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Stupid mistake... 9 months 2 weeks ago #31519

  • Kawboy
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No, No , No please don't  !!! Not Ether !! Too many people don't know how to use it properly. I watched my Dad's neighbor try to start a diesel tractor  in the dead of winter with the assistance of the wife. So he's at the air intake of the tractor and she's in the cab with her hand on the key switch. the husband yells out
" Ok Start the tractor" and as she turns it over on the starter he starts spraying the intake full on with the can of Ether. so after a couple of seconds of attempting to start the tractor and it doesn't fire, she releases the key and then hubby yells out
"Don't stop turning the key !!!"
So she turns the key and the starter starts cranking the engine again. All I see from across the road is an explosion followed by the fuel tank flying off the tractor followed by what I found out later was the cylinder head. Tony ended up flat on his ass about 10 ft away from the tractor. And guess who was in shit ?? Not Tony  !!

As an Auto mechanic at a Chrysler Dealership on the really cold mornings like  -40F, we would often get cars towed in on the hook wreaking of Ether and we had to pull the sparkplugs and pour about a tablespoon of oil down each spark plug hole, then turn the engine over for about 15 seconds, then reinstall the spark plugs and start the vehicle. The owner tried to start the car with Ether and used too much which washed the oil film off of the cylinder walls causing low compression. Happened too many times. One car came in on the hook with no oil pan because the Ether had washed down the oil and the guy just "kept on spraying" and when it did fire, the flame front went past the pistons and combusted all the Ether in the crankcase, blowing off the oil pan.

I keep mentioning on this site, that when you suspect a fuel problem, grab a spray bottle (Like a WD40 spray bottle since it's designed to spray oil based products) and put some gas in it. Then you can lightly spray individual carb inlets and attempt to start the engine. If it fires and stumbles, you can always intermittently spray the suspected cylinder carb throats and keep it going. Alternatively, use can use a propane cylinder and whiff propane in the direction of the carburetors with little negative issues.
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Last edit: by Kawboy.

Stupid mistake... 9 months 2 weeks ago #31520

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So, I did NOT use any ether. That must have been a wild thing to see! Luckily I’ve never had to deal with a cold start of that level in FL…  or see a neighbor blow up his tractors. It got down to 29 in January, luckily the water was warm enough to go for a swim at the beach 

I did however get her started! 

Doing and oil and filter change in the morning, then going for a ride!!

I’m guessing it was overfilled crank, wet plugs, and low battery. Live and learn. And thank you guys, yet again for your help! 
-Cheers
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Last edit: by Whiskey1300. Reason: Adding video

Stupid mistake... 9 months 2 weeks ago #31521

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I did notice while I was walking around the bike that the right side exhaust seems to blow just a little harder than the left. If I’m standing about two feet away I can feel a small but noticeable difference between the two. 
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Stupid mistake... 9 months 2 weeks ago #31524

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Now I have significant power loss. I'm thinking I might be down a cylinder or two. Going to replace all the plugs if anything for peace of mind after they got wet. The spark plug wires are band new. Coincidently, I bought a new air filter. My carbs are newly rebuilt so I assume I don't have any issues there. My gut is saying plugs. Not sure what else to check. Maybe air fuel mixture?

Hope everyone has a great weekend!
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Whiskey-1300

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Stupid mistake... 9 months 2 weeks ago #31525

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This is not meant to be insulting but I have to say it. When you suspect low power and possibly dead cylinders, the first thing you should do is pull all the sparkplugs and see if any are wet. If there are, then you have a spark issue or very over fueled and you know which cylinders are at fault. If you pull all the plugs and there are no wet plugs, then you have a fuel issue and the only way to figure out which cylinder (s) are at fault is a temp check on the exhaust headers. It helps to have an infra red thermometer or if you're out on the road when it happens you can lick the tip of your finger and tap on one header at a time. If it sizzles, it's running. Oh, and lick your finger before checking the next one.
Diagnostics is key. you can't just go arbutrarily switching out stuff and hoping for the problem to disappear. That's like putting a band aid on melanoma. You really need to understand the issue and fix it properly.
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Last edit: by Kawboy.

Stupid mistake... 9 months 2 weeks ago #31526

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Not insulting at all, checking plugs in the AM. I’m a ginger in Florida, so very conscious of melanoma. Totally get it haha. I have a laser thermo gun.
Already checked the plugs for moisture. Good there. Also grabbed a spark plug tester. Just want to make sure I’m checking all my bases. I’m a noob and completely un-offended. Thank you for helping out a novice. This kind of advice is what I’m here for. Kawboy would you mind sharing your email? Mine is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
-Cheers
Whiskey-1300
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