Cold weather/hard starting??

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vtcruiser60

vtcruiser60

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Hi Folks,

As the temperature has fallen here in Vermont, I have noticed that my 84 fj60 is difficult to start. This morning I needed a jump from my neighbor.

Other symptoms: I keep finding little puddles of antifreeze upon starting. I keep tightening the compression bands on my lower and upper radiator hoses. I recently had the head rebuilt and the coolant flushed. The heater core is new, but I barely get any heat from the engine, even when the vehicle comes up to temperature on the dash. And, upon starting I hear water rushing around under the dash....from the heater core area. The starter is 1 yr old.

Questions:

Would an engine block heater improve starting and heating issues? If so, where could I find one? Do I have air in the radiator/jacket? Would burping help?

Thanks.
 
D

dinkleberry

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Yer probably low on coolant or too much air in the system.

A block heater would definitly help. It was friggin cold this mornin.

I've got a SBC in my 40 so I use the self adheasive kind on my oil pan, and one that goes inline on the lower rad hose.

Good luck neighbor.
 
vtcruiser60

vtcruiser60

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Thanks guys.

Poking around a bit I found that Napa sells a 50mm block heater for $19. It says It is a left side mount. I am wondering if I can mount it on the passenger side and avoid placing it close to the exhaust manifold.

Second, any suggestions on getting air out of the system. What is involved in burping the motor?
 
Rice

Rice

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For cold weather starting the block heater can help (especially for Vermont), but be careful, some heaters draw as much as 800 Watts and can cost a lot of money if you opt to leave them on all night. Another thought is being sure not to go too thick on oil. Synthetic is best if you can (less affected by temperature) but it also does a good job of finding leaks.
 
IDave

IDave

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Just how cold was it? I am not having trouble starting my F engine at below zero temps. Perhaps you need a tuneup?
 
vtcruiser60

vtcruiser60

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IDAVE. It isn't particularly cold, YET! It dropped between 5 and 15 degrees last night, and is currently a tad over 20F. The truck has new wires, cap, rotor, plugs...all the easy stuff. The clearances are a bit off and the timing is too. The head was just rebuilt and I am waiting to reach 1000 miles before climbing back in to tighten the head bolts and readjust clearances.

Could the this be as simple as a faulty thermostat?
 
Jman

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If ya don't know, I ain't tellin'
I've had no trouble starting my 87 FJ60 in cold weather, as cold as 5 degrees--pull choke knob out all the way, two pumps of the pedal, turn the key and it fires up real fast.

The only time I had some problems was when I put some Lucas Oil Additive in there--stuff turned into glue in cold weather and it would take a few seconds to turn over.

Maybe you have a drain on your electrical system? A short? Dome light left on? Bad battery not holding charge?

As for air in the system, keep refilling your overflow tank and keep the heater ON (including the one for the rear seat) and driving--eventually air should work it's way out.
 
IDave

IDave

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It sure sounds like a little fine-tuning could help. I find having good clearances and timing makes a big difference on cold starts. As to the thermostat, I don't know about your engine, for sure, but when I replaced mine once I forgot the little rubber gasket that goes in there. That allowed the antifreeze/water to bypass the thermostat, and made for cool running...... :p!
 
Rice

Rice

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A stuck thermostat could be affecting your cold air in the cab but not your cold weather starting. I would suspect a bad heater valve or air before thermostat when finding the cold air problem.

Find the coolant leak and let us know where it shows up
 
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dinkleberry

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[quote author=Rice link=board=1;threadid=8344;start=msg70646#msg70646 date=1070469878]
For cold weather starting the block heater can help (especially for Vermont), but be careful, some heaters draw as much as 800 Watts and can cost a lot of money if you opt to leave them on all night. Another thought is being sure not to go too thick on oil. Synthetic is best if you can (less affected by temperature) but it also does a good job of finding leaks.
[/quote]

He's right. I have mine hooked up to a switch that I turn on from inside the house about an hour before I leave (3am). Depending on the outside temp it usually is pretty warm.

A block heater won't do much for the oil in the pan, though. Synthetics might be the way to go.
 
vtcruiser60

vtcruiser60

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Fellas Thanks.

The antifreeze leaks are mainly from poorly tightened radiator hoses. I got them fixed this weekend.

Having thought about it more, I think the tuning will help a bunch on the starting. The 60 is my daily driver and gets my three year old to school too. I will install the block heater to get that extra bit of heat in the cab. I don't want him growing up thinking his mother's volvo is the way to go.

I also think the thermostat is sticky. Given the price, I'll just pull it and replace. I'll keep an eye on the gasket. Hopefully that solves the issues and I won't have to screw with a heater valve.

Thanks guys.
 

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