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Author Topic: Substitute for ether in deisel engine  (Read 1070 times)
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Glidiator
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« on: March 20, 2017, 12:38:20 PM »

Just finally got a 0.75 cc diesel engine from a fellow aeromodeller.
Can now put together my Tyro kit which has been in the box for ten years. My earlier engine cylinder head cracked while bench starting it and I could not get another one locally as the manufacturer had stopped making them.
I am supposed to use a kerosene - castor oil - ether mix for fuel
Now getting ether seems a bit of a problem.

Any substitute??.

Anant
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qazimoto
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 01:21:44 PM »


There's no real substitute for Ether in model diesel fuel. What you want is DiEthyl Ether. Solvent grade is just fine. Have you tried your local Chemist (Pharmacist)? Years ago ours would mix an equal volume of Ether with that of Medicinal Castor Oil and sell it to me. I would then mix it with 1/2 the combined volume's of Kerosene. This gave the standard brew of 1/3 of each. Worked well for the simplest diesels.

Otherwise people have had success with John Deer Starting fluid, which is mostly Di Ethyl Ether. There's lots about how this is done on the Internet :-)

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ffkiwi
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 03:53:42 PM »

As has been stated earlier-there is NO-ZERO-NADA substitute for diethyl ether in model diesel fuel-no other chemical compound has the same characteristics of flammability, volatility, explosive limits etc that are unique to diethyl ether. I see you are in India-well with a reasonably long history of manufacturing diesels there for both domestic use and export-there must be some suppliers of fuel-including diesel....failing that the chemical/pharmaceutical industry. Note as qazimoto has pointed out-you can get away with the lowest (and cheapest) grade of diethyl ether-solvent grade for use in model diesel fuel. Assuming that the Indian education system retains some elements of its British past-then secondary school chemistry science labs could certainly be expected to hold ether among their organic solvents, and an approach to your local high school science teacher might result in some. Given the climate in India you will need to have very well sealed fuel storage containers.
   Whilst qazimoto has suggested John Deere starting fluid (quite correctly) as a source of ether-please bear in mind that this is intended for starting balky engines in very cold climates.....such as Canada and northern Europe-and hence unlikely to be available in India. There are also tropical variants of the same type of product. If similar products are available  (to improve starting) in India they are likely to be tropical grade-and generally much much lower in ether-about 25%-which makes them useless as a source [I have experienced this first hand]

Note that you do not have to use castor oil in a diesel-mineral oil will do, as it mixes with the other components. Castor is common-and possibly even preferable-but it is the 'rolls royce' option-especially for sport flying. I have successfully used (over the years) lubricants ranging from Castrol 2-stroke oil, outboard motor oil, and synthetics-along with castor, in my diesel mixes.

Your mention of a 'Tyro' concerns me slightly-if you are referring to the David Boddington R/C design from the late 60s,-later kitted- then a 0.75 diesel will not be able to fly the model-it simply will not produce adequate power-even if correctly propped.If it is some other 'Tyro' then please disregard this comment.

ChrisM
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qazimoto
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 06:29:29 PM »

It did occur to me that the Northern States of India border the Himalayan Mountains and are likely to suffer cold conditions. High Ether auto starting products may be available.
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Glidiator
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2017, 06:48:06 AM »

Thanks for the inputs.
Stay in Goa near the coast and ambient temperature is around 28 - 30 centigrade.
Have been told by my local pharmacy that can get ether from lab supply outlets. Just thought I'd there is a substitute will save some legwork.
Also however much you seal the container there is steady evaporation loss in our temperature. Last time I kept the bottle sealed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to reduce evaporation loss.
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billdennis747
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2017, 06:59:38 AM »

Last time I kept the bottle sealed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to reduce evaporation loss.
I'm not sure I'd do that! Rumour has it that the light goes out when you shut the door. Any spark and Ka-boom!
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greggles47
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2017, 07:06:44 AM »

The temperatures where Quasi & I are are frequently over 30C in Summer.

I'm pretty sure Quasi has cured evaporation from his containers, I know that I lose little if any ether to evaporation.
I keep my ether in 2 litre glass Winchesters, with perfect screw caps. The Winchesters are then kept in a metal locker in the coolest part of my shed. I've never noticed an ether smell on opening the locker, which would indicate leakage.

When you are getting your ether from your pharmacy, ask if they have any suitable glass bottles. Ensure that the caps are fume resistant and all should be well.

Good luck.
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qazimoto
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 07:24:28 AM »

The temperatures where Quasi & I are are frequently over 30C in Summer.

I'm pretty sure Quasi has cured evaporation from his containers, I know that I lose little if any ether to evaporation.
I keep my ether in 2 litre glass Winchesters, with perfect screw caps. The Winchesters are then kept in a metal locker in the coolest part of my shed. I've never noticed an ether smell on opening the locker, which would indicate leakage.

When you are getting your ether from your pharmacy, ask if they have any suitable glass bottles. Ensure that the caps are fume resistant and all should be well.

Good luck.

Certainly true. Right now in my shed there are four 2.5 Litre Amber Winchester bottles full of Ether. This is about a years supply for myself and a few others. Despite the high summer temperatures (up to 44 degrees C one day recently) there is never any loss, or any Ether smell.  Like Greg I keep them on the cool Southern side of the shed in a safe place and regularly replace the screw on caps with new ones when they're refilled. Both Winchesters and new caps are available at a local Industrial bottle wholesaler.

 
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qazimoto
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 08:01:27 AM »

What follows is an interesting comment concerning the heading topic by Maris Dislers on the Barton c/l site.



Quote
"Hi all

Was prompted by Brian Winch's latest piece in Airborne, where he runs his long-suffering DC Sabre on a mix of 2 parts Coolpower synthetic oil, 2 parts kero, one part Shellite (light petroleum naphtha) and 1 part nitromethane.

He reported a decent improvement over regular Coolpower/kero/ether mix of equal parts.

I don't have that oil, so used SAE 50 mineral oil. Of course the nitro just sat at the bottom of the measuring cylinder & would not mix. No surprise. No chance to assess the weird concept of nitro in diesel fuel.

Undeterred, I siphoned off the upper oil/kero/Shellite layer and fed it to my Aurora Mills 1.3. In the interests of science and those folk who honestly can't lay their hands on any ether, but must run their diesel.
Needed a wet exhaust prime, but the engine started reasonably easily. I was quite surprised by that, after reading all that stuff about having to pre-heat the cylinder etc. Shellite has a slightly lower auto ignition temperature than kerosene, but still quite a bit higher than ether. Mixture & comp settings are much more critical than normal, but I recorded a fairly decent 7,400 RPM with APC 9x4 prop.

Then added 1% EHN ignition improver, which improved starting & handling. Compression setting back a 1/4 turn, almost to where it runs on regular unnitrated fuel. Recorded a steady 7,600 RPM - nearly 1000 RPM up on unnitrated equal-parts mix. For comparison, this engine turns around 7,800 RPM with a good balanced diesel fuel mix.

Added 10% ether and got around the same as before, but with improved starting & better flexibility. Regular diesel fuel still gives much easier starts and flexibility.

Further experiments aimed at seeing whether Shellite is a useful additive in a regular fuel blend ended when the crankcase cracked at the main bearing housing to sump junction. Certainly when off tune, the etherless stuff burns dirty, suggesting unhappy goings on inside.

Can't be sure that the crankcase was not already weakened by crashes (I've not had it from new), but it's a shame to see it sidelined after my rather good reboring job. Would some kind Aussie with a spare Aurora Mills 1.3 crankcase, for not much dough, come to my rescue ?"
"
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kiwibrit
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 04:54:05 PM »

Just finally got a 0.75 cc diesel engine from a fellow aeromodeller.
Can now put together my Tyro kit which has been in the box for ten years. My earlier engine cylinder head cracked while bench starting it and I could not get another one locally as the manufacturer had stopped making them.
I am supposed to use a kerosene - castor oil - ether mix for fuel
Now getting ether seems a bit of a problem.

Any substitute??.

Anant

As Sharma make diesel engines in India, they may be able to advise you about the supply of fuel and fuel ingredients.
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Glidiator
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2017, 11:06:58 AM »

yes kiwibrit will do that. Sometimes simple solutions elude you.
I am in touch with Vivek Sharma as he is on our AMAI whatsapp group. Will send him a message pronto.
Thanks for simplifying things.
 
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