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Author Topic: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel  (Read 7634 times)

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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #40 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.
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #41 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.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline Satamax

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2012, 08:37:55 AM »
Frank C ether has been mentioned, kindof.  MEK!  ;D
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Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #43 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.
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Offline Satamax

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #44 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.
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Offline gmmills

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #45 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.       
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Offline hackberry jake

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #46 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  >:(
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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #47 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.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #48 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 .

Offline Solomon

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #49 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!
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Offline tempforce

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #50 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..
cleaning up wildfire damage...
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Online Dave Shepard

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #51 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
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Offline Solomon

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #52 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.
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #53 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.
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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #54 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.
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Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #55 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.
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Offline valley

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #56 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!     


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Offline drobertson

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #57 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. 
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline GeorgeK

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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #58 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
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Re: cold weather starting Caterpillar 51 horse diesel
« Reply #59 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 upů and lots safer and easier on the engine...
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