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air versus electric starters #1033330
11/22/07 10:41 PM
11/22/07 10:41 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,050
Calif.
huffmuds9320 Offline OP
huffmuds9320  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,050
Calif.
I noticed the unique air sound when the bus starts up on the older ones. The older buses that have air start are 2 stroke engines like the Detroit Diesel 6v92ta. Newer buses (ie 4 stroke Cummins ISM)I guess use electric starters like cars. So what the advantages/disadvantages or air vs. electric starters? Thanks.

Re: air versus electric starters [Re: huffmuds9320] #1033375
11/23/07 12:23 AM
11/23/07 12:23 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,261
KY
-Clayton- Offline
-Clayton-  Offline

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,261
KY
Well if your air tanks leak you can't start your engine.

But I think they sound awesome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1RLUxp3Gpo


1985 F250 Ex-Cab 6.9 C6
2002 Dodge Caravan
Re: air versus electric starters [Re: -Clayton-] #1033710
11/23/07 08:45 PM
11/23/07 08:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,097
kansastan
onion Offline
onion  Offline

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,097
kansastan
I haven't seen air starters on any relatively new equipment- only on old junk. Same goes for hydraulic starters. Clayton has pretty much spelled out the main drawback of air starters- and this becomes a major issue as equipment becomes old and leaky. There are LOTS of trucks & equipment out there that won't hold air overnight (though the air starter usually has its own isolated tank). I suppose one advantage of an air starter is that the air leaks HAVE to be fixed (to a point) for the equipment to remain useable.

The obvious advantage of electric starters is that just about any semi-literate can use jumper cables. Start dealing with gladhand couplers, air hoses, etc. and the number of operators who can successfully start the equipment drops exponentially.

Last edited by onion; 11/23/07 08:50 PM.

The invisible and the imaginary look exactly the same.
Re: air versus electric starters [Re: onion] #1033791
11/23/07 11:05 PM
11/23/07 11:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,889
NY, NY
NYEngineer Offline
NYEngineer  Offline

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,889
NY, NY
I'm responsible for being sure four 2000 kW Cat gensets will start and run at any time. One of the bosses decided we should have air starters to back up the TWO per engine 50MT starters. I made up a list of pros and cons. Basically, I told them the same thing. Without air and in a blackout, where would I get compressed air from?? With my current arrangement, I have two pairs of 1300 amp 8D batteries in parallel per engine. I have a cart with two 8D's, a charger and cables. Then I keep two starters and a battery charger in stock. PLUS my best friend owns a battery store. I have 24 hour access to batteries. That was the end of the air starter discussion.

Re: air versus electric starters [Re: NYEngineer] #1034028
11/24/07 01:26 PM
11/24/07 01:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 65
Denver, NC
BillWilson Offline
BillWilson  Offline

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 65
Denver, NC
When I worked for a Class I railroad we purchased jet snow blowers. The jet engines used were military surplus J-34-34 and J-35 Jet engines orginally equipped with electric start/charge systems. Most of our track equipment had hydraulics installed, so it was natural to set the engines up with hydraulic motors to spin the jet engines up to 17% to 18% RPM to light them off.
We never used air starters on the diesel engines powering track equipment, but would use two 4Ds or 8Ds for the 24V systems. Electric starter on diesels in sub 0 temps is a good way to go. I have seen air starters in Russian Aircraft Radial engines! They do sound different during start-up!

Last edited by BillWilson; 11/24/07 01:29 PM.

Bill
Re: air versus electric starters [Re: BillWilson] #1034431
11/25/07 11:15 AM
11/25/07 11:15 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,889
NY, NY
NYEngineer Offline
NYEngineer  Offline

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,889
NY, NY
I worked at a location once where they had three Cat D399's. One was the prime engine. It started on batteries. Once it was up to speed and making 480 volts, the other two had 480 volt AC starters. Darndest thing I ever saw, never saw it again.

Re: air versus electric starters [Re: NYEngineer] #1051599
12/24/07 05:17 AM
12/24/07 05:17 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 168
Birdsboro Pa.
Ignatz Offline
Ignatz  Offline

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 168
Birdsboro Pa.
I heard air starters at the local US post office maintaince building last year. I think he said they were more economical cause they have to shut the engine off everytime they get out of their truck. That big Fairbanks Morse engine that I started a thread on below, is started with air. But I remember going thru a room with about a million batteries hooked up together, so they probably use the batteries as back-up. Also when I started in the petroleun industry in the 70's, the Exxon tanker fleet had air starters. We were always told that the air starters were safer because of not throwing sparks in case gas vapors were present. Don't know how true that was, but that was the reason we were given. I want to here that big Fairbanks Morse start up with air!

Re: air versus electric starters [Re: NYEngineer] #4945614
12/07/18 03:14 AM
12/07/18 03:14 AM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 700
SF bay area, San leandro, Ca
Dualie Offline
Dualie  Offline

Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 700
SF bay area, San leandro, Ca
Originally Posted by NYEngineer
I'm responsible for being sure four 2000 kW Cat gensets will start and run at any time. One of the bosses decided we should have air starters to back up the TWO per engine 50MT starters. I made up a list of pros and cons. Basically, I told them the same thing. Without air and in a blackout, where would I get compressed air from?? With my current arrangement, I have two pairs of 1300 amp 8D batteries in parallel per engine. I have a cart with two 8D's, a charger and cables. Then I keep two starters and a battery charger in stock. PLUS my best friend owns a battery store. I have 24 hour access to batteries. That was the end of the air starter discussion.


High pressure cylinders obviously. A 6 pack of 300CF cylinders charged to 3000Psi would do it

Re: air versus electric starters [Re: huffmuds9320] #4945647
12/07/18 06:38 AM
12/07/18 06:38 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 43,007
'Stralia
Shannow Online content
Shannow  Online Content

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 43,007
'Stralia
Our black start stuff has hand cranked diesel compressors as the back-up backup backup…

When it needs to start, then manual intervention that doesn't need a ute and a friend with batteries


If it's the truth....it can handle the pressure !!!
Re: air versus electric starters [Re: huffmuds9320] #5019817
02/22/19 08:48 AM
02/22/19 08:48 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,085
missouri
ragtoplvr Offline
ragtoplvr  Offline

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,085
missouri
With air starters you do not need a big battery bank, just a small AGM will do you. When you have compressed air available, they can be good. They do not have the cold weather performance decline of battery systems. Jump starter cable is an air hose.

Modern electric starters are very good now.

Rod

Re: air versus electric starters [Re: huffmuds9320] #5027923
03/01/19 03:47 PM
03/01/19 03:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 13,739
Canyon County Idaho
CT8 Online content
CT8  Online Content

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 13,739
Canyon County Idaho
I remember Viking freight services had air starters on their trucks.


2015 F150 2.7
2018 F350 6.2
Re: air versus electric starters [Re: huffmuds9320] #5035295
03/07/19 08:42 PM
03/07/19 08:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,458
Buffalo, NY
JTK Offline
JTK  Offline

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,458
Buffalo, NY
I know with the fleet of Freightshaker tractors at our plant coupled to tanker trailers, they've got so many air leaks, they'd never be able to shut'em down.

I haven't noticed in a few years, but the outfit that provides the bus service for our school system had a bunch of older rear engine school buses that had air starters in them. More than once they had to send the mechanic to air one up because it wouldn't restart.


2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)
Re: air versus electric starters [Re: huffmuds9320] #5061343
04/01/19 10:35 PM
04/01/19 10:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 9,328
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 9,328
...
The Coast Guard cutter I was on back in the seventies had air start for the 12 cylinder Cooper Bessemer engines. That was fun to listen to.


2017 Mazda CX5
Havoline Pro DS 0w20
Roki OEM filter.
Re: air versus electric starters [Re: huffmuds9320] #5076810
04/16/19 02:08 PM
04/16/19 02:08 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,194
California
nthach Offline
nthach  Offline

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,194
California
Originally Posted by huffmuds9320
I noticed the unique air sound when the bus starts up on the older ones. The older buses that have air start are 2 stroke engines like the Detroit Diesel 6v92ta. Newer buses (ie 4 stroke Cummins ISM)I guess use electric starters like cars. So what the advantages/disadvantages or air vs. electric starters? Thanks.

I remember as a kid hearing that distinct sound of a 6V-92TA starting up with an air starter - the local transit agency also specified air starting on their Detroit Series 50s as well. I'm thinking air starters get the engine up to speed quicker and seem to be more reliable than electric starting but also tradition as well from the days GM ruled the bus industry.

The newest hybrid buses downsized to a Cummins ISB or a standard-sized ISL. The latest version of BAE Systems' HybriDrive spins the diesel engine with the drive generator to start it, very much like a Prius. A quick, instantaneous start.

Re: air versus electric starters [Re: huffmuds9320] #5084155
04/23/19 08:22 PM
04/23/19 08:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,050
Calif.
huffmuds9320 Offline OP
huffmuds9320  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,050
Calif.
Here is a video I recorded back in 2017 during the SF Muni heritage weekend. This bus has an air starter and powered by a 6V92TA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56hdWrNTPRs

Some of the buses with the newer BAE HybriDrive will shut off the engine when at a stop. It does start back up very quickly. Surprised me the first time I rode it, thought the bus stalled out. The other buses use the Allison hybrid system.

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