Please assist...weird starting issues with diesel Blazer

This is an '85 K5 6.2L diesel Blazer. Both batteries are very new.
Now backing up a bit. In the winter when temps linger around 28-40 overnight on the average, every morning on my way to work when I turn the ignition and
then the glow plug light is supposed to come on, it most of the time didn't. I would have to pop the hood and poke at the switch a bit and then it would come on. But because the switch didn't turn on or whatever causing the light not to come on, it would turn, but not turn over and start.
So now that temps are fine, it seems that for the last couple of months or so, every now and then when I go to start the truck, it turns strong, I can smell fuel being supplied, but it doesn't turn over. Most of the time it does. Especially in the mornings when the engine is cold. My understanding is that every time you turn the key on a diesel, that the glow plug switch has to do something.. Well sense the batteries are strong, and I think it is getting fuel filter has been changed recently too), my guess is that the switch is messing things up for me. What are you folks thoughts on this?
A while back during the cold months I went to Chevy parts dept. and tried to get the switch, but you can't get it anymore. A mechanic friend at one point told me to just bypass the switch. While it would do the glow plug thing everytime and maybe wear them a little bit faster, that at least that switch would be out of the way and the problem might be solved.
So if indeed the switch is the culprit, how do I bypass it safely? It is behind the throttle body by a large wiring harness.
So to conclude, could it be this causing this? What else could it be on this type of diesel? Again, fuel filter is fairly new, is good fuel, batteries are fairly new, it turns very strong until I keep turning and turning hoping it will just start.
Sorry for the long post and I hope some of you can help. Thanks much.
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a small burst of starting fluid (just a one sec. spray any more you'll blow the engine)
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What does that accomplish? I blew an engine before doing that and would rather figure this out if possible. Do you know what it might be? Does the glow plug switch sound like the culprit? Thanks for the suggestion though. Anyone else have ideas?

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It accomplishes nothing except causing damage that you don't want. Never use starting fluid on a diesel.
This is very obviously the glow plug contoller. The problem with bypassing the controller is that you need a switch (or solenoid set up) that can handle the high amperage that the plugs require. However I would not recommend that.
On the other hand, the local Chevy dealer won't have much in the way of parts availability for a truck this old but I do know that the glow plug controller is still available aftermarket. Time to hit the internet.
Cheers - Jonathan

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"Jonathan Race" wrote:

There is nothing wrong with using starting fluid with a diesel if it is done properly as I have done it for many years. People that have problems use too much of it as it should be used sparingly but I have started some diesels in pretty cold weather with it. The trick is to start cranking the engine over then to give it small shots until is fires up. Lots of contruction equipmant and farm tractors have starting fluid ports or injection systems accessed from in the cab or operators area. NEVER apply ether then crank with a diesel!
In this case her though since he has a glow plugs, he should fix the control circuit for them and since the newer 6.5 TD is a spin off of the 6.2 he should be able to either find the part he needs or a suitable sub (switch/timer) that can be made to work in his application in the after market. The 6.2 was used up to about 92 also.
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SnoMan wrote:

    Heavy Deisels (such as equpiment & farm engines, and heavy trucks), you can use starting fluid on.
    Light Diesels the only "safe" starting fluid is something like WD-40. I had to use WD-40 to start a old 80's Diesel buick century. I also used it on the olds diesels put in GM full size cars. Charles
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"Charles Bendig" wrote:

Not so, it is quite safe as long as you know how to use it because I have used it on small 3cyl diesels on up including a 6.2 once at 25 below (with success) , tractors of various sizes, loader, dozer, big trucks and what have you. There is no danger if it is done correctly. I would never use WD40 to start a diesel in cold weather. Starting fliud is the method of choice and again you start cranking engine while giving short bursts of less than a second at several second intervals until it lights. The danger with a deisel is some start squirting then crank and keep squirting non stop until it lights but by then the air clearer and intake system is loaded with starting fluid from constant spraying and it can get nasty when it lights off. The worst diesel I have ever started was the old IH D150s and D170s. The were a strange setup were they ran on 4 cyl below 1000 RPM to save fuel and all 8 above that. If engine was not heated, even with either they were nasty to start because the 4 cylinders did not have enough power to overcome cold thick oil to rev up enough to past 1000 RPM for about 30 seconds or more and you had to keep giving it bursts until it finally fully caught and then could idle on its own . IH did not make that engine long.
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you NEVER use ether on a engine with glow plugs.
ob1 wrote:

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Mark G. wrote:

    Try N.A.P.A. or the diesel depot. Charles
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"Charles Bendig" wrote:

Yes by all means and maybe Advanced Auto too as someone will have the proper parts for it as it is not that old and you do not really want to bypass it. You really want to get this fixed before you burn out the starter from excessive cranking because it will not be cheap to replace.
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Here are a couple of links -- you'll want the '85 and up glow controller for 6.2L ($93 on the first link, $79 on the second link, both decent suppliers). Don't use ether/starting fluid -- 6.2 and 6.5 GM diesels will get damaged (as the piston approaches the top of the compression stroke, the ether-air mixture will detonate causing a knock that will destroy your engine). Check out the website for 62-65-dieselpage.com as they have excellent information for 6.2 diesels. Good luck. Franko
http://www.dieselpage.com/accessory.htm
http://www.o-f-i.com/index.php?pid 

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"Franko" wrote:

Only if you use too much. Diesel dentonate all the time when they run and that is how they run and why they are so noisy too. To those that are slow learner I say again, it is how you use starting fluid with a diesel that makes it safe to use because it will not hurt a thing if done correctly. People that damage engines with it, load them up with too much of it while trying to start it. A very large motor will tolerate larger amount of it thna a small one and unlike a gas engine which has throttle plate to limit air intake too a diesel do not have that and if you load it up with to much ether, there is nothing to stop it from all getting in there are once. Also 6.2 and 6.5s have prechambers in them to add cold weather starting and noise control too. THis design does not respond well to turbo charging so it does nt see much use today but it is higher compression than a direct injection diesel and generaly runs about 21 to 23 to 1 on a pre chamber engineand about 16 to 18 to one on a direct injection one. The DI engine will be pretty gutless without a turbo and have poor throttle responce while the pre chamber engine with run better without turbo and still have good throttle response. Prechamber also give engine a bit wider usable RPM range than a DI engine. THe 6.5 had turbos but they were low boost because high boost does not play well on a prechambered engine and I always thought that the 6.5 ran pretty nice for a oil burner too.
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Sorry SnoMan, but diesel fuel does not detonate in a normal 4-stroke diesel cycle. When the cylinder is, for all intents and purposes, at the top of the compression stroke (compressing ONLY air), the air is at a high enough temperature to ignite diesel fuel which is exactly what occurs when it is injected as an atomized spray at extremely high pressure into the combustion chamber. It DOES NOT detonate. As diesel fuel continues to be injected into the combustion chamber, it continues to ignite.
Again, the GM 6.2 & 6.5 diesel owner's manuals specifically state "never" to use starting fluid. The glow cycle will ignite the ether-air mixture causing cylinder "firing" out of sequence as in simultaneously. Detonation will damage a diesel engine. Repeated simultaneous cylinder firing in a diesel engine can be catastrophic.
Glad you know how to properly use ether starting fluids. Not recommended for the novice or untrained: use ether-based starting fluid at your own risk. Never had to use starting fluid on our 300D MB, 6.2NA Sub and 6.5TD Tahoe. Never plan on using it.
Regards, Franko

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