Winter Diesel

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by kwonders, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. kwonders

    kwonders LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Purchased my first tractor (JD 2320) in June. At that time I also purchased 20 gallons of diesel. Now I have a full tank of diesel in the tractor and 10 more gallons left in containers.
    I live in Indianapolis and temps are regularly in the lower 40s during the day and down into the 20s at night. I am still using my tractor 2-3 times a week and plan to use it to remove snow later this winter.
    I understand that there is such a thing as Winter diesel and Summer diesel and that Summer diesel will tend to gel up when temps dip to around 10 degrees F and below.
    Question for you more experienced tractor owners: How important is this difference between winter/summer diesel? Should I run my tractor till it's empty (while it's just sitting in my barn) and go get fresh (winter) diesel immediately? And if I put gas stabilizer into the 10 gallons of summer diesel I have in containers will it still be good by spring? Or does it not matter so much and I can just use the diesel I have (bought in June) until it's gone (probably take most of the winter to go through it all) Thanking you in advance for your advice.
     
  2. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    put a little additive in it...i like that Diesel 911 stuff (not the emergency stuff in the red bottle but the other stuff in the grey/white bottle) you can get it at any tractor supply. I put that in my big farm tractor and she starts up whenever i need it to in the winter

    you'll be fine with what you have...chances are you are storing your can in a garage anyway so you probably wouldn't even need the additive, and i believe on those new John Deeres there is a heater where you turn the key to the left and push in...we have a 4700 and have never done it, she always starts right up on the coldest days...but atleast its there if you need it
     
  3. kwonders

    kwonders LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    thanks digger, I will look for Diesel 911(grey/white bottle), I am storing my extra in an unheated garage, and I will get some additive for both the stored diesel and what's already in the tractor tank. I does have a heater light that comes on when the ingition key is switched to the 1st position, and after a second or two it goes out and then you can turn over the engine. I didn't realize that was to help heat up the fuel.
     
  4. IA_James

    IA_James LawnSite Silver Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 2,593

    You want the white bottle, not the gray one. The gray one is cetane boost only, the white one is cetane boost/anti-gel. Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement is the name on the white one I think. The heater light that comes in is either a grid heater or glow plug light, not a fuel heater light. Your tractor may have a fuel heater on it though, I know Cummins puts them on their engines, I doubt they are the only one.
     
  5. kwonders

    kwonders LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Thanks James,
    Yes now that you state it, the manual did call it a glow plug light, so I guess that does not heat the fuel. Can you tell me what it does do?
    I have googled Digger's suggested product (diesel 911) and was able to disern that Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement and Cetane boost (in the white bottle) is the product that I need and am going to order a bottle of it later today. I think that both of you have verified that if I get and use this product in the "summer diesel" that I currently have on hand I will be fine. I don't need to run out the whole tank that is currently in the tractor and go by fresh. I very much appreciate the info from both of you.
     
  6. IA_James

    IA_James LawnSite Silver Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 2,593

    I run the 50/50 blend of #1 (winter) and #2 (summer) that my local truck stop sells. I add the PS White (about 16 oz per 35 gallon tank) and have never had any trouble, down to -20s. You should be fine if you just pick up a can of straight #1, run your tractor down to about a 1/2 tank, and fill it up with #1. Don't bother ordering the PS, any truck stop or auto parts store around will have it in 32 or 96 oz. containers. Diesel engines obviously don't have spark plugs, they ignite the fuel air mixture by compressing the air enough to heat it to where it will ignite. If it's real cold, the cold air and reduced cranking speed of the engine cause the cylinder temps to stay low enough to not ignite. So the glow plug puts a little heat into the cylinder so it will start when it's cold. Do you have a block heater on yours? If you know you're going to use the tractor, and it's real cold (+5 or colder) plug it in for 3 or 4 hours before you try and start it. It will start up like it's sunny and 70 out vs. cranking slow, blowing white smoke, and trashing all the fine machined surfaces because your 15/40 oil is like tar at that temperature. Running 5/40 synthetic makes it alot easier to start if you don't have a block heater or heated shop.
     

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