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Old 06-27-2008, 09:15 PM   #1
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Default 2005 Dodge Sprinter, surging under accel accompanied by black smoke

Recently (within the last couple of days), I've noticed a new symptom.

Under any acceleration level at all (although more pronounced the more accel you apply), the engine will surge/stall on about a 5sec/2sec cycle. 3 to 5 seconds of surge (feels like acceleration) followed by a couple of seconds of stall (feels like no acceleration applied at all.

The start of each accel surge is accompanied by a reasonable cloud of black smoke (think the cloud you get when you punch it down into passing gear).

Fuel Rail Pressure is ~4000psi at idle, and increases as normal as more pedal is applied, up to about 11000psi at full throttle & 60mph.

MAF readings are around 1.5lbs/min at idle, about 4lbs/min around 30mph, up to around 6 to 8lbs/min at 60mph.

Fresh fuel filter (less than a thousand miles), fresh air filter (last night), recently replaced injection pump & fuel rail (about 3 weeks ago).

This vehicle has about 174,000 miles.

Suggestions?
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2005 Dodge Sprinter, surging under accel accompanied by black smoke

What are you using to read your fuel line pressure?

A number of guesses...

- Have you checked your fuel injectors? Remove the engine cover to check for leaks.

Mean_In_Green has posted something that you don't want to see...

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/sho...64&postcount=7

- How's the battery charge?
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2005 Dodge Sprinter, surging under accel accompanied by black smoke

OK. First to answer your questions, then more info from extended driving tonight.

Using OBDII connector to computer, direct read of output.
Have not checked fuel injectors, but they were checked 3 weeks ago while the fuelrail & IP were being replaced... and the mechanic didn't take the opportunity to push replacement. I believe he would have if there'd been a problem.
Have a voltmeter on the dash connected to batt+, and it's 12.2 at key-on, 11.7 at crank, goes back up to 13.7-14.1 once the alternator kicks in. With both (front & aftermarket rear) AC's running, that drops to 12.3 at idle, 12.9 at anything over 1000rpm.

Now on to new info.

correct me if the information I gleaned is incorrect, but I think I read that "limp home" mode is actually a euphemism for the state where the engine continues to run but "boost" is disabled. Is this correct?

Going from that assumption, and a symptom that cropped up on the way home tonight, I may have changed the symptom set a bit.

Having never driven a diesel before other than this one, I always assumed the "revving" sound I heard from high-engine-compartment area as I accelerated was actually the rpms of the motor itself increasing.
But...tonight, the sound I'd been associating with the rpms...and that had been going up5seconds/off1 to2 seconds...went completely away when the van went into "limp home" mode.

So you tell me. Am I right? Is that the turbo I hear "revving" up a few seconds then kickin off for a second (in a repeated pattern)?

And if so, what does that mean to the diagnosis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sikwan View Post
What are you using to read your fuel line pressure?

A number of guesses...

- Have you checked your fuel injectors? Remove the engine cover to check for leaks.

Mean_In_Green has posted something that you don't want to see...

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/sho...64&postcount=7

- How's the battery charge?
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2005 Dodge Sprinter, surging under accel accompanied by black smoke

It's usually best to get a plug in to know for sure, and I could be wrong but... I think it's your turbo vacuum transducer.

The phrase "limp mode" is bandied around more than it ought to be in my view, and from your description I wonder if you are experiencing something altogether quite different from genuine "limp mode": you appear to not be needing to reboot the ECU through restarting the ignition when the fault presents, i.e. if I understand you correctly the fault appears and disappears repeatedly within one ignition cycle (or track) and without warning indication lamps?

The vac transducer controls turbo boost pressure, and if it's on its way out you can experience erratic turbo operation. I've experienced it myself, and the engine note changes when it isn't working as normal: your engine sounds as if someone has turned the bass up (hard to convey, but that's my best explanation!)

They cost about 60 and you can fit it yourself - it doesn't need initialising through Star.

I have taken some pics of an old one for you to see below. This one is a blue one, but there are other "flavours" depending on which turbo you've got (i.e. not all T1Ns use the same part). Hopefully this will prove useful as it is a known issue and crops up from time to time.

It has three vacuum pipe connections and an electrical connection, and is located underneath the air filter. You'll need to take the grille and headlight off to get to it, unless you've got GoGoGadget arms and can work blind! The part is rubber mounted and just pushes onto a metal tang.

Get it checked out by someone with the right software first - hopefully you're lucky and it turns out to be this quick and easy fix rather than a worn turbo unit.

Let us know the outcome.
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File Type: jpg Vac transducer 1.JPG (219.5 KB, 426 views)
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Old 06-28-2008, 03:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2005 Dodge Sprinter, surging under accel accompanied by black smoke

May I suggest the first thing to check ... The sudden arrival of black smoke on acceleration is usually an indication of a clogged air filter. Did you drive through a cloud of dust, or BEES? If your diesel engine isn't getting enough AIR, this symptom will surface. You say the air filter is new. Is the intake vent TO the filter clear, or is it jambed up with leaves or something else? Maybe the tube sucked up a plastic bag? The air filter won't help unless the tube feeding it is also clear.
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Old 06-28-2008, 04:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2005 Dodge Sprinter, surging under accel accompanied by black smoke

Would it be safe to snake a vacuum hose as far down the air filter tube as well, nothing will come loose, vacuum wont start sucking on something it shouldnt (van goodies, not other goodies)? Ive never opened mine yet, and im going to order a new air and cabin today, its nice weather, and hope its nice still when they arrive!
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2005 Dodge Sprinter, surging under accel accompanied by black smoke

Newest info:
As I was driving this afternoon, symptoms unchanged, check engine light came on & I immediately went into "limp".
When I got home to check the code, it was P0299, Turbo Charger Underboost.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2005 Dodge Sprinter, surging under accel accompanied by black smoke

Ok:

The vac transducers don't have the longest life. My 2000 CDI is on it's fourth now, so I'm averaging one every couple of years or so (in commercial operation). I carry a spare with me now.

Why don't you try this:

Do you know anyone else with a Sprinter that you can "borrow" a vac transducer valve from?

Take yours off first and note the part number. The first time you do it, it will probably only take you 45 mins. Much less second time around. The vac pipes simply pull off. Be careful when removing the electrical plug - it's more delicate than it looks.

Take the vac transducer out of another van, check the part numbers match and give it a go - this way you can see if it solves the problem without spending anything.

Hopefully this will bring some good news! If not, well it was easy and free to try and you've almost certainly ruled that component out of the equation (assuming the swapped part wasn't duff).

When you've finished, dab a bit of silicone on the wires where they go into the back of the electrical plug to reduce the chance of corrosion taking hold there and giving you problems in the future.

Other than the turbo itself, and maybe the boost pressure sensor it's hard to say more without a plug in.
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Old 06-29-2008, 08:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: 2005 Dodge Sprinter, surging under accel accompanied by black smoke

Nope, nobody I know that has a sprinter (other than the dealer, doubt they'd allow me to borrow parts).
I'm one of (hang on while I count)...umm...ONE taxicab owners in the city of Austin that had the guts to buy & outfit a Sprinter as a taxicab.

But if I did know of someone, that'd be a cool way to figure out diagnosis...swap parts til I found the culprit then go buy that one.

Someone in another forum suggested "sticky" turbo vane...any idea what that is & how to check for/fix it?

"Without a plugin"? Something beyond a simple OBDII plugin? Cuz the OBDII, I have...it's a pc-connection reader (not a little LCD handheld), so I might be able to do whatever you're lookin for.


New info as well, as time goes by.

Replaced Resonator just for the hell of it before starting my evening's shift driving (as suggested by other forum members). Symptom unaffected.

After clearing the code, the very next time I hammered down, I again got the P0299 code & limphome.
Rather than keeping on resetting the **** limp mode...as 90% of my driving is city driving, I just left it in limpmode all night. Other than the (obvious) loss of power and acceleration, there was no other problem with the vehicle all night long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mean_in_green View Post
Ok:

The vac transducers don't have the longest life. My 2000 CDI is on it's fourth now, so I'm averaging one every couple of years or so (in commercial operation). I carry a spare with me now.

Why don't you try this:

Do you know anyone else with a Sprinter that you can "borrow" a vac transducer valve from?

Take yours off first and note the part number. The first time you do it, it will probably only take you 45 mins. Much less second time around. The vac pipes simply pull off. Be careful when removing the electrical plug - it's more delicate than it looks.

Take the vac transducer out of another van, check the part numbers match and give it a go - this way you can see if it solves the problem without spending anything.

Hopefully this will bring some good news! If not, well it was easy and free to try and you've almost certainly ruled that component out of the equation (assuming the swapped part wasn't duff).

When you've finished, dab a bit of silicone on the wires where they go into the back of the electrical plug to reduce the chance of corrosion taking hold there and giving you problems in the future.

Other than the turbo itself, and maybe the boost pressure sensor it's hard to say more without a plug in.
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: 2005 Dodge Sprinter, surging under accel accompanied by black smoke

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLandYacht View Post
Someone in another forum suggested "sticky" turbo vane...any idea what that is & how to check for/fix it?
What happens with the turbos is that a disc inside wears a groove into the casing over time. It then gets stuck in the channel it created. Turbo replacement is the only cure for that one.

I wonder how close your nearest dealer is?

Ideally you need them to run a Short Test on your vehicle to pinpoint the source more accurately. It takes about half an hour, and is more of a diagnostic process.

I'm thinking vac transducer or the turbo itself is worn. One is pretty cheap and easy DIY fix, the other moderately more expensive and probably not DIYable to most. Or there could be a leak in the charge pressure hose between the intercooler and turbo.

For the price of the vac transducer and the mileage yours has done I would be inclined to replace it anyway: there's a chance of a fix, but if it doesn't you're likely to need a spare in the future anyway.

After that it's most likely worn turbo.

I've experienced what you are going through myself, and I know just what a frustrating feeling it can be.

Stick with - you've found an excellent resource in Sprinter-Forum.

You've not got a serious problem with the vehicle, just typical T1Nisms!
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