Tractor and the cold

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dirtdoctor

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The temp is now getting down to the teens and I’m wondering if I'm treating my diesel tractor right. I go to the shed, hold the glow plugs on for about 10 sec, then after it starts I let it warm up for a few minutes. It takes about 10-15 minutes to feed and sometimes the temp gauge moves up, sometimes it doesn't.
Then it goes back into the shed and idles a few seconds until I turn it off. When feeding should I run it easy or throttle it up? Sorry for such stupid questions but I traded my gas tractor for my first diesel one and I don't want to screw it up.
 

Wewild

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All internal combustion engines wear less at the optimum operating temperature.

I read somewhere a while back that 1.5 minutes could help a gas engine.

Let it warm up.
 

dun

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If the temps are low enough that you need the glow plugs, get a 110 volt block heater. Tractor will start easier, have less wear and tear because the oil will start circulating better sooner and will also decrease the strain/load on the batterys. If it isn;t getting well warmed up in 10-15 minutes, block some of the air flow through the radiator, just remember to unblock it in the spring.
 
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dirtdoctor

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dun":1b1t2n6h said:
If the temps are low enough that you need the glow plugs, get a 110 volt block heater. Tractor will start easier, have less wear and tear because the oil will start circulating better sooner and will also decrease the strain/load on the batterys. If it isn;t getting well warmed up in 10-15 minutes, block some of the air flow through the radiator, just remember to unblock it in the spring.

It's got a 110v heater but it heats the air going into the engine. It's really not hard to start, usually starts on the first try although I have gone thru the steps a couple of times, it just takes it's sweet time to warm up. I've never used the pre-heater yet since there's no electric in the shed. I've thought about putting some cardboard in to block the air, especally since it's not running very long.

Wewild":1b1t2n6h said:
Let it warm up.

Will do.

Thanks,
Ed
 

cfpinz

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Pop a freeze plug out and put a block heater in it, or get one that goes in a coolant line. Warming it up will help with longevity.
 

dun

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cfpinz":2e8itbgs said:
Pop a freeze plug out and put a block heater in it, or get one that goes in a coolant line. Warming it up will help with longevity.

This is the type of heater I was referring to. I can;t get to the freeze plug on my 5510 so I use a magnetic one that fastenes to the oil pan, just have to remember to take it off when I use the tractor
 

cfpinz

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dun":fhdshpia said:
This is the type of heater I was referring to. I can;t get to the freeze plug on my 5510 so I use a magnetic one that fastenes to the oil pan, just have to remember to take it off when I use the tractor

On my Fords I have to take the starter off to get to them. You can't get to any of the freeze plugs?

There is a 110v heater that will go in the coolant line servicing your heater core which has a circulation pump in it. Warms the whole cooling system up, those things are nice.
 

dun

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cfpinz":hyvyqeds said:
dun":hyvyqeds said:
This is the type of heater I was referring to. I can;t get to the freeze plug on my 5510 so I use a magnetic one that fastenes to the oil pan, just have to remember to take it off when I use the tractor

On my Fords I have to take the starter off to get to them. You can't get to any of the freeze plugs?

There is a 110v heater that will go in the coolant line servicing your heater core which has a circulation pump in it. Warms the whole cooling system up, those things are nice.

There used to be some that you could drop in the top of the radiator too but I haven;t seen them in years. The freeze plug type was what I wanted to use. That's what I put in my old International 460 and the 454. Worked a whole lot better then the oil pan type, but even when the temps are in the single digits the oilpan type helps a lot. I also have one that's the dipstick type that I stick in the hydraulic rank.
 

Bez+

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dirtdoctor":16kraem1 said:
The temp is now getting down to the teens and I’m wondering if I'm treating my diesel tractor right. I go to the shed, hold the glow plugs on for about 10 sec, then after it starts I let it warm up for a few minutes. It takes about 10-15 minutes to feed and sometimes the temp gauge moves up, sometimes it doesn't.
Then it goes back into the shed and idles a few seconds until I turn it off. When feeding should I run it easy or throttle it up? Sorry for such stupid questions but I traded my gas tractor for my first diesel one and I don't want to screw it up.

We start our tractor on a regular basis - even with the outside weather as low as minus 40.

If you are concerned about the temp there are a couple of solutions I can offer you.

1. Find a way to feed less often. I know folks talk about wasted feed - but they seldom compare to the wear and tear on equipment - so put out more hay.

2. Find a way to heat the engine block. If you have no power to your garage/shop/tractor storage - sue a small portable generator or a real long heavy duty extension cord from your house. Use the block heater - if you do not have one - put one in - cheap and easy to install - really. Or use an in-line heater - it goes on your water line - if you do not know what I am talking about - trust me there are a million mechanics out there that do and they can install them easily. Or finally use a dipstick oil heater - not as efficient, but it does help - and yes they are readily available at any automotive parts store. Your local farm equipment dealer can do all the work for you if you are not mechanically inclined. Sometimes we use all three systems together to keep the engine warm over night - especially when it drops below minus 40.

3. Once the tractor is started let it run for about 3-5 minutes at idle to ensure all parts are lubricated. Then bring up the idle speed an extra couple hundred rpm for the same amount of time. I can assure you that once you have done this, you can use the engine with no problem at any speed. We are running a 4WD Case/IH 5250 loader tractor at home - about 110 HP if memory serves me correctly. It has never failed to start using the above - it now has about 5000 hours on it. We find that when temperatures do not fall below 0 degrees F - we only need to plug it in for about two hours - provided we use all three systems combined and it fires right up. We do not have "glow plugs" so we just jump in and turn the key. If it drops below 0 degrees F we will plug it in for about 5-6 hours. If it drops to "darned cold" we leave it plugged in over night - even if outside in a wind, these systems allow us to start the tractor with no problem - here is where the dipstick oil heater earns its keep - as the oil is liquid enough to flow immediately - cuts down on engine wear.

4. You can block a portion of your radiator - we do this every winter. A cheap way of doing this is to place a piece of carboard in front of the radiator. Traditionally we only block the lower one third of the radiator and watch the temperature gauge. All you want to do is get the coollant into the operating range and you need less area on your radiator when it gets cold to manage this. A little experimenting will tell you the right size to use. Remember to take it out on warm days!

The big problem I see is you are using your tractor for too little and too often - find a way to use it longer time and with fewer operating periods. Less wear and tear on the equipment - which seldom seems to be factored in by many folks.

Be glad you are not parked outside in northern Minnesota or northern Saskatchewan with minus 40 and a wind - many are, and they get their equipment going - so you can too. If you want to do your equipment an even bigger favour - go synthetic oil in all the gear boxes and engine - when it is cold your tractor will love you - costs a fair bit more - but you need to consider break down and repair cost - tough to rebuild even a small diesel engine or gear box for under $10K and a big job can easily hit $20 - $40K

Have fun - use the tractor and do not worry - you do some or all of the above you will not have a problem.

Regards

Bez+
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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In addition to what everyone else was saying, cover the sides of your tractor in as well. Keep the wind off of it. With temperature in the teens, its probably really not necessary, but it doesn't hurt a diesel to come up to operating temperature and stay there so cover it in. For that matter, cover up the entire front and just keep an eye on the temperature gauge. If it starts to overheat, open up a part of the front end. But since you're only running for a few minutes, I doubt the gauge will move much. Run it up to RPMs, after the initial warm up time. But I wouldn't be running at PTO RPM while doing loader work anyway. It wastes fuel.

If you cover the sides in, make sure they're easily removable. I burned down a tractor this year when the sides fell onto the exhaust manifold after shutting down. I've since made my winter sides easily removable.

I agree with Bez though. Find a way to feed less often. But don't lose sleep over it. My tractors are completely covered in, and rarely get to operating temperature in the winter time. Its -37 here this morning, and I'll be hauling hay. Guarantee the temp gauge probably won't budge. :lol2: And I've got a tractor with 18,000 hrs, another with 14,000 hours and a couple with 7500+ hours that all run like tops, so they're not hurt too badly by it all.

Rod
 

Bez+

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DiamondSCattleCo":1jh36ovb said:
And I've got a tractor with 18,000 hrs, another with 14,000 hours and a couple with 7500+ hours that all run like tops, so they're not hurt too badly by it all.

Rod

I knew you were an old fart - but I had no idea you were THAT old

Bez+
 
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dirtdoctor

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Thanks for all the info, as to feeding I don't see how I can efficently feed less often, I'm now down to every 4-5 days. I do check the cows every day w/ the atv. I haven't had any problems starting the tractor yet but when the temp drops below 0 I want to make sure it will run when needed, of course I can always fed small squares w/ the atv.
I just don't want to mess up the tractor cas I want it to see some of the hours like the above tractors! :D
 

Nesikep

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if we have a diesel tractor that needs to be run a lot in the winter, we use 0W-5 engine oil, but it isn't synthetic, so it's maybe 20% more than the run of the mill 10W-40, we get ours from Esso (Mobil, Exxon)

our small JD350B crawler tractor has a hydraulic pump disconnect, which is really nice for starting it in the winter, since a 40HP engine has a plenty hard time with a cold 30GPM pump

Oil pan heaters are a good thing it gets really cold in addition to a block heater... if the block is at -30, it's going to take FOREVER for it to get to operating temp, especially larger diesels... an inline block heater is good, I prefer a frost plug type though, it gets the heads nice and toasty which makes a huge differance.

Nowadays we use an old Leyland (fordson 8N lookalike) gas powered tractor for most of our feeding chores.

if you can, find an old car trailer or something, load it up with hay and park it in your field, with an electric fencer around it (use semi truck brake drums with a post welded on since it's needless to say you won't get a post in the ground now) and feed from there.. works nicely for about up to 40 head

If you find the tractor doesn't seem to crank quickly, there are also battery warmers available.. just another idea
 

grannysoo

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Excellent advice from all above.

All major engine wear comes in the first few minutes of running. Give the motor a few minutes to get the oil circulating and you'll be ok.

You also want to run the engine long enough to get all of the condensation out of the exhaust system.

Even if you're not using but for a few minutes, let it run a little while longer. It's like when you're buying an old car. You want to buy grandma's that only drove back and forth to church on sundays and has 40k miles, or the one with 150k roadmiles?

The one with 150k road miles has less wear and tear on the engine...
 

dun

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Something else to consider is maybe adding an additive to prevent gelling of the diesel fuel
 

Nesikep

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dun":1ue0fms8 said:
Something else to consider is maybe adding an additive to prevent gelling of the diesel fuel

yes, and I'm assuming you have winter diesel available as well..

Once diesel gels, it clogs all the fuel filters and everything with wax and is a nightmare!

Also, concerning condensation, you may want to keep an eye on the oil filler cap, etc and watch for condensation there... if you get a greyish white sludge, your crankcase isn't getting warm enough to get rid of the condensation, it can rust stuff up if left alone.. a oil pan heater will help with this, as well as maybe going for the occasional rip with the thing and putting it under a good load for a while... but remember you have that cardboard in front of the rad ;)
 

rockridgecattle

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Here we get summer and winter fuel. We are obviously running winter fuel with conditioner which husband add in each bulk tank full. This help alot, so he says.
He runs synthetic oil because of it's viscosity and ability to coat everthing when cold. He uses a block heater and a magnetic oil pan heater. If it is real cold he will put the tractor in the shop (old house converted to a shop) and put a fire on in the wood stove. When you get home from feeding it, maybe add in a chore or two with the tractor to get the temperature up there.
He feeds on an open tractor and tomorrow it is to be -42 with the wind chill.
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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Bez+":25csulpg said:
I knew you were an old fart - but I had no idea you were THAT old

My back certainly feels most of those hours. :lol2:

:lol2: :lol2: I had help putting those hours on. :lol2: Dad used to use the 18,000 hr 4020 JD as his primary field tractor. With an 18 foot tandem disc and a 24 foot cultivator, it didn`t take long to put 18,000 hrs on it. That tractor is now my dozer tractor, and with the amount of snow we`ve been getting, I think I`m putting 700 hrs a year just pushing this white crap around :lol2: The Case 930 came here used, but it was my primary loader tractor and haying tractor for alot of years, so most of those hours are mine. My left leg is about twice the size of my right due to using that 930 for so many years. :lol2: As for the 2 7500 hr babes, I haven`t put a whole pile of those hours on. Maybe a couple thousand on each.

I do have a dream of someday owning a tractor with .5 hours on it. :lol2:

Anyway, back to the thread: On the topic of battery blankets, also make sure you have some AMPS in those batteries. I use 850 CCA batteries as a bare minimum, and much prefer 1000 CCA batteries. When buying batteries, make sure you`re looking at COLD cranking amps (CCA), not just cranking amps. Usually CCA is only a couple hundred lower than CA, but I`ve seen bigger spreads, especially on gel types. Almost bought an 1150 cranking amp battery once, until I glanced at the CCA (which was in fine print) and noticed it was 650 CCA.

Rod
 

Limomike

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dirtdoctor":2kxx7zfi said:
Thanks for all the info, as to feeding I don't see how I can efficently feed less often, I'm now down to every 4-5 days. I do check the cows every day w/ the atv. I haven't had any problems starting the tractor yet but when the temp drops below 0 I want to make sure it will run when needed, of course I can always fed small squares w/ the atv.
I just don't want to mess up the tractor cas I want it to see some of the hours like the above tractors! :D

From the sounds of it, you will not mess up your tractor. It sounds as though your tractor starts immediately even in cold weather, and thats a good thing. My JD diesel starts in cold weather, because I do what people have suggested on here. I keep the battery charged (trickle charge in 20 or below temps) use a fuel additive to keep it from jelling, and I also have a block heater I installed in the radiator hose line that I plug in a few hours before I use the tractor when its really cold (like today 12 degrees with a wind chill of -1)
 
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dirtdoctor

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Sorry I haven’t gotten back to this but it’s been really busy here, I have found time to read but…

Nesikep":8oz7hcdj said:
if we have a diesel tractor that needs to be run a lot in the winter, we use 0W-5 engine oil, but it isn't synthetic, so it's maybe 20% more than the run of the mill 10W-40, we get ours from Esso (Mobil, Exxon)

Nowadays we use an old Leyland (fordson 8N lookalike) gas powered tractor for most of our feeding chores.

if you can, find an old car trailer or something, load it up with hay and park it in your field, with an electric fencer around it (use semi truck brake drums with a post welded on since it's needless to say you won't get a post in the ground now) and feed from there.. works nicely for about up to 40 head

I just put 5w-30 in last month, hoping it would be thin enough for the temps here.

Traded a Ford Jublie for the JD 5303, now trying to get adjusted to the diesel, with the wet weather I wish I had the lighter Ford back, but then I wouldn't be feeding rd. bales.

That sounds like a great idea, seems there alot of those on here. :D

Limomike":8oz7hcdj said:
From the sounds of it, you will not mess up your tractor. It sounds as though your tractor starts immediately even in cold weather, and thats a good thing. My JD diesel starts in cold weather, because I do what people have suggested on here. I keep the battery charged (trickle charge in 20 or below temps) use a fuel additive to keep it from jelling, and I also have a block heater I installed in the radiator hose line that I plug in a few hours before I use the tractor when its really cold (like today 12 degrees with a wind chill of -1)

Yep, added the additive when it started getting cold, they start selling "winter" fuel here Oct. 31.
As of yet no problems, but I'll have to wait on the block heater, although this will probably bite me on the b*tt.

Nesikep":8oz7hcdj said:
Also, concerning condensation, you may want to keep an eye on the oil filler cap, etc and watch for condensation there... if you get a greyish white sludge, your crankcase isn't getting warm enough to get rid of the condensation, it can rust stuff up if left alone.. a oil pan heater will help with this, as well as maybe going for the occasional rip with the thing and putting it under a good load for a while... but remember you have that cardboard in front of the rad ;)

Thanks, for this I'll start checking the oil fill lid.

I feed yesterday made sure I let it idle at start-up, then after feeding I found out it’s amazing how much stuff I can find to do if I just look!!

Merry Christmas,
Ed
 

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