Ether........Starting Fluid?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tharrell, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    Anyone ever use starting fluid or ether to get something started? I won't ever do it again after seeing what I saw yesterday. It was a small 4 cycle engine and the cylinder was scored worse than anything I've ever seen. The mechanic (Marc) told me it was because the owner had used ether to get it started. He explained, the ether has some effect on the cylinder/ basically keeps the oil from protecting the cylinder.
    I'll try to get some pics tomorrow. It's really dramatic and worth seeing.
  2. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    My mechanic said the same thing. He said he believed that it broke down lubrication and burned way too hot. He suggested using regular carb. cleaner, which I have done for many years now. It works just fine.
  3. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    Two things about ether. One is that it is explosive, or rather burns extremely fast. Two , it is an excellent solvent, one of the best degreasers known, although I doubt that you could get enough into a cylinder to do anything to the oil there. By the time it gets in it will be a vapor.
  4. MuleCutter

    MuleCutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 212

    i wouldnt be surprised if the guy had major dirt/debris ingestion that scarred the cylinder and caused it to lose compression... THEN tried using ether to start it.... i'm a believer in using ether when a carb is stopped up... never had a problem with it... and like jkingrph said.... it becomes a vapor too fast.. unless you empty the can of ether into the cylinder.
  5. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,177

    WD-40 will start an engine just as well as either with lubrication.
  6. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    The only way I could see this happining is if he was putting either, and a ton of it, directly in the spark plug hole. Whenever I need to use either to start anything I give it a quick spray though the aircleaner.
  7. robbo521

    robbo521 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    we have used either for a very long time on farm tractors.something here just don't sound right.we have one old JD one it wont start for nothing till you give it a small drink of either and this thing is over 40 yrs old.
  8. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    This engine was in one of those fancy gocarts with the plastic body. It was pretty new and absolutley clean as a pin. The tires looked like some toyo tires I used to have. I doubt if there was dirt in the carb. I believe it sat for a long time and he did say he used ether to get it started.
    I did a google on ether. btw---don't click on wikipedia for it. It must be a monster file because it seemed to lock me up.
    Anyway, there seems to be a wide selection of starting fluids out there. Some I noticed mentioned upper cylinder lubrication.
  9. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    Most of the aerosols such as WD-40, Carb cleaners ect use propane for a propellant. Makes a good "starting fluid"!!!
  10. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,177

    I keep a case of either on hand at all times it gets rid of grease and oil better than anything else and it is a good cleaner for other applications also because it dries immediately. I use WD-40 if I happen to have something a little hard to crank and it works as fast as either with more lubrication.

Share This Page