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Discussion Starter #1
I have some ideas, but is it one thing or many things that make these 4bts so hard to start in the Winter?

I assume:
Cold air is harder to compress further
Cold air wont be as high a temp at the top of the stroke
Batteries dont put out the amperage at Cold temps
Cold oil is harder to drag engine mechanicals through


What can be done? will a bigger or extra battery help? Plugging in is obvious but not always an option.
 

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Grid heater on the intakes off of a dodge will make life ALOT easy....

Most 4BT's didn't come with them.... only block heaters.....
 

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x2 on the grid heater. Also running a thinner oil for the winter helps. I ran Valvoline Blue 5w-40 synthetic last winter. I only had a single 1000cca batt, anything colder then -20 and I wouldn't even try to start it unless it was plugged in. Plugged in I could fire it up at -30.
 

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I have some ideas, but is it one thing or many things that make these 4bts so hard to start in the Winter?

I assume:
Cold air is harder to compress further
Cold air wont be as high a temp at the top of the stroke
Batteries dont put out the amperage at Cold temps
Cold oil is harder to drag engine mechanicals through


What can be done? will a bigger or extra battery help? Plugging in is obvious but not always an option.
All of the above.....that cold iron in the block sucks out a lot of heat for an engine that uses compression/heat to ignite the diesel fuel...Try an intake heater too.
 

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How cold is cold in Kentucky? I started mine cold the other day at 6F no problem - no ether, and no block or grid heater
 

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Many people don't relize the grid heater does two things when starting a diesel. One is obvious it heats up the air entering the engine and because the fuel ignites on compression and heat created from compression it starts easier and faster. The other thing a grid heater does is it actually warms the battery/batteries and gets the electrons moving through the battery. If you were to have a meter to measure amperage and voltage when you start you engine you will notice a large drop in both but when the battery has been warmed up by use of the grid heater or even by turning on your lights for 20-30 seconds many times you will have more juice available to start you engine.

Also the timeing on your pump could be advanced helping your cold starting.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the Info guys. Ill probably get a grid heater when i put my intercooler on. I think a bigger battery is in my future too. Cold yesterday was 16F. The problem I have is the engine physically wont turn over so I think a bigger battery and the whole electron thing might solve it, but if fires right up if its been plugged in.
 

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The bottom line is in general diesel engines have higher compression which requires a larger rotating mass which includes heavier components. The diesel engine's stroke length usually means a longer piston travel in the bore, larger bearing surfaces that have residual oil the thickness of maple syrup in their journals. Lower the temperature and the CCA capacity of the battery drops while the turning resistance of the engine increases. This is why they created engine coolant heaters and engine oil heaters. Up in the arctic areas they also have battery heaters. Also in those areas there are cases where the engines are never shut down while setting outdoors.
 
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