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  1. #1
    Bronze Member dj1701's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    96
    Location
    East Concord, NY
    Tractor
    John Deere 4320

    Default Keeping your tractor warm

    Hello everyone,

    I own a JD 4115. One time last year I had trouble starting because of the very cold temp. I had to break out the torpedo heater and aim it at the tractor for about half an hour before she would kick over. I was wondering what all you folks use to keep your tractor warm so this does not happen. I realize that a heated garage would be the best but I do not have that option. I see that there is a bunch of plug in engine and transmission heaters available. Does anyone have any of these and what would be the best way to go?

    Thanks
    Dave

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    462
    Location
    western NY
    Tractor
    MF GC2300

    Default Re: Keeping your tractor warm

    Hi dj, I'm kind of like you. I do have a garage, but it's not heated. At the advice of members here, I have the following:

    1) I use Power Service in every jug of diesel I buy.
    2) I have an in-line radiator heater (dealer was having troubles getting the block heater through MF ). I plug it in for 30-60 minutes before starting the tractor on cold mornings.
    3) I have a trickle charger that I put on the battery on cold WNY nights.
    4) OCCASSIONALY, I will have to give the tractor a couple of rounds on the glow plugs before it will fire, but it's pretty rare.

    I would be completely befuddled without my tractor in the winter as I use it to clear my 350-foot driveway. So far, these techniques have worked very well.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    375
    Location
    Near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Tractor
    John Deere 990 4x4

    Default Re: Keeping your tractor warm

    A standard block heater is the way to go. It's a threaded plug with a stubby little heating element sticking out of it. Usually there is a spot in the engine block specifically for it which will have a dummy plug installed. The heating element sits directly in an engine coolant passage and heats the antifreeze which then circulates adequately just from convection currents. You need to drain the coolant to remove the dummy plug and install the block heater, but it's not hard to do.

    Even if you don't have starting problems, having the engine warm is probably easier on it when starting in cold weather - especially if you aren't using synthetic oil.

    Check with your dealer about getting the block heater for your model of tractor.

    If there is no block heater specifically for your model, there are also generic heaters that go inline with a radiator hose, magnetically stick to the outside of the oil pan, or replace your dipstick with a heating element. I don't think the magnetic or dipstick heaters are as good as a coolant heater, but anything will help.

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    22,519
    Location
    South Bend, Indiana (near)
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: Keeping your tractor warm

    We keep a trickle charger on the battery all winter. I also switched to synthetic engine oil for easier turn over in the cold.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    560
    Location
    Baldwinsville, NY (10 miles NW of Syracuse)
    Tractor
    JD 4310, ehydro, 4WD, R4s

    Default Re: Keeping your tractor warm

    Dave,

    An engine block heater is the most convenient way to go. I used one on my JD755 for many years. It was always parked outside. 30 minutes of heater time made a huge difference. If it was below zero with the wind blowing it might take 60 minutes but it always worked. JD should have a block heater available for your 4115.

    Jeff

  6. #6
    Elite Member George2615's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3,177
    Location
    Central Square, NY
    Tractor
    LS XR3037HC

    Default Re: Keeping your tractor warm

    I too have an unheated garage. First cold winter day mine wouldn't start either. Had to do the salamander trick to warm it up. Then I went to my local auto parts store and bought an inline heater which I put in the lower radiator hose (cut out about 1" of hose) then slid inside the hose and clamped in place, then just plug it in to 110v. I also bought a magnetic heater that I stick on the base of the fuel tank (my tank is metal) to keep it warm. Started very easy all last winter.
    George

  7. #7
    Bronze Member dj1701's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    96
    Location
    East Concord, NY
    Tractor
    John Deere 4320

    Default Re: Keeping your tractor warm

    Thanks everyone for the input. I will see what JD has and what they want for it. I will also check out the prices of after market heaters.

    Dave

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    108
    Location
    Derry , NH
    Tractor
    2002 JD4110 HST

    Default Re: Keeping your tractor warm

    Dave ,

    I have a 4110 and the first year installed the block heater. Got it at the dealer. As during the trans fluid change I installed the trans heater , also from the dealer. Both were easy to isntall and during the very cold spells the block heater is great and starts the machine like it is summer time [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] The trans heater helps getting the fluid warm. Mabye over kill however for about $150 for the parts it is good piece of mind. I also use the trickle charger in the cold months to keep the battery up.. I would think that the engine in your 4115 should be that same as the one on my 4110. Check with the dealer. If you do go this route I have all of the part numbers , let me know if you need them

    Hope this helps

    Mark

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    615
    Location
    Vermont, USA
    Tractor
    J.D./4115

    Default Re: Keeping your tractor warm

    dj1701,

    I'm probably a bit late with this. Been a bit busy since you posted.

    My J.D. dealer installed the block heater, last winter, when I bought the 47" Front Mount Snowblower and attach kit. He threw it in for "free" as he said "Gee, we should have put that in, in the 1st place". Ofcourse, having bought everything from him meant he'd made sufficient profit by then.

    Anyway, I had noticed the 4115 getting more sluggish warming up, before the block heater went in...starts amazingly fast but obviously needed a lot of warming up as the temps dropped. Afterward, with diesel additive and 30-60 min.s, or more, of block heater (depending on how cold it was outside) it started fine all winter and warmed up quickly. I think the coldest I ran it was down around -20F.

    Only thing I would add is to make sure you have, or get, a good, exterior grade (min. 12 ga.), extension cord to plug into...as short and supple a cord as possible. No matter how good they are, they get pretty stiff at -20F [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img].

    Good luck,

    Tom

  10. #10
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,311
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Keeping your tractor warm


    There are cords made for cold weather applications. I beleive they are the blue ones.

    Egon

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