Warming up a Tractor

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Rick, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a Ford 1720 Tractor. I always warm it up for 2 or 3 minutes when I start it.

    My question is: when I swap out equipment on the 3 point hitch should I idle it for a while?

    Is there a rule of thumb about how long the tractor should run after it is started?

    Thanks Rick
     
  2. mrglock27

    mrglock27 Well-Known Member

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    I have a 55 john deere 40U I let it warm up for 3 to 5 minutes. When I'm changing implements I have it just a little above idle. It would probably be better to run it for half an hour so everthing gets all warmed up, If you run it for less time it won't hurt anything. I've had my john deere for 15 years and it's practically indestructable.
     

  3. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you let a tractor idle too long without using it, the oil may warm up, thin out, and not lubricate too well at the low oil pressure at idle speed. This could be a bigger problem with older equipment with lots of bearing clearance and a marginal oil pump, and low oil pressure. My neighbor lets his tractor idle for hours sometimes, and it really rattles after awhile.
     
  4. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Diesels don't like to idle for long periods.

    I let the oil pressure come up to pressure, & then it's good to drive.

    Typically to get someplace to do hard work I need to drive 2-3 minutes, so I really don't 'wait' any extra time.

    Diesels wear the most during start-up. Would be great if we could start them once inthe morning, and work it all day long.

    Well, that doesn't match what we actually do. :)

    If you only need the tractor running 3 minutes, then that's all you need for the day.

    In cold weather, one uses the battery pretty hard, with preheater & all. If all you did was run 2-3 minutes several days in a row, then your battery minght not get itself recharged.

    Now, I'm not sure I understand the question?

    If you mean, should you shut it off _all_ the time for brief periods: No, keep the tractor running. Startup is the worst part for the diesel engine. (How do you hook up an implement with adjusting the 3pt anyhow????)

    If you mean you are only running the engine for 3 minutes that day & should it run longer, there really isn't any reason to keep it runinng extra time.

    --->Paul
     
  5. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks everybody for your input. What I'm getting from this is start the tractor only as much as necessary, and increase the idle a bit if it is going to idle for more than a few minutes.


    Paul-

    Sorry if I confused you about changing the equipment. I chose a bad example. A better scenario to desribe would be: I warm up the tractor for 3 minutes. I drive it 1 to 3 minutes to a location to pick up water or firewood. It will take 10 minutes to pump water into drums on the carriage, or load firewood, and then strap either. Typically I would get to the well or firewood- Tractor has run 5 or 6 minutes at this point.

    Question- would you shut it down for the 10 minutes. Seems like you would.
    What I did last time was to increase the idle by 500 rpm, and let it idle for 2 or 3 more minutes. When I was ready to cover the pump and tighten the straps holding the water barrel, I started her up and raised the idle again. The engine operating temperature does not get very warm on these 20 degree days, under these circumstances, which does not seem good for the engine. The other day I took her down to get the mail (2 mile round trip). That was the only time below freezing that I could feel warmth come off of the tractor, and see the temperature gauge rise from the bottom of the cold side.

    I'm guessing from replies here, that getting engine to a very arm temperature isn't critical.

    When I use my diesel truck and gas Subaru, I never use it for less than 5 or 6 miles, to be sure to get the engines hot, and make sure no moisture is sitting in the exhaust sytem. This is why I am trying to be sure to treat "Old Blue" as well as I can.
     
  6. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    well we tend too let the tractors idle between 15 and 20 minutes before use in cold weather (under 32 f) above that, 5 minutes if just starting and shutting down. (lets the battery regain its charge and the oils circulate. ) we use 15-40 summer and winter, gets very cold here at times though! hydrostats we will idle for longer periods to let the tranys oil warm up. we have high hours on tractors and little repairs to them.
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    If a tractor has not been used for more than a week I always try to bring it to operating temperature when I do use it. I want the condensate that has built inside the engine and the other housings to have a chance to evaporate and I want the fluids to circulate freely and recoat areas where moisture may have accumulated. Each time the tractor is started for the first time after being unused, I always run the engine until the ammeter indicates the batteries are recharged. Keeping good fresh batteries in a tractor, particularly a diesel is the best way that I know to get good service from starters and alternators. A low voltage battery will draw enough current to create the wattage required to turn the starter. On an old battery that can be a lot higher current than one desires and can cause breakdown of the starter, the alternator operates on voltage sensing and that can impact the rate the alternator has to work and a heavy continuous output creates excessive heat and can contribute to alternator failure. Buying replacemant batteries is expensive but in the long run is cheaper than maintaining the other components that fail attempting to use an aged, weak battery and you still end up buying the battery that you needed initially.
     
  8. KCM

    KCM Well-Known Member

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    I'm not an expert on engines but I don't think it matters whether you let it idle or don't let it idle. Sometimes I will let my tractors idle for a few minutes and sometimes I start it up and drive without idle. I have never had a bit of problem with any of my tractors and one of them is 12 years old now. Only replaced a battery and an hydraulic hose on one but never any other problems ever.
     
  9. de Molay

    de Molay Well-Known Member

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    If it is a diesel you must warm it up to operating temperature before putting it to work, every diesel mechanic I know and every dealer in any kind of diesel will tell yo that...As for starting cold, never use ether unless it is an emergency, if you need ether your engine needs a rebuild....I have a 3020 JD if it is -20F or lower I heat the oilpan with a tiger torch until all the frost draws out, and I have the circulating heater plugged in for at least 3 hrs...After I do these 2 things and the head is warm, it is OK to start....That is winter starting...In the summer, I start her up and let her come up to operating temp before putting it to work....As for the oil you need the right grade of oil always....in the summer I run 15-40 or 50 and in the winter 0 or 5-30....you will have to idle them up 1200 or so rpm to get them warmed up....Check with your dealer...
     
  10. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    With any diesel engine you just need to let it get oil pressure and idle for about 1 minute. Diesel engines can't keep a high enough operating temp to fully combust the fuel at less than 1200 rpm's. If it isn't running at that speed you get unburned full running down past the rings and into the engine oil, it's called "fuel stacking". That's why you will sometimes hear a semi that is sitting idle up for a while and then slow back down. If you don't run your diesel for very long periods of time at full throttle it's best to change oil a little oftener so you can maintain good lubication.

    Bobg
     
  11. de Molay

    de Molay Well-Known Member

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    I agree with everything you said except for not allowing the engine to get up to operating temp before putting it to work.....With a diesel this will take years off its life....With an import with an aluminum head it won't be no time until you have either a cracked head or a blown head gasket.....With a Detroit diesel you will crack the head between the valves...Like I said check with any manufacturer they will always tell you to bring a diesel to operating temp before putting it to work.....
     
  12. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I never considered just driving a tractor to be 'working' it. So, start them, wait for the oil pressure to come up to pressure, & off I drive.

    I don't like to have to restart a diesel very often. So, for 10 minutes of waiting, I'd let it idle. For 15-20 minutes, hum, might shut it iff.

    In your scenerio, I'd start my 1720 up, wait the 12 seconds for the oil pressure to come up, drive over (in 3rd/3rd) to where you want to load up, and leave it idle while loading the barrels. Drive to wherever else.

    So I'd have less run time, but only one start. I see no value in warming it up 3 minutes for what you are doing.

    Now, if you were going to go tilling, or plowing, or towing a carhauler, I would wait 2 minutes or so to give it warm up time for a good hard work load like that. Not fire it up and drop the clutch on a big pull.

    I treat my 2 big diesel tractors with turbochargers about the same way on startup, & they are both at 5000 hours or so. The turbo is much more sensitive, and I do give them a lot of good cooldown time for the turbo. :)

    --->Paul
     
  13. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    De moly I have question for you,
    John deere on many many of there units have ether(starting fluid) injector in the intake manfold, via a tube and a can adaptor on the dash of the tractor, my 4020's have them and my combine does to,, and I have noticed newer units have the electric controled units,

    Now why would a tractor manfacture have the FACTORY either injector built on to the machine if they did not expect one to use it, for cold weather starting, and IF I rember correctly it is in the manual as well, and sugests using starting fluid, or at lest show it being used,
     
  14. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    Could it be because they SELL tractors? If your old one lasts, they cant sell you a new one
     
  15. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Know how to warm up a tractor?

    Put a poster for Snap On tools on the garage door.
     
  16. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    thats why john deere stopped making the two cylinders! used sparingly some engines can take the abuse of either, it's a slippery slope ,after we have used either we will let the tractor warmup even longer! of all the tractors i drive they range from 4000 to 16,000 hours no rebuilds (crossed fingers)
     
  17. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I should have read what I wrote before hitting submit. I will work a diesel right after startup, but not hard until it it up to operating temp.


    Bobg