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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone had issues lately with turning the engine over in these insanely bitter cold temperatures?

even my car is struggling.

 

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get a better battery. Get one of those deep cold battery's and you'll have no issues with cranking. That or im sure you could rig up a block heater, or get the dealer to install one.
 

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It doesn't even have to be a deep cycle battery.
This is a brutus after all, not some high end mercedes that has 1000 computers to run the thing.
If anything a higher CCA (cold cranking amps) battery would be better, and FAR more cheaper.
 

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Hope you have the enclosure to keep you warm if you are out in the Brutus in these temperatures. My general attitude is to leave the house as little as possible in these temperatures. More power to people who work outside in this. Good luck not getting frostbite.

Can't believe that picture in the OP.
 

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It doesn't even have to be a deep cycle battery.
This is a brutus after all, not some high end mercedes that has 1000 computers to run the thing.
If anything a higher CCA (cold cranking amps) battery would be better, and FAR more cheaper.
LOL to start a mercedes and to start a brutus are two nearly identical things. Mercedes doesnt use 1000 computers to start the engine, it uses a starter like EVERYTHING else.
 

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@bruteforce Have you looked into getting a heater or a new battery yet? I'm just curious if you've figured out what the best solution to the problem is. I am leaning towards the use of a block heater or even a space heater in the garage. Really you just need to make the Brutus a bit warmer. Shouldn't be that hard.
 

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Kat's 200 Watt Magnetic Heater

@bruteforce Have you looked into getting a heater or a new battery yet? I'm just curious if you've figured out what the best solution to the problem is. I am leaning towards the use of a block heater or even a space heater in the garage. Really you just need to make the Brutus a bit warmer. Shouldn't be that hard.
Heating the whole garage is probably overkill, but even a cheap magnetic heater will help with cold starting, at a third of the price of a block heater.

For my old plow ATV, I used a Kat's magnetic heater on the bottom of the oil pan, convection keeps the whole engine warm and the oil uncongealed.
 

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Cold Start Up

So far so good, started the Brutus Saturday morning with no problems. It was 19 degrees. Warmed up pretty quick. Little stumble at start up but smoothed out right away. Hopefully if will do the same when the temps fall below zero!
 

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I haven't used my blockheater yet, as it's only been in the 20's & 30's in Northern Maine.
Won't be lone for the -30's to get here.
I plan on using the block heater, but I only use it for 20 minutes to and hour, when its way below zero I will use a small kerosene or propane heater to keep it warm.
 

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I haven't used my blockheater yet, as it's only been in the 20's & 30's in Northern Maine.
Won't be lone for the -30's to get here.
I plan on using the block heater, but I only use it for 20 minutes to and hour, when its way below zero I will use a small kerosene or propane heater to keep it warm.
I wish i had a place to plug in a block heater. I think the only reason she started this morning (12 degrees with 25mph winds) is a swapped out the oil the Brutus was delived with for Shell Rotella Synthetic (5w40). Cranked for a bit but eventually started. It sits outside in the elements 24/7 and I'm thinking if it gets below zero I'm going to need to pre heat somehow.

What brand/weight oil are you running? Are you using an anti-gel fuel additive now that it's getting cold?
 

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I'm using the shell T-6 5-40 like you.
The manual says to cycle the glow plugs several times in a row before starting in real cold weather. If it starts cranking without a fairly quick start, stop and cycle the glow pugs a couple of times again, instead of grinding the starter, I also set the throttle up about an inch before I turn the key, the proper amount to push the throttle forward should leave the engine running at around 1300-1400 rpm's once it starts. That might help, mine has been starting, but it's only been in the 20's or 30's so far.
With the hydrostatic drive you should let the machine warm up 10 minutes or so before gently starting to use it in below freezing weather so the hydrolic oil can warm up. You don't want to be blowing seals. I don't know what the wattage is on the block heater, but my old tractor's was 450 watts. You can string together a couple of hundred foot 12 gauge extention cords and still be safe. Maybe 3 hundred footers, there are math formulas on Internet that will tell you if your going to overload it.
 

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Anti-gel additive.
I use it for every tank all winter, we do have Irving stations, a company from Canada around here. Their winter diesel is very good, but I still use the additive all winter.
 

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I'm using the shell T-6 5-40 like you.
The manual says to cycle the glow plugs several times in a row before starting in real cold weather. If it starts cranking without a fairly quick start, stop and cycle the glow pugs a couple of times again, instead of grinding the starter, I also set the throttle up about an inch before I turn the key, the proper amount to push the throttle forward should leave the engine running at around 1300-1400 rpm's once it starts. That might help, mine has been starting, but it's only been in the 20's or 30's so far.
With the hydrostatic drive you should let the machine warm up 10 minutes or so before gently starting to use it in below freezing weather so the hydrolic oil can warm up. You don't want to be blowing seals. I don't know what the wattage is on the block heater, but my old tractor's was 450 watts. You can string together a couple of hundred foot 12 gauge extention cords and still be safe. Maybe 3 hundred footers, there are math formulas on Internet that will tell you if your going to overload it.
1/8 throttle helped a lot with cold starts. Started and stalled with no throttle. Last night I gave it 1/8 throttle and cycled the glow plugs 2 times, started right up. I think the air temp was under 10 degrees.

Got to use the plow for the first time. Works great for cleaning up parking spots and around light poles. Its a bit tricky on a standard 60" sidewalk since a fully angled plow blade is 59.8" Rolled a bit of grass but nothing major. Much easier to salt a lot with the brutus compared to my 2500hd with 8' bed and the turning radius of an elephant. Cuts the time down by at least 50% and i get better coverage in the corners and handicap spots.
 

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1/8 throttle helped a lot with cold starts. Started and stalled with no throttle. Last night I gave it 1/8 throttle and cycled the glow plugs 2 times, started right up. I think the air temp was under 10 degrees.

Got to use the plow for the first time. Works great for cleaning up parking spots and around light poles. Its a bit tricky on a standard 60" sidewalk since a fully angled plow blade is 59.8" Rolled a bit of grass but nothing major. Much easier to salt a lot with the brutus compared to my 2500hd with 8' bed and the turning radius of an elephant. Cuts the time down by at least 50% and i get better coverage in the corners and handicap spots.
Great info on this thread on cold starts. I use an additive on every tank as well. What spreader are you using?
 

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How long is long enough before trying to start the engine?

With my old ATV plow, I would run a little stick-on magnetic heater (oil pan heater) all night, however it only put out a couple hundred watts.
 

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I'd find out where the point of diminishing returns sets in. If it will only heat to say 40 degrees at the most, I'd just check the temp by turning the ignition switch to see how Long that takes. I would think a couple hours should do the trick. Run a timer.
 

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I found the limit on my Brutus. Got it to start this morning (3:45am, 3 degrees) but it took a lot of cranking. Ran (2) glow plug cyles and gave her a little throttle, cranked two short times with no luck. Ran (2) more glow plug cycles and had to crank it for 10 seconds to get it to cough. After two more short cranks it started and ran like crap for the first 3 minutes. Anything colder than 5 degrees and I think I'm going to keep the brutus parked.
 
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