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View Full Version : Curious Happening Today on an '03 T1N


bobojay
10-01-2013, 03:32 AM
Today I was following a friend of ours that owns a 2003 chassis Freightliner Sprinter RV conversion. 117k miles on it. No past engine or running issues. We were in Grand Canyon on the north rim approx. 8k ft. elevation, temperature about 40 degrees. Van had been running for a couple hours so was well warmed up.
We were climbing a gradual grade and all of a sudden he had a massive amount of black smoke, followed by even more massive amounts of white smoke. This went on for about a mile before he finally pulled over because the engine was knocking badly.
We checked the oil and it was ok, and he had no dash warning lights on. He restarted it and the white smoke continued in huge quantities. Smelled just like pure diesel fuel, which we knew it to be because it was unburned.
He got turned around so he could coast down the hill to get to a phone or get cell service. As he was going down the hill, the knocking suddenly stopped, the white smoke all of a sudden disappeared, the engine smoothed out, and all was well.
We drove well over another 100 miles today with no further ill effects. Ran perfect all that time.

I figure an injector got stuck open for a bit. Dealer says it could have been the fuel pump??? or "any number of other things". Any other ideas out there?

surlyoldbill
10-01-2013, 03:48 AM
water in fuel, clogged fuel filter
or super bad air filter.

I had white smoke low power going up a steeper hill with no previous problems, turned out to be fuel filter.

chromisdesigns
10-01-2013, 03:50 AM
Stuck injector is probably most likely, followed by faulty/intermittent crank position sensor, worst case is a stuck valve or head gasket leak.

If it was a stuck injector, it might go away and never come back, or could happen again tomorrow. Crank sensor would probably fail solid at some point. Stuck valve or leaking head gasket will only get worse.

NelsonSprinter
10-01-2013, 09:27 PM
The black smoke may be from a leak in the turbo hose connections or small split. \ Not enough air with too much fuel, but still partial combustion.
At such a high elevation with lower oxygen and no turbo boost, 1or 2 of the cylinders may have not enough air or pressure to combust and the white smoke is unburned fuel from no combustion.
It may also be a 1st sign of a cylinder not reaching high compression due to a valve or piston ring leak and a compression test would be a good idea to do.
All in all, not as bad as it looks upon first happening.

bobojay
10-03-2013, 01:39 AM
Since I posted this, they have driven another 500 miles from 8k to 2k altitude with no further issues. Still running like a top. So we're going to call it a stuck injector.
I suggested he change the fuel filter sooner than later....

surlyoldbill
10-03-2013, 02:49 AM
Since I posted this, they have driven another 500 miles from 8k to 2k altitude with no further issues. Still running like a top. So we're going to call it a stuck injector.
I suggested he change the fuel filter sooner than later....

Somebody mentioned a tip of filling the new filter with injector cleaner instead of diesel to get a high concentrate for a short time. Seems like that may be excessive, but I like the idea of maybe 50/50 in a new filter to flush the injectors.