Diesels and cold weather


The discussion about the ChangFa diesel & generator project got me
interested in the project too. I live in central PA, and the power is
as likely to go down in an ice storm in winter requiring a subfreezing
start.
How hard is it to get diesels started in cold weather?
What do you do differently to get them going?
How hard are diesels to start if they sit 3 or 4 months between short
test / maintenance runs?
How often do you have to change oil in a diesel compared to a gasoline
engine? The specs on the Kohler engine on my mower say to change
every 100 hours. What's the recommended interval on the ChangFa or
other diesels?
RWL
******* Recreate gaps in email address to reply *******
Reply to
RWL
Loading thread data ...
Same here in Northern Illinois.
My Onan DJE diesel required preheating with "glow plugs" before any start in any weather. In warm weather (+90F) about 15 seconds are enough. In cold weather (-5F), it takes about a minute of preheating with glow plugs.
formatting link
the only diff is the preheating time.
Does not seem to matter too much how long they sit. Start all the same.
On my Onan DJE, it is 200 hours, I believe. At the current going rate, it could be many years before I reach 200 hours. :)
I also MUST SAY that prior to my Onan DJE, which I like a lot, I had a PIECE OF **S_H_I_T** Coleman _diesel_ generator with a 3600 RPM ACME Motori diesel engine. That POS was loud as hell, and impossible to start in cold weather. I could BARELY start it in warm weather using recoil start. I had to fit some contraption to start it with a cordless drill (!), which worked but only at about 35-40 F.
I hated the goddamn thing and sold it on ebay.
Rule of life: ========= Not all diesels are created equal =========
With a changfa and 19x compression, my guess is that it will require a blowtorch intake air heating, but I am open to the possibiilty that it is not so.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus26555
A little squirt of "Cold Start" or something similar ( ether based aerosol) goes a long way. It works well if its not too cold, but if its really cold, forget it. Drain the oil, heat it to about 90 Deg C and pour it back in. DON"T overdo it on the Cold Start or you'll damage the engine.
Tom Miller
Reply to
Tom Miller
You also have to pay attention that the fuel doesn't solidify in the cold. I think you also do have "summer diesel" and "winter diesel". So you should fill the tank in winter. Or add some gas.
Nick
Reply to
Nick Müller
A lit butane torch set near the air intake can often work wonders...pull the filter...
Suggest turn it over for a few cranks with the compression release pulled....after that go for it.
Reply to
PrecisionMachinisT
Diesels are good about starting after sitting for long periods, far better than a motor with a carburetor.
My little Deutz diesel starts good without help down to freezing or so, giving it hot air from a hair dryer it'll start down to about zeroF and if I warm the heads up it'll start below that temp. Ether, used with some discretion, is of considerable value in getting a cold diesel hitting on all cylinders as soon as possible. Naturally, if you're using glow plugs you don't want the ether..
In my experience there's a lot of difference between how different brands (and some difference between different motors in each brand) start. With the ChangFa, I guess all you can do is see what other folks have to say and maybe buy one and find out yourself.
Maybe consider a used engine, sometimes they can be more of a known value. Deutz, Perkins, Cummins, Yanmar, Mercedes, Rabbit diesel, there's a lot of good little diesels in the world..
John
Reply to
JohnM
Hard starting is the Diesel legacy. It took many years, and a family fortune, for Rudolph Diesel to develop his engine to a state of commercial success - and you expect them to start immediately; get real!
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
I learned that a bit of gasoline on a rag held close to, or wafted about the intake can really help a diesel get started in cold weather. The fumes are just enuff to help it get going.....
Bill
Reply to
BillP
We live in Minnesota. About fifteen years ago our inlaws gave us their car when they bought a new one. It was a Rabbit diesel, and I was not thrilled, but my wife felt we had to accept it. While I didn't like several things about the car, I must admit we never had trouble starting it in winter. We always waited till glow plugs warmed up.
Reply to
Don Stauffer
Make sure to NOT do that with any diesel that has glow plugs.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus11275
Bill sez: "How often do you have to change oil in a diesel compared to a gasoline engine? The specs on the Kohler engine on my mower say to change every 100 hours. What's the recommended interval on the ChangFa or other diesels?"
Don't know about others, but some railroads "flash test" their engines' oil to determine servicing time. A sample is heated under carefully controlled conditions and then brought into contact with an open flame. It "flashes off" in accordance with the amount of unburned contaminents and temperature.
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
Yah. I'm partial to warming the intake air.
I own a 1965 Deutz 56HP tractor. It _had_ an intake air heater once. A short blast from my heat gun starts it in all weather.
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
I did that to my Onan too, when I was trying to start it for the first time.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus11275
Oil change interval on Cummins ISM is 35,000 to 45,000 miles depending on type of service the vechicle sees. With the oil management system, it can go to 525,000 miles.
Reply to
footy
Pick a day of the month to go and run that diesel until the oil temp is up. You want to boil out condensation and be sure the damn thing works. Say whenever you write a check to the elec comapny go and run the engine.
Reply to
bamboo
The length of time it took Diesel to get his engine working has something to do with how a modern diesel engine starts?
John
Reply to
JohnM
I thought Robert was making a joke...
Reply to
Dave Hinz
Oh. Guess it was a little too subtle for me.. sorry.. didn't mean to miss the joke.. won't happen again before the next time it happens..
I'll be over here in the corner.. if anyone needs me..
John
Reply to
JohnM
In my experience diesel engines start much more easily in cold weather (and after long idle periods) than traditional petrol engines which employ a carburettor. Two days ago I started up a bakhoe loader which hasn't run for 4 1/2 years. Needed a new battery but then it fired up straight away. I didn't even have to drain the fuel tank. You'd be lucky to do that with a simple petrol engine.
Chris
Reply to
Christopher Tidy
In my experience diesel engines start much more easily in cold weather (and after long idle periods) than traditional petrol engines which employ a carburettor. Two days ago I started up a bakhoe loader which hasn't run for 4 1/2 years. Needed a new battery but then it fired up straight away. I didn't even have to drain the fuel tank. You'd be lucky to do that with a simple petrol engine.
Chris
Reply to
Christopher Tidy

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.