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Old 01-28-2008, 05:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
GREASE FIRE
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what kind of damage does starter fluid do?

i almost bought an f250 7.3 today in really good shape for the money & new clutch, big tires & all brakes plus new paint job, etc.
but the glow plug relay was not working so we go to test it out and the idiot sprays ether into the intake, and i decided not to buy it at least not today just for that one. supposedly he has not driven it too much in winter - and supposedly he has been using starting fluid on all kinds of diesels for years with no problems.
Of course, once it started and i drove it i wanted to buy it again...

can anyone explain how starter fluids damage diesel engines and if there is any way to tell how much damage has been done?

thanks,
paul
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, if it doesn't do any immediate damage it can do internal damage to the piston and combustion chamber. Engines that are repeatedly started on ether can become 'ether dependent' - that is, after a while there will be no way to get it to start without ether, even with working glow plugs and warm temperatures.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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damage is only done if too much starting fluid goes into a cylinder. since it ran fine i wouldnt be worried about it. alot of offroad diesels use ether injection to start instead of glowplugs or intake heaters, premeasured amounts are sprayed in each cylinder to fire it up.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, yeah, but that kind of damage has immediate results. There are slow effects from repeated use of slightly too much ether. The ether injections systems carefully meter out a small amount of ether... A guy with a spray can does not.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Before you buy. Have a compression test done. Normally the first thing that will happen is the ring land will break on the pistons. On 2nd thought knowing what can happen i.e a cracked land that may not break right away etc. save your money DON'T BUY.
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Honestly, I'd try and start it with the glow plugs only. If it starts and runs with the glow plugs and runs nice I wouldn't be too scared of it if the price was right.

Truth is that on something this age the chances of finding one that has never been started on ether are slim.
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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biggest danger with ether is having the glow plugs working as they will ignite it and blow out the heads. too much ether will wash the oil outtta the cylinders. other than that, not a big concern
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Check for blown head gaskets-starting on ether will cause a VIOLENT explosion in the combustion chamber, try to start it cold & watch for bubbles in the coolant-if really bad it'll build up pressure really fast in the cooling system as well.
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREASE FIRE View Post
i almost bought an f250 7.3 today in really good shape for the money & new clutch, big tires & all brakes plus new paint job, etc.
but the glow plug relay was not working so we go to test it out and the idiot sprays ether into the intake, and i decided not to buy it at least not today just for that one. supposedly he has not driven it too much in winter - and supposedly he has been using starting fluid on all kinds of diesels for years with no problems.
Of course, once it started and i drove it i wanted to buy it again...

can anyone explain how starter fluids damage diesel engines and if there is any way to tell how much damage has been done?

thanks,
paul
ether junkie, thats rich, i like that one. yes spraying directly into the intake is a no no. i have at times soaked a rag and held it to the snorkle or what about wd-40? give it a shot only when cranking. ether is so corrosive, i would'nt want to be the one who has to pull the glow plugs.
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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it like a ticking time bomb
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