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File description: Diesel starting tips Your name: (optional) Ben and Pam Zwissler
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Yes, ether is commonly used on diesels, but be careful, too
much can damage the engine. There are lots of intake air
preheater systems - some are electric and some are diesel
fuel based (fire in the intake). I've seen people start
smaller engines with a buddy holding a propane torch in the
intake. Someone mentioned the Dodge and it has an electric
grid heater. Just don't combine ether with other starting
aids - it goes boom. There are also oil and coolant heaters
that keep the engine warm and ready to start, but they'll
use quite a bit of electricity keeping the engine warm all
the time if you only start it occasionally. All these are
available in farm and industrial equipment magazines. Every
fall these mags are full of how to start your diesel in cold
weather articles - just like British car mags are full of
"how to store your car for winter". Be glad you don't have
glow plugs- glow plugs are for sissies - real diesels don't
use them. Their prechamber designs are less efficient and
dirtier - leave them to GM and Mercedes-Benz.
We only provide Deere's larger engines (14liters and up),
their smaller ones are Japanese (4 liters and down) and
their midsizes are their own design. I suspect they'll say
they can start unaided down to about 20F, but below that
won't recommend starting them without some aid, preheater or
warmer. Your Deere dealer is probably full of suggestions
and products - but they're probably pricey.
Its not good to crank it excessively in cold weather, you
should find some way to get it to start reasonably quickly.
Someone mentioned white smoke -- that's not from the
ether -- its from incomplete combustion. Its atomized
diesel fuel coming out the exhaust. White smoking on cold
startup is common on mechanically controlled diesels without
preheaters. It should stop pretty quickly if the engine is
set to a fast idle or put to work shortly after starting.
Long periods of white smoking will cause you problems in the
end. Its better to start using the engine rather than let
it sit and white smoke. We don't require any idle warmup
period on our engines before you can start working them,
though we don't recommend going straight from a cold start
to rated either.