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Old 01-16-2014, 07:41 PM   #1
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Why am I waiting to start?

So I'm a DD (diesel dummy )

I know it's an engine, I know it makes power, I know what kind of gas it uses, but what I don't know is....

... what's actually happening when the "wait to start" light is lit. What is my engine doing during that time?

And why sometimes does the light go out, I try to crank, and it comes back on.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:42 PM   #2
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What engine do you have ?
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:44 PM   #3
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Waiting for your glow plugs to warm the cylinders.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:46 PM   #4
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Glow plugs heating during the delay. If not hot mixture will not ignite and engine will not run.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:52 PM   #5
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it does not use 'gas' , we diesel guys say - fuel- big difference
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:54 PM   #6
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Waiting for your glow plugs to warm the cylinders.
Most RV's today (the OP's included) do not have glow plugs, they have a grid heater in the intake. That's why you NEVER use starting fluid with them. The resulting explosion won't be pretty or cheap to fix.

OTH our generator does have glow plugs as it's a 3 cyl Kubota engine.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:16 PM   #7
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During the 'wait to start' light is on, the grid heater is pre-warming the air for the engine to start. Even after the engine has started, the grid heater may still cycle, if the outside air temps are cold. During this time, just take a few minutes and check everything else out. Not only will it be easier to start the engine, but it will be less strain on the starter.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:10 PM   #8
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Ok cool, I'm running a Cat 9, and I was so curious as to what it was heating. I figured it was warming up something, just wasn't sure, and I'm a notorious researcher and "want to know everything'er"
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:35 AM   #9
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Just a little fyi on gas and diesel:

Gasoline is more of a solvent and has a burn rate that is compared to octane. Diesel is more of a lubricant, (at least before uls), and has a burn rate compared to cetane. Diesel also has more BTU's of energy per gallon than gasoline.

Diesel engines don't use spark plugs to initiate combustion, they use the heat of compression. There is a formula to figure heat generated based on changing volumes and rate of change. If the air in the cylinder is very cool, the compression of the air in the cylinder may not rise high enough to initiate combustion. You can't change the compression rate or the volume being compressed. Therefore, heat the air before it enters the cylinder.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:01 AM   #10
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You should have an engine block heater that should be used when 40 degrees or colder. When plugged in a few hours prior to starting, it will preheat your engine so it's easier to start. Also, it will be warm enough so the "wait to start" light will not even come on.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:13 AM   #11
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Also on mine its running the fuel pump to build up pressure. If I listen close I can hear it cycling.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
So I'm a DD (diesel dummy )

I know it's an engine, I know it makes power, I know what kind of gas it uses, but what I don't know is....
Actually you know what kind of FUEL it uses. Doubt it's gas (gasoline) but more likely diesel (fuel)
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:47 AM   #13
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Ok cool, I'm running a Cat 9, and I was so curious as to what it was heating. I figured it was warming up something, just wasn't sure, and I'm a notorious researcher and "want to know everything'er"
That's a GOOD thing!
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:22 AM   #14
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
Ok cool, I'm running a Cat 9, and I was so curious as to what it was heating. I figured it was warming up something, just wasn't sure, and I'm a notorious researcher and "want to know everything'er"
Its heating air in the intake 'pumbing/duct' just like a toaster the wires glow cherry red,if you have a battery gauge you can watch it show the load coming and going as it cycles off and on.This continues even after it starts if its cold enough, or you may notice engine revs change a bit as the alternator demands more 'juice' each time it comes on,I don't like to use other accessories until this is over (2-3 minutes?)
All the CAT engines I have started in the cold are notorious for long crank times,but they start - eventually
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