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Starting in cold weather

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Dburd61, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. Dburd61

    Dburd61 Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 6

    I m sure I am going to have a problem starting my truck in really cold weather,the truck is too long to put in the garage with the plow and salt spreader on, I was wondering what you guys do to make sure to older ones start, I was thinking about a block warmer ,any tips would be helpful.
    By the way I live in Cleveland , Ohio and it's a 78 chevy truck
  2. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    In my experience with older vehicles, which I used to have alot of, warmer is better. Newer battery with alot of cold cranking amps is also key. A can of starting fluid never hurts when dealing with carburetors.
    This is a perfect example of why when a guy compliments another guy's car or truck they're always referred to as female, like "She's a beauty".
    You know why?
    Because a vehicle and a woman are very much alike in that on a cold morning when you really need it, they won't turn over........... :rolleyes:
  3. bottlefed89

    bottlefed89 Member
    Messages: 69

    funny, never heard that one
  4. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Dburd, I have a block heater on my diesel and I've never had any starting problems.

    John, I do have THAT problem quite often. :nod:
  5. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    I have block heaters on all my trucks and it can help old carborated ones start too. In the past I used to put trucks on a timer to preheat motors, not to be able to start but mainly to have it warm up quicker. I few tips, yes you want a big new battery but also make sure you have heavy cables between battery and engine with 4 gauge minimum and 2 ga even better to minmize voltage drop and increase cranking speed. Be carefull with starting fluid (ether) and use it sparingly. Also sometimes advancing engine timing 2 to 4 degrees during winter on old carb'ed engine can help them start and stay running while they are warming up.
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    With the diesel, I've found plugging in the engine heater just a half hour or so will make all the difference.

    With a gas truck, new battery, plugs, wires and a tune up. Limit cranking to 5-10 seconds at a time. Usually starts on the second or third time. Cranking several times with a few seconds in between allows the battery to recharge some.

    The diesel stays in the unheated garage. The gasser is outside.
  7. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    My fuel injected trucks always "light" in just a few seconds at most even without heat and none of them are keep inside. FI can be a BIG starting aid for gas trucks in cold weather.
  8. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    block heater or you can buy a pad from moroso or many others. I would get the kind with the eye holes or afix it another way then the sticky tape method. Dont want a bunch of salty stuff between a pad and your pan. The deal with the eye hook you can just yank off in the summer. A pad would be an easyier install. This is if you have problems......properly tuned up it "should" work. Also make sure your heat riser is intact(the little tube that goes from the manifold to the breather)
  9. kl0an

    kl0an Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    When I lived in Fairbanks, we had pads we applied to the Oil Pans with RTV.. They plugged into 110v AC. Another big thing that I'm surprised no one mentioned is Batter blankets.. Don't get the plates that go underneath the blankets as they are a big cause of fires. The blankets wrap around the battery and you plug them into 110v AC as well. Freeze Plug heaters are cheap and work very well also.. Then there's the circulating water heater/pumps that get cut into your heater lines, circulating warm water thoroughout your engine and heater system..

    Here in Anchorage, I just have a small 110V AC interior heater to keep the snow off the windshields and make it a little warmer when I climb in my truck..
  10. Bad Luck

    Bad Luck Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    If you guys don't have block heaters, or, if you are like my compnay that has 16 trucks none with working block heaters (lazy arse mechanics), you could take a drop light with a 75w bulb in it and just stick it under the hood. Once those things warm up they give off a good amount of heat. I actually used to do this w/ my jet skis but with a lower draw bulb.
  11. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    I have used perculator style tnak heater with good success in the past with some older truck. They come in different wattages and are easy to install compared to block heaters and they are thermostatically controlled too so you can leave them pluging in all the time if you want when you are parking and they will save electricity on "warmer" days.