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Old 09-14-2010, 11:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cold Weather & Starting

so from my understanding the 5.9L cummins dont have glow plugs, just a grid heater right? so around what temp out is it just too cold for em to start....I've had my 95 for 6 months so havent experienced cold weather with it yet..and I just recently moved to Missoula to go to school and there isnt a place to plug it in where I am living so I am kinda concered about her starting...Thanks Guys!
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Plenty start at 30 below. Must have very good batteries, synthetic oil, and #1 diesel fuel from addition of kerosene, or additives. And grid heaters working well. Sure you can't run 150 feet of extension cord?
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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i say run a hairdryer into your intake lol... i have started my truck (without the block heater being plugged in) in <10 degree weather u just gonna goose it a little bit with the gas pedal and u shouldn't have any problems..
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Ha! well yeah i was acctually plannin on doing my batteries this weekend.
extension chord ya, there are too many douchers around here that would unplug and screw with it im sure...nervous about leaving it in a dorm parking lot over night.

ha yeah that crossed my mind w/ the blowdryer
just roal a lil coal while shes startin off and see if i cant piss off some more liberal hippies while doing it.
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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haha i didn't say to do that but go for man lol
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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In half decent mechanical condition, good batteries and BOTH grid heaters working, it should have no problem starting to around -20f. after that, it may be hit or miss. but again, their are alot of variables!

My truck will start reliably unplugged down to -20c, down to -35c it will start, but it does not like it. below -35c it doesn't like to start, and when it does, it doesn't like it at all!


If you really need a cold start aid, but cannot use any external resources. look into a webasto/espar heater. Expensive, but they are the cats meow...
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I get regular 20 below zero where I live in wintaaahhh.

if the batteries are good, give it some pedal cranking --- the ol' hoss will start..............it will sound like hell and belch smoke till it warms up but it will start!

I have a block heater though, and i try to remember to plug it in at night...added plus is it's warm enough to melt snow off the hood.

I do not have any trouble starting out and about durring day in frigid temps, it's only if it has sat a good 8-10hrs thru the night in frigid temps that it coughs and sputters a bit.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I can't find the 110 plug for my 95 1 ton. Do they even come with one or do they just relye on the the grid heater?
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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cold starts mean good batteries, and remember to buy or make a cover for your grill it will
help keep the cold out and the heat in, even overnight
put a pad under your batteries like a bit of rubber or some battery blankets
Missoula is cold but not all that cold every night so you will not have to deal with it every night. make sure your battery connections are good or new.


make sure your hoses are in good shape cold weather is hell on hoses especially if they have been on a truck that is coming from a warmer clime.

lotsa cummins fans in that part of the country so there will be plenty of help if you need it

YK Davd is right in saying that good mechanical condition and it will start every time.
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I will restate the old diesel axiom. Just because you can start it unplugged, doesn't mean you SHOULD start it unplugged.

The primary cause of cylinder wear in any engine is cold starts, as the oil is thick and sluggish. On the first several cranks, the oil is not in the cylinders, and its metal to metal (pistons against walls). Thankfully, Cummins will start unaided if need be, but its really hard on the engine, and if this is constantly done, it will NOT hit a million miles or near it.

If I were you, I'd be willing to walk a few blocks if I could find somewhere to plug it in. I have the same dilemma when I stay in motels in winter; so far, no one has messed with my extension cord, but if it runs across a sidewalk, I place a mat over the cord so no one will trip over it.
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