Friday, 10 April 2015

Stale Diesel And Compression

I've had a frustrating couple of evenings trying to get my rotovator to start. It's been sat for a while so I knew it wasn't going to be easy to start but I was getting pretty mad by the end of the first night.
 It's a pull start diesel, and it needs some serious pulling to get it going at the best of times, you end up pulling the machine around as you launch yourself in the air to get enough momentum to turn the engine over. 
 After a few hundred pulls I decided to ask my dads advice and he said it could be the diesel had gone stale, now it contains more bio-diesel it can go off and not be as good after it's been sat for a while. I drained the tank, got covered in diesel, and then connected it all back up. I then took the pipe off nearest the injector and pulled the start until diesel came through, then I tightened it all back up and pulled! 
Making sure diesel comes through and no air lock
 Still nothing! 
Well nothing except sweat and a sore arm!
I then went over to see my neighbour to see if he could offer any advice and I was contemplating the can of easy start (despite the fact I was worried it might pull my arm off if it worked). He watched me pull it and said the decompression level was kicking over too soon, he held it half way on whilst I pulled and within six tries there was life!
Going!
We had to leave the container pretty fast as it filled it with smoke in seconds, but it soon cleared and the engine puttered along nicely. 
Age and experience saved the day and I learnt quite a bit in the process. It would have been much easier to get someone to come and get it going for me, but this way I gained some valuable experience. 
Now all I've got to do is getting going when there's enough daylight left to use it! 
Anyone else been struggling to get something going lately?

14 comments:

  1. Last year when I went to use my petrol Mantis I couldnt get it to start with the help of you tube and the instruction book I got it stripped down cleaned up and it started, Its great knowing I can do these things if needed :-)

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    1. It's a good feeling when you get it right isn't it! I guess I've always turned to dad when it comes to engines so in a way it was nice that he didn't come and sort it although I still needed the advice!

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  2. I tend to throw a wobbly if anything mechanical / electrical doesn't work, but my husband comes to my assistance and most times fixes the problem with a calmness that is surprising seeing as how he can throw quite a wobbly himself when he can't find anything, in particular...his socks!

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    1. It takes a lot to wind me up but I was near breaking point with this machine!

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  3. Ah the infernal combusted engine!!! A pull chord on a diesel makes no sense. You need sustained compression to get ignition and that is hard to achieve in a couple revs with a chord in the best of conditions. I'd be tempted to remove the pull chord and replace it with a suitable fitting to use a cordless drill as a starter.

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    1. That sounds a great idea but I'd have no idea how to do it. A pull cord diesel is one for the strong of arm only and not something I'll want to start in ten years time I can bet! an electric start would be the best thing for it.

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    2. Think of the ratchet type engagement on a hand-crank start on an old Landrover. About a 2" length of tube with a couple of angled slots cut in one end welded/bolted to the end of the crank and a T drive you chuck up in the drill that would then engage in the slots in the tube, and slip out as the engine starts.

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    3. When we were kitting up to manage this place we decided upon a diesel "Allen Scythe"... that would also drive a rotavator, plough, tow, run a woodchipper....
      etc!
      And, having had experience of cord-start diesels...
      we got one with an electric start!!

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  4. I have a really cheap (and pretty useless) rotovator which has stayed outdoors all winter under some plastic sheeting. Guess what; it started first go!!! Treat 'em mean; keep 'em keen.

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    1. That sounds like my ride-on lawn mower. When it was kept outside it would always work, now it's in and protected it just plays me up!

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  5. I have a really cheap (and pretty useless) rotovator which has stayed outdoors all winter under some plastic sheeting. Guess what; it started first go!!! Treat 'em mean; keep 'em keen.

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  6. The only thing struggling to get going here is ME. lol
    Briony
    x

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    1. And me after I've tried to start this bloody thing!

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  7. "Anyone else been struggling to get something going lately?"....
    as per Briony!!

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