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Massive! oil consumption

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by Chief, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Chief

    Chief Registered User

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    So my '93 7.3 IDI that I got from my dad to use as a work truck in my business goes through about a quart of oil every 15-18 miles. Yes, you read that correctly. I have changed the CDR, have a little blow by, oil pooling on the valley pan, and spotted an oil leak on the inlet side of the turbo where the connection is rectangular in shape. I've just ordered a rebuild kit but hope to not need it. Dad got a "new" turbo installed 2 years ago. I doubt the competency of the mechanics so I'm assuming they did some shoddy work. I have done a ton of research and have concluded that I am either backed up in the oil drain pedestal or my seals are bad in the turbo. I haven't checked compression yet but man she purrs when running, just a lot of blue/grey/white smoke. I was even pulled over this week on the way to a job for smoking so bad!

    Anyway, it could go either way on getting this beast running good and not consuming my fuel budget in oil. Im new to the site but have perused the posts and articles and this is the conclusion I'm reaching. Any advice from my fellow OBs?
     
  2. Thewespaul

    Thewespaul Supporting Vendor Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum, first thing I would do is pull off the intake boot on the turbo and check for play side to side or in and out. Wipe everything down and look and see if there are signs of the turbo wheel contacting the housing.If you have oil pooling up on the valley pan your drain is blocked. Likely the oil is coming from the valley pan grommet or the seal flange for the turbo drain. It’s unlikely the drain for the turbo is completely blocked causing your issues, typically for the engine to burn that much oil it’s got to be a blown Turbo or wiped out piston rings. If it happened all the sudden then it’s likely the turbo.
     
    IDIBRONCO likes this.
  3. Clb

    Clb Another old truck Supporting Member

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    shell Rotella?
    Known to cause oil "drinking" issues...
    Follow wes'advice
    A qt. In 18 :cry:miles
     
  4. DrCharles

    DrCharles Full Access Member

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    Yeah, but 15 miles to the quart? That's 25% of the fuel consumption! :eek:

    Could the turbo be pouring that much oil into the intake without causing a runaway? :dunno
     
  5. lotzagoodstuff

    lotzagoodstuff Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I think it drink that much oil without running away, but I also think this much consumption being read off the dipstick could also be less than a quart based on a bunch of "tolerance stackup".

    For instance:
    • Was it overfilled when cold? If so, IDIs (and other engines) tend to drink the overfill faster than normal.
    • Did you check the oil when it was cold, and then again when it was hot? Oil level always goes down when these engines are fully warmed up versus cold, so this could be part of the level interpretation.
    • Rotella does get "drunk" faster than other oils.
    From the description, he's got lots of smoke but a strong running engine. I'm with the other folks who've chimed in betting that he lost a turbo seal and it's drinking lots of oil. I know its not fair to compare gassers to IDIs, but I have seen more than one 460 drink 3-4 quarts in less than 200 miles very consistently (going back and forth from Portland to Tri-Cities) and it was absolutely due to the oil control rings. It made surprisingly good power with a pretty loaded down work truck, and it ran this way for several years. Again, gasser example but I am always amazed at how some things can just drink oil, keep running and just keep killing mosquitos.
     
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  6. rewbrooks50

    rewbrooks50 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Same oil consumption happened to me. The truck still ran good and no oil spots. I took the truck to Wes. He pulled the intake hose to the turbo and the turbo had sucked trash in and locked up. My boost gauge was reading 30 to 40 boost.

    Probably your turbo.
     
  7. KYSlowhand

    KYSlowhand Registered User

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    perhaps piston rings sealing well enough to operate fairly well but being old they are not keeping crankcase oil from being drawn into the combustion chamber.
     
  8. Chief

    Chief Registered User

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    Thank you all for the replies!

    I've pulled the boot off the front of the turbo and there isn't any side to side movement of the wheel. There was oil at the entrance to the turbo from the blow by and cdr. When I got the truck, it had an RDT. I think some oil is going into the chamber but most is going out the exhaust. The oil feeder line is sucking a lot of oil into the turbo. So a compression/blow by/turbo issue is what I think I have going on.

    Dad was using Rotella but I have since switched to Delo but haven't seen much of a difference except that Delo is a little bit cheaper.

    I'm gonna try the warm check of the oil level and it makes sense that it would drink more when "overfilled".

    I also probably have a few stuck rings but can't do an auto rx treatment until I get this consumption down.

    It was a gradual decline. I just got the truck last month. The truck has a rebuilt engine with less than 20K on it. Total mileage is at 155k. The turbo probably has less than 10K. Ive been quoted $800 for a rebuild of the turbo but think that is a bit excessive. Im pretty mechanically inclined and can do just about anything with a vehicle. So, if I pull the turbo out and the drain is clear, I won't hesitate to tear down the turbo and rebuild all the seals.

    I'll post pictures if I see anything obvious when I pull the turbo.

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  9. lotzagoodstuff

    lotzagoodstuff Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Do yourself a favor and ask Russ (Type4) and/or Wes (thewespaul) about rebuilding your turbo. There are some tips and tricks to getting the fasteners out in one piece, balancing, and who sells best replacement parts for these turbos. I do everything myself, but I have to admit I have a Russ rebuilt turbo in my garage waiting to go on my PSD.

    Good luck to you whichever way you go.
     
  10. Thewespaul

    Thewespaul Supporting Vendor Supporting Member

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    800 is way excessive for that turbo rebuild, that’s more in the range of what Russ and I charge for a very upgraded turbo. Did it always consume oil like that since the rebuild? Rings installed incorrectly will do exactly what you’re describing
     
  11. Chief

    Chief Registered User

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    The oil consumption started after the rebuild and after it sat for six years until he got a new turbo. He pull started it after it sat and forgot to pre lube the cylinders. He thinks he may have fouled the cylinder walls. Got the new turbo and drove it maybe 10k before giving it to me. No oil consumption before it sat so that was his conclusion.
     
  12. Chief

    Chief Registered User

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    I kinda figured that. It maybe only needs new seals. That’s it. Everything else is fine as far as I can tell and it still works. No contact with the housing and the fins look great. Just gonna do it myself if the pedestal isn’t clogged and/or the valley pan already has extra holes under the grommet.
     
  13. Chief

    Chief Registered User

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    Took a trip to Nashville, about an hour away, and used 3 qts on the way there. 56 miles. Saturday can’t come soon enough.
     
  14. Hydro-idi

    Hydro-idi Full Access Member

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    Jeeze, that’s some serious oil consumption. If everything else is checking out, you might have stuck oil rings. I would dump a few quarts of marvel mystery oil in the engine oil and take it for a nice long haul. Up and down a few hills pulling hard. Might be worth a try & is cheap too
     
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  15. Chief

    Chief Registered User

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    Pulled the turbo. Valley pan didn’t have extra holes so I punched a few and now working on getting it back in, which is a PITA. If this doesn’t do it, will rebuild the turbo. I’ll keep y’all posted.
     
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