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Old 07-30-2002
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Running on WD-40

I think I saw this in SailNet's Tip of the Day section, but don't believe it. Is it true you can run your deisel on WD-40 to get it primed? Maybe if you don't have to mess with bleeding it, but can this damage the engine?

Sue & Larry respond: Yes, it is true you can get a diesel engine started by using WD-40. We are aware that this sounds really kooky, but we know of cruisers who have used this technique in the past and it is mentioned by Nigel Calder in his book, Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual.

The technique requires you to spray the fluid into the air intake while cranking the engine. The engine will fire as long as you continue to spray, and you can even control the speed of the engine by spraying more or less of the fluid into the intake. However, if air is present in your fuel line, you'll still need to bleed the line. Calder points out that WD-40 should not be used with any sort of manifold heat as it could ignite in the manifold on it's way to the cylinders.

Here's hoping this information helps you out.

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