Compression Loss Through Intake and Exhaust Valves - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:07 PM
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Compression Loss Through Intake and Exhaust Valves

Hey guys, I am brand spankin' new to the forum and recently acquired a 2004 6.0 in a Superduty 4x4. The rest is history, as they say . . .

Long story short, I didn't do my homework on the 6.0 before pulling the trigger. Here is it's current condition:

- Seemed to run fine when test drove at night (didn't see the smoke at start up).

- Ran great on the way home (95 miles).

- Next morning noticed greyish-white smoke at start up. Smelled diesel fuel in exhaust.

- Cranking over the engine you can hear the cylinder imbalance of at least one cylinder with low compression.

- The injectors all seem to cycle properly through the test cycle.

- Drove down the road to my mechanic to check out and smoke cleared up. Left it idling for a time while mechanic ran scan and smoke started up again.

- Found out #4 was about 138 low on the power contribution test. #5 was about 30 low with the rest of the cylinders around 2 to 3 low. Received my schooling on the 6.0 at this time =O/

- Since then, I have pulled the #4 injector and found a little blow-by on the lower o-ring with dark carbon build-up on tip. Other injectors pulled show lighter grey matte color and dry.

- Pressurizing the cylinder through the glow plug hole I hear air coming through the intake and exhaust pipe with valves in closed position. Opening the valves slightly, by pushing down on the valve stems (rocker arms were removed to check push rods - straight as arrows on the intake side, at least).

Running a Carfax on the truck I was able to determine the last reported service location. I contacted them and found out that they had the truck in last February because it was running awful. They determined that the #4 injector was "dumping fuel" so they say they "replaced" it (probably did not torque bolt properly). They also determined "low compression" at #5. At that time, they replaced the EGR and oil coolers. They admitted that they were not diesel techs, being a fleet service outfit.

So, I am struggling to figure out what has happened to #4 and #5, with #4 being the primary concern.

Is there anyone here who has had a similar scenario occur resulting with the same symptoms?

I am thinking that it has suffered a hydrolock at #4 causing damage to the valves and/or connecting rod? Is pulling the head for a look see the only approach at this point? I don't have an articulating scope.

We did empty the coolant and oil. There was no cross contamination that was visible. The truck probably had 3000 miles on the oil since last changed and was showing about 1/4 " low on the stick. Would it be worth while to get a coolant and oil analysis done or just a waste of money at this point?

Also a note of interest: There was a small amount of metal dust found on the oil plug magnetic tip.

I sure would appreciate some advice if anyone would be kind enough to share.

Thanks!

Last edited by ne14Yah; 01-15-2014 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:43 PM
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The low compression could be valves, but it could be piston rings or even a piston. There is usually no metal dust, but a very small bit of fuzz may not be a concern if no one ever cleaned it or there were very long oil change intervals.

Pulling the head(s) will probably need to be done to determine or fix the problem. If you are paying for labour, it may be time for a decision on a good used engine, a rebuilt long block or rebuild the one you have, whichever you think will be less expensive or the way you want to proceed before you pull the heads.

It would be nicer to welcome you on better terms!

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Old 01-15-2014, 06:49 PM
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Diesels naturally have a very high compression ratio. This greatly aids in sealing the valves, much more so than the valve spring is capable of achieving.

I would think a more likely scenerio is worn out piston rings or a cylinder wall that's been polished from an overfueling injector. Either way the head has to come off.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:02 PM
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Thanks for the quick responses, guys! I am thinking, though, that the problem stems from a valve sealing issue. Reason being is the leaking air from pressurizing the cylinder through the glow plug hole is coming out the intake and out the exhaust pipe. I am not noticing any air coming out the oil fill tube. I will double check again, though, tomorrow.

Is it possible to replace a piston without pulling the engine? If so, how would that go?
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:09 AM
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You can get the pan off by pulling the turbo and and lifting the engine up, not sure how easy it will be to get the piston and rod out once you get the lower and upper pan off but the bigger problem is pulling the heads. If you need to get that far it will be easier to pull the engine out for repair. Pulling heads with the cab on is a pain in the butt.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:24 PM
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Grenaded

Well, I went ahead and pulled the driver's side head:

- #4 looked like it got nailed by a grenade.

- Intake valve impression was found on top of the piston.

- Chunks of the cup rim were missing.

- Cylinder wall was scored.

Looks like it's going to get pulled! Anyone know what might have caused the damage?

Last week, I picked up an engine that came out of an '05 F350 with 131k miles, just in case. The cab of the truck had been crushed by a fallen tree and was parted out. I was told that it had not been chipped.

Everything appeared stock except for the passenger side valve cover which had the Ford emissions sticker placed atop of where another sticker had been ripped off leaving residue behind. Factory Reman???

Also, the FICM and the turbo had reman tags on them, so I am thinking that this may be a good sign???

Any advice would be greatly appreciated on how to approach this swap and what issues I might be facing swapping the '04 for an '05?
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:58 PM
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04 and 05 are different setups. Icp sensor is in a different location. You may have to splice some wires to extend it to plug it in. Its kinda cheesy to do but hey it'll work.


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Old 01-16-2014, 08:39 PM
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Anyone know if you can pull the engine without dismantling the front end? I heard that there might be a special lifting bracket kit that would allow you to.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:46 PM
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You'll have to pull all the coolers out radiator, intercooler, condenser etc. you can leave the a/c system charged just unbolt compressor. It only has 3 bolts fyi. Just set it in the battery box. Put blanket over passenger side fender and lay condenser on it. There is a beam on top of the radiator support that will come off with 8 bolts. You'll have to remove the turbo and the up pipes. After that the rest is explanatory. Unplug the engine harness from the pcm don't bother unplugging everything. Remove ficm for clearance issues. You'll only have to pick up the engine a few inches and you can roll it right out
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:48 PM
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Valve floated maybe from over-revving or a bad spring.

Good thing you picked up that engine. While it is on the stand it is probably a good time to stud it and perhaps check out/replace a few components as well.

Dismantle the front end or raise the cab.
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