View Full Version : How long can you drive with the Black Death

01-31-2013, 03:39 PM
I have an old Sprinter T1N that I was planning on selling in a couple of months and upgrading to a younger T1N. It's a 13 year old van with 290k on the clock

I've just been checking her over and discovered a major amount of Black Death from what I think is injector 4. It's hard to tell it's such a mess, it looks pretty much like this picture here:


I'm now looking to buy a new van ASAP and I'm going to sell my old van as a repair project to a friend. However this will probably take a week or two.

My question is, how long is the van going to keep running with the black death? Are there any symptoms to look out for that it's about to stop running? I've got about 2000 miles of work in the next two weeks, can I just take it easy and nurse it through until I get a new van? :hmmm:

Cheers for any advice.


02-01-2013, 04:31 AM
Two possible problem areas I see with not repairing ASAP. First is possible erosion of head to a depth that makes it impossible to resurface the injector seat area. Second is that the leak could become so large as to prevent the cylinder from firing; resulting in fuel washdown of the cylinder wall, ring/cylinder wall galling, and possible piston seizure resulting in rod poking out through the block (look at bigdaddydaveh's experience).

02-01-2013, 01:08 PM

Are you sure your engine didn't catch on fire? As always, you can run her until she quits running / blows.

If its ran this long, it will probably go a few days more. Who knows how long that's been accumulating.

Your friend will have quite the project.

Aqua Puttana
02-01-2013, 02:38 PM
What TH43 said.

To answer your specific question, if you don't hear a chuffing noise and the engine is running smoothly you can likely run a couple more thousand miles without repair. That is a guess. As TH43 indicates, you may be (are already on?) on borrowed time by doing that so how much longer you get away without repair is an unknown.

Good luck. vic