Discussion:
Propane Forklift

I been having trouble starting a forklift that is being kept outside. It will start but it will take a lot of tries.. Temp can be in the teens F as we are in upstate NY. Was thinking I could use a Magnetic Block Heater 300 watts? Would something like that help? Anybody have any ideas?
  • Posted 12 Jan 2021 06:51
  • Discussion started by giovanni
  • New York, United States
Showing items 1 - 6 of 6 results.
i have ran into this on old yales with vaccuum mixersthe problem is build up on the valve guides causing not to seat right and the valve guides wear out, the easiest way to find out is to take the intanke off and look at the valves. if its heavy with carbon you wuill have to take the head off and have it serviced. the one i did. starts right up on first crank in 32 degrees
  • Posted 21 Jan 2021 13:39
  • Reply by jimbony
  • New York, United States
Good point, TripleB. Also note: some regulators have a wax drain tap on them that you can open when warm to drain the wax. If it's still a problem, you'll likely need a repair kit (gaskets) and have to pull it apart & clean. There could also be issues with moisture in the distributor - think about how it's warm when operating, then cools down...
  • Posted 15 Jan 2021 09:34
  • Reply by CharlesM
  • Victoria, Australia
Any help appreciated!
You mention a LP powered forklift but the temperatures are not that cold and it should start a lot easier at 15F or -9C. I would suggest looking at your regulator as it likely has a wax build up inside it. Not sure how old this unit is but we see it pretty regularly here in Alberta. If it starts great after it has warmed up then that is likely the issue. The wax build up impedes the flow until after the unit warms up and the wax melts. A good test is to take a hair dryer to the regulator for a good while before cold starting. Get the regulator good and warm. Does it start fine? If so, that is your likely issue.
  • Posted 15 Jan 2021 09:22
  • Reply by TripleB
  • Alberta, Canada
yes that would help
  • Posted 15 Jan 2021 00:37
  • Reply by stillworkin
  • New York, United States
What is the fuel source? Diesel Gasoline or propane?
  • Posted 14 Jan 2021 22:50
  • Reply by larry_f
  • New Brunswick, Canada
Hello giovanni

It depends on what you mean by 'outside'. If under a roof, with no water or snow, you could possibly drape it with a heavy tarp (or have tarp material glued or otherwise attached to the sides hanging to the ground like a skirt to reduce air circulating out of the engine bay - depending on circumstances) and use an electic fan heater on low under the unit. Heat rises, and the fan circulates it.

The temperature can be set by the thermostat, however our experience with fan heaters is that it's best to set on max temp and select heat output by power position (there's usually 2 heat settings for the element).

If there's any water underneath, I would probably discourage this idea, for safety reasons. Better a hard to start engine than being electrocuted.

Another option is to use a Diesel Air Heater (plenty of them on eBay, see one here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/224268313444 , here's a controller: https://www.ebay.com/itm//254490256749) and pipe it outside - again, you will need to do some sealing with a tarp or skirts to allow the warm air to collect under the forklift without blowing away. There's a few options out there!

Another benefit of the above options is that the fuel system stays warmer too - making it likely easier to start.

Keep a sharp eye on it the first time or two until you have a feel for how your setup performs - you don't want to overheat it and set it alight...

Hope something works for you!

KR

Charles
  • Posted 12 Jan 2021 22:31
  • Modified 15 Jan 2021 08:57 by poster
  • Reply by CharlesM
  • Victoria, Australia
Any help appreciated!

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