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Question: How many have used ether to start motor in cold climates?
Yes I have used ether - 46 (71.9%)
No I have not used ether - 14 (21.9%)
I don't use my bus in cold climates - 4 (6.3%)
Total Voters: 64

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chart1
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« on: March 03, 2011, 10:55:27 AM »

I have used ether to start my engine in very cold conditions but I don't use very much hopefully I havent done any damage.
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2011, 11:15:30 AM »

Ether is very handy, IF you know how to use it properly.  99% of the people I have seen use it, have no clue.
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chart1
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2011, 11:17:35 AM »

What is the proper way to use ether?
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2011, 11:18:33 AM »

on my three buses,  in cold weather here in Illinois as long as your  batteries are  in good shape and you block heater in plugged in , never had to use ether
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luvrbus
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2011, 11:19:38 AM »

Difference here is starting fluid or ether you need to shop to find starting fluids with 50% ether contents used in the proper way starting fluid will not hurt you engine now 100% ether will bring it to it's knees I have saw the oil pans blown off Cat engines with 100% ether


good luck
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2011, 11:22:37 AM »

I'm glad you asked...lol.

Just a sniff.  The second it comes out of the can nozzle, you should be letting go of it.

My job was to go and start rigs at -20 that were not plugged in at night.  I would go through a case of ether some days.

WD40 works well too and is less damaging.
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bigjohnkub
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2011, 12:34:19 PM »

read the can. It says engine should be rotating prior to spray. Hard to do by yourself/
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2011, 12:36:15 PM »

read the can. It says engine should be rotating prior to spray. Hard to do by yourself/

In a perfect world, thats correct.  If you can get a good sniff in and then run, you'll be good to go.  Smiley
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Cary and Don
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2011, 12:51:35 PM »

On our system,  when you flip the switch to the ether,  it gives a metered dose.  You can hold the button down forever and it will not give more until you release the switch and do it again.  You hit the switch with the engine turning over.

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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2011, 02:40:37 PM »

Our motor man won't let ether be in the trucks, says to use brake cleaner or WD-40.
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Jack Hart, CDS
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2011, 03:29:22 PM »

  Remember that a diesel is a compression ignition engine. Fuel is injected into the combustion chamber ONLY at the proper point near TDC. Any fuel inducted into the cylinder with the air, such as starting fluid, will ignite as soon as the temperature within the cylinder rises above auto ignition for that mixture. Later (retarded) is better, sooner (advanced) can cause damage. Fuel and oil residue, as well as liquid starting fluid that pools on the piston, raises the compression ratio and will cause higher pressures resulting in the cylinder reaching auto ignition sooner. The more advanced the ignition point, the more strain the piston puts against the rotating crankshaft, and it attempts to rotate backwards. That puts great strain on rod and main bearings that are cold and not yet recieving a pressurised supply of fresh oil. Even with more retarded ignition, high pressure explosions within an engine cylinder can well exceed designed maximum pressures the engine was built to withstand, not just damaging bearings, but actually breaking rings, cracking cylinders, blowing out a head gasket (or weakening it), breaking the piston, or breaking the crankshaft. And just because someone has been doing it 20 years, and swears by it, doesnt necessarily mean that its done those engines any good.

  I used to use starting fluid, and would still on something I dont care much about. But never on a good engine, and never on a diesel. When you realise that its illegal to use starting fluid on aircraft, as well as illegal to even start an airplane engine below 20F without preheating it first, perhaps a $15K Bus engine should be treated simularly. Just slow down (or think ahead by plugging it in earlier), there are very few reasons to need and start an engine that rapidly and severely.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2011, 03:56:48 PM »

a gas soaked rag works in a pinch
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2011, 07:13:38 PM »

Unfortunately, it's the engine that probably doesn't even need ether to begin with, that is hurt the most by it. Meanwhile, the engine that actually needs ether can stand it anyway. Although with ether use the former can quickly become the latter.  Grin

There have been plenty of tired old Jimmies that worked hard for years, while relying on half-a-can cold starts.

With a fresh engine, short cranking bursts with a heat soak between cranks, will usually fire a cold one off. That's where the manual stop on trucks and equipment were nice, the fuel spray on warm-up cranks could be limited until a hint of starting was seen/heard.

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« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 07:15:18 PM by TedsBUSted » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2011, 07:24:04 PM »

I have never used ether on my bus and would rather not.  All it takes is one "oops, that was a little much" and it's all over.  If I need to start and I know it's going to be really cold then I will plug her in.  I have started at about 25 deg without pluggin er up.  She cranked for about  3 seconds then slowly started to come up to idle with a little white smoke.  I think that's pretty good for bein that cold and not pluggin er in and not using any ether.  If I have a choice I prefer not to be anywhere I need to worry about it being too cold to get it started.
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2011, 07:40:04 PM »

Unless you are putting a can in at one time you will be OK. These engines have a place for a "ether egg" and were designed to have it as a starting aid if needed. I have personally seen a lot of ether use in all types of equipment and I think the concern of doing damage is way overdone. With that said there is always someone who screws up and a legend is born and re-born on boards like these. Follow the directions and use some common sense. Start with a little and work your way up till you find what works. There is to much fear-mongering concerning ether use.
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2011, 07:46:44 PM »

I think a little fear is a good thing.  I have seen a piston blown through the bottom of an engine while being fed ether.
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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2011, 07:54:26 PM »

I have seen tractors driven across a field on ether because of clogged filters. Ether is a tool to be used correctly. To be 100% absolutely safe, never use it. For me, I choose to use ether wisely, and I do use it and have lots of experience with it, it's not that hard to do.
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2011, 07:57:29 PM »

that's why we're busnuts... "do it your way"
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2011, 08:03:54 PM »

You are preaching to the choir BarnOwl the Eagle had the starting aid cup for years on the 6v92 and 71 series the book on a 92 series says use a starting aid shows the cup but if the guys are uncomfortable using it so be it,Derrick I think you have one on your MCI also


good luck
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« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2011, 08:11:02 PM »

I have the little cup on the 8v71 in my MC5.  It is handy since it is a short distance to the cylinders. 
FWIW, I have used ether to reprime motors that have been run dry or lost prime.  It was common with those Racor fuel filters that you fill the clear cup on the top.  Every time I serviced the filter it would lose prime.  A little spray of ether to keep it running until it picked up the fuel again and off I would go.  It never gave me a minute of trouble.
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« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2011, 08:14:20 PM »

Yes Clifford mine does have the cup.  And just to clarify, I wouldn't be so hesitant to use the metered system as designed by DD.  I would however be less eager to just point and shoot.
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« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2011, 08:15:31 PM »

Although the Barn Owl tractor must have been getting some fuel.

They'll quit running on ether alone as soon as the combustion chamber's fuel and oil residue is used up.
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« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2011, 08:24:11 PM »

Derrik, It really is very difficult to screw things up. I wouldn't do it if I thought it might cost me repair money, or even worse, time. I have little ones in collage and braces I am paying for. The only thing I know is off limits to ether is anything with glow plugs.
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2011, 08:30:29 PM »

  Case skid loaders all used to come with a place for a can of Ether and a button to use it. I said something at a Case dealer about it, and they said they stopped using and selling it. They said its hard on rings was the main thing, but that it also damaged a lot of engines and Case stopped using it. Or at least that one dealer did.

  There is no denying that it works. And there is no denying it has done everything from minor damage to outright blown up engines when used aggressively. Yes, a small amount while its cranking will probably get it running without outright blowing it up. But there are many mechanics who swear it eventually makes the engine lose compression and then it gets to where thats the ONLY way youll get it start, even when its warm.

  One thing is absolutely sure. Not using ether wont ever hurt your engine. Some ether wont hurt it much. A lot of ether and you better hoof it far away, and quick, before your buddy cranks it.
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2011, 08:33:11 PM »

It wasn't my tractor, it was my uncles. We were in the middle of a hay field and his tractor got the the dreaded diesel fuel bug that clogs filters so it wasn't 100% starved. Enough not to run though. When replacing filters on my tractor the only way to prime it is with ether. I don't understand why, but you can bleed gallons of fuel (maintenance manual method) and it won't fire a lick, ether it, and the job is done. I found out from the dealer that is the only method they can get it to prime also.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 08:57:52 PM by Barn Owl » Logged

L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2011, 08:49:33 PM »

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But there are many mechanics who swear it eventually makes the engine lose compression and then it gets to where thats the ONLY way youll get it start, even when its warm.

I will respectfully disagree with those mechanics. It is always way to easy to blame ether, when there was a problem to make the person start using it to begin with. I am a mechanic for UPS (Not a fleet mechanic though) and I work with mechanics that have years upon years of experience with diesels. The statement that using ether will make ones engine dependent on it is not true. It has reached the status of urban legend. If ether was so terrible there would be blown motors all over the place and ether cans under every seat. Everyone seems to have known of someone who blew up something with it, but to me the facts and lack of physical evidence don't bear those statements to be true. Maybe everyone I associate with including myself has been lucky beyond belief.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 08:51:31 PM by Barn Owl » Logged

L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2011, 10:34:04 PM »

sorry folks, didn't mean to start the "ether wars"
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There are three kinds of people in this world....those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that just wonder what the heck is happening. Which one are you?

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« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2011, 02:04:35 AM »

Difference here is starting fluid or ether you need to shop to find starting fluids with 50% ether contents used in the proper way starting fluid will not hurt you engine now 100% ether will bring it to it's knees I have saw the oil pans blown off Cat engines with 100% ether


good luck

My uncle made a really nice living working at a Cat dealer in Okie City.  He told me that every spring, they spent the majority of their days rebuilding road graders for the State of Oklahoma.  He said they had to replace all the rings in them, because they used too much either in them starting up in the wintertime to do the roads.

For what it is worth .....

BCO
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2011, 05:22:54 AM »

I grew up on a farm and also one of my earlier jobs was with an excavating company. When you are in the middle of nowhere, it's cold, your batteries are week and you need to get at it, out comes the ether. Only a fool that doesn't care, and doesn't own the machine will over ether it and at the same time use a hammer to activate the start switch. Too many on this board instill an unnecessary fear of ether, it's uncalled for. The more you use the machine the more you learn how much ether is required to start it. Again the process is to start with a little and work your way up until you learn how much it takes and you learn the requirements of the machine. Water is necessary for life, but you can drink to much of it and kill yourself. Too much oil in your crankcase is a bad thing because the crank will whip it up into a foamy mess...... and I could go on with example after example. When ether is used properly it will not hurt you engine!!!
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2011, 09:05:26 AM »

I used to use ether all the time when it got cold. But then I heard about using the starter for 15-20 seconds, then wait for a minute or so and off it goes. So I don't use ether now  because its unecessary.   But if needed I will use it-thats why there is an ether inlet on my DD.
Yesterday I started the bus at 29 deg. using the new(to me) method.
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« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2011, 10:32:32 AM »

Fred brings up a good point, the crank to heat method is a very good one, and I would recomend it when it works. There are however many situations that the crank method is not possible or pratical.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2011, 10:37:57 AM by Barn Owl » Logged

L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2011, 03:36:56 PM »

This is just one of my several favorite Buswarrior-isms:

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Busnuts are notorious for thinking that the worn out old prostitute of a bus is a church going virgin that requires protection from the evil idling hoards...

I would like to add protection from ether, and non-Delo 100 oil. How did our buses ever make it one mile down the road without all the coddling they get now?
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2011, 04:22:21 PM »

This is just one of my several favorite Buswarrior-isms:

Quote
Busnuts are notorious for thinking that the worn out old prostitute of a bus is a church going virgin that requires protection from the evil idling hoards...

I would like to add protection from ether, and non-Delo 100 oil. How did our buses ever make it one mile down the road without all the coddling they get now?

Because when they were in commercial service and had a problem, they would call Williams and say "fix it".  They didn't get coddles, they got overhauled.
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