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Thread: Cold start Ether kit vs Intake heater

  1. #31
    3 Star General LowTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenjeepster View Post
    The ether systems are metered dose directly into the intake. It is a small amount and completely harmless, unlike using a spray can out at the air intake where it has to be sucked all the way in and people get heavy handed with it.
    I actually get better results w/ a hand held can. The kit in my truck hits the engine hard, much harder than if I'm using a can.
    Maybe I'm just good w/ a can But I have heard that my engine might not be turning over fast enough to use the kit. Have also thought of moving the either injector over on the air cleaner mount. Something to get it farther away and mix it up a bit before it makes it in. Haven't done anything and don't really need it that much, but . . .
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    4 Star General rustystud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildchild467 View Post
    I thought about that... it would be awesome if it worked!
    What, building a fire under the truck ? LOL ! Actually my father when he was working on the ALCAN highway had to put fuel in several cans and start it on fire to keep the engine, transmission and differentials from freezing. This was common practice for all the drivers to do. He once told me about a driver who forgot to put a fire under the differential. The truck started up and went into gear then when he let out the clutch the differential blew-apart !

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    Quote Originally Posted by rustystud View Post
    The only problem with the old flame start system is it must be rigorously maintained ! Parts cleaned and checked on a regular basis ! The glow plugs are another issue altogether. These parts are getting harder and harder to find. Personally I would stay with the either injection. As a heavy truck mechanic I've seen these systems working on trucks for decades now and if used properly don't hurt the engines at all. Plus parts are all over the place. Wherever a truck stop is there you will find replacement parts. Try finding a manifold injector for a Hercules Multifuel at any parts store !
    (pardon my ignorance; but there are a few terms being thrown around here - im assuming "flame heater" and "manifold heater" are the same.)

    ive been looking through the TM's trying to find how to inspect/fix/maintain the manifold heater. No luck yet, all i see is in TM 9-2320-361-10 it shows how to operate it.
    This is my first winter in Idaho, and i can tell you my manifold heater switch works, because without it she wont start. Thats about all i know about it.
    That being said, i want to make sure i know it will continue to work so i dont get stranded on a over night trip.
    If someone could point me to the right TM that would be awesome...
    also, tips/tricks and a diagram would be awesome.
    Last edited by recurve; 12-31-2018 at 18:25. Reason: clarification

  4. #34
    4 Star General Keith_J's Avatar
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    These engines have high compression ratios which is generally a bad idea for ether. In cold weather, air density with high compression ratios plus oil thickening and lower battery current means slow cranking speed. Intake flame heaters reduce air density plus add heat, meaning higher crank speed and faster starts.
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    4 Star General rustystud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith_J View Post
    These engines have high compression ratios which is generally a bad idea for ether. In cold weather, air density with high compression ratios plus oil thickening and lower battery current means slow cranking speed. Intake flame heaters reduce air density plus add heat, meaning higher crank speed and faster starts.
    Actually "ether" is fine in any high compression engine if used wisely. Also the "intake flame heater" does nothing to the engine oil or cranking speed. It just heats the incoming air. That helps ignite the fuel quicker, but does nothing for cranking speed or current draw or oil thickness. Now lets consider why the military went to the "ether" injection system. It is much simpler, cheaper to maintain and there is no way fuel can leak. The "intake flame heater" system is much more complicated, prone to leaks and malfunctions. Also parts are extremely difficult to find, and when you do find them they want a "arm and a leg" for them.
    In my opinion if you need a cold weather start system and already have a good operating " intake flame system" keep it. If it is causing you problems, get rid of it and add a "ether" injection system.

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    My flame heater started leaking fuel onto the turbo, so I disconnected the fuel to it. I never had a problem starting my truck in the cold anyway. I'd rather have no flame heater than an engine bay fire any day.
    1971 M35A2

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    Quote Originally Posted by LowTech View Post
    I actually get better results w/ a hand held can. The kit in my truck hits the engine hard, much harder than if I'm using a can.
    Maybe I'm just good w/ a can But I have heard that my engine might not be turning over fast enough to use the kit. Have also thought of moving the either injector over on the air cleaner mount. Something to get it farther away and mix it up a bit before it makes it in. Haven't done anything and don't really need it that much, but . . .
    That is interesting. One of the reasons diesels shed their piston rings is because Dude A, with no Dude B available, sprays ether into the intake as if the cans were on sale, walks over to the driver side and cranks the engine over afterwards. Then one or two cylinders suck in all the goodies and the resulting bang puts mechanic's kids through college.
    I like the military ether start kit for that reason...it is a metered dose and can be used correctly by Soldier A alone, from the cab. And, with the temp sensor, it will not even activate until it needs to.

    The high compression of the multifuel means that air heats up really quickly in the cylinders during the compression stroke. This, in turn and with a little bit of time, heats up the rest of the chamber. That is why, even in freezing conditions, after 10 or so rotation cycles, the combustion chamber is hot enough for the diesel to ignite. The ether start really is only needed for the temps we get up here in the winter, or what the guys in Alaska face. In more extreme cases, not even the ether start may be enough, without putting some external heat to it.
    Last edited by cattlerepairman; 01-01-2019 at 13:39.
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  9. #38
    4 Star General rustystud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cattlerepairman View Post
    That is interesting. One of the reasons diesels shed their piston rings is because Dude A, with no Dude B available, sprays ether into the intake as if the cans were on sale, walks over to the driver side and cranks the engine over afterwards. Then one or two cylinders suck in all the goodies and the resulting bang puts mechanic's kids through college.
    I like the military ether start kit for that reason...it is a metered dose and can be used correctly by Soldier A alone, from the cab. And, with the temp sensor, it will not even activate until it needs to.

    The high compression of the multifuel means that air heats up really quickly in the cylinders during the compression stroke. This, in turn and with a little bit of time, heats up the rest of the chamber. That is why, even in freezing conditions, after 10 or so rotation cycles, the combustion chamber is hot enough for the diesel to ignite. The ether start really is only needed for the temps we get up here in the winter, or what the guys in Alaska face. In more extreme cases, not even the ether start may be enough, without putting some external heat to it.
    I agree about the need for any external help starting the multifuel. I removed my ether start system years ago. Never needed it here. Now if I lived up North like Canada or Alaska that would be a different story, but down here in the lower 48 there really is no need as long as your truck is running properly.

  10. #39
    3 Star General LowTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustystud View Post
    I agree about the need for any external help starting the multifuel. I removed my ether start system years ago. Never needed it here. Now if I lived up North like Canada or Alaska that would be a different story, but down here in the lower 48 there really is no need as long as your truck is running properly.
    I agree that running diesel these trucks start easy, I don't run diesel.
    W/ freezing, or near freezing temps, and 100% waste motor oil I usually need something for the initial start.
    If I'm in those temps very long I cut the wmo w/ some gas and then I'm back to easy starts. It also helps w/ letting it get through the filters fast enough that I don't have fuel starvation at speed before the fuel in the tank is warmed up.

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    when the temps get down to the negatives, my Kubota will not start on glow, or ether. I have to use the block heater(coolant) for about 2 hours. Before I installed it, It took about 4-6 hours with a magnetic oil pan heater. My cummins needs its block heater also at those temps. I intend to install one when I buy my M35.

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