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Old 11-16-2012, 07:11 PM
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Help with Charred Piston, Pictures

First, thanks to all the great people who contribute to this site; You are a wealth of knowledge and much appreciated.

A brief history about the 6.0 out of my F450. She has been properly maintained. Has a K&N air filter. Had the Injectors replaced @ ~70k. This is all until recently.

She now has 145k miles on her. About 10k miles ago, she was blowing white smoke w/no power. Took her to my local ford dealer and they told me the EGR cooler was bad. They took several thousand dollars from me and replaced my EGR cooler and oil cooler. She worked fine for several months.

About a month ago we noticed the degas bottle was low all the time. We would fill it only to have to fill it again the next day. We assumed, because we had no other symptons, that our degas bottle was cracked @ the seam on bottom. I ordered another bottle for her. The day we replaced the degas bottle, she was smoking badly again with no power. After about ten minutes, the smoke stopped and she acted normal. We pulled our mini-excavator to the job and she did fine. The next day we cranked her up, same problem. We took her to the dealer for another check up.

The dealer called me a couple of days later and told me the EGR cooler had gone bad again and he would replace it no charge; I told him to go ahead and fix her. A couple of days after this, he called me and told me that they replaced the EGR and Oil cooler, but that she had blown a head gasket and told me that it would be ~$4500 dollars to repair. I told him to leave it alone that we would come and pick it up. He said it wouldn't hurt it to drive home (only ~2 miles from my shop) so we did.

I decided, after reading all the information that I could find on this forum, that we should pull the engine and do some work to her. I have purchased the parts for and intend on doing the following to the engine:

- ARP Studs
- EGR Delete
- HPOP Update
- "Blue Spring" update
- Coolant Filter
- Updated Standpipe and dummy plug kit

With the engine on the stands and the heads in the machine shop for checking/rebuilding, I decided I would clean up the block a little bit. This is when I noticed that one of the pistons had some damage to her. On the top of #3 piston, there is some charring with the edges of the piston 'rounded' over.

The picture below is the top of this piston.


This picture is of the cylinder wall for #3


I have already ordered a replacement piston but I need to know two things.....

1. Does anyone know what caused this? What do I need to do so this doesn't happen again?

2. The scratches on the walls of the cylinder aren't deep, I can barely feel them with my fingers. What is needed, if anything beyond honing, to recondition the cylinder walls so the new rings will seat?
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:26 PM
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I guess you will need to right click "open image in new window" to see image.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:43 PM
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Honing should work well for the cylinder. The problem is that your piston melted in number 3. There could be any multitude of reasons this happened. One being either a bad injector constantly dumping fuel in the cylinder and EGT's spiking causing the edge to melt. Or someone who had a programmer running a performance tune while towing heavy could have done this as well.

Since you stated the injectors were replaces I'm assuming that could have been one of the problems the bad injectors caused with the engine.

Your biggest defense to anything happening again is getting a monitor hooked up in the truck to monitor all engine vitals at all times so you can shut it down before something like this was to happen again.

Let me know if I can help you in your monitoring needs.

Bryan @ Stealth Automotive
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:52 PM
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Tuscany,

Thanks for your help.

I had originally discounted a stuck injector because from what I read, they would cause my piston to completely melt, loose all compression, and make a helluva lot of noise. Only problem we had, prior to the white smoke, was hard cold starting.

Now that you have informed this could be the issue, do you think I should replace all injectors to be safe (since they are a pain to get at and the engine is now on a stand) or just replace the #3. It's my understanding that with the mods I am doing, injector failure is alot less likely.

And we have never yet had any programs running on this PSD so the 'hot tunes' can't be so.

But, I do have a 6.4 that will soon get the "treatment" and I will certainly be searching you out for a reliable program.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:58 PM
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You have to think about how metal will start to melt in this scenario. For instance by looking at the pic of the piston which part of the piston has the most vulnerability to heat? The outside edge because it essentially has the least amount of material for heat to soak into therefore it will start melting there and if someone would have kept it running that way it would have done as you described and melted a hole in the piston.

You need to get a monitor in that truck IMMEDIATELY! Especially after putting this much work, time, money and effort into it. If you want to spend the extra money you could send them out to either Jesse Warren of Warren Diesel and have him rebuild them and make sure they are good to go or Sheldon at Renegade Diesel and have him go through them and make sure they are good to go. It would cost a little more money than I'm sure you want to spend but may just be worthwhile so you don't have to rip back into it later.

If you want info on a monitoring solution feel free to PM me and I can see what I can do for you.

Hope this helps. Good luck and definitely keep us updated as the progress continues.

Bryan @ Stealth Automotive
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:39 AM
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^^^^Monitoring equipment is a absolute must have item, best money you can spend on the truck. Could have saved you from the situation your now facing I hate to say. Make sure you invest in a good monitoring set-up.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:14 PM
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Thanks. Gonna have to get me a monitor for both my PSDs now. Great advice!
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:18 PM
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No problem. Let me know if you need help with that.
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