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General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: GeorgeK on November 24, 2012, 01:28:48 PM

Title: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: GeorgeK on November 24, 2012, 01:28:48 PM
I have just recently bought a used LT 40 with 51 horse Cat diesel any tricks on getting it to start when cold. Thanks, George
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: POSTON WIDEHEAD on November 24, 2012, 03:56:36 PM
Hi George, my LT40 has a gas engine. But I have always wondered if the diesels have a plug in heater to keep them warm. Probably not.

Glad you got a mill. I hate cold weather!  :)
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: JustinW_NZ on November 24, 2012, 04:07:55 PM
Ive got the lombardini diesel and found it fine in cold/snow the only things i found to watch weremake sure you have antifreeze and you prime the diesel pump and that diesel isnt to much of a "slurry" from freezing.
Im unsure if the cat has a manual diesel primer?

Cheers
Justin
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: ladylake on November 24, 2012, 05:12:10 PM
Hi George, my LT40 has a gas engine. But I have always wondered if the diesels have a plug in heater to keep them warm. Probably not.

Glad you got a mill. I hate cold weather!  :)
   


 It's 10 above here this morning, just right..   Little Isuzu popped right off.  You can have that 80+  humid  stuff.   Steve
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: dgdrls on November 24, 2012, 05:14:34 PM
My experience with Cat's are from days gone by however, most if not all diesels like
heat, so if you can preheat the block with a heater of some type
and keep your fuel liquid you should be fine,

How cold does it get in your neck of the woods?

Best DGDrls
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: ladylake on November 24, 2012, 05:50:21 PM
 
 Around -30 to -35 on the worst days, I try not to saw below +5 or so.    Steve
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: jcbrotz on November 24, 2012, 06:12:21 PM
Keep the glows in good order and all your filters. If she's hard starting get the timing checked, my cat skidsteer is the best starting diesel I have ever seen, I dont even hit the glows till below 10 then only give them 10-20 sec. The kubota on the mill is a close second, but I do have to glow plug that on longer I blame that on the mechanical fuel pump though.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: customsawyer on November 24, 2012, 06:29:55 PM
That 51hp cat is actually a perkins. I turn the key and let the glow plugs warm up a little and then hit the starter. The only problem I have had on these engines starting is they seem to be a little low speed on idle so you may have to turn the idle speed up a little. The other problems with these engines is another matter.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: ladylake on November 24, 2012, 06:36:17 PM
 On any diesel if you can hold the throttle open when cranking it will start better.   Steve
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: wascator on November 24, 2012, 08:05:57 PM
Warmth always helps: heads, and oil, in that order.
Any way you can warm the coolant and oil will help 'er start. careful with the ether. I would not use it due to the risk of damage.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Don_Papenburg on November 24, 2012, 08:26:57 PM
Customsawyer , what is the other problem with the little perkapillar?
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: GeorgeK on November 24, 2012, 10:11:16 PM
Thanks for all the input today. I will check several things tomorrow and talk to the cat dealer in town onMonday. It was 26 this morning but my Kubota tractor started fine. Many items here to look at and I will look at all plus clean the battery terminals. The battery shows good but will take to be checked Monday also. It started fine yesterday at 40 degrees.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: valley on November 24, 2012, 10:17:41 PM
It doesn't get that cold here but I have several diesel engines and anything below freezing will make some of theme hard to start I simply use a dipstick heater in the ones that don't have a built in block heater :::: problem solved on mine anyway
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Okrafarmer on November 24, 2012, 10:25:38 PM
Clean the battery terminals, yes, and be sure that all your wiring involving the battery, ground, and starter is fully functional. Sometimes wires will break part way through, or develop a short, or whatever, and not be as efficient, but still marginally work.

Draining your fuel at the end of the day and bringing it warm fuel to start with may help-- even better, but more trouble, is draining the oil when you're done, and heating it up before putting it in before starting. Ditto coolant. Or any other way you can warm the engine up from the outside before trying to start it. My dad used to take a bucket of hot coles and put it under the bulldozer engine, with a tarp over it to help keep the heat in. That would warm things up enough to get its blood pumping.

These are all "old army tricks," or "old Russian tricks," or as we would say in Maine, "old indian tricks," though I'm not sure if the old indians had diesel engines. . . .  just sayin'
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Okrafarmer on November 24, 2012, 10:27:12 PM
It doesn't get that cold here but I have several diesel engines and anything below freezing will make some of theme hard to start I simply use a dipstick heater in the ones that don't have a built in block heater :::: problem solved on mine anyway

Valley, I'd actually never heard of a dipstick heater-- you learn something new every day. That sounds like a real spankin' good idea-- imagine if the old indians had just come up with that idea, way back when!
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Brad_S. on November 24, 2012, 11:10:35 PM
I have used a kerosene topedo style heater pointed at the engine for a while to get it going after my glow plugs bit the dust.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Don_Papenburg on November 24, 2012, 11:51:47 PM
I used to carry a propane stove burner  and fire it up and slide it under the oilpan on my ol GMC . Then whenI got it running I would take it to the back and warm the air valve so the brakes would work
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Okrafarmer on November 24, 2012, 11:59:13 PM
I used to carry a propane stove burner  and fire it up and slide it under the oilpan on my ol GMC . Then whenI got it running I would take it to the back and warm the air valve so the brakes would work

And then stick it on your dash board to act as a defroster?
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Satamax on November 25, 2012, 02:50:55 AM
Well, many good replies. I didn't know about the dipstick heater either.

I work for a chairlift company in the winter, and we have had generators to start when realy cold. Biguns, 400KVA or more.
Two tricks i've found, boil a big saucepan of water, and bring it up puting the fuel filter butt in it. Even better atach the saucepan with two bungees while you start it.  And put some boiling water on the intake manifold, slowly pouring, to raise the intake air temp. Well, there's always the MEK solution.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: red on November 25, 2012, 06:55:32 AM
Hot Air . . think hot air balloon 
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: bandmiller2 on November 25, 2012, 07:39:34 AM
George, most small high speed diesels use a glow plug circuit that would be the first thing i'd check.A diesel must crank at or above a cirtin speed to start prehaps you bat. is not fully charged due to age or drained from operating LT-40 functions.
A slight help would be synthetic motor oil. Frank C.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: saltydog on November 25, 2012, 07:59:17 AM
I have quick couplers on both of mine. I made them with about 20ft of heater hose .they connect from my work trucks heater hoses to the tree farmers heater hoses.You pull in with a warm truck in the morning pop the hood hook them up wait 15min or so.the temp gauge in the truck usually tells me when the old machine will start.That and new batteries every year.My other tree farmer had a deutz (air cooled) i had to build a brush fire under it a few times.You should have seen the look on the log buyers face when he drove in and seen a fire under the machine and me setting by it drinking coffee.You can put out just about any fire with a grain shovel and 4ft of snow. :).Now that im grown up i dont work in -20 weather.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: slider on November 25, 2012, 08:17:22 AM
My understanding is that cat must spin over freely in order to have enough fuel pressure to crank properly.I usually just hit the glow plugs and it cranks.However,mine has been slow to turnover for some time.The battery is new(1200 cranking amps)the starter is fresh and all connections are clean .Someone mentioned timing .That's the one thing that i have not tried yet.Anyone know how to set timing on a perkapillar ?
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: sealark37 on November 25, 2012, 08:35:11 AM
First, make sure that the glow plugs are working.  Then, either use #1 diesel fuel instead of the commonly available #2 diesel.  If you cannot find #1 diesel, make your own by mixing kerosene 1:1 with #2 diesel.  Works good, lasts long time.   Regards, Clark
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Al_Smith on November 25, 2012, 09:12:19 AM
Now I don't know if all Perkins are as reliable as the one on my  bud the tree trimmers New Holland skidloader or not .His is some where between 40-45 HP .That one will start no matter how cold it is .Odd though even on a cold start at 80 degrees you have to use the glows.It doesn't blow white smoke like the rings are shot so maybe that's just the way the Perkins are .
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Dave Shepard on November 25, 2012, 09:32:54 AM
When it's cold, you will have to manually hold the throttle open. RPMs will surge when it starts, you have to feather it a bit to keep it running.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Chris Burchfield on November 25, 2012, 09:35:48 AM
GeorgeK, I have the 51 hp cateperk on my 2005 Super.  Good battery and I prop the throttle open about 1/8" with a stick or what ever is available.  Seems if you don't prop her open for an increase in rpm, she'll kinda lope then die out till pressure is built up in the fuel line.  By increasing the rpm a little she'll keep running then balance out.  I did get a retro fit kit from Woodmizer a few years back that would limit the glow plugs to a 17 second warm up.  This was to prevent early failure of the glow plugs by overheating.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: irvi00 on November 25, 2012, 09:39:51 AM
Of the 6 perkins engines we have, only one cranks good below 40 degrees. All the others require some type of heat. Best solution we have found is block heaters you put in place of a freeze plug on the block. We have also used heaters with magnets attached to the oil pan to help get the fluid moving. Our three cummins crank no matter what temp with no help.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: thecfarm on November 25, 2012, 10:23:07 AM
I use a magnet heater on my gas wood splitter. I cover it up with an old blanket to keep the heat on the engine. Starts great. I like to plug in my tractors when it's cold. I just feel it is better for them. Easier on the motor to start it a little bit warm than a lot cold,IMO.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: jueston on November 25, 2012, 11:41:59 AM
These are all "old army tricks," or "old Russian tricks," or as we would say in Maine, "old indian tricks," though I'm not sure if the old indians had diesel engines. . . .  just sayin'

when i was in the army we dealt with the cold winters by sending out privates every 4 hours to start the engines and let them run for about 20 minutes, they did this every 4 hours for weeks when it was really cold.

but life is simpler when you have a limitless supply of free labor and free fuel....
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Al_Smith on November 25, 2012, 03:49:32 PM
I think it was '84-'85 I worked on a short 42 miles section of 20" gas pipe line .Even at 10 below those pipe liners got out in but at night it could hit 20 below .Those big Cat 945 excavators and side boom crawlers the size of a D8 ran for weeks and never shut off .

Ha one small pipline contractor had an old antique 3T series D7 sideboom .It started at 15 below but it blew smoke rings for 45 minutes before the diesel caught .Poor old pony motor just a cranking away for all it had .
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: wwsjr on November 25, 2012, 05:00:01 PM
I ordered a block heater for my 2006 Super with 51 hp Perkapillar from WM a couple of years ago. When below 40*, I plug up for about 30 min, open the throttle with a sliver of wood, let it idle for 5 min to 10 min before sawing. Cold shouldered engine for sure. My 3930 Ford/New Holland tractor is same, below 40*, same procedure as mill.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Peter Drouin on November 25, 2012, 05:31:29 PM
When it's cold, you will have to manually hold the throttle open. RPMs will surge when it starts, you have to feather it a bit to keep it running.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        smiley_thumbsup
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: ladylake on November 25, 2012, 05:33:05 PM
 The best starting diesel I've ever had was a DT466 Int in a truck, one time started at -25 with  no glow plugs, no either  and no heat but had too hook up the booster cables.   Steve
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Solomon on November 25, 2012, 06:01:35 PM
I have just recently bought a useLT 40 with 51 horse Cat diesel any tricks on getting it to start when cold. Thanks, George
George, I have that exact motor on my mill.   It has glow plugs that operate manually.   It doesn't get cold here often but it does now and then.   I use that Star Tron diesel fuel treatment.  Have no trouble starting but it does take about an hour of sawing to get the hydraulic fluid warmed up and get the cylinders moving like they should.
  And if you look at that motor closely you will see Perkins tags and numbers on it.   I think Cat bought Perkins.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: jdonovan on November 25, 2012, 08:31:31 PM
  And if you look at that motor closely you will see Perkins tags and numbers on it.   I think Cat bought Perkins.

Correct. Cat really didn't have anything in the small diesel market, and the fastest way in to that space was to buy a engine builder who was already there.

Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: GeorgeK on November 25, 2012, 09:06:47 PM
Thank you all. I gut my first log since the owner showed me how to run the mill. This is going to be fun!
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: eastberkshirecustoms on November 26, 2012, 05:11:18 AM
I installed heated fuel filter housings on my diesels to help in the cold weather. The heater element automatically turns on at about 40°F. Of course, I'm running a veggie oil blend that tends to gel a little faster. On my air-cooled Slanzi diesel, (without glow plugs) I installed a thermo heater in the intake manifold that 'builds' a small fire in the manifold prior to cranking. I've only had to use that a couple of times.
I agree on the electrical system comments -connections, wires, battery, and also the condition of the starter (needing brushes, dry bushings, etc.) can have a huge impact on starting a diesel in the cold. I also don't use ether. 
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Al_Smith on November 26, 2012, 05:56:20 AM
There's all kinds of tricks to starting old diesels but I'm not sure most would try it on a newer engine .

If the thing will turn over just holding a torch over the intake will give you enough heat to get them going .

We used that method on an old triple nickle (555) Ford backhoe and it always started no matter how cold it was .

Newer high compression direct injected engines start  fairly easy but the real old  duffers like Cat or John Deere early pony start engines can be a challange .These were lower compression pre combustion chamber style engines .

On those sometimes you're better off to roll them over for maybe 5-10 minutes ,compression on ,fuel off which warms the cylinders enough they usually fire once you cut the fuel in if the rings aren't shot on the engine .
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: ladylake on November 26, 2012, 06:23:21 AM
 It's +3 this morning, going to have to glow plug a little longer , about 12 to 15 seconds I'd guess.  Steve
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: bandmiller2 on November 26, 2012, 07:26:52 AM
Glad ether wasen't mentioned,thats like crack for engines,and has the potential for damage.If you have 110v or 220 available use a block heater.A small radiant propane heater near the head works if your not in a great hurry.Mommy's hair dryer helps.When its a cold spell a little gasoline 5 to 10% gives the diesel fuel some teeth for starting,don't overdue it.As I mentioned synthetic oil will give you a little edge with your cranking speed.Never tried it but probibly an old electric blanket wrapped around an engine at night wouldn't hurt. Frank C.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: bandmiller2 on November 26, 2012, 08:16:52 AM
Anouther old time trick is to take your battery in the house at night to keep it warm,cold greatly reduces a batterys cranking power. Frank C.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Satamax on November 26, 2012, 08:37:55 AM
Frank C ether has been mentioned, kindof.  MEK!  ;D
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Okrafarmer on November 26, 2012, 09:38:06 AM
Frank C ether has been mentioned, kindof.  MEK!  ;D

One farm I worked for had an Allis Chalmers 8050 tractor (one of their last models, they were making it when they went out of business in 1985). That tractor had the ether can actually mounted on a factory mounting inside the cab and the standard procedure was to push the ether button while starting! I can't remember what engine that machine had, but even at the time (I was 22), I knew that was some bad engineering.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Satamax on November 26, 2012, 11:39:52 AM
Well, in the chairlift company, we had a cat D6 generator engine which was the same, and two backup RVI engines for this very lift and another one, which are the same and still in place. Well, that's engines which get started once a month for testing, and used properly once every three or four yeard when there's power outages.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: gmmills on November 26, 2012, 02:13:37 PM
    There is a 120 Volt block heater for this engine. Made by the Phillips & Temro Co. part # 3100049. Your local auto parts store should be able to get it for you with this info. Wm also has this block heater. The same model is used for the Cat 51 and also the Cat 62.  Installs in the front freeze plug port.

    You first need to make sure the glow plugs are getting power. Take the cover off the black relay box mounted on the engine. Find the two terminals with the heavy black wires facing directly foward. These are the power wires from the relay to the glow plugs. They have a fusible link connecting them between the terminals. Check to make sure the link is intact. If link is fine, while cycling the key on use a test light on the terminals to see if they have power. If the wire has power then you need to check the glow plugs. Remove the buss bar that connects all four glow plug together. Then take a test light and connect the ground clamp to the big terminal on the starter. This terminal always has 12 volt battery power. Take the prob end of the light and touch the small threaded post of each indivdual glow plug. The light will come on if the glow plug is good. No light indicates a failed glow plug.

    I have also seen a number of glow plug system issues related directly to the relay socket. The terminals inside the socket get sprung from vibration and make intermittent contact with the relay terminals. Wm offers a replacement socket assemby with wire pig tails. It does require spilcing some wires.       
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: hackberry jake on November 26, 2012, 03:29:01 PM
We had a 80hp Hesston with a Perkins diesel and it had a place for a can of either and a button next to the steering wheel for it. I don't know why, I think that tractor would start under load in a block of dry ice. I get to rebuild my little kubota this winter. She won't start under about 50 unless you put a battery charger on it on "crank" mode. She has enough blowby you don't have to worry about bugs in the summertime as well. Shoulda kept the Hesston  >:(
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Magicman on November 26, 2012, 04:37:07 PM
it had a place for a can of either and a button next to the steering wheel for it. 

My old John Deere is also factory "plumbed" for ether, but maybe it should be mentioned that ether should never be used to start an engine that has glow plugs.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Al_Smith on November 26, 2012, 05:52:23 PM
I used to give the old D4 Cat  shot of ether .Not much though .That pot licker had funky injecters which I rebuilt at a hundred a pop and a reringed  engine but it still liked a little starting fluid .It would go if you rolled it over twenty minutes without ether  but that got a little old .
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Solomon on November 26, 2012, 07:43:06 PM
Frank C ether has been mentioned, kindof.  MEK!  ;D

One farm I worked for had an Allis Chalmers 8050 tractor (one of their last models, they were making it when they went out of business in 1985). That tractor had the ether can actually mounted on a factory mounting inside the cab and the standard procedure was to push the ether button while starting! I can't remember what engine that machine had, but even at the time (I was 22), I knew that was some bad engineering.
 
  Back in the eighties I worked for Fiat Allis.  We were located right beside the marine terminal.  The longshoremen drove them off the Ro Ro ships right in our back door. That's how I became a Longshoreman myself. We would prep them to the dealers order, paint and decal them, and ship them out.   Anyway my point being,  They all had huge cans of either built right in from the factory in Italy.  Like Okrafarmer said,  "You just push a button" and away you go!    Anyone need any Fiat Allis keys?   I still have a slew of them!
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: tempforce on November 26, 2012, 07:48:20 PM
have you thought of using a fog of propane, it would be a bit less damaging to the rings and pistons.. you could mount a camp stove cylinder and use a push button valve and a hose to spray it into the intake. right from the driver seat..
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Dave Shepard on November 26, 2012, 07:53:48 PM
Most of our IH tractors have built in ether cans. Ether isn't so bad if you don't over do it. We have two IH 656 tractors with over 20,000 hours on them that have sucked up hundreds of cans of ether. I've heard a lot of people say that an engine can become addicted to ether. I think it is more that the person using ether is not performing proper maintenance. Why service it if you can just give it a squirt. True, if it is on it's last legs, and compression is way down, ether may be the only way, regardless of battery health and fuel filters, etc.

My 51 HP Perkapiller got much better with a few hundred hours on it, but it doesn't show any signs of starting like a Kubota or Cummins.

I've seen propane assist on some engines. I once used an unlit 500k btu brush burning torch to start a diesel. Maybe I shouldn't talk about that one. :D
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Solomon on November 26, 2012, 08:01:34 PM
Most of our IH tractors have built in ether cans. Ether isn't so bad if you don't over do it. We have two IH 656 tractors with over 20,000 hours on them that have sucked up hundreds of cans of ether. I've heard a lot of people say that an engine can become addicted to ether. I think it is more that the person using ether is not performing proper maintenance. Why service it if you can just give it a squirt. True, if it is on it's last legs, and compression is way down, ether may be the only way, regardless of battery health and fuel filters, etc.

My 51 HP Perkapiller got much better with a few hundred hours on it, but it doesn't show any signs of starting like a Kubota or Cummins.

I've seen propane assist on some engines. I once used an unlit 500k btu brush burning torch to start a diesel. Maybe I shouldn't talk about that one. :D
              I have that same perkapillar, never had a problem starting it.   Had my mill 5 years but the hours are very low, less than 300 for sure.  Do they get tempramental when they get some wear on them???     I live on the coast of Virginia and we only get maybe two or three very cold nights every two or three years.  I do use a good fuel treatment.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: bandmiller2 on November 26, 2012, 08:50:19 PM
Ether almost did me in years ago.I worked alone in a truck fleet garage third shift.We had all Detroits and used the Chevron jelly bird eggs filled with ether.We all kept a handfull in our coat pockets.Had a breakdown on the Ma. pike about 2:30 am my coat got wet with snow desolving the gelitin,almost fell asleep on the way back had to hang my head out the window.Seems once a diesel gets strung out on ether you have to use it.The pure grade of medical ether becomes dangerous when it gets old,not as bad as nitro,but unstable and subject to shock. Frank C.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Dave Shepard on November 26, 2012, 09:00:37 PM
I'm just over 660 hours on mine, and It has been running well so far. Did have an issue at about 30 hours that Cat wouldn't fix. WM paid for it out of pocket. We're getting low 20's at night and high 30's during the day. I can start the mill at these temps, but it fights a bit.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: Okrafarmer on November 26, 2012, 09:25:16 PM
Just a little correction to my earlier statement about the ether can with the Allis Chalmers 8050. I said the ether can was mounted in the cab, but actually I think it was mounted somewhere in the engine compartment. It was a factory installment, I'm pretty sure, and the button was right there in the cab.

All the Waterloo and Mannheim John Deere's I ever drove, started right up in cold weather, down to -20 F, with no ether and no fuss. They always make that classic "Boowa,boowa, BWUFF! bwuff-bwuff, prrrrrrrrrrrrr" sound when starting. The JD 350B dozer, though, is a little more cold-blooded.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: valley on November 26, 2012, 10:54:23 PM
It doesn't get that cold here but I have several diesel engines and anything below freezing will make some of theme hard to start I simply use a dipstick heater in the ones that don't have a built in block heater :::: problem solved on mine anyway

Valley, I'd actually never heard of a dipstick heater-- you learn something new every day. That sounds like a real spankin' good idea-- imagine if the old indians had just come up with that idea, way back when!     


25.00 on eBay just google them there are several different kinds , they work great
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: drobertson on November 27, 2012, 06:45:26 PM
I have the 04'-05 Cat 51 hp on my 40.  It can be slow to start,(4-6 hits on the key)  I run the glow plugs as recommended, and after the third hit I engaged the autoclutch,(which activates the full throttle) and a few more hits does the trick. This is on temps well under freezing.  A fully charged battery is critical. And it should be noted that while in the field  and being  portable, unless one takes a generator to run a block heater or other heating device patience goes without saying.  I have never had to walk off and waited for warmer temps,  warm oil goes without saying, equal to a rapid cranking rpm.   david,  As a side note, my 97 case 585-
D, came equiped with the ether can as well. 
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: GeorgeK on November 27, 2012, 11:11:43 PM
Thank you all. Checking all suggestions an working on it. Hope to do more on Thursday as I am off to look at an edger in the morning.
Thanks, George
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: tempforce on January 12, 2013, 09:13:10 PM
i mentioned propane earlier, but using a portable yard sprayer with kerosene in it, would help start the engine. replace the tip with a fog nozzle, then a short fog/squirt during cranking and it should fire up… and lots safer and easier on the engine...
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: GeorgeK on January 15, 2013, 12:33:45 AM
Thanks everyone. Just changed the glow plugs we shall see what happens on the next cold day. Also change all the filters.
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: CalebL on January 15, 2013, 10:11:19 AM
have you thought of using a fog of propane, it would be a bit less damaging to the rings and pistons.. you could mount a camp stove cylinder and use a push button valve and a hose to spray it into the intake. right from the driver seat..

Propane can be dangerous because it's heavier than air, meaning it falls to the ground.  If you are using it in an area that isn't ventilated well or in a low laying area on a calm day, it will pool in low laying areas and could be an explosion problem before it dissipates. 
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: tempforce on January 19, 2013, 10:06:38 PM
if your using that much propane. you have more problems than a hard starting engine…
my mazda built perkins in my 83 ford ranger needs plugged in at least 3-4 hrs before starting if the temps are near +10 any lower and it requires the water jacket heater to be left on all night. this is with a good glow plug and intake heater system. i usually give the fuel a gallon or two of kerosine when it gets that cold. have used a half gallon of gas per 20 gallons of diesel. but only tried it once, due to the fuel being jelled and needed to use the vehicle… 
where i used to live, winter diesel wasn't available...
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: GeorgeK on January 22, 2013, 08:27:00 PM
4 new glow plugs. Mill fired right up this morning and it was 9 degrees F out!
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: drobertson on January 22, 2013, 08:32:14 PM
george, how was the fix? maybe I should replace mine,
Title: Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
Post by: GeorgeK on February 02, 2013, 08:29:48 PM
at 8 degrees it fired and quit like 3 times then kept running. I would test the plugs see if good. WM replaced all mine I have not tested the ones that came out.