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View Full Version : Do you have to "plug in" new diesel engines?


Pastaboy62
01-23-2008, 06:21 PM
I have a 1992 f250 IDI, it has a plug I can use to keep it warm in the winter. I have never plugged it in because I have been to afraid that it would screw something up. Do the new powerstrokes and cummings need to be plugged in? Also, do you think something could go wrong if I left my truck plugged in for to long? Thanks

fool32696
01-23-2008, 06:48 PM
I would just plug it in overnight if you're using it the next day. It's nothing but a block heater that makes it much easier to start in cold weather. If you're not going to use the truck it's just a waste of power. I think you may still be able to special order block heaters on trucks but my 02 duramax doesn't have one and starts fine in 20 degree weather.

Dirt Digger2
01-23-2008, 06:54 PM
fool has it...theres nothing you can hurt by plugging it in, unless your block heater is bad...in which case it probably just wouldn't work...it makes cold morning starts a lot easier, i wouldn't plug it in until the night temp goes below 30 and you have to start it early in the morning...otherwise theres no real sense in plugging it in...now living where it gets down to single and negative digits at night is another story.

SiteSolutions
01-23-2008, 07:18 PM
I plug mine in with temps ranging from daytime highs of low 40s down to the 20s or lower at night.
Basically, plugging it in just helps keep the motor from getting too cold. It's not going to burn it up. I like it because it starts right up in the morning, and takes less time to warm up. It also reduces stress on a lot of other systems, like glow plugs, starter motor, and all the metal parts that have to contract and expand with temp changes.

john_incircuit
01-23-2008, 08:04 PM
I drove a Sprinter diesel for many years. Started OK even at below 0 F, without being plugged in. Gotta use the right oil and have good batteries. On the other hand, if you have a block heater, put it on a timer and use it. Nothing beats that instant heat when you start the engine.

J&R Landscaping
01-23-2008, 08:06 PM
My 06 Ford 6.0 PSD does not have a heater on it. Starts fine with no trouble and the past few mornings, its been in the single digits early in the morning.

dcondon
01-23-2008, 08:14 PM
I never plug mine in and it was 8 degrees yesterday morning

TXNSLighting
01-23-2008, 08:17 PM
(cummins not cummings) no you dont have to plug any of the new diesel engines in. unless its below 0.

"I have never plugged it in because I have been to afraid that it would screw something up."

Really?

IA_James
01-23-2008, 09:44 PM
You don't HAVE to do anything. However, if they start alot better if they are plugged in. Plus you get the benefits of your oil being warm already and flowing to your turbo and bearings quicker. It's probably not a bad idea to plug yours in, unless you or the previous owner has kept on top of the glow plugs and glow plug controller, the older Fords won't start if you walk past 'em with an ice cream cone.

GravelyNut
01-23-2008, 09:52 PM
Diesels that are warm are easier on the batteries. So if you've got it, I'd use it.


Slight side step. On a Diesel locomotive, I found out it is far better to plug in when the temps are going to be down in the 30's. We didn't plug it in overnight as the plan was to run the steam loco. Next morning the steamer had a mechanical failure. Diesel starting procedure for when cold is:
1. Open test ports and disconnect injection pumps to clear cylinders.
2. Crank over for 15 seconds.
3. Close 1/2 the test ports. ( 3 of 6 )
4. Reset 1/2 of injection pumps to match cylinders.
5. Crank and hope it fires.
6. Close other test ports as soon as it is running smooth.
7. Reset other injection pumps.

When the engine fired off that day, the smoke went up the stack thru the spark arrestor. Barely! Then fell over and down on the hood. Fell off the side of the hood and on to the running board before rolling off the edge and on to the ground. It took almost an hour to get up to operating temp that day. Takes a while to get the 110 gallons of 40 weight railroad oil up to temp too.

Pastaboy62
01-23-2008, 10:30 PM
Thanks for all the info guys. I just wanted to run it through a couple people. For some reason I have just been afraid to plug it in...

jtkplc
01-24-2008, 06:09 PM
I plug mine in just so it starts easier and mostly so it warms up quicker.

mag360
01-25-2008, 02:35 PM
Thanks for all the info guys. I just wanted to run it through a couple people. For some reason I have just been afraid to plug it in...

Go ahead and plug her in. It's pretty impressive that you've been able to get started in cold weather as the IDI 7.3 can be difficult.

stroker51
01-25-2008, 02:42 PM
I am beyond impressed that you have been able to start your IDI. It must have new glow plugs and a good relay. My 89 IDI won't even think about starting if it gets below about 40 at night, needs plugs bad. My 96 is the same way, for the same reason. My 99 has been starting up, not really wanting to but getting going, without being plugged in the last few mornings and we've been flirting with 0 every night. Plug your IDI in and you'll be amazed at how much easier it starts, less knocking and rattling and white smoke and a warm heater a lot faster.

grass_cuttin_fool
01-25-2008, 03:07 PM
Like everyone has said....IT helps the starter, and the batteries, and the oil to flow better....just alot easier on start up on the engine

wayne

Pastaboy62
01-25-2008, 03:27 PM
I am beyond impressed that you have been able to start your IDI. It must have new glow plugs and a good relay. My 89 IDI won't even think about starting if it gets below about 40 at night, needs plugs bad. My 96 is the same way, for the same reason. My 99 has been starting up, not really wanting to but getting going, without being plugged in the last few mornings and we've been flirting with 0 every night. Plug your IDI in and you'll be amazed at how much easier it starts, less knocking and rattling and white smoke and a warm heater a lot faster.

Yeah, I replaced the glow plugs in the summer and the batteries last year. I will start plugging it in next time it gets into the 20's

hosejockey2002
01-25-2008, 03:48 PM
Slight side step. On a Diesel locomotive, I found out it is far better to plug in when the temps are going to be down in the 30's. We didn't plug it in overnight as the plan was to run the steam loco. Next morning the steamer had a mechanical failure. Diesel starting procedure for when cold is:
1. Open test ports and disconnect injection pumps to clear cylinders.
2. Crank over for 15 seconds.
3. Close 1/2 the test ports. ( 3 of 6 )
4. Reset 1/2 of injection pumps to match cylinders.
5. Crank and hope it fires.
6. Close other test ports as soon as it is running smooth.
7. Reset other injection pumps.

Holy cow, what a headache. I wonder how you'd start it if were really cold?!

MSS Mow
01-25-2008, 07:38 PM
You don't HAVE to do anything. However, if they start alot better if they are plugged in. Plus you get the benefits of your oil being warm already and flowing to your turbo and bearings quicker. It's probably not a bad idea to plug yours in, unless you or the previous owner has kept on top of the glow plugs and glow plug controller, the older Fords won't start if you walk past 'em with an ice cream cone.

I almost fell out of my chair laughing at this. My father used to have an older Ford (1985ish) with a diesel and that truck would NEVER start if it was below 40 degrees. Your comment brought back some not so pleasant memories that are quite funny now looking back at them.

IA_James
01-25-2008, 11:20 PM
Holy cow, what a headache. I wonder how you'd start it if were really cold?!

You take 'em some place warmer and wait for it to thaw out.:)

LawnGuy73
01-26-2008, 10:51 AM
You don't "have" to do anything. But I would highly recommend it.

GravelyNut
01-26-2008, 02:19 PM
Holy cow, what a headache. I wonder how you'd start it if were really cold?!

Add 1 full can of Ether to the list at the point of cranking on the 3 cylinders.

You ought to see what the Army installed on Detroits that were used for remote location trainset ( personnel cars and equipment ) generators ( 16V-71 ). 2 generators per generator car and sometimes 2 generator cars per train of 14 cars. Hydraulic starters and tanks which were charged to pressure by an electric pump, an engine driven pump, or a hand pump. As starting aids they had fuel tank heaters, fuel line heaters, oil pan heaters, and Ether injection. Fuel lines were insulated and had pumps to constantly circulate the fuel. Heat from the engine radiators could be dumped outside the railroad car or ducted back into the car once the engine was up to temp. The radiator fans were electric motor driven to take the load off of the engines when cold. Load boxes for the generators could dump air overboard or inside for heating. And underneath the cars were heating units that supplied heated coolant to the heating coils in the tanks ( fuel, oil, and water ) and the car heating radiators. Even the holding tanks on the personnel cars had heating installed.

Basically, they didn't want to hear that someone couldn't get a generator started because it was cold.

GravelyNut
01-26-2008, 02:22 PM
You take 'em some place warmer and wait for it to thaw out.:):laugh: But that is true too. Some railroads did just that.

grass_cuttin_fool
01-26-2008, 04:44 PM
:laugh: But that is true too. Some railroads did just that.

Yep I asked a mechanic one time what would they do if an engine wouldnt start in cold weather and that is the answer he gave me.....hook one to it that is running and go where its warm lol

Wayne

Apex315
01-26-2008, 11:41 PM
Running a 01 duramax starts fine without being plugged in -23 weather

supercuts
01-27-2008, 09:00 AM
Running a 01 duramax starts fine without being plugged in -23 weather

didnt the duramax come in out in 02?? my new 6.4 PSD starts and runs like a gas engine no matter what the temp. been below 0 out and simply turn the key. my 7.3L's start like crap if not plugged in. my wife had to pick me up from work one morning because it wouldnt start. i was told hte power supply was bad, had it fixed

TXNSLighting
01-27-2008, 12:26 PM
didnt the duramax come in out in 02?? my new 6.4 PSD starts and runs like a gas engine no matter what the temp. been below 0 out and simply turn the key. my 7.3L's start like crap if not plugged in. my wife had to pick me up from work one morning because it wouldnt start. i was told hte power supply was bad, had it fixed

nope 01....

Petr51488
01-27-2008, 01:27 PM
I have an 08. The coldest its been around here is about 15 degrees F. It starts fine. No hesitation at all. It does takea while to warm up as compared to gassers. I have this high idle option on my truck. If its below 32 degrees it kicks up the idle to about 1100rpm and warms up the truck quicker. Pretty neat option.

meador56
01-27-2008, 03:36 PM
We just plug ours up for about 30 minutes on cold mornings while getting started thats all. This thread made me think of an old man that used to work an old oil lease here in the area. On cold mornings he would drain the oil out in a metal bucket build a fire and warm it up. But did it ever work they poured that hot oil in that old engine and it crank like mad. But you know if you go far west enough you will wind up in the east. LOL

Pastaboy62
01-27-2008, 07:29 PM
I have an 08. The coldest its been around here is about 15 degrees F. It starts fine. No hesitation at all. It does takea while to warm up as compared to gassers. I have this high idle option on my truck. If its below 32 degrees it kicks up the idle to about 1100rpm and warms up the truck quicker. Pretty neat option.

I have that on the truck as well. I guess it was put in later though do to the age. It is pretty helpful

Landrus2
01-27-2008, 07:38 PM
Yes yes yes plug that thing in when it gets cold that is whey the factory put that thing in for itís not for show:drinkup:

packey
01-28-2008, 05:56 PM
Pretty mutch most guys up here plug in. Even the new trucks here come with heaters.

vermonta
01-28-2008, 10:15 PM
I have a 2000 7.3 PSD I have never had a problem with starting it. I only use it as a backup plow truck during winter but I might plug it in for an hour or so if I really needed it and it was going to be lower than say 10 degrees. Other than that I don't bother. It is better for the engine if you do plug it in though.

I have two things that help me.

I run synthetic oil in it. Makes a huge difference in cranking speed and easier on starter and batteries.
I cycle the glow plugs, shut the key off and cycle them again, at most 3 times and it starts right up.

I do the same with my Kubota if I have to but we usually plug it in because it doesn't have synthetic in it.:weightlifter:

AceFinish
01-29-2008, 08:50 AM
I have a 1992 f250 IDI, it has a plug I can use to keep it warm in the winter. I have never plugged it in because I have been to afraid that it would screw something up. Do the new powerstrokes and cummings need to be plugged in? Also, do you think something could go wrong if I left my truck plugged in for to long? Thanks

Yes plug it in better safe than sorry.