Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

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philmeup1
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Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

Postby philmeup1 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:51 am

For the last few weeks, the temperature in Southern Ontario has been ridiculously cold. And since I hate winter, my usual plan is to stay inside as much as possible. But when you're all out of beer, the trek outside is inevitable.

My van is pretty good at starting in cold weather. I have a crappy magnetic pan heater that helps, but only if you plug it in when the engine is already warm and leave it going all night. Tthat's a big waste of energy, and also quite expensive because it's Ontario electricity prices.

I only seem to have starting issues when it gets down past -20 degrees Celsius. But since we've had so many days like this already and winter has just begun, I'm thinking its time to install something better. A mechanic friend that works on VW Busses suggested a heater that you splice into one of your coolant lines. He said it actually gets the coolant moving around the engine, thus really being effective on heating up the engine before attempting to start it in this crazy weather we are currently experiencing.

Has anyone on here installed one of these with success? I know there's the frost plug heater option, but I'm looking for something that might be a little easier to install with the same or better results.

It got down to like -32 yesterday and I didn't even bother trying to start my van because I knew it wouldn't go anyways.

Maybe I should just move south.......... :( Any input from others on this topic is greatly appreciated.

Cheers, Phil

sk66
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Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

Postby sk66 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:28 pm

The large ones that go inline with the radiator are easy to install, but you are fighting the radiator :). The smaller piped ones circulate only through the block, but I'm not sure where you could install one on the 4d56.

Honestly, with modern oils I wouldn't think the engine temp is really the problem... I think battery temp (slow cranking) and fuel temp (cooling glow plugs) are probably the main culprits.

I've bought a fuel heater to run off the battery a few minutes before starting... I'm hoping this will help a lot and not be dependent on mains power. A battery blanket heater would be the next item I might try, but they run off of mains power like most other options do.
Steven
1991 L300
Harrisburg, PA

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archieim
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Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

Postby archieim » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:28 pm

This is my first Winter with my 94 L400 diesel.
But not my first diesel and not my first Canadian Winter.
During the holidays it dipped to -38 with the windchill.
I have a electric oil pan heater (not the magnet) and for those chilly starts a battery warmer /kozy. Those are it for my van and yes it is parked outside.
I did investigate that you can get a block heater installed.
I think what your talking about is a mini furnace that is free from electrical cords ect..
It’s a little heater/furnace that works off your own diesel fuel and circulates your coolant and/or oil.
Keeping your motor fairly warm and easy to start.
I haven’t looked into it for these vans. One manufacture is Webastco a friend has it on his F450, you could try that course.





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A2C
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Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

Postby A2C » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:19 pm

My diesel L300 came with the inline coolant heater installed, I was sceptical about how effective it would be, but after the van struggled to start at -15 I plugged it in for an hour, came back and it started great. I now have it on a timer to turn on an hour before I want it in the morning if the temp is predicted to be below <-10. At the -28 last week it still started well after an hour of warming. My only concern is if it is cold and I plug it in to start it, then leave it in the ski hill car park for 5 hours its not going to be so warm when I try to get home. I also put in some lighter synthetic oil for the winter so that may be helping too.

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Growlerbearnz
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Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

Postby Growlerbearnz » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:56 pm

If I lived anywhere near snow... I'd move, to be honest, but if I *couldn't* move I'd definitely install a diesel parking heater. Partly for the easy starting, partly for the warm interior, but mostly because they're cool:

https://www.webasto.com/us/markets-products/light-duty-vehicles/heating-systems/products/thermo-pro-50-eco/
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.

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ACKO15
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Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

Postby ACKO15 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:57 pm

I recently purchased one of the circulating type heaters, Philips and Temro 1000W element I believe. Cost around 140$ from NAPA. I have an L300 which has no issues starting until about-10 to -15C, at which point I avoid eye contact with bystanders as I spew smoke across the parking lot. I run 15w40 semi synthetic lube oil, and even on hard cold starts, the van runs and idles well after about 15 seconds.

I haven't gotten a chance to install the heater yet, but I am eyeing the rear heater hoses, as they are a low point in the system and easy to access. The main thing is to find a location where there is a steady uphill run of hose or piping, to promote natural circulation. The steel crossover tubing to and from the rear heater may be weak, frail and rusty, so maybe pick up some spare heater hose as a replacement before you start the job (bad experience otherwise).

In my experience with other small diesels, the circulating heaters work wonders. On a small John Deere marine engine at work, the coolant is hot at any given time, and the engine fires up within 3-5 seconds of cranking even at -25C. Just follow the directions and make sure it's low enough in the system to provide adequate convection.

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ACKO15
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Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

Postby ACKO15 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:59 pm

Or get a Webasto like Growler suggested, and make us all drool with envy

philmeup1
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Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

Postby philmeup1 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:24 pm

Thanks for all of your input folks. I am curious about the Webasto heater option that Growlerbearnz suggested. I might contact them to see what the cost of one of these units is. I'm guessing they're not cheap. But you would probably be doing your engine quite the service by installing one of these things. Plus you would have interior heat right away if I'm reading things correctly.

Or I could just move south.... lol.

Thanks again for the input folks. I'll let you know If I buy one of these or move south:)

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weelsey
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Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

Postby weelsey » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:19 pm

The wabasto is a circulation type heater that does not use shore power. If you're like me, you are most often parked near a plug in therefor Self-sufficiency is not a primary concern (sweet as it is). In which case the dough can be better spent on maintenance and "acclimatization" improvements. for those times i am parked away for a time i hope to have accomplished a modification to the injection pump for timing advance. But if i find myself in the post-apocolyptic prairie north iceage i maY just want a wabasto and the injection advance mod + remote ether injection. Instsad of moving south I'd probably just walk or dogsled.
I'm keen for the small hose circulation type heater install ATM.

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Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

Postby javabob » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:23 am

I recently installed an Espar hydronic coolant heater. Basically the same thing as a Webasto. Although we are getting a break now, (not for long), we've been in a horrible deep freeze. Some days the highs didn't get above -20c. The coldest day we had was -45c and my garage was a toasty -27c. With the Espar my truck starts right up with no smoke. If I start it right after the heater shuts down I don't even need to use the glow plugs. When it gets this cold I leave the heater running while I'm out running errands to keep the engine warm. Hands down the best thing I've done to the truck!
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

philmeup1
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Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

Postby philmeup1 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:03 pm

Hi javabob. What was the cost to do this? And is it an easy install? I come from the mechanically declined side of the group. lol.

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Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

Postby javabob » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:41 pm

philmeup1 wrote:Hi javabob. What was the cost to do this? And is it an easy install? I come from the mechanically declined side of the group. lol.


I can't remember the exact cost, hut $850 usd is popping in my head. I ordered it off ebay from a company in Canada. I also think a guy from this forum, 204explorer can sell them.

It's not a technically difficult install, but it was a pain in the **s. I've read that some people have had problems finding a place to install it. I was lucky because I put a side exhaust on the Deli so I had plenty of spots to choose from.

Here is the post that I gleaned all the info off of.
http://www.delica.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=18548&p=136883#p136883
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

philmeup1
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Starting Issues, Super Cold Temps in Ontario

Postby philmeup1 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:11 pm

Thanks javabob. That's not cheap, but I'm sure it works very well. Plus there would be far less wear & tear on the engine with not trying to start it in such cold temperatures. It's going right back down this weekend in Southern Ontario as another deep freeze is on its way. Right now, its all about the "flash Freezing" as its going down from +8 to -15 in like only a few hours.

Hmmmm, $850 US could also buy me a nice plane ticket south.....

I think I might just give up:(


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