By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

You think you have trouble starting your car on a cold morning?

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Neil Wyatt16/02/2021 18:00:44
18802 forum posts
733 photos
80 articles
That took a bit of effort!
Joseph Noci 116/02/2021 18:07:51
1013 forum posts
1253 photos

Nice One Neil!

There are many utube videos with engine starts as the theme ( some steam as well) - from old aviation engines, tanks, trucks, ships, etc and, for some odd reason, I am hooked on watching them...


Bazyle16/02/2021 18:22:02
6079 forum posts
221 photos

wouldn't fancy having to do a push start wink

Grizzly bear16/02/2021 18:35:52
285 forum posts
8 photos

Not much thought for the batteries and starter motor. Typical driver!

V8Eng16/02/2021 18:37:13
1644 forum posts
1 photos

Should’ve got some decent Welsh steam coal.devil

Edited By V8Eng on 16/02/2021 18:37:38

Mike Poole16/02/2021 18:39:58
3095 forum posts
72 photos

If it had to have an MOT it might be a bit marginal on the smoke testsmiley



Edited By Mike Poole on 16/02/2021 18:40:14

Nick Clarke 316/02/2021 18:47:06
1287 forum posts
52 photos

One of the more senior members of our club was a fireman on the GWR and a driver on GWR and BR. He says that the multiple units would go flat overnight on shed so they were just left running instead!

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 16/02/2021 18:47:32

Phil Whitley16/02/2021 18:52:10
1383 forum posts
147 photos

Kigas? Easystart?

JohnF16/02/2021 19:01:46
1107 forum posts
183 photos

Should have had a lamp under the sump !

Howard Lewis16/02/2021 19:02:02
5528 forum posts
13 photos

Kigas, yes. Easystart NO.

The ether tends to wash bores clear of oil.

Have you seen film of an Alco loco starting, even under reasonable conditions? As bad if not worse than that Class 50.

At -30C if an engine cranked for more than 30 seconds before first fire, it was deemed a failure.

The electrician at Bognor depot once timed a bus that had stood outside overnight, cranking for SEVEN minutes before it self sustained! The starter and cables were too hot to touch by then I would imagine.

Quite often, first fire raised the cranking speed, so that a second cylinder joined in, and as the cranking speed increased the others came in, in turn. The end result was a great cloud of unburned fuel from the late comers!

Which is probably what we are seeing here.


Pete White16/02/2021 19:10:53
149 forum posts
16 photos
Posted by Phil Whitley on 16/02/2021 18:52:10:

Kigas? Easystart?

Once you needed Easy start it was the begining of the end, burnt all the crap out that was sealing your rings.surprise

I once had a Landrover with 2.2 BMC diesel fitted that fired up like that, cold Start button, that just chucked loads of fuel in, good for going up hill loadedyes, they were not supposed to be accessible from the driving seat, it used to fill the yard with Fog.


Mike Poole16/02/2021 19:11:11
3095 forum posts
72 photos

This should get it going.f7fc425b-cf9d-41d7-aa75-c2e433654e9c.jpeg

Pete White16/02/2021 19:11:54
149 forum posts
16 photos

Pilot error, dual post, I blame the internet. 


Edited By Pete White on 16/02/2021 19:14:47

john halfpenny16/02/2021 19:12:59
191 forum posts
27 photos

One very cold morning I was instructed to hit the starter on an ancient double deck Leyland, and not release until told. The owner operator soaked rag in easy start, lit it with his fag, and threw it into the air intake. The engine clattered into life one cylinder at a time over nearly a minute. I was only then instructed to let go. A life lesson.

Zan16/02/2021 19:23:40
292 forum posts
19 photos

Gee you can’t get decent coal these days I wonder where it came from?👻

Andy Stopford16/02/2021 19:40:51
104 forum posts
16 photos
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 16/02/2021 18:47:06:

One of the more senior members of our club was a fireman on the GWR and a driver on GWR and BR. He says that the multiple units would go flat overnight on shed so they were just left running instead!

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 16/02/2021 18:47:32

They used to do this at Tonbridge with the Hastings Line DMUs - when the inevitable letters of complaint were printed in the local rag, a BR representative would explain that the engines were worn out and would be unstartable if left to cool down overnight.*

Of course being left ticking over all night glazed the cylinder bores, making the engines even harder to start, and making them produce steam engine-like clouds of smoke. It wasn't limited to DMUs. BR was so cash-starved in its latter days that apparently they couldn't afford batteries for the big single unit diesels, and wrecked the engines by leaving them idling all night. Of course everyone involved with the motive power side of things knew this was a stupid thing to do, but ... politicians.

*I seem to recall it was said that the Sulzer engines in these had negative clearances when cold, so the donkey engine, which was plumbed into the same cooling system had to be started a couple of hours in advance to warm the engine up so it could be cranked over.

Jon Lawes16/02/2021 19:41:31
688 forum posts

When they couldn't get the A&AEE Harvard started after the first few attempts you had to take the plugs out, whether for cleaning or replacing I don't know, but it's not a task that looked fun!

Howard Lewis16/02/2021 19:44:26
5528 forum posts
13 photos

We once started a truck at MIRA by holding a flaming rag over the air intake (The injection pump provide excess fuel, for starting, but was so worn that when checked it was at normal running level). Once running it was still good for nearly 60 mph around the track.

Didn't think that Land Rovers had excess fuel (No production DPA provided it) My Sries 2 relied on heater plugs. Substituting a CAV Thermostart which heated the ingoing air with a flame much improved cold starting!

The Leyland PD2 and PD3 used a CAV fuel, injection pump fitted with a governor which provided excess fuel, and were ready cold starters.

The same 0600 engine with a DPA without excess fuel was nothing like as good.

A lot of modern engine ECUs keep the heaters energised after start up to prevent light load misfires and smoke.

The fuel supplied has a great effect on starting, smoke and running. Cetane value and calorific value have a huge effect.


Jeff Dayman16/02/2021 20:09:04
2189 forum posts
45 photos

The last ditch engine start technique for temps here in Canada for days below -25 deg C at the family garage was to take a pint pouring can (with thin spout), put a few ounces of gasoline in it, light it, and pour fire directly into the open intake while cranking the engine.

Extremely dangerous, not the done thing these days I am sure, but it worked, particularly on very large gasoline and diesel engines. Definitely worked better the older the engine was. We worked on cars trucks and tractors from the 1920's to the 1980's in the family shop.

Nowadays you would be challenged on most cars and trucks to find a vertical intake hole of any kind to pour the fire into.

We got many calls for "engine won't start" on such days, on locally used cars, mostly 1960's-1970's US made ones. Dad had rigged an extra long set of heater supply and return hoses into the 327 Chev V-8 in our service truck. He arranged end-of-hose valves and couplers so that on such calls he would disconnect the heater hoses from the car's engine block and connect in the long ones from the service truck's running engine. 5 minutes of hot circulating coolant and 9 out of 10 engines would start just fine. Another 5 minutes to disconnect hoses / fix car's coolant level , return to the garage where the phone was ringing off the wall, and then send a bill for $25 whole dollars. Without the hot coolant many cars just would not start at say -30 deg C regardless of what you tried or for how long.

Edited By Jeff Dayman on 16/02/2021 20:09:29

John P16/02/2021 20:15:31
358 forum posts
238 photos

Seeing Howard's post about the flaming rag ,at Worthing
depot it was common thing during the cold weather to
use a paraffin rag on a bent piece of welding wire
on Mk1 Leyland National buses ,the manifold heaters
were a heater coil that had a fuel supply that were a
common problem with fires and were mostly disconnected
hence the burning rag ,with the layout of these vehicles
the usual procedure was to drop out the air filter stuff up
the rag crank over and off you go ,one day i was on a late turn
and the lad who was on the morning shift tried it and left the
air filter element in place ,set fire to the air filter which spread
to the rest of the bus ,when i came in later in the day all that
was left was the burnt out carcass , happy day's.


All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Support Our Partners
walker midge
JD Metals
rapid Direct
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest