Cold WX operation A2 Truck Fuel Question

wbread99

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Don't flame me with the usual "did you search" because I did.

Context: Previous SO is a bus driver and her organization consistently had buses freeze up while in operation last winter. As in, a bus full of kids stalls out and quits on the road. Think -40F.

It was 11 degrees here in Middle Montana yesterday. Last year when it went below -40 for a week, I had a ton of people asking for my truck for help.

Question: Are the 935A2 series prone to frozen fuel issues while in use? Does (as appears) warmed unused fuel return to the tank? Guess I am asking, specifically, can a warmed up running truck in -40 stay running?

I am afraid to employ the truck in cold wx rescue ops for fear the fuel will gel up and stall.

I have 2 vids on YT on the "cold start challenge" thing. It starts at 0 degrees easily. No heater. Just afraid to drive off.

thanks, Sean
 

Jericho

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Landaff NH
I just run treated diesel. All diesel here is cut after oct 15 right at the pump, Been as low as -47 f YES 47 below zero, no problems I also run a quart of Marvel Mystery oil to each tank of fuel adds some lube and keeps the heads/ valves clean !
 

Gunzy

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Roy, Utah
Yes, warm fuel is returned to tank. I agree, just ad some anti-gel and you should be good on the fuel side. If it is not in a garage I would also recommend a block heater.
 

74M35A2

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The waxing blockage occurs in the filters since that is the smallest pore opening of the system. Same as others said, just be sure to be using the correct fuel for the season. For the cold diesel testing we do here, the engine makers call for #1 diesel, which is kerosene. The engines start near instantly and run perfect on it. Sure they are modern common rail and all that, but still. Be sure you are getting #1 diesel, and it should be OK. I'm not much of an additive person, I would just make sure it has #1 diesel fuel in it, not treated #2 (conventional) diesel. As an extra step, you could eliminate the frame mounted fuel filter if you truck has one, as that filter will run much colder than the engine mounted spin on filter under hood. Many trucks were made without the frame one. I think it is simply larger so cuts down on filter change intervals, and can handle a tank of yuck and keep going. If you know you are using clean fuel it should not be needed. If you really want to tackle it, then get one of the more modern "fuel conditioners", which is the upside down see-through filter devices, as you can option it with a 12v/24v heater element as well. You can pick them up used for relatively cheap. That would for sure be the single best option beside the use of #1 fuel.

Yes, it is a return system, so warm(er) fuel will be returned to the tank as perpetual. Once running, I would see no issue for it to stay that way.

If you need faster readiness take-off, you can keep a block coolant heater and engine + trans oil pan heaters on it, and an air line plugged into the truck. I think your larger worry would be cab heat. Fuel fired cab heater would be mandatory to sustain such environment I think. They are easy to come by and install, I have an extra for sale if you are serious about it. It replaces the heater core box underhood.

I've cold started my A2 all the way down to -23F just to do it, and it was fine. Used the factory ether system of course, but she did it without much complaint. There are a few stated cases of the trans nearly exploding if forced to do hard upshifting right after a cold start, so I'd advise the trans fluid to stay warm via a heater or at least let it run for a bit before driving away. If you are using a block heater, some of the engine coolant heat should bleed over to the trans once started via the large liquid-liquid trans cooler we have.
 
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snowtrac nome

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western alaska
Look at my location I might have a little a little something about the subject. If you are determined to run #2 from the pump a good antijell conditioner like power service in the white bottle, is a good start. ulsd is more prone to waxing than #1 But its the additive package that will wax up. a lot of the more affordable lubricity enhancers are vegitatble based and will clog filters when cold. The first rule of low temp #2 opps is to start the truck and let idle until the tank warms up if you start up and take off the filters will clog instantly running large quanitys of fuel through them. the best solution is to run jet-a for fuel or at least cut your diesel by 50 percent with it up here in the arctic jet -a is our primary fuel for winter its used for jet engines diesel fuel and heating oil , and yes there is a ulsd jet now so if you use it straight you may want to add some king of non vegiatable based lubricant.
 

davidb56

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Bonners Ferry Idaho
A engine block heater transfers some heat to the engine mounted fuel filters. The 3/4 inch one next to the water pump on my m35a2 costs under 50$ online. You can also add kerosine to your fuel. its always wise to run a additive for IP lubrication when cutting your pump fuel. Put a radiator winter cover on too. Talk about screw ups....I replied on the 5 ton site, thinking I was on the 2.5 ton site. Im taking my ball and going home.IMG_0020.jpg
 
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74M35A2

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#1 fuel, or this would be kitty (click to zoom):

Fuel Heater.png

Here are the current popular "fuel processors", really just meaning it is a filter and water separator combined (they just wanted to add a fancy term after 40 years). You can simply add the 24v heating element to these, from their manufacturer. They mount clear bowl up, and you should never be able to see liquid fuel in the clear bowl. If you do, it means the filter is plugging and needs to be changed. Link below is a great resource to buy such used for reasonable price. Most of the time I offer them less and they take it. This one is posted for $75. You could probably get it on your porch for $50, there are so many of them out there. I would probably not recommend one to anybody running non-taxed off-road diesel fuel though, for obvious reasons.

https://www.heavytruckparts.net/item/INTERNATIONAL/4700/-/3857491/1/6294

Fuel Processor.jpg
 
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porkysplace

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and if you do not want to install an engine or transmission heater, there are magnetic versions available:
https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/300w-2-5a-magnetic-engine-oil-heater/A-p4270100e
I have had good luck with the magnetic block heater on my backhoe for the last 15 years , also a couple loaders we use for snow removal . You can also put them on steel fuel tanks to warm the fuel . With that said swbradley had one of them catch on fire I believe it was one a deuce . A freeze plug block heater would be your best bet. SS member derby had some inline coolant heaters for sale last spring at a decent price you may want to PM him and see if he has any left.

As mentioned I also add Power Service in the white bottle to every tank . I would also recommend fresh fuel filters before winter.
 
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