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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    566
    Location
    Williamson, NY (near Rochester)
    Tractor
    JD 4300 MFWD

    Default starting engine for quick jobs

    I'm probably paranoid, but I've heard that starting a diesel is the thing that puts the most wear on them.

    I frequently go out to the garage, and want to do something like simply raise the front blade to adjust the feet, or perhaps adjust the rear 3pt hitch implement a bit. I find myself really hesitant to just start the engine, raise the blade, and then immediately shut it off while I make my adjustments.

    Am I being overly paranoid? Or is it really best to not start the thing unless I plan on warming it up fully and then using it?

    I know.. probably a silly question.. but maybe others wonder the same thing?

    For example, the other day I was getting the tractor ready for a dealer to pick it up, and they asked that I remove the rear dirt scoop before they came. I didn't start it.. I just removed pins, monkeyed around until I finally got it loose, and then left it with the arms right next to the attachments. My wife said that when the dealer came, he expressed surprise that the attachment was still on.. then looked closer and said oh, okay, he did disconnect it.

    I'm I being ridiculous about this, or is this the way to treat it?

    TIA,
    Bob

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    1,659
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area California (CA)
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500

    Default Re: starting engine for quick jobs

    Oh, I wouldn't necessarily call it being paranoid. Maybe cautious and/or prudent. As far a short starts/stops are concerned, the main issue is the condensation of fuel on the cylinder walls. If you're going to start and actually do a job in a couple of minutes after you've made your adjustments, it's probably not a big deal. However, if you do the start/stop, then walk away for a time, that's another thing. I always look at the "adjustments" I'm going to make, and decide if it's safe or not to do it with the tractor idling. For example, adjusting the links or inserting/removing pins on a resting implement are probably OK, as long as you know the thing isn't going to fall and crush something. Likewise, when I'm removing the FEL, I don't stop the engine to drop the stands (as outlined in the manual). I just don't lift it very far, and am very careful to not actually get under the thing in case of a hydraulic failure, or whatever.

    However, I NEVER mess with the PTO, or anything around it with the engine running. That's just asking for trouble.

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    37,220
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: starting engine for quick jobs

    Bob, primarily because of condensation considerations, not only in the cylinders, but in exhaust systems crankcase, etc., I'm reluctant to start any engine; car, pickup, tractor, lawnmower, or whatever and then shut it down without giving it time to get up to its full operating temperature. But of course, that doesn't mean I don't occasionally have to do so.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    18,297
    Location
    Bethel, Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV and assorted implements

    Default Re: starting engine for quick jobs

    ...primarily because of condensation considerations, not only in the cylinders, but in exhaust systems crankcase, etc., I'm reluctant to start any engine; car, pickup, tractor, lawnmower, or whatever and then shut it down without giving it time to get up to its full operating temperature.

    This is so true!
    With the automotive engines, I don't mind doing occasional starts and short runs because I know they'll soon be ran long enough for a full warm up.
    With the tractor engine...I really prefer not to....so, since the tractor isn't used much in the winter (unless we get snow)...if I've got to start it, I let it run for at least 10 or 15 minutes. That should get everything warm enough to minimize condensation.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    25
    Location
    Bisbee North Dakota
    Tractor
    Kubota L2550DT

    Default Re: starting engine for quick jobs

    Bob,
    I don't start my kubota unless I will be using it for at least half an hour and only then if I really need to, I usually run it for several hours at a time if not all day long, without shutting it down. Now, I use it in my buisiness so I have a lot of work for it to do to allow this amount of running and not run out of things to do! The reasons are the aforementioned condensation, I have seen rust on the inside of an engine that was run for very short periods of time, and temperature change, when you heat and cool metal it doesn't last as long as if it is kept at an even temp, and the shrinking and expanding that comes with the temp. changes isn't conducive to longevity either. I always idle my diesels above 1,000 rpm to keep the temp. up as well, especially if they will be setting there for a while. Chris

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    1,444
    Location
    South-central Michigan
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: starting engine for quick jobs

    Bob, I can't agree more with the rest of the posts. Unless I know I am going to restart the engine within a few hours, I never start it without letting it warm up to normal operation conditions, which for my NH TC 40D is usually about 15 minutes. If you have any doubt, watch the moisture that comes out of you car tailpipe in colder weather. If yours is like mine, it takes a while before its only vapor.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    566
    Location
    Williamson, NY (near Rochester)
    Tractor
    JD 4300 MFWD

    Default Re: starting engine for quick jobs

    Okay, if I understand what I'm hearing here, once the engine is started, all that's necessary is to allow it to run for a while.. at say a medium (half throttle) idle, for maybe 20-30 minutes. There is no need to actually *work* the machine, or even move it for that matter? Just allow it to run until it's up to it's normal operating temperature?

    I ask seeking general knowledge, but also because the JD dealer will be returning my machine today, and I figure I'll back it into the garage, mess around with re-attaching my dirt scoop, maybe adjust the feet on the front blade, and leave it running during all of this. (Don't worry, it's a pole barn with tons of ventilation!)

    I just had root canal work done, and I really don't feel like doing any serious work today [img]/w3tcompact/icons/sad.gif[/img], but I don't want to abuse the equipment either. If it runs at medium idle for, say, a half hour, can I safely shut it down and not worry about it?

    Thanks,
    Bob

  8. #8
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    12,050
    Location
    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046

    Default Re: starting engine for quick jobs

    Bob,
    I let my tractor warm up good 15 mins between 1/4 an 1/3 throttle,more so if I don't plug in the block heater.
    Once I feel the tractor warm enough I slowly raise the fel up and down 3or4 times also curl the bucket 3 or 4 times,
    this way the hyd fluids are mixing better.
    My 2 cents worth.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    1,807
    Location
    Sharpsburg, Md
    Tractor
    John Deere 4100 HST

    Default Re: starting engine for quick jobs

    Bob,

    I guess I missed something in the thread.

    If you not going to use the tractor, why bother starting it. I'll get an urge to go out and hop on mine a just play around for a short time. But, I've conditioned myself to hold off. Now with winter upon us, I don't start it unless it's going to run for quite a while.

    One of the things I get concerned with, is the presence of mice in my small shed. I cannot store my tractor in my shed unless all of the attachments are removed. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/sad.gif[/img] With the recent snow we had, it has been stored on our parking pad with a tarp over it. I diverge.... Having a warm engine is an invitation for mice to build a nest. Been there... done that. So, by heating up the engine slightly, they may decide its a good place to keep warm. I check the engine compartment frequently to see if the little buggers have nested. They are very destructive if left to their own devices.

    Terry

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    566
    Location
    Williamson, NY (near Rochester)
    Tractor
    JD 4300 MFWD

    Default Re: starting engine for quick jobs

    Maybe I'll just push some snow..

    I've never been in this much pain.. and this is coming from a guy who had a motorcycle accident.. a head on with a GTO which totalled the GTO.

    OTOH, as my old wrestling coach used to tell me, "A little pain never hurt anyone!" [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    I'll see. At least I'll let it warm up fully, and just by attaching the rear scoop and adjusting the feet on the front blade, I'll give the hydraulics a little exercise.

    Thanks,
    Bob

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