Getting fed up with diesel (gelling)
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    mike01's Avatar
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    Getting fed up with diesel (gelling)

    Last year I had gelling problems, so this year I did everything "right." I used treated winter blend diesel (Howe's, using their recommended double dosage for low temps), block heater, transmission oil heater...had both running night (not that it has anything to do with the gelling, but still...).

    The freakin' diesel still gelled and clogged up my filter. Changing the filter bought me 20 minutes to blow my driveway, but then it started dying again and I quickly put it away before it was fully clogged.

    I mean...what do I have to do to keep this from happening?? Why are diesels such POS for cold temps?

    Do I have to buy an X739 (gasoline!) with a blower as a backup?

    What do you guys do?
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    mike01's Avatar
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    Gelling isn't the right word, because it's not actually gelled. It's CFPP (Cold Filter Plug Point), when the separated paraffin wax clogs up your fuel filter.

    In my case, despite the fact that the fuel is treated to prevent this very thing from happening. And it must have started happening yesterday at like 15-20F, because it happened pretty fast this morning. It took less time for the initial filter to plug up than it's replacement.

    I'll have to drain all of this fuel and try again.
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    Have you been getting fuel in the same place as last year? I donít know what else to think as you are doing everything right it seems as you stated. The reason I ask is about water in the fuel but you seem to have plain old gelling and not a water issue...

    In all my years running diesels at work and home I only had one gel incident which was out of my control. Working for the state - it was December - and they hadnít gotten a new shipment of winter fuel in our 10k gal tank. Every plow truck never made it out of their parking spaces. Talk about a panic at the beginning of a storm!
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    Where in NY are you? I lived in NY (lower Hudson valley for 30 years-no longer there) never a problem. Temps at times went to negative 5. Never had to ad anything to the diesel or use any kind of heaters. If I had enough power in the battery to roll the engine I would get a start. Difficult to start at low temps, but once going never a problem. Can't understand what's causing your problem. Sorry.

    I think you should try a different diesel supplier. I bet the problem is with the fuel. You might be getting a diesel with a lot of dirt & crap in it or a really low end quality. Can you get it from a supplier that sells a lot to truck diesel operators? If your getting it from a place that sees very little diesel sales you might be getting junk.
    Last edited by Maddog; 01-21-2019 at 11:17 AM.
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    Same place, yes. I read an article after posting this stating that diesel fuel quality is inconsistent this year. Maybe that's it. I don't know. Here's the article: Why More Diesel Tanks are Gelling This Winter - Mansfield Energy Corp

    It's just getting really frustrating. At this point if these tractors came with optional gasoline engines I'd be all over it.
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    mike01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maddog View Post
    Where in NY are you? I lived in NY (lower Hudson valley for 30 years-no longer there) never a problem. Temps at times went to negative 5. Never had to ad anything to the diesel or use any kind of heaters. If I had enough power in the battery to roll the engine I would get a start. Difficult to start at low temps, but once going never a problem. Can't understand what's causing your problem. Sorry
    Catskills, Delaware County. It was -8F last night and about 3F this morning. Tractor started right up (block heater all night) and ran great until it started to die. Then it was obviously a clogged filter causing it, confirmed by the fact that changing it gave me about 20 minutes of flawless operation. At which point it started doing it again.
    Last edited by mike01; 01-21-2019 at 11:17 AM.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike01 View Post
    Same place, yes. I read an article after posting this stating that diesel fuel quality is inconsistent this year. Maybe that's it. I don't know. Here's the article: Why More Diesel Tanks are Gelling This Winter - Mansfield Energy Corp

    It's just getting really frustrating. At this point if these tractors came with optional gasoline engines I'd be all over it.
    I can certainly feel your frustration. Your thread on this last year was a good one - you heeded all the good advise but you are still having issues. At this point I would drain any fuel left in the tractor and get some fresh fuel from a different place.

    I know it shouldnít matter since you are treating your fuel properly, but...in desperation I would try it.

    I actually buy summer fuel in bulk and treat it on delivery so itís good for winter. I used Power Service for years and have now been using Stanadyne (my favorite) the last couple years. We had quite a few nights last winter at -20* and never a problem.

    I hope you can figure this out - donít abandon your diesel!
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    Are you sure it's the fuel jelling and not some kind of contamination in your tank?
    If the fuel was reaching it's cloud point, you could just warm the filter up and the paraffin will melt right off.
    I don't suppose you could post a picture of what is on the filter element?
    What temperatures are you experiencing this at?
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    I've had the same problem. I buy fuel at a Stewart's, which is a very large local chain and they move a lot of product. I never had a problem stalling (starting was another issue) with the old 650 I sold early last year. With the relatively new 3038e I had a huge block of ice in the separator for starters. After I cleared that up I keep a close watch on the red ring. Lately I have had a problem where I get some kind of fuel blockage but there is no water in the separator.

    I bought a bottle of Diesel 911 and that seems to have helped. Never treated fuel before this year.

    Al
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    Here what I have always used Diesel Fuel Supplement +Cetane Boost - Power Service and I have never Had a gelling Problem and I have a Bottle Of Howe's That I have never Used. The Power System additive is what my dealer Has always recommend and the Farmers around here tend to swear By It
    Last edited by Sergeant; 01-21-2019 at 11:29 AM.
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