Injectors, how to test or diagnose? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:11 PM
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Injectors, how to test or diagnose?

I'm in the process of collecting what feels like a million parts to "bulletproof" my truck. In the process, I've read a few posts on here about injectors going south. Some of the symptoms I've read about, my truck was doing, ie. lots of white smoke when cold, low/no power while cold, sometimes it would miss (only ever felt it do that twice) and so on.

On this HG job, I'm switching the oil to synthetic with an oil bypass system to keep the oil clean (hopefully to keep the injectors alive), so I'm not interested in spending what feels like 2 grand on injectors, if I can diagnose which ones are bad, then can I just replace those?

If not, I guess I can sell the old ones, but it seems that 2 grand is plus a core charge. Heh. I guess everyone's gotta make a livin'.

Is there a procedure a shadetree mechanic can run through to diagnose which injectors are being naughty?

Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:35 AM
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If it is not throwing a code not really. The white smoke and cold start issue frequently turns out to be a FICM issue and Ford just issued a new flash VXCF9 for the cold start issue. A ne FICM and the flash took care of my cold start problems. There is a FICM repair procedure posted. I would do that and add a couple of bottles of Rev-X to your oil BEFORE I replaced injectors. Lots of guys with injector stiction issues have had it cleared up by adding 2 bottles of Rev-X. Read the Rev-X posts for more info on that.

My truck is currentl getting head gaskets, studs, oil cooler rebuild, EGR delete, HPOP update, and when I get it back I will be adding Rev-X just for good measure.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:39 AM
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There is a pretty good tool out there for our trucks and supposedly it tests injectors by doing what is called a "buzz test".....

Just google Auto Enginuity and you should find it....

Good luck
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:53 AM
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ what he said. An injector buzz test will usually tell on a sticking injector. You have to do the test with the motor cold. Also a cylinder contribution test on a cold motor will tell what's working and what's not. The autoenginuity can perform a buzz test on the 6.0 but not a contribution test, yet. I spoke with AE and they told me by late spring they will have an update that allows for contribution test on the 6.0.

I highly recommend a AE scanner or similar. It takes a lot of the guess work out.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by PGreenSVT View Post
If it is not throwing a code not really. The white smoke and cold start issue frequently turns out to be a FICM issue and Ford just issued a new flash VXCF9 for the cold start issue. A ne FICM and the flash took care of my cold start problems. There is a FICM repair procedure posted. I would do that and add a couple of bottles of Rev-X to your oil BEFORE I replaced injectors. Lots of guys with injector stiction issues have had it cleared up by adding 2 bottles of Rev-X. Read the Rev-X posts for more info on that.

My truck is currentl getting head gaskets, studs, oil cooler rebuild, EGR delete, HPOP update, and when I get it back I will be adding Rev-X just for good measure.

Hmm, I was reading in another post that this new FICM flash dumbs down the truck somehow? I don't remember the details, but some people were complaining about some FICM flash. Do you know if that applies to the current one you talk about?

I've run across the FICM repair procedure, it's certainly something I'll look at.

Yeah I'm looking at doing the same things to my truck, I have a long list of parts arriving to do some major bulletproofing of this engine. Well I hope anyway.

I'll try that Rev-x you speak of, but at this point I'll just do the HG's/upgrades as needed and then try the rev-x since the motor isn't in any condition to be started right now.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by willholl79 View Post
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ what he said. An injector buzz test will usually tell on a sticking injector. You have to do the test with the motor cold. Also a cylinder contribution test on a cold motor will tell what's working and what's not. The autoenginuity can perform a buzz test on the 6.0 but not a contribution test, yet. I spoke with AE and they told me by late spring they will have an update that allows for contribution test on the 6.0.

I highly recommend a AE scanner or similar. It takes a lot of the guess work out.
Do you know of anything like the AE scanner but not AE? I find it pricey to run one test, wish I knew some people around here that knew powerstrokes. The dealer isn't happy even looking at my truck without charging me a couple hundred dollars.

At this point, I can't move or start the truck (I know, I wasn't thinking ahead was I?) since it's partially torn down already, I already have an OBD-usb adaptor for my laptop and I can graph all of the information I need, I just can't run tests, which is where the AE thingy comes in.

300+ bux to find out if I need to spend another 2 grand sounds quite like the hose job to me .

Anyway, I appreciate it if you can point me to any other "test" software you may know of?

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:05 PM
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Okay, let's get one thing straight. There is no cut and dry simple procedure for diagnosing bad injectors on these things. There are numerous stages of testing to determine faulty injector(s) on these trucks. Yes, you can run an injector buzz test using Ford's IDS or most generic scan tools. However, that only tests the electrical side of the business . If a code is flagged to specific cylinder(s) for low/high circuits, that only narrows it down to either the FICM, the injector harness, or the injector itself. For what it's worth, I had one truck that passed the injector buzz test, but only heard a mechanical response from TWO out of all eight during the test. Yes, that's right NO codes. Sure enough, plugging in six new injectors into the the non-responsive holes fixed that truck. But this was not before I had to verify the FICM was functioning properly, by plugging in my spare "tester" FICM to verify.

If you are getting CONTRIBUTION/BALANCE codes, than you would need to run a power balance test (on a cold engine), to determine to low/non-contributing cylinder, which would need to be followed up with a RELATIVE compression test. If this test were to reveal "low" cylinders, this would then mandate a MANUAL compression test to verify that a base engine concern does in fact exist. If both relative and manual compression tests were to reveal equal on all eight holes, then and only then can you condemn the faulty injector(s) (provided the FICM and circuitry tests out good).

There is also the possibility of compression gases leaking past the copper washer, which if testing were to reveal this to be the case, ALL four injectors on that bank would need to replaced.

All that said, do you still feel that $300 sounds like a "hose job" to you? How much time would it take YOU to perform these tests?
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by m-chan68 View Post
Okay, let's get one thing straight. There is no cut and dry simple procedure for diagnosing bad injectors on these things. There are numerous stages of testing to determine faulty injector(s) on these trucks. Yes, you can run an injector buzz test using Ford's IDS or most generic scan tools. However, that only tests the electrical side of the business . If a code is flagged to specific cylinder(s) for low/high circuits, that only narrows it down to either the FICM, the injector harness, or the injector itself. For what it's worth, I had one truck that passed the injector buzz test, but only heard a mechanical response from TWO out of all eight during the test. Yes, that's right NO codes. Sure enough, plugging in six new injectors into the the non-responsive holes fixed that truck. But this was not before I had to verify the FICM was functioning properly, by plugging in my spare "tester" FICM to verify.

If you are getting CONTRIBUTION/BALANCE codes, than you would need to run a power balance test (on a cold engine), to determine to low/non-contributing cylinder, which would need to be followed up with a RELATIVE compression test. If this test were to reveal "low" cylinders, this would then mandate a MANUAL compression test to verify that a base engine concern does in fact exist. If both relative and manual compression tests were to reveal equal on all eight holes, then and only then can you condemn the faulty injector(s) (provided the FICM and circuitry tests out good).

There is also the possibility of compression gases leaking past the copper washer, which if testing were to reveal this to be the case, ALL four injectors on that bank would need to replaced.

All that said, do you still feel that $300 sounds like a "hose job" to you? How much time would it take YOU to perform these tests?
I stand corrected sir.

You paint quite a dark picture, I think I'll go the FICM route/test and reinstall my injectors, at which point, I will happily drive the truck to the local dealer and have them test the injectors .

You do have to understand that paying for something that may or may not be beneficial and basically comparing it to a shot in the dark does certainly feel like a potential waste of money. Though that's only speaking for my own situation. I certainly wasn't insinuating that they're charging too much.

Heck, as we all come to know, owning one of these trucks is at times taxing on the wallet.

I thank you for the info, it's the most complete I've ever seen.
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by blackjudas View Post
I stand corrected sir.

You paint quite a dark picture, I think I'll go the FICM route/test and reinstall my injectors, at which point, I will happily drive the truck to the local dealer and have them test the injectors .

You do have to understand that paying for something that may or may not be beneficial and basically comparing it to a shot in the dark does certainly feel like a potential waste of money. Though that's only speaking for my own situation. I certainly wasn't insinuating that they're charging too much.
On the flip side of things. "shot-gunning" parts at a problem is NOT the way I like to "test" components at YOUR expense. "Guesses" will get VERY expensive, and VERY quickly if you aren't familiar with how these engines operate. Far too often, I see too many owners jumping the gun, and replacing glow plugs or modules needlessly when they're having trouble starting the engines cold without actually diagnosing the cause, for example.

Heck, as we all come to know, owning one of these trucks is at times taxing on the wallet.
Which is why it's all the more important that when problems do arise, you have it diagnosed by someone who IS familiar with these engines, and how they operate, so that a timely and accurate diagnosis can be formed in the most cost effective manner.

I thank you for the info, it's the most complete I've ever seen.
Hopefully, I clarified a few points with this post without offending anyone.
I say it once, and I say it again. Proper diagnosis is VERY crucial in pinpointing the causes of these issues. Although I understand these trucks can be very hard on the wallets of the owners, it is also hard on the wallets of the techs that work on these things day in, and day out when they have to deal with the stress of worrying whether or not they will actually be paid for their work when it's a warranty repair. This is because FoMoCo will look for any excuse it can, to bounce a claim, and then the poor tech that spent the time repairing it, is debitted while the truck that was repaired is long gone.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:03 PM
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I am having similar troubles with my truck exept mine starts ok but just missing like crazy. I had a new FICM put on last year now my scanner (Which is a Actron) won't read anything, but before I had the FICM replaced I could read codes. My machanic tried his scanners and can't read anything either so he gave Bullitproof Diesel a call and they told him he needs a Ford IDS scan tool. So my question is, is the new flash or FICM the cause of this and if so how does this effect my tuner read outs?
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