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Old 12-16-2010, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Corinth, ME
2,712 posts, read 3,582,455 times
Reputation: 1859

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Ok, guys... Winter is here and we are planning to use our Wheel Horse tractor with its blade and or snowblower attachment to keep the driveway clear...BUT...

while it starts just fine and the engine has no issues even on these cold days, the transmission, as K put it, "wants to go on vacation."

He is thinking about trying an engine block heater, the magnetic kind and I mentioned that "back in the old days" when I last lived in a climate cold enough to need one and in a place where using electricity for this purpose was an option, we all had dipstick heaters for the cars and trucks. I seem to remember hearing from somewhere (no idea if it was a reliable source or not) that the block heaters were superior for that purpose.

I know that some of you likely have applicable experience and can add valuable input to our discussion, so let's hear it! Best way to keep a little tractor warm in the winter (and anyone who suggests a heated garage I am instructed to shoot! )
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
6,302 posts, read 8,152,991 times
Reputation: 4375
Block heaters work well with water cooled engines. Most Wheel Horse have air cooled engines. I use a "salamander" heater when I want something warmed up in a hurry. It burns kerosene and blows a whole lot of hot air wherever you want it. You can use a piece of metal to deflect the heat upward if necessary. The salamander won't work if it is tipped up. It's a safety feature.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:40 PM
 
672 posts, read 1,140,354 times
Reputation: 707
Something like NMLM describes is what is used to warm up small airplane engines before cranking them over. The ones I've seen are basic kerosene heaters with a stove pipe/elbow combination bolted onto the front of the heater to direct the warm air up into the cowling of the plane engine. Same would work for any engine that needed a little pre-heat to cut down on the thermal shock when the engine starts. Basically it justs heats up all the engine fluids a little.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:19 PM
Status: "Older and decidedly wiser!" (set 27 days ago)
 
8,759 posts, read 11,695,127 times
Reputation: 3436
I'm with NMLM here. The salamander is the way to go. My tractor makes all sorts of noise when it's cold. It takes it about 1/2 an hour of running the bucket up and down while plowing before the fluid heats up enough for it to begin to work properly. Just 15 minutes in front of the salamander and it's good to go. I only have to do this when it's well below zero.
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:02 AM
 
87 posts, read 129,886 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by starwalker View Post
Ok, guys... Winter is here and we are planning to use our Wheel Horse tractor with its blade and or snowblower attachment to keep the driveway clear...BUT...

while it starts just fine and the engine has no issues even on these cold days, the transmission, as K put it, "wants to go on vacation."

He is thinking about trying an engine block heater, the magnetic kind and I mentioned that "back in the old days" when I last lived in a climate cold enough to need one and in a place where using electricity for this purpose was an option, we all had dipstick heaters for the cars and trucks. I seem to remember hearing from somewhere (no idea if it was a reliable source or not) that the block heaters were superior for that purpose.

I know that some of you likely have applicable experience and can add valuable input to our discussion, so let's hear it! Best way to keep a little tractor warm in the winter (and anyone who suggests a heated garage I am instructed to shoot! )
It sounds like its the trans thats the problem not the engine. Is it a man trans or hydro(automatic)
I had one of these with the man trans and there is a rubber grommet on top of the trans that will leak and let water in(it don't take much) and when it gets cold and the water thats in the gear oil freezes you can not move the machine. If this is the case drain the trans(they call it a uni drive) refill with fresh gear lube and a new grommet and it will move no matter how cold. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:49 PM
 
1 posts, read 9,063 times
Reputation: 10
Default Block heater V oil heater

Well lets just say that the two heaters are two very different heaters and for two very different problems. The block heater warms the engine block and only the engine block. If your problem is that the engine will not turn over and wont start then yes block heater is what you need. However if your problem is that the engine will not turn over not even with a jump start then the problem is the oil is too thick and two things should be done. 1 change the oil to a lighter multi viscosity oil such as 10w30 or 10w40. After you have changed the oil and run it let it sit overnight and try starting it again. If you have the same problem then a dipstick heater will help a lot. If after that it still doesn't start you will need both heaters. While very unlikely it does happen. If you are trying to pull start the tractor you will need both heaters. Good Luck
Quote:
Originally Posted by starwalker View Post
Ok, guys... Winter is here and we are planning to use our Wheel Horse tractor with its blade and or snowblower attachment to keep the driveway clear...BUT...

while it starts just fine and the engine has no issues even on these cold days, the transmission, as K put it, "wants to go on vacation."

He is thinking about trying an engine block heater, the magnetic kind and I mentioned that "back in the old days" when I last lived in a climate cold enough to need one and in a place where using electricity for this purpose was an option, we all had dipstick heaters for the cars and trucks. I seem to remember hearing from somewhere (no idea if it was a reliable source or not) that the block heaters were superior for that purpose.

I know that some of you likely have applicable experience and can add valuable input to our discussion, so let's hear it! Best way to keep a little tractor warm in the winter (and anyone who suggests a heated garage I am instructed to shoot! )
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
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