Ford/NH 445d - How to make it start in the cold

   / Ford/NH 445d - How to make it start in the cold #1  

Wombat Ranger

New member
Apr 12, 2023
Ford/NH445D, NH B95C, CAT TH83, IH TD8E
I am on a mission to make my 445d start with relative ease during the winter. Today we got up to -3*f for the high, after 5 or 6 hrs on the block heater and 15 min on a 10A charge (new 4Dc battery last month) it started, but not very willingly. I do not expect it to start like a high pressure common rail with intake heat device.

I want to put a gear reduction starter on it. I feel that cranking speed is my biggest starting hindrance. Does anyone know which gear reduction starter to buy? I don't know how to determine which one might fit my tractor. I would like to buy one that is a quality part.

Changing to a lighter engine oil is something I have considered, but I will need to make sure it is not to thin for summer use. I noticed today that when I cranked it over my 3pt links were jumping around a bit, as if there were a pulsing hydraulic pressure going on with cranking. I will need to check into that, any tips? And the other glaring issue would be that the OE intake pre-heat device is disconnected. I will repair that one of these days. I am also planning to upsize the battery cables.

Here are a few pics of my place after I used the tractor to plow today.


I really like this tractor, it seems well worth putting some money into, to make it really work for me.
   / Ford/NH 445d - How to make it start in the cold #2  
I would address the battery cable and connections first. Fix the intake heater next.
I've never seen a gear reduction starter for a Ford BSD.

If the repairs don't fix your problem, before you replace the starter you have, rig up an isolator or just install a switch for your electrical system. Jump with another battery in series just for starting to give you 24v. You could ruin the starter faster, but you will get it to crank fast. You were looking at replacing the starter anyway. Just make sure you isolate the transmission electrical and instruments so you don't burn them out.

Are the 3pt position and draft control levers all the way down when you are starting?
   / Ford/NH 445d - How to make it start in the cold
  • Thread Starter
Thanks for the reply. There is nothing wrong with my battery cables as far as I know, and the connections are verified clean and tight. I still may upsize for good measure.

Your suggestion to series another battery in to aid in cranking sounds like a great idea to use in a pinch/emergency, but I think I would rather replace my good starter and hang on to it for a backup/spare than burn it up by applying too much voltage.

3pt levers were all the way down/forward.
   / Ford/NH 445d - How to make it start in the cold #4  
Sorry, I am tired and thought I read something about the cables.

Not ever overcharging on of those 12v starters, in theory, it should be fine. The old 6v starters were driven by an upgraded 12v system and hung in there fine.

The 3pt pulsing is odd then. As you would suspect that there would be no oil going you the hitch in the full down position it shouldn't move at all.

Where are you located?
   / Ford/NH 445d - How to make it start in the cold #5  
OE intake pre-heat device is disconnected.
IMO that seems like a pretty obvious place to start -get it back to how it was engineered before trying to find aftermarket solutions

Also disconnect and wire brush both sides of battery cables and connection points regardless of how they look visually and maybe add an additional ground from starter mounting bolt to negative battery terminal. You need as little resistance possible in the cranking circuit. Remember ohm's law decreased resistance=increased voltage; and a starter is a DC motor which means speed is voltage dependent
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   / Ford/NH 445d - How to make it start in the cold
  • Thread Starter
Hey guys, I appreciate that you are trying to help. Again, the connections are good. I split this tractor in half last winter to replace the broken flywheel bolts. While taking care of that minor repair I got a good chance to go through the more technical aspects of the machine like cleaning a few connections upon reassembly. Again I plan to look at the intake heating device that happened to come factory on this particular tractor model.

We also have a 4630 Ford which happens to have (almost) the same engine and no intake heating device. And so, a more modern starter which consumes less amperage to spin the engine faster is quite relevant to us, not to mention anyone else using the same family of tractor in the cold.

Does anyone have any experience with these gear reduction starters? Tips or advice on which one to buy?

I was worried this came across as rude, impatient, or arrogant, so I came back here to add this note. I do not mean it that way. It is always best to run through the basics first, I agree with that.
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