Blueish-white changed to black smoke - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 06-03-2011, 04:42 PM
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Blueish-white changed to black smoke

Hi all,

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...

Alex
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:39 AM
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OK, here's an update...

Changed the air filter, as it needed it anyway ($75.00 "investment"). No joy.

The black smoke is getting worse, as it smokes pretty much all the time now, even when not accelerating. Punch it and it rolls coal like you wouldn't believe. No chip mods have been done, even tho it looks like it.

Still no warning lights or anything. Gotta check O'Reilleys yet for a code reader...
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:52 AM
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I had close to the same issues, mine would buck and jerk with a severe loss of power and would blow tons of black smoke. I ended up cleaning the EGR valve and that helped a little, but once I unplugged the valve it was good to go.
Try unplugging the valve and driving around a bit. You may get a CEL since it's unplugged, but it should give you an idea on where to start
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:06 AM
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Well, I unplugged it, but it didn't make any diff. Gotta pull it out and clean it. Ran out of time last nite. A friend also suggested fuel filters; I'm gonna try that too since it's such a cheap and easy fix.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:18 AM
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have you checked your batteries and ficm voltage? is your turbo spooling up normally? have you tried switching to a synthetic oil and running rev-x?
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablos30 View Post
have you checked your batteries and ficm voltage?
Batteries load-test good, alternator is new. FICM is also new (less than 10k miles on it), though that doesn't mean it's still good... I have not tested the FICM voltage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diablos30 View Post
is your turbo spooling up normally?
No different than it has spooled for the last 75k miles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diablos30 View Post
have you tried switching to a synthetic oil and running rev-x?
Switched to T5 about 1000 miles ago from Ford Dino. Have not tried rev-x yet. The T5 seems to be the best oil for this engine, according to all the research I have done.
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:14 PM
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Got the EGR valve out, it was really not bad. Both passages were 99% open. Tough getting it out, but it seems really clean and dry. Puttting it back in and time to try something else...

Talked to the O'Reilleys guys. They said that their reader will not do anything if the CEL isn't on. And it isn't, even with the EGR unplugged. So that's a dead end too.

Black smoke is worse than ever, and now there seems to be a miss as well. Not running as well as it was earlier.

IDK, guess it's time to spend money and bring it to someone with more tricks than me.

Last edited by dl_sledding; 06-07-2011 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:05 AM
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I have also noticed a fairly good amount of exhaust gasses exiting from under the hood on the drivers side, making everything on that side all sooty. I first thought it was maybe the way that the wind was blowing the exhaust while sitting still, but now I believe that there is actually something under there blasting exhaust out that side.

Also, this morning, I noticed what I believe is a leak in the forced induction system (on the pressure side). When the turbo spools up, at around 2k, there's a "new" sound under the hood that I have a real hard time describing. It's what I would imagine the output of the turbo would be through a pipe, kind of a reverse vacuum sound... only when the turbo is spooled. Could a between the turbo and the intake cause this smoking problem?
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:53 AM
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don't know a lot about the engines, but could it be your up-pipe?
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:24 PM
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Talked to an independent diesel mechanic recommended by a couple of friends. Gonna take it over to him this coming week. He thinks an injector has gone nuts and is flowing way too much fuel. I mentioned that after a while running, the truck starts clattering really loudly and will even die; he looked like I punched him and said that the clattering is the engine approaching hydrolock... Bad mojo there.

He said that the things I have checked so far will save him time, as that is what he would have had to check as well. He said he will only use new, not remanned, injectors and gave me a good price on new Alliant injectors, way better than the dealer here. Told him I was kind of upset at the dealer for charging me $1200 to replace the FICM when a little soldering was all that was needed. He mentioned that he can get remanned FICMs for $500-$750, with the newest flash in them...

So, I'll update as I get more info. Want to make sure I "solve" this so that if anyone else runs up against this an answer is here.

Last edited by dl_sledding; 06-18-2011 at 04:28 PM.
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