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  1. #1
    Elite Member
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    Default Use of ether for starting

    ether has been used for a long time to start old/cold diesels, but what about the use on gas engines?
    I'm amazed how many YouTubers spray ether down the carb throat, when I was told the right way to do it, if you really had to do it,
    was spray some on the air filter and let it be ingested that way.

    Obviously ether is seriously flammable, explosive I'm sure, but so is gasoline. What harm does ether do?
    Lot of comments on other threads about NOT using ether but the word sure hasn't gotten out.
    Warranty techs say "oh, we can tell immediately and it will void your warranty". Why? They treat it like we are sticking an M80
    down the carb.

    With all of the ethanol issues leading to hard starting, is ether just the wrong choice 100% of the time? I use it very sparingly and not very often, but
    always wondered why there was so much divergence in opinion on it.
    2012 Kubota L5740HSTC3 with FEL and Long grapple, 1986 Case IH 255, Land Pride PD10 PHD, Land Pride RCR60 & RCF2084 mowers, Land Pride 4' box blade and rear rake, Fred Cain subsoiler, County Line potato plow, County Line 1 bottom plow, 1986 Gravely 8199G with tow behind DR rototiller, 50" deck+40" Gravely wing mower, Gravely snowblower, Swisher 44 rough cut mower,Ariens snowblower, Echo 450-18 & 600-24, Echo PPT280, 2006 JD LX280, , 1968 Cub Cadet 125, Husky-Speeco 35 ton splitter

  2. #2
    Elite Member newbury's Avatar
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    From Vt, in Va, retiring to MS
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    Kubota's - B7610, M4700

    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    Quote Originally Posted by daugen View Post
    <snip>

    With all of the ethanol issues leading to hard starting, is ether just the wrong choice 100% of the time?<snip>
    If your running your diesel on ethanol you've got problems.

    I've used WD40 SPARINGLY, BUT it's liable to explode my engine.
    My rides - '95 Kubota M4700 w/ PEC, LA1001 FEL :'07 B7610, LA352 FEL, Bush Hog SBX 48 box blade, '09 Woods BH70-X w/ 16" bucket and thumb, 3pt pallet forks, Dale Phillips PHD, Jinma 8" chipper, Winco 12KW PTO generator, Howse plow, 5' KK tiller with a 2002 7.3L Ford F350 CC DRW 4x4 and '07 18' Hudson HSE Deluxe trailer - 5 Ton to haul it all

  3. #3
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    Carbon Hill Alabama
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    Mahindra 4025

    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    A engine that has a hard time starting should be tuned. A diesel engine once you start using ether after a while it wont start with out it even when its warm. Using it on a gas engine is a accident waiting to happen. This is personal experince but do what you want.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    If your running your diesel on ethanol you've got problems.
    agreed, I was referring to gas engines.
    explode my engine + a accident waiting to happen.
    I understand the concern, but why? Too volatile?
    I never used ether on my diesel boat engines and I sure and heck aren't going to on my new kubota, but
    I'm just trying to understand why this often used starting aid is so hard on the engine.
    2012 Kubota L5740HSTC3 with FEL and Long grapple, 1986 Case IH 255, Land Pride PD10 PHD, Land Pride RCR60 & RCF2084 mowers, Land Pride 4' box blade and rear rake, Fred Cain subsoiler, County Line potato plow, County Line 1 bottom plow, 1986 Gravely 8199G with tow behind DR rototiller, 50" deck+40" Gravely wing mower, Gravely snowblower, Swisher 44 rough cut mower,Ariens snowblower, Echo 450-18 & 600-24, Echo PPT280, 2006 JD LX280, , 1968 Cub Cadet 125, Husky-Speeco 35 ton splitter

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    When ether ignites, it burns much more rapidly than gasoline or diesel, it's more like a small explosion. So when it ignites in the combustion chamber it hits the top of the piston while the piston is still moving upward. This causes severe stress on the pistons which can damage them.You can hear this happening, some people call it spark knock but the real name for this is detonation
    TC-29DA
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  6. #6
    Platinum Member BIG DOOLEY's Avatar
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    JOHN DEERE 2320

    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    Ether and diesel engines with glow plug are a definite NO NO.
    The Diesel Blog: Starting tips in cold weather
    2012 JD 2320, HOMEMADE CANOPY, 54" FRONT BLADE, 54" MID DECK MOWER, HYDRAULIC ANGLE 60" REAR BLADE, QUICK HITCH, STAINLESS FRONT MOUNT SPRAY TANK W/BOOM, 200CX LOADER W/ 61" BUCKET, HOMEMADE BALLAST BOX,HOMEMADE BUCKET GRAPPLE
    1998 "BIG DOOLEY" Chevy K3500 Crew Cab (36.000 miles & counting)

    United Steel Workers Union 12934

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    You should never use ether on a light duty diesel for several reasons from the Diesel Blog
    so this suggests that ether is ok on heavy duty diesels, since they are built so heavily that the extra stress on the pistons is tolerable?

    I'm not advocating ether at all, just wondering why it can wreck an engine, and I guess volatility is the answer; it really is like a little M80 in the chamber.
    And obviously gas engines are much lighter constructed, so the opportunity for terminal damage is greater for them. But...it is amazing how much ether is sprayed into every conceivable
    type of engine on YouTube, and on some, they just keep spraying it in, like gasoline. Definitely makes the engine rev up...

    Is WD40 a relatively safer alternative? Sure have plenty of that around. Must be less volatile.
    2012 Kubota L5740HSTC3 with FEL and Long grapple, 1986 Case IH 255, Land Pride PD10 PHD, Land Pride RCR60 & RCF2084 mowers, Land Pride 4' box blade and rear rake, Fred Cain subsoiler, County Line potato plow, County Line 1 bottom plow, 1986 Gravely 8199G with tow behind DR rototiller, 50" deck+40" Gravely wing mower, Gravely snowblower, Swisher 44 rough cut mower,Ariens snowblower, Echo 450-18 & 600-24, Echo PPT280, 2006 JD LX280, , 1968 Cub Cadet 125, Husky-Speeco 35 ton splitter

  8. #8
    Veteran Member JerryK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    My 1981 John deere 2240 has a factory port on the dash to screw in an ether can to give it a shot to aid in cold starting. Never had to use it, but it is there...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    I worked as a profession on Class eights, if you use either it will put gray streaks on the liners, the rings on an engine are actually cupped up, on the power stroke the preasure flattens them out, either will actually bend them down making them useless.
    That is the reason on most engines there are marks for the top side of the rings. If you take apart a diesel engine the wear is on the lower edge, the top 70 % is just polished.
    What I use to start a Diesel is Gas on a slightly damp rag, over the air filter. On a gas engine, plug it in.
    On a side note Bio fuel is the very best fuel lubricity aditive there is better than every aditive you can buy and is a cetain booster.
    Ethanol in gas does nothing as a disadvantage to starting, it does not hurt carburetor part. in you lawn mower.
    Just a thought!

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Mechanos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of ether for starting

    Use of ether on a the small diesels has also been known to crush or collapse the ring lands on the pistons. Obviously not good.

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