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Old 11-14-2015, 06:04 PM   #30 (permalink)
Isaac Zackary
Full sized hybrid.
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Colorado
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Suzy - '13 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE
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Originally Posted by cts_casemod View Post
I had the glow plug setup on my older diesel and found it useless at other than killing engine torque at low revs. (It only heats up faster because of how much more fuel you have to burn given the engine inefficiency, which increases cold engine wear too) The car looked pretty stiff before the turbo kicked in because of the extra load.
In my 1985 VW non-turbo diesel Golf, if the glow plugs work I can start the engine as low as 0F (-18C). But without them, I can't get it to start at temps as high as 50F (10C). The beauty of a glow plug is that it puts the heat right where you need it. So it takes less heat to do the same thing.

What you are describing sounds like an intake manifold grid heater, not a glow plug system. I've ran plenty of diesel powered vehicles with those grid heaters and they don't seem to do anything but put a strain on the electrical system and cause severe burns to your hand if you put it anywhere near the intake manifold. I think that when you turn over the engine there's not enough heat transfer to the air, so air rushes through the intake manifold and doesn't really heat up all that much. And by the time the fuel is injected into the air it's cold again and won't start.

For the record, if you wait for the thing to stop heating (I use an voltmeter and wait for it to go back up to 12V) and then try starting it it will crank over just fine. But if you try to start it while the thing is still heating it won't want to start because of the extra load. We had three high capacity batteries per Bus and with the intake grid heater on it would drop the voltage of all three batteries to around 9V or less!

With glow plugs, however, you can start the engine just fine with them on since they don't use near as much juice.
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