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86 F250 6.9 IDI Smoking!!

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by chk1204, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. chk1204

    chk1204 Registered User

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    Just bought an 86 F250 6.9 idi. It just had injectors (Stanadyne), glow plugs (no name) and return lines replaced and when the guy was test driving it, smoke started pouring out the exhaust. He told the owner it blew a head gasket and the owner did not want to put more money into it. Long story short I got the truck for $800 delivered and looking for some advice.
    I did a cold compression check - all cylinders are 300-400 psi. Pulled the CDR - packed full of a gray greasy substance. Inspected the check valve on the IP - clean but the gasket on compression fitting fell apart. There is a little bit of oil (could be diesel??) in the coolant and the rad is low but the bottle is full.
    I found two pieces of plastic when I pulled the CDR - 1 on the valley pan and 1 in the hole for the CDR - anyone know what these are??? Are they internal to the CDR?
    I think the smoke is fuel - doesn't smell sweet and is a bluish/white color. The truck fires right up but smokes a lot and based on the compression test I don't see that it could be a head (maybe more just hoping so).
    My plan is to pressure test the cooling system (need to rent the kit), replace glow plugs with motorcraft, replace injector return lines and o rings, possibly run a clear return and get rid of the metal tube, replace CDR and gaskets, replace FRAM fuel filter with Motorcraft and fill with diesel Kleen. Put it back together and see if there is any change.
    Would love to see the truck back on the road, thanks in advance for the help!

    20190106_120518.jpg
     
  2. Macrobb

    Macrobb Full Access Member

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    Blue/white smoke, especially with missing(and especially true if it gets worse at high revs) is retarded timing. The IP's basically worn out, the timing piston has jammed in the fully retarded position. Replace the IP and injectors.

    It's possible to 'work around' the problem by skipping the IP gear to cam gear a tooth ahead. That gives an extra 6 degrees of advance and usually clears it up, but it probably won't run perfectly, due to the timing curve still being wrong.
     
  3. Thewespaul

    Thewespaul Supporting Vendor Supporting Member

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    Yes and no, if the pump was worn out it would have smoked all the time and had no power, not just a sudden event and it starts blowing smoke all of a sudden. Usually overly retarded pumps are from the vanes on the transfer pump being worn out and not building enough transfer pressure to properly advance the pump at full tilt. Technically, you could adjust the transfer pressure regulator to bring it back into spec, but it would be difficult to do so with the pump installed. A good dose of atf or diesel extreme will fix a stuck advance piston nine out of ten times.

    To the op, I’d wager if your cooling system holds pressure you have a stuck injector or two. With the truck running you can do two tests for this. Use an infrared temp gun to measure the difference between temps on each injector body. They should all be within 20* if they are all working properly. Next you can crack open one injection line at a time with the engine running and see if any one affects the smoke volume. Keep us posted!
     
  4. chk1204

    chk1204 Registered User

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    Part of my plan once parts arrive was to do the injector test by cracking each line when its running. I am currently looking into replacing the metal return line back to the IP....The ferule or gasket fell apart and I would like to add a clear line to be able to check for air.
    Does anyone recognize the plastic pieces i found from the picture in the first post?
     
  5. Thewespaul

    Thewespaul Supporting Vendor Supporting Member

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    I do not recognize the plastic pieces, the gasket you are referring to is often called an olive or a fuel seal. You can get a replacement from a international dealership, to run a clear line you will need to change the fittings to a barbed fitting like what the later 7.3s have. I prefer to have a clear line from the filter to injection pump.
     
  6. Jason1377

    Jason1377 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    International is that a Ford dealership or am I misunderstanding also can you buy those from Rockauto
     
  7. Macrobb

    Macrobb Full Access Member

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    No, an international truck dealership. Remember, "international" is the name of the company. (see also Navistar, International Harvester)
     
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  8. Jason1377

    Jason1377 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I see miss read that forgot some trucks was still IH labeled I'll need to find one near me thanks @Macrobb
     
  9. david85

    david85 Full Access Member

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    300 PSI is a bit low for compression. While it may still run, that's not ideal. Mine had 390 on the lowest cylinder when I decided to rebuild due to a glow plug "incident".

    If it did have a head gasket issue, it may or may not show up in your compression check. Small leaks will simply build pressure in the cooling system, but won't rob enough compression to affect power. It may first appear as water getting pushed out the expansion tank (which you appear to have). The engine may or may not overheat right away, it depends on how bad the leak is. A dead giveaway is to watch the tank while the engine is idling at temperature. If a steady flow of bubbles comes out the expansion hose even after the engine is at operating temperature, you have a leaky head gasket. The engine will also fail to pull the expanded coolant back in through normal heating and cooling cycles. This is why the expansion tank is full, but the rad is not.

    A major head gasket leak is very hard to mistake. Dead cylinder(s), major steam in the exhaust and enough pressure in the cooling system to stretch hoses or even the radiator housings. Catastrophic head gasket failure may also pump head gasket material through the cooling system where it can clog the smaller passages. Gray in the CDR could also mean coolant (water) is finding its way into the crank case.

    If all of these things check out, please stop running the engine. On a gasser, it isn't such a big deal to keep running under light load even with a leaky head gasket. However, on a high compression diesel, combustion gasses that leak past the head gasket erode the deck surfaces. This will make it very difficult to make the new gasket seal properly. When I tore mine down, one of the fire rings was in the early stages of failure and I had no idea. Thankfully the damage was minor and I never had issues after the rebuild.

    EDIT: One final warning. If coolant enters the cylinder after a shutdown, you could have a hydrolock situation on your hands the next time it turns over. This can cause severe damage to the rotating parts of the engine.
     
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  10. chk1204

    chk1204 Registered User

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    I have only run it at idle in the driveway for a few mins. Today I replaced the injector return lines, o rings and cups, added a clear line to the top of the filter housing to see any air. Replaced glow plugs with motorcraft. Bled the lines and started the truck, did the injector test and it didn't clear up the smoke, the engine just ran a little rough each time I cracked a line.
    I checked for blow by with the oil cap inverted on the fill tube, not enough pressure to lift the cap. However, there was steam coming into the CDR even at idle. I pulled the CDR and took the lower tube off and mounted it to a piece of coolant line to bypass the CDR.
    I did a coolant pressure test (cold because it wasn't running yesterday) and it held at 13 psi for several minutes.
    Compression #'s - 320, 340, 340, 300 - drivers side front to back
    400, 360, 400, 350 passenger side back to front.
     
  11. Thewespaul

    Thewespaul Supporting Vendor Supporting Member

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    Those numbers are within 20% so that would pass a compression test by the ford specs.

    With the engine running, take a jumper wire from the front prong to the rear prong on the injection pump, with only the front prong connector on, leave the rear connector off so you don’t backfeed power into the rest of the circuit. This will activate the cold advance solenoid and advance the timing a few degrees, see if that affects the smoke at idle.
     
  12. chk1204

    chk1204 Registered User

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    I removed the back connector and jumped a wire from the battery the rear terminal, it barely made a difference in the way it ran.....no difference in the smoke. The smoke seems to go back and forth from really bad to barely noticeable. I ran the truck at idle till it came up to temp and let it run for a few more mins. Upper rad hose was stiff and top of rad warm. Didn't notice any bubbles going back into the overflow. I did notice diesel pooling up on the back of the valley pan.....looks like the injection pump may have a leak. Also one of the injectors was bubbling around the body where it screws into the head. I appreciate all the input....trying to isolate some issues to determine what to do with this truck. I would prefer not to throw expensive parts at it just to see if problems go away. I do have an option of a 7.3 powerstroke engine, harness and dash for really cheap. I would like to keep it original if possible.
     
  13. chk1204

    chk1204 Registered User

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    Oh and it appears those plastic pieces I found are the lock tabs from the same kind of connector on the IP
     
  14. Thewespaul

    Thewespaul Supporting Vendor Supporting Member

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    Well timing isn’t your issue, the bubbling injector is a copper washer under the injector leaking, and the oil in the valley is likely diesel that’s picking up grease and turning black. With the ip leaking externally and the smoke coming and going, I’d say that pump is likely shot. Have you taken temp measurements between the injectors?
     
  15. chk1204

    chk1204 Registered User

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    I did not take temp measurements, I don't have an infrared temp gun but will look into buying one. It was pure clear diesel on the valley pan. I have extra copper washers from the return line kit. Is it worth it to replace the IP and see what happens? At the end of the day there is still oil in the coolant....I haven't found the exact reason for this yet. I live in south eastern PA and am about an hour from Conestoga Diesel Injection. Heard mixed reviews of Pensacola pumps, wheres the best place to get a reman? Rough cost?
     

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