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Blueish-white changed to black smoke
First of all, I have a 2004 6.0, 125k miles, zoodad mod, running (1000 miles ago) fresh T-5 oil. Fuel filters have been replaced in the last 10k miles. Air filter is probably due to be changed, now that I think about it. Soot scrubber, cat, and mufflers are gone.
I had the truck in for repair at my local dealership about 7k miles ago because it refused to start (a dead of winter thing); they billed me $1200 and installed a new FICM after a week of messing around (then I found the threads on here about fixing it for the cost of some solder - I was pi$$ed). They also told me that their computer told them 3 injectors were "bad", and for another $1800 they'd give me a good deal and replace them, since they already had a lot of it torn apart. This after having 3 replaced a year before that, luckily under warranty at that time. But, the truck ran well, and I didn't have $3k laying around, so I paid the $1200 that I owed and said if it got worse I'd have the injectors replaced...
Things went well for a while, but for the last few months I have been limping the truck along a bit. When cold, it has a fairly severe "miss" that makes it very difficult to gain any speed when driving, and would smoke bluish-white. If I let it warm up for even 5 minutes, it cut the problem in half, and after driving it 15 minutes or so (getting fully warmed up), it ran very well... The only symptom at that point would be getting up to 65 or 70 and immediately after the shift into OD, there would be a fairly severe bucking that would slowly go away. Also, the smoking would go away once warmed up. I thought maybe the T-5 might help (I was running Ford Dino before that), but no joy.
In the good-old-days of mechanical FI, I would suspect injection timing problems and/or (possibly) low cylinder temps causing fuel to be pumped out without being burned. This, however, is not the good old days, and I can't simply re-time the injection pump to try to alleviate the problem.
Just today, the thing started smoking black on acceleration and during speeds of 40 mph or more. I can actually see the black smoke puffing out of the exhaust while driving.
Antifreeze is right where it should be, no bubbles or oil floating in it. It does need to be changed, and I have been worrying about that, but just haven't had time to deal with it. I've been reading about the EGR delete and such, but also have not had time to do that either. No warning lamps lit, or alarms going off, etc. I am careful about what kind of fuel I run, watch to make sure that there's no refill happening at the station when I fill up (there are only 2 places that I get fuel regularly), and have not run any additive in a long, long time. During cold weather, it was always plugged in (even at work), and I always warmed it up well before leaving (I'm talking about during the 4 months of below-10-degrees winter we have here).
I don't have a code reader, but I'm gonna check the local O'Reileys, as we don't have an AutoZone anywhere near here. I'm really just kind of looking for some advice. We have a really good non-dealership diesel shop here in town (that I found after hearing the $1800 figure from the dealership)... Maybe it'd be best to take it to them for at least some advice?
Thanks in advance for any advice...