Starting with starting handle - Nsar
My poor neglected Landy SIII diesel is finally getting to the top of my "things to sort out" list.

The battery is as flat as a duck's instep so I thought I'd try to get it going on the starting handle.

I know where to put the handle - then what?

Starting with starting handle - Number_Cruncher
>>then what?

YOU sit in the car, press the clutch, and press the accelerator pedal to the floor.

YOUR Assistant then swings on the starting handle, and risks breaking bones if the engine kicks back, not you!

Although, without glow plugs, such as they are on these engines, I don't rate your chances very highly.

Perhaps it would be better to sort the battery out?

Starting with starting handle - MikeTorque
You can loosen the engine up with a few turns of the starting handle before attempting to start the engine. Never hold the starting handle between your thumb and first finger cus if you get a kick-back it may break your thumb. Hold the handle in the palm and as soon as you've cranked compression release the handle. Diesel engines are generally harder to turn over than petrol engines, if you have a battery you can rig up to then use it.
Starting with starting handle - Screwloose

As NC says; don't even bother trying. [Unless you've got a thing for physiotherapists.]

A 6 cyl one is easy; a four-cyl petrol is hard work; a diesel - tow it! Remember, an alternator needs somewhere to send it's charge; or you'll need a 17ACR too.

Shop around for a 643 [or better, a 663] battery - used on all sorts, the prices will vary dramatically; try boat yards etc.
Starting with starting handle - Lud
A hint when cranking a large engine by hand: unless you are very strong, position the crank handle so that you can pull the engine over rather than push. If you push and then pull you get two opportunities to start the engine, but the kickback risk is greater. Most people can pull quite a lot harder than they can push. I would have to be pretty desperate even to try it with a diesel.

Edited by Lud on 15/06/2008 at 03:55

Starting with starting handle - Nsar
Thanks chaps - looks like I'll be trying to get a charge on it. One thing though, as the engine hasn't turned for over a year and therefore all the oil will be at the bottom of the engine. Will I be doing any good giving the handle a few turns to get the oil coating a bit more of the engine before starting it properly?
Is that what you were suggesting Mike T?

Edited by Nsar on 15/06/2008 at 09:54

Starting with starting handle - gordonbennet
If you were able to start this diesel engine with a starting handle Nsar, please give a very accurate description of yourself, so we may not spill your beer or similarly cause you any reason to be angry with us..:)

TBH, i wouldn't worry about turning it by hand, maybe just disconnect the stop solenoid (if its got one, or leave the stop cable out/in if it hasn't), just turn the engine over for a few revolutions to let the oil work round before starting it seriously.
Starting with starting handle - Alby Back
It's a Landy. You can't break it Nsar ! ......or even if you do manage to, you can fix it with a combination of a wire coat hanger, some gaffa tape, a squirt of WD40 and a hammer ! Well I used to be able to with mine anyway ! Kick it up, it'll be fine.
Starting with starting handle - Nsar
GB, now you've given me a challenge. I can see myself frittering away the whole day trying in vain to get it going with the handle.

I need to grow up a little, don't I?

Starting with starting handle - Clanger
I'm firmly with the "sort the battery out" camp. It might pay you to take the glow plugs out and make sure they are all working. You'll then be able to squirt a drop or two of oil in the cylinders to give some compression (when you eventually put the glow plugs back) and then, fulfil your heart's desire to crank it over by hand. If you're a weakling, like me, I think you'll be alarmed by how heavy it is to turn, even with no compression. Just guessing, mind you.
Starting with starting handle - mss1tw
Does it have decompresser?

Used to handle start an old Petters engined dumper, no electrics of any description, just wind it up to speed flick the decompresser off and let the flywheel momentum start the engine.
Starting with starting handle - oilrag
IMHO, Its not worth the risk of a broken arm or thumb almost torn off if you are not familiar with the technique.
I used to regularly start a low compression Bedford van in the mid 60`s with a handle. That was bad enough, in particular if it flooded and you had left the plug spanner at home.

After that, a 2CV, always felt it was going to kick back and break a wrist though.

Slightest sign of weakness in starting these days I fit a new battery, i don`t wait for it to actually fail.
Good Luck with a Diesel!! (don`t bother ;)

Starting with starting handle - Number_Cruncher
One of the odd things about the glow plugs in some of these older Landies is that they're wired in series, so, like Christmas lights, and members of militant unions, it's a case of one out - all out!

Starting with starting handle - gordonbennet
I need to grow up a little don't I?

Please don't do that there's quite enough miserable blighters around, its rather nice being in the BR, where the majority don't take themselves too seriously.

The only motors i ever found really responded to a starting handle were petrol engines with a good old SU carburettor.

I too think its going to be a mammoth task to turn it over, i know when i've changed diesel cam belts even turning the fuel pump against its will is hard, let alone the engine compression.
Starting with starting handle - ifithelps
Once had a Minor pick-up, starting on the handle was easy.

It had an electric fuel pump, so there was usually enough oomph in the battery to send the fuel through - tick, tick, tick....

Then it only ever needed half a turn on the handle and a child could do it.

Some other cars had a manual primer on the fuel pump.

If not, by the time you'd cranked the engine over enough times to get fuel, you were too tired to give it that final, good, strong pull to get the thing going.

Started a petrol Land Rover a few times with the handle.

Hard work, and as everyone else has said, the job carries a high risk of physical injury.

Trying to start a diesel Land Rover that way has to be the very last resort.

Starting with starting handle - defender
well we used to use a starting handle on a series diesel land rover on a regular basis but only to ASSIST the starter if the battery was down a litle bit .
I would pretty much reckon you wont start it on the handle alone if it has been sitting any time at all and even with jump leads might be hard to get good enough connections so either fit a battery or tow it if it is movable
the 2.1/4 diesel is not the best starter anyway and from experience I can tell you that kick back from a diesel starting handle is very painfull
Starting with starting handle - Lud
You could get one of those ether sprays to squirt into the air intake when you are trying to get it started. They work on petrol engines with sluggish ignition too.

But don't make a habit of it. Vehicles get addicted to the stuff, and it's bad for their health.
Starting with starting handle - bintang
Don't wrap your thumb round the handle, otherwise kick back will probably result in dislocation. Do car diesel engines have decompressors? If not, I doubt hand starting is possible.
Starting with starting handle - zookeeper
in the film" ice cold in alex" i seem to remember harry andrews (sgt major) and jonh mills (capt anson) reverse an army ambulance (katy) up a sand dune on the starting handle then bump it into life on the downward leg.. any sand dunes near you? ...just a thought.....zoo
Starting with starting handle - bathtub tom
IIRC, they removed the spark plugs first?
Starting with starting handle - Avant
I'm sure that higher compression ratios (as well as transverse engines) were the reason why starting handles were deleted. My first car, a lovely old Austin A50, had one, and like Ifithelps's Minor pickup, it could be started with half a turn and no great effort, first time every time. I used it in winter to save the battery, but it would have started anyway.

It also had a 'barber's pole' indentation at the sharp end which meant that the starting engine threw it out and you had no risk of breaking your thumb.

Surely any diesel, not just a Landie, would have far too high a compression ratio to make cranking physically possible.
Starting with starting handle - Cymrogwyllt
a place I used to wrok at had a 'reluctant starter' diesel transit. fix was to cut a hole in the sir filter cover and remove the filter. procedure then on was to light a blowtorch and place the burner in the air filter, aimed at the manifold, leave for a few min and then turn the key. 100% success
Starting with starting handle - rustbucket
A product in a spray can was available years ago called easy start, a couple of squirts into the air intake made starting on the handle a dodle for diesel tractors.But on the first fire it sounded like the big ends were about to fall out.
Starting with starting handle - defender
or if you sprayed in too much it was like someone had stuffed a block of wood in the cylinders,in a former life an old series diesel l/r would not start without it so a pipe was fitted from the manifold in to the cabin so that it could be a one man operation
6 smokers in landie and then spraying easy start was a recipe for disaster
Starting with starting handle - gordonbennet
Would that have been the old 'York' diesel transit engine of the 70's, a 2.4 litre non turbo? Went pretty well once you'd got the thing going though.

I seem to remember these being almost impossible to start without 'ether', or some other volatile stuff being poured liberally through the air intake.
Think a blow torch is getting a bit extreme mind, a sort of live glow plug, but slightly more exciting.
Starting with starting handle - Cymrogwyllt
yes, but it was cheap and did the job when easy start failed
Starting with starting handle - Lud
Easy start, or ether, is a very powerful solvent that cleans the oil off the cylinder walls when used. This causes extra wear in the first seconds after start-up, with consequent gradual loss of compression. So easy start or ether becomes more and more necessary the more it is used. I wasn't joking when I said that vehicles get addicted to it.
Starting with starting handle - L'escargot
Easy start .................. vehicles get addicted
to it.

And lawn mowers.
Starting with starting handle - normy
My brother used to get a lift to work with a chap who had just bought a new Mini when they first came out.

After work one day he realised he'd left the sidelights on and had flattened the battery - no more ado he got the 'starting handle' out - in fact the jack handle - and was puzzled because he couldn't find the hole in the bumper!
Starting with starting handle - Kevin

if you go with the handle option can we have a video up on YouTube?

Starting with starting handle - Alyn Beattie
Hi Nsar

Take it from someone who spends most of his leisure time with two of these brutes. You will not start it with the handle. Would not recommend removing glow plugs on an engine that has been standing, tend to break then it's head off time to get the bits out.

If you can't tow it, then connect up to another battery or vehicle with jump leads, give it about 15mins to allow your battery to retain some sort of charge (saves the alternator from blowing ) then start in the usual way.

You wont hurt the old girl, just don't rev too hard for a couple of minutes to allow the oil to circulate.

Then "enjoy" getting it ready for MOT and the road.

Edited by Webmaster on 16/06/2008 at 01:37

Starting with starting handle - MikeTorque
If the engine hasn't been turned over for a year then it may have seized or set, in which case using the handle can help feel out out if that is the case. Also you could try putting it in a high gear and giving it a shove, you may need something to provide leverage like a couple of mates for example.
Starting with starting handle - Nsar
>>couple of mates<<

I've got a SIII Diesel...what makes you think I've got any mates? They disowned me ages ago - that's why I spend so much time in the BR!

Will try to get a charge on it tonight - rest assured I will report back, but YouTube can rest easy on the propect of me troubling them with some dodgy video of me cursing and generally make a complete twerp of myself for all to see.

Starting with starting handle - Alyn Beattie
A further thought

The clutch plates on these things will some times stick with prolonged disuse. Can normally free them by bump starting in 3rd gear then de clutch and stand on the brakes.

You need an open road with no traffic, not exactly an easy operation

I had an ex MOD 109 that we could not free in this fashion so it was box back time.

Value my car