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Ether addicted engines

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by motrack, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. motrack

    motrack Charter Member

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    I saw this posted somewhere else and rather than that hi jack that thread I just start a new one.

    I hear someone describe a engine as being "ether addicted" to the point that it wont start without the use of. My years of experience tells me that if a engine is mechanicaly sound(good compression,working fuel system,starting system to specs) it will fire off on its own accord and the use of starting fluid only masks the real starting problem.

    I mean really...... its a pile of nuts and bolts with no soul or reasoning abilities so please someone explain to me how a inanimate object develops a addiction??
     
  2. RobVG

    RobVG Senior Member

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    Well, doesn't the use of ether cause a loss of compression over time? If that's the case then you can't have "good compression" and a "starting problem that's being masked" at the same time- you "do" have a starting problem.

    (sorry, can't figure out a better way to word that)
     
  3. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    Either has no lubricant properties so when the vapor is drawn into the cylinder it cuts the oil. A little bit at a time in cold weather usually isn't a problem. A little bit in warm weather indicates possibly a problem somewhere else to start with but the fix may cost a lot of money so people just keeping using it. Now that the compression is down, even a new fuel system requires a shot of cocaine to get out of bed on a cold mourning.
     
  4. maddog

    maddog Senior Member

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    that is why I don't even own a can of the stuff
     
  5. firetruck dvr.

    firetruck dvr. Active Member

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    The military loves the stuff! I work on a base in Ar. where it does not get too cold and there all the old 5 ton truck have a either system on them. I dont like to use it though. Something about all the dry knocking when they start that I dont like!!
     
  6. mudober

    mudober Well-Known Member

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    When its cold I think its ok to use a little. Hopefully my equipment wont get addicted. Like cocaine use it in moderation.
     
  7. willie59

    willie59 Administrator

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    The problem with starting fluid is the dose one gives it. Excessive amounts will wash oil film from cylinders and rings as John C stated. But it's near impossible for someone to give the "just enough to do the job" dose when shooting through an air cleaner lid, through the primary air filter, through the secondary filter, through the piping...you get the picture.

    Ether injection systems on the other hand, give a small measured shot, just enough to excite ignition. The injection nozzle is typically located in the piping very close to the intake, doesn't have to travel far to reach combustion chambers. Also, the injection nozzle of the system produces a very fine mist of ether, no heavy droplets. Ideally, you start cranking engine, which puts fuel mist in the combustion chambers, and give it a shot while cranking. The ether mixes with the atomized fuel, and combustion happens quickly without a lot of fanfare from the percussion section of an engine banging and knocking from a heavy dose of liquid fire. ;)
     
  8. 2stickbill

    2stickbill Senior Member

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    You can over dose the engine on either.Then ya got Big Troubles.
     
  9. Wrench_one

    Wrench_one Well-Known Member

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    Starting fluid is a mixture of volatile hydrocarbons (heptane, butane or propane), diethyl ether, and carbon dioxide(as a propellant). It works due to the low auto ignition temperature of diethyl ether: (320 °F), which doesn't require as high of a compression to fire it. Poor batteries, a weak starter, worn rings, worn valve seats, a worn fuel injection pump and injectors are all things that I have encountered with machines that were so called "either addicts". There are usually 1 or more of these
    conditions present that cause a machine not to be able to fire on its own systems. Engine rebuild = $1000.'s of dollars..... Starting fluid = $3.00 per can. Just my 2 pennies worth.......NOW........

    Every piece of new cat equipment on our location has factory either starting aids on them. Cat installs an intake air temperature sensor on the manifold that tells the ECM (engine control module) when its below a certain (30*) ambient air temperature to automatically inject the either to help the machine start.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  10. 3rdGenDslWrench

    3rdGenDslWrench Well-Known Member

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    What about gas? An old timer showed me a trick one time: You take a rag and put gas on it, you dont need to soak it down just put enough on it to that it gives off the fumes. Then you just wrap it around your air filters and crank it over. It's not either but i'm pretty sure its along the same lines as either.
     
  11. 2stickbill

    2stickbill Senior Member

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    I have used the gas on a rag trick.I have used WD40 to start an engine.
     
  12. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    I've got several either addicted engines, they are basically shot and have too low of compression to fire when it gets cold out, anything under 50 degree's so they get either to fire them up and get them running, now one of these days when money plenty I don't plan on overhauling them, I plan on replacing them with another engine make and model and repowering the machine, thus the either injection method. No I hate either but there are cases where its the lesser of two evils, we need to start the engine and its too far from a plug in to keep the engine warm and not having the money to repower the machine with something better so we keep using either. I've had several older engines that we installed glow plugs in the intake manifold to warm the air enough so we didn't need either to start them but that was only a temporary fix as well, they needed overhauling and new injectors and the injection pump gone through as well. I knew what was wrong but didn't have the funds to do it right, there is a difference.
     
  13. 3rdGenDslWrench

    3rdGenDslWrench Well-Known Member

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    You know there is a right way to go about using either. A lot of times I'll pump the primer pump up for a minute or two when its real cold out.
     
    funwithfuel likes this.
  14. Wrench_one

    Wrench_one Well-Known Member

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    When the production superintendant is standing there at 0430 giving you the stink eye because one of his prize 777a model cat trucks won't start, you fogg it until it lites.
     
  15. headwrench

    headwrench Active Member

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    simple as this old detroits live on either to start in new england with no addiction
     
  16. k.key

    k.key Well-Known Member

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    I seen this post, I've got to tell this story. I was on a road call on time for a road tractor, typical stuff cold, customer had already had the filters off, ran the batteries completely dead. So I didn't have good starting point. I got the the thing charged, but never was able to get the engine to crank very fast, but I thought I had I fuel in the head. While I was waiting, these guys were telling my they just spent $25,000 on reman engine for this truck. They started to get a little impatient with me, they decided to pull start it, didn't work. So it was time for the either, one guy at the helm, one guy on the either can standing on the fender well. They got it running on either and ran this thing around the parking lot on either 1 can, 2 cans, 3 cans. After about for 4 laps like this they gave up and I went back to work on it. 10 minutes later I found a ECM power problem and the truck was running. I never seen the guys anymore, but this truck my very well be addicted now, the poor thing!!!!
     
    funwithfuel likes this.
  17. inthedirt

    inthedirt Well-Known Member

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    I recently was sent to get a machine started that would "start and run for a second, and then die." Manager sent mme with a fuel shutoff (3wire external solenoid on a 5.9 cummins in a wheel loader) sounded like a typical 30 minute job. Shutoff was bad on the hold in coil. Changed it and tried to start engine. Batteries weak so tried again with jumpercables. After banging my head against the wall for 1/2 the day unable to start it, the operator comes and tells me it hasn't been running for at least 3 weeks. They had several shadetree guys out (later described as "pill-heads") and each told them a different story. As the story was fully told, the guy said the other guys went through 6 new batteries trying to start it and wore them all out. I asked him to show me how they started it (or tried). First thing he does is give it a shot of either 3 times bigger than I would have. Next day we came back and ran a compression check. Several cyls. were low on compression. Basically it had a bad shutoff solenoid, but the guys couldn't figure it out so they just kept dumping the nose candy in it and burnt up the engine. So instead of calling the dealer and having them install a normal part, they wasted alot of time and now they are looking at a huge bill to fix someone elses stupidity! You win some, you lose some.
     
  18. k.key

    k.key Well-Known Member

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    Love, those folks that do things like that. It makes my days interesting, and keeps me in business. I think either is a wonderful thing if used with some common sense. It is very dry, even the ones that claim upper cylinder lube included. I think long term use, like running it long enough to get a fuel system primed every day for a while could cause cylinder wall and ring wear, and may cause a addiction problem over time for lack of compression. It's really hard on certain injector types running them on either with no fuel at the injectors, the tips get extremely hot quick with no fuel to cool them. Rehab is easy though, just a bunch of new parts and labor.....
     
  19. wnydirtguy

    wnydirtguy Well-Known Member

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    if you ever have been around terex machines with Detroits in the cold weather you know a either addict.
     
  20. shopteacher 1

    shopteacher 1 Well-Known Member

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    I have a ford 4500 backhoe that I need to give a small dose of either to start UNLESS the block heater is pluged in. If the block heater - located in a freeze plug - is pluged in, she will start without either with no problem. Why is this happening? As a result, I try to plug her in all the time to avoid using either.

    John