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White smoke, goes away after a while

7 posts in this topic

So after rebuilding the little diesel engine (2005 CDI Pulse) and driving it to Calgary from Vancouver I'm now getting white smoke on start ups. It lingers for a few minutes and is quite heavy. I can't see how this is coolant leak (blown head) as the engine block and head were resurfaced, and a brand new MB head gasket was installed during the rebuild. I broke in the engine keeping it under 2500 rpm the whole 900 km trip, even easing it up the mountain passes at 60-70km/hr (lots of mad trucks tailgating me but meh). With the exception of having to run at 3000-3500 rpm a few select times (never more than a few seconds). I've also been careful to let the turbo cool after high load trips. The only other symptom is that the engine does not seem to be getting up to temperature now (3 bars like it did on the highway to Calgary). It just lingers at 2 bars (under 80 C). I don't know if that is related. I also didn't use Shell V-Power the last fill up and used Esso instead. Maybe bad fuel (I never did trust ESSO gas)???

 

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated, and thanks again ( :

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Hmmm....In the past, the only reasons I have had for white smoke in gasoline engines is head gasket, or cracked head or block resulting in water penetration or coolant.....

Are you positive it's white and not oil? Did you replace thermostat ?   What about some sort of blockage in the cooling system, yes I know it would create an over heating issue but a nasty paper shop rag are typical culprits now a days. Did you install new valve guides also and seals? Valves? A proffesional valve job? Did you re-torque the head bolts?  Did you use any type of adhesive on the head gasket? Not good.  Was head gasket in perfect condition? No ding on the ring around cylinder? Is there any "O" rings that go around any water passages ways you may have forgotten in this engine, sorry haven't taken mine apart yet to know. That's all I have at this point.....just spit balling anything that possibly could cause this? Did you torque the head bolts correctly...?  
I would and you will shoot me for saying this but, if it doesn't clear up asap....I'd be taking it apart again seeing as you must have a pretty penny tied up into it by now. I'd do leak down tests and even scope the cylinders, pressure test cooling system also...
As you said before.....if you want to keep this car for a long while, better to go through the hard work now compared to it exploding before you have any chance to repair or find the cause. This is said by the world's biggest procrastinator at the moment!.....lol.
Check all the free to test ideas first, then open her up imho.

As many smart men have said......."it's usually the simplest things that causes these issues".....I always say...."IF a human has touched it, it can be screwed up"  Even after it being rebuilt etc etc.

Sorry to hear the news......I have experienced this type of thing once before myself. Turned out to be a cracked head......and required the mag testing to find invisible crack. 
If you say it fixes it'self after running for a short time then it sounds like the issues seals it'self after it heats up......meaning possibly a gasket isn't sealing until expansion from the heat. Again head gasket?   Oh are you losing coolant? Is the oil foamy...?

 

Good luck and keep us up to date for a learning experiment for others. A big man admits his mistakes for others to learn from, I always admit mine......hoping to stop someone else doing the same thing.

 

I always use the cheapest fuel and that usually is Ultramar for me in my area.....I never think about poor quality fuel in that respect....just if the gas station is very old and may have water in their fuel. But that would present with  the usual performance issues along with maybe some mechanical clues...?

 

   

Edited by Willys

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White smoke is caused by moisture alone.

 

The moisture has a source.

 

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, the the most likely scenario is that it is a small aquatic bird of the genus anatidae

Edited by Chopper

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Update: So I let most of the Esso gas burn itself up and filled the tank with premium Shell V-Power Diesel. After about 5 minutes the engine got up to temp for the first time since I had put in the Esso gas and the white smoke went away. It now runs like it did when I was driving it to Calgary, the normal amount of power and boost and no white smoke.

 

I'm not sure that white smoke is caused by moisture alone, the following is from some website I don't know whether to trust or not because I'm lazy.....

 

https://costeffective.com.au/2017/03/05/diesel-smoke-tells-you-a-story/

"WHITE SMOKE occurs when raw diesel comes through the exhaust completely intact and unburned. Some causes of this include

  • Faulty or damaged injectors
  • Incorrect injection timing (could be a worn timing gear or damaged crankshaft keyway).
  • Low cylinder compression (eg caused by leaking or broken valves, piston ring sticking, cylinder and/or ring wear, or cylinder glaze)

When white smoke occurs at cold start, and then disappears as the engine warms up, the most common causes are fouling deposits around piston rings and/or cylinder glazing. Use of our Flushing Oil Concentrate and FTC Decarbonizer address these respective problems.

Water entering combustion spaces will also create white smoke. Faulty head gaskets and cracked cylinder heads or blocks are a common cause of water entry, and are often to blame. Unfortunately, expensive mechanical repair is the only proper solution here."

Anyway I shall let the little beast cool down and then start it up cold and see if this white smoke issue rears it's ugly white head again...I will update asap.

Thanks again peeps.

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Update: After cold start it blows white smoke again. After it gets to 3 bars on the temperature gauge it stops smoking. It's seems to be incomplete combustion due to temperature. Also, the fact that the EGR has been deleted probably does not help. I'm going to leave it as the coolant doesn't seem to be contaminated with oil, and the smoke doesn't smell sweet like it might if it was moisture from coolant.

 

Cheers.

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Did you say you installed new nozzles or had your injectors professionally rebuilt...?   Maybe it's bad spray pattern from injectors and the fuel won't burn right until it heats up?

 

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3 of my diesels all old school with mechanical injectors all smoke white while starting and for a couple minutes to 15 minutes.

2 of them I've owned for over 10 yrs the worst only just got and it's the worst and the only one with glow plugs (haven't checked to see if they work yet).

The colder it is the longer they smoke too.

My Massey 3 cyl Perkins diesel has been cold started without being plugged in and no glow plugs at -30c.

My others don't seam to suffer from this problem and they all have glow plugs and electronic controlled injectors.

I'm convinced the glow plugs warm the engines enough that they don't smoke on cold starts like my older ones that don't have them.

My suggestion is to check the glow plugs and if they are good cycle me a cpl times and see if that improves the smoke issue on a cold start.

As to my old school smokers I'm not concerned about their dependability they have always fired up when needed without starting fluid either.

 

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