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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 01-14-2008
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Ether and Diesel engines.

I have a 2 year old Yanmar 2GM20F diesel engine in my boat. This engine does not come with glowplugs. I have been having trouble starting the engine in cold weather. I have been told to use a little ether to help start the engine. I remember as a kid my father starting his truck in the winter with a spray of ether. Is there a problem with using ether on marine diesels or are there other options????
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Old 01-15-2008
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I would not use ether on a diesel engine. Ether explodes and diesel burns.I have the same engine and was told to use wd40, have not tried it. It starts on the third try after the head warms up a bit. Try heating the head a little but don't use ether
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Old 01-15-2008
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In Australia we have a product called "Start Ya Bastard" . It contains 24% ether.
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Old 01-15-2008
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ether

A little ether helps start my YSE8 when it's cold. I crank the engine for a few seconds, and then spray a short shot of ether into the intake. the engine then usually starts the same as it normally does. Too much ether will cause the engine to over-rev for a few seconds.

Don't spray ether into an engine with glow plugs.

Ether is available with lubricant added, and also in a less volitale mixture.
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Old 01-15-2008
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Just remember, if you're cranking a diesel inboard with a water lift muffler for any extended period of time, shut the raw water intake to the exhaust so you don't hydrolock the engine. Hydrolocking the engine is a bad thing and can lead to some really expensive repairs.

BTW, don't forget to open said water intake once the engine starts...

I've used WD40, and would suggest that it would make more sense than ether does... ether is far more volatile.
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Old 01-15-2008
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As my dad says, Ether bad karma for diesel.

Ive got no clue what that means but my dad is a diesel nut and knows any and everything about them. I will admit that i used a shot of ether on Lola's 1GM10 to get it fired off after setting for 3 years. I tryed WD40, but the motor just wouldn't start with it. I know about ether drying out the cylinder walls, but i give a good shot of WD first.

Ether is crack for my 3hp Johnson, want more speed? Give it a shot.
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Old 01-15-2008
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Use a hairdryer to heat the intake air if posible, this usually works. WD40 won't harm the engine. Ether will, but if you do use ether, spray a small amount on a paper towel and put the paper towel near the air intake while you crank the engine. If too much ether is used it'll crak a piston
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Old 01-15-2008
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DON'T USE ETHER!! It should be a last resort; and if you ever have the need to use it; don't use the high percentage ether. There is a low-percentage type that you can use in a pinch but you really should not need it. Ether can cause piston/ring damage resulting in poor compression and more difficulty starting than you already have.

On your Yanmar; I believe there should be a series of levers (one on each cylinder) that can be opened to bypass the compression on each. If you open 2 of them up (assuming there is 4) the engine should turn over much more quickly and help get enough compression on the two cylinders that are operating so it will fire. In addition set your safety main to "all" so you get the most CCA available. Once the engine starts you can close the compression bypass levers (you might need to shut down to do this; not sure).

Otherwise; some diesel engines have a pre-heat (a glow plug per-se) that will heat the intake air as it goes through the intake manifold. If your boat is not equipped with one you should ask your local Yanmar dealer if it is available for your engine.

Another possibility is boosting the Cetane of your diesel fuel by adding a diesel additive like Diesel Kleen (w/ cetane booster). I use this additive to bump the cetane up while using bio-diesel (bio-diesel has a slightly lower cetane).

Where are you located and how cold does it get?

Last edited by KeelHaulin; 01-15-2008 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 01-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
In Australia we have a product called "Start Ya Bastard" . It contains 24% ether.
Ether mixed with a lubricant like this mix is probable a good thing but staight ether is not.
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Old 01-15-2008
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Keelhaulin does the same thing I do w/my 2QM20. I open one of the decompressions levers and WD40.
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