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Going into my first winter I'm curious how many of you that have carbureted engines are using the winter engine covers? It sounds like some recommend it while others say they've gotten by without any issues. Winters here in WI will go down to below 0F, just wondering what everyone's experience has been.

Thanks!
 

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Going into my first winter I'm curious how many of you that have carbureted engines are using the winter engine covers? It sounds like some recommend it while others say they've gotten by without any issues. Winters here in WI will go down to below 0F, just wondering what everyone's experience has been.

Thanks!
I wouldn't worry too much about it on a gasser. I would be more concerned about using the proper weight oil (engine and hydro) for the cold climate.

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Going into my first winter I'm curious how many of you that have carbureted engines are using the winter engine covers? It sounds like some recommend it while others say they've gotten by without any issues. Winters here in WI will go down to below 0F, just wondering what everyone's experience has been.

Thanks!
To a point, the cold air will aid in making more horsepower but I don't know the threshold for air that cold.
For a diesel, I blocked the side panel vents with thin cardboard on the inside of the panels so it doesn't look like Jethro Clampett engineered:flag_of_truce: it. For the diesel, it helped maintain higher operating temps. When outside temps warmed up, the panels needed to go pronto or it would cause the tractor to run warmer than it should. For a gas engine, I doubt it will make any difference in winter performance.

I would expect the cold to be real hard on the battery, not to mention making the oil thick causing the engine to crank slower.

Also, you will likely find the hydraulic controls harder to move and the pedals much stiffer until the hydro fluid warms up. Even those machines with power steering will steer harder due to the thick fluid. Make sure you let the machine warm up before working it too hard. Some of the lift and angle levers can become very stiff when the the temps are below zero.

I would make sure to run treatment in my gasoline to prevent any moisture as that will dampen performance plus cause difficulties if there is too much moisture.
 

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Covers also depend on which way the air is flowing through the engine.
Quite a few carbureted engines exhaust cooling air out the front, and in that case, you will want to block the other side, assuming you do want to do it.

As to blocking it, I cant see it helping much.
The reason its done on diesel cars/trucks, etc, is because diesels dont generally produce heat until they are under load. Idling a diesel wont bring it up to operating temp, and thus no heat inside.
The engines do get plenty warm enough to heat the oil, etc, so its not really a concern on tractors without heaters.
 

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If you have an air cooled engine and using a blower/thrower then yes,it'll keep it from icing up from sucking in the snow dust.Liquid cooled not necessary but wouldn't hurt.
 

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You MUST MUST MUST be AWARE AWARE of the AIR FLOW for cooling on the engine.

Air drawn from rear of tractor (Horizontal crank) and pushed out the front NO COVERING on front

Air drawn from top to bottom (Vertical crank) with or without liquid cooling, covering the front will depend on location of the carb, most of these have vents on top of the hood for the air to be drawn from.

Air drawn from front to rear (Horizontal crank) with or without liquid cooling, most will not, because it can over heat engine even with liquid cooling. You might want to use a adjustable shutter system, which would cost a lot. I do not know of these except on large tractors and trucks.

Check your owners manual for winter operation and weatherization steps
 

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Discussion Starter #7
To a point, the cold air will aid in making more horsepower but I don't know the threshold for air that cold.
For a diesel, I blocked the side panel vents with thin cardboard on the inside of the panels so it doesn't look like Jethro Clampett engineered:flag_of_truce: it. For the diesel, it helped maintain higher operating temps. When outside temps warmed up, the panels needed to go pronto or it would cause the tractor to run warmer than it should. For a gas engine, I doubt it will make any difference in winter performance.

I would expect the cold to be real hard on the battery, not to mention making the oil thick causing the engine to crank slower.

Also, you will likely find the hydraulic controls harder to move and the pedals much stiffer until the hydro fluid warms up. Even those machines with power steering will steer harder due to the thick fluid. Make sure you let the machine warm up before working it too hard. Some of the lift and angle levers can become very stiff when the the temps are below zero.

I would make sure to run treatment in my gasoline to prevent any moisture as that will dampen performance plus cause difficulties if there is too much moisture.
I've got an x584 (air cooled and carbureted). While not in use the battery tender jr is plugged into the battery. I haven't yet changed the oil as I'm only at ~5hrs. Not sure if the oil from the factor is 10w30 or 5w30. I do add stabil to the fuel when filling up at the gas station and keep the tank full in the tractor to try and minimize moisture. Thanks for all the advice.
 

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More info

I didn't see any machine info on your signature so this may or may not be applicable.

Even in a much warmer climate, we use a grill cover on the tractors when feeding the cows. If we don't, the engine doesn't run long or hard enough to really get up to operating temp so there's little chance of getting the oil up to temp to cook off any unburned fuel that slips by the rings. Plus as someone else said, it's faster to get heat in the cab. We don't do anything fancy, slap a piece of cardboard or old political sign on the radiator grill and the fan keeps it stuck there until we shut back down in the shed.

The tractor cooling system has enough capacity to keep it at operating temps in 100 degree summer when running under load and with dust in the radiator. The fan flow constriction only helps a little when it's 20 degrees outside, allows the thermostat to open quicker, oil temps come up etc.

If you are running an air cooled gasser, I'd be more careful as you could get hot spots from the cylinder fins not getting any air flow. The overall temp might be fine but the hot spots could be a problem.

Treefarmer
 

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I used my 314 (air cooled & carbureted) for 35+ years in CT with temps from 0 to 40. Used Mobil 1 10w-30 oil and tractor stored in unheated building. It cranked a little slower when 0, but always started. I'd let it sit at half throttle for 3 or 5 minutes then full throttle and start blowing snow. No cardboard/covers/shields and no problems! Bob
 

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If I remember correctly. The JD accessory catalog only listed grill covers for the 300/500 series tractors only with air cooled engines. It covers the front as well as the side hood vents. It's hard to make out the side vent covers in most of the pictures.
Use of the cover is supposedly to prevent carb icing.
 

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I use older models for winter work, a 300 and a 318. I've never done anything special for either, other than seafoam in the gas. Never had a problem. If you have problems with your carb icing up, put aluminum foil around it with it open to the block.
 
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