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Author Topic: Detroit cold weather starting  (Read 14883 times)

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Offline madmari

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Detroit cold weather starting
« on: December 10, 2010, 04:27:10 PM »
I have a Detroit 3-53 that has been starting real good until this morning, at -5 degrees all I get is a "thunk" from the starter, assuming the starter is engaging the flywheel. Is it too cold to turn over the motor? What to do?
I know why dogs stick thier head out the car window.

Offline 240b

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2010, 05:00:54 PM »
weak batteries?  I've got heater hoses off of my truck to heat the skidder and loader.  This really saves the batteries. I have a little toyota 4cyl which heats the skidder up 160 in about 15 mins.  but -5 I stay home.

Offline madmari

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 05:10:42 PM »
Staying home is out- can't afford any more delays after the wet fall. Where do you hook in at the skidder?
How about external heat from underneath, like a kerosun heater?
I know why dogs stick thier head out the car window.

Offline 240b

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2010, 05:24:21 PM »
On my old 353 i think I pushed the hot into the top of the water pump ( two plugs on top 3/4" pipe thread) and the cold came out the back of the head. Or on the thermostat housing there is a plug too.  push the hot into the lower part of the block.   I had a '03 ford diesel which didn't like to do this. the computer was confused by the cold coolant and would rev up the truck and run poorly   make sure you know which hose is pushing the hot out of the truck.  I have it so i turn off the heat in the cab of the truck and the skidder is just getting the hot and not the cab heater.   you need alot of hose  and hydraulic couplers. 










Offline Mark K

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2010, 05:58:57 PM »
I just did what 240B recommended about three weeks ago. Best money ever spent. I use my Dodge Cummin's with no trouble. I have a 353 in my TJ 225. Works alot better and quicker than Kerosene heaters. How are your batterys? I've started mine at -15 F. Should of stayed home!
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Offline madmari

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2010, 06:27:57 PM »
I saw this set-up on a loader, but was hesitant to try it because I'd heard the cold water shock to the hot host motor could be damaged. Sounds like you guys are ok with it.
 I have a TJ 230D- where did you hook in on the motor with the hot and cold lines?
I know why dogs stick thier head out the car window.

Offline treefarmer87

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2010, 06:51:15 PM »
it might be what 240b said-week batteries, i have had that problem before :( heres a tip: on any piece of equipment- when you are done for the day take the "hot" cable off the terminal. your machine will starat the same as it was running when you took it off, plus it will save shorting out your altenator, solenoid,etc  and if you have a short you might come back to a burnt up machine :o
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Offline Bobus2003

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2010, 07:05:42 PM »
weak batteries?  I've got heater hoses off of my truck to heat the skidder and loader.  This really saves the batteries. I have a little toyota 4cyl which heats the skidder up 160 in about 15 mins.  but -5 I stay home.

This is the method I use.. Works like a charm.. Otherwise you can get a "Hot Box".. Thats what my brothers company had installed on all their skidders and dozers. Its just a small Gas fired heater that uses 12 volts. It heats and circulates the antifreeze.. handy if you leave your equipment where you cant always drive too

Offline Mark K

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 07:15:15 PM »
Bobus2003- where do you find one of them heaters? I've heard of them but have had no luck finding any. Alot of my jobs are a ways off the beaten path and sometimes have to hike to get skidder in order to get my truck in. How much power do they draw?
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Offline JDeere

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2010, 07:38:52 PM »
Mark K,  The "Hotbox" is made by Stewart-Warner and is a very common item here in the Northeast. All set up with the battery leads, hoses, couplers and gas tank, they run around $2,000.00 new. Used ones can be had for around $850.00. The problem with getting one right now is with the production at the factory. Stewart-Warner has had a problem getting parts from one or more of their suppliers for months. The word I got today is that they hope to be back in production by the beginning of January. If you need one I know a dealer who has 1 in stock but is asking $2,300.00 for it.
2013 Western Star, 2012 Pelletier trailer, Serco 7500 crane, 2007 Volvo EC 140, 2009 John Deere 6115D, 2002 Cat 938G, 1997 John Deere 540G, 1996 Cat D-3C, 1995 Cat 416B, 2013 Cat 305.5E

Offline 240b

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2010, 08:36:08 PM »
I got a hot box 7 years ago it worked well for one season. and than became the biggest pain- hard to get parts for and a royal pain to fix. good idea, poorly made. it is in the scrap pile out back now needs another rebuild and I just don't see spending the time with it again. I think it was like 1200.00 than. The truck hoses are way simpler and have worked without fail for the last 16 years for me.
 the guy who used to chip for me had espar heaters on the chippers.  the problem is these heaters get thrashed on a skidder. A loader or chipper doesn't hopefully see that kind of abuse. 

Offline madmari

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2010, 08:43:56 PM »
thanks for the help. The more I think on this, I believe it is weak batteries but have had no problem starting w/o ether down to 20 degrees. Batteries spun the Detroit in good shape yesterday in the single digits. My helper shut off the machine yesterday, may not have fully closed the power disconnect.
 Got me thinking now how to build a gas fired circulator using copper tube heat exchanger and a little gas pump:)
I know why dogs stick thier head out the car window.

Offline 240b

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2010, 09:29:08 PM »
I saw a rig at the granite quarry which was a tube in a tube (if that makes sense) made from well casing and used  a big weed burner type torch to fire it. It thermo syphoned  (sp?) looked scary but worked I think it heated up a 988 cat loader.

Offline Bobus2003

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2010, 09:54:21 PM »
you can see one of the HotBoxes here.. Behind the Wheel, they built guards around this one.. The other 648's and the 640D have them mounted hehind the cab in the cubby hole behind the winch

Offline treefarmer87

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2010, 10:04:47 PM »
thats a nice looking bunch of skidders. i like the way the E and G series look. those hotboxes sound real handy
1990 Ford F-800
1974 Ford L 9000 Self Loader
2004 Tigercat 718
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1992 Treefarmer c6f
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Offline Reddog

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2010, 10:37:38 PM »
These are pretty handy also.
No worry of cold shock to your truck motor.

http://www.flameengineering.com/Preheater_Self_Contained.html

Offline MaineLogger

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2010, 05:08:50 AM »
Bad things happen to aluminum heads and blocks when using"spit swappers".You can buy a large propane torch and warm up the radiator.The back of the head and the water pump are two good places to hook into with heater hoses and quick connects.You can build your own heater with the propane torch, heater hoses,quick connects and make a copper coil out of some copper pipe.Just hold the torch on the pipe and the anti-freeze will circulate itself.
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Offline JDeere

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2010, 06:26:04 AM »
I have an engine heater that cost about $4.00. To start one of my older tractors, if it is not super cold I take a piece of flexible aluminum dryer vent hose and run it from my pickup exhaust pipe into the engine compartment of the tractor. This provides enough heat to often get it going. I keep it in my toolbox most of the winter.
2013 Western Star, 2012 Pelletier trailer, Serco 7500 crane, 2007 Volvo EC 140, 2009 John Deere 6115D, 2002 Cat 938G, 1997 John Deere 540G, 1996 Cat D-3C, 1995 Cat 416B, 2013 Cat 305.5E

Online barbender

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2010, 10:38:55 AM »
I like that one JDeere, I might have to try that. Like others have mentioned, I worry about the cold shock from circulating -10 coolant into my operating temp pickup engine. I like the idea of a propane fired circulator too, as far as putting a torch right by the engine, I've heard of machines burned down like that before. Shouldn't have to worry about that with a 353 though, cause thet don't leak any oil :)
Too many irons in the fire

Offline GRANITEstateMP

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Re: Detroit cold weather starting
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2010, 12:52:57 PM »
We have a Katz in-line heater / circulator that fits into the radiator hose.  It works off of 120 volt, which is fine for us since we're normally close to power, and it don't take but 15 minutes or so to get the ole' girl warm (77ish 230D).  I know that the 120volt won't work in the middle of the woods but maybe they have a 12volt option???  We also have a set of hose's with hydrolic couplers made up if we are a little off the beaten path, just make sure the truck and the skidder use the same type / color coolant...

Matt
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