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Old 12-13-2016, 09:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bbasso View Post
I installed a cheapo volt guage to watch when the glow plugs are drawing juice...
So in very cold/ first start of the day, i wait till the voltage comes back up to 12.2 and fully turn to start. Works like a charm.
All great advice! Not sure I would use the propane idea tho.

But yes, I always watch the voltage on my Scangauge and start the truck when voltage comes back up. It also helps to run 5W30 diesel motor oil in the winter as well. If your batteries, cables and starter are good, whouldnt have much to worry about.

2000 E350 Cargo PSD w/ UJOR 6" Lift
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Old 12-13-2016, 09:17 AM   #12
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If you find you can't start your 7.3 in the cold, do some research on the fuel bowl heater. Ours shorted, so whenever it was cold enough for it to kick on the fuse would blow and the truck wouldn't start. It never really got cold enough for it to be a problem here in North Carolina, but it became a huge issue in Moab.

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Old 12-13-2016, 02:33 PM   #13
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Some very helpful advice in this thread.

Is the block heater a standard accessory? Mines got one, any recommendations on a way to test it before setting off on a trip to the cold?
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Old 12-13-2016, 02:54 PM   #14
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Simply plug it in for a few hours or even overnight. You'll feel some slight warmth from the engine bay. If you have a scanguage set to display the EOT that'll show you the temp increase too when you initially fire her up
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Old 12-13-2016, 03:07 PM   #15
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With thought of cold temps in mind while camping, I figured we would be using the Espar D4 for interior heat. I mounted the heater just behind the driver's seat. Of course, the combustion intake and exhaust run from/to outside below the floor. Why waste the exhaust heat from the Espar?

So, for two functional reasons I ran the exhaust forward to the engine area. Reason one is the heat from the exhaust (150* plus) will help a little to keep the engine bay a little bit warmer than ambient, albeit by only a few degrees but why waste the heat. Reason two was the wheel arches and grill are the highest exit points for the exhaust in case it snows enough to cover the rocker height. I did not want the snow to cause the heater to shut off. We have used this setup for a year including many sub 20* nights and have had no issues. The oil temp in the morning on the scan gauge is usually higher than the outside temp, but I have not done any true study of the exhaust routing effectiveness. 4 gals of oil and 600lbs of steel can stay warm (or cold) for long time!
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Old 12-13-2016, 03:21 PM   #16
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That's an interesting idea using the D4 exhaust heat to the motor. Sadly mine is way too far back to be of any assistance...
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And had three other E350s...
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Old 12-13-2016, 03:57 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the info everyone. This forum really is the best!
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Old 12-18-2016, 12:22 PM   #18
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So at what point is it considered "cold" starting? How do you guys deal with cold starts when you're in the boonies without a power supply?

I've been having a hard time starting mine after it's been below 35-40 over night. Until this morning when it was 16 bloody degrees I'd always been able to get her running after several attempts, but today not so much. One thing I don't know is if the fuel in the tank is #1 or #2, so I don't know if that is part of the issue...
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:10 PM   #19
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^^^ mine will religiously start down to about 15 degrees. Lower than than and it's usually a struggle.

at 6 degrees yesterday morning mine was having nothing to do with a start. tumblers in civic ignition were froze and van was behind our other car. 5:30 am is a lame time to try and get anything going, so I plugged in van for an hour and was able to move it so wife could get tl out of tha garage and get her to work. Was still pretty hard to get the old girl going, but once the high idle kicked in it only took a few minutes to get warm enough to move it. I'm sure the neighbors were stoked to listen to my van idle at 6:30 on a Saturday morning...

If I was in a spot a quick shot of ether or wd40 has got friends cold diesels going in a pinch and I keep some onboard at all times. Just got to remember to try it before you kill the batteries.
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Old 12-18-2016, 03:54 PM   #20
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The last year I had my 7.3 we were up camping and got a cold snap it was -10 when we got up and it would not start. We ended up leaving it on the mountain for 3 days and coming back when it had warmed up. Once I got it back I tested the glow plugs and only 2 of the 8 were in spec. I got them all replaced. A few weeks later we went up to the Montana Canada border and it was -25 in the morning I cycled the plugs once and it fired right up. My uncle lives in Northern Montana and lugs in his block heater whenever he can but sometimes that isnt an option, his starts rougher without the heater but always starts. I would make sure you have good strong glow plugs they arent to pricey and when they are all working well mine always started in the cold.

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