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hard start and propane injection

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Old 10-12-2004, 02:53 PM
Rockies Rockies is offline
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hard start and propane injection

Help ! ! !

It's getting a little chilly here in Toronto, Canada, about 40f, and my 1990 F250 Diesel 7.3 NA is getting harder and harder to start.

A bunch of reasons:
I drive it about once a week. I wanted to drive it a little more, but every time I have to plug in the battery charger after 30 minutes of starting attampt.

The batteries are a little weak.

Two glow plugs are out, I want to get some good constant duty ones, but they are about $35 a pop, too expensive. The GPs are on a manual switch.
One injector return cap is leaking a little. Since I have a electric pump, that's not be a big deal.

(I run a single filter, two tank WVO system, most of the time I have to start on some kind of veggie oil and diesel mix, cold. )

I thought about install a diesel fired coolant heater, but they run $1500 to $2500, not my taste.

I heard it somewhere that you can easily start a cold diesel by inject ether into the air intake. I'm thinking if propane can do the same.

Can I get a small 16oz camping stove propane, connect it to a hose, stick the hose into the cap of air intake housing. Everytime I start cold, I just screw on the hose, let the propane fill the air intake, and then start. Is it going to "boom", started, or "boom", head fly over the hood?

Can anyone help me here?

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Old 10-12-2004, 05:10 PM
3Mike6 3Mike6 is offline
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Well, you do need batteries, and glowplugs...why try to add/modify stuff when you need to fix what is broken, first?
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Old 10-12-2004, 05:42 PM
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Dieseldan7.3 Dieseldan7.3 is offline
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30 minutes of cranking? good way to burn a starter even if its not constant.
Try replacing the glow plugs and make sure it cycles for 8 seconds or so.
Either is a no no and you will ruin the engine because the glow plugs will ignite the either prematurely and you wil blow something in the heads.
Propane might work better for starting and while you are at it you might as well just hook it up full time. More power is better right? If money is tight then a camping cylinder will work. Dont blame me if something blows!
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Old 10-12-2004, 06:58 PM
grtF250 grtF250 is offline
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If money is tight you don't NEED to get the constant duty glow plugs. Just get the Beru from autozone for 8.99 each (or something like that) It may sound like a lot of money now. but using propane, ether etc. is going to be WAY more expensive later.
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Old 10-12-2004, 08:08 PM
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68Mercury250Ranger 68Mercury250Ranger is offline
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You've probably destroyed your starter already so get a starter,2 batteries and 2 glow plugs. If you have a manual control for glow plugs you'll probably get away with ether start but only a mist, not a shot in the intake and DO NOT use your glow plugs after ether. Here in Elmira Ontario, I've seen 7.3s that won't start w/1 glow plug out unless compression and cranking speed are perfect. Also when you start cranking you may have some air in system if it sits for long periods. One farm truck that was only used every few weeks had similar problems, put a check valve at back of engine on return line, and told guy to plug in for a few hours before he needed truck and VOILA, one happy customer, after that he only came back for his biannual services.
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Old 10-12-2004, 09:09 PM
shorthair shorthair is offline
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ether is fine but first unplug your glow plugs and no more than 1/2 second spray and not to pass thru the air filter.
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Old 10-12-2004, 10:01 PM
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89ford73 89ford73 is offline
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yes, sometimes ether will do the trick, no more than 1/2 or 3/4 second if it is real cold and she should pop right off, if ether has no effect, then the motor is not getting fuel. glowplugs aren't needed if you use ether. i have tried the electric pump on my truck, and i just couldn't see any change for the better about starting. plug the block heater in over night and see if that helps if it doesn't, then fix that fuel leak you got. that is the cheapest thing to do, you better change all of them, because when you move the other ones a little, they will start leaking as soon as you fire it up. i wouldn't try any more veggi oil blend to start cold, that sounds like its making it harder to start. i say ether is better than propane because you never know how much proane you are getting, ether is retty consistant. i have put too much ether in my truck many times, and it goes clunk clunk really bad, it has never hurt "MY" engine, but im not saying it will not hurt yours. bottom line "ether is okay unless you abuse it" and get that fuel leak fixed, new starter, and batteries, and dont crank on that starter any more!!!, my best buddy has put 8 new starters on his truck and auto zone cut him off on their supposedly "lifetime free replacement warranty" nothin's free bud
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Old 10-13-2004, 12:24 AM
Rockies Rockies is offline
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Thanks for all the suggestions

Hi, guys,

Thank you very much for all the great suggestions.

I appologize for being not clear about starting. When I say 30 minutes starting, I mean press down the GP manual push button for about 7 seconds, then crank for about 10 seconds, wait for 5 minutes, try again. Usually the batteries can provide 6 or 7 cranks at full speed. I have 4 batteries, by the way.

Since I have an exaust leak at the manifold, I can tell by the smell that the injector is ****ing out fuel after 1 or 2 cranks, so air leak shouldn't be a major concern. Also, plug in for half an hour helps a lot.

The reason I want to try propane is the set up seems the cheapest, a can of propane, 3 bucks, a regulator/pressure control valve, 15 bucks, some hose or plastic tube. Besides, if there are people have tried it before, I might just borrow their ideas. I know propane injection system/kit will work for increasing power, but right now, I just want an easy start.

One more thing, cold starting on veggie oil and diesel mix is not my intention, it's just that I looped the fuel return, with only a needle valve opened a crack to purge air, so it's pretty hard to clear out the veggie oil.

Thanks again for all the help.
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