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Drone start fluid fuel

Old 11-19-2010, 09:25 PM
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Stuntguy13
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Default Drone start fluid fuel

Guys,
Found an interesting web site with information about the Drone diesel (http://www.modelenginenews.org/ad/drone.html). In a follow up email I discussed using starter fluid and oil as fuel. Seems this will work with the Drone because of the low RPM (6600) that keeps the ether from detonating. However, it won't work with modern higher rpm engines because of the higher compression that is needed to advance the ignition timing at the higher rpm it will detonate, it needs the kero to claim it down.

Best, DennisT
Old 11-20-2010, 12:18 AM
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Diesel Die-hard
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Default RE: Drone start fluid fuel

Not just any starting fluid will work - it has to be one of the ones with a high ether content. The best is John Deere starting fluid, which is 80% ether. I've also had OK results with Kleen-Flo starting fluid, which is 70% ether. But some of the lower ether ones like Gunk Liquid Fire (60% ether) don't work all that well in the Drone - the engine will start, but running is pretty poor.

Check the specs before you buy. You also have to use mineral oil - castor doesn't work well in a Drone. I use 25% straight SAE 30 Pennzoil with good results. And Dennis is quite right - do not use Drone all-ether fuel in a more modern diesel! Detonation will be fierce, and you'll soon wreck the engine. Because of its low speed, however, the Drone runs forever on the straight ether brew if you prop it right - an 11x10 works great.I've never yet managed to wear one out in 40 years of trying!!

Cheers,

Adrian
Old 11-20-2010, 11:51 AM
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Jim Thomerson
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Default RE: Drone start fluid fuel

I've only run my first model Drone on the bench. It ran fine and turned a MAS 11 x 9 at 6,700 on Eric Clutton fuel. At the time I had a factory glow head. On Sig Champion 10% nitro, 20% oil, half castor, half synthetic, it turned 6,700 and sounded smoother than it did as a diesel.
Old 11-20-2010, 01:37 PM
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Lou Crane
 
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Default RE: Drone start fluid fuel

Adrian,

Very well put. Since this is a new thread, it may reach a few who didn't catch some of the other discussions, in which we learned:

John Deere Starting ether is 80% good quality ether by weight. Ether is much lighter than water (which is the standard for measuring specific gravity.) The volume of that ether is more than that of the same weight of water. We generally mix fuels by volume, so that is an advantage: the volume is about 1.25 times its weight.

It was pointed out that there is a gas, propane, butane or similar, dissolved into the liquid ether in the John Deere fluid. That is most of the weight difference. Your fuel will run more dependably if NONE of that gas remains dissolved in the liquid ether captured.

The best method for capturing the ether seems to be spraying the John Deere contents into a jar large enough to hold the volume of ether you need. Find a spray nozzle that has a 'straw' and fits the JD stub. Punch a hole in the jar lid just larger than the straw. Have an intact cap ready, to seal the jar when you're not spraying. Put the straw into the jar through the hole and spray... The dissolved gas gasses-off just about completely in the process. A few ccs of liquid ether will remain in the can when propellant pressure is gone. It helps to measure and mark your catch jar for the volume of liquid ether you need for the fuel batch.

With an awl - and preferably a rubber hammer - punch a few holes around the can's rim to drain those few cc into the catch-jar. An older method was to invert the JD can to spray off propellant and 'other gas' until pressure is very slight, then punch the can's upper rim to pour the liquid into a catch jar. This was less effective. Spraying through the straw loses less liquid ether than venting propellant pressure, and is less hazard than punching a hole in the rim while there's pressure inside the can.

Another advantage of spraying through a straw - the JD can remains intact, and stores any remaining ether after you have captured as much as you need at present. Punching holes in the rim made it necessary to find another way to store any excess ether... And ether seems able to evaporate through any jar seal you use, over several days.

Mix up your fuel as soon as possible after capturing the ether. Store the fuel mix in a metal can. Typical quart (or liter) cans with screw caps do well. Plumbers' teflon joint tape on the cap threads makes a very good seal. A US quart can has sufficient spare volume to fit a liter of fuel, and working with a decent laboratory graduate, preferably marked in cc, allows making fuel very accurately, and repeatably.

Never leave the can open any longer than necessary. I use two metal tubes soldered through the cap top, one ending just below the cap's 'gasket,' the other reaching the bottom of the can. Close the two tubes with a short loop of neoprene fuel tubing. You only need to open the 'vent' tube so that the 'feed' tube can render fuel to your syringe or bulb. Mark which cap tube is which! Opening the wrong one first can cause a surprising amount fuel to spurt out the other one... I 'wire' the 'feed' tube so I won't slip it off first... And I reclose the loop to both tubes as soon as I've drawn fuel out. The only time the cap is unscrewed is for loading a fresh batch into it, when empty.
Old 11-20-2010, 03:36 PM
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Stuntguy13
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Default RE: Drone start fluid fuel

Lou,
Good information, one thought could we make up a mixing jar that would be marked for the tank size needed and has the level of oil level marked, then for modern fuel the kero then the ether. Mix the oil and kero then put the spray tube in and add the ether to the needed level. I think it will degas in a few seconds then it could be put riight into the tank. This keeps the ether in solution quickly and fuel is used as needed.

Best, DennisT
Old 11-21-2010, 02:08 PM
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gkamysz
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Default RE: Drone start fluid fuel

Regarding starting fluid: Read the MSDS! Understand which components evaporate and are not in the liquid left over after dispensing it. JD is virtually 100% ether disregarding the lubricant added. The others vary wildly, and are not consistent, MSDS show a very wide range of proportions.

For instance the MSDS for KleenFlo mentioned above quotes 40-70%ether. You have no idea what you're getting. Gunk Liquid Fire lists 15-40%. It's no surprise the Liquid Fire doesn't work well!

I don't waste my time with anything but JD.
Old 11-22-2010, 10:32 AM
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Stuntguy13
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Default RE: Drone start fluid fuel

Greg,

Good point, is there an online source for JD?

Best, DennisT
Old 11-22-2010, 11:01 AM
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gkamysz
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Default RE: Drone start fluid fuel

Googling the part number turned up a few sources. RE33636

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