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need a diesel mechanic  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22345
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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We have our dump truck "the Millennium Falcon" ("She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid." "made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs")







And as you can see in the first pic: it blows way too much smoke. I either have to get rid of it, or get the smoke to stop. One nice thing about this dump truck is that if we bump into it, people aren't too worried about. Whereas if we rented a dump truck and it got bumped - that could be a very bad thing.

We've been putting a lot of miles on it lately creating berms and hugelkultur and stuff. So it is of value.

So now we are thinking: maybe we could entice a diesel mechanic to come spend some time with us and "heal" the falcon. ??


 
thomas rubino
Posts: 833
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Paul; I'm not a diesel mechanic ,so to speak. I'm a crane operator , so i have been around many diesel engines for years. I probably know more than alot of the (mechanics) that have showed up on job sites. When an engine smoke steady like your picture, chances are you have busted rings and would need a complete rebuild. There is a chance your truck sat for years and you have a "stuck" ring but a better chance is you need a rebuild. Try some additives like marvel mystery oil, in the fuel and in the oil or sea foam is another good product. That won't cost you much to try...but don't bet the farm that its going to do anything. Your engine would probably run for years like that but if the stench is to much she may need a (heart) transplant (engine replace) A quadruple bypass (engine rebuild) Or sad to say, take her out back and put her down. Good luck Tom
 
Joe Braxton
Posts: 320
Location: NC (northern piedmont)
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Does it smoke all the time, just under load or just start-up? All is oil passing rings. Under load is kind'a normal. Start-up probably needs valve seals. Thus ends my knowledge.
 
Tim Wheaton
Posts: 46
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Its a 350 Cummins. It smokes a lot when started but eases off when warm. I don't think its the rings cause we are not going thru any oil at all. I don't think its a cracked block because we are not going thru any water. I believe it is the fuel pump or injector pump supplying too much fuel causing some diesel to burn and some to vaporize causing the white smoke. Maybe even a bad injector.
 
Jesus Martinez
Posts: 169
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have you ever seen a big rig start up in the morning? They blow loads of white smoke for a few minutes as they warm up. if it continues smoking badly while warm then i would think that is a problem
 
Tom Allen
Posts: 42
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I'm not a diesel mechanic either but I've driven these suckers many hundreds of thousands of miles over 40+ years and worked on my share of them, engines, too. A few questions:

350s like to run as high as 2300 RPM. If it's got a 13 speed you shouldn't have to pull it below about 1900 RPM. If its a 5X3 or 5X4, same range. If it's got a 10 speed, you'll just have to live with it and keep your foot out of it till it get's up to 1900 or so. From the picture where you're loading, it looks cold and snowy. Was the engine warmed up? They make a lot of white smoke on cold start up and 350s are notoriously hard to get going in subfreezing weather. Takes ether. Does it have an ether injection unit on it? have you over used that? That can crack piston rings, usually the top compression ring. If it's a cracked ring it's not as big a deal as it might seem because you can pull one of the three heads and the pan and work on whichever cylinder you need to without disturbing the other four.

1) What does the pyrometer read when you're pulling hard? If it's over fueled, the temperature readings will be higher than normal, like 1,000 deg. F or more for down-stream probes. These things are easy to over fuel. Just change the "Pill" in the PT pump and you've got more power and more smoke. You need more boost to go along with more fuel to keep the smoke down. It might have big injectors in it too. Somebody might have made a 400 out of it with big injectors and a pill change.

High temp readings and black smoke can also indicate a cratered turbo. Pyrometer readings will be radically different depending on whether the probe is installed ahead of the turbo or down stream of it. Much lower temperatures down stream. Shouldn't be much over 900 on a pull.

Is the oil level going up rather than down? That can mean leaking injectors.

If the jake brake isn't adjusted properly it'll dump raw diesel into the exhaust and blow blue smoke on the down-hill with the jake on. also gets into the oil. Have the oil analyzed.

3) What does the turbo boost pressure gauge read when you're pulling? if it's low that could be an indication of a failing turbo.

4) Does it seem low on power? Low boost pressure, low power, more smoke.

5) Is oil leaking out of the turbo housing or from the joints in the pipe that runs from the turbo to the intake manifold? Is oil leaking from the gasket between the manifold and the heads? All these indicate the turbo is sucking oil into the induction system.

6) Does it have an air cleaner restriction gage on it? and if so what does that read when pulling hard? Is it a paper element Air filter? Have you changed it? If it's really an old timer, it might have the oil-bath air cleaner, in which case you should change the oil in it and clean all the gunk out of the bottom (you'd be amazed). Restricted air intake will make them smoke.

7) Where did you buy fuel last? Fuel quality makes more difference on diesels than on gas engines, I've found. I just picked up a tank of diesel at Safeway and it smokes which never happens otherwise. A dose of "Lucas fuel system cleaner and fuel treatment" will do wonders. Also raises the cetane rating.

If somebody assembled it wrong and got the wrong number of shims behind the tappet blocks on the driver's side of the motor then the cam timing and injection timing will be wrong which results on low power and smoke. but that's obscure. Who worked on it last and what did they do?
 
Sean Henry
Posts: 74
Location: Louisville, KY Zone 7
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If it is white smoke then the issue is that there is to much unburnt-fuel. This could be old dirty injectors or the pump timing could be out, or low compression.

My guess is both since it is worse when its cold that is more likely to be timing. But the injectors get lazy and sort of dribble when old and dirty.


The few easy things I would do is get Diesel purge and feed it directly to the fuel pump to clean it out. If you do not want to remove the lines and clean it that way I would get "Power service Diesel Kleen" silver bottle and run it at 2-3 times the standard dose. I personally add 6-8oz or Diesel kleen and Synthetic two stroke oil to my diesel (its a 02 TDI golf 15.5gal tank) at a 40-60 mix. At the very least i would recommend running two stroke oil on any older diesel since they were built for low sulfur fuel and not Ultra low sulfur fuel that has less lubrication see http://www.dieselplace.com/forum/76-speciality-forums/64-maintenance-fluids/177728-lubricity-additive-study-results.html

Someone could also try spraying a fine mist into the intake when the engine is hot and running. That will steam clean the cylinders but the down side is if the rings are worn and the carbon in the cylindar is keeping things tight that could be cleaned away and reduce the compression.

There is a Trusted mechanic for VW TDIs at "Celtic Motors, Kalispell, Mt 59901" it is about 2hrs away but they might beable to help or point you to some one in the area.
 
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