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starting fluid question?????

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by TheBigGW, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Wayne 55

    Wayne 55 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    I would guess if you had carbon break away from the head and jam the piston from getting to TDC the first thing would be for me to turn the crank counter clockwise to see if the piston seized. If it did the for sure you had something stopping the piston. At that point removal of the head and further examination. If turning the crank backwards reveled a short free spin then grab the I would be thinking a cracked main bearing or wrist pin problem. If it just went CLUNK and free spun 200 deg then bye bye rod. There are numerous things to look for and check along the way. But spraying Smelling salts down the bore is not the most wisest thing to do in the first place. Reminds me when we raced Go karts and blew into fuel tanks to prime the Carbs so they started first pull. Talk about killing grey matter.
  2. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Well, no...

    If you had been trying to start the engine prior to the starting fluid being sprayed inside the hole, the simple answer is it did not cause the engine to seize. I have learned, however, that before attempting to turn over an engine that has sat for some time... You can try and pull on the rope but if it needs extra persuasion then it is a good idea to spray a little helping of wd-40 in through the spark plug hole to help initiate piston lubrication.

    Because it could have been low on oil or had dirty oil that's been in there for who knows how many years, certainly the starting fluid didn't help but the cylinder could have been dry for any number of reasons and it didn't cause it to seize in and of itself either.

    Always, proper lubrication first.
    Wd-40 won't help get it started, but again I have learned, order of operation...
    First, get it to turn over.
    Then, give it several full rotations.

    Now check the oil, likely it needs changing.
    Yes, before the engine even fires one time.

    Only after the oil is changed and a fresh spark plug put in, try and start it.
    And guess what, after it has ran for 5-10 or 15-20 minutes, if it's dirty you may need to change the oil again.
    Without proper lubrication, some days it doesn't take much.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  3. 123hotdog

    123hotdog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    Good info about the wd 40 in the cylinder first. I'll remember that.:usflag:
  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,354

    Did we tear it down yet? Growing up as a diesel mech in Buffalo I watched many an owner op soak their air filter with ether starting fluid and wonder how miles they wiped off the life of the engine. I was forbidden to use it on trucks. I did however use it to seat the beads on semi tires. A ten foot high mushroom cloud in the shop was always good entertainment. These days I use a little squirt bottle of fuel for diagnosing.

    I bought a car one time that had a locked up engine from starter fluid. Upon tear down I found a lot of washed down carbon on top of the cylinders had locked it. Removed the heads, cleaned the cylinders, replaced the ignition module (the real problem). Fired it up and drove it for 3 years, no problems.
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    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  5. GlynnC

    GlynnC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 913

    Me too--except most of the time I use LMT (lawn mower tuneup), bought at Lowes and Tractor Supply. Said to be the same as Sea Foam spray. Also not had any problems and it's a quick way to rule out electrical problems.

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