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Are there glowplugs on Cummings engines?

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ClydesdaleKevin:
Hey diesel gurus.  Our 1995 Itasca doesn't start right up anymore.  I have to turn the key around three times now (in 10 second bursts) to start the engine, and apply the fuel pedal...and then it fires up.  This is after (well after) changing out the fuel filter...and it was starting to get hard to start before I changed the filter around 1000 miles ago.


What could be the cause of this, as I don't want to burn out the starter?  There is no glow plug light...but are there glow plugs on this thing?  It is a Cummings 230 Turbo diesel.  Should I turn the key and just wait for a while before trying to start it?  I tried it once already, but maybe I didn't leave the key on long enough?  No idea, since diesel engines are new to me.


Thanks!


Kev

Rickf1985:
If it has glow plugs there will be a "wait to start" light on the dash and you wait until that goes out. Does your volt meter drop down pretty low when you turn on the key? That is a sign of glow plugs coming on. Didn't you say you had the manual for that? If it is getting harder to start already then you are going to have serious issues when it get actually cold out so there is something not working. I am not real familiar with the 230 engine, The smaller Cummins in the Dodge pickups have grid heaters on the intake manifold right below where the intake hose attaches. Look for some fairly large electrical connections at the intake in that area. If they are there then it has grid heaters and it should have a wait to start light. There may be a bad relay or fuse.


Did a little searching and I kind of need to know which engine you have as the 230 was offered in a 6BT or a NTC version. The 6BT is the same as the ones used in the Dodge pickup trucks, The NTC would be a small version of the large truck motors. None of them used glow plugs. The BT series all used manifold grid heaters and the NTC could have used a grid heater, an ether injector or nothing at all.

tmsnyder:
IIRC there are no glow plugs on a cummins, they are only used on IDI engines.  I think you can use starter fluid on them though, unlike the IDI engines such as the 7.3L Ford or 6.5L Chevy.  Starter fluid will destroy them in a hurry.  But iirc it's fine to use on a cummins.


It may have a intake air heater, that may be shot.


I'd also suspect the batteries, how old are they?  I'm looking at my 6 yo batteries in my suburban diesel and thinking it's time for a change soon, we'll see how they perform this winter. Just starting to get cold at night in Buffalo, NY



tmsnyder:
Try changing the filter again, maybe you got a bad batch of fuel. 


Also it's never a bad idea to use an algacide additive in your fuel, maybe stuff is growing in there.


First off though, collect a sample in a glass jar and see what fuel is going to your engine. What's it look like?

ClydesdaleKevin:
Thanks guys!  I did use the biocide, so that probably isn't it...and the fuel in the filter bowl is clean.  I'm going to start with a new battery...since the starting battery is 8 years old, and looks like a cheap Walmart type battery with only 600 cranking amps.  Maybe it isn't spinning the engine fast enough to get the compression up fast enough to start right up.  I'm going to put in the biggest, highest cranking amp battery that will fit and see what happens (and at 8 years old, it is well past time for a new battery anyway).  If that doesn't cure the problem, then I'll check to see if this thing has a grid heater and troubleshoot from there.  It is the 6BT engine I believe, turbo diesel.


Kev

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