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Cold weather starts

Discussion in 'Subaru Sambar' started by Rural, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Rural

    Rural Member

    I changed my fuel filter on Monday. It has started great ever since...except for when I pumped the gas pedal three times before turning the key. Definitely acted like it was flooded then. But with that exception, it's been fine.

    The battery sure doesn't have much oomph. When I was cranking it after my suspected flooding incident, it was starting to die as the engine caught.
  2. josh.e

    josh.e New Member

    I just did a fuel filter swap yesterday for the same issue.
    I've had progressively worse cold starts this week (around 0-3C and rainy), until yesterday it wouldn't start.

    New fuel filter seems to have done the trick. One pump to set the choke, and it started first try this morning.:)
  3. Samurai9

    Samurai9 Member

    My 1993 Hijet has been tough to start in the cold weather. My procedure had been to pump the gas once and then turn the ignition key with my foot off the gas. In the cold weather, I am finding that I need to pump a total of four or five times to get the choke going and the engine running.

  4. confuzed

    confuzed Member

    Brrrrr Cold Starting

    Hey rural how u making out with the cold starts? I have found the colder it gets the less I pump.Usually open door turn key and it starts if not I give one pump and it will start,then run for the house door before I freeze.lol Still no inline heater and parked on the street.Seems real easy to flood when cold.
  5. Rural

    Rural Member

    My truck hasn't been running since December 27th.

    Before Christmas, we had pulled it into the garage and done some poking around, but hadn't really done any work. So I brought it back home and parked it outside. On the 27th, at about -15C, with the inline heater plugged in, it started after a bit of struggling. So I took my brother out for a drive (and suckered him into some chores). We did some highway driving, some gravel roading, some snow dogging (a hoot), some idling (while doing chores), then some more highway driving on our way home. As we pulled up to park, it stalled and wouldn't start. So we pushed it into the garage and figured it was time to drop the fuel tank and change the fuel. We've finished that, but managed to get some high-methanol fuel into the system (again). We've purged the fuel system except for the carb.

    I'm hoping to get it running this afternoon. That should be the end of my fuel problems. I figure my next focus will be the electrical system (which seems good except for the battery and possibly the points).

  6. Subaru

    Subaru Member

    Jeez Rural---I am wishing you had bought my silver AWD for $4000,that thing starts if it sees ya walking up to it dangling keys:D

    Hopefully you get yours figured out before your wife kicks you out for spending more time 'fixing that damn truck' than you spend with her:eek:--just kidding
  7. Rural

    Rural Member

    I've only got two afternoons and three evenings into this. Most of that was successful. Lately, I just haven't been able to get free time to coincide with availability of a heated garage. Time spent on the truck is way down on my wife's long list of complaints.

    Honestly, the problem isn't the truck... Well, it's got at least an issue or two, but it wouldn't matter what condition it was in when I got my hands on it. A few days of my poking around and experimenting and it wouldn't run. ;)

    There are no mysteries with its current state of non-runningness. Cranking on it when there was nothing but methanol in the tank was a...serious mis-step. ("Hey! Did we put the gas in yet? Uh-oh. Maybe that's why it won't start.")

    Seriously, I'm having a lot of fun with this.

  8. josh.e

    josh.e New Member

    I think I've got my cold start issue figured out, it was actually more of a "damp start" issue.

    After not starting for my wife yesterday morning, I decided to dig into it a bit. Two of the boots on my sparkplug wires had broken seals on the dist cap end.
    When I looked at these, they had moisture in them. I checked the spark on the coil, which looked really good. Then on all 4 cylinders, all were noticeably weaker than the coil and no. 2 and 4 (with the broken seals) were very weak.

    I pulled the cap to have a look, and all 4 points were pretty corroded. All 4 plugs were pretty saturated in gas when I took them out too, so I think the one pump to set the choke was enough to flood to the cylinders to the point that the weak spark wasn't going to ignite anything.

    Anyway, new dist cap, wires and plugs, and she's started up 1st crank two damp, rainy mornings in a row.(without setting the choke). I think my stalling in the car wash may have been the same problem.....

    While at Lordco, we figured out some cross reference part numbers: an NGK RC-SE93 plug wire set (off a 95 suzuki swift, I think it was). The coil wire was too long, but the plug wires are perfect. The cap is a Niehoff WA465D.
    My Van's a 1990 2WD carb'ed.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  9. Rural

    Rural Member

    Now that my truck is starting great, cold weather or not, I've been fine-tuning my starting procedure. I set the choke before turning the key, so the fuel system isn't up to pressure, then turn the key to on, put my seat-belt on while the fuel pump does its thing, then start it up.

    If I set the choke after the fuel system is pressurized, it takes two or three cranks to turn over instead of one.

    And thanks for the cross-references, I'll check whether they apply to me the next chance I get.
  10. boatman

    boatman Member

    ...well I've been waiting for the real cold to get here to see how this thing starts up in the morning. So far the worst was -23 C this morning... two pumps and turn the key and she fired right up. Died when I let out the clutch (in neutral), but started right up again. Let her idle for 30 secs then I was able to let out the clutch and shes fine.

    ...I'm a happy guy...

  11. Rural

    Rural Member

    Mine does the same thing if I quickly let the clutch out when it's cold. I've found that I can let the clutch out immediately after start-up, but very slowly. This way, I can get out of the truck quicker and fog up the windows less.

    I replaced the oil in my transaxle with some "Synthetic Blend" 75W90 from Canadian Tire hoping it would help, but it continues. I will be changing the transaxle gear oil with some Red Line MTL this weekend. That is mostly to help with poor shifting due to a worn synchro, but maybe it will help with the cold-weather clutch jumps too.

  12. Rural

    Rural Member

    Well, it was Redline MTL-90, not MTL. I keep waffling over which would have been the better choice, but feel pretty safe using the recommended 75W90. In any case, it definitely helps with the cold-weather clutch jumping, but the difference isn't all that stark. (There might be a small difference with the worn synchro, but it's subtle enough that it might all be in my imagination.)

    I started it up cold this morning and slowly let out the clutch (not ultra-slowly like with the Canadian Tire stuff) and it was fine.

    Since resetting the points, my truck has been a damn-reliable starter. Literally no issues. This morning was really cold. Probably the coldest we've had since the points were dealt with. I was neglectful and hadn't plugged-in the truck's inline rad-line heater before we had to run. The starter was really working, but the truck started just fine after a couple of cranks. (As an aside it revved fairly high for a couple of minutes before settling down to normal. This somewhat worries me.)

    This afternoon, I replaced the distributor cap, points, rotor, and condensor. After resetting the timing, it's running as good as it ever has. I'm looking forward to checking what kind of fuel economy I get after these changes. I'm hoping for 30+ MPG.
  13. confuzed

    confuzed Member

    GRRRRRRR talked mine up too much i guess this last cold spell gave it a treat parked in the tent out of the weather would not start! Well got it running yesterday man a lot of smoke filled the tent after about 5 minutes it was running clear again need a tune up will have to see Sean and the guys about that.Was at the heavy duty truck shop during work looked down on the shelf ........ work will have to wait grabbed and bought the last remaining heat magnet.......... i think it must be the last one in Alberta lol could not find one in Red Deer. Did you get the parts from GPI?
  14. Rural

    Rural Member

    Have you checked the points, rotor and distributor cap? My truck was really finicky until I got all those in order. Might also be some moisture made it into the distributor cap and is messing stuff up.

    I'm wondering if it could also be a carburetor problem. Not that I know much about carburetors yet.
  15. confuzed

    confuzed Member

    Pulled the cap has build up on it so I didn't go further will need to order tune up parts....... or get lazy and heve Earl perform some magic on it in way of a tune up. Running now keeping it warmer will be the solution I think in the tent even when it warms up it is sheltered from the sun so doesn't warm up. Bring it out next week have the one ton on the street and on call truck so no room in front of the house.If the wife would use the garage she made me clean up so she could park in it for the winter then I could park it in the driveway lol.:frustration::D

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