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conifers4
12-29-2008, 07:53 PM
Newbie diesel question.....Looking to purchase an F-250 6.0 but I know that on cold nights the truck needs to be plugged in so that it will actually start when asked to. Here's the question, what if there are no provisions to plug it in?
What would/do you do when an electrical outlet is not available? My neighbor across the street has a heck of a time starting his 7.3 in the morning if he forgets to plug-in. We're not talking about bitter cold, lows in the teens or so.
This is pretty much the only thing that's keeping me from purchasing this rig. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide me.

Carlyle
12-29-2008, 10:24 PM
I really don't need to plug in unless the temps are below -20. Of course it will always be happier with a warm block.

BigDaveZJ
12-30-2008, 12:03 AM
I really only plug my 7.3 in when it's gonna get below 10*F. It's not thrilled about starting sometimes, but the only time it failed me is a couple weeks ago when it hit -20 overnight and the fuel gelled up on me a bit.

Jeep
12-30-2008, 03:48 AM
None of the HEUE systems like cold weather very much but a 0W30 synthetic oil does make a world of difference. An Espar engine heater is a fantastic solution to cold diesels, you can achieve near engine operating temps in under an hour which makes a very easy start and extends engine life due to cold start lubrication issues. Most of my customers use them 9+ months of the year. No warm up time, less fuel wasted, increased service intervals, less wear and tear on engine, batteries, alternator, starter, etc.

ujoint
12-30-2008, 04:43 AM
I've been plugging up at anything below freezing. I've only left it plugged in overnight twice. Usually I just plug it up for just 4-5 hrs before I have to drive. The engine sounds a lot better during start up!

2008F450
12-30-2008, 05:22 AM
I plug mine in anytime it gets below 32. I have mine on a timer so it starts heating 3 hours before I leave. Works beutifully.

conifers4
12-30-2008, 01:00 PM
Ok guys, thanks for the responses.

What if your diesel rig is parked, say overnight in an area that does not have electricity to plug in to and the temperatures are freezing?

Seems to me like you'd be in trouble.

I work overnight and my truck would be parked for up to 10 hours in the cold, then I would expect it start up to drive home. Am I asking too much?

bigdieseltruck
12-30-2008, 01:28 PM
While plugging in can help, sometimes it isn't possible. What I have done is get a cold weather front (covers the radiator) and promotes faster warm-up. You can also switch to synthetic 5w40 diesel oil to help with real cold weather startups.

For extreme-cold, live in Canada year round, etc..., they sell coolant heaters and circulators that burn small amounts of diesel and guarantee that when you get in, the coolant is hot and the heaters blow hot air into the cabin. Espar makes them, I believe.

-Chris

BigDaveZJ
12-30-2008, 02:11 PM
What if your diesel rig is parked, say overnight in an area that does not have electricity to plug in to and the temperatures are freezing?

Seems to me like you'd be in trouble.



A couple years ago my truck sat outside for a week at the airport. It was one of the coldest weeks we've ever had in Denver, dunno if it ever got above like 20* while we were gone. It was in the single digits when we got back. I let the glow plugs do their thing, and it fired up.

locrwln
12-30-2008, 03:11 PM
I have owned my '02 since new, I may have plugged it in 5 times in all of that time. If it is really cold, I cycle the glow plugs twice and it fires right up. Even in single digit temps. I usually at least let it kick on the "high idle" and then drive away.

Jack

Sportsman Matt
12-30-2008, 05:15 PM
I had a 2000 F350 superduty with the powerstroke, after 100,000 miles it was hard starting below 20 degrees. I found that if I started the engine up for 1/2 hour every 3-4 hours in cold weather when I didn't have anywhere to plug it in, it would start, even in very cold -10 degree temperatures. Sort of stinks when you have to get up at 3AM to fire it up, but beats having to resort to spraying starting fluid to get it going.

Good Luck

BigJimCruising
12-30-2008, 11:29 PM
No problems for me starting it up after camping overnight in the low teen's. I just let the plugs run the full cycle then it starts right up. It does like to warm up a bit before trying to drive it hard but it has always started and runs with no problems.

truck mechanic
12-30-2008, 11:43 PM
My service truck has the 6.0, I only plug it in below 20 dec. I have never had a problem. I do run 5w30 after Nov. It helps starting and the engine sounds better when it starts.
Paul

kerry
12-30-2008, 11:52 PM
Making sure you have winter fuel or winterized fuel makes a big difference. I've started my Mercedes 617 diesel at 35 below zero F without a block heater. It takes skill and familiarity with a diesel to get it going at those temperatures. I don't worry until temperatures are consistently below about 5 degrees below zero F.

ntsqd
12-31-2008, 12:58 AM
I had a 2000 F350 superduty with the powerstroke, after 100,000 miles it was hard starting below 20 degrees. I found that if I started the engine up for 1/2 hour every 3-4 hours in cold weather when I didn't have anywhere to plug it in, it would start, even in very cold -10 degree temperatures. Sort of stinks when you have to get up at 3AM to fire it up, but beats having to resort to spraying starting fluid to get it going.

Good Luck
Please tell me you're using WD-40 or something else that isn't one of the common Ether based products.

Sportsman Matt
12-31-2008, 02:52 AM
Only have 2 diesels that require a little starting fluid, a 1963 John Deere 1010 Dozer and an old Cat Loader, neither like the temps below 30 degrees.

Once the old Ford F-350SD started having trouble with the engine around 175,000 it was traded for a Dodge 2500 with the CTD.

MichaelS.
12-31-2008, 04:18 AM
I dont know about diesels used personally, but the Ford ambulances we use are very cold tolerant when new. Thought the higher in mileage they get 100k or better the worse that got, also some were worse than others. We have one truck that if it drops past 60 degrees it wont start period, worst back up truck ever. Worst yet they wont get rid of it and we cant kill it.

conifers4
12-31-2008, 11:55 AM
Please tell me you're using WD-40 or something else that isn't one of the common Ether based products.

Please elaborate on this comment.....wd-40 is better than ether??

Thanks to all who have replied, I'm learning alot, keep it coming

Superu
12-31-2008, 12:06 PM
My buddy is working a wind farm project outside of Casper, WY this winter and has regularly been starting his Ram diesel at -17 F with no heater and no troubles at all.

A couple of times it took an extra crank or two but fired up easily.

That said, when I drove my rabbit diesel back in the 80's I regularly plugged it in when the temps got below 10 F.

Guinness44
12-31-2008, 01:59 PM
Do not use starter fluid in a diesel. (Listen to the sticker on the airbox.) But if its really cold, one can cycle the glowplugs/manifoldheater twice, before trying to crank. Plugging in is nicer, warm cabin much faster, less wear and tear during startup.

mrstang01
12-31-2008, 11:42 PM
On the Fords, if you're having to plug in above 0, it probably needs glow plugs or harnesses. I know mine does, will do it when it gets warmer in the new year. In the mean time, I plug in with a timer, works great.

Michael