using starter fluid on ford explorer...

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  #1  
Old 03-13-10, 11:14 PM
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using starter fluid on ford explorer...

Hello. I'm new here, and I have a very specific problem. I have a ford explorer that has been sitting for a few years (too expensive to drive). A friend came over today to try and help me get it running. I replaced the battery yesterday but it wouldn't stay running (it would turn over and then cut off). He brought some gas with an additive since the gas in the tank was really old. He sprayed starter fluid WHILE I was trying to crank the car. (I didn't know what he was doing. I couldn't see.) It exlpded something in the engine. (The hose disconnected and the clamps blew off, according to him.) After that, he started putting LIQUID starter fluid into the hose to try to start it. (The nozzle had come off the bottle and it wouldn't spray any more.) I repeatedly told him I didn't think this was a good idea and asked him to stop, but he didn't listen and the engine caught on fire for a couple of minutes before we could get the fire put out. I am very angry and upset, because he didn't listen to me. My question is, what damage could this have caused? He insists it only burned and disintegrated a $20 hose, but I'm not so sure. There were wires nearby, and it seems to me a fire would never be good for an engine. Don't they have computers in there? THANK YOU for any help/comments.
 
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Old 03-14-10, 07:08 AM
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You can do some damage in an engine with too much starter fluid. In your case, replace the hose, get the old gas out of it, put in new with Sea Foam (from an auto parts store), start it and see how it runs. If you're not getting a lot of bubbles in the radiator after it's warmed up you may be OK.

If you plan on driving it in the future, change the fuel filter.
 
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Old 03-14-10, 09:18 AM
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I know that guy! He is the one who grabbed my chainsaw without asking, got it stuck in a log, then tried yanking it out and bent the bar! (The whole time I was screaming at him to stop...)

Anyway gas goes bad. I would siphon out all the old gas and replace with new gas.
 
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Old 03-14-10, 02:41 PM
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You have got to be kidding
What a small world
Thats my step brother!
He knows everything about everything yet these bad luck thinkgs keep happening to him. Its everybody elses fault.

I would pull the plugs also and see if they look real good. If not I would replace them.

Tell my know it all step brother to go home while you still have a truck in one piece and repairable.
 
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Old 03-14-10, 03:01 PM
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I didn't know I had hired your step brother!!! I buy the tools, he breaks them, I spend most of the workday changing blades, replacing cords, replacing nail gun o rings, pulling bent nails from the nail gun.
Starting fluid in limited quantites is good. More than a spritz is dangerous. Use it nowhere near a diesel. It can blow the top off pistons, bend valves, and other sundry things to your engine so tell him to go home. He has to work breaking my tools on Monday.
 
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Old 03-14-10, 04:28 PM
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Just work toward getting the old fuel out and fresh fuel in. Then replace the hose and look around at your engine while ignoring the knot in your stomach to look for anything else that may have been effected.

When you siphon out the gas, disconnecting the fuel neck from the tank provides the most straight forward access.

If you want to flush out the fuel line after you buckle the filler back up and add fresh gas, you can connect a tube to the incoming metal line that feeds the rail and let the pump push about three seconds worth into the container as well. To disconnect the fitting, which is not of the same type as the quick connects you'll find at the filter etc, you can use something like this from any automotive store: Amazon.com: OEM 25052 Air Conditioning/Fuel Line Disconnect Tool Set: Automotive This may still leave you with hard starting and the need for starting fliud for a bit since your fuel rail will still have a small amount of bad gas. You don't need help using starting fliud, just one short spray (from a new can) and head to the ignition switch.

Question for the real mechanics: Is there a better way to purge fuel from the line using the shcrader valve?
Or however it's spelled.
 
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Old 03-14-10, 04:35 PM
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Mick, I've never done it but it seems likely you could use the hose off an old can of R12 refrigerant, whaddya think? I am nowhere near a real mechanic, but adapt, improvise and overcome when I have to.
 
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Old 03-15-10, 08:55 PM
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Thanks for all the replies! It is greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 03-16-10, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Mick, I've never done it but it seems likely you could use the hose off an old can of R12 refrigerant, whaddya think?
I think I don't know with the "other" end looks like but the one end would definitly be a good start. You bet it's what I would try working with. Cheap, re-purposed, reusable. I like it.

I was thinking one of those screw on airchucks with the valve and scrap hose.

Of course, I think that Ford let's it be a surprise which engines have one of those valves and which ones don't. Some vehicles that are supposed to don't.
 
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Old 03-16-10, 09:56 AM
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Carefull with the eather

You should be able to tell if the wires are ok by looking at them. replace the hose that was damaged and inspect all around the area for fire damage. Its not uncommon for a big backfire to start a small fire when to much eather is used. Good luck.
 
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