How to stop my propane forklift from icing up
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  1. #1
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    Default How to stop my propane forklift from icing up

    My propane forklift has a 4 cylinder Nisson engine. It will start right up when it is cold but after a minute or two it will die. If it is in the sun I can open the engine compartment for about 10 minutes and then it will run fine or I will place a heater blowing on the carb. I was thinking that a block heater may help, I was also thinking of a inline hose heater to the carb. Has anyone tried any of these solutions and did it help?

    Thanks
    Ken

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    I had a older propane forklift and the regulator would ice up and stop flowing propane every winter ,, it had the IMCO system and I just added a cheap magnetic block heater ,, I would only plug it in when I needed to use the forklift ,, About a hour and it was ready to go ..

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    My own Datsun lift and any I have seen had a heater hose connection to the propane regulators to prevent what you are experiencing.
    Do you have hot water going to those things and if so is it clogged up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    My own Datsun lift and any I have seen had a heater hose connection to the propane regulators to prevent what you are experiencing.
    Do you have hot water going to those things and if so is it clogged up?
    Yup, a heated regulator is pretty standard on most forklifts or propane powered equipment. Anything that reduces
    the flow of hot water will cause problems but if the water flows properly you're very unlikely to have icing problems...

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    My old clark did the same thing in winter. I put a tank heater like dad had on the '60 chevy on it, plumbed in the coolant line to the evaporator. Park by an outlet and plug it in for 30 minutes before you need the lift. Once the engine warms up, it produces enough heat to evaporate the propane on its own.

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    Hi Shay. If your lift has a Impco/Nolfs model J converter/regulator, it will have two fittings for engine coolant.
    The model J was probably the most common converter for 4 cylinder propane lift engines. There is also a valve in the converter that can cause icing up if the rubber seal on it has decayed. You may also have a bad diaphragm in the converter. If I were you, I'd make sure you have engine coolant going through the regulator/converter and I would also rebuild it and the vacuum filter/lock. Both kits are inexpensive and usually come with instructions. Not hard to do. A couple cans of carb cleaner to clean out the sludge. If the engine has a Impco CA-55 carb, that's a simple, inexpensive rebuild also, and usually improves performance, if it's an old machine that sits.
    Good luck,PB

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    You might try drilling a couple of small holes in the thermostat.
    That will allow coolant to flow when the engine is cold and might be enough to keep the LPG system from freezing up.

    Letting the engine idle for a minute or two before putting a load on it will help, .

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    How cold? I agree a heater should solve it.
    Bill D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    How cold? I agree a heater should solve it.
    Bill D
    North half of state is currently below freezing, prediction is -6 tomorrow night in my area, I do not even try starting forklift in these temps, worried my ass might get stuck to seat. A block heater should work.

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    The first thing to check is engine cooling system. A stuck thermostat or low antifreeze should be eliminated. Next, make sure the coolant is making it to the LP convertor. A rebuild kit is an easy and cheap fix for the convertor or the carb. Failing all this, have a look at the LP tank. A loose or broken pickup tube can cause freeze-up.

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    I’ve seem more than one vaporizer be stopped up, not allowing coolant to flow through it. There are fairly small coolant passageways inside the vaporizer and can plug.

    Some lifts are just more prone to it than others. Usually, you can get it started, and if you’ll just let it idle until the vaporizer feels warm, you are good to go. Most freeze up when the engine is still cold, and you apply throttle, passing more propane through the vaporizer, causing the freezing. Not a bad idea to let the lift warm up anyway before using.

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    I used to get a whole fleet of old forks going with a tub of boiling water....ladle out about a pint and drizzle it over the valve and anywhere with frost on .Once you get going , idle for a few minutes .... throttle opening will freeze up the converter again....Dont get water on the ignition,or youll have more problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sealark37 View Post
    The first thing to check is engine cooling system. A stuck thermostat or low antifreeze should be eliminated. Next, make sure the coolant is making it to the LP convertor. A rebuild kit is an easy and cheap fix for the convertor or the carb. Failing all this, have a look at the LP tank. A loose or broken pickup tube can cause freeze-up.
    This.....
    Had the small Hyster with the Y112 suddenly start icing up and stalling.Checked the coolant, she was low. Topped it off, problem solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keyster View Post
    You might try drilling a couple of small holes in the thermostat.
    That will allow coolant to flow when the engine is cold and might be enough to keep the LPG system from freezing up.

    Letting the engine idle for a minute or two before putting a load on it will help, .
    Coolant line to the vaporizer should be installed on the block side of the thermostat. In cold weather the vaporizer may provide all the cooling the engine requires.

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    My Hyster used to do this, the IMCO vaporiser was the issue and was down to sticky valves and rubbers. Re-build kit was 2/3 rds of the price of a replacement unit so I put a new one in and had no trouble since.

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    If you get a new vaporizer, I read the Impco “Cobra” is a more robust, better functioning unit than the typical “Model J”.

    eBay has a good selection of new units of both types...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post
    If you get a new vaporizer, I read the Impco “Cobra” is a more robust, better functioning unit than the typical “Model J”.

    eBay has a good selection of new units of both types...
    Cobra looks good but F-ebay, anything propane I need comes from century fuel products:
    Impco C-Cobra Propane Vaporizer Converter Regulator Lpg
    Look on ebay and the cobras are almost double centurys prices.


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