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Discussion Starter #1
Hey dudes,

I dove into the diesel world recently with the purchase of a 2004 F-350. When I test drove it everything was fine. After driving it home (30 minutes on the highway) it died at a stoplight right outside my neighborhood. It fired back up and got home. Drove it about 10 minutes away, then 10 minutes home. Died while driving this time and took a while to get it cranked up while sitting in the middle of the road. All this time the idle was very erratic and I was keeping it alive by giving it a little throttle at all times. So far I have changed the oil and filters, as well as fuel filter which helped the erratic idle some (still a little fluctuation). I performed a bubble test and observed no bubbles in the fuel bowl. Found a code for Cylinder 5 contribution/balance. When turning over during the bubble test I did notice it was not a "smooth" crank as well as a "hiss" from the passenger side, which if I'm not mistaken is the odd bank on these.

Modifications reported by previous owner: EGR Delete, adjustable fuel pressure regulator and return, coolant filter, oil bypass filter, ARP head studs, exhaust, intake, pretty much all blue sinister diesel stuff, SCT 4 tuner set to street (I tuned it back to stock).

I know there are probably 8 posts with the same issues or similar, but I have had trouble finding the same line up of issues. Looking for some suggestions on anything else I can do to diagnose prior to pulling injectors to inspect.

Thank you guys in advance!
 

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get someone to run a contribution test, and kill cylinders one by one , see if the smoke clears at 5, more than likely what it is. my 04 did all this when I had an injector hung open
 

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An injector can dump raw fuel and cause all kinds of problems, including an uneven crank.
 

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" When turning over during the bubble test I did notice it was not a "smooth" crank as well as a "hiss" from the passenger side, which if I'm not mistaken is the odd bank on these. "

The 'bubble test' can be misleading if there is only a small leak, you would have to crank a long time for that to show -- it does work well however for large leaks

The hiss is likely a leaking valve - that would make the crank uneven, with a speed up or skip

a leaking injector would try to fire - so the engine would speed up a little and smoke

Curious what the fuel pressure is -- you would need a gauge and thread adapter or a tapped filter cap
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey guys, thanks for chiming in. So the magical engine pixies went to work while I was sleeping. After letting it marinate in fresh oil and new oil/fuel filters over night the idle was 100% better. So this told me that it may have been a "chemical" issue rather than purely mechanical. So I put a 1/2 can of seafoam in the tank that was at just below 1/4 full and let that idle away while I ran to the store to get more seafoam. Gave her 2 more cans (2.5 cans / 40oz) and went to the gas station to fill her up with some fresh diesel (I have no idea how old the fuel was that was in it or how long it had been sitting). After the fill up I drove her around, a little on the harsh side and watched as the white smoke mostly went away. Got back to the house and tuned it to a performance setting and drove it around like an angry teenager for a little. I figured that if the good fuel and seafoam was masking the real issue or acting like a band aid, then doing this would get the real issue to show itself. Well she performed great, never showed a bit of fluctuation in the idle and the white smoke was completely gone at idle as well. Dropped the tune down to a less "performancy" tune and took her for another driver. Nothing. Drove like a dream and no smoke. After I got home I checked for the codes and ran the KOEO Injector test again and never got the Cyl 5 code to come back. Before it would come on everytime I ran the test after erasing it. However, the white smoke is not completely gone, but is limited to about 15-20 seconds after startup.

My thoughts are that there may have been some type of build up in the injector that just needed time and exposure to good chemicals to work it's way through.

After she cools down I'm going to start her up and see where she is at right now with a cold start.

I may still bring it in somewhere to have the Contribution Test done just for a sanity check/confirmation.

Feel free to drop your knowledge/conspiracy theories on what I've got going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
" When turning over during the bubble test I did notice it was not a "smooth" crank as well as a "hiss" from the passenger side, which if I'm not mistaken is the odd bank on these. "

The 'bubble test' can be misleading if there is only a small leak, you would have to crank a long time for that to show -- it does work well however for large leaks

The hiss is likely a leaking valve - that would make the crank uneven, with a speed up or skip

a leaking injector would try to fire - so the engine would speed up a little and smoke

Curious what the fuel pressure is -- you would need a gauge and thread adapter or a tapped filter cap
The pressure on the adjustable return gauge is reading just above 60psi.
Hissing sound seems have been taken by the Engine Pixies in the night as well.
 

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After 3 cans of your fuel additive, that my be the smoke -- I wouldn't worry too much until after that fuel is ran out and fresh is in the tank
 

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I guess at this point all you can do is monitor and make sure its actually cleaned up. For the smoke, I don't think its bad for 10-15 sec unless you're either losing coolant or see white powder around the degas bottle. This "hiss sound" could have been start of a hard start hot or cold, and the O-RIng has reseated itself for a bit. Could be fixed.

I think Seafoam in Diesel is fine, but I would avoid putting it in the oil. Seafoam is really good at cleaning the engine as you run it in diesel, but not the oil adding to oil can be bad. IMO the same oil goes into the fuel injectors that is in the engine, and if the injectors get dirty, well they can get ruined.

If you haven't drained the HFCM fuel water separator, its a good thing to do this and see if there's anything in the fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
....and the plot thickens....along with the smoke

So after I let it cool down again (2 days ago) I went and started it up and took it for a short drive......white smoke at idle came back, along with the #5 cylinder code and an injector pressure code. Driveablility was still perfect, no issues there.

Tonight I decided to just fire it up and let her run for a while and take her on a little spin around the neighborhood. White smoke of course, and as I was driving down the street the temp gauge started getting a little squirrelly. Reached 244 deg F. Luckily I didn't leave the neighborhood. HVAC inside the cab was blowing ambient temp when set to max heat as well. Idled her home. While idling I pulled up the oil dipstick and beheld a freight train was hiding under my hood. Not a small amount of smoke.....like a Subaru owner vaping at a red light so everyone knows how cool he is amount of smoke. I thought I had an idea of what direction I was going, but this changes things a bit. Any ideas with this new information. 😭
 

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Running an engine that is dumping raw fuel (ie a failed injector - which it probably is) is an invitation to disaster IMO.

It should be fixed, not driven. When the engine temperature gets that high, you are going to be on the verge of having other engine problems (if not already) - head gaskets, cracked heads, cooked wiring, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
After posting I went outside to check the coolant.....she gone. Deeper down the rabbit hole I go ðŸ˜*
 

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EGR cooler actually removed - or just welded shut?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
As far as I can tell it ain't there and there is a block off plate where the valve sits behind the intake elbow.

In other news.....I popped the oil fill neck off and it's was harboring some delicious looking milkshake......it keeps getting better. As of right now, all signs are pointing to head gasket....at least it already has the ARP studs, so the expensive part is installed.

I'm currently leaning towards just doing an external oil cooler, head gaskets, 6 phase 53v FICM, water pump, IPR, ICP and give the turbo a nice bubble bath while it's out just so I can have peace of mind that I personally know that everything was done right and only have to tear it all down once (hopefully).

Right now it has a bunch of bright blue sinister diesel parts under the hood. I've read some places that some people reccomend staying away from them and trusting the "authority" BPD. Thoughts?
 

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Usually head gaskets leak compression into the cooling system -- so lots of bubbles in the degas tank

By your pic, there is likely coolant in the oil -- loosen the drain plug al little and see what come out first -- could be water

The oil cooler can fail, but there will be oil in the degas tank -- high pressure to lower pressure kind of thing
 

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I would be wondering about cracked heads. I know that the common place for heads to crack is around the injector hold-down bolt area, but with excessive heat, cracks can occur in places that might allow coolant to enter the oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hydro- when I changed the oil before, there was some "clear" liquid that drained out first, then the oil. I wasn't 100% sure if it was fuel or coolant.......still could have been a mixture, looks like I might have compounding issues. There hasn't been any backing up into the degas reservoir, only stuff leaving. In fact, when it was running I grabbed all the coolant hoses topside and they were all cool to the touch. I pulled the CAI piping to the turbo and found an extremely liberal amount of oil in the piping....wasn't milky, but looked like it had water mixed with it. You can see it beaded up in the picture.

Bismic- I really hope your wrong lol. I'd love to avoid the expense of replacing the head(s).


So with planning on tearing down and inspecting/replacing head gaskets and all associated gaskets/seals, I'm thinking about swapping the #5 injector with #2, that way when all is said and done I can see if there was an actual issue with that injector, and if so it'd be in a much easier location to replace.
 

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Fuel is miscible with oil. Water is not.

Clear liquid draining out of the oil wouldn't be diesel.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Between work and family I've got it torn down to the heads being next to come off. I've found quite a few missing nuts and bolts (nothing was holding the turbo on except the exhaust v-bands) along with an exciting amount of end play in the turbo, and a healthy amount of dirt sitting in the hoop screen under the oil cooler assembly, as well as a good amount of debris in the IPR screen, and some larger chunks (not metal) floating around. Hopefully I will have at least 1 head off and inspected tomorrow, and the other off and inspected the filling day. So far the only "sludge" has been in from under the valve covers, nowhere else in the system is showing any signs.

This "job" thing can really be a drag sometimes. I'll post some videos on the me-tube soon, maybe somebody will notice something I overlooked.
 
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