white smoke - narrowing down which injectors to replace 7.3L 2000 - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-04-2019, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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white smoke - narrowing down which injectors to replace 7.3L 2000

New to me 00 f350 doesn't have blowby or anything and runs well once warm, but lacks power until fully warmed up & you really step on the accelerator. Smokes white all the time, not terribly but even when fully warmed up after a 100 mile drive, still smoking white. I've worked on 7.3L injectors before and this has the same white smoke I've seen before on these engines and other diesels with bad injectors...but despite my suspicions I went through and checked/fixed up everything that could be related or suspect... Fuel, oil, hpop level & pressure, fuel pickup, fuel pressure, fuel filter,air filter/intake are all good.. ICP & IPR, pressure ok and no error codes.

No issues on injector buzz test. no failed cylinders on cylinder contribution test. misfire delta around 1-4% on injectors 4,5, and occasionally cyl 1. --I don't really know if misfire delta as reported by my cheap obd2 adapter & car gauge pro app means anything.. *any thoughts on that?


I am trying to save money and just get by with replacing a set of 8 o-rings and ONLY the injectors that really are bad, not a whole set, for now. I don't ever have plans to upgrade any more than stock power levels.

Pulled the valve covers and ran it cold, all 8 injectors are squirting oil out the deflector, (*I'm wondering if I should be looking more closely for low oil flow? - the back ones are hard to see clearly how much oil is coming out, but there is some).

Next I (carefully) pulled one injector electrical plug off each injector while running, and I didn't find any "dead" cylinders (where if you pulled the plug and it made no difference in how it ran, that would be a bad injector). There were no abnormalities that could be pinpointed comparing the sounds of this test between cylinders.


***So now I'd appreciate your thoughts on ANY further steps I might take to troubleshoot specifically which injectors are bad.** thank you!
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-04-2019, 03:01 AM
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It sounds like you can do the work yourself. You can get them rebuilt reasonably. I think rosewood is one on here that people like or maybe [email protected]

If you can do it yourself you can probably get done in under 1000.

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post #3 of 18 Old 09-04-2019, 05:56 AM
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I would do some more diagnoses before spending the money on new Injectors (I mean you really haven't found an injector "anomaly" as you described) How many miles on your Injectors?

Your Cylinder Contribution Test and the lack of codes would have me looking around some first.

Look at this thread -> https://www.powerstroke.org/forum/7-3...at-sensor.html
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-04-2019, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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No history on injectors, upto ~260k on them as far as I can tell.

I did do quite a bit of other troubleshooting that I didn't mention, I believe it runs the same with the MAT unplugged. Also MAP & hoses and ebpv system OK. I will read up more & test MAT fully. But everything keeps leading to injectors...

I know I can get pretty cheap injectors...unfortunately $1000 isn't in the budget, more like $500 max currently

Thanks for the replies!
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-04-2019, 10:05 AM
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With that many miles it's most likely the injectors. I purchased the rebuild/shim kits off ebay for just under a couple hundred bucks. All the internal and external orings, springs, check balls and it comes shims to shim the coil and plunger. Made a world of difference on my injectors and will probably last another 100k miles or more. By far the cheapest route for "refurbished" injectors. They're not very hard to do either. Took me about 4 hours of taking my time to rebuild all 8.
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-04-2019, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info on the $120-185 injector rebuild kits on ebay! I have more reading and youtube video watching to do to decide whether or not I'm up for tackling that.. I don't seem to really have too long of long crank times or hard starting (although pretty rough starting and low power at first as described above) just the white smoke.

My reluctance with going this route is I don't/won't know for sure if my injectors are rebuild-able or not. The local shops I've called quoted me way too much to "test" injectors that I brought in, and even the regional diesel injection specialist shop that offers a pretty reasonable deal on rebuilds told me $100 per just to have them tested!!

If I go the diy rebuild route I'd have to just cross my fingers & hope they are still serviceable. I guess I'm trying to compare that to sending in the injectors I have (8 in truck + 5 unknown cores I have sitting around) to someplace that can test them for ~$50 or less each, and seeing if they can come up with 8 usable ones.

Again my preference would be some approach that doesn't take the truck off the road for too long.

One question, BEASTLY250, did you (or does anyone else who has rebuilt their own injectors) think it's needed to run the nozzles through an ultrasonic cleaner? or is spray carb cleaner and compressed air, with a wirebrush/wheel & 3m pad externally, enough?

thanks again for all the input so far
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-04-2019, 05:31 PM
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If you have white smoke, you have fuel. So probably NOT injectors.

My 40+ years experience with many, many diesel engines is that white smoke is evidence of incomplete combustion. Low compression is usually the culprit, although cool running temperature can also contribute to "incomplete" combustion.

2 Stroke Detroits will smoke on start-up if they cranked awhile before firing because fuel was being injected before the cyls heated up enough to fire. It will continue to smoke until the engine warms sufficiently to promote complete combustion.

I read Ralph's link for the MAT sensor. I respect the poll that peeps solved their problem with a MAT sensor replacement, but with no codes, I'm skeptical the MAT is at fault. Easy and cheap to check though, compared to injectors.

With a tight budget, I'd check compression before spending money on parts that may not fix it. I admit that checking compression on a diesel is fussy and not easy. Harbor Freight probably has inexpensive high pressure gauges, and an adapter can be made from a glow plug. I've fixed several difficult to diagnose diesel engine problems by finally taking a compression test.
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-04-2019, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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wouldn't blowby be an easy indicator of compression issues? this engine has very low/no blowby when oil cap removed..or is that not an accurate indicator...

I know that white smoke could be: a timing issue (retarded timing), bad injectors *potentially causing incomplete combustion*? or low compression.
I have seen white smoke from bad diesel injectors on several occasions, fixed by replacing injectors. I've also seen other fuel system/fuel line issues cause white smoke
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-04-2019, 08:41 PM
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Have you contacted Rosewood about testing your injectors?

I had, what I consider, the same issue with mine. No blow by to speak of but a haze of smoke that got better when the temp got hot but never went away and also had a slight little stutter at idle or very low engine load. I thought the exhaust had an overly rich fuel smell to it as well. I had decided, in my mind, that the injectors were the culprit and specifically, nozzles. If a nozzle is getting gunked up or a holeis out of spec, it will dribble a little fuel in and create this rich idle issue. Now, if the internal pressures are not high enough, that too will cause poor atomization and fuel to drip in that cyl.

Unfortunately, I think the only way to find the bad one is to test them. Also, I have been told, consider these injectors at the end of their efficient service life around 250k miles. My truck had 437k on it when I sent the injectors to Rosewood. They were reluctant to believe they had that mileage on them but also said they were certainly due for a rebuild.

They do a budget rebuild in the $500 range if no new major parts are needed, but don't count on that. If you talk to them, they mightbe able to help but don't be surprised if you have suggestions from them to rebuild them.

Honestly, depending on how bad it is, get yourself one good injector and start swapping it with an injector in the engine until you find the one that is causing the issues. This will take a long time to do as my engine smoked for a couple of days after getting running again.

I don't have the rich exhaust/smoke haze that I use to though!
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-05-2019, 12:08 AM
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I've always read that white smoke is usually an injector problem or if it only happens cold it a glow plug related problem. And yes, it's unburnt fuel or coolant being burned.

OP - have you tried the archoil or revX additive?

As for the injector rebuild service, if they are running they should be rebuildable. I wouldn't waste money getting them tested as at $100 per injector you can probably get them rebuilt. Rebuild service on eBay for $750 but I'd pay more for somewhere reputable. Some places will send you rebuilt injectors and you send back your cores to minimize downtime. With your mileage, if one is bad the rest are likely to follow.

Disclaimer - I work in IT so I really don't have any authority on this topic. this is just my guess from what I read and experienced.

I also assume once it gets cold your problems will get worse. You could save money and just run until it gets to winter time. If it's injectors then it should become clear once you try to start at 32deg F.

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