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powerstroke cold starting

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by metallihockey88, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. metallihockey88

    metallihockey88 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,414

    alright...well gettin pretty close to taking the diesel plunge. once the snow season ends, which im hoping hasnt happened yet, ill be selling both of my truck and tryin to pick up a diesel 250 or 350. i understand that diesels dont like to start to well in real cold weather and need to be plugged in which isnt a problem. my real problem is going to be how long is the truck good for before it will have cold start problems again. i'll be working a full time job and the truck could be sitting for 6-8 hours not plugged in. am i going to be screwed here or are the trucks usually find for this?...any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. also is either engine better for cold starting?...i would like a 7.3 but dont wanna buy that old of a truck so will probably end up with an 05-07 6.0...any help would be apprecaited thanx :salute:
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    Do a search, most of your assumptions are incorrect.
  3. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    I have found you can go for a good 8 hours and still start like it was plugged in unless you have real extreme wind chills

    I learned this on one that had a bad plug relay
  4. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    There is a post on here about the 6.0 in 05-07. As long as you dont go over board with mods they are not that bad. They fixed most of the issues with motor. if you buy one. Get it a dealer and make them show you the service history on it. If its got 40k on it and hasnt lived at dealer you should be ok. As for cold starting just use Synthetic oil. It makes them start alot easier. Plus the newer ones dont have issues in starting in the pick up trucks.
  5. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    You've brought up some key points! Most of these assumptions are correct. It shoudn't matter what diesel engine ya get, 7.3 or 6.0, but in frigid temps you gotta plug them in. Block heaters simply keep the oil/coolant warm, therefore aiding in initial vaporization of fuel in the engine. I had my 7.3 left out one night for approx 6 hours in -20 cold temp & was hard to start. :waving:
  6. metallihockey88

    metallihockey88 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,414

    yea, im sure ill end up with a newer 6.0 and will defiantely make sure i check out as much as i can for its history cause as ive read for the most part they arent as bad as people make them out to be, just as long as you find one thats had a good past you shouldnt have too many problems if any

    this what is kinda worrying me, we do get some extreme colds out here in chicago, especially like this year where were have a couple week long streaks of 5-20 below weeks and if im working all day, that after work start kinda worrys me. only thing that makes me kinda iffy on the diesel switch
  7. Cat Man 77

    Cat Man 77 Member
    Messages: 69

    you may have to cycle the glow plugs 2 or 3 times at your work. but i would plug it in at home.
  8. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    i must be lucky, i have an 03 7.3 with 140k i have never had to plug it in, it doesn't even have a plug(that was an option, i bought it used) it has started everytime i turned the key.

    but it does get alot colder in chi town than it does here
  9. HinikerPrototyp

    HinikerPrototyp Member
    Messages: 88

    posted twice i deleted this one
  10. HinikerPrototyp

    HinikerPrototyp Member
    Messages: 88

    A friend of mine is experimenting with a suggestion from a very good mechanic and he told him to remove about 2 quarts of engine oil from his f550 and put in two quarts of automatic transmission oil.Right now hes using 15-40 and i been trying to tell him to use synthetic but it hasn't sunk in yet. The mechanic states that when the engine is cold the injectors get full of deposits and eventually clogs and reduces the flow of the fuel into the cylinders .The tranny fluid acts as a cleaner and will help the starting. As always a diesel needs the right amount of voltage to start the truck, make sure your batteries are the best, the cables are tight and clean and well lubed at the battery with electi grease, Make sure your solenoid has the proper amount of voltage going thru it.and your starter is good, make sure it not drawing to much current,this will help it crank faster. Ill post the results with the tranny fluid added to the engine oil.
  11. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    Why the switch to Ford? Not starting a brand debate, just wondering. I live like 30 mins from you, experience the same temps, and never once have I plugged in my 05, 180k miles. My buddie has 2 04 Ford 6.0's that won't start very good if at all without being plugged in when it's real cold. I think the trans fluid is a horrible idea. Cleaning is what detergent oil is designed to do. All 2 qts of trans fluid will do is make the oil too thin once it's warmed up IMO.
  12. metallihockey88

    metallihockey88 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,414

    not really switching...i have a tacoma as my daily driver and have had a couple of them. ive just heard the most good about the fords and not a fan of the new body style of the chevys and 03-06 gmc's are hard to come by in my price range. nothing is set in stone, my search will get put in motion once the season ends since my current gmc will be my down payment and ill be trading my tacoma in which i still owe money on. i want to go diesel but it will be my first and a little nervous about it. im very mechanically inclined and know a decent amount about workin on trucks and my dad has been a master tech for about 25 years now but said he isnt touchin a diesel if i get one so dont know if im quite ready for possible winter problems since it will be my plow truck and primary vehicle.
  13. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    I think you are over thinking it

    You wont have any problems
  14. Milwaukee

    Milwaukee 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,180

    I don't know but when it get hot so oil will become so thin like water. I don't put in expensive diesel engine expect gas engine.

    Why didn't he try shell T 5w40 synthetic it will help engine lubrication when it cold outside.
  15. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    That would be the thing to do mil
  16. procut1

    procut1 Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    In my experience your assumptions are not correct.

    I own and have owned many many diesels and most of them fords. I have never plugged a truck in in my life. I dont even know where the plugs are for them. Some will sit for days or weeks.

    The powerstrokes always start for me without a problem no matter what the temperature or how long they have been sitting.

    The older bigger trucks will be cranky, but every powerstroke ive owned from 95 till 08 fire right up. I do cycle the glow plugs 2 or 3 times if its extremely cold but never have had one not start.

    With that said, plugging them in is a good thing and if you can, do it. I just dont have that ability where I park.
  17. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    Procut is right Dont spoil the thing by plugging it in. Also run Rotella Syn and she will fire right over with out any issues. If you are worrying about fuel just run some addatives in the winter. New england was down around zero degrees for about a week my truck started right up every time.
  18. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

  19. dellwas

    dellwas Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    I've got a '97 F350. It can be a pig to start when it gets cold here in Nova Scotia. However, I've often got it running, did my thing, and shut it down, and it's fired right up 6 or 7 hours later the same day after sitting in cold weather. Also, you only need to plug it in for an hour or two and it starts right up. I set mine on a timer to come on a couple of hours before I want to fire it up.

  20. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    Well, this is interesting.

    We have a bunch of people telling the OP that diesels and cold are not a problem and many of his impressions are misconceptions and then we have 2 posts giving him crappy advice.

    You can put tranny oil in your crank if you want, but your warranty will be void in a heartbeat when they find it after it grenades. Just go with the 5W40 synthetic after break-in and you'll be fine.

    And despite what the other troll says about your misconceptions, he is wrong and the majority is correct.

    Right now, my 7.3's will out start my '05 6.0 because I have some bad injectors. And I have been running 5W40 as well as HotShotsSecret to clean them up, but hasn't worked. If you can plug them in, great, if not and they don't start after the first cycling of glow plugs, cycle 1 or 2 more times and let her warm up and you'll be fine.

    Don't let all the talk scare you away from it, it isn't that big of a deal.