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  1. #1
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    Default Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    I've read several posts lately where some of you mentioned using Starting Fluid to get your outboards cranked. I assume you mean ether based starting fluids. Man, that is the worse stuff in the world for your engines. Its an explosive when put under compression, much like nitro-methane. If you must use something to prime you engine to get it fired then use some carb cleaner and use it sparingly.

  2. #2
    Senior Chief Petty Officer
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    Pre-mix is even better. Put it in a spray bottle.

  3. #3
    Moderator Bob_VT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    Starter fluids will wash away the lubrication on the cylinder walls and rings. It will / could cause metal galling along with it's explosive capabilities. I fully agree with MG use pre-mix in a spray bottle works fine. (Better yet keep the motor tuned and use nothing extra!)Bob
    This is a great link to boat specifications http://boatspecs.iboats.com/
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    good ole nitro .................... ever seen what happens to a spark plug when it is not titened enoght? thats real cool ether is ok sometimes...... like when killing beetles
    Mes amis nous allons quelque part dont tout
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    Se rappelle d'un endroit ou l'herbe etait
    toujours verte
    Et la fete ne s'arretait jamais
    A autour du rocher

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    Please tell me what spray bottle will hold up with gas in it? Everything now is made of cheapo plastic and it deforms and melts with time.Also, my boat is in perfect tune, but it is just a crappy design. Sometimes it starts instantly, others, it requires throttle and choking. If is doesnt start in two tries, it gests a short blast.As long as you dont give it a 1 minute shot, you are fine.Ken

  6. #6
    Moderator JB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    Howdy, Ken.Use the spray bottle to get your engine started or to troubleshoot a starting/powerloss problem. Then empty it. Don't store fuel in it.I think it is a very bad idea to advise anyone that ether based, no-lube starting fluid can be safely used in 2 strokes, inluding oil injected and DFI 2 strokes.You may get away with it, but you know and accept the risk.Good luck.

  7. #7
    Senior Chief Petty Officer
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    I'm with Walker.I've been around gas engines all my life, and there is always a reason why a properly engineered engine will not start easily, and it is not because the engineer forgot to install an ether injection system. Starting problems are usually, but not always associated with fuel issues. There is always a way to fix a hard starting engine that does not include starter fluid. Always.If necessary, get a little metal pump oil can for $3 from the hardware store and put pre-mix in it while you are fixing the problem.Starter fluid is not good on any gas engine, and especially bad on 2 cycle engines.John

  8. #8
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    I know pre-mix in a bottle is the best way but how bad is a shot of WD-40?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    WV 30 has lube in it DUE!
    Mes amis nous allons quelque part dont tout
    le monde
    Se rappelle d'un endroit ou l'herbe etait
    toujours verte
    Et la fete ne s'arretait jamais
    A autour du rocher

  10. #10
    Moderator JB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    Good question, Slo-Boat.WD-40 used to be the perfect starter or troubleshooting fluid for outboards. That was when it was a good penetrating oil and other petro-distillates propelled by propane. Propane is a wonderful engine fuel.About a year ago they discontinued the propane and now propel it with CO2. That makes it a better fire extinguisher than starter.Look at the label. If it says "EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE!" it is the old stuff. If it merely says "flammable" it is the new stuff.Cheers.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    And if you find a couple cases of the old stuff, buyit and let us know where to send for our share.......WD-40 also used to contain herring oil, hence it's reputation for being a fish attractor. Kev_Alask***

  12. #12
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    Ohhh Sloopy due! you need to be fryin up some beetles! good for labor day picinix

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    Just finnished off my last gallon of the 'old' stuff...looking for more <sigh>

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    JBHave bought my WD-40 in 1 gallon cans the last few years. The first one came with a refillable plastic spray bottle. Do you know if the formullation has changed for the 1 gallon cans? Picked up a new one and the can is just like one I saved from 4 years ago...both have 'combustible' printed on the label...not 'flammable' or 'highly flammable'Seems to work for starting my tractor engine.

  15. #15
    Moderator JB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    Howdy, Slow_boat.The WD-40 sold by the gallon has no propellant in it at all. Only the spray cans had propane and now have CO2.I don't think the formula for the liquid has changed.Good luck.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    If you think about using Starting Fluid, imagine washing down your cylinder or cylinders with gas, letting it dry, then turning the motor over aprox. 1500 times. It's a drag.Have I done it? How do think people on this B.B. get this knowledge. Go with J.B. and use a spray bottle or with BobVT and keep your motor tuned and you wont have to use anything.Happy Boating all, and now that Labor Day is over maybe we can fish without the usual distractions, PWC,s. Hal.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    You guys really think a squirt of starting fluid every now and then will hurt the engine? There is usually already gas and lube in the cyl from cranking anyway. The times (very few)I've used it are to help clear flooded or extremely cold engines...and that is after cranking first. Considering that gas/oil is in the cyl from cranking and the engine is cold (loose), just how much harm is really likely? Yes, technically, the fluid is not a lubricant and can thin lube...but it isn't fueling past 2seconds before the regular fuel system is running the engine. It is nothing like washing the cyl walls down, drying and turning over 1500 rpms. Maybe 50-75 rpms before the aerosol is gone on a start at 1500 rpms. Don't get me wrong, I've used the stuff a half dozen times in my life and it was usually on a diesel that didn't have glow plugs. I just don't think the threat is so terrible.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    Call me dense, but I don't get this no starting fluid thing. First off, every can of starting fluid I've ever seen states that it contains a top head lubricates. With this the case, I don’t see how spraying the fluid through the plug holes should have no effect at all upon the lubrication of the motor. Second, if you spray the fluid in through the carbs, would it not be diluted with the oiled fuel as it passes through the carbs? I would think that the worst that could happen would be that you've reduced your ratio down from 50:1 down to what 51.8:1? I’m not doubting anyone, just trying to understand the logic behind the claims.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    since you guys are talking about starting outboards i have a 1975 johnson 40 hp with a 74 ignition system and i have replaced the driver coil the coils and the spark plugs because i didnt have spark and now i do and it will crank fine but it wont start what could be the problem. there was a shorted wire in the starter but i have fixed tht. i get nice blue spark but once i put the plugs into the cylinders and crank it it wont start. please help me.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    i use wd-40 if i really have to really since its in a air can and i always have ti around lol. but only if i have too. my engines r always tuned well.


    becareful if u have a old omc engine as it may booger up ur points if u get any oil on them by the way
    -1964 20Ft Riviera Cruiser, 1961 14.5Ft Critchfield, 1962 15ft Orlando Clipper
    -1959/60 10 Hp Evinrude, 1961 Mercury 500, 1958 35 Hp Johnson (Sold), 1990 25 Hp Johnson (Sold), 1985 60 Hp Johnson

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    Nice segue, but they were chatting 6-1/2 years ago.
    Try making a new post in the Johnson/Evinrude repair section with a title like "1975 40 HP won't start". I don't know the answer to the question, but there is a thread at the top of the Johnson/Evinrude repair section called "TOP SECRET" that has links to many common problems. If you have good spark and good compression, all that remains is a fuel delivery problem.

  22. #22
    Moderator JB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Fluid is BAD BAD

    Thanks, Whaler. Closing now.

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