Starting up at +8 deg.F!

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Starting up at +8 deg.F!

Postby DickB » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:55 am

For the first time in something like 20 years, the Cub started up (5th or 6th pull on the starter) yesterday when the temperature was in the 8 to 9 deg. F range. That's because of the heaters on it: water inlet elbow, battery wrap, oil pan. And I'd charged up the battery too. This morning, at +17 deg. F, with plenty of snow on the ground and everything except the battery charger plugged in for a few hours the Cub started on the FIRST pull.

I realized about 1/3 into the plowing that I was whistling "Over the hilltops" or some such Xmas tune. Happy Cubber here.
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Re: Starting up at +8 deg.F!

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:18 am

I will admit that I no longer worry about starting mine below 20 degrees. It is amazing the change in attitude you get when you and the wife are retired and both have 4wd vehicles. :lol: Normally a well tuned cub will start at 8 to 10 degrees with very little assistance. I would put a trickle charger on mine the night before to keep the battery warm but that was it. I would make a suggestion that using one in cold weather such as that you cover about 1/2 to 2/3 of the radiator to keep the engine at operating temperatures. My preference is to put a thin piece of the fan fold Styrofoam like they use behind vinyl siding behind the grill to cover part of the radiator, but a piece of cardboard or most anything will do if kept dry. Since a cub does not have a thermostat to regulate temperature they tend to run cold in cold weather, which puts more wear on the engine, plus allows more condensation in the crankcase breather.
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Re: Starting up at +8 deg.F!

Postby Boss Hog » Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:31 pm

I have had little to no trouble starting my cubs at any temperature , I use 5W30 motor oil, Hy Tran in the transmission and mine are 12 volt. I dont use battery tenders, some set outside all year long as I dont have enough shed room for 30 tractors.
The only trouble I have starting them is if I have the dang ethanol gas in them, I try to use reg gas most of the time but sometimes I will get caught short and use the 10% junk. good gas and 5w30 in the engine along with Hy Tran in the transmission are the key factors 12 or 6 volt no difference if the 6 volt is in good working condition.Mine are 12 volt because they are all 12 volt from the factory now :wink:
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Re: Starting up at +8 deg.F!

Postby Buzzard Wing » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:27 pm

Yep Boss.... good electrical connections and 'tuned', a Cub should start on the first, or possibly second try. Pretty much regardless of the temps.

My loader Cub wouldn't start the other weekend, it has those cheap battery connectors and is grounded to a rusty bolt on the deluxe seat frame.... It was not that it was 15F out. If I ever get around to it, there will be a new harness and a braided strap to the base of the battery box.

This one started on the first try.... but didn't stay running, freed up the governor/choke linkage and it fired up and ran.... melted the snow and ice off it by plowing the driveway.
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Re: Starting up at +8 deg.F!

Postby Denny Clayton » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:13 pm

Dick, you have enough equipment for cold weather starting that it would start in Antarctica. :shock: :lol:
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Re: Starting up at +8 deg.F!

Postby Bus Driver » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:41 pm

While I dislike the ethanol in gasoline for several reasons, I doubt that the 10% mixture causes any discernible starting problems. The volatility of the other 90% should be sufficient. Gasoline vaporizes enough to be spark ignited down to about -50 deg F.
I knew a fellow who had an Allis C all-fuel model. Designed to be started on gasoline from the small tank and switched to kerosene when the engine was warm. Switching required getting off the tractor and turning the valve. And the shutdown required turning off the fuel and letting the engine run until the fuel line and carburetor were empty. Then turn on the gasoline at the next starting cycle. It had magneto so the ignition switch was of no consequence. It also had the charging system and electric starting. So his solution was to put 50-50 gasoline and kerosene in the main tank and just start and run it that way. It worked. That mixture would be much more difficult to ignite than the 10% ethanol.
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Re: Starting up at +8 deg.F!

Postby Boss Hog » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:00 pm

Bus Driver the problem is when it sets for 6 months , the gas gets weak with the ethanol here, It will not make your hand tingle and will not start in my cubs.
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Re: Starting up at +8 deg.F!

Postby Lurker Carl » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:34 am

Condensation is the primary cause of cold weather starting issues. Ice doesn't care that it manages to lock up in the most inaccessable and inappropriate places. I like to keep the fuel tank empty and run the carburetor dry to minimize condensation and it puts a stop to old gas issues. It is a bit of a hassle but it also makes cold weather operation considerably less troublesome. If the battery isn't up to snuff, several yanks on the hand crank will get it started.
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Re: Starting up at +8 deg.F!

Postby Smokeycub » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:31 am

Buzzard Wing wrote:Yep Boss.... good electrical connections and 'tuned', a Cub should start on the first, or possibly second try. Pretty much regardless of the temps.


After a week or so of overnight lows in the single digits, and my Cub having sat for 6 of 8 weeks it started up rather easily on a 20 degree afternoon. No heaters, no charging, no warming the battery, with 10% ethanol gas, in an open shed. Full choke on the first pull, 3/4 choke on the second pull and fired up at about 1/4 throttle. It did take about a minute before it was running happily, there was definitely some condensation in the engine. Let it run for about 20 minutes at a fast idle to let it warm up thoroughly.
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Re: Starting up at +8 deg.F!

Postby ghennessy » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:29 am

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote: I would make a suggestion that using one in cold weather such as that you cover about 1/2 to 2/3 of the radiator to keep the engine at operating temperatures.


Great suggestion! I had not thought of that in relation to the lack of thermostat.

It still amazes me that my Cub will start at 25 degrees F on the first pull and doesn't stumble and require another attempt. This is with a factory 6V setup and the 30W oil in it from summer. It gets a generous 5-10 minute warm up at that temp so there's reasonable oil flow, not just pressure, before applying any load to the machine.
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Re: Starting up at +8 deg.F!

Postby rustymich » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:31 pm

How dare you subject that tractor to having snow on it.......
Buzzard Wing wrote:Yep Boss.... good electrical connections and 'tuned', a Cub should start on the first, or possibly second try. Pretty much regardless of the temps.

My loader Cub wouldn't start the other weekend, it has those cheap battery connectors and is grounded to a rusty bolt on the deluxe seat frame.... It was not that it was 15F out. If I ever get around to it, there will be a new harness and a braided strap to the base of the battery box.

This one started on the first try.... but didn't stay running, freed up the governor/choke linkage and it fired up and ran.... melted the snow and ice off it by plowing the driveway.
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Re: Starting up at +8 deg.F!

Postby Buzzard Wing » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:28 pm

I know, bad Cub owner.... but there is only so much I can do in the 'big city'. If it helps, there is a shiny 50 Cub and I was working on a 77 at the time, in the garage. Those red Cubs are still safely under cover and the working Cub (Lo Boy) is still outside. As much as I hate to leave one out, it doesn't seem to mind.

It has the snowman 'charm', as seen on the hottest day of the summer last year, truly an 'all season' machine. BTW that storm was the only time I put chains on, Lo Boy with loaded tires and a fast hitch is a great snow plowing machine. (except the getting on and off to change the angle of the blade)
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