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Hand Propping a Gasser

Old 10-17-2013, 12:26 AM
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thailazer
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Default Hand Propping a Gasser

Have been taking my time getting my gas 44cc Twin Tartan running and now have a good test stand, have spark, and things are set to go. What I notice flipping it dry and with no ignition source is that maximum compression is right where the hall effect sensor will tell it to fire. This has me a bit nervous and I am wondering what to expect. What is the standard procedure for hand starting a gasser? I have a lot of experience with 2 stroke engines and have hand propped full scale planes but that 20 inch prop has me a bit intimidated. All suggestions appreciated as I don't want to get hurt!
Old 10-17-2013, 01:12 AM
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ahicks
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IMHO, it's your call in the end. If you're nervous about hand propping for any reason, don't do it! It's not just about famiarity, it's about your strength, reflexes, etc. and, well, your confidence level?

I hand prop all of mine (prop mounted at 1:00-2:00, using 2 fingers to pull it through), but I see many others using heavy leather gloves (welder's?), chicken sticks (or big screw driver handles), and electric starters. -Al
Old 10-17-2013, 01:35 AM
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thailazer
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Originally Posted by thailazer View Post
Have been taking my time getting my gas 44cc Twin Tartan running and now have a good test stand, have spark, and things are set to go. What I notice flipping it dry and with no ignition source is that maximum compression is right where the hall effect sensor will tell it to fire. This has me a bit nervous and I am wondering what to expect. What is the standard procedure for hand starting a gasser? I have a lot of experience with 2 stroke engines and have hand propped full scale planes but that 20 inch prop has me a bit intimidated. All suggestions appreciated as I don't want to get hurt!
Well, I do have the prop in that location so it is an easy throw. I just dribbled some fuel down the carb throat (no fuel tank connected), gave it a few solid flips and got a short burst of a run. Looks like if I set it to idle and ensure I am actually there that it should be fairly well behaved.
Old 10-17-2013, 03:41 AM
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Cyberwolf
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You will find out that a gas engine spins quite a bit slower than a glow does at fire up, So if your used to hand starting glow engine's you shouldn't have an issue. Al gave some good advice about the glove.
I start all of mine by hand and have never had an issue. The only time I have had any gas engine kick back is when it was out of time, I always check a new engine now to make sure the timing is where it belongs.
Old 10-17-2013, 03:53 AM
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coralcape
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Save yourself some blood and pain, always use a chicken stick. Were not perfect in our procedures every time and that's when you get bit. good luck, red
Old 10-17-2013, 04:13 AM
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I use a paint roller as a chicken stick when I am nervous about an engine. It's solid enough to give a good flip and still soft enough not to damage the prop.

Martin
Old 10-17-2013, 04:41 AM
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I think Al is talking about me when he mentioned the screw driver handle. I got bit a few times from hand propping glow engines so I still get nervous sometimes hand propping my gassers. However, I'm getting over that nervousness and hand propping more often. The key is to flip is with authority and confidence. You're actually more likely to get wacked if you give it a sissy flip and don't follow through all the way.
Old 10-17-2013, 05:21 AM
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BarracudaHockey
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I've perfected placing the tips of my fingers against the face of the prop and flipping 50, 60, and 120cc gassers. That way if there is a kick back I don't get smacked
Old 10-17-2013, 05:59 AM
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Jim Branaum
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Originally Posted by Cyberwolf View Post
You will find out that a gas engine spins quite a bit slower than a glow does at fire up, So if your used to hand starting glow engine's you shouldn't have an issue. Al gave some good advice about the glove.
I start all of mine by hand and have never had an issue. The only time I have had any gas engine kick back is when it was out of time, I always check a new engine now to make sure the timing is where it belongs.
The 2 posts here gave about all the advice needed with one possible exception. B&B Specialties used to sell a special glove we used for hand starting, but mine seems to have developed legs. Since Dick Bennet is no longer with us I replace that glove with a filet glove from WalMart.
Old 10-17-2013, 06:43 AM
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Don't be quick to grab the prop again after flipping it. I found myself always starting to reach for the prop again when it did not start on the 2nd or 3rd flip but one time it started on the 2nd flip as I was just getting ready to reach out again and flip it. I would be much more afraid of hand starting a full scale. YIKES! Develop good habits from the start and you won't have to unlearn bad ones
Old 10-17-2013, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by thailazer View Post
Have been taking my time getting my gas 44cc Twin Tartan running and now have a good test stand, have spark, and things are set to go. What I notice flipping it dry and with no ignition source is that maximum compression is right where the hall effect sensor will tell it to fire. This has me a bit nervous and I am wondering what to expect. What is the standard procedure for hand starting a gasser? I have a lot of experience with 2 stroke engines and have hand propped full scale planes but that 20 inch prop has me a bit intimidated. All suggestions appreciated as I don't want to get hurt!
So far, no one has mentioned the differences in ignitions. Most newer ignitions will retard the spark during a brisk flip of the prop and this will allow a fairly easy and safe hand start. But there are still ignitions out there that don't retard (are fixed timing) and will bite you if given a chance. What ignition are you using on that older Tartan and does it retard during startup?
Old 10-17-2013, 07:48 AM
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I am using a good glove for starting the engine with and that seems to work pretty good. A chicken stick is much better, but I seem to have trouble using them. I might wind up with a broken finger or two, but they will still be attached to the hand.
The modern CDI ignition units are great in that they retard the timing so the engine seldom if ever kicks back on you. But before those came out it was a really risky operation to flip the prop to start a engine. Those "old" engines, with fixed timing oir magnetos, could really kick back on you sometimes really viciously too.
Old 10-17-2013, 07:50 AM
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Good point, and it's one of the reasons that glow engines can bite you so badly. They don't have any means of retarding timing. What kind of ignition module are you using?
Old 10-17-2013, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by thailazer View Post
Have been taking my time getting my gas 44cc Twin Tartan running and now have a good test stand, have spark, and things are set to go. What I notice flipping it dry and with no ignition source is that maximum compression is right where the hall effect sensor will tell it to fire. This has me a bit nervous and I am wondering what to expect. What is the standard procedure for hand starting a gasser? I have a lot of experience with 2 stroke engines and have hand propped full scale planes but that 20 inch prop has me a bit intimidated. All suggestions appreciated as I don't want to get hurt!
Hand flipping on this size engines is not for the faint of heart. The Dynatron on 24 volts should spin the 44. It's my version of OMG (old meat grinder) and Is what i use for my 30cc and 40 cc engines

If you prefer to flip by hand or just want back up to the meat grinder, the chicken stick I use is a length of thick walled silicone rubber tubing from Mc Master Carr. I found it laying around during one of the Lab cleanup days and it was destined for the dumpster. Well, it now resides in my field box. Works great especially on those razor sharp APC trailing edges
Old 10-17-2013, 11:43 AM
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blhollo2
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1.) Prop placement is everything. I set mine at 3 o clock, that way your fingers are clear!

2.) Wear a heavy thick padded/leather glove!

3.) twist or lean away from the prop when spinning it with your hand when you spin the prop so you don't accidently fall into it!

4.) Be prepared for it to fire up!

this helps me save on hospital and insurance bills!!
Old 10-17-2013, 12:03 PM
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I bought a good quality welding glove and glued thick rubber onto the back of each finger on it. But I only use it on new or newly built engines that I am not used to, and/or anything with an APC prop on it. I once had an ultralight airplane called a Weedhopper with a single cylinder 460cc Chotia engine on it. No starter of any kind; it had to be hand propped. Now don't you know that I was a bit nervous the first few times I started that puppy??!!

AV8TOR
Old 10-17-2013, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by thailazer View Post
Have been taking my time getting my gas 44cc Twin Tartan running and now have a good test stand, have spark, and things are set to go. What I notice flipping it dry and with no ignition source is that maximum compression is right where the hall effect sensor will tell it to fire. This has me a bit nervous and I am wondering what to expect. What is the standard procedure for hand starting a gasser? I have a lot of experience with 2 stroke engines and have hand propped full scale planes but that 20 inch prop has me a bit intimidated. All suggestions appreciated as I don't want to get hurt!
If you're afraid to hand-prop the plane, I have the following suggestions. These range from safe to safest for you!
1) Use heavy leather gloves.
2) Use a chicken stick.
3) Have a friend do it who is not afraid.

All joking aside, I wouldn't go near a 44cc Twin with my hand or a chicken stick.

Get a starter. You won't regret it.

Last edited by Airplanes400; 10-17-2013 at 03:01 PM.
Old 10-17-2013, 03:42 PM
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I hand prop my 53cc twin with zero issues. If the 40
is setup properly and has a modern auto-retard igntion system then it shouldn't be a problem if the proper precautions are taken.

A good point was made in a previous post. If you're not confident in the engine's behavior or don't have experience with it, use a starter to get it going the first few times. I use a Dynatron on a 4s LiPo for those occasions.
Old 10-17-2013, 03:51 PM
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thailazer
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Originally Posted by Truckracer View Post
So far, no one has mentioned the differences in ignitions. Most newer ignitions will retard the spark during a brisk flip of the prop and this will allow a fairly easy and safe hand start. But there are still ignitions out there that don't retard (are fixed timing) and will bite you if given a chance. What ignition are you using on that older Tartan and does it retard during startup?
It is an old CH ignition with no ECU-type timing or electronic timing retard. The engine does have a mechanical linkage ignition advance from the throttle to the hall effect sensor disk. (Advancing the throttle advances the timing.) Both cylinders fire at the same time by the way so it has considerable compression going over TDC.

Appreciate all the advice so far. The short blips I got yesterday with no fuel tank connected seem very consistent so will try to run it tomorrow.
Old 10-17-2013, 04:10 PM
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Since everyone can have a brain fade from time to time, I use an electric starter on 24VDC. If you have access to an electric starter there is no reason to risk your fingers like that. One accident with a big gasser and hand flipping won't be an option anymore.
Old 10-17-2013, 04:21 PM
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I have several gas engines ranging from 20cc to 65cc. I ussually use just a leather glove to start them, when i have someone that can hold the plane i use a starter with a 18 volt battery. I set all my props to about 5-10 degrees before top on the compression stroke, when I flip the prop i kneel to the left of the front of the plane so my hand pulls the prop towards my left and down about 30 degrees, this gives a good spin and gets my hand out of the way in plenty of time... You could pull the plug and practice to see what the prop will do and get accustomed to where you need to be to stay safe..Have Fun!!
Old 10-17-2013, 05:06 PM
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I hand start my 52cc Brison, and my 20cc DLE. I use a method similar to a slap ware I pull my arm in to my chest every time, and I wait tell the prop totally stops moving to flip again.
Old 10-17-2013, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by irocbsa View Post
Good point, and it's one of the reasons that glow engines can bite you so badly. They don't have any means of retarding timing. What kind of ignition module are you using?
I am quite partial to the new CH Ignitions systems. They work really well. It was easier to start my Evolution 58cc gas engine with the CH Ignitions module than using the Valach module that came with the engine. But both ignition systems have a spark advance curve built into them. Now then some of my other engines have the RCexl CDI modules and they worked pretty good too. Albeit the RCexl modules probably have a two timing settings, retard for starting and normal for at speed. I do have some old magneto engines and a couple of those will tend to kick back on you really hard.
Old 10-17-2013, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by thailazer View Post
It is an old CH ignition with no ECU-type timing or electronic timing retard. The engine does have a mechanical linkage ignition advance from the throttle to the hall effect sensor disk. (Advancing the throttle advances the timing.) Both cylinders fire at the same time by the way so it has considerable compression going over TDC.

Appreciate all the advice so far. The short blips I got yesterday with no fuel tank connected seem very consistent so will try to run it tomorrow.
Ok, mechanical advance! You will have to be careful cranking it anytime with the ignition on and the throttle advanced .... even when just choking the engine for that initial burst before taking the choke off, retarding the throttle and starting the engine. On my older Brisons with mechanical advance, I just choke the engine, ignition on just above idle, wait for the pop after a few flips then retard the throttle and choke off for starting. At low throttle with retarded timing it is as gentle as any modern engine. You just have to be careful about ever flipping the engine with full throttle which would give full advance.

You could always remove the advance linkage, lock the advance ring down and switch to a new ignition. Then you wouldn't have to worry about the thing biting you at any throttle position. Cost well under $100 these days.
Old 10-17-2013, 06:39 PM
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You all can say all you want about how easy these engines are to hand start. And you would be correct, they are easy but, I just don't want to. I got hit with a DLE 55 turning a 23x8 one cold winter morning. And it hurt like hell. Now granted I was paying more attention to running my mouth than the flipping. But since then I just ain't gonna do it. Starters are just to cheap and much healthier for my fingers. Plus with some of my bigger props like a 34x12, nope, just not happening with my hand, no way. But ya know what, it's ok, we don't have to do things the same way!!!

Last edited by acerc; 10-17-2013 at 06:52 PM.

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