should have gotten a crankcase heater in the L3940!

    Save your money and buy a propane or kerosene fired

    salamander and in twenty minutes it will be up to

    near operating temperature no matter the weather.

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Maybe we should have gotten a crankcase heater in the L3940!

    Blockheater or inline heater would make starting easier. Battery tender is also a good idea for the short run times you have.

    Every so often work it hard for a while to clean up the oil condensation.
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  5. #5
    Super Member RickB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Lincoln County, NC need new avatar!
    Just a Scag

    Default Re: Maybe we should have gotten a crankcase heater in the L3940!

    Your tractor has a curable problem if it starts hard above freezing. That is simply not normal.
    Spring is the season of optimism.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member PHILIP8N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Kubota L3940 Kubota GR2120 Ford 8N Ford 6000

    Default Re: Maybe we should have gotten a crankcase heater in the L3940!

    The coldest we got last winter was 0F actual (windchill not included). I went out to our un-insulated un-heated barn just to see if the new kubota L3940 would start. No heater aids, just factory glow plugs. The tractor started just fine, sure, it knocked and smoked for the first 15 seconds, but it was 0F that morning! I use synthetic 5w-40 year round, Power Service in the white bottle year round, and diesel from the local truck stop. I make sure to have the winter blend in the tank this time of year. Good luck. Philip.
    Kubota L3940HST-1 2009
    84" front blade
    LA724 loader w/HD 72" round back bucket
    turf tires
    Kubota GR2120 2013
    Kubota W5019 PC
    Ford 8N 1950
    Ford 6000 diesel 1961
    Woods RD7200 finish mower, Land Pride RCR1272 rotary cutter, Land Pride RTR1274 tiller, Bearcat CH5540 5" chipper, L8170 ballast box, 6' Woods pulverizer, 6' Dragon box scrapper with hydraulic rippers, 14" 2 bottom plow, post hole auger, 7' Land Pride RB1584 rear blade, 3 point boom pole, 48" 4000# SSQA pallet forks

  7. #7
    Veteran Member easygo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Kubota B7800

    Default Re: Maybe we should have gotten a crankcase heater in the L3940!

    The block heater is user installable with about an hour's work. The thing about those is that you want to plug it in about 30-40 minutes before you start the machine. It will make starts easier. Once I started my tractor at -15F just to see if it would get going. It did, but it sounded terrible and pushed out white smoke for half a minute or so. That was the one and only time I did that. I plug in the block heater for about 45min - 1hr when the temp is above 10F and for 1.5 hrs when it is 0F or colder. The engine start as easy as in the Summer.
    In my mind 15 minutes is barely enough for the machine to reach proper operating temperature.
    It's the going that counts not the distance!

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Saskatchewan , Canada
    2007 L3540 HST Cab

    Default Re: Maybe we should have gotten a crankcase heater in the L3940!

    I've got my L3540 rigged with a block heater AND battery blanket - I plug it in for 1 or 2 hours before I start it and when I do it already has 1 bar on the temp gauge. If you are using it everyday get a timer that turns on the block heater automatically ever day. With 1 bar on the gauge I usually let it run for another minute or two to get the oil flowing and go.

    I would also recommend changing to a winter grade grease.........

  9. #9
    Elite Member nybirdman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    north of upstate ny
    Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT

    Default Re: Maybe we should have gotten a crankcase heater in the L3940!

    I just started mine,been outdoors at 15-20 degrees for a week,check your fuel,use an additive,or your battery might be low.I have started mine at 0 degees with-out plugging in just to try,starts fine.Block heater helps to warm the oils and easier on the motor.May need to change oil viscosity also.
    Mine is a L4240 HStc/

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Rozet, Wyoming

    Default Re: Maybe we should have gotten a crankcase heater in the L3940!

    I wonder if your run time is enough to keep the battery charged. If you have a volt meter, check the battery voltage before starting and see what you have. I believe 12.6+ volts is a fully charged condition, 12.4=75%, 12.2=50%. An engine with glow plugs should not have any problem starting at 30˚ provided the battery is charged enough to spin the engine over good. You might need to put the battery charger on it once a week or more to keep it charged. A block heater is a good thing too. If you feed at a given time each day, just put it on a timer. That would save your battery too with quick starts.


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