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Author Topic: Cold Weather Starts  (Read 7877 times)

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Offline Greenedive

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Cold Weather Starts
« on: February 04, 2007, 09:51:47 PM »
It's 9:30 PM and about 4º below right now...supposed to have a -25º windchill factor in the morning....I don't know about you guys, but I absolutely HATE to lose ½ hour to an hour every morning when it's cold like that cranking on that diesel trying to get it to fire up for me. My JD dozer usually fires right up no matter how cold, but that Detroit in my skidder is da arn cold-blooded.
Any of you guys have any special tricks or tips that you'd wanta share about getting one to pop over in the AM? I've tried a lotta stuff over the years, but I surely hate to think of the time and money I've lost waiting on some stubborn machine to finally make up it's mind to pop over.

Offline Reddog

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2007, 10:04:39 PM »
With the Detroits, the quickest was to have hoses to run hot coolant from the truck thru the skidder. Do all your fueling and greasing while letting it warmup. Then they would crank right up.
Or a propane plate heater under the motor.
All takes time though.  Gary-C has some thing that starts heating by program.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2007, 10:05:26 PM »
Go to Eggimann da Sponsor on the left column, and find out about them diesel pre-heaters. Gary_C mentioned using one, and its on a timer so his forwarder sittin out in the woods is all preheated and cab warm when he fires up in the morning. Sounds like they are worth their weight in gold.
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Offline Greenedive

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2007, 10:45:24 PM »
Reddog,
I have heard of running the hot coolant from your truck through the skidder block, but have never seen how it was done. Do you have to drill holes in the block and thread them for nipples to attach your hoses to? And where do you take off on the truck's end? Seems like this would be a he eck of a lot easier on the engine than having it start with a cold block.
Beenthere,
That sounds like an ideal setup...Haw Haw...it sounds like heaven...really....but I couldn't find the link to diesel pre-heaters on the Eggiman site...I'll shoot them an email...thanks!

Offline LT40HDD51

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2007, 10:52:13 PM »
I have heard of running the hot coolant from your truck through the skidder block...
I've heard of guys around here using a setup like that on tractors and logging gear. Just quick connects on the heater hoses in such a way that it flows out of the truck motor, into the skidder motor, and back into the truck. Just make sure the antifreeze is compatible on both motors.

I think the truckers up in the North use something like that diesel pre-heater. My buddy drives in northern alberta (is right now) and was talking about them when he was home for Christmas. Kind of like a small furnace, if I'm not mistaken... They love em up there.  ;D
The name's Ian. Been a sawyer for 6 years professionally, Dad bought his first mill in '84, I was 2 years old :). Factory trained service tech. as well... Happy to help any way I can...

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2007, 10:56:56 PM »
Yes, I have a Webasto heater on my Valmet Forwarder. Most of the newer Valmets and Ponsse machines have them available as an option, but many of the machines sold in North America have them almost as standard. And yes, Eggimann is a dealer for them and they can be retrofitted to most machines.

They have a small diesel fired burner and a small 12 or 24V electric pump that circulates warm engine coolant thru the engine block, the heater core in the cab (even turns on the fan), and thru a water coil in the hydraulic reservoir. It is controlled by a 7 day electronic timer in the cab. At the end of each day, I just set the timer for the burner to start 1 hour before I plan to arrive at the woods and when I get there, all I have to do is start the warm engine, work the hydraulic controls to get warm hydraulic fluid out to everything, and go to work.

There are other loggers that I know that have used the hoses from their pickups to warm the engines. They use standard ag hydraulic couplers to make the connections. However some have destroyed the engines in their pickups because the thermal shock of that sub zero coolant being pumped thru the hot pickup engines can easily crack your block or heads. I would not recommend this practice and the manufacturers will void your warranty if the find out what you are doing.

You already know how much these heaters will save, both in time and repairs. I never have a cold start on the engine. Even if I do not have the timer set, I can manually start and do other things like greasing, tighting bolts, and checking oil and within about 20 minutes, it is good enough to start.   8)

Here is a link to the heater that I have:  Webasto 90 S
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline Samuel

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2007, 11:50:25 PM »
Yes most trucks in Northern BC & Alberta along with logging equipment comes with what I heard them referred to as a Pro-Heat.  They have a timer on them that can be set for a couple hours before you start work etc.  A very clever idea for sure.

As far about the whining about cold weather....  waaaaaaaaaaa!  Suck it up!   :D
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2007, 01:17:16 AM »
 :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline Ken

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2007, 05:49:52 AM »
We too have used heater hoses to transfer hot coolant from the pickup to the skidders but have also had problems with water pumps and cracked heads by doing this.  A fairly easy and inexpensive alternative is to have a generator and block heaters.  It only takes 1/2 hour or so to warm up the machines and they fire up a lot easier. 
Lots of toys for working in the bush

Offline Reddog

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2007, 12:30:44 PM »
I use a generator and dual block heaters. 1/2 hour and it will fire up easier.

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2007, 02:59:37 PM »
As far about the whining about cold weather.... waaaaaaaaaaa! Suck it up! :D

So I guess that is what you do? Shut off the heaters and "Suck it up!"     ;D ;D

You are a better man than I am.

A few years ago I was going to the woods early one below zero morning and an older couple asked me what kind of work I did. When I told them I was logging, the lady said "oh, that must be awfully cold work in this weather." I told them that not to minimize the difficulity of the work that I do, in all honesty the biggest problem I will have is what I do requires such intense concentration that I may go for two hours in the morning with the heater on full blast. By then the sweat will be dripping down the back of my neck and my shirt will be soaked with sweat.   ::) ::)  :D :D
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2007, 03:08:47 PM »
We put a Kat's circulating heater on the Mule and plug it in with a timer at the barn  ;)  Works like a charm 8)  It had hoses and quick couplers on it to plug into another engine.  Doesn't anymore :)  The 706 Farmall has a freeze plug heating element that works pretty good but is slower than the circulators.  It's started each of the last 3 days at zero or slightly below.  I'm not against a snort of ether for a diesel either.  Just use in conjunction with glow plugs  ;)
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Offline thurlow

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2007, 04:04:25 PM »
. I'm not against a snort of ether for a diesel either. Just use in conjunction with glow plugs ;)

That ought'a make something happen.   8)  ;D  :D

 
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2007, 04:06:57 PM »
 ;) ;D  Little typo there  :) :)
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Offline thurlow

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2007, 04:09:22 PM »
We gnu that....................
Here's to us and those like us; DanG few of us left!

Offline Stephen Alford

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2007, 04:27:19 PM »
I am new to post ,but old to forum. First let me say how much I injoy this site.Your willingness to share your expertise and embrace new ideas is an inspiration to be sure. I am a forester performing woodlot enhancement work on Prince Edward Island a rather large sandbar off the east coast of Canada. To start desial motors in cold weather I conect a flexable exhaust hose from the exhaust of my truck to the air intake side of the motar. Wait a few minutes and they start like a charm . The warm air is pulled through the motar as it is turning over. Hope this works for you as well as it does for me.  Thanks for sharing !!
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Offline Husky

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2007, 07:31:46 PM »
I use a power inverter on my truck. It converts 12 volt to 110 outlet power and I plug my mills block heater into that. If it real cold I use a magnetic oil pan heater too it starts after half hour or so.

Offline Ed_K

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2007, 07:54:50 PM »
  "He's a better man than I am"
 I have to quick connects but don't use them. If it won't start with a little ether I go home cause its to cold to work ;D . No heated cab on my old skidder and the trees are to frozen to cut :D .
Ed K

Offline LT40HDD51

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2007, 08:11:58 PM »
How about putting a shutoff valve on the line going from the cold motor back to the warm one? Then you could "feather" the cold coolant in slowly for a few minutes, then open it up.

I always like the low-buck methods, as long as the results are what you need  ;D How much are those Diesel fired heaters???
The name's Ian. Been a sawyer for 6 years professionally, Dad bought his first mill in '84, I was 2 years old :). Factory trained service tech. as well... Happy to help any way I can...

Offline a old timberjack

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2007, 08:15:52 PM »
i have quickconnects on my old jack. alot of my friends have this on all there forestry equipment also and swear by that.
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Offline timberjack240

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2007, 09:38:00 PM »
my pap and dad used to take the plug outta the blower and give er a little sniff or ether so its right int here and have good batteries
usually fired right up. the first time i ever used ether pap gave me a can and sed hit the button and soona s you do spray this is in the air cleaner . its amazin cause he only has one battery in his skidder and they start  ??? never quite go thtat one  we also had our 440 c forsale and it wouldnt start we were told to put charcoal in a bucket and put a tarp over it to get it to start .. woulda worked but the hot wire corroded off  ;D so reall didnt work for what we need but it did get all the ice off ..  ;D i gess its all in what you were taught

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2007, 11:44:12 AM »
Some have been known to light a wood fire under them to get them started.  ::)
~Ron

Offline leweee

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2007, 12:12:51 PM »
 :D :D :D Ah yes....nothing like the smell of BAR-B-Qed Skidder first thing in the morning. :o :)
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Offline Ed_K

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2007, 05:28:30 PM »
 You'd be surprised what a charcoal grill and a heavy furniture movers blanket will do  ;D :o 8) .
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Offline Greenedive

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2007, 06:04:05 PM »
Well...I was prepared this AM....
Loaded up my:
Generator
Battery Charger
Torpedo Space Heater
and the new Kat's Block Heater I bought last night.....

Got up to the job....feeling a little smug....gonna beat this thing today....

and the da...arn generator wouldn't start ... >:(
LOL....still took almost 2 hours jumping it to get it going
ah well....tomorrow I'm gonna try the flexible exhaust thing....
It is sure to work.....  ::)

Offline jokers

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2007, 04:40:05 AM »
I have my old Timberjack "chained up" backwards
Yes I noticed that from your avitar picture.  ;D

Offline jokers

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2007, 05:17:06 AM »
Well...I was prepared this AM....
Loaded up my:
Generator
Battery Charger
Torpedo Space Heater
and the new Kat's Block Heater I bought last night.....

Got up to the job....feeling a little smug....gonna beat this thing today....

and the da...arn generator wouldn't start ... >:(
LOL....still took almost 2 hours jumping it to get it going
ah well....tomorrow I'm gonna try the flexible exhaust thing....
It is sure to work.....  ::)

This is a good argument for a power inverter run off of your truck`s electrics, one less engine to putz with...........or count on. I have a cheapie Invertec or something like that that you can buy anywhere. 2500w and it will power a circulating block heater and my trusty Milwaukee heat gun for spot heating or blowing hot air into the intake.

I`ve used machines that needed ether and I do believe the old maxim that machines get addicted to the stuff if used too much.  Yes I know that some machines have come from the factory set up for ether but I think there are better alternatives if your engine is healthy. If the engine is a little tired already then I guess it doesn`t matter quite as much, just DON`T use ether in conjunction with glow plugs, I`d be worried about using it with a manifold heater as well.

The best cold weather diesel start advice that I can give is to use only clean winter grade fuel, clean fuel filters, good batteries, and a fuel conditioner/anti-gel such as the stuff from Power Service. I use the Power Service product year round to keep my injector pumps lubed, especially now that all the fuel here is ultra low sulphur. I have no financial interest in Power Service and assume that there are other products just as good, just that PS is available everywhere around here so why bother taking a chance on something different?

I also want to apologize in advance to those of you who already know and think of this, but heating the engine oil is also a good method, whether with an on board system or dipstick or magnetic pan heater......or a small campfire.  ;D And once you have the beast running, ease into the work by cycling your hydraulics and letting the oil flow which also gently loads the engine and keep in mind that your axles, gears and bearings are also cold and may also like a little foreplay before being expected to perform. Also keep your hydraulic oil clean and dry for obvious reasons that may become even more obvious at temps below freezing.

I rarely have any diesel starting trouble and also rarely break any machines without pushing something too hard, spinning a wheel that suddenly catches hard, or smashing it.  :o  All avoidable situations and something that my grandfather instilled in everyone in my family, including the women.

Sorry for the book, but then those of you who know me would expect nothing less!  :D

Offline Jeff

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2007, 06:46:55 AM »
Stephen Alford, its about time you said something so we could welcome you to the Forestry Forum. :D

Welcome to the Forestry Forum. ;)
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Offline Stephen Alford

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2007, 10:12:25 AM »
Thanks ! You fellars do to a topic what a good sawyer with a sharp eye does to a log. Love to watch it go through sometimes with a lot of noise and hoopin over what the best cut is but in the end the kurf slabs and lumber are all sorted proper and a good job done. Still a bit cold here as well ,earlier this morning saw a seagull towing another seagull  with a frenchfry trying to jump-start him !!
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2007, 11:00:38 AM »
Now that would have been a sight. :D Welcome. LT40HDD51 asked about diesel fired heaters. The indirect fired ones work best, they are like a portable oil furnace. There is no flame in the warmed air. The direct fired such as the Reddy heaters are a lot cheaper but there is a risk of fire. A lot of truckers and equipment operators use a tiger torch in a length of stove pipe with an elbow to direct the warm air upwards under the oil pan. Not a good idea to put open flame directly under an engine, dripping oil or diesel can warm things up a little too much.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline LT40HDD51

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2007, 11:13:14 AM »
Dad was telling me that when he used to do seismic work in northern Alberta in the 70s, they used to change the oil in the diesel nodwell drill rigs without shutting them off  ;D. Pull the plug and start dumping fresh oil in the top, when it comes clean out the bottom put the plug back in and change the filter right quick  :). They had a sight guage on the crankcase so you could check the oil level when its running, they ran at least 1000 rpm 24/7 all winter long. Shut em off for half an hour and they'd need tiger torches to get em goin. Pull a parachute over the whole rig and turn the torches up on the underside. They were all hydraulic, so everything had to be warm...

Way up north they dont run any diesels, they dont make enough heat to keep themselves up to temperature  :o. Go far enough up and they run kerosene in the place of antifreeze...
The name's Ian. Been a sawyer for 6 years professionally, Dad bought his first mill in '84, I was 2 years old :). Factory trained service tech. as well... Happy to help any way I can...

Offline leweee

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2007, 12:37:11 PM »
Still a bit cold here as well ,earlier this morning saw a seagull towing another seagull  with a frenchfry trying to jump-start him !!
:D  :D  :D heck ofva visual. :D  :D  :D

Big Forestry Forum Welcome to  Stephen Alford ;D



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Offline Greenedive

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2007, 08:31:30 PM »
Well...thanks to you guys I now have a better and MUCH faster way to start my skidder in the AM. I didn't get to try all the suggestions (though I have copied them all down for future reference), but I'm using a take off from one of the ideas on this post. I took about 15 feet of the 3" flexible exhaust pipe and slid it over my truck's tailpipe (just fit) and then took the other end and put it down on the lower part of my skidder engine. I also have jumper cables running from my truck to the skidder batteries with my truck engine revved up to about 2500 rpms. After about 5 minutes the frost starts coming out of the engine block and after 10-15 minutes she is off and running. What a difference from the 1-2 hours it was taking before....and the best part of it is...it is a super cheap solution.
LOL....just wish I'd started doing this about 30 years ago.... ::)

Thanks again for all the suggestions!!!

Offline arojay

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Re: Cold Weather Starts
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2007, 03:33:07 AM »
I have been pre-heating by exchanging coolant from pick-up or other warm engine for many years.  I preheat my engines from the heater hoses on the  Ford work truck with 300-6.  I have never damaged an engine from transferring cold AF to warm engine.  I have heard of guys having this problem transferring directly from block to block.  If you tap into heater hoses and leave the heater core flowing then the transfer is slower and only a small amount of cold AF is introduced at a time.  When transferring from block to block on larger engines the size of the hose or orfice in the quick coupler limits the volume and engine idling at a slow speed also helps.  Using this method I can have the engine in a D-6 at about 140 F  in about 20 minutes to a half hour.  A very civilized start at an ambient temp of -30C.  Webastos, Pro heats etc. work great.  I've worked for bigger operators who used them but my old Ford is always on the job anyway.   
440B skidder, JD350 dozer, Husqvarnas from 335 to 394. All spruced up


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MS 390 starts well cold. Won't start hot.

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Need some cold weather!

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cold weather's coming

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