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Old 09-14-2011, 11:02 AM   #1
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
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Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
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Warm Up Idle for Diesel Engine

Ever wonder how long you should idle your diesel engine for it to warm up? It's about 5 minutes. Apparently many folks are under the illusion that they need to idle for an hour or so... the earlier in the morning it is, the longer they seem to idle. I hate those people. For us, by the time the air buzzer goes off and our air brakes can be released, the engine is warm enough. We aren't going anywhere until the brakes can be released anyway.

pg 2 has some interesting Myths debunked.

This is a RV page but they called the Cummin's Customer support to get their answers...
Check out the home page for various articles. They have some good ones.
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:03 PM   #2
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Location: Whidbey Island, WA.
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Year: 1984
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Engine: 3208 na boat anchor
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Re: Warm Up Idle for Diesel Engine

What I should do: for starting from normal ambient temps (i.e. above freezing) a short idle to prove oil pressure, fast idle to build air, then drive. Drive slow at first then gradually go faster (run at low load, slowly increase load.) Full load at normal operating temp.

As a proud owner of a Cat 3208, one quickly learns not to idle excessively--that engine is one stinky SOB.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:42 PM   #3
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Location: Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada
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Year: 1990
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Re: Warm Up Idle for Diesel Engine

I have a high idle in my bus, i like it but i try to avoid excessive idle. 5-10 minutes is plenty of time. 15 in -30 weather lol
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:08 PM   #4
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Re: Warm Up Idle for Diesel Engine

I agree.... just idle enough to verify oil pressure and fill the air tanks. Once you can move the rig, do so.

On my work truck (Dodge 5.9) I plug in the block heater in the winter time. Idle for about 3 minutes and drive away. Without the block heater the truck would need to idle for an hour to warm up.

From my experience, it's not the greatest thing for a diesel to idle or run below operating temperature. High idle like we do on our class 8 road tractors is a bit different.
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