fourtrak not starting when its cold


I have got a 89 fourtrak with a 2.5 daihatsu pick-up engine in it, non turbo, and when the weather is cold (funnily enough at this time of year!!!!!!!) it sounds as though the battery is low of charge and stuggles to turn the engine over. I have had the battery checked and its fine. when it does start it runs great but i havent got any info on if its the right battery thats fitted! as this is my first 4B i would like to get it running right and therfore look after it. any help about this or for that matter anything to do fourtrak praises / probs wuold be good, cheers folks

For a start, its probably a s

For a start, its probably a step backwards to have a 2.5 in a Fourtrak/Rocky, but anyway.

Physically how big is the battery? Diesels need LARGE batteries in them, to deliver big amounts of current for startup. With high compression, they take a lot to turn them over when cold. Try getting a second battery, and hooking it to yours with jumper leads, in PARALLEL, not series. If this makes a big difference, then I would say your battery is too small for the application.


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tired starter motor ?

Assuming the battery is big enough (like it fills the battery box), or is at least 600 CCA (cold cranking amps), then the other thing is that the starter motor is feeling its age. Hopefully it will just need a set of new brushes to put it back on form.

Other things to check are the obvious like you havn't got the wrong viscosity engine oil .... I run 15W-40 which, although cheaper, gets a bit gloopy when the temperature is below 0 degC. On the gloopy oil front, the gearbox oil is also turned over at starting. Putting your foot on the clutch will disconnect gearbox load from the starter and help turn the engine quicker.

On the electrical side, check that the connections to the battery, starter motor pre-engage solenoid (and the other one that goes from the solenoid to the motor itself ! ) are sound and don't get hot. With a lot of use they might get warm, but shouldn't get 'ouch' hot.

Finally, check that the negative earth return directly from the engine block to the battery is sound, as above.

BR&C's comment about paralleling up batteries is a good idea, for a test.

i just put a new battery in m

i just put a new battery in mine, the cold killed it, and the fact the wally that had the truck before must have thought it was fine to stick a normal car battery in it! prat!

anyway the battery should be large, 350mm long and be 95Ah (amp hours) at least. if your battery looks (the same size) as a standard car battery then you need a new one. 70 quid halfords, 60 to 65 quid half decent counter, 45 to 50 quid trade! mine was the latter at 52quid.
your battery might be ok, but not big enough. how was it checked? was a load test performed? do you know what amps it puts out and takes in?

if you are reading 14.5 volts on the battery with the engine running, its probably ok, if less than that then the battery could be gone. and yes even if the alternator is putting out 14.5 volts you might not read that on the battery as it will only take what it can, so if one cell is onway out it will only absorb a certain amount.

also check the starter motor as others have sujested.

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thanks for the advise!

cheers for all the helpful stuff, i will check all the points raised as soon as work allows 10 minutes to myself!!!!! as for the point about the engine being a step backwards, i agree! But it was fitted when i got my BEAST! hoping to have fitted a 2.8 by next summer, just need to find the money. cheers again.

The definitive test

There you go .... me mucking about with engines on a cold day (-2 degC).

With frost on the trak this morning I measured the battery voltage at its terminals with a digital multimeter.

Off load after standing out overnight 12.70V
Lights on high beam (about 13A load), 12.15V
Lights on high beam after 2 minutes, 11.90V

I turned off the lights and the engine started normally (this one is a good un and only needs to go over one compression) after the glow light went out.

The battery is still doing well at 8 years old !

So, if the cold load test gives you numbers within 0.2V of these examples, I'd definitely suspect the starter or wiring.