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View Full Version : '03 T1N with rough idle


sam1am
08-09-2013, 06:07 PM
My '03 Sprinter has developed an uneven idle. It slightly shakes the van back and forth when stopped at a light, and you can feel it jerk slightly when idling around. It seems to disappear with revving and on a hot day it will eventually go away all together. On a cool day, I hear it every time I stop.

Here's a video so you can hear: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyrR12YkP00

This is a new (used) engine - as I understand it from my research here this may be a fuel injector issue. If that is the case, how intense is the repair for that sort of thing? I just dropped $$$ on the engine swap I'm hoping I don't need to drop it again or something. :cry:

I'm trying to find a mechanic in the bay area which is where I am now to get a proper diagnosis, but thought I'd run it by you fine folks first. Any ideas are appreciated.

sailquik
08-09-2013, 06:43 PM
What is the idle speed RPM? It should be 680 RPM like every other Sprinter I've driven.
If you can find someone in your area with a DAD unit, there is a specific test to check the
balance between the injectors and to ensure that all of them are supplying the correct
amount of fuel to give you a smooth idle.
If I remember correctly, the DAD and DRB-III can electronically alter the injector balance
to make them all the same and give you a smooth 680 RPM idle.
Hope this helps,
Roger

surlyoldbill
08-10-2013, 01:24 AM
Mine had the surging rpm at startup for a while. It went away under throttle and after it had reached operating temp. It doesn't do it anymore, and I never did find a cause-and-effect corelation. I THINK it might have gone away when I started using Optilube Summer+ fuel additive.
It was gone for sure when I cleaned out and reinstalled my #1 injector after I discovered Black Death beginning, I haven't had it since I did that. You might want to take a look around the injectors and see if you have Black Death.

MillionMileSprinter
08-10-2013, 02:29 AM
Injector leak off test. Procedure at the bottom of my signature.

pacman_34
08-10-2013, 03:50 AM
Had the exact same issue on two 2002 sprinters. I am pretty sure its the
Fuel Pressure Control Valve. After changing it I have perfect idle. It a pain to change because its at the back of the fuel rail. About a two hour job if you take the fuel rail out.
I bought mine from the dealer with a discount for around 180 I belive. Send me a pm if you need additional info. I am not too far from the bay.

http://europarts-sd.com/fuelpressureregulator2002-2003-1.asp

riskydnb
08-10-2013, 07:07 AM
Had the exact same issue on two 2002 sprinters. I am 100 percent sure its the
Fuel Pressure Control Valve. After changing it I have perfect idle. It a pain to change because its at the back of the fuel rail. About a two hour job if you take the fuel rail out.
I bought mine from the dealer with a discount for around 180 I belive. Send me a pm if you need additional info. I am not too far from the bay.

http://europarts-sd.com/fuelpressureregulator2002-2003-1.asp

If you need that part call or text me and I will get you the price monday morning, im sure it will be cheaper than euro parts. -Randy 760.622.0148

Aqua Puttana
08-10-2013, 01:47 PM
Injector leak off test. Procedure at the bottom of my signature.
x2.

Your problem may not be injector related, but you really should do what you can to verify the injector operation. A faulty injector can overfuel and cause some serious damage. vic

... im sure it will be cheaper than euro parts. -...

You can offer help on issues and service, but it seems a bit unprofessional to me for you to call out other suppliers. vic

riskydnb
08-10-2013, 08:28 PM
x2.

Your problem may not be injector related, but you really should do what you can to verify the injector operation. A faulty injector can overfuel and cause some serious damage. vic



You can offer help on issues and service, but it seems a bit unprofessional to me for you to call out other suppliers. vic

I think the poster I was replying to mentioned euro parts in his post and then edited it out earlier today,

NelsonSprinter
08-10-2013, 08:58 PM
My rough idle went away after a cleaning of the Mass Air-Flow sensor

woodash
08-11-2013, 12:17 AM
My rough idle improved greatly when a bad injector was discovered with leak off test and then replaced. I still have a slight idle inconsistency when engine is cold and replaced the fuel pressure control valves' high temperature o-rings. No change noticed. But the cold rough idle on my van is minor and goes away once normal operating temperature is reached.

autostaretx
08-11-2013, 01:45 AM
When you swapped engines, how did you deal with the injectors?

The ECM is programmed with codes that are on tags on the individual injectors.
If you swapped engines and thereby *put new (to it) injectors into your sprinter*, then you need to tell the ECM what the new injector codes are.

(the DAD, CarSoft and DRB-III can program those codes)

--dick

surlyoldbill
08-11-2013, 02:10 AM
When you swapped engines, how did you deal with the injectors?

The ECM is programmed with codes that are on tags on the individual injectors.
If you swapped engines and thereby *put new (to it) injectors into your sprinter*, then you need to tell the ECM what the new injector codes are.

(the DAD, CarSoft and DRB-III can program those codes)

--dick

Only if it is an OM647. The 2002-2003 OM612 does not require injector identification.

sam1am
08-11-2013, 06:45 PM
Thanks everyone so much for your help!

I ended up getting in touch with MobileCC (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/member.php?u=3086) (Ben) because I was in the area. He did a full computer diagnostic, leak down test, and we found an injector that was messed up badly enough that it was squirting fuel out of it (the cover over the injectors was wet with fuel). Replacing that didn't even out the idle totally, but it seems to have helped. I think I'm just going to keep an eye on it and check those injectors again after a few hundred miles.

chrispsprint
02-08-2015, 11:08 PM
im experiencing this same idle problem. just changed my fuel filter and now it seems worse. ill check connections again, but im thinking its alternator related. my headlights are also fluctuating power. and the dashboard battery light is on. i had all five fuel injectors and fuel pump replaced two years ago.

chrispsprint
02-12-2015, 02:12 AM
alternator tested. 13.3, 33.9A with no load, loaded 12.7, -38.4A. Battery voltage at 12.38. I bought some Diesel Cleen additive. hopefully the rough idle goes away. the mechanic said no problems with charging system but I think that voltage looks low.

surlyoldbill
02-12-2015, 04:06 AM
Clean and check all the grounds.

chrispsprint
02-12-2015, 05:31 AM
do all the grounds connect above and behind the neg battery terminal on the firewall?

surlyoldbill
02-12-2015, 05:56 AM
yes, but also check the ground strap to the engine from the chassis. Add an additional one if possible.

misterbond10
02-12-2015, 01:12 PM
Look at the drive belt on idle. Mine would flutter due to the alternator pulley/one way clutch being bad (it had a wobble, out of true). it would also go away by increasing the idle to 800+ rpm...I replaced the whole alternator with a 150a on amazon for $180, replaced all the pulleys and belt. problem is no more.

chrispsprint
02-12-2015, 02:37 PM
The guy who tested my alt said that the pully had a bit of motion. Did you replace all of that yourself, Mr Bond? http://europarts-sd.com/serpentinebeltkit1992-1995-1-1.asp, is this kit all i need? I have the 187$ 150 amp alt in my garage now, ready for action!

surlyoldbill
02-12-2015, 04:05 PM
Oh Science, and God, do I dare mention it?!

Check the harmonic balancer for cracks or being loose. It should not budge at all when you grab it and try to rattle it with your hands....

misterbond10
02-13-2015, 03:10 PM
Chris Sprint, Yes I replaced all of that myself. I am not sure what kind of sprinter you have, I have the 2006 and I contemplated buying a kit from that website. But Im poor so I went with the Dayco products on amazon and was pleasantly surprised they were all made in germany...On my 2006 I guess they updated one of the idler pulleys from a smaller smooth one, which has been superceded by a slightly larger one with ribs, so I used the ribbed pulley...Not really a big deal either way though. Make sure you get the right belt, the OM612 engines the belt was like an inch smaller i think

The alternator part of it wasn't really that bad. Getting to the pulleys and belt tensioner was more laborious.

chrispsprint
02-13-2015, 10:03 PM
thank you, i have an 04 passenger van. i went under the van last night and grabbed all the pulleys and they all felt solid. belt looks good too. actually I think I have two belts. I do have a rear AC, which I never use. and when I do sometimes i hear a god awful noise coming from the engine, which I assumed was belt/pulley related (im just remembering that noise becauese i haven't used that ac in so long). I did notice some leakage around tranny pan and the connector socket was pretty much covered in fluid/dirt. I may need to address that, although Im not having any shifting problems, so Ill wait til this problem is solved. when my engines is doing the rough idle, i believe there is a clunking/knocking coming from the area of the fuel rail. so i will do leak off test then fuel rail test this weekend. thanks for your input. i also removed all battery cables and grounds and cleaned them with wire brush.

misterbond10
02-13-2015, 10:26 PM
Chris, there is no way to check the condition of the pulleys without removing the belt. This is a good, yet extreme example of what belt flutter is. You can get this condition if a pulley/HB/alternator decoupler pulley/auto tensioner is bad. this is what caused the noise @ idle in my case (alternator pulley)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EXYP1CmL9Q

chrispsprint
02-14-2015, 02:24 AM
I grabbed all the pulleys to check the harmonic balancer like Bill mentioned. I read the horrific tales of that problem and Im hopeful and pretty certain that is not the issue. Im going to spend some time on it this weekend and see what I can find. Im working in San Diego for a few more months away from my garage and driveway. Working by headlamp parallelled park isn't ideal.

obie
02-14-2015, 08:35 AM
Don't grab the pulley on the HB, grab the big ring behind the pulley.

chrispsprint
02-16-2015, 03:42 AM
Well, I took the van to a nearby mechanic for some advice. When i told him my problem of the rough idle and the lights dimming he said it must be electrical. I told him that I hooked up an auxillary battery system a while back and a battery isolator. he told me to unplug it and see what happens. I did and the rough idle was nearly gone after getting van to temp. Which is when the see sawing at stop lights usually started. he checked the battery voltage and it was not steady. the meter was bouncing all over. So I decided to replace the alternator and see where that got me. It took the better part of the weekend to change but I will know first thing in the morning how it helps the problem, if at all. there was a 150 amp in there and I put the same back it. Maybe shouldve put a 200. All the wiring seemed good to go so, lets hope it helps. If it does, Ill plug the aux system back up and see how that goes. Good thing i just bought some solar panels... thanks for you help so far. I hope this chapter of Sprinter confusion is closed. please God let it be closed. Van issues really take over ones life when they happen, ey?

fish sticks
08-15-2018, 07:38 PM
I had a similiar problem. Also with an '03. Had a rough idle at starting, hot starts were more difficult. Didn't idle rough at stoplights though. The problem resolved itself after I ran a few cans of diesel purge through it.

Mike Rancourt
07-09-2019, 07:17 PM
Just a note: like Fish Sticks, I cleared up my uneven idle by running a couple cans of Diesel Purge though it. In fact, there was a dramatic improvement just before the first can was complete.
The idle, according to my Scangauge II, was jumping between low 600s and low 700s. After that first can of Diesel Purge, it evened right out at 680.
So, for reference, if you have an uneven idle (described as “loping” or “surging”), try Diesel Purge to clean your injector nozzles. It’s probably a good idea for annual maintenance or something like that.
Thanks.
Mike

Aqua Puttana
07-09-2019, 09:21 PM
Just a note: like Fish Sticks, I cleared up my uneven idle by running a couple cans of Diesel Purge though it. In fact, there was a dramatic improvement just before the first can was complete.
The idle, according to my Scangauge II, was jumping between low 600s and low 700s. After that first can of Diesel Purge, it evened right out at 680.
So, for reference, if you have an uneven idle (described as “loping” or “surging”), try Diesel Purge to clean your injector nozzles. It’s probably a good idea for annual maintenance or something like that.
Thanks.
Mike
I assume Liqui Moly Diesel Purge.

Did you apply it directly by disassembling the fuel system, or add it to the tank?

The NAS aka NAFTA 2001 - 2003 OM612 engines with mechanical low pressure fuel pump do give opportunity to suck the product into the fuel system. The 2004 and newer with in tank fuel pump aren't as easily done. My recollection of in tank pump discussions was that the best method was to add the product to a close to empty fuel tank.

:cheers: vic

Midwestdrifter
07-09-2019, 10:23 PM
How much wvo did the sprinter have thorough it before the idle issues?

Mike Rancourt
07-11-2019, 12:37 AM
How much wvo did the sprinter have thorough it before the idle issues?

About 1000 gallons (22k mild or so).

Mike Rancourt
07-11-2019, 12:42 AM
I assume Liqui Moly Diesel Purge.

Did you apply it directly by disassembling the fuel system, or add it to the tank?

The NAS aka NAFTA 2001 - 2003 OM612 engines with mechanical low pressure fuel pump do give opportunity to suck the product into the fuel system. The 2004 and newer with in tank fuel pump aren't as easily done. My recollection of in tank pump discussions was that the best method was to add the product to a close to empty fuel tank.

:cheers: vic

Right, on the 2002, one can disconnect supply and return hoses to run it directly from the can.

Mike Rancourt
07-11-2019, 12:48 AM
Just a note: like Fish Sticks, I cleared up my uneven idle by running a couple cans of Diesel Purge though it. In fact, there was a dramatic improvement just before the first can was complete.
The idle, according to my Scangauge II, was jumping between low 600s and low 700s. After that first can of Diesel Purge, it evened right out at 680.
So, for reference, if you have an uneven idle (described as “loping” or “surging”), try Diesel Purge to clean your injector nozzles. It’s probably a good idea for annual maintenance or something like that.
Thanks.
Mike

I can't seem to edit my previous message, but I want to note that I was wrong. The next day, the idle is back to uneven. The Diesel Purge did not fix the problem. I jumped to a conclusion. It seems that the van just reached a temp that made the idle even out magically. When it's lower, the idle is still bad. Diesel Purge is nice, but it's not magic and didn't do what I thought it did.
Sorry for being misleading.
Mike

Aqua Puttana
07-11-2019, 02:02 AM
AHow much wvo did the sprinter have thorough it before the idle issues?

About 1000 gallons (22k mild or so).
The easy answer for me would be to blame the WVO... and depending upon the end quality of the fuel you have after processing, I might be right.

But...
Have you regularly changed the fuel filter? Are you running custom fuel filtering for your WVO system? WVO has history of clogging traditional fuel filter systems in relatively short time. The OEM filtering is designed for conventional fuel.

BTW.
You weren't being deceitful. You were reporting the observations to date. Thanks for the input. :thumbup:

:cheers: vic

Mike Rancourt
07-11-2019, 03:32 AM
I don’t want to hijack the thread, and I am not worried about my idle problem yet (I’ll try the leak off test and suspect I’ll have to replace at least 2 injectors), but to respond to your concerns, Vic:
I run a two tank WVO system, so the stock tank runs diesel HPR (https://propelfuels.com/our_fuels?active=diesel) through the stock filter. I switch over to veggie when the system is thoroughly hot, and that runs through a 2 micron filter and water separator. Clogged fuel filters are not a problem here. It is of course possible that my fuel system mods are related to my rough idle, but it’s fine. The van has 425k miles on it. The injectors have had a good life. They’ve earned a nice retirement.
Thanks.
Mike

Mike Rancourt
08-15-2019, 09:04 PM
Had the exact same issue on two 2002 sprinters. I am pretty sure its the
Fuel Pressure Control Valve. After changing it I have perfect idle. It a pain to change because its at the back of the fuel rail. About a two hour job if you take the fuel rail out.
I bought mine from the dealer with a discount for around 180 I belive. Send me a pm if you need additional info. I am not too far from the bay.

http://europarts-sd.com/fuelpressureregulator2002-2003-1.asp

I finally solved my rough idle and stalling problem just as Pacman 34 did. I replaced the Fuel pressure control valve with one from Europarts SD (https://europarts-sd.com/fuelpressureregulator2002-2003.asp).
It's interesting to note that a local reputable independent Sprinter shop was not familiar with the om612 fuel rails having a removable valve and was going to sell me a whole new rail (plus an intake upgrade to the 2006 style) for $3000 all told parts and labor. He was very insistent that the valves cannot be replaced despite the 2003 manual showing exactly how and the availability of the part 5 miles away (I live near Europarts SD). I went home and reached across the engine and removed the valve in 3 minutes (once I figured out how to get the right tool in there). Installing the new today took another five minutes. I saved $2700 (but still have the horrible old style intake :frown:).
The job requires a 1/4" drive E8 socket and basically like a 1" extension, which I rigged up y inserting a flat head bit too a 1/4" socket and taping it inside the drive of the E8:
117052
Then, it's just a matter of pulling out the two mounting screws. Here's a screenshot of the manual:
117051
Mike