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GreenRiverCummins

4BT Cummins getting hard to start

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So we got a lightly used Skytrack at work a month or so ago to replace our dying Massy Ferguson 285 tractor and Massy Fork lift both of which were on there 7 and 8 Headgasket replacement :banghead: This newish skytrack has the 4bt cummins in it which is awesome :drool: but it's been getting cooler at night here around 39-40 (Not cold for here but cool) and it sit's in front of our shop and in the morning it is getting harder to start we replaced the battery with a new 1175 CCA battery and rebuilt the starter and replaced the alt when we got it. Changed al the fluid's filter's add additives to every thing and are running the White bottle diesel Kleen or the winter blend one but it has no Block heater and no grid heater so what is there to do can you get a cord if it does have a block heater if so where is the block heater on these? Thanks for any help :thumbup2:

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It should not have a hard time starting in that mild of weather. At my former job we had a couple of them as well as a few 6bt's in the small cranes, none of them had any cold weather starting aids and they would start right up down into the single digits. We did have magnetic heater elements that we stuck to the bottom of the oil pans for when it got colder than that. I don't think they were as effective as the coolant heaters in our trucks but they worked well enough.One of the older Lorain cranes we had with a 6bt actually had an ether bottle set up for cold weather. It had a cap kind of like a filter canister that you would screw a pressurized ether bottle into and there was a button in the cab of the crane where you could fog the engine to help get it going in cold weather. My boss (the owner of the company) has always been very against using any kind of starting fluid in diesels and in 13 years of working there (10 of those yrs running the cranes)I never saw it get used. JR

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No grid heater will make it tough down at about 20-25*F on 24V engine.So I would look on the oil filter side of the block for a heater. Typically NAPA would sell the cord for about $30 bucks. If the heater is missing (pipe plug in the hole) then just order a block heater for it. If you want simple get a freeze plug style and install it.The only other reason a 4BT would have a tough time starting in cool weather is the rings are wore out. I would then do a compression test to verify the cylinder health.

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Update.... Found the real problem for the second time now there was a twig stuck in the line filter going to the main filter. removed the debry cblew out the line changed the filter's and she's runing like a top. Turns out this was a rental skytrac at one time and one person lost the diesel tank cap and used it to trim tree's and dll kinds of junk fell in the tank. so were gonna remove the tank soon and throughly clean it thanks for the help guy's ya'll are awesome!!! :)

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My JD410 belonged to a General Contractor at one time. Both the fuel & radiator caps have hasps riveted to them so padlocks could be installed it left on a job site. Rude & crude but functional.

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On ‎9‎/‎27‎/‎2013 at 7:08 PM, GreenRiverCummins said:

Update.... Found the real problem for the second time now there was a twig stuck in the line filter going to the main filter. removed the debry cblew out the line changed the filter's and she's runing like a top

 

I'm glad you found your problem.  I knew that there had to be a reason it was hard starting.  I had a 4BTA in a 1/2 ton 1991 Ford F150 for over 200,000 miles when I lived in Leadville, Colorado.  Elevation is 10,200 feet, so cylinder compression is much lower.  Never used any starting aid until it got down to around 20 degrees. 

 

It is interesting that you mentioned an ether starting system.  If it is installed correctly, it is an excellent starting aid.  There should be a very small line going to a fitting on the central part of the intake plenum.  Inside the plenum should be an atomizer that is sized for the engine displacement.  The push button should only have power when the starter is engaged  You can push the button as much as you want while the engine is cranking, but only a metered shot of ether is allowed each time you push and release the button. 

 

I had this system on my 4BTA engine.  When I needed it at 20 below zero, it was so smooth it didn't even sound like an ether start. Hardly any ether is used because of the efficient way it is set up.  One small screw-on bottle lasted me 1 1/2 years.

 

- John

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14 hours ago, Tractorman said:

I had this system on my 4BTA engine.  When I needed it at 20 below zero, it was so smooth it didn't even sound like an ether start. Hardly any ether is used because of the efficient way it is set up.  One small screw-on bottle lasted me 1 1/2 years.

Had it on a duce and half, worked great. Only used it few times. 

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