Diesel generator, 2 questions

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Im not heating anything. You start your diesels your way, Ill start mine my way. Shrug.
Growing up in the UP of Northern Michigan taught me a few things.
Including the fact you are an unprincibled fuckwit.
Gunner
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosphy of sniveling brats." -- P.J. O'Rourke
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wrote:

Hey!!! A UPer!!! Haven't been back to UP of MI in quite a few years. Remember long drives up there, beautiful country. Harsh winters, especially up along Superior. Used to go hunting with my father up near Ralph. Classmate went into DNR up that way, didn't get shot at so I guess he was reasonable about people hunting out of season to put food on the table. Also loved camping at Lake of the Clouds over west near Iron Mtn.
You folks still inundated by downstater's every fall that can't tell a cow from a deer?? I can say that since I came from north of TC (Charlevoix).
Sounds like the propane idea works fine. More than once we would burn a small coffee-can filled with cardboard and paraffin under the truck engine and tranny (and sometimes one under rear axle) to 'thaw' them out after a couple of weeks of *COLD* weather. That was a trick we learned up north of Algoma CA.
daestrom
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New a guy who put a salamander under his truck. woke to the sound of fire engines ........
wrote:

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On Sat, 25 Sep 2004 13:03:48 GMT, "daestrom"

Ya..I guess you could call de winters a bit harsh... the average snow fall of 144" was a clue..along with the temps down around -40F. Lower when the wind blew.

Ayup. They are just as bad around Grayling, where I graduated from high school. Blaze orange is a mandatory clothing item, even out of season.

I left Michigan in '71, only been back to visit. Now I live about 140 miles from Death Valley...not a lot of snow here....<G>
Gunner
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosphy of sniveling brats." -- P.J. O'Rourke
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Propane Torch will heat enough air going down the intake to fire even at -30F, if your fuel will run thru the injector pump and injectors. You want very slow Rpm untill the Base Oil comes up to temp and is pumping around the oil system with good pressure. Most small diesel gensets don't have glowplugs or heaters, especialy if they are of the 3600 rpm variety. I use this option on my single cyl Fairbanks/Morse 1200 rpm 3Kw genset all winter long and it fires as soon as I drop the compression release. Same with my DJA and MDJA Onans. Both those have glowplugs, as well has Air Heaters builtin, but I prefer the Propane Torch as you don't have to crank more than one or two revolutions before they fire. Starting Fluid is for flatlanders, who don't know any better.
Bruce in alaska
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wrote:

Ah, thanks, that's a great idea, I like it.
i
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you can also turn on a 60 - 100 watt light bulb under them heat is enought to break the could
wrote:

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Dean Hoffman wrote:

If you can mitigate the fuel gelling problem, don't use D1. It's basically kerosene. It cost's more and has less energy. Some over the road (OTR) trucks need the D1 in order to stay running. What happens is as the diesel OIL gets cold, the paraffins (wax) start to precipitate out of the oil. The temp that this starts is called the cloud point. As the D OIL gets colder, it starts to GEL. The fuel in the tank looks like a wax slushy. At some point colder still the fuel reaches the pour point. (Actually the un-pour point).
Wax particulates don't go through fuel filters. In my case, my truck had a cummins N14 (i-6 14 liter). This particular engine will pump and inject gelled fuel.... If you can get it through the filter. The solution cost me $200. A 55 watt 12 volt fuel heater, that looks like a hocky puck screws in between the filter and the filter head. In the case of this N14, the electric heater was only needed for getting the fuel past the filter until the fuel return from the motor transferred enough warmed fuel back to the tank to un-gel it.
This particular motor was electronic injection timed. Prior to getting the insurance of the fuel heater, I had the experience of shutting off the motor at -5F. Even with an 8 hour cold soak, this motor started the next morning. Find a way to keep your fuel above 10F (YMMV) and fuel will not be a problem. In most cases, once the motor is running, the fuel return will put heat back in the tank.

NO! NO! NO! Ether / starting fluid washes the oil film off the cylinder walls. The subsequent wear will make the motor lose compression. That makes the motor HARDER to start. In effect, diesels can be made ether dependent. I don't recollect, does the O.P. have a garage? And is it attached or otherwise not left to drop to exterior ambient temps?
Compared to a truck diesel, this application is considered "fixed". (even though the genny is on wheels). There are other ways to solve the problem.
The heat from the compression is what ignites the injected fuel mist. If there is not enough latent heat in the air mass being compressed, there will be insufficient temp when compressed to ignite the fuel. The fix is quite simple. The military deuce 'n' a halls had airbox heaters. All you need is a propane torch, or a cooking burner head from wallmart. You could even use sterno. Size your design according to your heat need, which you will have to test.
http://home.sprintmail.com/~dalereastman/images/airbox.GIF
If you still had electric, you could use your wife's hair dryer.

Yep. see above.

NO! NO! NO! Why would you want to risk "dusting" the engine?

Yep. Yep. Yep.
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Dale Eastman wrote:

How much do you use to get that effect ?
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Myal wrote:

I have no idea. The only thing I used ether for was cleaning around tears in my tarps so I could have a clean surface to stick the duct tape on.
Ether makes a great solvent. Spray some on some grease and watch the grease melt.
The EPA you annoy is your problem though.
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Dale Eastman wrote:

I used to use ether to mix with the 2stroke fuel in my motorbike , added a bit of extra oomph . The amount used to start a diesel is at most a couple of drops , enough to get vapurs into the bore to add some extra bangability to the air/fuel mix , not enough to wash the cylinder walls .
Around these parts , the EPA visits once a week , to inspect the local industries and see if the complaints are valid . Everyone knows that 9am friday , the EPA inspecter is coming to investigate the weeks complaints , and guess what ,? he never finds any valid basis to the complaint....
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Myal wrote:

<snicker>
Makes me think of the story my step dad tells.
My step-dad worked in construction. They used to wrap electric tape around extension cords. The osha guys would come in and start to cut the ends off the cords. They would be challenged on this destruction of personal property. The osha guys would babble something about spliced cords, which was the cue to remove the electric tape from the cord. Dumbfounded osha guy asks why was the tape on the cord, and the answer was, never know when they would need a piece of tape.
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On 9/22/04 2:54 PM, in article vLk4d.7247$ snipped-for-privacy@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net, "Dale Eastman"

I don't see how starting fluid sprayed into the air intake would wash the oil off cylinder walls. It's a combination of gases and some lubricant. The spray will be further diluted by the air going into the engine at the same time. There just wouldn't be enough actual liquid to do much washing. A good share of the diesel farm tractors I've seen come equipped with starting fluid aided start. The operator pushes a button to let the starting fluid into the intake manifold. It shouldn't be a problem if one is careful. Won't the cylinder walls get relubed somewhat as the engine is cranked during starting attempts? Wouldn't it take a massive amount of starting fluid to wash cold oil off cylinder walls? You should've seen the tractor mechanics start a cold tractor where I worked. They weren't shy about using the starting fluid. And no, they did not get commission on parts sales. Their main worry was overworking the starters if the engines wouldn't fire up in reasonable time. Some other tractors I've seen come equipped with the glow plugs someone else mentioned.

The key word is temporarily, as in just long enough to start the engine.

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Dean Hoffman wrote:

I use ether as a solvent. Spray some on a smudge of grease. Wipe it with a rag before the ether evaporates. Do the same thing to a similar smudge of grease without ether. The grease in the second case will just smear.

They have those for OTR trucks also. If you have to use ether, that system is the best way, since it meters the ether shot. Still, there is little reason to use ether on a properly maintained engine.
My N14 started at some obscene below zero temp with a cold soak. Block heater and fuel heater at the filter. It started very easily. It would only idle at 650 rpm at first. That was all the fuel that the fuel heater could ungel until the fuel return ungelled the tank. Looked like a tank of wax.
I was just reading something on Steve Spence's site that jogged my memory. These otr engines do use the fuel to cool the injectors. Not known to many, is that the electronic diesels on the road have maximum fuel temp limits, because the fuel also cools the brainbox that is mounted to the side of the block.

If you have to use ether, the engine is cold. How well does cold lube oil circulate in a cold engine? What rpm does the engine crank at? How does the oil get on the cylinder wall?
In other words, what speed of crankshaft rotation is required to fling the oil up onto the cylinder walls after if flows out from between the bearing and crank journal and then flows between the connecting rod side bearing and the side of the crank journal?
IIRC some engines have a spray system to cool the underside of the piston. That type of system "might" oil the wall during the low rpm of the cranking to start.

Again, I don't know. What I have given is what I have gleaned from reading all the industry trade magazines. Perhaps we can get some diesel mechanics to weigh in on the issue.

Sounds like a good test situation. Compare the cold start smoke as the engine ages with the ether starting. Perhaps that tractor is already ether dependent.

Everybody overworks starter motors. 15 - 30 seconds cranking. 2-4 minutes rest/cooldown. RTFM. I did once and was surprised by the duty cycle for starter motors. Who does that when the @#@!!% thing won't start. (diesel or gas).

I notice Mr. Nick Pine likes to do math problems. Ideal gas at ambient temp of 0F or colder compressed 22:1 to 24:1 increases the combustion chamber temp to ?F. Anybody know off the top of their heads what the flash point of diesel is?
Anything that gets some heat into the engine will help the engine to reach that flash point.

Simplest solution is an airbox heater with a hose to the intake of the filter. I am assuming the O.P. is looking for emergency power, so a propane torch with the piezo igniter built in would do the trick. Or even a sterno stove. To my mind, it's a non issue. That's why I created the airbox.gif just to get the O.P. thinking on what could be done.
There are 300 watt 12 volt heaters that can be purchased in any main chain truckstop. If your car will start, you can get the diesel started.
Hey Igor, how close to the northern state line are you? IIRC you did say you were in IL (the S is silent).
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I worked for a company that had a 100 kW Cat Diesel Genset. The oil and coolent systems had line voltage heaters on them to keep the genny warm before it was needed. The generator automatically started 3 seconds after a power failure and transfered 10 seconds after the loss of power.
Beachcomber
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Beachcomber wrote:

I believe the O.P. was concerned about a diesel backup genny starting for emergency power. Keeping it warm in an unheated garage could be as simple as tossing a moving blanket over the genny with a 40 - 100 watt incandescent troublelight under the genny. (assumes owner is home at time of power fail, or not gone so long that the genny seriously cools down before owner returns to fire up the genny.
In the case of my N14, the block heater (coolant actually) was approx 1,500 watts. I would guess that the Cat drew much more than that to keep it warm on standby.
I also used a one cylinder air cooled diesel turning a truck alternator for an APU. This homebuilt genny would start even at zero degrees, and it lived on the frame rail under the sleeper in an aluminum box.. unheated. With the three truck batteries to start the big motor, there was usually plenty of juice for cranking this diesel.
See: <http://www.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&frame=right&th ed0883cacb0f25&seekm=m87%25c.2125%24ip2.1161%40newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net#link22> for details.
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gallons of diesel fule. An excellant product, I managed fleets of trucks in the northeast and found it was the best product for me. What happens is the wax in the diesel fuel falls out of suspension clogging the primary filter first. I would also discourage the use of starting fluid as it always causes cracks on top of the pistons although very small and can and will cause an "ether lock" which will stop the engine from turning over until the ether disipates. You must be very careful with starting fluid because serious damage will result with improper use. Ron

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Petroleum oil will thicken as the temperature drops and make the engine harder to turn over. Use of a synthetic oil will make life easier on the starter.
Keeping the battery indoors when not in use will assure full power in the winter.
Look into getting glow plug for the engine to simplify winter starts.
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You are talking about lubrication, right? If so, point taken and noted, I will try synthetic oil when Ichange oil in the engine.

Excellent point, I will keep it indoor and well charged with a trickle charger.

Um, I do not think that there is any place on the engine for "glow plugs"...
i
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Ignoramus13667 wrote:

I have no idea. The manufacturer should have those specs for you.

That depends on the design of the engine. My diesel cars have started without a complaint at 21F below. The gasoline cars were having problems. Check with the manufacturer for the specs for this. Also using a synthetic oil will help as it does not thicken as much when cold.

See the manufacturer's specs. It depends on the engine.

A small shed with an electric light bulb can make a lot of difference You may need to remove the shed when you start it.

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26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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