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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Small Ford 4x4 Diesel wont start...

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02-19-2011 17:42:21

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Have a friend who has a small 4x4 diesel Ford tractor. Has a 2cyl diesel. Anyways he had it parked for about 4 months. He went to use it today and it fired up then died after about 5 secs. First thing I thought was the fuel gelled or the filter froze. Anyways I looked it over and while I was there he craked it over and had me to shoot it with some either. It wouldnt even fire with either and that was just odd. Aint ever seen one not run on either. So now Im thinking its not getting fire?

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02-19-2011 21:50:25

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 Re: Small Ford 4x4 Diesel wont start... in reply to brandonh, 02-19-2011 17:42:21  
How cold were the temperatures wheyou tried to start it? If it was just below frezing, there"a a good chance you have contaminated fuel and either the fuel filter is frozen or the the condensate in the bottom of the tank froze at the tank outlet. Either case will restrict the fuel flow and prevent starting and running. It"s vey common to have water in the fuel from normal condensation in the tank. Keeping the tank full can help reduce the ammount of water in the fuel but can"t eliminate it. If you are near an electrical outlet, you can use ann electric hair dryer or a heat gun to warm up the filter and drain the water out of it. Better yet replace the filter. If you"re going to do that, there is a product called Diesel 911 that comes in an orange bottle. Fill the filter with 911 and pour the rest in the tank. Follow the instructions on the bottle.I"ve never tried it but folks that have says it works.

Bleed the system per the owners manual instructions. Charge the battery if it"s run down and try to start it.

Cold weather starting is real problem area for diesels because of the nature of the way they work(compression ignition). Starting aids( glow plugs, Thermostart, block heaters)are usually needed because cold temperatre decrease battery output and increases the torque requirements for starting. Then ther are problems with fuel system icing and gelling. Gelling is generally a problem whe someone runs summer fuel in r temperatures below about 15F or the temperatures are so cold (-40F)that that even winter blend precipitate parafins out ofthe fuel and clog the filters and the tank outlet.
Icing can happen with temperatures below 32F which are more common. Water contamination of diesel fuel is common due to condensation in the tank so the combination of freezing temps and the presence of water make for a problem.

Here"s what I recommend. Try to keep the tank full to reduce condensate. Change your filter in the fall before freezing tempertuares occur. Dirty filters cog sooner than clean ones. Make sure the tank has winter fuel in it before winter or add 1 part#1 Diesel to 2 parts #2 diesel to lower the cloud point of the fuel. Use an additive( I use PS White or Stanadyne)that has a water dispersant in it. This will hold the ater nsuspension and keep it from freezing at the bottom of the tank. (If it freezes at the filter you can change the filter.) These additives also lower the cloud point and raise the cetane number a bit to help starting. keep a spare filter on hand just in case you have a problem. make sure that your charging system is working properly. Finally, know how to bleed the fuel system so if you have to change the filter you can quickly do that and get running again.

This is kinda" long winded but I hope it explains the nature of the problem and helps you and your friend to get the tractor going again.

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02-19-2011 18:06:50

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 Re: Small Ford 4x4 Diesel wont start... in reply to brandonh, 02-19-2011 17:42:21  
If a diesel has good compression and is timed right and is pulling in air with ether in it, the engine will fire on the ether.

Either it isn't getting air or the ether is being shot into the wrong place.Jim

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Super Trucker

02-19-2011 17:56:43

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 Re: Small Ford 4x4 Diesel wont start... in reply to brandonh, 02-19-2011 17:42:21  
Does the tractor have a pull to shut the engine down? If so check the injector pump where it attatches and make sure it is moving. You may have to remove a cover or something, I had this happen to me and found the fuel shut off was stuck in the off position in the pump. Spent the good part of a 12 pack to figure that one out.

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02-19-2011 17:52:56

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 Re: Small Ford 4x4 Diesel wont start... in reply to brandonh, 02-19-2011 17:42:21  
If it's a diesel it uses compression to fire, not spark. If it's been sitting for 4 months, specially in cold weather I would check the air filter to be sure the mice haven't made a nest and blocked air flow. a diesel takes a lot more air to run than gas.

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02-19-2011 17:45:41

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 Re: Small Ford 4x4 Diesel wont start... in reply to old, 02-19-2011 17:42:21  
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Diesels fire from compression, not spark. If there is no "fire" there is no compression or no fuel or no air.

Has a mouse nest been made in the air filter? Is it below freezing? Is there summer diesel in the tank? Or worse, bio-diesel ?

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02-19-2011 18:21:38

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 Re: Small Ford 4x4 Diesel wont start... in reply to john_Bud, 02-19-2011 17:45:41  
summer diesel. He dont know squat and I didnt wanna make him feel dumb so I told his daughter Id come fix it while he's gone. It got around freezin last night. I'll check the fuel and also the airfilter because it acted like it wast pulling the either into the intake soo maybe the mice have moved in. It was smoking like crazy while cranking so I think its getting fuel. So probly the air

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02-19-2011 19:06:53

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 Re: Small Ford 4x4 Diesel wont start... in reply to brandonh, 02-19-2011 18:21:38  
"It was smoking like crazy while cranking so I think its getting fuel. So probly the air"

Isn't white "smoke" from a diesel indicative of being lean? I wouldn't rule out gelled fuel. You will also need to bleed the injectors if you have breached the line in any way, such as opening the filter housing.

Two more things, my small Ford, which isn't a two cyclinder but I doubt that matters, it's still a Shibaura, absolutely requires atleast one cycling of the glow plugs when cold, maybe two, and the hand throttle needs to be about 1/8 to 1/4 open. Doing this and being religious about winter fuel and conditioner, my tractor has yet to fail to start regardless of the temperature.

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