Cold starting a to 35 w/ Standard diesel

   / Cold starting a to 35 w/ Standard diesel #1  

Cougsfan

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
Messages
1,640
Location
Eastern Washington State
Tractor
Ferguson TO35, Branson 4720CH
My TO-35 23c Standard diesel starts extremely easy after the engine is warmed up, but fairly hard when engine is cold, and nearly impossible when it is below freezing out. I have used a space heater and blanket in cold weather in the past, but that is a pain and only semi effective. I have been thinking about installing a block heater to make cold starting easier. There are lots of options and I am unsure of which to use. There are magnetic heaters that just attach to the block, there are inexpensive heating pads that can be put on the oil pan, engine block and/or battery. There are radiator hose in-line heaters at a rough glance seem to be the best bet. There are freeze plug heaters that seem that they might be "iffy" to install. All of these come in various wattages. I am not sure if heating the engine iron, oil, the water, the battery, or the fuel is most effective. I would guess heating the water is most effective. Any experience based advice would be appreciated.
 
   / Cold starting a to 35 w/ Standard diesel #2  
I had one of those diesel Chevrolet cars everybody seems to think are so terrible. It had a block heater of some sort to warm the coolant. I never needed it until the glow plugs failed. With the warm water in the block I never missed the glow plugs - though I did replace them, anyhow. If you don't have glow plugs in your Massey, heat in the radiator hoses is a great way to go. They warm the engine where the combustion takes place.
 
   / Cold starting a to 35 w/ Standard diesel #3  
You need heat in the head so water is the best option, suppose you have working glow plugs/heater? Worn register chain alter timing and will make it harder to start.
 
   / Cold starting a to 35 w/ Standard diesel #4  
I had a TO 35 decades ago and tried everything to get it to start below freezing. Nothing worked. If you have the Continental engine, which is likely, you are screwed.
 
   / Cold starting a to 35 w/ Standard diesel #5  
Good Morning Tom. We used 1500 watt lower radiator hose heaters exclusively when we lived in Alaska. They are designed to heat only the coolant water but will also pass on heat to all areas where the coolant goes. Except the radiator. The thermostat will effectively keep this heated water circulating only thru the engine block. It's a waste to heat the coolant in the radiator.

They instal easily - easy to check for potential leaks - do not need penetration of the engine block. Plus - at 1500 watts, they will do their job quickly and efficiently.

Your other option - keep that sweet 'ol Massey in your new heated garage and only use in the summer. You have your Branson for winter work.
 
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   / Cold starting a to 35 w/ Standard diesel #6  
My TO-35 23c Standard diesel starts extremely easy after the engine is warmed up, but fairly hard when engine is cold, and nearly impossible when it is below freezing out. I have used a space heater and blanket in cold weather in the past, but that is a pain and only semi effective. I have been thinking about installing a block heater to make cold starting easier. There are lots of options and I am unsure of which to use. There are magnetic heaters that just attach to the block, there are inexpensive heating pads that can be put on the oil pan, engine block and/or battery. There are radiator hose in-line heaters at a rough glance seem to be the best bet. There are freeze plug heaters that seem that they might be "iffy" to install. All of these come in various wattages. I am not sure if heating the engine iron, oil, the water, the battery, or the fuel is most effective. I would guess heating the water is most effective. Any experience based advice would be appreciated.
These engines a re notoriously hard starters in the cold. If you can put a block heater in a core plug hole, that's your best bet. It will directly heat the coolant in the water jacket. A 400 watt heater should do it for you. Not only will the engine fire off, with a warm water jacket the torque requirements on the starter are less and with reduced capacity of a cold battery, it easier on that energy source. My experience with the magnetic block heater is terrible. Don't waste your money. Lower hose heaters are probably the next best bet but the core plug heater is by far the best way to go.
 
   / Cold starting a to 35 w/ Standard diesel
  • Thread Starter
#7  
It is a Standard 23c diesel, not a Continental, it does have glow plugs and they have been replaced and are working. Putting it in my new garage is a bad idea as the garage doors ordered last May are still on backorder (that's another issue:(). I'd probably use the block heater even in the spring, summer and fall as the first start of the day is fairly difficult even in warm weather, and I don't want to use starter fluid. There are a few things (very few) that the 65 year old old Fergy is still better at than the newer bigger Branson.
Sounds like either a in-line hose heater as Rolf suggests or core plug heater as Jerry suggest is the way to go. How difficult is the core plug heater to install without it leaking?
 
   / Cold starting a to 35 w/ Standard diesel #8  
I was gonna say, the Continentals fire right off no matter what the temperature. I've had zero issues with mine.

Have you considered a second battery to aid in starting it? Are you 6v or 12v?
 
   / Cold starting a to 35 w/ Standard diesel #9  
It is a Standard 23c diesel, not a Continental, it does have glow plugs and they have been replaced and are working. Putting it in my new garage is a bad idea as the garage doors ordered last May are still on backorder (that's another issue:(). I'd probably use the block heater even in the spring, summer and fall as the first start of the day is fairly difficult even in warm weather, and I don't want to use starter fluid. There are a few things (very few) that the 65 year old old Fergy is still better at than the newer bigger Branson.
Sounds like either a in-line hose heater as Rolf suggests or core plug heater as Jerry suggest is the way to go. How difficult is the core plug heater to install without it leaking?
I did my Ford 4610 in about 45 minutes and most of that was draining and fill the cooling system.
You can drill a small hole in the existing plug and then screw in a sheet metal screw and pry it out of the block. Or you can use a punch and hit it off center to make it rotate and then pull it out with a pair of pliers.
Then you make sure the hole is clean (no dirt or paint). The one I installed had a bolt that expanded the heater gasket when you tightened it. I used a little Permatex on the hole, tightened the bolt, installed the connector/plug assembly and checked for leaks after filling with coolant.
Phillips Temro makes a lot of these and you can look up their catalog to find the part number. I'm sure Agco carries these as well as NAPA also.

I had mine on a timer set to 2 hours before feeding time and the Ford started on the first rev. I also put block heaters on all my other tractors.
 
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   / Cold starting a to 35 w/ Standard diesel #10  
I have the MF 203 with Perkins engine. Using a heater in the lower radiator hose. I think it is 1 1/2inch diameter and installs by cutting out a piece of the hose and clamped in with two hose clamps. I usually plug it in an hour before having the start and it works every time
 
 
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