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Possible cold start issue or is it just me?


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 So this morning the temp outside was 14° F and I went out to fire up the truck so she had time to warm up. It started but reluctantly. I am new to this diesel truck world other than the large semi trucks. This is how it went:

 Turned on key got the wait to start light, waited for it to go out and cranked the motor, as soon as she started to fire I let the key go, she died.

 Cycled the key, WTS light went out and cranked again. This time she fired I held the key to start a bit longer. Thought it started to run, she died.

 WTS light again, then cycled key, WTS light a second time, cranked til she took off. She ran then.

 Grid heaters are working from what I can tell (after it's running lights dim, amp gauge drops when they cycle).

 Am I doing something wrong here or could there be a problem? How easily or difficult should it be to start at about 14° (real feel was 4° with wind chill, truck was facing into the wind as well).

 With my lack of experience with the dodge/Cummins combo I don't know if there is something I may be doing wrong or should do differently or if I should be concerned at this point. Thanks for any replies! 

 Also, just some extra info, the lift pump does run, checked the fuel pres. Not long ago, had 18psi at idle.

 

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You may be losing prime over night.  Try parking truck facing down hill.   Wind chill temp has no effect on inorganic material; it's the actual temp that matters. 

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1 hour ago, Doubletrouble said:

Is it possible that I simply let off the key to soon? The first time I was thinking gasser, as soon as it fired I let off of cranking. 

Thats pretty much how I do mine. Next time try cycling the WTS light twice see if it makes a difference. 14 is pretty cold but it should start ok. My grids are disconnected and it will be 24* in the am. It will start but aint happy for a minute or so. Usually when gets like this i will plug mine in for 30 minutes or so before starting. That will get the block temp up to 50* or 60* and she is very happy. It still could be loss of prime as @IBMobile mentions. Just not always a cut and dry answer things. 

 Started mine once when it was 6 months old in 10* weather without waiting on the grids, I just hit the key. It started but complained mightily.  I did'nt know an engine could make that kind of noise without spitting something out. Never did that again.

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Although 14 F. shouldn’t be to difficult for a start, you may try letting the grids cycle twice before you start it, without further diagnose it may help in the meantime. you can check the heating element in the air intake by checking for 12v when grid is activated and then should go to zero as soon as grid is cycled off, The housing should also be warm to the touch if heating element is working,

and it looks like @dripley sneaked in while I was typing again, but you get the picture 

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 Temp overnight will be close to last night, I did not plug her in just to check things in the morning. I will cycle the grids twice and make sure I hold the dang key longer this time and see how things go. I'll also put a hand on the intake near the grids to feel for warmth. 

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20 minutes ago, 01cummins4ever said:

it looks like @dripley sneaked in while I was typing again, but you get the picture

We are all sneaky that way.

7 minutes ago, Doubletrouble said:

 Temp overnight will be close to last night, I did not plug her in just to check things in the morning. I will cycle the grids twice and make sure I hold the dang key longer this time and see how things go. I'll also put a hand on the intake near the grids to feel for warmth. 

If you do try plugging it in there is absolutely no reason to plug it in all night. Even at 14* an hour is enough. Ususlly put mine on a timer to come on 30 to 45 minutes before l leave when gets around 20. 

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 I'll plug in if it gives me trouble again. It may very well be me not being used to the truck yet, my first diesel pickup. I need to know how to cold start it for when I'm at work. It'll sit 8-12 hours at night when I'm working.

 I've watched several videos of 5.9 vp engines cold starting and mine does seem that bad now. Lol

 I'll try it again in the morning and report back.

 On a side note, how do I resize a pic to fit in my sig?

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0 degrees F. Is my cut off point to plug my truck in, and with that I will only plug in for a couple hours before I start it, ( the block heater will run the electric bill up in a hurry) it will start at -5 or -10 without plugging in but I like to give it a little help in those temps yet I don’t want it to become addicted to the cord if you know what I mean. 

21 minutes ago, Doubletrouble said:

 On a side note, how do I resize a pic to fit in my sig?

Cant help you on that but maybe @Mopar1970man will chime in

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Ok, this morning the temp is 15°F. Went out turned the key on popped the hood and felt for heat at the grid heater, seemed to be warming. Cycled the key to run the grids a second time then cranked and she fired right up on the 2nd or 3rd revolution. Must have been something I did. I will have to pay more attention to what I am doing when I start her up cold like that. 

 Chalk that up to inexperience with this engine and truck I guess.

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