Using an Electric Starter
I think flyers abuse their engines with electric starters. I have one and
I use it with my helicopter because there is really no other way to start the
engine. My helicopter requires a starting shaft which replaces the
aluminum cone on the front of the starter.
Whatever you do, do not keep cranking your engine with an electric starter if it
will not start. You are just wearing it out (the engine and the starter).
If the engine will not start then disconnect the fuel line and flip it until all
the fuel is out of the engine.
If you think the engine is flooded (which
it probably is if you've been cranking it with a starter) then you can use your starter to get most of the fuel out of
your engine quickly:
- Disconnect the fuel line. If you are using some type of pressurized system (muffler or pump) then plug the
line. It's a good idea to plug the line anyway so fuel doesn't siphon out of the tank.
- Remove the glow plug. Place a rag over the head so raw fuel doesn't spray into your face.
- Turn over the engine for a couple seconds to blow the excess raw fuel out.
technique doesn't totally un-flood the engine but it gets most of the fuel out. Put the glow plug back in and then
connect the glow igniter. Be sure the throttle is at idle and flip the engine over until it kicks over.
Reconnect the fuel line and the engine should start right up.
Remember, engines burn fumes, not
liquids. You only need a very small amount of fuel in the engine.
Most starting problems are either a bad fuel feed or a flooded engine.
Electric starters are a good thing, but they are really not necessary to start
most engines. I do recommend them while cautioning you that they can cause
unnecessary wear on your engine. The Sullivan starter sets the standard
and is very good.
Sullivan makes several models. This is the standard
starter that most modelers use. Starters are made by other companies as
well. I am sure they all work fine, but I have not used anything but the
Sullivan so you may want to ask around your field for other recommendations.