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Old 12-23-2013, 06:56 PM   #1
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Cummins cold start

I have a 1997 Land Yacht MH, freightliner chassis and a Cummins 5.9 12 valve engine. I am in MN and want to take it to AZ, it is very cold here. The motorhome has been stored since Oct. 1, I have some sort of engine heater which I can plug in, I have the Cummins cold start instructions, I have a new chassis battery. The temp could be as low as 0 degrees.

Experienced cold weather friends, is this thing going to start?

Thanks for any and all advice!
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:14 PM   #2
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Have to base my experience on a 99 24 valve 5.9, but it always started in below zero with out using the block heater. Plug in the heater , give it a few hours and it should be fine.

Your fuel may still be a summer blend so some anti gel additive and refueling locally would probably be a good idea but I would bet you will be ok
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
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I could get all technical with pour points and wax formation, but basically if the thing does start, wait until it warms up, and drive it to a station that sells diesel, and fill it up. The Winter formulation in the added fuel should offset the Summer fuel in the tank.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:37 PM   #4
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Forgot to add that I filled the fuel tank before I stored it. The usual winter blend wasn't available, so I used 40% # 1 and 60% #2 then added the specified Power Service diesel anti-gel treatment. Doubt that gelling will be my problem. I've just never started a cold diesel without glow plugs and this baby doesn't have them!
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:45 PM   #5
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cummins cold start

My 99 dodge cummins always started easily. If you plug in the block heater for a couple of hours she won't know the difference.
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Old 12-24-2013, 04:33 AM   #6
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If the 12 V is the same as the 24 valve, and I believe in this case it is it has heater grids in the intake manifold that come on when cold. You should get an indicator on the dash.
If I am wrong I know some one will jump in. Cummins used the grid thing instead of glow plugs.
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Old 12-24-2013, 04:50 AM   #7
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There is a heater grid.somewhere on the dash should be a wait to start light, unless it was done away with.
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Old 12-24-2013, 05:19 AM   #8
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No glow plug, no heater grid, no wait to start indicator light on this one. That is why I am scratching my head. I do have the Cummins cold start instructions, which basically tell me to depress the accelerator 1/2 way down and crank until it starts. I will plug it in overnight and hope for a good result. Thanks everyone!
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Old 12-24-2013, 05:51 AM   #9
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Let us know how you make out
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Old 12-24-2013, 06:11 AM   #10
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Look carefully at the air intake horn where it goes into the cylinder head manifold plate. Do you see any cables or projecting studs? This is where Cummins mounts the heater grid. My '97 and '05 5.9L have them. If you have a block heater plug it in, give it several hours. It makes a big difference. I've occasionally even heard mine make a slight percolating sound as it heats the coolant.

If this was built with a grid heater, no starting fluid. Possible ka blewey!

Don't over crank, give the starter a chance to cool if it doesn't fire up pronto.

"I have the Cummins cold start instructions" OOPS, just saw your 1/2 pedal comment.

What does the Cummins instructions say?
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:24 AM   #11
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I have verified this has no heating grid or glow plugs. I really don't want to use ether or wd40 to start it. It pops off pretty easy when it is 35-40 degrees so maybe I will be okay with just plugging it in overnight and following the instructions. I give you all a report, thanks!
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:28 AM   #12
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That block heater will make a big difference. If you have a meter you could check the resistance across the element. If you get an open circuit, that's not what you want to see.

Have faith in Cummins.
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:01 PM   #13
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1989 25' Excella
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It popped right off! It was about 15 degrees in the shed, had it plugged in for about 2 hours, cranked for 5-10 seconds and it started. Very little smoke, didn't run rough, took about 10 minutes for the air to come up. Must be a good block heater in that thing! Thank you Cummins and thanks for all of your advice! Leaving Sunday for Tucson, yippee!
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:09 PM   #14
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Good news. Guess we gotta have some faith in their engineering, this ain't Cummins' first BBQ or Rodeo.

I have run mine a few times on a heavy duty timer and just heat for a few hours but we're not in a real cold winter climate.
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