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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/20/2005 5:09:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2005 5:09:53 PM EDT by PeteCO]
I have found that my lawnmower runs, and runs well, on diesel. I have also run it on Coleman fuel (naptha), as well as Isopropyl alcohol from the medicine cabinet, being too lazy to go get gas when I run out.

It has a 3hp Briggs in it, but running diesel in it doesn't even smoke. I just have to use ether to start it.

I faintly remember hearing that diesel in a gas engine will burn it up, since diesel/kero/#2 oil contains more BTU's per unit and therefore burns hotter.

True or not?
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:11:08 PM EDT
Detonation would be a problem. The briggs is like 6 or 7 to 1
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:15:12 PM EDT
The ether (starting fluid) and the alcohol are probably worse than the diesel. I'm surprised you can get it warm enough to run on diesel. FWIW, what's the point?
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:15:24 PM EDT
This could be interesting.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:16:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ScrubJ:
what's the point?



1/2 laziness, 1/2 curiosity. I know there were old tractors that were somehow designed to run on gasoline or diesel.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:17:37 PM EDT
Tag.

Because I have no clue, but I want to hold his beer and watch this.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:18:26 PM EDT
smmmooookin!
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:19:36 PM EDT
I've seen footage of a gasoline engine car running on diesel. It smoked like a coal-powered locomotive! The footage was from a policecar tailing it.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:20:45 PM EDT
I had one running on the small propane bottles made for lanterns and campstoves.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:22:26 PM EDT


1/2 laziness, 1/2 curiosity. I know there were old tractors that were somehow designed to run on gasoline or diesel.

Old tractors where made to run on about anything. Never knew what you could get ahold of out in the counry back then.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:24:15 PM EDT
Ask Oldsmobile. They took a 350 Olds, beefed up the block for higher combustion pressures, and raised the compression. It kicked ass... except during the early '80s, nobody had good diesel, nor the knowledge to work on them. They got a horrible wrap because they're slow as hell (naturally aspirated) and the mechanics replaced the headgaskets without replacing the torque-to-yield headbolts. Then, they just stretched the headbolts and blew again.

The headbolts blew because nobody told the drivers they can't jump in and go like they do in a car. If you stomp on a cold diesel, you'll blow it up real quick.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:27:24 PM EDT
Coleman fuel is a very low octane gasoline, about 70 octane. It will run fine in small engines with low compression, such as lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc.

The larger the cylinder displacement the more chance of detonation. The higher compression, the more chance of detonation. Engines with many small cylinders (V-12, for example) will run on lower octane gas than an engine with fewer cylinders, but the same overall displacement.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:32:29 PM EDT
In my barn are four types of gas. 87 for the Ariens lawnmower, 92 pre-mix 40:1 for the dirt bikes and Honda pilot, K2 for the torpedo heater, and Diesel.

Diesel is in the yellow jugs. Gas in Red, K2 in Blue and Pre-mix 40:1 is tagged with a big yellow sticker that says 40:1 (Bikes Only!).

Mother in law runs out of gas with her Murray riding lawn mower and goes into my stock to borrow some. She dumps 2 gallons of Diesel into her POS Murray and continues to cut her lawn. This goes on for a month till I inquire where did all the diesel fuel go? Sure enough, she has been running the Murray on Diesel. She said it smokes a bit, but it didn't seem to harm it much. I'm surprised it ran at all.

I got her back to gas; explained the colored jugs and her Murray was fine until she ran it out of oil. She's a wonderful mom-in-law but sometimes, just sometimes I want to hit her with a brick.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:33:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MlTCHELL:
the mechanics replaced the headgaskets without replacing the torque-to-yield headbolts.



Very few people know that - thanks for NOT spewing bullshit about the Olds diesel.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:35:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Coleman fuel is a very low octane gasoline, about 70 octane. It will run fine in small engines with low compression, such as lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc.



Coleman fuel is solvent naptha with some rust inhibitors, IIRC. Not white gas. I use it as a cheap substitute for zippo fluid, as zippo fluid is naptha as well.


The larger the cylinder displacement the more chance of detonation. The higher compression, the more chance of detonation. Engines with many small cylinders (V-12, for example) will run on lower octane gas than an engine with fewer cylinders, but the same overall displacement.



Gotcha. Why is that?
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:36:26 PM EDT
I used to work for a guy who found out that a forklift won't run if you try to fill the gas tank through the radiator cap.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 5:39:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PeteCO:

Originally Posted By MlTCHELL:
the mechanics replaced the headgaskets without replacing the torque-to-yield headbolts.



Very few people know that - thanks for NOT spewing bullshit about the Olds diesel.hr

Hehehoho... my friend is an Olds nutcase. He's got one and we almost bought another. I gave him my old(s) '90 Custom Cruiser to drop the diesel into. It takes awhile to find one, all the racers took them for their beefy blocks. We almost drove down from Cleveland to Alabama to pick up an '84 Cutlass with a 4.3 diesel. The poor guy couldn't give it away for $500. He thought we were nuts, but it turned out to be a rust bucket when we got some good pictures.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:41:06 PM EDT
The larger the cylinder displacement the more chance of detonation. The higher compression, the more chance of detonation. Engines with many small cylinders (V-12, for example) will run on lower octane gas than an engine with fewer cylinders, but the same overall displacement.



Gotcha. Why is that?



Detonation happens when the fuel-air mix lights off unevenly. Instead of the flame moving smoothly across the volume of mix, it collides with itself causing shockwaves. (this is the Reader's Digest version) Like multiple echos colliding. With a smaller cylinder there is less space for this to happen. Not enough space for the shockwaves to occur.
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:44:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/20/2005 10:46:29 PM EDT
Diesel in a gas engine? Better than vice-versa.
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 2:30:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Barrelburner:
Diesel in a gas engine? Better than vice-versa.



Been wondering about that. I heard they run really well, then blow up. Anyone with actual experience?
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 2:47:47 AM EDT
I used to run my old car on 50% diesel. It would not pass smog, so I knew it was going to the boneyard. It ran fine on 50/50 gas and diesel mix. It would start to knock if I put in too much diesel. It did not smoke at all, and at the time diesel was much cheaper than gasoline.
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 2:56:20 AM EDT
I have seen old farmall tractors with two seperate fuel tanks,one marked "gas" the other marked "kero".
I am told that you would start it and warm it up on gas and when working it hard (like plowing ) you would throw the lever to kick it over to kerocene. Was told the kero was a few cents a gallon cheeper and it would put out more power. Don't laugh ot the "few cents a gallon" part as cash was always very tight on the small family farms in my area .
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 4:22:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By nhsport:
I have seen old farmall tractors with two seperate fuel tanks,one marked "gas" the other marked "kero".
I am told that you would start it and warm it up on gas and when working it hard (like plowing ) you would throw the lever to kick it over to kerocene. Was told the kero was a few cents a gallon cheeper and it would put out more power. Don't laugh ot the "few cents a gallon" part as cash was always very tight on the small family farms in my area .



True.
We still have a tractor like that, and its just like you describe.
In our case its the starting. Gas engines fire right up. You start it on gas, then let it warm up then kick over to diesel.

Now, as to the actual whys I dont know, but in our case the gas was simply because it was easier to start on gas versus diesel.
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