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Old 12-05-2020, 08:49   #1
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Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

I'll be changing out a fuel filter soon on a Volvo Penta mda7. Rather than bleeding the system to start the engine, it has occurred to me that I might spray engine starter into the carburetor a couple of times to clear air from the lines as the fuel is pumped through. Have you got an opinion about whether this will work, or has anyone tried this?

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Old 12-05-2020, 09:26   #2
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

First off you’re gonna have a hell of a time spraying anything into your carburetor,
Two, never use Ether or starter on a diesel and thirdly (not knowing your engine) you should be familiar with bleeding your engine, it’s not scary or rocket science and may be self bleeding anyways. Take the time and do it right, if it were that simple everyone would be doing it.
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Old 12-05-2020, 14:59   #3
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

I've done it in the middle of a busy channel so I didn't get run over in the fog. It might be just about the worst thing you could do to your engine however. Right up there with no oil.
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Old 12-05-2020, 15:05   #4
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

Yeah. I still need to change the fuel filter and I'm afraid I won't know how to properly bleed the system. But as mentioned above, if you have an electric fuel pump (I don't know what year they started becoming standard) then you won't have to bleed the fuel. But I'd advise against spraying the engine starter... if it was smart or useful, someone would've done it by now and would've made it widely available knowledge. I think...

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 12-05-2020, 15:21   #5
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

Forget about the spray starter. That's just asking for serious trouble.

Bleeding a single cylinder MDA7 is about as simple as it gets. Just fill your filter(s) full of diesel before installing them, loosen the bleed screw on top of the filter housing and give her a few pumps. You probably don't even need to bleed the injector line.
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Old 12-05-2020, 15:24   #6
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

No no no no no no.......

There is no carburetor.

Ether (starting fluid) is way too volatile for use in a diesel except in extreme circumstances.

Learn how to bleed the engine, you’ll need this extremely simple skill.
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Old 12-05-2020, 16:18   #7
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

We have an md7a too.


What you want, will not work.


Open the manual, learn to bleed the air from the system.


If you fail to bleed it well, IT WILL NOT START.


IT WILL NOT.



That's that.


If the engine is hard to start for its regular reasons (e.g. old unit, not overhauled, low on compression, after winter layup) THEN AT YOUR OWN RISK you may discover removing the air filter and spitting some plain engine oil from a small manual oiler works wonders.


MD7A may have two different pumps one at least one of these is not self-priming. Ours is not.


You MUST be 100% sure the bubbles are gone and the injectors get the clean air-less fuel.


The only things that stop these then from starting are dead batteries, dead starters or LOW COMPRESSION.


If the engine worked recently, simply pull out the stp cable, open the decompression lever then turn it vigurously for about 15 (edited: 15) seconds. At this point close the decompression valve, push in the stop rod. Crank.


Now it starts.


MD7A may as well be best small marine diesels ever built (OK, Bukhs too) . But they are very very sensitive to air not purged after filter changes.



Hope this helps someone.



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Old 12-05-2020, 22:01   #8
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

Ether raises compression. You can cautiously use starting fluid in a small dose w/o damage. Large doses will burn holes in the pistons and break rings. Never run an engine on ether. You'll crack the rings, loose compression and need ether every start.
It's not difficult to bleed. An electric fuel pump makes it easier.
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Old 13-05-2020, 08:18   #9
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbk View Post
First off you’re gonna have a hell of a time spraying anything into your carburetor,
Two, never use Ether or starter on a diesel and thirdly (not knowing your engine) you should be familiar with bleeding your engine, it’s not scary or rocket science and may be self bleeding anyways. Take the time and do it right, if it were that simple everyone would be doing it.
thank you for that sir.. learned a valuable lesson. Never knew bout the harm by ether.
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Old 13-05-2020, 08:21   #10
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

DO NOT USE STARTER FLUID. A diesel engine's high compression will cause predetination with Ether and can cause major damage.


If your fuel filter is vertical like mine, filter screws in with the thread side up, then you can pre-fill the filter with fuel and generally do not need to bleed at all!



In any case, you should know how to bleed the system for safety sake.
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Old 13-05-2020, 08:37   #11
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

I have had success with using a spray bottle filled with diesel. Your start battery needs to be in good condition and charged. Simply crank the engine while spraying diesel into the engine. It may take a minute or more of pumping the spray bottle, but it will start, without bleeding the system. There is a YouTube video, demonstrating this technique in starting a diesel powered loader. Very slow internet access here, so I can't find it.
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Old 13-05-2020, 08:39   #12
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

First: You have no carburetor.
Second, fill the fuel filter housing with diesel when you replace it.

The engine may start right up and be fine. If not, or running rough, crack the last injector in line and that may be enough.
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Old 13-05-2020, 08:50   #13
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

Ether in small amounts will not hurt your diesel engine. Small amounts like 1 quick shot. Way less than a second of pressing the button. WD-40 sprayed into the air intake will achieve the same results and when the engine starts to run out of fuel you can keep shooting shots in to keep it running. No harm will come.

You need to learn to bleed your engine. Do you have a Racor filter? If so, remove the filter, instal new filter and BOTH gaskets and top off the container with fresh diesel. If you have not run the engine out of fuel before changing the filter you should be done. Usually though, we only change them when they get plugged and the engine stops from fuel starvation.

If you need to bleed the engine on your high pressure pump there will be a bleed screw. Yanmar's are 10mm. Crack it open. If you have an electric pump then turn it on and wait until fuel comes out without air bubbles. If no electric fuel pump the find the mechanical pump and there will be a little handle. Pump it until you get fuel, no bubbles and close the bleed screw. Start the engine. Rarely do you need to bleed the injectors but the process is the same. If you get solid fuel to the high pressure pump it should start. If it doesn't, bleed it again and make sure there are no air bubbles coming out.
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Old 13-05-2020, 08:59   #14
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

Ether....No. PB Blaster or WD40 sort of works OK for short bursts, like less than 3 minutes. A spray bottle of diesel works fine. Just be aware the engine speed only depends on the fuel available. More fuel, faster it runs.v Better to fill the new filter with (make sure it's) clean fuel. If it doesn't start bleed the last injector.
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Old 13-05-2020, 09:14   #15
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Re: Fuel filter change and engine start using starter fluid

1/4 cup of clean diesel fuel down the air intake will work in a pinch....but only in a pinch... remove the air filter first.
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