The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Forestry and Logging => Topic started by: madmari on December 10, 2010, 04:27:10 PM

Title: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: madmari 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?
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: 240b 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.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: madmari 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?
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: 240b 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. 









Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Mark K 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!
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: madmari 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?
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: treefarmer87 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
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Bobus2003 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
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Mark K 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?
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: JDeere 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.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: 240b 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. 
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: madmari 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:)
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: 240b 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.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Bobus2003 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
(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20739/2610/008%7E0.JPG)
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: treefarmer87 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
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Reddog 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
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: MaineLogger 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.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: JDeere 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.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: barbender 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 :)
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: GRANITEstateMP 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
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Bobus2003 on December 11, 2010, 01:40:02 PM
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.

Wouldn't worry about it unless you drive a Chevy/GMC Duramax.

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 :)

Your not transfering very much antifreeze at a time, the amount that comes into the engine starts to warm very fast.. Yeah after a few minutes enough is transfered to make my Ford, go into cold warm up, but it does that on its own if it idles for a few minutes
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: northwoods1 on December 11, 2010, 02:56:01 PM
 

I don't think it could be much more shock on an engine than the thermostat normally opening and closing ans sending cold fluid back in to the engine. I know with my dodge cummins I can start it, let it sit and idle, and take off down the road , I forget exactly but my thermostat must be about 190 degrees and you have to be pretty far down the road before it opens and then it does it all at once and brings the temp all the way back down that can't be anymore of a shock than connecting to a machine.
I went an looked at an mid 80's iron mule once that I was thinking of buying the guy had it in perfect shape. He made a heater with some black iron pipe and fittings just plumbed it in to the heater hose going to the cab for the cab heater. He put in a section of black iron pipe in an enclosed box in the cab that had a pilot light on it, an actual flame. He had a 100# propane cylinder sitting next to the skidder on the job site to run that pilot light. Machine always stayed warm and cab was even warm when he got to work. The idea of a flame makes me paranoid but it worked flawlessly. I have the pickup to machine hose arrangement it is a real good way to go. I heat the machine up every time below freezing. I never ever use ether period. Batteries last a long time because the machine never has a cold start :) :) :)
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: barbender on December 11, 2010, 06:58:54 PM
You're right about the cummins thermostat, northwoods- They definately dump open all at once.I've heard that putting a cummins t-stat in them takes care of that cycling issue. But, like you say, that is probably more of a shock than using quick couplers.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: ga jones on December 11, 2010, 07:42:22 PM
You guys get a little crazy with this.2000.00 heaters ? You could rebuild a 353 for 500. I think I'll stick with my good old reliable (sweet air!) ether...... :D :D
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: beenthere on December 11, 2010, 07:50:47 PM
If concerned about the shock of the cold water, maybe could ease into letting cold water through using a valve in the connect line. Open slightly for a short while and then let it open all the way.

Gary_C had one of the engine heaters that was on a timer. When he got to the job site, the engine was warm and ready to go.  :)
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: northwoods1 on December 11, 2010, 08:12:12 PM
You guys get a little crazy with this.2000.00 heaters ? You could rebuild a 353 for 500. I think I'll stick with my good old reliable (sweet air!) ether...... :D :D


a lot of those heaters were designed and made for when a heater is needed and there is no power source. They are 12 volt and just draw a few amps, run on diesel fuel. After it gets so cold and if you don't have some type of supplemental heat ether is of no help. You have to warm the cylinders up. And some types of light truck diesel engines you can't use ether at all. The only option is to heat the block or preheat the intake air. Or don't ever shut the engine off :D
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Ed_K on December 11, 2010, 10:04:53 PM
My inlet to the skidder goes into the top of the engine where the thermostat is,and come from the heater hose coming out of the cab.The outlet come from the bottom of the skidder radiator and goes back into the heater hose running back the the truck radiator.It does drop the temp in the truck some but i've done it this way on the dodge now and a gmc before with no problems. I also believe in the main power shutoff to save batts.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: MaineLogger on December 12, 2010, 04:39:34 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 :)
Radiator not engine
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: MaineLogger on December 12, 2010, 05:06:57 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.
Just putting it out there,pick it apart if you want.Us Maine guys are new to this cold weather logging thing. :D
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: grassfed on December 12, 2010, 06:37:12 AM
I use a small Coleman generator that I leave next to the skidder.

When I come in the morning I start the generator and then sharpen my chainsaws. If it is really cold I will drop a few trees before I start the skidder.

The generator has a small fuel tank like a lawnmower so I can work for about a half hour to 45 minutes or so and then the skidder is nice and warm. If I need to I can hook up a battery charger as well.

This has worked for me to -10-15 much colder than that and I stay home.

One thing to think about when using spit swapping is that your antifreeze is compatible with Detroit Diesel's recommendations. The 53 series engines in particular, because of their wet liners, need the proper antifreeze to avoid corrosion or lime buildup over time.   
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: northwoods1 on December 12, 2010, 09:18:37 AM
I think its funny how you guys call it spit swapping, that reminds me of how a co-worker got *pithed off at me more than once because I wouldn't hook my truck to his machine to start it. I knew all my stuff had perfect clean antifreeze and his skidder didn't..  :D :D

And the heat the radiator up idea...  that reminds me of one time I was staying in my little cabin with no power and no close neighbors, it was a very cold night. Went out to start truck and battery wouldn't turn over. I thought oh no, now I am stranded. No way to jump vehicle, no way to warm things up. Well, I got the bright idea to take the battery out and bring it inside the cabin to warm up, and I thought I would warm the engine up some by draining the antifreeze out of the raidiator and heating it up on the stove, then pouring it back in and trying to start truck. I went through all of that trouble and the moment I poured all the heated antifreeze back in the radiator the thought occurred to me that it was completely pointless because the closed (duh ) thermostat prevented the warmed fluid from getting in the engine anyway!!!  :D :D :D  so NO  :o heating the radiator is not going to help get a machine started or warmed up :D
Luckily the warmed up battery got me out of there.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Gary_C on December 13, 2010, 12:11:28 AM
Every winter there are discussions about starting engines in the cold. And every year there are those for swaping anti freeze with a warm engine and those against. Just remember this if you do it, if you have a newer pickup and the dealer spots those hoses, they will void your engine warranty. There have been many an engine ruined by this swaping.  ::)

Most all the newer forestry machines have those preheaters built in to them and I have them in both my harvester and forwarder. They are not cheap, perhaps more than $2000 even, but they are worth every penny of what they cost. They are operated off a 7 day timer and you can preset a time for each day that you will be there to start working. They work right off the diesel fuel in the tank so no other fuel is needed.

The preheater will turn on at the preset time, normally about an hour before you plan to start working, start automatically and pump heated coolant thru the engine block and heater core plus thru a coil in the hydraulic tank. It even starts the fan in the cab. By the time you get there the engine, hydraulic oil, and the cab is toasty warm. You can get in the cab, take off your coat, start the engine, circulate some warm oil thru the hoses and get to work. Saves a lot of warm up time and wear and tear for both the engine and hydraulics.

But even with a preheater to save all that cold oil wear and tear on start up, when it's -10 to -15 it's time to pack it in. With those oil coolers on those machines you have to work that machine hard to keep the oil warm in those temps. It's really tough on hoses and other hydraulic components. And you better have some spare hoses and extra gloves cause if you get hydraulic oil on your gloves, it's like having perpetually wet gloves that don't dry.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: northwoods1 on December 13, 2010, 06:26:59 AM


Every winter there are discussions about starting engines in the cold. And every year there are those for swaping anti freeze with a warm engine and those against. Just remember this if you do it, if you have a newer pickup and the dealer spots those hoses, they will void your engine warranty. There have been many an engine ruined by this swaping.  ::)


Hi Gary, Those fancy heaters do look nice I was wanting to get one for my pickup at one time. They were getting about $600 at that time , but being notoriously cheap like I am I never did try one out.
Like you I don't ask my machines to work when it is to bitterly cold. I did enough of that when I was younger to know that it is smarter to use that time doing something else.

I'd really like to know about the engines being ruined by having hot water couplers on them and using them to warm up other equipment  ???
do you think you could elaborate on that a bit, I am just wondering do you in fact know of specific engines being damaged or is this just one of those, you heard about this or that combined with the fact you have an expensive fancy engine heater setup. I just think it is strange that I have never heard of a single engine being damaged by this, and almost everyone I know does it.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Gary_C on December 13, 2010, 10:32:24 AM
I'd really like to know about the engines being ruined by having hot water couplers on them and using them to warm up other equipment  ???
do you think you could elaborate on that a bit, I am just wondering do you in fact know of specific engines being damaged or is this just one of those, you heard about this or that combined with the fact you have an expensive fancy engine heater setup. I just think it is strange that I have never heard of a single engine being damaged by this, and almost everyone I know does it.

I had a set up like that on an older forwarder that I bought and it also had one of those propane fired pre heaters. I talked to the dealer about using those hoses and he advised me not to use them as they had damaged many engines in pickups. Actually it can also be hard on the cast water pumps and seals on your skidder engine. Said if you do and have a newer pickup with a engine warranty to not ever let the pickup dealer see those hoses as they would void your engine warranty.

I also was warned about using them by another logger from Superior, WI who was using them and had trouble with a newer pickup engine. He got into a big fight with the dealer over the warranty and I don't remember the outcome for sure but I think he had to eat the cost of the repair and never went back to that dealer. He also told me to not let the dealer ever see the hose hookup or there could be trouble.

So I think there is little actual talk about the problems as they can be passed off as normal engine trouble. And I certainly do love my preheaters though they have to maintained and can sometimes not start at the worst times. But the benefits of no cold starting on both the engine and hydraulic system are very high. So just passing on good advice that I got, not just because I have "an expensive fancy engine heater setup."  :)
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Burlkraft on December 13, 2010, 10:48:19 AM
Being in the truck business all my life, I have a little experience starting stranded vehicles.

An engine pre-heater is one of the most cost effective add on's you can buy.

Ether is very hard on engines.

Warm oil and fuel can extend a cold weather engine's life significantly.

I believe between down time and the cost of repairs and operator comfort, 2 grand for a heater is money well spent.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: barbender on December 13, 2010, 02:16:34 PM
I would agree that athe preheaters are well worth the money on an expensive piece of equipment, but I can't justify a $2000 dollar heater on my $5000 skidder. I have started my machine down to 0F, I have to use ether below freezing. Just a quick little squirt, I don't use much. I'd rather not use it, I'll probably put a block heater on it eventually. My skid steer has a block heater on it, I just drag my generator along andplug it in.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: northwoods1 on December 14, 2010, 06:55:20 AM

Gary, I have to admit the more I think about it , when it comes to the newer pickups w/so many computer sensors designed to sense everything... I would not be surprised at all that the engines would not know what to do it you had them warmed up and then dumped cold fluid in there... I can really see how it might not be a good idea for some pickups.
I have an old non-computer dodge so that thought never occurred to me. In fact my dodge truck has the same engine as my 170 franklin the 6 cylinder industrial cummins.
I don't know anyone that works in the woods and brings a pickup that has a warranty :D :D that is the truth :)
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Skiddah on December 14, 2010, 08:52:02 AM
You need to look at the "spit swapping" warranty issue from the side of the dealer.  They're going to try to do everything and anything they can to get out of paying on a warranty.  Right or wrong, that's just business.  Add in a modification that's not designed, sold, or approved by them?  They'd be crazy to honor the warranty.  That would be equivalent to letting people modify the engine any way they wanted, and then have it repaired under warranty when it didn't work.  I don't disagree with a dealership refusing a warranty on "spit swapping."

I know a lot of guys that have warranties on their pickups that they bring to the woods.  I'm one of them, my boss is another, so are 3 other guys we work with.  That's just our outfit.  If you were running an older truck and warranties weren't an issue, by all means try it if you're comfortable with it.  I knew a guy who did it with a forwarder and an old 1986 Chevy ton truck with a gas motor, he told me it was hard on things, but helped out.  I don't get the blistering cold here that a lot of other forum members get thankfully, but I'm not afraid to use ether when necessary.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Randy88 on December 14, 2010, 09:19:34 AM
I use the cordless hilton engine heater on my 3-53, its lp gas fired and uses a catalyst to keep it going, you use about 25 amps of electrical power to heat up the catalyst and once its hot that burns the lp gas and keeps it going and it only uses a few milliamps of power to keep the gas valve open and gas flowing, it'll run for about 60 hours on a 20 lb tank of lp and I use two tanks with an automatic tank changer so its good for over 120 hours and don't need to worry about it in case we have delays and can't get back to it to check on it.    New they are about 6-700 bucks and I turn it on just before I shut off the engine and let it charge the battery while it heats up the catalyst and then shut off the engine and the heater is running.    They have timers and things to have them come on hours or days later but I don't need anything else to fix so I don't mess with it.    Theres no open flame so theres no need to worry about a fire and they work slick.     The diesel fired ones take a lot more electrical power to make them work and keep it running, thats why they only recommend them to start up a few hours before you start the machine, not days or a half day before, the battery will most likely be dead by then.    The diesel ones work good but theres a lot more to them to keep running and working like what been stated earlier.   I think the website is www.hiltonheaters.com or something like that.    They are plumbed in like any electric tank heater.   I try to run the heater hoses beside or around the oil pan so that adds some heat to the oil as well, not a lot but some is better than none, in the engine compartment it really helps keep the temp up somewhat.

I also have a giant electric heater on one of my machines, its 220 volt heater and also a 110 volt water circulation pump on it and I hook it up to my welder generator and in about 10 minutes its warm enough to start the engine, works great as well, its something like 6000 watts and I use the circulation pump to keep the water flowing and that way the thermostat doesn't kick it off it just keeps heating, I put a valve in the system and shut it enough so theres a flow restrictor in it so it heats the water to about 120 degrees and it constantly circulates that warm of water and in a short time I'm recirculating warm water through the whole system, works on the same principle as a shared heater hose system but no fluids are exchanged and I can set the flow valve to regulate the temp of water I circulate. open it more and its cooler, close it and its hotter and less flow, I start it up with the valve open and close it as warm water starts coming back through the heater, it sounds complicated but works great and is simple as pie to do if you have a large enough generator if your in a remote location, if I'm around buildings or a 220 power source I leave the valve open and the thermostat controls the heater and it works like any other heater and keeps it a constant temp.    Best of luck
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: northwoods1 on December 14, 2010, 09:20:40 AM
Even if I didn't do the hot water swap I wouldn't spend $2000 on an engine preheater. I've seen people make there own like I mentioned in an earlier post. Propane fired , heats the cab and engine, very simple to make and works flawlessly.
I have taken more than 1 truck from brand spanking new to pretty much junk by using it as my work truck in the woods. I don't need to do that anymore. I know my older well maintained vehicle will last most likley outlast me :D in regards to trips to the woods. As you can guess the crew I work with the most all have dodge w/cummins engines and not the new ones. And more than one.. no more new pickups for me ever and proud of it! I can spend all my spare cash on property taxes :D
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Stephen Alford on December 14, 2010, 09:38:49 AM
One source for heat is the exhaust from your truck.  Just a length of rubber flex pipe.  Put the exhaust end between the fuel pump and the motor. Twenty minutes and ya can have a coffee.  I usually put the booster cables on as well ,  the truck is running anyway. When I go to turn her over I put the hose in the air intake.  Have used this hose to thaw frozen fuel lines and valve banks. Has worked for me,anyway. I just noticed I have over 200 posts and I am starting to repeat myself.  I may have to join that support group for compulsive talkers. (On and On anon)   :)

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12754/1677/Warming_up_Detroit.jpg)
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: northwoods1 on December 14, 2010, 11:07:33 AM
One source for heat is the exhaust from your truck.  Just a length of rubber flex pipe.  Put the exhaust end between the fuel pump and the motor. Twenty minutes and ya can have a coffee.  I usually put the booster cables on well , as the truck is running anyway. When I go to turn her over I put the hose in the air intake.  Have used this hose to thaw frozen fuel lines and valve banks. Has worked for me,anyway. I just noticed I have over 200 posts and I am starting to repeat myself.  I may have to join that support group for compulsive talkers. (On and On anon)   :)

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12754/1677/Warming_up_Detroit.jpg)

That is a good idea you can't beat solutions to problems that require something so simple :D
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: barbender on December 14, 2010, 03:26:51 PM
Simple is always best ;) I like the look of that hilton heater, I went to thier website, they are selling for around $700, that's more in my price range ;D
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: treefarmer87 on December 14, 2010, 08:59:07 PM
the loader i looked @ today had a detriot power unit on it, when it was cold last year it had trouble starting, so he took a big tarp put it over the machine and put a heater inside the tarp to start the motor the next morning.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: tjdub on December 14, 2010, 11:03:15 PM
I poured all the heated antifreeze back in the radiator the thought occurred to me that it was completely pointless because the closed (duh ) thermostat prevented the warmed fluid from getting in the engine anyway!!!  :D :D :D  so NO  :o heating the radiator is not going to help get a machine started or warmed up :D
Luckily the warmed up battery got me out of there.

I've heard several stories about old timers taking their oil in the house with them at night and setting it near the wood stove.  Unlike radiator antifreeze, heating up the engine oil actually does make a difference, but not as much as heating the battery :)

I've used about all of the tricks mentioned in this thread.  I have a Honda generator and a battery charger that I'll lug out to run a block heater and magnetic oil pan heater and boost a battery (works.......eventually).  I have one of those flexible ducting tubes behind the seat of my pickup which is enough to get my wood splitter up to starting temp on truck exhaust (it does coat everything with ice though thanks to the catalytic converter!).  

One of my tricks not seen mentioned here is this:  I grab a couple of shovels full of hot coals from my outdoor wood stove and throw them on the ground under the front axle of my truck.  By the time the coals have burned out, they warm up the engine compartment quite a bit and it fires right up.  Probably not something you want to try if there's wind though :)
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Bobus2003 on December 14, 2010, 11:53:15 PM
I've heard several stories about old timers taking their oil in the house with them at night and setting it near the wood stove.  Unlike radiator antifreeze, heating up the engine oil actually does make a difference, but not as much as heating the battery :)I've used about all of the tricks mentioned in this thread.  I have a Honda generator and a battery charger that I'll lug out to run a block heater and magnetic oil pan heater and boost a battery (works.......eventually).  I have one of those flexible ducting tubes behind the seat of my pickup which is enough to get my wood splitter up to starting temp on truck exhaust (it does coat everything with ice though thanks to the catalytic converter!).  

One of my tricks not seen mentioned here is this:  I grab a couple of shovels full of hot coals from my outdoor wood stove and throw them on the ground under the front axle of my truck.  By the time the coals have burned out, they warm up the engine compartment quite a bit and it fires right up.  Probably not something you want to try if there's wind though :)

Thus being the Reason the '94-'03 Ford 7.3l Powerstroke Block heater screws into the Water Jacket at the oil Cooler.. Heats the Oil and the Antifreeze.. HPOP's don't like the Cold thick oil..

I was never given any grief about the Hoses on my '06 6.0l Powerstroke when i took it in for warranty issues..
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Ed_K on December 15, 2010, 05:44:47 PM
When I logged with the MF model 30,I'd put a furniture blanket over the hood and a charcoal grill under the oil pan.45 mins it would turn over good 1hr and it started. Thought about trying it on the 4-53 :o.too much oil for that.I'm having the detroit rebuilt right now,it'll be intresting to see how much easier it starts at 10 degs.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Stephen Alford on December 15, 2010, 07:06:28 PM
 Just thought I would add a pic of the type of hose I use. The flashing on the end allows you to change the shape ,seems to help.  The truck used for boosting gets a couple of fresh batteries in the fall , the detroits get engine oil changed regularly, filling the fuel tank every night and add  tad of conditioner.  Just getting them out of the wind can make a difference.  The 353 is a 79 (thirty-one years) the 453 is a 68 (42 years) not sure of the long term effects yet, to early to tell.    ;D 

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12754/1677/Heater_hose.jpg)
  Just wanted to take this opportunity to thank-you Jeff and family,the admins and all those who participate in the forum. Merry Christmas to you all.   :)

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12754/1677/Snow_Guy.jpg)
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: treefarmer87 on December 15, 2010, 11:08:19 PM
what kind of loader is that. i want a setup with the loader on the truck. they arent very popular around here for some reason :(
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Stephen Alford on December 17, 2010, 05:35:11 PM
 Hey treefarmer those loaders are nokka's  distributed by Hakmet.  They have a 3 pt hitch setup and just plug into the tractor hydraulics. 
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Ken on December 19, 2010, 08:47:29 PM
Our experience is that most machines will start to -20 C (-3 or so F) if they have good batteries and a full fuel tank.  We do have block heaters on the skidders and take the generator when required.  However we are often farther ahead to just stay home when it is any colder.  Too many things can break on those days when steel is more brittle due to the cold.   We've also noticed that it makes a tremendous difference to park the machines out of the wind. 
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Frank H. on December 22, 2010, 07:32:33 AM
I like to use the generator/block heater for about 20 min, and pull the air filter and have the propane torch by (not stuck in) the intake air stream.  The worn little 3-53 starts every time.  I'd like to try to make one of those cummins grid heaters work on the intake one of these days.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: barbender on December 22, 2010, 11:40:13 PM
The Cummins intake heaters are very effective. My Dodge has sat for days and started at -15F if I let the heater cycle a couple of times. I don't make a habit of that, I'm sure it's not good for the engine as the oil pressure takes a good 60 seconds to come up. But it will start, where I have an identical 5.9 cummins at work in a Ford 2 ton, it doesn't have an intake heater and is a pig to start. Anything below 30 and it's a fight.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Bobus2003 on December 22, 2010, 11:56:45 PM
I know of a few guys that have used Dodge Grid Heaters, or the Ford Powerstroke Intake Air Heater (Its a Screw in type, Looks kinda like a spark plug) on their skidders.. The grid heater is by far the best
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: poor farmer/logger on January 29, 2011, 10:20:49 PM
Bit late on posting but thought I'd throw my 2 cents in anyways. We're just about always working with temps below 0F here in the winter. We've used a little bit of everything over the years. A few years ago we put a webasto heater on our volvo loader. Worked great for the first year then nothing but problems since. Even the service manager where we bought it told us afterwards they have no end to the problems with them. Pro Heat and Espar make a simialr unit as well. They usually run around the 1,000 dollar mark. 7 day timer is usually another 250 more. We used to have a hockey stick heater in the skidder and on the sawmill. It's a burner that looks like a hockey stick that slides into it's house with coolant circulating threw it. Totatlly self contained but of course there's always a chance of fire. After that we had a propan heater with a blower that we aimed in at the engine on the starter side of the skidder. Worked okay but now we have another propane self contained unit that works extremely well. It's from a company in Ontario called E F Heaters. It's got a propane burner that slides in the bottom of a coil. It just goes off the idea that hot water rises. Hot  water goes in the bottom of the engine and pushes the cold back out the top threw the heater again. I'm going to add a 12 volt pump to it though to make it even faster for my D7 Cat. Flame is away from the equipment so I consider it safer that way. Anything that is at home we usually just plug in with a block heater. If it's real cold it gets pluged in as soon as it's shut off.

I too have never been a fan of puttign the cold coolant into a warm engine. Our newer  Dodge Cummins it would never work anyways. You can't get them to warm up when it's cold anyways.

Ryan
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: timbuck2 on February 01, 2011, 06:43:47 AM
My TJ 208E has a regular plug in block heater, I use a little 2K watt Honda gen., takes about an hour tho.   But most of the time I keep it in the garage tucked in with a binkie!
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Ed_K on February 01, 2011, 08:58:17 AM
The home tractor has a heat tape wrapped around the bottom radiator hose and plugged into the box on the deck.It's worked all winter an cost me $6.I would like to try it on the skidder w/small gen,but think it would take to long.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: redneck on February 01, 2011, 10:00:50 AM
i have a 208 timberjack 353 detroit and i use a small 2500 watt gen.  I plug in the block heater, plug in a small battery charger, and put the coleman generator between the tire and engine so that the exhaust heats up the fuel pump and top of engine.  It takes about 45min to one hour.  Sometimes brought in a third 1000amp battery  that i can hook up with booster cables to the starter or other batteries.  While waiting i go a cut some trees.
Title: Re: Detroit cold weather starting
Post by: Ed_K on February 01, 2011, 07:56:11 PM
At this point,if the skidder won't start I'm NOT walking into the bush to cut a tree  ;D :o :( .I think by tomorrow night the snow will be hip high  >:( .