EGR delete, ARPs, and Black Onyx gaskets....blown? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:37 AM
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EGR delete, ARPs, and Black Onyx gaskets....blown?

Ok, the truck has been running fine... quite well actually, since the IDP tunes. About a month ago, I smelled a little coolant smell... really faint, but couldn't pinpoint anything... so looking at my degas bottle (I didn't know about the updated sticker), it looked pretty much empty. Added 4 bottles of drinking water (was planning to flush anyways). That brought the level up to some kind of visible height.

Last two weeks. Ordered some RevX and installed. Next morning it was cool outside... something like 50 ish. Truck spit some blue haze out of the exhaust for about thirty seconds on the initial startup that morning.

Running up the highway a few nights later, I start pouring the throttle to it. I keep an eye on my EGTs and didn't run them past 1200 or so... then I get the flashing message center "HIGH TEMP". Sure enough, the gauge is dang near pegged. Back out of the throttle and coast about 500 yards and it starts cooling off. Stop a the only thing open and grab two gallons of 50/50 mix and dump it in. All of it. There's coolant sprayed everywhere underneath the hood all the way back to the bumper.

Change oil the next morning.

Flush coolant a day or two later... but the bottle keeps venting. No matter where we adjust the level, it just keeps venting. New cap and flush... still venting. Check with the closest dealership and the Master Tech says he's done so many gasket jobs that he's stopped counting. He's leaning towards gaskets due to the coolant system keeps building pressure and venting through the cap, but won't completely rule out the oil cooler. The high / low coolant level is where it's supposed to be but it keeps venting. I have no oil in the coolant, no coolant in the oil. Truck stays cool at idle 190 ish, but if you start feeding it some fuel on the highway, it'll rise up to 215-220.

I'm monitoring with a SCT TSX with EGT probe, but it's not set up for EOT. IT crapped out on me Monday. Regular temps that I did monitor on the highway showed no rise in ECT until you started working the throttle... then it comes up.

I hate to think that a truck with a MKM Customs Complete Powerstroke Solution with EGR Delete Kit just popped a head gasket. Everything was installed between 10-12,000 miles ago. I cannot verify at this time if the mechanic who installed it checked the heads or not as I wasn't the owner when it was done.

What I'm really hoping for is somene to say "I had the exact same thing happen and it was the oil cooler."

I work offshore for two weeks and run a welding shop when I'm home, so my time is really limited.


Any suggestions, questions, need for more details, etc... please chime in! I have not pressure tested the cooling system, and am unsure how to pressure test the cylinders at this time... I'm new to the PS still.

Thanks,

Seven

Last edited by SevenBrooksWelding; 11-24-2010 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:02 AM
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I don't know about headgaskets from what you describe. You can get an exhaust gas test set (
Amazon.com: Combustion Leak Detector: Automotive Amazon.com: Combustion Leak Detector: Automotive
) and observe exhaust gas entering the degas bottle. The BulletProofDiesel site has a video on "how-to" check failure modes of oil cooler versus headgaskets too (http://www.bulletproofdiesel.com).

HOWEVER.

Based on your description it is clear to me that your oil cooler is clogged on the coolant side. You definitely have coolant loss both through the degas bottle and possibly out the tailpipe. There could also be a hole in the lower radiator hose. Look to see if it is rubbing against your steering linkage. You might not even see the hole - it could be pinhead size. You lost all your coolant though. It could also be a cracked degas bottle. It is easy to break the lower connection when repositioning it after working on the turbo. The 50/50 mix you added if not for diesel application is worse than water too. It will react with the diesel application compliant coolant and gel. You are at risk of hydrolocking your engine every time you operate this truck now. The longer you operate it in this condition the greater the chance that you will blow out the headgaskets if they have not already failed even with studs and improved gaskets. It's a function of thermodynamics and pressures associated with expanding steam.

Good luck. Sorry to hear about your truck.

Jonathan
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:18 AM
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The 50/50 mix was only in there for two days if I remember correctly, then flushed out and filled with the appropriate coolant/mixture. I'm really hoping for the oil cooler to be blocked.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:29 AM
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you need to get the cooling system pressure tested. from what your describing with the egr deleted a head gasket is more than likely on its way out.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:37 AM
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Yeah, I should have been more clear as well. I'm reasonably confident in saying your oil cooler is clogged. The fact that your EGR is deleted eliminates one potential source of coolant loss - and a very common source at that. Other than the lower hose and degas bottle lower connection you need to feel hoses for pliability. If they are "squishy" the hoses are bad and could be leaking. The combustion leak detector isn't foolproof nor is the BPD method (http://www.ntshoptools.com/video/Bad...d%20Gasket.wmv) but they'll provide more confirmation than a guess accompanied by a shoulder shrug.

Jonathan
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:44 AM
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Not that your oil cooler couldn't be plugged up, but I can't see how that would contribute to you losing coolant being that you have an EGR delete? You don't say where the coolant was coming from either. I just needed to replace the o-ring on my thermostat because it was leaking. It wasn't leaking terribly, but enough to notice. If it's coming from the degas bottle cap, then it sounds like you have a lot of pressure in there or the cap can't contain the pressure.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:55 AM
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He does describe the blue haze out the tail pipe for 30 seconds in the morning. While this is not the white billowy clouds I've seen associated with dumping coolant in the exhaust (and to be fair usually through an EGR cooler failure), I know that many folks describe the smoke color conservatively (other than black smoke). I did forget about the thermostat o-ring (and its housing as well) as potential points of failure. A hot running engine will flashboil coolant (especially from inadequate supply as from a blocked oil cooler) whether there is an EGR cooler downstream or just a hot block. Seems like excessive pressure even with a new cap so that is how I come to the conclusion that the oil cooler is clogged and maybe more...

Jonathan
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:37 AM
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Sorry, I didn't state it very clearly. Of course with too much coolant in the degas bottle, it'll puke coolant out there. That's what I meant when I said "vent". However, it vents pressure and coolant. Coolant if there's too much or on the occasion of the night it nearly pegged the gauge, it puked a good bit out then.

It'll vent pressure just sitting there idleing. Raise the temp more, it'll vent pressure more. Raise the temp more than that, it'll start venting coolant.

It's not coolant smoke from the exhaust. I know that white, billowy coolant smoke (ask me how to pop the gaskets on a Z-28). This is a light blue, almost oil type of smoke. I attributed it initially to the tune I was running and running TCW-3 oil in my fuel, plus the overnight change of temp. I might be wrong in that thinking.

Get down an get a whiff of the exhaust... nothing but diesel as far as I can tell. No real buildup of soot or anything else on the rear corner.

In my point of view, the high coolant temps could be caused by a mostly blocked oil cooler and rising oil temps due to higher EGTs from my right foot. I'm hoping that it's that easy.

I'm saying that it's all coming from the bottle because that's the only place I've seen it come from. I've parked it in my shop and haven't found coolant on the floor. I did find a trans cooler line that had just begun to leak, but a TIG and some ER70S-2 took care of that. The cap has been replaced, but the problem persists.

I won't put the truck in the shop to swap head gaskets. I'm capable of doing that, but my time home is limited. 2 weeks on the rig, 2 weeks at home. In my two weeks at home, I run my welding shop. Out of a full month, the only days I take off are the two Sunday's I'm home. So, you kinda get the idea that time is at a premium (and of course money too).



Next multiple question session is this...

Say I have to replace the oil cooler. Would a safe bet be another complete flush with the addition of a coolant filter and the factory oil cooler? Or is it better to bite the bullet and pay for that expensive BP external cooler?

Worst case is head gaskets... There are variables that would cause failure, since I like to use a bit of overkill... go with O ringed heads?

The dealer quoted me $2500.00 just for labor to do a HG swap. Besides saving money, if I have to spend it, I'd rather buy parts and put in the wrench time myself, but just like anyone, I don't want to do some unnecessary work. I'm out in the Gulf right now and won't be home for two weeks, so basically I'm gathering opinions and options right now.

Again, I really appreciate anyone's replies and help in this.
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:41 AM
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..... and THANK YOU Jonathan and all the rest of the service men and women out there that don't hear those two words nearly enough.
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:00 PM
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First of all I am glad to serve and thank you for providing support that allows those of us in uniform to continue to serve. It takes a nation-sized team!

The fact that you don't find a coolant puddle makes me think even more strongly that all the coolant is getting flash-boiled. The new degas bottle cap is effective to 16psi where the old cap (while saying it was effective to 16) was not. A replacement degas bottle is inexpensive if cracked. If not cracked then you can lightly sand the upper lip to debur or eliminate any poor seal with the new cap.

BUT you shouldn't be venting, puking at all (regardless of your foot position) with a functional cooling system. Increased pressures from steam produced by flash-boiling explain this phenomenon. If you have inadequate cooling (not necessarily inadequate coolant) you'll get excessive heat buildup.

SO I guess you at least don't have coolant entering the combustion chamber (perhaps...see below) but the cooling system is over-pressurized and venting. The Lisle Combustion Leak detector (
Amazon.com: Combustion Leak Detector: Automotive Amazon.com: Combustion Leak Detector: Automotive
) or the BPD site's video on how-to diagnose (http://www.ntshoptools.com/video/Bad%20EGR%20or%20Blown%20Head%20Gasket.wmv) at least give you an idea about the condition of your headgaskets beyond mere speculation over the internet.

I sure hope it's not headgaskets for you (time wise).

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Jonathan
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