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Modified Glow Plug Starting System
Keith P. Mayer, Naper, Neb.: "I own two GM pickups powered by 6.2-liter diesel engines. The engines work great and burn less fuel than comparable gas engines. The only thing I don't like about them is the glow plug starting system.
"The problem is that the glow plugs burn out - either one at a time or the whole sys-tem goes at once - requiring costly replacement. After a plug burns out it often swells on the end which makes it difficult to re-move from the head. If the tip breaks off you may even have to remove the head to retrieve the tip.
"After I got tired of repairing the system I started spraying ether into the air in-take. I came up with a system that lets me inject ether from the cab. It requires only 25 in. of 1/8-in. diameter copper tubing. Using a 1/4-in. bit, I drilled a hole through the firewall about 2 in. to the left of the throttle cable hole.
"I super glued a plastic tube to the nozzle on an 8-oz. can of ether on the floor in front of the 4-WD selector lever. The tube sprays into the copper tubing. The copper tubing protrudes into the bottom of the air cleaner housing inside the air filter.
"When used properly this starting aid will provide faster starts, less wear on the starter, less battery drain, and longer battery and alternator life compared to glow plugs and be much less expensive to maintain. Under no circumstances should both ether and glow plugs be used at the same time, so if you decide to convert you must disconnect any working plugs or disconnect the entire system.
"The same idea would also probably work on Ford pickups equipped with 6.9 and 7.3-liter diesel engines."

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #2