2000 7.3 white smoke and sputtering *stuck in Birmingham on road trip - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
Please Visit our Site Sponsors
Powerstroke.org is the premier Diesel Truck Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-15-2014, 10:57 PM
Powerstroke.org Rookie

Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
2000 7.3 white smoke and sputtering *stuck in Birmingham on road trip

Cliff Notes

-White Smoke (smells like unburnt fuel...I think)
-Hard Sputter on Accel with TONS of smoke
-Smoke from valve cover (blow by)
-Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor Circuit Malfunction code all the time
-Cyl 7 Misfire code most of the time
-Cyl 8 Misfire code sometimes
-ICP Pressure Out of Range code sometimes
-Replaced Injector 7 slight change
-Replaced Injector 8 no change
-Moved around other injectors no change
-Checked Exhaust Back Pressure reading on scanner found 22-35psi range
-I have shim in my fuel pressure regulator (maybe I should take that out, didn't cross my mind til now)
-I have an edge tuner but I put it back to stock after having problems

So I'm pretty good with diag and such but I am still new to Diesel engines. This truck has a long history and I've touched just about every nut and bolt on it but I'll keep this short. I'll do my best to describe every symptom and repair that I have made to figure this out.

I live in Salt Lake and I'm on a racing circuit hauling 2 cars in a 45 foot trailer so we are pushing the limits of what we should be towing. We are now in Alabama and are having some issues that seem to be getting worse. I have one day left to work on this before I need to tow up to New Jersey so any help is appreciated.

Truck is a 2000 F-250 with ZF manual transmission. The engine has about 250k miles and I run CNG on this truck. This engine has been in this truck for about 2500 miles. Injectors and HPOP are all from this same engine of unknown prior condition.

The truck ran pretty good from SLC to Atlanta. After that it developed a misfire. I got a code for cyl 7. I continued driving and began to notice difficulty starting and white smoke on start and slowly decreasing until warmed up. The misfire would also diminish as it warmed up but I still feel as though there was a weak cylinder. I have what I would consider an excess amount of crankcase smoke (blowby) when I remove the oil cap and when I ran without the valve covers (diagnosing injectors... I'll get to that part). This entire time I have been getting white smoke from the tailpipe. It smokes a lot when cold and diminishes as it warms up. The smoking is clearly from one cylinder cuz I can see it puff out once per rotation. By the time it is fully warmed up you can barely notice the smoke but faintly can still hear the misfire.

Seems simple enough like a bad injector and the code even pointed me to cyl 7. I happened to have a spare newer reman Alliant injector so I threw that one in cyl 7 and it made no difference.

I continued to get new symptoms as I kept driving. I now have a Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor Circuit Malfunction code, I got Cyl 8 Misfire a few times but not as many times as the Cyl 7 which seems to come up every time I cold start. I occasionally get ICP Lower than Expected but not consistently. I replaced Injector 8 today and got no change. I moved around all injectors on both banks to mix up the order and try to get the misfire to move from cyl 7. That didn't work. I ran the truck with the valve covers off and unplugged injectors one at a time to find the weak cylinder. It seemed that 7 was the culprit... however as the truck warmed up the misfire went away AND the truck continued smoking from the tailpipe... EVEN with the injector unplugged cuz I considered the idea of a wiring problem causing the injector to fire at the wrong time or stick or whatever.

At this point I know you are yelling thru your screen telling me that I have low compression or a broken piston. Well let me tell you why I think that is not the case... On acceleration the misfire is very intermittent and at around 2200 rpm the truck begins to sputter and cut out to the point that the rpm stops climbing and the truck DUMPS white smoke like crazy. If I change throttle position to less throttle it seems to clear out and accelerate but still with a misfire. If I stay hard on accel then it just continues to sputter and RPM will not climb. If I had a mechanically dead cylinder then it wouldn't have intermittent accel problems and the misfire would be consistent.

One more thing, it seems to me that I have a leaky injector. On start up the smoke seems to be excessive for a second after it finally starts as if it is clearing out extra fuel and then it knocks at idle as if there is fuel in the chamber at the wrong time and at higher rpm it clears out and stops knocking. Also when I turn on my cng it seems that the misfire smooths out a bit.

Please shoot me any ideas to check and anything that you may have in mind.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Old 06-16-2014, 12:11 AM
Premium Member

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 2,619
Thanks: 36
Thanked 136 Times in 133 Posts
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
leaky injector? o rings? I am not real familiar with the 7.3 have never spun a wrench on one so these are semi educated guesses at best. bad glow plug? you mentioned it being much worse cold.
that is about it for guess work for me. I did have a somewhat similar situation with a dying battery not getting voltage right causing ficm glowplug and other odd electrical issues, due to a bad wire. but yours sounds more injector, leak, or compression related if i had to guess (which of course I am)

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-26-2014, 01:53 AM
Powerstroke.org Rookie

Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 21
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Ok I had a customer with the same symptom. It was even num 7 we had trouble with. I put an inj in that hole and the engine never changed. So I went to the exhaust manifold and noticed fuel seeping from the port. I new then that the hole was dead. I pulled the cylinder head and yep number 7 was scored. Now the sputter problem need to be monitored. Need to know what your ICP is when you get to that position with the rpm. Have you checked your fuel restriction? Your prescreens are they clean?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-26-2014, 03:27 AM
Powerstroke.org Sponsor


Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Defiance, OH
Posts: 7,111
Thanks: 606
Thanked 284 Times in 259 Posts
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Get yourself a infrared laser temperature gun and once the engine is warm point it at each area of the exhaust manifold of each cylinder. The cooler one will tell you right where the issue is.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
What state or province do you live in?
Security Question
*Required, this field is not shown to others. Enter the last two characters of the word "Powerstroke"
Security Question #2
*Required, this field is not shown to others. "While balancing on a piece of wood, two inches by four inches known as a 2x4, john and his friend sally both spotted a dalmatian inside a truck with sirens, headed to put out a fire. State the animal mentioned in the sentence above."
Please select your insurance company (Optional)


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:01 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
Garage Plus, Vendor Tools vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.