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Old 11-25-2013, 09:07 PM
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Tons of white smoke on startup

Hello all -
Truck starts just fine in the cold, but when it does it releases a ton of white smoke and it didn't used to do this. I'm going to begin by troubleshooting my glowplugs and see if I may have a bad one or a few, that would explain the smoke, yes? Seems like bad GPR is a common thing, but bad glow plugs I don't think I've read a lot of posts about guys finding bad glow plugs. Who knows.
If not a bad GP or two... what else could be causing the excessive startup smoke? It clears up quickly, but it's a big cloud when it starts.

The only other symptom I have is that my last two oil analysis have come back with a little fuel in the oil. Nothing to freak about according to blackstone but not something I have always had. I'm wondering, could these be tied together?

I keep telling the wife that it's injectors... maybe I'll 'have' to replace them

Scott
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:15 PM
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From reading other posts it sounds like bad o-rings on the injectors, but that's just what I gather from reading other posts I'm not a pro! Which you then could upgrade ur injectors at that time

Hopefully somebody more knowledgeable than me will chime in


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Old 11-26-2013, 02:09 AM
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Yes. Injector O-rings. Easy to do and about a half day job if you take your sweet time keeping everything nice and clean. Someone whose good at it, prolly 2.5 hr's.

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Old 11-26-2013, 01:51 PM
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What is the temperature where you are?

I had 3 failed GP's and the truck would start fine down to freezing temps, and even then not too hard, but I would cloud out my driveway every day. I would start there.

Driving habits, like alot of short trips can cause fuel to show in the oil. Failed injector O rings cause the oil to enter the fuel, causing the black fuel filter that is a common indicator, not fuel to enter the oil. The oil is at a higher pressure than the fuel so it's the one that goes where it shouldn't. Just like when the inner seal on the oil cooler fails, oil enters the coolant because it's at a higher pressure, but no coolant enters the oil

Last edited by schlutzer; 11-26-2013 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:54 PM
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Thanks guys. I checked things out today and found that I have one that's 'open
' - the passenger front plug and the rest are .5 or 1.6 ohms, with the exception of one that is .7

From what I read that's just fine for the others, just the one is bad, right? Is that going to make a big difference in smoke but not startability? I guess it's not a HUGE cloud but it is a lot more smoke than it ever did. Here's a 25 degree start a few years ago... clean as ever. 7.3 Powerstroke 25 degree cold start - lope on startup - YouTube

So the question now is... do I take off the passenger side cover and replace the one plug and see what happens or do I just yank both sides and do o rings too?

One plug make a difference? Does fuel in the oil AND smoky startups indicate orings? What other symptoms are there?

Thanks all

Scott
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyP5947 View Post
One plug make a difference?
Thanks all

Scott
Yes

You're truck smoked like hell in that video too, and loped, and was quite hard to start ( long crank). Ford calls the loping a "characteristic of the engine". The lope is caused by a combination of injector wear, and thick oil. My truck will lope on -20C and below starts if I leave 15w40 in it. I switch to Rotella 10w30 at the start of November and I've started it not plugged in at -35C, but that is about as cold as it'll start nicely... its not a habit but at work I have no choice

Here is a video I made last winter.

That's how our trucks should start, no smoke either. Just a light haze

One bad glowplug, or a bad glowplug relay can cause your symptoms. and they are free to test unlike o-rings, or failing injectors

Last edited by schlutzer; 11-26-2013 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:22 PM
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Ha yah my truck does smoke a lot in that vid... I was going off memory, my bad.
Your truck starts great, I wish mine lit off like that. I will replace the one bad plug and see how it goes from there. I reuse the gasket and all that, right? I just need the plug to do the job? Looks fairly simple.
So warn injectors possibly too? They only have 165k miles on them, but I can't vouch for how well the guy took care of it up to 110k miles. I've been on top of the maintenance since I got it. Running synth I never lope anymore.

So as for testing for worn injectors or orings, what do I look for? Have a cylinder contribution test done? I am very guilty of short trips some times, now that I have the torque app I know how cool the engine stays when I make a few short trips around town.

I am working on my wife's TDI too, it smokes like hell when I fire it up in the AM too because it has bad plugs. GP harness and a set of new plugs on the way for it. Trying to be good diesel owners but I'm smoking out the neighborhood over here!

Scott
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyP5947 View Post
Ha yah my truck does smoke a lot in that vid... I was going off memory, my bad.
Your truck starts great, I wish mine lit off like that. I will replace the one bad plug and see how it goes from there. I reuse the gasket and all that, right? I just need the plug to do the job? Looks fairly simple.
So warn injectors possibly too? They only have 165k miles on them, but I can't vouch for how well the guy took care of it up to 110k miles. I've been on top of the maintenance since I got it. Running synth I never lope anymore.

So as for testing for worn injectors or orings, what do I look for? Have a cylinder contribution test done? I am very guilty of short trips some times, now that I have the torque app I know how cool the engine stays when I make a few short trips around town.

I am working on my wife's TDI too, it smokes like hell when I fire it up in the AM too because it has bad plugs. GP harness and a set of new plugs on the way for it. Trying to be good diesel owners but I'm smoking out the neighborhood over here!

Scott
As far as testing... a Contribution test will give an idea but there isn't any 100% symptoms of either, really. Phantom codes and stuff can mask all kinds of problems.

I would replace that glowplug since it is faulty, Motorcraft Zd-11 only no cheap stuff.

How cold is it where you are? white smoke is normal to a degree on a cold 7.3. If you are still seeing it above the freezing mark then I might lean towards o rings... it's not a huge job but it's still money spent you may not have to
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:03 PM
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I had two bad glowplugs that caused quite a bit of white smoke on startup. I'd replace that glow plug and see how it does. Valve covers are easy to pull.

Bad injector o-rings generally cause oil in the fuel (black fuel filter) and oil usage. If you have a minute but of fuel in the oil I wouldn't be too worried about it, but if there's a lot then you likely have a bad injector washing the cylinder.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:07 PM
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Replace all 8 glowplugs. Most likely someone tried to ether start it and fried some of the glowplugs. Learned the hard way doing it in my 6.4 when I ether started it when the glowplugs were hot. Replaced all of them and fixed the problem.
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