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Ā· Old as Dirt!
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Has anyone started their diesel engines with a torch as a preheater from the air intake? I have a Westerbeke 4107 - going on one year new to me. It is cold natured during the winter. A mechanic in a very reputable yard, the boat is no longer there, helped me start it in March last year with a heat gun. I have a glow plug in the top of the intake, which may need replaced, but haven't done that yet...I know it works, just not how well. I would like to know if a torch will serve the same purpose, safely, as the heat gun, for future use. Power for the heat gun isn't always available.
The use of a high temperature open flame device in an engine space would be the height of folly in my view. (I can just imagine how you'd try to explain that to an insurance adjuster inspecting the ashes of your yacht.)

FWIW, the built in pre-heater or "flame start" system for 4-107/108 engines works quite well when necessary in very cold weather. Given your listed locale, however, it would seem to rarely be needed, however. That aside, use of the pre-heater requires that one hold the starting key in the "heat position" for 30-45 seconds or more until a trickle of fuel is ignited in the enclosed throat of the air intake. (When the fuel ignites, one can sometimes hear a "womp" sound.) With that, the engine will start up quite easily, typically within only a few revolutions.
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