Help! I need cold weather starting tips.

I went out to fly this afternoon in what I thought was pretty decent weather for mid-November in Nebraska. It was in the low 50's and sunny today, so I took my Tiger Stick out to the field for a little flying.

The Tiger Stick has a Magnum XLS .52A 2-stroke engine on it that is well broken-in and normally quite reliable once I get it started. I flew the plane last Saturday and Sunday without any problems, but the Magnum 2-stroke can be a bit stubborn to start initially when it's still cold. Once it fires up, it's just as easy-starting and reliable as my O.S. .46 FX engines are.

Long story short, I never got to fly this afternoon. The XLS .52A never loosened up enough for my electric starter to spin it. All I managed to do was chew quite a bit of rubber off of the spinner grip. I tried my glow ignitor and electric starter, as well as the glow igniter and electric starter of another club member who happened to be out when I was attempting to fly today. Fuel was flowing, but trying to prime the carburator a bit didn't seem to help either. I also tried a couple of different glow plugs.

Does anybody have any tips for getting cold-blooded engines to fire once the cooler weather sets in? How can I loosen up the engine so the starter can turn it? What can I do to reduce starting frustrations in the future? Thanks in advance for your advice!

Reply to
Ed Paasch
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Ed Paasch a =E9crit :

I think it is a lack of correct priming. You need to hear this "wet noise" when you hand turn the prop. I have also hear of warming device fitted to engine. Never seen one on the field. You can also try to leave the glow starter for 5 min. before starting. But have spare starters on hand ;) .

BTW congrats to go flying by that cold!


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Did you try without the glow plug to get rid of excess fuel? It sound like it could be too much fuel stopping the spin which is like trying to start a cyclinder full of a liquid. It just can spin.

If its really that cold, make sure you dont have any loose fuel lying around, and use one of those small propane oven gas lighters to warm the cylinder with the glow plug removed. Its rather dangerous so be careful.

It seems rather strange that the cold wont allow it to start. Are your glow plugs new? Maybe the glow plug battery was suffering from the cold, as they loose their umph when they get cold. Suggest you keep your plug battery and igniter in your pocket or some place to keep it warm. (NOT HOT) Let us know how you go next time.

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"Ed Paasch" schreef in bericht news:HXy5h.13019$ snipped-for-privacy@newsfe20.lga...

Add some white spirit/colemans fuel to your mixture, 2 or 3% and your cold start problems are over..

Works fine here in The Netherlands

We call it "wasbenzine".


Reply to
>>>>----> Vliegende Tijger

I live in Nebraska also, and 50 degrees really isn't cold here. I've flown in the 20s and engines don't start as easily but they turn over ok. What type of fuel are you using? Maybe too much castor for cold weather. Is the engine normally tight? Some of those engines are pretty tight at the top of the stroke. If you couldn't get it to turn over, you probably weren't getting a good prime. Maybe put some fuel in the plug hole and turn by hand to loosen it up. Unfortunately nice days around here will be few and far between for the next four months.

John VB

Ed Paasch wrote:

Reply to

I've started my Super Tigre 51 in -5F temps here in Michigan. I use approx 10 drops of lighter fluid in the carb opening.

The starter not being able to spin the engine is curious. Perhaps it was flooded? Perhaps some afterrun oil is in order. Pnuematic air gun oil is a good choice.

We're going floatflying this morning. +40F. At this temp, no one has problems starting. When it gets +20F and below, some engines are more troublesome. rcs

Reply to

I have flown many times off of skis, in 25 degree weather. No problem, with me. One thing I did do was to wrap some aluminum foil around the cooling fins, and secure it with a twist tie.

I have a couple guesses.

Are you positive that you did not have hydraulic lock? Did you turn it over by hand while you were having problems? Next time, take the plug out, and see if it turns over, and that will also get rid of an over prime.

Second question. Was this a very new engine, not yet broken in well? If so, run some more fuel through it.

If you put it (and the starting battery and glow plug battery) in the car, or in the house for a while, you should be able to warm it up, and eliminate that from the possibilities of the engine and batteries being too cold.

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Reply to

The oil still in the engine tends to harden when it's colder, probably your trouble. Set your aircraft so the heat from your car's muffler exhaust warms the engine's head, then move to your starting area, prime with a small dash of lighter fluid in the carb, start. The above has been used successively here in Michigan down to the 20's, but you're talking low 50's, I would just try a few drops of lighter fluid.

Reply to
Harry Kolomyjec

I usually use Sig Champion fuel with 20% oil and 50/50 castor synthetic blend. Magnum recommends plenty of castor oil for their engines.

While it was 50F degrees on Saturday, it had been quite cold earlier in the week and the plane had been sitting out in my garage.

The engine is well broken-in, I've been flying it for over a year now. It has always felt a little "tight" when first starting it, however.

As I was struggling to get it turned over, I checked for signs of too much priming (too much fuel in the carb, fuel running out of the muffler when the plane was tilted up) and didn't see any.

I think this is a case of having a tight engine and having the castor oil gelling up inside of it when the thermometer dipped into the 20s last week. I just need to figure out a couple of easy ways to get the piston moving when I get to the field. Popping the glow plug and working in a little fuel or after run oil by hand before starting sounds like good advice. Any other suggestions for this particular condition?

Reply to
Ed Paasch

Pull the glow plug, then put the electric starter to it. Your starter should now have no problem turning it over and getting every thing loose. Plus if it's flooded you'll blow the excess fuel out of the head.

Also, make sure your starter battery is good and hot. I just had to replace mine, it was getting to where it wouldn't even turn over my .46, even when it was hot and not flooded. When I put a meter to it I found that it would only produce 11.8v after a full charge. I can't believe it died already, it was only 14 years old!


Reply to

On Sun, 12 Nov 2006 09:33:55 -0600, "Ed Paasch" wrote in :

I'd prefer fuel to oil.

You need to get the after-run out of the engine to help get a good fuel/air mix in the combustion chamber.

I use old-formula WD-40 to help with cold starts.

It used propane as the accelerant.

If the can doesn't warn about the dangers of the propane, then it probably won't help much as a starter spray.

I haven't tried butane lighter refill cans, but I may some day when my WD-40 runs out, if I'm still interested in cold-weather flying.


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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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