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White/ Blue smoke on cold starts

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by cmo18, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I went out to start my tractor the other day when it was -5 out. The tractor was not plugged in and it started very rough, died out, started again but the rpms bounced from 500-800 for 10 seconds and there was white/blue smoke.

    Once the tractor warms up it works excellent. I tried plugging the tractor in and it helps but it still smokes and acts like it wants to die out.

    Is it getting too much fuel? Glow plugs not warming up? Any ideas???

    The tractor is a Kioti DK55, 500 hours
  2. USMCMP5811

    USMCMP5811 Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    The smoke is unburnt diesel fuel. being that it was -5 out and the block heater wasn't plugged in, the combustion chambers weren't up to temp in order to burn off the diesel fuel efficiently. This is also the reason for the bouncing RPM's.

    The way a diesel works, is the high compression of the motor creates heat, allowing the diesel to ignight in the chamber, unlike a regular gas motor that uses a spark plug to ignight the fuel/air mixture.

    The glow plugs are used to preheat the cyleders to a point that the fuel can ignight when compressed.

    Once the motor got to operating temp, the fuel could be burned off correctly, hence the dissapperance of the smoke.

    My suggestion is, when the teps get below 10* make sure the block heater is plugged in for at least an hour before attempting to start the motor. Also, before cranking, cycle the glow plugs 2-3 times.
  3. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I plugged it in but it still hard start. Another plowsite member has the same tractor and he said he had to change the glow plugs because he was experiencing the same issues as me.

    I cycle the glow plugs 3 times as well, added fuel additive and still no change. I'm worried that when its -20 out i'll be screwed!
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I would definitively say it's the glow plugs then.

    A diesel is hard to start in general in cold temps and I'm impressed that it started at -5* without plugging in the block heater.

    There should be a way to check the continuity of your glow plugs. I think a simple test light will work by hooking one end to the positive terminal to the battery and then touching each glow plug. If it lights up, then more than likely it's good.

    But, sometimes glow-plugs will light a test light, but still might not be working correctly. I would call your dealer and figure out the correct test. On my old F-350 I would use an ohm meter to check each glow plug to make sure I was getting the correct reading.

  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    How long did you have the block heater plugged in for also?

    Basically it takes a long time to be effective, so it's one of those deals where you need to plug it in at least the night before to get it up to temp.\

  6. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I plugged it in today for 3 hours and it started better but still not like my truck. I also added some diesel additive and it helped as well but I'm still going to look into the glow plugs. I read online about checking the ohms as well.

    We just got 1ft of snow so its going to be a while!!payup
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    If it's that cold there I would just be plugging it in as soon as you turn it off. -5*, I'm guess Centigrade, is still pretty cold on a small tractor. No tractor I ever grew up with ever started easy in any temps below freezing.

    If the glow plugs test fine then you might need to think about a re-circulating pump to move the antifreeze through the block.

  8. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I checked the ohms today on the 4 glow plugs. The readings on all of them ranged between 8-10ohms is that normal?
  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    You will have to do a search on that specific type of glow plug to be certain. That or call your dealer and see what they say.

    Off the cuff though, I want to say the it sounds like they are still good if they are reading consistently. But that is only a guess.

    If you call your dealer, see if there is a test for the Glow-Plug controller. I'm guessing your tractor is a simple mechanical diesel, so it might have a simple controller so to speak and that might be your issue.

    Like I said earlier though, any mechanical diesel I've ever operated in either a tractor or truck is going to start hard at really cold temps unless you put a re-circulating heater in, regardless of how good the glow plug system worked.

  10. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I'm not sure if it matters, but when I turn the ignition to on and the glow plug lamp lights up there is the ohms meter stays at 1 until the lamp goes out then the numbers begin to change
  11. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,613

    Three hours is not enough time. Leave it plugged in overnight.
  12. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I have left it on overnight, helps but still doesnt start like my truck.

    Its not a block heater but a circulater...Suppost to be best type of pre heat.

    I also ripped out 2 glow plugs today and they both worked. Is there anything else that will cause white and blue smoke only on start up? The tractor is stalling after the first try. Injector? Too much fuel?
  13. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Ultimately, seems normal for me. It's not your truck, so it's going to smoke on start-up like any good mechanical diesel does.

    Even with a block heater, my old 6.9 mechanical diesel would still smoke, choke and rumble for a bit until it came up to temp. The heater was basically the difference between it starting and not starting.

    I remember old tractors that would go almost 30 seconds before it took off in the cold. Even some tractors still exhibit the rough start in the summer time.

    Try leaving it unplugged and see what happens.

    And make sure you are letting the glow-plugs cycle to where the light goes out. Then you might want to wait 10 seconds, let them cycle again, then turn the key.


  14. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    If i understand what your worried about ...could your injectors be leaking down and allowing fuel into cylinders (when engine is off) so that when it fires up it smokes until it cleans out. One of my skids is doing this and i just sent them out to be pressure tested and possibly rebuilt,
  15. blazer2plower

    blazer2plower Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    Are jd 317 smokes like that on start up. even when it's 40°f a block heater is good but get a cictulater pump. On are allmand we cycle
    the glow-plugs 2-3 times and she fires up

    I do love my Z just not now
  16. USMCMP5811

    USMCMP5811 Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    Like I said in my first reply, the white blue smoke is un-burnt diesel fuel. It's chugging upon start up because the cylinders haven't reached a temperature that is conducive of firing off the fuel efficiently through compression........ This is very common when starting ALL DIESELS when the temps fall below freezing. :nod:

    A diesel motor works compleatly different than a gas motor. It NEEDS HEAT to fire off the diesel, NOT a spark plug.............
  17. threecaptains

    threecaptains Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    ran into the same thing with a skid loader it turned out to have water in the bootom of the fuel tank nothing helped until it was completely drained and cleaned out
  18. erkoehler

    erkoehler PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,279

    Wrong thread.