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Starting Fluid?

Discussion in '1982-Present GM Diesel' started by blasterD, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. blasterD

    blasterD 1/2 ton status

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    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    We have a cucv at work that we use for snow plowing duty. It has about 8 bad glowplugs, and absolutely will not start at anything below 40 degrees. The cold start thing is especially annoying because we only use the truck in the winter (It hasn't been 40 degrees here since early October). Our mechanic has been using a little shot of starting fluid to get it started in the morning. Yes, I know there are about 15 different warning stickers in the cab and engine compartment which warn that use of starting fluid (ether) will cause serious engine damage. However, it has been started like this every day for the last few years with apparently no ill effects. So, my question is, what gives? Why has the engine not broken a piston, or bent a rod or something like that. He only uses a little shot of ether outside the air cleaner, and that is all it takes to fire right up. We would just get some new glowplugs, but apparently they are getting hard to come by in the Army system. :confused:
     
  2. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    yeah,it works but...

    Its definately NOT reccomended for any diesel,especially the 6.2,which has a bit of a bad reputation for breaking cranks..ether could cause pistons to crack and do other nasty things..

    The main reason yours hasn't had any damage is probably due to the fact the glow plugs are all dead(or not being activated)..good thing,because having them hot is the worst thing to do if you use starting fluid..it causes it to preignite and causes a kickback that not only can hurt the engine,but bust the nose on the starter or frag up the bendix drive..

    If you MUST use it,I'd disconnect the 2 prong plug on the glowplug relay to ensure they cant be activated...(assuming a military truck is wired like my 82 K20 is)...then get the motor spinning over at a good clip BEFORE spraying the starting fluid..dont spray first,then attempt to crank it over!..it will bind up and cause damage..if you do put in new glowplugs and ever have to use starting fluid,disable them before using it...

    Its a good idea to get all the glowplugs working..not only will it start better,it wont run "cold" and flood the cylinders with fuel until it warms up enough to run good...mine has one glowplug I cant remove,and my truck smokes pretty bad after it starts,and runs with a skip until 20-30 seconds pass..can't be good for it.. :crazy:
     
  3. joez

    joez 1/2 ton status

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    Its because the glow plugs arent working. When the gp's heat up, and you use starting fluid, the fluid ignites as soon as it hits the glow plug, and serious damage can occur instantly. Starting fluid is fine to use so long as your glow plugs dont work or are disconnected, just never, i repeat NEVER use it if any of the glow plugs are working at all.
     

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