Originally Posted by paul iossi
demonknight has the answer, the 5.9 should start without either if it doesn't have something wrong with it. find and fix the problem.
Yeah I did.. I found a few bad fuel lines that were leaking causing the bus to run itself out of fuel. When it would do this it was very hard to start it with air in the fuel lines. I also had a second problem - my batteries could not stand up to several minutes of cranking the engine.
Starting fluid to the rescue... I had to start it on the starting fluid for a few seconds until it pulled the air through the fuel lines and was getting fuel again. Luckily I fixed the fuel problem, so I don't need the starting fluid anymore. Oh but it's staying in the bus, ya never know where it'll break down and how far away you'll be from "diesel safe" starting fluid.
Now to figure out my battery situation - seems one of my batteries is toast and the other one (connected to it in parallel) is being constantly drained by the bad one. Stupid Walmart batteries.