Hard Winter Starting-Cured!

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moparado
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Hard Winter Starting-Cured!

Postby moparado » Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:30 pm

Starting my 1872 in cold weather has always been a major project involving ether, overnight battery charges, pegging the curse meter, etc. :twisted:
Seemed from sittin for mos. in the barn, the battery tended to drain-even new batteries. Picked up a $5 float type battery charger on sale from Harbor Freight Tools and no more cold starting problems. :D
Got two more for my '55 Farmall and ATV.

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Postby 'Country' Elliott » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:40 am

You might also want to clean off the contacts on your voltage regulator. It makes a world of difference in aiding your starting and charging capability. :wink:
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Postby gitractorman » Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:54 am

You may also want to consider running 10w-30 or even 5w-30 motor oil in the winter, vs straight 30w, as suggested in the owners manual. The reason for multi-viscosity oil, is that it acts as a 10 weight, but protects like a 30 weight. What this means in a tractor, is that you have much less resistance starting the engine when the oil is cold and very heavy. Your engine will be fine until summer time, but once it is warm outside, change it back to 30 wt. Also, this will prevent damage that could be cause to the starter or engine while trying to crank over the very heavy 30wt oil when it is cold. Switching to a synthetic 10w-30 would be even better, as it is more likely to stay up in the cylinder wall and provides more protection while starting.

I have always done this in my tractors that are used in the winder. My cub cadet 149 would barely crank over with straight 30wt oil in the winter. Switched to 10w-30, and it will fire up instantly.

Another option, although more costly and more dangerous, is to put a shop light on the engine of the tractor when it is parked. This is the same idea as an engine block heater, but having lights on over night is always dangerous in my book.

Good luck,
Bill
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Postby wdeturck » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:57 am

Hydo's tractors are harder to start in winter because the hydro oil get thick with cold temperatures. I think cub cadet makes a clutch for the hydro that disengages the pump. I think it's one of the diesel models but I have seen it adapted to the early hydro's.
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Postby freebird » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:52 pm

Here it was 18 degrees all night and I had to use the hand crank the next morning. Two revolutions and she fired right up. I stalled it about half an hour later and was able to then use the starter then.
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Postby moparado » Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:40 pm

All good suggestions for cold weather starting. But my specific problem is battery self-discharge from long non-use periods as i don't use the CC in the winter months all that much if at all.

Between the time i last mowed and needed it for leaf vacuuming last week, a month or two elapsed and when i went to start it, it cranked slower than normal and just wouldn't start. Tried for about 10 minutes finally ending up with a dead battery. Trickle charged it overnight and the dang thing instantly fired right up the next day cold weather and all. When it sits in the barn for weeks or mos. without use, the battery self-discharges and deteriorates to the point it just won't hold a decent charge anymore and typically needs to be replaced just about every other Spring.

I have the exact same problem with my '55 Farmall which i typically bush hog only a few times during the summer. During Winter and Fall it just sits there taking up room in my barn. Every Spring when i try to fire up either tractor for the fires time, the batteries are either half-dead or full-dead and need recharging. The batteries are never the same robust power houses they were the previous Summer especially in the case of the CC.

A float charger keeps the battery voltage up to charged specs without overcharging, discouraging deterioration from non-use. I'll see next Spring if this all pans out.

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Postby gitractorman » Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:58 pm

Oh, I misunderstood you.

I would suggest a couple of other things then.

1. I would get the batteries disconnected and inside somewhere that it does not get below freezing. At my place I disconnect all of the batteries and put them on a shelf in the garage, against the house wall. It rarely gets below freezing in my garage, and against the house wall it probably stays around 40 even in the coldest weather. I have not had to replace a battery in over 8 years. In the spring I hook up the battery charger to each battery and let is charge over night on a slow charge. Then they go back in the tractors and are good for the summer. Even if I do not run the tractor for several months, they never die.

2. The only reason for a battery to loose charge like you describe is a short in the system. I would spend some time trying to trace your wiring and switches and make sure that nothing is grounded out. One quick way to tell is when you connect or disconnect the battery, a good system will not spark when you hook up cables. If it sparks when you hook up the cables, there is a drain on the system. In lawnmowers, even a small drain on a battery will kill the battery in a short time. They are just not built to handle constant drain.

The trickle chargers are a great idea, but they are only a patch, not a fix.

Bill
Cub Cadets 682, 1811, 1864, Simplicity Legacy XL 4x4 Diesel with FEL, 60" mower, 50" Tiller

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Postby moparado » Tue May 01, 2007 5:01 pm

Follow up!
Well that float charger did the trick-no dead or discharged battery this Spring!
For the first time in seven years since i've owned the 1872, it fired right up yesterday after sitting in the barn all Winter. And this is a 4 year old battery. I did nothing special like disconnecting the battery leads or removing the battery from the tractor. Just hooked up the float charger clips to the battery last Fall and forgot about it til yesterday.

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Postby BigBill » Tue May 01, 2007 7:28 pm

We used battery tenders on all our motorcyles too. We use a fuel stabilizer every fall before storage too it keeps the gas fresh and the jets from clogging up in the carb too. I start them up often too during the winter when its not too cold too.

Using a lighter oil helps too or a dip stick oil heater??
I'm technically misunderstood at times i guess its been this way my whole life so why should it change now.

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Postby red56turbo » Wed May 02, 2007 7:19 pm

Different oil weights and the heaters usually work good. Also make sure you have good battery cables and connectors. This makes a world of difference.
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