Originally Posted by WhoIsTheKuhn
I'm new to working on vehicles, and I ask a lot of dumb questions, but why don't you spray starting fluid with the glow plugs in?
The starting fluid will go directly into the chambers which happen to have the intake valve open. The glow plugs in those chambers will immediately ignite the starting fluid. The resulting blast will blow out through those intake ports and up to the air intake. It's been known to blow up some fellas' air boxes. Thus, it is not a dumb question (it would only be dumb if you ignored the admonition....).
Starting fluid is really intended for spark-ignition (gasoline, etc.) engines, where the spark occurs (plus or minus a few degrees) right when the piston is moving from the compression to the power stroke, because it ignites so easily, even with weak spark. It does work on compression-ignition (i.e. diesel) engines, but only when allowed to stay in the chamber until the transition between the compression and power strokes.