Cold Weather Starting the 200 TDI; Trials and Tribulations from Colorado - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 4th, 2011, 02:04 PM
paluskat
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Tom Paluska
D110 200TDI
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Cold Weather Starting the 200 TDI; Trials and Tribulations from Colorado

First of all, thank you to the members of this forum for providing excellent info for the rookies like me out there. Thought I'd share a bit of my recent cold weather starting issue experience since we've had some pretty frigid days here in Colorado this year. I know there's lots of info already in the forum on this - just adding my 2 cents!

First of all, thanks to those recommending the ESPAR coolant heater. I picked up a discounted hydronic 4/5 from Canada on Ebay and it is truly amazing! My vehicle seems to start fine without any assistance down to about 20F. Many times I've found the need for a little help though! Recently my 110 sat outside at a backcountry trailhead at 10,000 ft (-10F overnight) and after only 13min of running the Espar, the engine started up nicely. There was a Ford Excursion Diesel that was dead cold in the same parking lot that the owner had not been able to start after 40 min - with two vehicles jumped to both batteries. Espar can be worth the money if you need to start in cold climates often. I have mine on a separate red top optima battery crammed into the seat box below the passenger seat (JUST fits/ sideways). The alternator has a battery isolator (~$50) so both batteries charge when running.

Had some problems with the Espar unit early in the winter. Initially it worked, then didn't, then it locked itself off on the computer per too many faults. Parked outside (not at a trailhead thankfully) at -17 (-40 windchill) and bought a couple plug in heaters at a local autoparts store since I was dead in the water. Oil pan adhesive heater didn't do squat at those temps. Then bought a TEMRO (i believe) coolant heater (about $40) that fit the large coolant hose at the front of the engine and that worked well after about 2 hours. (See Pic). It was a very quick install. Second pic shows problem with ESPAR - melted fuel line since it was mounted too close to exhaust. I know freeze plug heaters are available for the 200TDI but it's pretty tough to get to that part of the engine without removing manifold. This TEMRO product seems to be a quick, cheap alternative in a pinch.

Tom
Denver CO
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  #2  
Old February 4th, 2011, 03:37 PM
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Overlander
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mark kellgren
in between D's in an 04 D2
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I have a few trouble code issues here and there with my thermotop C. The fix for it is to pull the main power fuse on it while the ignition is off for 10 sec, and that resets the webasto controller. I have no issues after the "reboot". I'm guessing the espar is the same. I made a point of understand potential failures and how to overcome, since in extreme climates, it all starts with the coolant heater. I'm sure resetting the lockout is covered in your manual.

Also, the optima red top is not a deep cycle. My recommendation is to replace it with a deep cycle ASAP, if you don't want to be stranded. This winter, I have come to use my thermotop on a daily basis, and when we're in snow or in the 20's and below, I'll leave the thermotop running, along with the heater, while I run into stores, go to restaurants and such. That can run down a battery, and there's no issues doing it with a deep cycle. Daily use though can be hard on a starter. From dead cold, my thermotop takes about 45min to warm up the cabin to comfortable level.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 04:03 PM
paluskat
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Tom Paluska
D110 200TDI
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Yeah - red top not deep cycle - I realized that after I bought and installed. Too much of a pain in the butt to remove now and replace. So far so good. Not running it long - 10-15min for starting purposes only. I have separate battery to start vehicle. Espar specs say on high, unit draws 4amps @ 12V so 48 watts. Low is only 24 watts which is similar to a laptop computer, which is really minimal power consumption.

When the Espar computer locks out on faults (at least mine), pulling the fuse at the harness does not reset. You have to have a special code reader device or do a fancy bypass behind the control unit to reset. Luckily I live close to a ThermoKing service station and they were able to reset the control unit with their device.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 04:28 PM
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newfD90
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Chance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paluskat View Post
Recently my 110 sat outside at a backcountry trailhead at 10,000 ft
Which hut were you at? Just came back from 10th. But I digress.

What'd that Espar run you? My experience with my 200Tdi down in Monument (-20 here!), is that glow plugs are fine down to about 30, then it needs help after that. Glow plus ohm out OK, but still wonder if they're functioning correctly. I've got a NAPA coolant heater on the bottom hose that's worked fine down to single digits. Haven't tried <0 with it yet. Problem is, I have to plan when I want to drive it and plug it in the night before (no room in the garages). The Espar would be nice in that respect.
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  #5  
Old February 4th, 2011, 05:01 PM
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Cabell Crowther
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
I have a few trouble code issues here and there with my thermotop C. The fix for it is to pull the main power fuse on it while the ignition is off for 10 sec, and that resets the webasto controller. I have no issues after the "reboot". I'm guessing the espar is the same. I made a point of understand potential failures and how to overcome, since in extreme climates, it all starts with the coolant heater. I'm sure resetting the lockout is covered in your manual.

Also, the optima red top is not a deep cycle. My recommendation is to replace it with a deep cycle ASAP, if you don't want to be stranded. This winter, I have come to use my thermotop on a daily basis, and when we're in snow or in the 20's and below, I'll leave the thermotop running, along with the heater, while I run into stores, go to restaurants and such. That can run down a battery, and there's no issues doing it with a deep cycle. Daily use though can be hard on a starter. From dead cold, my thermotop takes about 45min to warm up the cabin to comfortable level.
Mark,
Did you do a write up on your webasto install?
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  #6  
Old February 4th, 2011, 06:03 PM
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thomas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabell View Post
Mark,
Did you do a write up on your webasto install?

Here are some useful manuals. If you have any questions let me know I have installed a handful of webasto's. I posted them a while back... Not sure if you are a member of lr4x4.com but here you go as well http://forums.lr4x4.com/index.php?showtopic=47428
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File Type: pdf Thermotop_C.pdf (484.4 KB, 40 views)
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  #7  
Old February 4th, 2011, 07:21 PM
paluskat
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Tom Paluska
D110 200TDI
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I believe I have the Hydronic 4 but could be the 5. The manual just refers to it as the Diesel 4/5 12V

Francie's Hut in Breck!
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  #8  
Old February 4th, 2011, 07:28 PM
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Dave Sherwood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paluskat View Post
I believe I have the Hydronic 4 but could be the 5. The manual just refers to it as the Diesel 4/5 12V

Francie's Hut in Breck!
I would have left the Excursion running overnight....there is no jump-starting that bad boy...BIG dual batteries.

At 70 degrees mine could not be jumped by another truck...had to trickle charge.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 01:08 AM
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Keith Kreutzer
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I too had problems with the webasto below zero, tomorrow I will reset the Webasto. With a fresh battery I was good to start at -20 but it wasn't happy.. I think I have a webasto fuel pump problem.. We'll see tomorrow (above 30!!!)
On teh TD5 I stuck an inline lower hose heater in the tuck and it was happy to start at -20
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  #10  
Old February 5th, 2011, 03:58 PM
ajh
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Andrew J. Hutton
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I know starting wbetter obviously better but should the glow plugs not be able to get things going down to -40 anyway? I honestly suspect you had summer blended fuel in the system. Try adding more antigel when you refill.
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