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Not wanting to start a brand war or anything. My Dodge with the 12 valve cummins grid heaters arent working. Its starting fine on these cold mornings. The farm i work for has a 1995 F-250 with the 7.3psd, and it wont start at all with out being plugged in. What im wondering is what makes some diesels start more easy then others. Thanks. I hope this is the right section but i figure yall have more diesel smarts then anyone.
 

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put synthetic in it, check the glow plug relay, good batteries. 7.3s dont start as good as cummins and cummins dont start as good as the duramax.
 

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Glow plugs vs grid heater

I have a grid heater delete on my truck and it will sit for 4 days in 10 degree weather and start/idle just fine
 

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Pre-95 Ford = Turbo Diesel, not PowerStroke. Electronic Injectors/system starts WAY better than older mechanical fuel injection. I have a really hard time telling the difference in starting my PowerStroke engine with or without waiting for the glow plugs to warm; my buddy's truck requires time on the glow plugs or it won't start, both 7.3's, one IDI.

edit: was wrong on year, changed to correct
 

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Pre-96 Ford = Turbo Diesel, not PowerStroke. Electronic Injectors/system starts WAY better than older mechanical fuel injection. I have a really hard time telling the difference in starting my PowerStroke engine with or without waiting for the glow plugs to warm; my buddy's truck requires time on the glow plugs or it won't start, both 7.3's, one IDI.
Wrong. 1994 was the last year of the IDI or Turbo Diesel and the first year of the Power Stroke.
My IDI starts very well even at 10* with 15-40. It has fresh Motorcraft Beru plugs and PowerService in the tank.
In theory I would think the IDI's with their high compression (21.5:1) would start faster than the Cummins since they are squeezing the air harder making more heat. I think what ends up happening is mostly a maintenance issue...tired batteries, corroded battery leads, a couple bad gp's, and weak starters coupled with injection timing that has never been adjusted...we're lucky they ever start!
 

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My Cummins doesn't start for shit. 12v with the timing a little too far advanced for good cold starts. Anything with fixed timing won't start as well as a comparable DI engine with variable timing that can retard it for cold starts.
 

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My 00' 7.3 doesn't mind the cold. 180,000 miles, new injectors, glowplugs and 5-40 full synthetic and it'll start in -15*F'ish weather dead cold. Granted it doesn't like it, rocks, smokes and the suspension is pretty much non-fuctional, but it'll start.

keep in mind it depends a lot on the condition of the starting aid systems, fuel system and fuel, oil, batteries & starter, injectors, tuning, etc that will make a truck start good or not.

Edit - A video of last winter. Stock 170,000 mile injectors, stock glow plugs and relay, 15-40 conventional oil, PHP tunes. Starts a lot better now with the new stuff listed above on:

http://youtu.be/YWNY9HgYuRs
 

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Anything with HEUI injectors that needs oil pressure to fire the injectors is never going to start up as quick as a similar engine that uses non HEUI injectors.

As already said; glow plugs, glow plug relay, glow plug harness, batteries and use 5W-40 or 0W-40 synthetic oil.
^ cold temp = thick oil. Thick oil = takes longer to lubricate = delayed pressure to injectors.
 

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Up here in Alaska where it gets well below zero for days on end, we use block heater, battery heater and oil pan heaters. Helps alot with cold starts, when I owned my Cummins if I plugged it in it would start at -40 just fine. The heaters are cheap and easy to install, and the ease of cold weather starting is a nice benefit.
 
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