How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby Rudi » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:18 pm

I agree with Carl on this one. A well tuned Cub with a good spark and plugs, a clean fuel circuit supplying clean fuel will start under most cold weather conditions. The exception to this would be when the temps are in the -18C and below range. Sub-zero temps, yup -18C is about -1F is where troubles will start. This is where shelter begins to play a part. If a Cub (any piece of equipment) is sheltered then the starting temp range increases greatly. I also agree with Larry on this as well - I use Sea Foam in the gas tank. I am still lucky, the gas I get has no ethanol in it which is a real boone, but Sea Foam is still a good idea.

When I was building my pole barn - New Home For My Cubs, Ellie was kinda unsheltered. No room cause of the new doors in the wood shop and well the pole barn wasn't exactly weather-tite that winter.

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At that point I used a tarp and a 100watt light bulb to keep the oil pan and the battery warm. That helped a lot.

Now that the pole barn is insulated and I have all those southern exposure windows it is kinda warm in the pole barn. I think that is a real secret especially up here where the temps can be below -18C for the majority of the winter season. What I have done now is added a Schumacher Battery Maintainer to the equation. It keeps the battery topped up and Ellie starts on the first turn of the starter. Really nice.

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Sometimes snow will help keep the pole barn warm too :idea:

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I expect that I will have zero starting issues with Ellie especially since she is now running like a well tuned sewing machine. I had flirted with the idea of a battery blanket, but used to use them on cars back when I was younger, they never really worked all that well, the block heater worked better. I never use block heaters anymore though, very seldom does my DGC fail to start and the Honda well not sure, this will be it's 1st winter.
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby lazyuniondriver » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:23 pm

ntrenn wrote:Has anybody tried one of those in the bottom boss on the water inlet elbow. It looks like you could drill and tap the boss and just insert the heater.

http://www.amazon.com/Kats-11423-Watt-F ... heater+npt
http://www.amazon.com/Kats-11453-Watt-F ... heater+npt



Now that's what I'm talking about. If I had a cold weather starting problem, that's exactly what I'd install.

You need the heat around the cylinder walls or liners, not in the oil pan if you are cranking in temperatures at or below zero.

I drilled the top water outlet casting to 23/32" on the drill press and tapped it with a 1/2" NPT tap without trouble for a temperature sending unit.

The lower water inlet is cast of the same material. Should work like a champ.
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Edited at 17:09 to include the following paragraphs.

Upon further inspection of the lower housing, I would prefer to drill a pilot hole in the body of the lower housing between the distributor and the starter at the angle required so neither component is fouled when the heating element is installed prior to bolting the casting back on.

The housing is very stout and the boss area is probably to thick in depth to comfortably drill and tap.

The heating element would almost protrude directly into the block, lessening the loss of heat by radiation down at the lower boss area.
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby ntrenn » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:46 pm

Lazydriver - so at least something similar has been done before. I figured I would buy a new inlet elbow and drill and tap before removing the old one. Spare elbow is only about $20 delivered.
I liked the direct shot into the water jacket above the starter hole, but also looked really hard at the lower boss at the hose. It's a nice flat and looks to be big enough for 3/8, but not sure about 1/2". The upper position would be the berries....

I bet your cub starts in any weather for you.....
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby Jim Becker » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:07 pm

ntrenn wrote:It's a nice flat and looks to be big enough for 3/8, but not sure about 1/2".

When the factory drilled for a plug, they used a 3/8 pipe plug.
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby lazyuniondriver » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:18 pm

ntrenn wrote: The upper position would be the berries


Not sure if you mean the upper outlet casting or the upper area of the lower inlet casting but I'd definitely put it in the lower casting to get more bang for your buck.

The photo in the previous post depicts the location I drilled in an upper outlet for a mechanical temperature gauge probe.

Both the upper and lower housings are cast with plenty of meat for threading once the hole is drilled. They probably weigh 5 lbs. or more apiece.

Aquire your spare piece to double check for element fitment inside and outside the casting.

Once you determine where you'll drill, it may be easier to center punch and drill the pilot at the proper angle on the original piece still bolted to the tractor, keeping the new inlet for a spare. Then unbolt the inlet and hog it out on the drill press with the large bit.

Once drilled to the proper size, thread it, install the heater, then reinstall the completed assembly on the tractor.

There seems to be a $20.00 price difference between the 3/8" and the 1/2" heaters, both listed at 400 watts.

Keep in mind if you have to purchase a 23/32" drill and 1/2" NPT tap, the larger sizes are pricey, possibly more than $20.00 for both.

If that's the case and you already have the stuff to drill and thread 3/8", you may save by spending the extra Hamilton on the 3/8" heater. If you have the 1/2" stuff already, the cost of the job just went down.

This project will be worth every cent you do spend when you pull the handle at 20 degrees or below and it spins and starts like it is in August.
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Somewhere in the area the screwdriver is pointing is where I would mount the heater.
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby DickB » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:12 am

What about removing the bottom plug from the radiator and inserting a heater element there? Has this been done? Effective in that location? Assuming, of course, that there's a heater element that fits the threading, the depth available. There'd be no drilling and tapping....
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby Gary Dotson » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:05 am

Dick, you could put a heater in the drain plug hole, but it won't be very effective. Heat rises and a warm radiator won't help much. I think the pipe thread heaters, shown above, would work very well but need to be installed in the lower inlet casting.

A while back, I had a Cockshutt 20, that had a heating element in one of it's head bolts. I'd never seen that before and I never tried it so I don't know how well it worked.
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby ntrenn » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:48 am

Lazyuniondriver,
I meant the upper end of the inlet elbow. Since the 1/2 inch one is only 1-3/4 long, I'm pretty sure there would be clearance inside the block. The 3/8 one is just slightly longer. A heater positioned right in the block at the water inlet would be just perfect. Too bad they didn't have any core plugs on this block into the water jacket.

Jim,
Thanks for the confirmation on the 3/8 at the lower end of the elbow. That's about the size boss I thought it was.

So the whole thing comes down to how many Hamiltons you want to spend and what tools are already in the tool box. Inventory time....sure will be worth it for the tractor to think it's August when that 20 below (pick your temp scale) comes in a few weeks.
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby lazyuniondriver » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:14 pm

ntrenn wrote:So the whole thing comes down to how many Hamiltons you want to spend...


Waking up to subfreezing temperatures and a foot of snow on the driveway, the Cub springing to life on the first pull... Priceless.
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby DickB » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:23 pm

ntrenn wrote:Lazydriver - so at least something similar has been done before. I figured I would buy a new inlet elbow and drill and tap before removing the old one. Spare elbow is only about $20 delivered.
I liked the direct shot into the water jacket above the starter hole, but also looked really hard at the lower boss at the hose. It's a nice flat and looks to be big enough for 3/8, but not sure about 1/2". The upper position would be the berries....

I bet your cub starts in any weather for you.....


Good idea to buy new and work on it. But, where do you get the spare elbow for $20 delivered? And, is the elbow that between the distributor and the starter motor, as seen in the photo from Lazydriver, where the screwdriver is the place to put the heater? Thanks for info.
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby lazyuniondriver » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:03 pm

DickB wrote:... so at as seen in the photo from Lazydriver, where the screwdriver is the place to put the heater?

Yes where the screwdriver is pointing in the general area where I would drill and tap for the heating element.

A quick search of eBay shows plenty of coolant inlet castings out there for around 5 to 10 bucks a copy plus shipping.
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby mrdibs » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:09 pm

Sump heaters work ok in airplanes, but they can cause condensation and need to be plugged in all the time to work. I like the block heater idea.
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby Lurker Carl » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:29 pm

Make sure anything you put in the cooling system does not impede coolant flow.
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby lazyuniondriver » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:38 pm

mrdibs wrote:Sump heaters work ok in airplanes, but they can cause condensation and need to be plugged in all the time to work. I like the block heater idea.

Piston driven aircraft powerplants can be a bear to turn over fast enough for ignition when it gets real cold outside.

Since they are traditionally air cooled, heating the sump is one way to pre heat them, hot forced air in the cowl if available also works well.

I've also seen pictures of rubbish cans burning under military planes for pre heating purposes.
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Re: How do you keep your Cub starting up when its cold?

Postby ntrenn » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:11 pm

Hamilton Bob for $12 plus $6 to ship
DE $14.99 or 17.99 plus shipping.

Since Bob's just up the road....and has done me good before....

All the ebay ones elude me right now....
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