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  1. #21
    Elite Member jonyyuma's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    2,972
    Location
    35 miles North of Memphis,TN
    Tractor
    kubota L3000dt, ford 8n1952

    Default Re: What does diesel gelling look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    It looks like wax, because it IS wax (paraffin primarily) .

    The fact that it started up again after 1/2 hour indicates that there was probably some heat soak going on and it melted back into solution.
    Mercedes USED TO suggest up to 30% gasoline as a winter "blend" in situations where winter blend isn't available - though I think this might have been as an emergency measure only.
    I sometimes consider a 10% to 20% mix when the temperature drops suddenly and I know I still have summer fuel in the tank - then I check and top up with the local seasonal blend.
    Gasoline is not recommended here in any diesel fuel, it makes it chemically unstable. Kerosene is okay to mix. Yes, there is paraffin in diesel, it has always been there.. It is left there for power, if removed the power ratio suffers a lot.
    Okay, Legal disclaimer: Old but not senile, definitely do not have the answer to everything!

  2. #22
    Elite Member Duffster's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    4,372
    Location
    Wisconsin

    Default Re: What does diesel gelling look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Farmer View Post
    All this talk about gelling of Diesel fuel makes me nervous being a novice tractor operator as well as a Northern Vermonter. What dictates when one should plug in their tractor before operation---What temperature? My tractor has a heating block I am just not sure when to use it. I am sure this has been covered in this forum at one point. So far this winter no issue with starting. I do not depend on my tractor in the winter. However, I do like to use it to beat back some of the big snow piles from encroaching on us. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Plugging your tractor in doesn't really play a role in whether or not it will gel. Make sure you or your fuel supplier properly treats your fuel and all will be fine.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking." George Patton

  3. #23
    Elite Member Mousefield's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    2,518
    Location
    Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, BC. Canada
    Tractor
    2008 CK35 HST

    Default Re: What does diesel gelling look like?

    Well, after reading this thread/posts I went out and bought a bottle of diesel treatment. It is a diesel fuel conditioner and anti-gel called Howes Lubricator. Figure the bottle will last me a few years but sounds like cheap insurance.

  4. #24
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    5,227
    Location
    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: What does diesel gelling look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Farmer View Post
    All this talk about gelling of Diesel fuel makes me nervous being a novice tractor operator as well as a Northern Vermonter. What dictates when one should plug in their tractor before operation---What temperature? My tractor has a heating block I am just not sure when to use it. I am sure this has been covered in this forum at one point. So far this winter no issue with starting. I do not depend on my tractor in the winter. However, I do like to use it to beat back some of the big snow piles from encroaching on us. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Like Duffster said, plugging in the tractor won't help your fuel tank. It only warms the antifreeze and the block. It can make a HUGE difference in how the tractor starts, though. In my limited experience, each engine is different. I plug mine in if the temperature gets below about 10 degrees.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  5. #25
    Bronze Member Stormtruck2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    59
    Location
    Mechanicsville, Iowa
    Tractor
    02 JD 4600 FEL, 72 MM Mower, Cab

    Default Re: What does diesel gelling look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mousefield View Post
    Well, after reading this thread/posts I went out and bought a bottle of diesel treatment. It is a diesel fuel conditioner and anti-gel called Howes Lubricator. Figure the bottle will last me a few years but sounds like cheap insurance.
    I have used Howes for many many moons. Used it in my semi's, diesel pickups and tractors. I have never had a jell up using the Howes. In the summer I use Howes Meaner Power Cleaner in place of the Lubricator. Same stuff with out the anti-gel. Little lower cost and really keeps the injectors alive. I have gone over a million miles in Detroits, Cats and Cummins and have never had an injector drop on me. As you can tell I am sold on Howes, but do not sell it.

  6. #26
    Elite Member Mace Canute's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
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    4,465
    Location
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

    Default Re: What does diesel gelling look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by 20 20 View Post
    Another thing you can do if in a bind and your machine starts gelling is add some isopropyl alcohol{I like the 90% but 70% will work}. It does not take much and you should notice a difference within a few minutes or less. I would also recommend mixing kero.
    So you add water to your fuel? Willingly?? That's what comprises the remaining 10% or 30%, you know.

  7. #27
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    292
    Location
    Omaha, Ne
    Tractor
    New Holland 1520

    Default Re: What does diesel gelling look like?

    Howes/ Power service= potato/potato. Use either for tractor and pickup. Works great and avoids embarrassing moments lol

  8. #28
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    3,809
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 1025, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010

    Default Re: What does diesel gelling look like?

    One -23 F morning in Vermont, I started up our 1973 220D after preheating with a radiator hose heater in place. It fired right up but stalled 2 or 3 miles down the road. Let it sit a minute or so. Restarted and drove another 2 or 3 miles before it stalled again. Let it sit a minute or so, and it restarted. No more problems that day.

    What obviously happened was wax coated the fuel filter, but it is located right next to the engine block on 220D and 240D models. The cold, fresh fuel would have wax separated in it and go onto the filter, but the warm engine block then melts this wax, particularly if flow of new cold fluid is stopped.

    Wax is marvelous fuel and is also a marvelous oil for the engine, but it freezes at temperatures well above normal ambient temperatures unless it is dissolved in something (like diesel). One of the processes (that I worked in) is removal of wax from oil to make it usable. Some diesel fuels require this process, too, depending on the crude oils source.

    Ralph
    The natural gardener
    God's original intent

  9. #29
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    3,357
    Location
    North of Mtl,Que,Can (Ste Adele)
    Tractor
    MT180D

    Default Re: What does diesel gelling look like?

    After a couple of gelling incidents and reading these forums, I always use an additive.
    Just plain cheap insurance!
    And it saves long walks home without proper clothing. (like with a heated cab, who has all the proper cold weather clothing?)

  10. #30
    Veteran Member Jerry/MT's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    2,012
    Location
    Western Montana
    Tractor
    New Holland TD95D, Ford 4610 & Ferguson TO-30

    Default Re: What does diesel gelling look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by ragkar View Post
    The other day (temperature 15 degrees and after 20 minutes of plowing) my stationary tractor engine lost rpm and then stopped. I suspected gelling even though I did add addative a few weeks back when I topped off. I examined the glass fuel filter but I'm not sure what I was looking for.
    I'm guessing that gelling will look like the fluid in those 50's lava lamps. If I could see the folds of the paper filter with none of that, is it true that I didn't have gelling?
    I let the tractor sit for a half hour and then after three tries, started it and finished my plowing.
    At 15F, I doubt you had gelled fuel. More likely water frozen on the filter, or the water separator or on the screen in the tank. Drain the water separator before and after every use to try to rid yourself of the problem. You could also drain the entire tank and let the water settle out and decant the fuel and reuse it.
    When's the last time you changed the fuel filter? Try to change it in the fall and keep your tank full so you minimize condesation of water in the tank. Use an additive to help disperse the water. Contaminated fuel is a real problem with diesel fuel systems and water is usually the biggest contanimant and it'll get you every time in sub-freezing temperatures. have spare filter available just in case.

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