Diesel engine warmup

Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
93
Location
West Virginia
Our small town volunteer fire department is now split into two groups over a mechanical question. Myself and the one half want to put an air compressor system to keep the two air brake equipped trucks air systems charged. One is a 1991 American LaFrance with a 6V92 Detroit and a 1974 Chevy with a 427 gasoline engine. The other half believes these two trucks need the 3 to 4 minutes it takes to build up the air to warm up the engines. The Chevy, maybe, but I can't see the Detroit needing the warmup time (plus the 3-4 extra minutes headstart the fire gets on us due to this warmup time). Both engines are fairly low mileage and use Shell ROtell 15W-40 oil. Is there any validity to this warmup, or is the engine OK to go as soon as the oil pressure reaches normal?
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
237
Location
Minneapolis
Why not fix the leaks in the air brake system, which is required for DOT anyway. And check the operation of the check valve from the compressor, in case it is leaking back at that point. We have 91 International 8300 with 300k miles on it, that I can leave parked for a week and still have full tank pressure when I go to use it. I would still give the truck at least 30 seconds from start up before driving. On one of our non air brake diesel trucks with a triple four diesel, the driver starts it up and is pulling out of the dock in under a minute and that truck has not had an engine problem with 235k on the unit.If the units are kept indoors during the winter months, this shouldn't be a problem at all. If left outside in freezing or below temps, it might be worth considering a slight warm up time. But I would think the fire would take precedence.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2003
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
 Originally Posted By: 03cvpi
. But I would think the fire would take precedence.
I would hope so. Oil pan and coolant heaters would take care of things if the trucks are parked in the cold.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
307
Location
NJ
In my dept fire comes first. If my rig is low on air it gets floored to build air quickly.We only run diesels so they are governed to not over-rev. Your Chevy 427 may over-rev if not governed. We have never had an engine or transmission failure as far as i know in the last 30 years.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Messages
23,160
Location
Apple Valley, California
I remember reading the owners manual for the DD Series 60 in the 2002 Pete I drove. If I remember correctly The book said to let the engine warm up t0 100F before driving and 150F before working it. This would be for maximum engine life. IMO a persons life is more important than the cost of the engine. Even with the harsh conditions from starting it and going wot as soon as possible the engine will probly outlast the unit. I find it interesting that your still running the 2-stroke diesel in your dept. I didn't realize that they were still building them in the 90's. Do you guys run the recomended SAE40 oil?
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2003
Messages
12,385
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Northern CA
Chris, I toured the DDC plant in Detroit/Dearborn (it stradles the city limits) in 1992 and 1993. They were still building 92 series 2-smokes then although production was winding down. They were primarily going to existing customers and marine applications. At that time they were committing to a few more years production, but I don't remember how many.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
5,295
I don't believe diesel starts warming up until you put it under load and make it start working,i.e. starting moving. Unless it has coolant glow plugs in addition to the cylinder glow plugs.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
486
Location
Michigan
We have an engine manual for an old IH DT466 and it states that you should try and get the engine up to operating temp as soon as you can and the best way to do that is to get the engine under load as soon as you can. Let your oil pressure build up and then run it.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Messages
2,097
Location
kansastan
Fire trucks usually don't get a whole lot of wear or miles on them anyway- at least from what I've seen in the shop. IMO, you should fix the leaks AND keep shop air handy. Fire and rescue should be the priority- to [censored] with maximum engine life. Warm-ups wouldn't likely make much difference anyway, IMO.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
46,629
Location
New Jersey
 Originally Posted By: sdan27
We have an engine manual for an old IH DT466 and it states that you should try and get the engine up to operating temp as soon as you can and the best way to do that is to get the engine under load as soon as you can. Let your oil pressure build up and then run it.
In our automotive diesels this is always the method taken. They will warm up on their own given time, but it takes a long while... The one thing I will not do on a turbodiesel (or any turbo engine) is get on the boost until the engine is at temperature. I drive extra soft to ensure that Im not creating high amounts of boost.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2003
Messages
18,449
Location
East of IGO
All the Fire equipment "trucks" around here are kept charged up via an external air compressor and a quick release connector. The exhaust is evacuated . The trucks are started as the doors open and the trucks unplugged and off they go. We have a good bunch of fire fighters fulltime and volunteer around here. Engine life isn't the duty of the trucks, getting out to the fire asap "safely" is.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2003
Messages
700
Location
SF bay area, San leandro, Ca
Around here even the VFD's have the trucks indoors. RARELY do the front line trucks ever sit anywhere where they will get colder than 65 deg. They are equipped with auto ejectors for "shore power" and Air supply. when the trucks are backed in the they have a special high zoot exhaust evacuator that lines up with the trucks exhaust and picks it up automatically as the truck is moving. The the engineer will plug in the power and air lines. Then when the next call comes in they will get in the truck and hit the starter, when the truck comes up to idle the air and power will automatically disconnect and be spit clear of the truck. Truth be told idling the truck for hours on end at a fire is more detrimental to the truck than hammering on it cold.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Messages
2,097
Location
kansastan
That's a big 'if'. Idling doesn't do any direct damage, but it will contribute to oil slobber, fuel dilution of the oil, and soot in the oil. And the problems only get worse when you add on these new aftertreatment systems.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Messages
23,160
Location
Apple Valley, California
 Originally Posted By: mechtech2
Idling a diesel is not hard on it. IF the fuel is metered correctly.
But he's running a 2-Stroke green leaker. They are designed to run @2200 rpm all day and night. They will slobber fuel and oil out the exhaust if left idling.
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
251
Location
Kingman, Arizona
My theory on diesels: Turn key to glow, start engine, fasten seat belt, drive. By the time you have fastened your seat belt the oil flow is everywhere in the engine. You drive easy until the temp gauge moves. But then I am not going to fires or heart attacks. If money were the only consideration, we could just eliminate the fire departments and save all kinds of money. In my view, living in a rural area, it is the medical emergency services that are the most important since the volunteer fire department rarely gets a fire put out before it is a total loss. This is not a criticism, this is just a fact of rural life. I chose it and I get to pay higher home insurance premiums because of my choice. If my house were to burn, they would have the water in the tanks to fight it only. That probably is not enough.
 
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