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    mike01's Avatar
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    Block heater, etc. questions

    I had problems last year with the cold, and this year I'm taking steps to ensure a smooth season. I'm having my dealer install the coolant/block heater and the transmission oil heater. Do any of you have any other suggestions?

    Last year, even treated diesel had some separation, so I kept my fuel inside the house and filled the tank as needed during the coldest times. I plan to do that again, unless there's some way to heat the diesel fuel in the tank?

    If I have a block heater, should I also get a magnetic oil pan heater? That way the oil will start flowing right away, I'm thinking, and not cause as much wear.

    I have a battery tender, so that's not going to be a problem. And worst comes to worst, I can run a propane heater in the "shed" (Shelter logic garage in a box).
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    IndianaJim's Avatar
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    You dont need the pan heater.
    The coolant heater will have the engine firing off like its Summer.
    Engine oil will flow well when cold, and with the rest of the engine warm, will also heat up quickly.

    What diesel treatment are you using to keep fuel from gelling?
    Ive never had issues with Stanadyne Performance, and havent heard of anyone else having problems either, but I havent gone looking for issues either.
    It gets cold here in the Winter, but maybe not as cold as it gets there. I dont keep my tractor outside, but my diesel VW sits outside and hasnt had issues down to single digit temps and well below zero wind chills.

    There are several additives available that will add quite a bit to the gel temp of diesel.
    Also, be sure you are buying fresh diesel in the Winter. Its blended at those times to not gel nearly as early as the Summer blend does. Summer is usually only good to 32 degrees or so. An additive like Stanadyne can drop that temp another 40 degrees. Winter blend diesel depends on the area, but from a chart I saw, NY is similar to Indiana and is at least below zero for pour point in the Winter. Again, an additive will lower that even further.

    You probably know this, but its really not safe to keep fuel of any kind inside your home. The fumes are a hazard, as is the fuel itself.
    Ive seen SEVERAL house fires where both gas and diesel made the situation WAY worse.
    Last edited by IndianaJim; 11-05-2018 at 01:32 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaJim View Post
    What diesel treatment are you using to keep fuel from gelling?
    I use Howes. It did prevent gelling, but there was still some paraffin wax floating in my test tube samples (I tested various additives and diesel types). Untreated winter diesel performed just as well as Howes and the stuff in the white bottle (forgot name), which I also tested.

    Most of my problems last year were because I forgot to treat and/or replace my diesel before the first cold spell hit. This year I obviously won't make that mistake. But I'm looking to prevent wear on the tractor from the cold. And it may get even colder this year, according to farmer's almanac. I have a new tractor and I want it to last forever.
    Last edited by mike01; 11-05-2018 at 03:21 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike01 View Post
    I use Howes. It did prevent gelling, but there was still some paraffin wax floating in my test tube samples (I tested various additives and diesel types). Untreated winter diesel performed just as well as Howes and the stuff in the white bottle (forgot name), which I also tested.

    Most of my problems last year were because I forgot to treat and/or replace my diesel before the first cold spell hit. This year I obviously won't make that mistake. But I'm looking to prevent wear on the tractor from the cold. And it may get even colder this year, according to farmer's almanac. I have a new tractor and I want it to last forever.
    My question is, do you know that the fuel was untreated. Much diesel you buy at the pump in the winter is already treated so it may have been treated out of the pump.

    Bottom line, extremely cold weather and diesel do not go well together. Most really cold climates blend the fuel with kerosene to prevent gelling although, this has a negative effect on the BTU per gallon and will lower HP and you will burn more fuel.
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    IndianaJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike01 View Post
    I use Howes. It did prevent gelling, but there was still some paraffin wax floating in my test tube samples (I tested various additives and diesel types). Untreated winter diesel performed just as well as Howes and the stuff in the white bottle (forgot name), which I also tested.

    Most of my problems last year were because I forgot to treat and/or replace my diesel before the first cold spell hit. This year I obviously won't make that mistake. But I'm looking to prevent wear on the tractor from the cold. And it may get even colder this year, according to farmer's almanac. I have a new tractor and I want it to last forever.
    What oil are you running in it now? Weight wise I mean.

    Just my opinion, but once Im past the break in period, my 2025R will get Deeres 0w40 synthetic. Part of it is better cold starting, but it also protects a bit better at startup since it flows better when cold. I too plan to have this one last as long as possible.
    Any of the major oil companies 5w40 diesel oils would work. Mobil 1 Delvac 1, Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck, Rotella T6, Valvoline Premium Blue full synthetic.
    My reasoning for going Deere over the others is that its generally regarded, from oil analysis, as one of the best oils you can by in this class.
    I run Delvac 1 in my TDI, but figure Ill give Deeres oil a shot at the first change and see how I like it.
    In any case, even if you dont buy that synthetics provide much better wear protection, they certainly will provide much easier cold starting, and will flow easier at startup when they are cold.
    In your case though, thats not much of a consideration as you will be heating the engine anyway, and as I said, the oil will warm up very quickly.
    On my TDI, when I use the engine heater, it literally starts and runs like its Summer. No lifter noise, or no more than normal when warmed up.
    If I dont use the heater, it will still start, but it needs a few minutes for the oil to get going.
    Its currently sitting at 337,000+ miles. I expect to see if I can get to 600,000 with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray_PA View Post
    My question is, do you know that the fuel was untreated.
    Because it was left over summer fuel that I didn't treat.

    Later, after I flushed my tank a couple of times, I used treated winter diesel.

    Bottom line, extremely cold weather and diesel do not go well together. Most really cold climates blend the fuel with kerosene to prevent gelling although, this has a negative effect on the BTU per gallon and will lower HP and you will burn more fuel.
    Can you still use kerosene blends on these new engines with DPFs?

    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaJim View Post
    What oil are you running in it now? Weight wise I mean.
    Whatever it shipped with. The tractor has 14 hours on it.

    Just my opinion, but once Im past the break in period, my 2025R will get Deeres 0w40 synthetic. Part of it is better cold starting, but it also protects a bit better at startup since it flows better when cold. I too plan to have this one last as long as possible.
    Yeah, that's the plan. That or 5W-50 Rotella synthetic.

    I may still get a magnetic oil pan heater just because it will make me feel better.


    Do you guys leave the heaters on all the time or just for a few hours before starting?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray_PA View Post
    My question is, do you know that the fuel was untreated. Much diesel you buy at the pump in the winter is already treated so it may have been treated out of the pump.

    Bottom line, extremely cold weather and diesel do not go well together. Most really cold climates blend the fuel with kerosene to prevent gelling although, this has a negative effect on the BTU per gallon and will lower HP and you will burn more fuel.
    I agree, only buy fuel from a station with a fairly high volume, what happens often at smaller stations is they may not get treated diesel early enough, if they get a delivery at a half a tank and it's blended 70/30 when it mixes with the diesel already in the tank it dilutes that blend significantly. Also, fill your tank on the tractor after each and every use, the less empty space you leave in the tank the much better you'll be. Empty space is vapor space and vapor space equals condensation, condensation is the enemy.
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    Forgot to add, good diesel and a block heater is all you'll need. How much are they charging you to put the block heater in, it's literally two bolts, not that hard to do yourself is all I'm getting at.
    Last edited by PJR832; 11-05-2018 at 06:21 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJR832 View Post
    Forgot to add, good diesel and a block heater is all you'll need. How much are they charging you to put the block heater in, it's literally two bolts, not that hard to do yourself is all I'm getting at.
    They aren't charging much, it's 150 installed. The unit itself is like 80 bucks. I believe this one has a plug that you unscrew and then screw the heater in, but it's really hard to break the plug loose and then you need thread sealer, make sure it doesn't leak, drain and refill coolant, etc. Yes, it's pretty easy, but for that little money, they may as well do it. Plus it's down there anyway now for other stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike01 View Post
    They aren't charging much, it's 150 installed. The unit itself is like 80 bucks. I believe this one has a plug that you unscrew and then screw the heater in, but it's really hard to break the plug loose and then you need thread sealer, make sure it doesn't leak, drain and refill coolant, etc. Yes, it's pretty easy, but for that little money, they may as well do it. Plus it's down there anyway now for other stuff.
    Makes sense, didn’t realize they had


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