Cold Temperature Starting

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 16:18
ThreadID: 96950 Views:1712 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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Hi all, we are staying in snow country at the moment.  I've got 2004 ZD30 Patrol.  Started car yesterday to keep batteries up ( even though starter battery is just a few months old). !Battery wasn't a problem thankfully cos I had to keep cranking the starter motor for a while (?) until motor fired.   Motor has never been a problem to start.  Overnight temperatures have been about -2, and daily max has been about 0 or 1 deg.  Only been in the snow for 3 nights.  My thought is that maybe the glow plugs need a bit more time to warm, but I really don't know. !!I'm just wondering if someone can explain why it took so much cranking for the motor to fire up?

PS, we're on Alpine Diesel so it's not to do with fuel.

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 16:56

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 16:56

Haven't been in the snow, but have had dramas starting diesels in cold weather.

How much "normal" diesel was in the tanks when you filled with Alpine dsl? My thoughts are that there is enough of the normal stuff in the mix to thicken, if not slightly wax, the fuel.

Re glow plugs, we used to turn ign on & off repeatedly to get the lugs as hot as possible. They also stay on for some seconds after starting too....."after-glow" I think it's called. Ha ha.

What you could try, jd, is too boil a jug, or saucepan of hot water, and pour this over the injector lines and injectors immediately before starting. Should help as it's the only way I've ever got a Cat grader going, in icy conditions.

Hey, you haven't seen any yellow snow up there, eh?


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Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 491207

Follow Up By: jdpatrol - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 20:02

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 20:02
Thanks Bob, good point about normal diesel in the tank. We ran it almost down to empty, but I guess there still might have been 15l there, then we added 65l of alpine mix. So that might be a factor. We got another 20l of alpine mix today so that will help. I'll try what you say with glow plugs, and see how it goes. Forecast -5deg next 3 nights so be interesting to see where it's at Sat morning. thanks again
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Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 22:56

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 22:56
There are two things you can do.
If near 240 volts ac, you can use a hairdryer to flow hot air into either the air cleaner intake OR take out the aircleaner and squirt the hot air straight into the intake leading to the turbo and start it. This does two things, It heats the air to help diesel ignition and also heats the walls of the intake which robs some heat from the intake air.
Not sure if you have flat panel airfilter or round unit, can't remember.
In either type of airbox, place a small metal lid with a few cc's of metho in the lid, light it and start engine with the engine drawing in the heated air from the small flame.
After the engine has warmed up a little, 30 sec- 1 min, stop, refit air cleaner, start and continue.

The heated air would always start Cat graders, Perkins and other engines and prevented stuffing up the starter and battery charge.

Don't let anything solid get sucked into the turbo will you.

AnswerID: 491222

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 at 12:51

Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 at 12:51
Glow plugs have a habit of failing. You could have one or a couple fail and you would not notice this hapening in the warm weather. It would not hurt to have them checked.
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AnswerID: 491237

Reply By: passionfruit - Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 at 15:25

Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 at 15:25
This is why the old Landy Series 3 diesel used to have an 'Arctic Start'.But if left on too long the battery soon became weak.
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