Compression Ignition Addict
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Some smoke on a cold start is normal, especially if the glow plugs or the relay that runs them are faulty. But, that smoke should be white, not blue. Blue smoke means oil, and could mean there are big troubles on the horizon.
Some things to check:
Pull the intake off and check the turbo for play. A small amount of side to side movement is normal (as long as you can't get the wheel to touch the housing) but any in and out play means the turbo is waving bye-bye. Also make sure the blades on the turbine wheel don't look jagged, bent, or otherwise damaged- they should be straight and smooth.
With the engine running (preferrably up to operating temp) remove the oil fill cap and place it upside down over the fill tube. If it gets blown off that is a bad sign, if it just rattles off from the engine vibration you're good.
Take a flashlight and look for wet spots in the engine valley. Ideally there won't be any.
Peek at the coolant overflow bottle and make sure that there is only coolant in there- fuel or oil would be obvious as they would separate from the coolant.
Those are the basics to go over aside from the usual brakes, ball joints, etc. Good luck with it.
97 F350 CCLB 4x4 PSD