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Richard Grosvenor

Ether ?

Question

I may be stupid but where / how do you buy ether?

The reason for asking is we have an Ex-MOD 20 KVa Generator powered by a Ford 6 cyl diesel engine. In the instructions it says in cold weather to pump some ether into the engine before starting, there seems to be some still in the pump but I'd like to get some ready.

 

Ether's not the same as Easy Start is it? I've always been told never to use that as the engine can become hooked on it :|

 

 

regards

Richard

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Easy Start contains Diethyl Ether..

 

COMPOSITION/INFORMATION ON INGREDIENTS

DIETHYL ETHER 200-467-2 60-29-7 10-30% F+;R12 R19 Xn;R22 R66 R67

Isohexane 10-30% Xn;R65. Xi;R38. F;R11. N;R51/53.

R67.

Propane 74-98-6 10-30%

DI-ISOPROPYL ETHER 203-560-6 108-20-3 10-30% F;R11 R19 R66 R67

ACETONE 200-662-2 67-64-1 5-10% F;R11 Xi;R36 R66 R67

PYRIDINE 203-809-9 110-86-1 < 1% F;R11 Xn;R20/21/22

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Its probably a bit of an old wives tale that an engine becomes hooked on easystart.

The use of easystart usually masked some other problem like lack of compression which just got worse & worse so using more & more easystart

 

Chris

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I may be stupid but where / how do you buy ether?

The reason for asking is we have an Ex-MOD 20 KVa Generator powered by a Ford 6 cyl diesel engine. In the instructions it says in cold weather to pump some ether into the engine before starting, there seems to be some still in the pump but I'd like to get some ready.

 

Ether's not the same as Easy Start is it? I've always been told never to use that as the engine can become hooked on it :|

 

 

 

You used to be able to get Ether from dispensing chemists, worth trying them. On some vehicles or equipment, there is a rechargable resevoir, usually clear and you use a special Start Pilot aerosol, bit like recharging a lighter. If the container is not sealed, ether will evaporate quickly.

 

That old saying of engines getting addicted on it is usually made by those that do not understand. When a diesel is getting worn and tired, compressions are not good enough at low cranking speed, so a quick sniff is enough to get them firing, also if you have a low battery, it is often used to save winding over too much. When an engine relies on ether / Start Pilot / Easy Start, then it is because it is getting knackered...........or a bad design, like the Ford engine used in Transits, etc at one time.

 

As an aside, there is another brand available in Australia called...........Start Yer B*rstard.....I kid you not :-D

 

Richard

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I see. Thanks guys

 

To be honest I haven't had a really good look at where the ether is put. Today was the first time I used it. Normally it fires up on the first turn of the switch, and it probably would have today, but as it was very cold I thought I'd give it a pump.

As the generator is marked up with SFOR I geuss it has seen some proper cold conditions!

It's got a BIG straight six BTW, the same as used in larger Ford tractors. 8-)

 

Richard

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As an aside, there is another brand available in Australia called...........Start Yer B*rstard.....I kid you not :-D

 

 

 

System also known as Ki-Gas or Ky-Gas

 

Yes, a friend was sent an advert for this out of a trucking mag by a mate in Oz - I call it by this name now, and keep meaning to make up some labels for my various cans of starting fluid.

Just imagine the public outcry if someone tried to market it in this PC counrty :-D :-D :-D

 

My parents had a caravan with a couple of ancient propane gas bottles with the brand name BOTTOGAS - an unfortunate choice of name I thought :whistle:

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Actually, thinking about Ki Gas, the same hand pump is used to squirt a drop of neat diesel into the inlet manifold of Perkins P6 engines. This effectively 'ups' the compression ratio as well as providing something combustible. Not seen that an any other engine :dunno:

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Actually, thinking about Ki Gas, the same hand pump is used to squirt a drop of neat diesel into the inlet manifold of Perkins P6 engines. This effectively 'ups' the compression ratio as well as providing something combustible. Not seen that an any other engine :dunno:

 

 

Tony,

 

Ki-Gas pumps and reservoirs were fitted to the Daimler Dingo, and filled with petrol, it had several jets in the manifold. You might remember the Fergie TEF, diesel, that had a Ki-Gass pump................as did the Spitfire ;-)

 

Richard

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Yes, a friend was sent an advert for this out of a trucking mag by a mate in Oz - I call it by this name now, and keep meaning to make up some labels for my various cans of starting fluid.

 

 

A rather apt name as this is what most people say as they squirt it in a reluctant old diesel :-D

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Tony,

 

Ki-Gas pumps and reservoirs were fitted to the Daimler Dingo, and filled with petrol, it had several jets in the manifold. You might remember the Fergie TEF, diesel, that had a Ki-Gass pump................as did the Spitfire ;-)

 

Richard

 

 

& the Fox CVR(W) in it's early days...

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Be very careful if you do manage to get hold of ether. It is nasty stuff and very very volatile, you can easily cause an explosive mixture if used / stored in an enclosed area. Normally it is only sold under licence.

 

Use easy start every time.

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Bradex Easy Start is easily available, at the Bus Garage the use of Easy Start is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN, so we use brake cleaner instead. :-D Two other ways are a burning rag over the air intake, or more scintically i.e. Less Lethal is to point a hot air gun into the intake. A jerry can of Disiel fuel kept in a warm place and added to the tank on a cold morning is always helpful.

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You will find it difficult to get pure diethyl ether (also called ether or ethoxyethane), as others have stated it is very volitile and easily ignites (hence its use as a starting aid).

Ether also has a heavy vapour, so it will creep at low level and flash back from any ignition source it comes into contact with.

You also need to test it for peroxides every few months, these form on storage and when present can cause spontaneous explosion, often triggered by exposure to light!

 

We keep some in the lab at work and it does start a CVRT well on a cold day :whistle:

Easy start works just as well and is much safer!

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Well I had a decent look at it today. Apparently according to the instruction plate you use Ether Capsules. There's two plungers, one has a screw top which you remove and put a capsule inside, you put the lid back on and push the plunger down therefor piecing the capsule. The other plunger is then used pump the ether into the engine.

But...there was no capsule in it so it obviously doesn't need it even with the weather like it is at the minute.

 

From memory, thinking about it now, there is a place to store the capsules in one of the lockers. I'll have to have a look and see if there's any in there.

 

Regards

Richard

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Well I had a decent look at it today. Apparently according to the instruction plate you use Ether Capsules. There's two plungers, one has a screw top which you remove and put a capsule inside, you put the lid back on and push the plunger down therefor piecing the capsule. The other plunger is then used pump the ether into the engine.

But...there was no capsule in it so it obviously doesn't need it even with the weather like it is at the minute.

 

 

Richard,

 

That is Start Pilot, nearly all diesel powered vehicles and equipment in the British Army had these at one time. Very rarely needed, intended for very cold climate starts. They are little aluminium cartridges. The same device fitted to a Petter AA1 single cylinder diesel, was fitted to something like a AEC 12 litre diesel. I have seen these Petters with blown head gaskets and stretched head studs, by using the Start Pilot pump, it was too big a dose.

 

Richard

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After the Unimog was delivered this morning I noticed this under the bonnet whilst I was out in the yard playing . I would think this is the same or very similar .

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After the Unimog was delivered this morning I noticed this under the bonnet whilst I was out in the yard playing . I would think this is the same or very similar .

 

 

Dave,

 

That looks like one that is a small reservoir, which is filled with a special aerosol of Start Pilot, they come without a nozzle and work upside down, like a lighter recharger. There must be a pump in the cab, to inject it with. Some Ford engined yard tugs which the Army had, were fitted with this system.

 

Richard

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Bradex Easy Start is easily available, at the Bus Garage the use of Easy Start is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN, so we use brake cleaner instead. :-D Two other ways are a burning rag over the air intake, or more scintically i.e. Less Lethal is to point a hot air gun into the intake. A jerry can of Disiel fuel kept in a warm place and added to the tank on a cold morning is always helpful.

 

 

I used to use a blow lamp straight into the air inlet of a knackered old Iveco turbo engine (in a DMS double decker). Worked a treat.

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Just got in and it is not hot out there .

You are quite right Richard , just had a look at the manual and it refers to a pump on the dash . Didn't notice it today - was a bit preoccupied parking in a restricted space without the benefit of a clutch !

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The only explanation I have heard of engines becoming hooked on easy-start is that using similar volatile compounds leads to uncontrolled burning or an actual explosion that can shatter piston rings, and with the resulting loss in compression your only hope of starting the engine is with more "Squirt"

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As been said before the poor condition of the engine would be the reason of the increased use of the material , or perhaps to put it the other way round the owner of said knackered engine finds it increasingly the easyest way to get the old engine going instead of biting the bullet and getting the engine rebuilt in which case He's the one hooked on the Ether !! ?? :-) ;-) :-D :dunno:

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Yeah I think both of them points are true.

 

I have to say I have never used Easy Start on anything, never needed to, and the generator starts easily without it.

 

It certainly sounds as if it's the start pilot as Richard said, but it doesn't look like the one on the Unimog.

 

Thanks guys for the advice :-D

 

 

While I'm on about the generator, the only thing that doesn't work is the fuel gauge. How do you check to see where the problem is? I haven't really had a good look at it yet either but will probably start at the sender unit. :|

 

Richard

 

Oh nearly forgot, don't think I'm being rude by not replying for a while, I'm driving artics every night until Chrismas 8-)

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Short it to see if the power is there and the gauge working, otherwise you got it, start at the bottom. I assume it is electrical and not a direct float gauge?

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Short it to see if the power is there and the gauge working, otherwise you got it, start at the bottom. I assume it is electrical and not a direct float gauge?

 

 

I've heard of this but don't really know how to do it.

 

Yes it's an electrical gauge on the main switch panel

 

Thanks

Richard

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