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  #1  
Old 11-26-2013, 07:43 AM
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Coldest of the Cold, Cold Starts

Its that time of year again gentleman, old man winter is flashing us his ugly white testeclats. Every diesel guy in the utah-colorado-nebraska-iowa-illinois-indiana-ohio-new england line and above knows what a cold start is(and no 40 degrees is not a cold start silly Texansjk guys)

Well here's your chance to share your cold start stories. Ill start off.

Mine isnt that amazing as some others ive seen but since the last few winters that ive had diesels, they have been on the mild side but this year is supposed to be wicked cold so we will see. But it was in my 2000 7.3 and outside was around 0 if not lower and i had to leave for work and it had been that freezing rain sleet crap the day and night before so my first task was even getting in the truck because the doors were frozen shut.

Once i finally got in with some help of some de-icer(without breaking the door handles thankfully) i turned the key on and let the GPs do their job while i chiseled away at the 1/4 layer of ice on my windows(one downside to a lifted truck). Living in an apartment unfortunately does not allow me to plug it in just for that extra bump but oh well. Then after about a minute i tried the key and damnit if she didnt kick, p---, groan, and curse every word in the book at me but those 2 875cca batteries turned it over and she stayed running while kicking out a forest fire of smoke. I was pretty impressed as i had no exact knowledge at the time of what kinda maintenance the GP system has had.

Funny thing was someone else who was leaving asked me if i knew the truck was smoking

Alright guys post up your tales and feel free to post videos if you got them, everyone loves a good cold start story
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:21 PM
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I was driving from Michigan to California for the winter so I left Michigan with 15W-40 oil figuring to make it to California without any cold weather. The last thing I did before we left home was to throw in a long extension cord, for no particular reason. Thought I might need in in California for around the house problems. Wolf Creek Pass was snow bound and we had to spend the night in South Fork, Co. The temps dropped way below zero(-10-15). I thought about the extension cord so I plugged the engine in over night.
The next morning it cranked good and started fairly good but made shuddering noises several times as the engine gained speed before settling down at usual idle speed. I never want to hear those awful noises again.
Now I always have 5W-40 oil in for our cross country trips, you can never tell what kind of weather you'll run across.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:40 PM
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I have many. -40 and colder. Stupid cold. Only thing you can do, if you don't have electricity near by or a generator, is start a fire near by. Burn it down to coals. Keep the fire going, this takes awhile... Clear the snow from under the engine. And slowly start feeding the coals under the engine bay. Not too much. Takes a couple/few hours but works. Or if if big equipment start shovelling lots and lots of coals, or just get th fire under it... Try not o melt any wires... Oh by the way... Have fun getting the fire going! Handy if some nice person left you a picnic table close by. (Hypothetically speaking, if I were to do that, I would very much like to hypothetically appologize for robbing your picnic table for my fire) I still have no idea what tat table we doing out there.... ... Now for those who are smarter than me, my suggestion, just don't shut the damn thing off at those temps. Let it idle all night. For those who are even smarter, check your fuel level first!

Oh and don't forget, at those temps, you coolant will be slushy, be careful! Believe it or not, you can over heat the engine! I had a gas engine once with slush for coolant. Had to start it, run 10 mins, shut off cool down, (about 2seconds!!) then fire up again, again and again, to get the slush to melt out enough to flow!

I remember once when one Detroit 671 did go (with a little too much help from our friend Ether) I thought the crank sheared, the rods were going through the head and the thing was going to detonate and make one big crater! The smoke choked me out for half an hour! And many years later, that machine is still going today. It's a real love hate relationship.

The biggest thing I have found in the PS 6.0, is the 0W40 Rotella T6. Made a world of difference in cranking and starting. I normally keep it plugged in over night. I did fire it up at -35 cold soaked. Once. It was not happy about it. Poor thing. I actually thought that it was the end of that engine. I could not believe that little engine could make those noises! I had 15w40 at the time. You could tell the HPOP (my assumption) was cycling for the first few seconds. From 0 rpm, to 1000 over and over for about 15-20 seconds. And I thought the Detroit could puke out smoke! Im kidding, Not quite that bad, but I really did think it was never going to run right again. I thought it would have scored up the pump walls or cylinder walls or something and that was the end. But everything seems fine. As bad as the rep that engine has, it has been fine since. Good little engine!
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:03 PM
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I had a -35C start on a buddies 95 15w40 oil, unknown status of GP's because he always had it plugged in... but we were in a 2 day power outage due to ice. My 99 boosting one battery and his brothers ranger hooked to the other.
We got it going.... one cylinder at a time I think... the smoke was unbelievable and it sounded terrible. About half an hour of trying it finally would run on its own, and took another 5 minutes or so to smooth out.

The next week, the starter had to be rebuilt lol.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schlutzer View Post
I had a -35C start on a buddies 95 15w40 oil, unknown status of GP's because he always had it plugged in... but we were in a 2 day power outage due to ice. My 99 boosting one battery and his brothers ranger hooked to the other.
We got it going.... one cylinder at a time I think... the smoke was unbelievable and it sounded terrible. About half an hour of trying it finally would run on its own, and took another 5 minutes or so to smooth out.

The next week, the starter had to be rebuilt lol.

Lol. You know now that I think about it, it started on the second try. I ran the glow plugs a few times. And good batteries.

Yes, one cyl at a time. Pucka, pucka, pucka....
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:35 PM
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I started mine the other day it was -20*c (-4*f) truck was sitting for 3 days not plugged in or anything it started like a champ ran smooth as hot butter I couldn't believe my eye's. My 03 6.0 was rebuilt about 4000 kilometers ago. Last year if I would start it like that, it would scare the dickens outta me from the noises it would make I'm a union Boiler Maker by trade and used to work at a gas and oil refinery that never had plug ins for tradesmen I started it in -40 ambient temp -50 with wind and I thought my motor was shot the noises and smoke it made I basically stood back until it smoothed out after about 20 minutes. I smoked out a parking lot that 5,000 employees park in, people were starring and asking me if everything was okay. The best way to describe it was a gorilla under the hood with a sledge hammer in each hand banging to the tune of a cold a** motor running on half the cylinders. Since then I bought an espar coolant heater all I can say is lifesaver I set the timer for an hour before I hop in and start it up and it runs like its been running all day. The coolant temp when I start it is between 120-160*f depending on the temp outside. Bought it from a friend that worked for cummins $1,000 bones best 1000 I've spent on my truck forsure.

Chad.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:40 PM
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My record so far is -42F. It was in my dad's 97. It was plugged in but the block heater blew the gfi in the outlet sometime in the night so it was essentially not plugged in. I would let the glow plugs do a full cycle 3 times then crank her over. Took about 15 minutes of repeating that cycle but she fired up and I let it idle about 35 minutes before I drove to school so it was all good.

My 99 will fire up right away without being plugged in down to about -15.
Whenever it is less than 10 I let the truck sit and idle for at least 5 minutes. It can be a pain if your in a hurry but i try to always plan ahead.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:20 PM
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I haven't had my Cummins, nor my brothers Powerstroke in any extreme cold weather, but that being said, I was the fool that drove around with the top down in my 02 S2000 in the record cold in Bath Maine (-49 in early 2004) but even with 10W-30 Mobil1 in her, she would barely crank over, from the extreme cold weather (and remember that was just a little 2 liter gas engine)
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:45 AM
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We just set records in my area. -42C with the wind chill I was worried but 1 full cycle of the glowplugs and about 10 seconds of cranking and she lot off. I was so proud of her.

I also spent ten minutes inside because of the absolutely acrid smoke puking out the tailpipe.

Then boosted 3 other vehicles (all gas) that couldn't start in the cold. Definitely a fun morning, I can barely feel my fingers
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:05 AM
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Worst cold start I have ever experienced was in my dads 97. Started fine in the morning in about -5 and plugged in, one cycle of the glow plugs. Then it sat all day while I was at work, about 8 hours or so. Not plugged in, 0 degrees, with wind. Well about time to leave I hopped in it a let the glow plugs go for a minute or so, then cranked her over. Batteries weren't the greatest at the time. After about ten seconds of cranking/sputtering, it started. Idled at about 400 for a minute
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