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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Jay4200's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    1,624
    Location
    Hudson/Weare, NH
    Tractor
    L4200GST w/ LA680

    Default Cold weather start

    My glow plugs stopped working at the start of last winter and I've been too busy/lazy to diagnose and fix them. My tractor (L4200, 2600+ hours) started up fine all last year, though I don't think I ran it in temps less than about 25F. I keep a float charger on the battery, so it always has a good jolt to spin the starter. Saturday, after sitting a week (the tractor, not me), I started up when it was about 15F, after a <10F degree night. Started right up after 5-6 seconds of cranking. No block heater, no glow plugs. It seems my tractor is a pretty good cold starter, based on the problems I've read about on TBN. Is this actually unusual?

    I also noticed some grey vapor coming out of the exhaust that started maybe 10 seconds after the tractor started - I thought that a cylinder wasn't firing, but the engine sounded perfect. It stopped after a minute or so - I convinced myself it was just condensation/frost that was in the exhaust system for some reason. Does that sound reasonable?

    JayC

  2. #2
    Veteran Member kuboman's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    2,018
    Location
    Canada
    Tractor
    B3200, L5740,

    Default Re: Cold weather start

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay4200 View Post
    My glow plugs stopped working at the start of last winter and I've been too busy/lazy to diagnose and fix them. My tractor (L4200, 2600+ hours) started up fine all last year, though I don't think I ran it in temps less than about 25F. I keep a float charger on the battery, so it always has a good jolt to spin the starter. Saturday, after sitting a week (the tractor, not me), I started up when it was about 15F, after a <10F degree night. Started right up after 5-6 seconds of cranking. No block heater, no glow plugs. It seems my tractor is a pretty good cold starter, based on the problems I've read about on TBN. Is this actually unusual?

    I also noticed some grey vapor coming out of the exhaust that started maybe 10 seconds after the tractor started - I thought that a cylinder wasn't firing, but the engine sounded perfect. It stopped after a minute or so - I convinced myself it was just condensation/frost that was in the exhaust system for some reason. Does that sound reasonable?

    JayC
    I wish I owned a diesel that started that good. Yours is the exception rather than the rule. Means yours is timed perfectly and have excellent compression. As for the grey smoke, I would not worry unless it starts doing it more and at warmer temps.
    L5740 LA854 loader
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    F2680E
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  3. #3
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    14,431
    Location
    Yanceyville, North Carolina
    Tractor
    Kubota L4400

    Default Re: Cold weather start

    I have a kubota L4400 and the Operators Manual -trouble shooting section- states this in regards to colored exhaust fumes. Black-fuel quality is poor,too much oil,the air cleaner is clogged. Blue White - the inside of exhaust muffler is dumped with fuel,injection nozzle trouble,fuel quality is poor. It does not say anything about grey vapor fumes..
    The PUPIL who does not surpass his Master, fails his Master.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Jay4200's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    1,624
    Location
    Hudson/Weare, NH
    Tractor
    L4200GST w/ LA680

    Default Re: Cold weather start

    Quote Originally Posted by creekbend View Post
    I have a kubota L4400 and the Operators Manual -trouble shooting section- states this in regards to colored exhaust fumes. Black-fuel quality is poor,too much oil,the air cleaner is clogged. Blue White - the inside of exhaust muffler is dumped with fuel,injection nozzle trouble,fuel quality is poor. It does not say anything about grey vapor fumes..
    It was probably the blue-white case - 5-6 seconds of cranking will surely coat the inside of the exhaust with fuel.

    JayC

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Sep 2004
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    2,336
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    Kansas, Butler county, Just east of DooDah
    Tractor
    Kubota L4200 GSTCA

    Default Re: Cold weather start

    Looks like your engine is in excellent condition... But you should give it a little help with the glow plugs... It will help stretch the life of your starter & battery...
    You can either repair, likely the controller, or just put a push button to manually activate the relay... KennyV

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Piston's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
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    2,412
    Location
    Central MA, Lakes Region NH
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610 and John Deere 410

    Default

    I honestly don't know if my glow plugs are working properly? How do you tell? When I turn my key on the glow plug light illuminates but only for less than a second. Even in cold cold weather it never stays lit for more than 1 second. Is this how yours was before they quit working or did the light stay on for a few more seconds?

    IF mine aren't working properly then my engine sounds a lot like yours. Ive never had a problem starting it in the cold, it cranks over probably about as long as yours, but maybe an extra second or two once in a while, but always starts up. I'm glad you asked this because I've been meaning to post about mine for a long time so I'll be following your thread.
    Kubota L4610 and John Deere 410 - WR Long 64" Grapple (best attachment ever!) QA front forks, rear forks, Brown 472 HD Rotary Mower, Land Pride RBT4096 hydro blade, Woods 7200 Power Rake, homemade 3 pt log splitter, Land Pride rake/blade combo, Land Pride HRL 3578 box blade (Hydro scarifiers), Shaver SC50 3 pt. Stumpgrinder, FitRiteHydraulics TnT, 6" Vermeer PTO Chipper (Hydro feed), Disc Plow, Ratchet Rake, LP HD25 Hydraulic PHD, Woodmizer LT15 portable sawmill
    Rear Remotes Install

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Sep 2004
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    Kansas, Butler county, Just east of DooDah
    Tractor
    Kubota L4200 GSTCA

    Default Re: Cold weather start

    When it is in the 40's F my GPs are on about 4 seconds, in the 30's 6 seconds, 20's 7 seconds... in the low teens around 8 to10 seconds & I usually give it two shots of GP time anytime the temp is below 32 F... Engine lights up with one revolution ... KennyV

  8. #8
    Bronze Member MyJoBota's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    70
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L5740

    Default Re: Cold weather start

    Just keep in mind that most of the wear on the internals of a internal combustion engine is done at start up. I beleive anything you can do to help with start up such as glow plugs, proper weight oil for climate, block heater, pre-luber ect.. is money in the bank.
    MyJoBota

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