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Old 03-10-2018, 10:40 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
My multimeters are not clamp on. If I get someone to help me can I hold the probes in place while someone else turns the key? I have to FIND the relay first. The service manual had good enough diagrams to be able to change the fuel filter and drain the fuel filter bowl, so hopefully I can find them.
The relay will likely be hanging off of one of the valve covers, or in the valley of the engine. The relay will look something like this:


This is a clamp-on multimeter:


It's contactless. You just clamp the lobster claw over the wire you want to measure current. Probably can borrow/rent one from an auto parts store. Otherwise they cost about $40 on Amazon. A normal multimeter has the ability to measure amperage, but you have to put it in series with the wire and they usually only measure up to 10 amps.

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Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
Where did you get heavier duty relays and what was the part number? I'd rather just start with those if that is indeed the problem.
I had one lying around. It looks like one of these guys:


The label is long gone, so I'm not sure of the part #. I can recall that it is either a 200 amp or 300 amp relay. I sure hope it is, anyway!

IF you plan on installing a different relay than stock or aftermarket then seek more info! They are wired strangely.

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Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
I don't suppose the fancy code reader would tell me what is wrong with the glow plugs- that would probably be way too easy.
Nope

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Old 03-10-2018, 10:43 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Difficult cold starting on these engines can also be worn injectors. I'm told folks often replace glow plugs and related parts and still have cold start problems. Injectors for 'em aren't cheap, in the $200 each range.
Question:. If starter fluid (actually WD-40) started the bus (DO NOT TRY THIS!!!) then it probably isn't the injectors, right? It's either the relay or the glow plugs (or possibly power to the relay?) because the injectors would be after that in the sequence and the starter fluid made up for the lack of glow plugs, right?

The mobile mechanic that started the bus did the WD-40 trick. We felt very sure the glow plugs weren't working because after cycling through the turn key, glow plugs heat, wait til light goes off, turn off, over 20 times there was no temperature rise measured by a laser thermometer anywhere on the exterior of the engine block. Still, in the future I'm gonna check the relay before trying that and I'm going to replace the relays and/or glow plugs if needed before I drive around again.

I probably would have given up and used Good Sam to tow it if they hadn't told my son that unconverted buses weren't covered. Also, I was AT a TA Center which has truck service but they don't do anything for my engine, so it's not clear to me that Good Sam would have helped even if I *did* have a fully converted bus.

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Old 03-10-2018, 10:44 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by jazty View Post
The relay will likely be hanging off of one of the valve covers, or in the valley of the engine. The relay will look something like this:


This is a clamp-on multimeter:


It's contactless. You just clamp the lobster claw over the wire you want to measure current. Probably can borrow/rent one from an auto parts store. Otherwise they cost about $40 on Amazon. A normal multimeter has the ability to measure amperage, but you have to put it in series with the wire and they usually only measure up to 10 amps.



I had one lying around. It looks like one of these guys:


The label is long gone, so I'm not sure of the part #. I can recall that it is either a 200 amp or 300 amp relay. I sure hope it is, anyway!

IF you plan on installing a different relay than stock or aftermarket then seek more info! They are wired strangely.



Nope
This is the most incredibly helpful answer. THANK YOU!!

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Old 03-10-2018, 11:34 AM   #24
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A glow plug would likely never change the temp of the entire block would it? And wd 40 would bypass the injection system and just enter via the intake right?
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:35 AM   #25
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A glow plug would likely never change the temp of the entire block would it? And wd 40 would bypass the injection system and just enter via the intake right?
Repeated cycling of the plugs would change the temperature of the plugs though, and you should be able to detect that with a non-contact thermometer.
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:25 PM   #26
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Repeated cycling of the plugs would change the temperature of the plugs though, and you should be able to detect that with a non-contact thermometer.
This was our thinking.

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Old 03-10-2018, 12:28 PM   #27
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A glow plug would likely never change the temp of the entire block would it? And wd 40 would bypass the injection system and just enter via the intake right?
I am asking about the WD-40 and the injectors. I don't know enough about engines and how fuel goes thru the system yet to know.

I have learned a lot, but the things I don't know are at least 2000x more than what I have learned. It did enter via the intake I think.

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Old 03-10-2018, 12:44 PM   #28
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I am asking about the WD-40 and the injectors. I don't know enough about engines and how fuel goes thru the system yet to know.

I have learned a lot, but the things I don't know are at least 2000x more than what I have learned. It did enter via the intake I think.

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Injecting a small amount of starting fluid sends the volatile gases into the cylinder with the air, and is separate from the fuel injection. This is fairly common with engines that have glowplug heaters, but cannot be done with engines that have intake grid heaters.

If you try it on those engines, you are likely to get an explosion in the air intake, as the vapor hits the heaters.
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:56 PM   #29
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A glow plug would likely never change the temp of the entire block would it? And wd 40 would bypass the injection system and just enter via the intake right?
1. Eventually the glow plugs would warm the engine, if only by a couple degrees. Not the whole engine, just the area around the intake where they are installed.

2. Anything sprayed into the intake would "bypass" the injection system, be it Direct Injection or Indirect Injection. However, it would *NOT* bypass the glow plugs or grid heater (depending what the engine has. In the case of the 7.3/T444, it has glow plugs). Hot surface + flammable stuff = Boom. Many older all-mechanical engines were direct injection, so they were safe to use various starting fluids in. The IH/Ford 6.9, IH/Ford 7.3, Cummins 5.9 (I cannot verify all versions of this engine) and many others have pre-heating systems and should not use any starting fluids.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:03 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
1. Eventually the glow plugs would warm the engine, if only by a couple degrees. Not the whole engine, just the area around the intake where they are installed.

2. Anything sprayed into the intake would "bypass" the injection system, be it Direct Injection or Indirect Injection. However, it would *NOT* bypass the glow plugs or grid heater (depending what the engine has. In the case of the 7.3/T444, it has glow plugs). Hot surface + flammable stuff = Boom. Many older all-mechanical engines were direct injection, so they were safe to use various starting fluids in. The IH/Ford 6.9, IH/Ford 7.3, Cummins 5.9 (I cannot verify all versions of this engine) and many others have pre-heating systems and should not use any starting fluids.
If the glow plugs had actually been working, it's my understanding that it could have caused an explosion in my bus. I'd rather have working glow plugs and never ever deal with that again.

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Old 03-10-2018, 04:17 PM   #31
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If the glow plugs had actually been working, it's my understanding that it could have caused an explosion in my bus. I'd rather have working glow plugs and never ever deal with that again.

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Not really.

An explosion in the area where the glowplugs are hot is exactly what you are trying to achieve.

What you need to avoid is an explosion in the area of intake heaters. With intake grid heaters you cannot use easystart, or anything else.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:51 PM   #32
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:08 PM   #33
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Not really.

An explosion in the area where the glowplugs are hot is exactly what you are trying to achieve.

What you need to avoid is an explosion in the area of intake heaters. With intake grid heaters you cannot use easystart, or anything else.
My T444e very clearer has 3 stickers throughout the engine bay that essentially read, "DO NOT USE STARTER FLUID. Explosion hazard."
If the glow plugs are hot and you get pre-ignition from a volatile substance with the intake valves open the flame front can travel up the intake. Boom.
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:34 PM   #34
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If the glow plugs had actually been working, it's my understanding that it could have caused an explosion in my bus. I'd rather have working glow plugs and never ever deal with that again.

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Details on why? Wouldn't it just cause an explosion in the cylinder where it's suppose to explode?
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:48 PM   #35
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Details on why? Wouldn't it just cause an explosion in the cylinder where it's suppose to explode?
Yes, but if the intake valve is open, the explosion can backfire into the intake system.
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:52 PM   #36
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See the above post. I can elaborate, though.

1. Key is turned, glow plugs are activated. They begin glowing red hot.
2. Starter fluid is sprayed into the intake, which creates a volatile gas+air mix.
3. Engine is turned over which moves the volatile mix throughout the intake.
4. IF the gas mix encounters a red hot glow plug while an intake valve is cracked open it CAN ignite early and send the flame front up the intake, which is still filled with yet more volatile gas waiting to be burned.

Not to say it will happen every time, or even one in a hundred, but it sure is an avoidable possibility. Disable grid heaters and glow plugs before using starter fluid. Better yet, fix the source of the problem. These engines do not need starter fluid.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:10 PM   #37
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See the above post. I can elaborate, though.

1. Key is turned, glow plugs are activated. They begin glowing red hot.
2. Starter fluid is sprayed into the intake, which creates a volatile gas+air mix.
3. Engine is turned over which moves the volatile mix throughout the intake.
4. IF the gas mix encounters a red hot glow plug while an intake valve is cracked open it CAN ignite early and send the flame front up the intake, which is still filled with yet more volatile gas waiting to be burned.

Not to say it will happen every time, or even one in a hundred, but it sure is an avoidable possibility. Disable grid heaters and glow plugs before using starter fluid. Better yet, fix the source of the problem. These engines do not need starter fluid.
I didn't put 2 and 2 together, I forgot we were talking about the added starting fluid to the equation, so ya, starting fluid can easily blow up a gas engine if used excessively.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:29 PM   #38
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Cold gas engines are inherently safe for starter fluid. There's no real way for pre-ignition with the intake valves open since they utilize a timed spark. Hot glow plugs are like a constant spark firing with valves opened, closed and in between.

EDIT: backfires are a risk actually... That could definitely light up a gas filled intake
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:44 PM   #39
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I didn't put 2 and 2 together, I forgot we were talking about the added starting fluid to the equation, so ya, starting fluid can easily blow up a gas engine if used excessively.
My engine is diesel. I'm pretty sure you aren't ever supposed to use starter fluid with glow plugs. Mine are almost certainly not working, so I got away with it, but it's really not a good idea. The mobile mechanic that did it said he'd seen one explode and leave shrapnel in his friend's chest from doing it before. That's why we moved well away from the bus before cranking it.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:28 PM   #40
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Here's what I found on starting fluid and diesel engines:

Diesel engines, too, can suffer the effects of starting fluid. Their high compression can cause the fluid to ignite too early, effectively causing pre-ignition, which invites all kinds of problems, like catastrophic piston or rod damage. Plus, it has no lubricating properties, so it can hasten piston wear.
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