Starting Fluid

Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:39 pm

Hey Guys
i ran the battery down twice trying start barney i know it getting gas it wants to start should i give it a shot of starting fluid or will it hurt to do that
if i don't use to much
48 barney cub

Re: Starting Fluid

Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:43 pm


Check for good spark at all the plugs and at the coil wire, check that the plug wires are good, plugs are clean. I would probably check the metering jet (both orifices) make sure you are getting good fuel flow. If not then check the fuel circuit completely from the tank to the fuel sediment bowl to the carb inlet. Then recheck the flow. If you have flow and still no start, check the needle and cage for varnish. If then still no start, then I would use Cecil's trick - a couple shots of carb cleaner in the air inlet. Try it again, it should cough at least and then next maybe start. If it starts and runs on the cleaner but not fuel then you know you have a starvation issue still.

Re: Starting Fluid

Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:49 pm

One or two shots of starting fluid wouldn't hurt. Since you ran the battery down twice, and have fuel, you have a problem in one or both areas; compression and/or ignition.

Recent history on this tractor is?

Re: Starting Fluid

Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:02 pm

A Cub should start with a single yank of the hand crank. Draining the battery down with an electric starter means tune up time. Forget the starting fluid, ignition problems are usually misdiagnosed as fuel issues.

Re: Starting Fluid

Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:39 pm

Starting fluid is acceptable to use and will cause no harm to gas or Diesels without cold weather starting aids when used sparingly and as directed.

With that said, as the others have stated, ether shouldn't be necessary to start a cub. It is a good resource to use for troubleshooting and on occasion to shore up slow cranking due to excessivley cold weather or other circumstances not normally encountered.

If starting fluid is needed frequently, it is actually becomes a bandage for the underlying problem or two or three which if corrected, will save you the cost of the fluid which is no longer .99 cents per can.

Re: Starting Fluid

Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:52 pm

Try taking your plugs out and spraying each cylinder with seafoam see if this helps, did on mine.

Re: Starting Fluid

Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:25 am

If it keeps trying to start but won't, check for crossed plug wires or timing. Something is out of whack.

Re: Starting Fluid

Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:54 am

lazyuniondriver wrote:Starting fluid is acceptable to use and will cause no harm to gas or Diesels without cold weather starting aids when used sparingly and as directed.

I have heard many stories of heads blowing off of gasoline engines which is one of those things I would have to see for myself. Ether does not have much energy compared to gasoline so I am wary of the "heads blowing off" stories. Should be safe to use in a gasoline engine. Starter fluid has oil mixed with the ether so I would use that rather than carb cleaner. Ether with a diesel engine is different, it can ignite well before TDC and break things.

Re: Starting Fluid

Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:22 am

I tore down a diesel in a ford Ranger in the early 80s after a lot of troubleshooting for a miss / no combustion on #3 cylinder. I found the con rod was bent just below the wrist pin. After some questioning the owner admitted to using starter fluid. We guessed that the glow plugs came on and ignited the ether. Lucky for him they still covered it under warranty.

Re: Starting Fluid

Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:50 am

FWIW, when I was having starting problems with my Lo-Boy, starting fluid never worked. I agree with the others, that you need to find the underlying problem. If she is trying to start but won't, my guess would be timing is off or you need new plugs (in my case, new plugs solved the problem).

Re: Starting Fluid

Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:58 pm

Since the invention of YouTube, if ether could blow a head off, we would have all seen it by now.

Any electric cold weather starting aid used in conjunction with starting fluid will cause irreversable damage to a Diesel engine. If the use of starting fluids can be detected, the warranty won't cover the damage.

Manufacturers of some brands of Diesels recommend starting fluids when the temperature drops. Cold weather, slow cranking, and compression ignition don't mix.

The engine manufacturers also advise what has been previously posted about starting aids... They are not intended to correct deficiencies.

The picture is a paragraph from the Detroit Diesel 71 series highway service manual:

Prior to the previous statement the manual reads: "Under extremely low outside temperatures, the cold oil in the bearings and between the piston and cylinder walls creates very high friction and the effort required to crank the engine is much greater than when the engine is warm. "

The general consensus which I agree with is starting fluids shouldn't be necessary for cold weather starting of a cub if all systems are in good order and the engine is in good tune.

If you need to give your cub a sniff of ether during extremely low temperatures, feel free to do so without fear of damage when used as directed.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.