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Old 11-24-2011, 07:49 PM
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Whats a Runaway Diesel?

I saw this on PTS discussion board Diesel to diesel tech thread and got a chuckle out of it. Had 2 happen to me. 1st one was in a 6.4 2nd one in an 03 6.0 with a leaking seal in the turbo.

So whats a diesel run away?

A diesel runaway is when the engine rpm goes up uncontrolled and there is no way the engine can stop itself. Diesel engines don't actually require any controls on then to run. All they need is fuel and air. Gas engines need a spark at just the right time, and a fuel pulse of just the right duration to run. Also, diesels can run on a wide range of fuel. Remember when all of us diesel guys were complaining about leaking injectors on 03's that were filling the crankcase with fuel? Well, 30+ quarts of a fuel/oil mix in the crankcase will submerge the crank. One of the last steps on the diesel diag sheet is an oil aeration test where you have to run the engine at wot (3500 or so rpm) for 3 minutes and then view the oil condition. That crank whipping up the fuel/oil will make a foam that rises through the engine, and eventually starts getting drafted into the intake stream. If there is enough coming into the intake, the engine rpm will start to rise even higher. Of course, this causes the oil to whip more, which makes it rise faster in the engine - a vicious cycle. You cut the key off, but the engine doesn't care - it's getting it's own fuel from another source. Smoke starts to pour from the tailpipe, and the truck starts to vibrate. At about 6000 rpm the ground starts to shake throughout the shop and the sales department looks outside to see if a thunderstorm is coming. 7500 rpm has the shop evacuating - by this time, the whole shop is flooded with smoke. 9000 rpm brings ominous noises from the shop - a cyclic wave of sound that feels like an invisible hand pressing on your chest. Somewhere about 10,000 rpm and the engine gives up. A sound that is a combination of a nearby lightning strike and every toolbox in the shop turning over at once explodes from the shop. The sound echos and continues for several seconds. You can actually feel a shockwave disperse through the concrete you're standing on. And then, the deafening silence. You try to see through the smoke and locate the truck - but something is wrong. It is sitting at an angle, tilted down in the front. And then you see why - both front tires are blown out. There is a scattering of parts 3 bays in each direction. A puddle of fluid is rapidly spreading from under the shredded front cap. The hood and fenders are destroyed, but ironically, the grille and headlights are still intact. And your first thought is - at least I don't have to work on this one anymore! And that, my friend, is a diesel runaway.
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:04 PM
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I was working on a detroit 110 stationary power rig that came in with serious wet stacking issue. On the test run it managed to finish munching up the blower seals that it had apparently been chewing on for a while. Tripped the blower flapper to no avail. Memory tach red needle at 3800. She did finally shut off after spinning all the mains and eating all the shop rags I could stuff down her neck. Got to love a runaway diesel!!

Last edited by ebbsrig; 11-24-2011 at 09:06 PM. Reason: mispelling
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:12 AM
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I have had a couple Detroits run away on me and even accidently sent one running in reverse. Detroits are scarier then hell when they run away and will destroy anything you put in front of that turbo to smother it short of a piece of plate steel.
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Old 11-25-2011, 04:01 AM
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Cool story bro!
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Old 11-25-2011, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Rønning View Post
I have had a couple Detroits run away on me and even accidently sent one running in reverse. Detroits are scarier then hell when they run away and will destroy anything you put in front of that turbo to smother it short of a piece of plate steel.
You speak the truth my friend.

Random vid off YouTube that stresses that point:
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Old 11-25-2011, 04:54 AM
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i had a detroit 671 run away on me monday while winterizing it in a boat, i owe the owner of the boat a couch cushin seeing as i stuffed it down her throat lol
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:10 AM
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I had an old Detroit in an Armored Personnel Carrier I was helping work on. They couldn't get it started. We were working on bleeding the fuel system, etc.

I suggested we pull the intake tube and get a good solid plank to shut her down in case it decided to run away.

Well, we got it lit and off she went!!!!!!!

It seemed like it took forever to get it killed. I guess it was sucking air through the crankcase somehow? It finally died.

And as it turned out, it wasn't a true runaway. It was just stuck at full rack! I can't imagine a real runaway on one of those things!
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drunk on diesel View Post
I had an old Detroit in an Armored Personnel Carrier I was helping work on. They couldn't get it started. We were working on bleeding the fuel system, etc.

I suggested we pull the intake tube and get a good solid plank to shut her down in case it decided to run away.

Well, we got it lit and off she went!!!!!!!

It seemed like it took forever to get it killed. I guess it was sucking air through the crankcase somehow? It finally died.

And as it turned out, it wasn't a true runaway. It was just stuck at full rack! I can't imagine a real runaway on one of those things!
they have a charged air box if its one of the old 2 strokers and they have a breather for the crank that allows air in and out prob why it took so long to kill her lol
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:27 AM
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You haven't seen scary until you have seen a Fairbanks Morse runaway. That will definitely make you suck your underwear a place they don't belong.
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoaststrokin View Post
You haven't seen scary until you have seen a Fairbanks Morse runaway. That will definitely make you suck your underwear a place they don't belong.
I beg to differ. Get in a flat bed F450 tow truck with a 6.4 and head towards a bridge toll booth with both feet standing on the brake pedal doing 80+. That happened when they first came out and i was in my first dealership. Haha that was the best day of my life. Customer complaint-Cleaning Exhaust light comes on often and sees smoke out the exhaust. Report findings. I didnt have the lap top so i figured eh, ill get on 209 head towards the kingston rhinecliff bridge and see if i can get it to act up... Well 5 minutes of doing 50-60 and cleaning exhaust light came on. Truck started to make grey smoke out of the exhaust and the whole truck started to vibrate. Me being me, if somethings going to quit im going to lay into it to keep it running. Well i lay into it flat to the floor its not gaining any speed and im thinking the fires going to go out soon... Boy was I in for a surprise. All of a sudden it comes back to life. Throws me in my seat and just goes so im thinking cool! Whatever booger was in it just got blown out. Im coming up along side of a prius with all windows down, and filled the interior with black smoke well i let off the throttle and its still going. Oh dear.... This isnt going to end well... Im passing everything like its standing still leaving a trail of thick black smoke so i turn the strobe lights on just to clear the way and hold the horn down. I have NO clue whats going to happen. (need i remind you i was fresh out of college the only automotive experience i had at that time was building race cars, and mud trucks and was in my 2nd month of my internship only diesel experience i had thus far was with 6.0s doing egr/oil coolers, ripping cabs off to do head gaskets, and change injectors) So i see the toll both coming up and i call the shop they patch me in to my mentor a sr master lead tech of the shop. He says i have a run away and to put it in nuetral and coast to a stop get out and stand back. Easier said than done. i got within about 50 feet of the bridge before i finally got it stopped. I got out set the e brake and stood by the control levers for the flat bed. It made one hell of a clatter before it quit. I was never so embarrased in my life. Standing next to a ford pluming smoke everyone pointing and smiling or frowning because i covered their car with soot.

My rear bit the seat Especially when i got so close to the bridge. I thought for sure i was going to run it and i was going to aim for the Easy pass and plow through it and lord help whosever in front of me with no room to pass. Half an hour later i get back to the shop in a big rig tow truck with the flat bed on the hook, everyones clapping and cheering and laughing. They said i broke my cherry and can now call myself a diesel technician... Luckily it didnt anger or upset my service manager or anyone in the shop. they just said better it happened out there than in the shop and asked me if i was okay if i was a nervous wreck and if i wanted to go home to which i responded nope im good just want to get this thing torn down. Then my manager says "Ask your mentor what happens when they do that inside... Youll be hated so quickly and probably have tools thrown at you"

That job needless to say sucked couldnt turn the engine over by hand to get the torque converter nuts undone even with a cheater bar on a 3/4 inch ratchet with a 38 inch long handle. Had to remove the light bar and crap to get the cab off and it just fit in the shop pushed under the landing in our bays. Ended up pulling the motor and tranny together got the PTO off, removed the transmission left the torque converter on the flexplate and that went with the motor back to ford for a core.

Most ungodly noise you will ever hear is in a 6.0 run away. 6.4 is so muffled from the DPF DOC Muffler and rest of the crap in the exhaust. They just make a loud BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR


And What Ryan says about detroits is true, They will run in reverse. Spit smoke out the intake and will clog the interior of a rig with smoke within seconds. Was witness to one of those as well. Guy had a kenworth cab over with a 8v71 and stalled it it rolled backwards he dumped the clutch and dove out the door shortly after it fired up.

Last edited by PowerstrokeTech82787; 11-25-2011 at 05:22 PM.
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