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  1. #11
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    112
    Location
    NB, Canada
    Tractor
    John Deere 2520

    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    Don't have to use it on my JD & don't need to plug it in as I keep it indoors.
    My experience is that ether doesn't hurt diesel engines. I grew up on a farm & we had to use ether to get our old cockshutt (~40hp) started in the winter(when it got much below freezing & hadn't been run for a few days) - despite plugging it in, using glow plugs, & even leaving it in the barn (at times). Didn't effect starting in the summer, but I suspect that there wasn't much difference between summer & winter diesel in those days which might have been an associated issue//we only had one storage tank and am pretty sure it got filled in the spring when the money was coming in (as well don't think dad changed to a lighter oil in the winter). As to engine longevity - Dad bought it used in the early 60s (63 or 64) and last I heard it was still being used by a gas station for show clearing in the winter (we traded up in the 80s).

    FWIW

  2. #12
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    112
    Location
    NB, Canada
    Tractor
    John Deere 2520

    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    Don't have to use it on my JD & don't need to plug it in as I keep it indoors.
    My experience is that ether doesn't hurt diesel engines. I grew up on a farm & we had to use ether to get our old cockshutt (~40hp) started in the winter - despite plugging it in, using glow plugs, & even leaving it in the barn (at times). Didn't effect starting in the summer, but I suspect that there wasn't much difference between summer & winter diesel in those days which might have been an associated issue//we only had one storage tank and am pretty sure it got filled in the spring when the money was coming in. As to engine longevity - Dad bought it used in the early 60s (63 or 64) and last I heard it was still being used by a gas station for show clearing in the winter (we traded up in the 80s).

    FWIW
    Last edited by bcjmmac; 11-27-2012 at 08:40 AM.

  3. #13
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,330
    Location
    Balls Creek, NC
    Tractor
    New Holland 1720

    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    We have used either for years with no adverse effects...
    Our AC 8050 has a canister for either in the front of the engine that will spray it into the air breather for hard starts...
    We hardly ever use it on the AC or our other tractors but use it on our older crawler, loader, and backhoe...
    Those units set for long periods of time and need a shot to get fired up...

  4. #14
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,271
    Location
    Lee, IL
    Tractor
    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    If needed on a gas motor, I use a little "carb and choke cleaner". I heard it was not as bad as ether, but not sure. I rarely use it and haven't had an issue yet. I have used ether in the spud-gun though (that took some courage/ stupidity the first time) since it is a little cleaner and doesn't get the chamber all sticky like hairspray.

  5. #15
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    888
    Location
    north shore MA.

    Default

    you can also redline a diesel engine with starting fluid. Diesel engines are fuel throttled, not air throttled, so too much ether and then the engine starts and you can't control it.
    Dan H.

  6. #16
    Veteran Member Gordon Gould's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,169
    Location
    NorthEastern, VT
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010DT, Dresser TD7G Dozer

    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    My dozer sits in the woods. No glow plugs, no plug in. Starts right up down to about 40*. Will start unaided down to 30* but takes some cranking. Below that ether is the only way. I have no choice except maybe the gas rag I saw earlier in this post. I only need to give it a small shot in the air intake. It has a solenoid operated canister hookup in the engine compartment with a switch on the dash but I don't use it after reading stories of what happens when you accidentally spray a charge of ether into an engine that is already hot and running. Almost certain damage.
    "If you're not making any mistakes then you're not doing anything"

    L3010DT, Farmi JL290 Winch, ATI Grapple, BearCat 5" Chipper, 6' Rear Blade,
    7' Sickle Bar, 5' Land Plane Grading Scraper, Dresser TD7G Dozer

  7. #17
    Veteran Member deepNdirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,290
    Location
    Nth East Ga, USA
    Tractor
    yanmar YM-1700

    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    Rapid engine and cylinder wear can occur when using ether (starting fluid), Ether works by quickly drying up and evaporating the lubrication in a cylinder wall and on piston, rings or on any other upper internal engine part that may have become in-saturated with oils, Ether causes higher compression within the cylinder and can loosen carbon particles from the valves resulting in scaring the cylinder walls, Though Diesel engine are not quit as prone to damage right away because of the oil base petroleum being used, although will ultimately after enough use will cause excessive cylinder wall piston,ring wear and damage to the bearings, If your lucky enough that it doesn't do immediate damage then it will for certain have developed a dependency on the use of ether,
    I used to work on 2 stroke cycle engines, and have removed the heads to find the skirt of a piston shattered and fallen down inside the crank-case, Piston rings melted to the pistons, Holes blown into the top of the pistons, and off course expensive damage to a Nicol cylinder wall liner, .............. what could have been an enexpensive 175.00 top-end rebuild kit turn into 1,200 total engine rebuild or a 1,800 replacement.
    All cycle mechanics or any engine mechanic can depend on having plenty of work so as long as people continue the use of ether as their
    ( Quick fix ) Not!
    Never judge a man until you've walked a day in his shoes,

  8. #18
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    3,202
    Location
    adirondacks

    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    DeepNdirt, makes a good point ether will dry the lubricants out of the engine. I have used ether in past years but only on engines that had 20,000hrs+ and were pretty much on there last leg. As someone mentioned if ether is needed find a better solution, tune up, some type of heat source, glow plug. Heck I remember the ole timers building a small fire under their diesel beasts to get everything warmed up to start. In the winter you could mix in a bit of kero to help keeps things going. I'm sure there are many alternatives that would be much better then ether.

  9. #19
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    99
    Location
    central/ se michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3130DT

    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    I used it once on my old kubota L185DT when it was so cold that the glow plug was doing nothing. The thing knocked so badly that I thought it was going to break something. After that I started putting an electric heat gun under the oil pan for an hour to warm things up.

  10. #20
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    552
    Location
    WI
    Tractor
    '13 Yanmar Lx4100

    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    I've seen heads blown off gasoline and diesels alike, if it doesnt come with a port for an ether bottle than it doesnt get sprayed into the engine. Are we talking straight ether or "starting fluid" as I think there are some differences, as in % of ether used. I would never condone it on anything. If the engine doesnt start there is a reason. SOME engines definatly come with port to use it and have seen plenty of those as well.

    If you're doing it as a last resort dont stand anywhere near the engine while its cranking or in the path of heads etc..

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