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cold starting a diesel

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by KGsK5, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. KGsK5

    KGsK5 1/2 ton status

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    so i finally got my truck back from the tranny shot today. i was pretty excited. havent been able to drive her for quite a while now.

    when i picked her up she wouldnt start. the tranny guy came out and said it had been like that ever since he pulled it into the shop. he came out with his jump box and starter fluid and she fired right up.

    then i went to a basketball game wiht some of my friends at the college. when it was over i went out and tried to start her... same thing. nothing. so i went out and bought some jumper cables and starter fluid. tried jumping it and got nothign so i gave it a shot of fluid. stil nothing.

    the batteries seem to be drained but they didnt even seem to get anythign from the jump. they are brand new batteries too. only 3 moths old.

    what do you guys think? im going back up there tomorow with new glow plugs and gunna try again.

    thanks
     
  2. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    Cant speak from experience but Ive 'heard' that you shouldnt use starter fluid on a diesel, but should us WD-40 instead, cant say if there is any truth to this.

    Is it possible your battery cables are loose/corroded/bad? I know I had some problems starting my truck and it was a bad negative battery cable. Very slow turning over, wouldnt turn over, dead battery symptoms. Replaced the cables and no issues.
     
  3. KGsK5

    KGsK5 1/2 ton status

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    i have never heard of the WD 40 thing... but i have heard some people say that starter fluid is a no go and others say go right ahead but dont use too much...

    all of the cables were replaced with the batteries so i doubt that is the problem but i will check oever them
     
  4. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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  5. KGsK5

    KGsK5 1/2 ton status

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    hm... that is interesting... ill grab a can of that too... thanks
     
  6. BKinzey

    BKinzey 1/2 ton status

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    DON'T USE STARTING FLUID. Too chancy for a diesel. WD-40 is a good substitute.
     
  7. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Could just be a bad starter. A diesel needs really good cranking speed to start. When the intake charge is compressed quickly it heats up tremendously which is what ignites the fuel. Turn it over slow and the intake charge hardly heats up at all...and no start (even with good glow plugs)

    Rene
     
  8. KGsK5

    KGsK5 1/2 ton status

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    any way to know if the starter is bad? other than go out and buy a new one...
     
  9. cegusman

    cegusman 3/4 ton status

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    pull it, bring it to the parts store for testing
     
  10. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Starting fluid can be good or bad....

    I do carry a can of starting fluid or WD-40 in my diesel truck for emergency use--but have not had to use it so far..I'd prefer the WD-40 ,Ether is too explosive and can damage a 6.2's pistons and other internals,if used excessively or improperly..but read the last paragraph here,before you run out and buy WD-40!..

    If you have manually activated glow plugs,you can use ether,but do NOT energize the glow plugs if your going to use it!--if you already tried starting it normally with the glow plugs,wait several minutes before attempting to use starting fluid..its the heat from the glow plugs that'll ignite the ether prematurely,and cause a backfire or kickback that can harm engine parts,and kill the starter drive as well..

    It's best to get the motor spinning over at full tilt BEFORE spraying the starting fluid or WD-40 in the intake...spraying it first,then getting in the truck usually causes the starter to bind,and is much harder on the engines parts..

    WD-40 didn't work for us at my friends shop when we used it to get an airbound diesel started after changing its fuel filter recently!...but the can I had in my truck fired it right up!..I think they may have changed the propellant from propane to something else,its not the WD-40 itself,but the propellant that ignites and starts the truck I guess..whatever was in that newer can wasn't flammable enough evidently..??

    I used Alberto VO5 hair spray on one guys truck once in a parking lot,and got his Ferd 7.3 diesel started!:eek1: --his wife had it in her travel bag!(I wasn't in my truck at the time,or I'd have let him use my starting fluid!)...I think it worked as well as ether would have,but I don't think there is any lubricant in it,so I dont reccomend it unless your in a real bad situation..good to know this though,if your in a bind!.:crazy:
     
  11. KGsK5

    KGsK5 1/2 ton status

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    well i had it AAA towed home... it is on the charger and block heater right now. im going to give it another go before i go to bed.

    then this weekend im going to go ahead and throw in some new glow plugs and see what that does for it.
     
  12. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I believe there is a procedure where you can test the glow plugs........I absolutely hate it when people just throw parts at a rig and hope they replace the right thing. A simple test light or voltmeter and about 10 minutes should give you a good idea if the glow plug system is alright or not.

    As already mentioned, if the engine is not cranking over fast enough it's hard to get started. I've had problems before and found that the cables were just a little corroded and sucked down the juice just enough to not let it start when cold. I would pull the cables off and make sure the connections were all clean and snug, then make sure the batteries were fully charged and go from there.
     
  13. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    testing glow plugs..

    The easy way to test glow plugs is with a test light..put the clip from it on the positive battery terminal,and unplug the glow plug to be tested--touch the test lamp to the terminal on the glow plug--if the test light lights up,the glow plug should be good...you could remove them and clamp jumper cables to them on a battery and see if they glow too,but its a lot more work..

    You might need to add some anti-gel,if it got cold since your truck was "down" with a bad tranny..also adding fresh fuel might help,since you might have "summer" diesel still in your tank.."winterized" diesel has some anti-gel,and/or is No.1 diesel instead of No.2,and it ignites easier...:crazy:
     
  14. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    FWIW years ago a friend took the auto diesel option at UTI in PHX. In one of those classes he was told to use WD40 and NOT starting fluid.
     
  15. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Starting fluid with a diesel that has glow plugs = russian roulette with your engine. Sometimes you get away with it, sometimes you don't...
     
  16. stallion85

    stallion85 1/2 ton status

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    How does that work? I would imagine the block would be like a ground and the light would come on no matter what? With the glow plugs threaded into the block how does this work?
     
  17. dieselponyexpress

    dieselponyexpress 1/2 ton status

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    IIRC they reformulated WD40 without the butane as propellant, so it's no good for kick starting any more.

    Walter
     
  18. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    A test light probably isn't the best way to test the GP system. They draw alot of amperage, and while you may have 12vto a light, the if there's bad connections and high resistance in the wiring of the GP's, then then the second you try to draw any sort of amperage through it, your voltage will drop off dramtically.

    Use a meter and tap into each 12v wire going to each GP, there's usally a little bit of the terminal sticking out,enough to touch the test lead to it. So the GP remains active when 12v is put to it. If the voltage doesn't get to at least 10.5-11 or so, you got problems with the GP wiring. If it's in the single digits, you got problems for sure.

    Anyhow
     
  19. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    hard to explain,but..

    The glow plugs work much like the element on your electric kitchen stove--they heat up red hot due to resistance,just like the ones on the stove--the element is "positive",the shell of the glow plug grounds to the engine block..when one fails,the curcuit is broken,and no ground is available,so the test light won't light up..

    Testing them with jumper cables hooked to a battery is a more reliable test,you can actually SEE if they are getting hot enough..the test light COULD light even if one is defective I suppose,(unlikely though)..but its a quicker and much easier way to test them when your freezing your butt off outside trying to figure out why the F******* thing wont start!..:crazy:

    Guess I'll have to use hair spray instead of WD-40 now!..when I used the Alberto VO5 to start that guys Ford, I figured if it'll set Micheal Jackson's hair ablaze,it'll fire up a balky diesel!..:p:
     
  20. KGsK5

    KGsK5 1/2 ton status

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    well new glow plugs are in and i had the batteries charged overnight. still nothing. the starter is not spinning fast enough to get teh engine started.

    im guessing my next step is drop the starter and have it tested?

    oh and the betteries are putting out about anywhere in between 10.9-11.5 if that makes any difference.
     

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