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  1. #1
    Silver Member Little Red Tractor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    129
    Location
    Gloversville NY
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet 6284

    Default Cold weather starting tips

    I read with interest all the threads about hard starting diesels in colder weather. Probably all CUT diesel owners do the same, wondering when they'll have the problem. I'm on my second diesel now. The first was a Bolens 15 HP which started hard until, on advice from a retired diesel mechanic, I started using an additive in the fuel. It seems to have have really helped that, and I've not stopped using it with the new tractor. Around here, a lot of diesel users cut the diesel fuel by 1/3 kerosene; but I believe that a bit of conditioner does the job as well for less money.
    Another tip was to advance the throttle and spin it over a couple times before lighting up the glow plugs. That was a a help on the older tractor and works well on my Cat-powered Cub Cadet (which, I'm told, has a tradition of being hard-starting).
    Heat is also a big help. I'm too lazy to put in a block heater, but in really cold weather I heat the space around the tractor either with a Kerosun heater nearby, or a high output work light in close proximity to the engine (if it can be done safely on your tractor--might not be possible with some units). Both work well, but leaving a light on overnight is cheaper than the kerosene for the heater in an uninsulated garage.
    Finally, a fully charge battery is critical. In really cold weather the batteries supplied with a lot of CUTs might be marginal at best. Make sure your tractor is charging fully. As extra insurance, put a trickler on it, pulling it just before you start the machine.
    This bag of tricks might not be the end-all to the problem, but a good place to start for those new to diesels.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    12,025
    Location
    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046

    Default Re: Cold weather starting tips

    Change fluids/filters.
    Clean radiator cleaning & fluid.
    Purchase well known supplier.
    Let diesel warm up.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member bironacad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    617
    Location
    Southern Ontario, Can
    Tractor
    New Holland 3045/2010

    Default Re: Cold weather starting tips

    Read your owners manual when you have nothing to do, lol. There are always things that can be missed the first time through. So as my cousin likes to say RTFM
    “If at first you don't succeed, you are running about average.”
    M. H. Alderson

  4. #4
    Veteran Member nybirdman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,910
    Location
    north of upstate ny
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT

    Default Re: Cold weather starting tips

    You might better put in the block heater, a lot less messsing around.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member JD 4520's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    822
    Location
    Brinnon, WA
    Tractor
    John Deere 4520

    Default Re: Cold weather starting tips

    Little Red - if I'm initially getting black smoke when first starting, is that bad and am I not warming the glow plugs long enough?

    What color exhaust should I ideally be seeing upon initial start?
    Gary

    JD 4520, 400X FEL, Frontier Front Blade, Box Blade, Rotary Cutter, Landscape Rake, 48" Wildkat Grapple and PHD

  6. #6
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,313
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Cold weather starting tips

    Ah just put in block heater. Then your ready for the real cold weather.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  7. #7
    Padawan Tractor Learner
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    Johndeere3720's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    6,368
    Location
    NW Oregon
    Tractor
    Deere 317 & L118

    Default Re: Cold weather starting tips

    My skid steer has had trubles getting going in cold weather. It fires right up on the first crank but it bogs way down to around 600-900 RPM's before getting back to idle @ 1330 RPMs. Lately I give it a little throttle (around 1500 RPM) to start so it doesn't die on me. After about 30-45 seconds it levels out and runs great after that. To address the problem I ordered a block heater last week (wont have until Jan. 7th) and plan on changing the oil again soon (about 170 hours on it's current oil). Hopefully that will help with start up, if not I may look into fuel additives.
    My Fleet:
    2004 Deere 317 Skid Steer Loader
    66" Construction bucket, imatch QA adapter, CU72 Jake Rake, Middle Buster, 60" Landscape rake, 54"x 48" Pallet forks
    2005 John Deere L118
    42" deck

    Check out my rakes: www.Jakesimplements.com

    Member of the TBN "Young gun" Club

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    77
    Location
    Southwick,MA
    Tractor
    Pasquali 993 w/FEL, Economy2414 w/FEL

    Default Re: Cold weather starting tips

    My machine doesn't have glow plugs, & is air-cooled, so a block heater doesn't work. So the solution I came up with is just a simple "heating-pad" wrapped around the oil-pan. I removed the fleece cover, to expose the vinyl base, bungee cord it on before I'm gonna use machine, set it on medium or high for 1/2 hr or so, just to warm the oil up a little. The other trick I was told about was to use blow-dryer on high-heat & blow heated-air into the air-cleaner, haven't tried that yet, but it seems a good choice over the evil "giggle-juice," or starting fluid.

    Shadow
    Growing older is... MANDATORY, Growing up is... OPTIONAL

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    235
    Location
    Fairbanks Alaska
    Tractor
    Kubota B8200, 1953 International "Super C"

    Default Re: Cold weather starting tips

    You can order silicon heating pads from NAPA and other suppliers that are of various wattages and sizes. We use and oil pan heater, a battery heater, a Hydraulic heater and a transmission heater along with the traditional coolant heaters here.

    the best heaters are the ones that work on the oil cooler, heats the coolant and the oil, really helps a lot

    on Air cooled units we add all the other heaters but coolant just to help out

  10. #10
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    6,522
    Location
    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Cold weather starting tips

    Quote Originally Posted by JD 4520 View Post
    Little Red - if I'm initially getting black smoke when first starting, is that bad and am I not warming the glow plugs long enough?

    What color exhaust should I ideally be seeing upon initial start?
    If you get some white vapor when cranking a cold engine that is normal as it is just pushing out the unburned diesel and indicates that you need to use the glow plugs or other means to heat the incoming air. A puff of black smoke is normal at start up even on a summer day, especially with turbocharged engines but it should be just immediately at start up and shouldnt continue smoking. White smoke when cranking a cold engine prior to starting is normal and indicative of need to use glow plugs but should not be evident after the engine cranks. Continuous white smoke indicates water in the combustion chamber indicative of blown head gasket assuming that you arent getting rain/snow down the exhaust pipe.

    As per other post on heating the air: My old Yanmar had no glowplugs so I had to use a hair dryer blowing hot air into the air cleaner. It worked great but was a pain to drag a cord over and wife wasnt always thrilled about me using her hair dryer.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp CC AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

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