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amrbackup
10-16-2013, 06:33 AM
I have been looking over the forum for some answers to the problems I am having on my 2004 sprinter 2500 om647. 96000 miles, I've owned it since 68000 miles. I added some fuel additive to try and clean the injectors thinking that they were the root cause of my black smoke upon acceleration- usually between 650rpm and 2000rpm. When stopped at a light I pity the person behind me as I leave a black smoke cloud, From 0 mph to about 25mph and always in the lowest gear a black cloud puffs out behind me. I have stopped in a parking lot and put the van into drive, brakes on hard and accelerator up to about 2000Rpm, black smoke comes out, leaving a big black deposit spot on the pavement. Putting the van into park and revving the engine a few times and no more black smoke. If I let the van idle for too long the first time I drive away it feels like the van almost stutters as it belches out it's black thick smoke. the key seems to be the rpm level, as soon as the van hits 2000 rpm it can take off like a rocket, up to that point I have to be very careful pulling out into traffic.

I have replaced the upper turbo hose because of cracking, I ended up replacing the lower section that is attached to the plastic(composite) section in between as well. no leaking from the resonator, or the hoses on the turbo side of the engine. While I had the upper turbo hose off I did notice quite a bit of black sooty buildup inside the intake manifold. I was scared to clean any of it off in case it made it into the engine.

I have checked the injectors for leakage using the 3/8" x 4" tubes connected to the return line port on the injector. There was barely any fluid in the tubes, not even enough to measure, barely any diesel to clean up when removing the tubes.....

There is no indication of black death, I was quite surprised how clean it was under the plastic cover, around the injector area of the engine, no residue or buildup at all.

Photo attached is from the turbo side, the hose from the air filter to the turbo, buildup was cleaned out by the oil breather hose, very pasty. the socket is a 7MM 1/4" drive socket to give some perspective on size of buildup.

So my questions are:
Would poor engine compression cause black smoke only at lower engine revs or speed, but not show when travelling at 50-60 MPH?

If driving at 50 mph and slowing down, then speeding up, causing a downshift, why do I get a black smoke puff?

What can I do to check to see if the injectors are spraying the proper amount, or if they are over spraying?

I can do basic work on this van, and can connect a autel pt100 to read generic codes and clear codes when they have shown up in the past. p0672, p0380 have been 2 popular ones.

I don't think the fuel cleaner is the cause of the problem, the black smoke was there before I added it. If the cleaner is doing it's job I would hope that the problem would go away soon, I look like trailer trash leaving the lights with all of the smoke, but if anyone needs a good getaway vehicle that could leave everyone in a cloud of smoke- I'm open to travel... :smirk:

pacman_34
10-16-2013, 07:04 AM
I have the same problem. What I did was plumb the injectors on the outside and look at the nozzles while cranking. I saw that two were dripping. I am replacing those. Will let you know if that cures the smoke. Put your van on a scanner and see if you have a bad egr or mass air flow sensor.

owner
10-16-2013, 08:17 AM
Reads like a sticky egr valve to me.

Altered Sprinter
10-16-2013, 08:40 AM
Check resonator this came up last week.
If intake is highly carbonized it's likely but not always the cause,however [IF!] then, stop start and short journeys driving causes insufficient engine combustion which produces excess unburnt carbon particularization>These are returned to the air intake manifold via the EGR Exhaust Gas Reticulation valve and the buildup of these carbon particles in the intake manifold and on the EGR valve, of which can severely restrict the airflow causing incorrect fuel mix ratios.

Oil temperatures suffer, blow back of excess fumes and spats of oil from the oil breather pipe are normally present especially directly underneath the alternator another good sign is a high odor sulfur smell near the turbo outlet, on the outer guard right hand side.
Cheers Richard

Dingo
10-16-2013, 12:41 PM
I have the same problem. What I did was plumb the injectors on the outside and look at the nozzles while cranking. I saw that two were dripping. I am replacing those. Will let you know if that cures the smoke. Put your van on a scanner and see if you have a bad egr or mass air flow sensor.

DANGEROUS in the extreme , if you suspect a common rail injector just get it tested . Any part of you that gets hit by the spray , could cause the fuel under the skin & possibly ampuataion of affected parts .

As for OP , clean your EGR valve , clean /replace air filter , check for obstructions in air pipes i.e. rag ( seen that one as well )

sailquik
10-16-2013, 01:23 PM
Dingo has it right!
For some reason, your engine is either not getting enough air (plugged air filter, rag in an inlet duct), or too much fuel ...
take it to an authorized MB Sprinter dealer and have it analyzed on the MB SDS machine...then you will know if all the
sensors and devices are working correctly. They can test your fuel injectors in the engine (by running it) and see if the
injectors are calibrated correctly.
Also, do you (or did the other owner before you) let your van idle a lot?
And finally, what kind of driving do you do....how often do you see > 3000 RPM on your tachometer.
Maybe you need to put a load in your van and take if out and really drive it.
Get the temperature up beyond the thermostat @ 181 deg. f.
As suggested, it just sounds like your entire engine is "carboned up" and needs to be run hard to
clean itself out (or you need to clean what you can and then drive it like you stole it.)
Roger

amrbackup
10-16-2013, 03:11 PM
Reads like a sticky egr valve to me.
I have had the egr valve out, it was carboned up, I have yet to read in any of the posts if the 3 leaf's part of the egr valve move on it's own, I cleaned off all of the surface parts, but if it's supposed to spring back to a position it doesn't. I can move it open and closed by hand, very little resistance, I have read that it's supposed to be self cleaning....... by the looks of the black carbon buildup it doesn't clean very well. So is it spring loaded and returns to a closed or open position?

amrbackup
10-16-2013, 03:17 PM
Check resonator this came up last week.
If intake is highly carbonized it's likely but not always the cause,however [IF!] then, stop start and short journeys driving causes insufficient engine combustion which produces excess unburnt carbon particularization>These are returned to the air intake manifold via the EGR Exhaust Gas Reticulation valve and the buildup of these carbon particles in the intake manifold and on the EGR valve, of which can severely restrict the airflow causing incorrect fuel mix ratios.

Oil temperatures suffer, blow back of excess fumes and spats of oil from the oil breather pipe are normally present especially directly underneath the alternator another good sign is a high odor sulfur smell near the turbo outlet, on the outer guard right hand side.
Cheers Richard

Thanks for the info, my trips are usually shorter in distance, I might drive 50 miles total in the day, usually 15-30 minutes spent driving each time. I did remove the resonator yesterday, could not see any excess buildup on the outside near the seal, I plugged it and blew into it(after cleaning it off really well) and it seemed to hold pressure. I even did a soap bubble test around the seam and could not get any bubbles to blowup. No smell of sulphur under the hood that I could detect anywhere.

pacman_34
10-16-2013, 03:29 PM
DANGEROUS in the extreme , if you suspect a common rail injector just get it tested . Any part of you that gets hit by the spray , could cause the fuel under the skin & possibly ampuataion of affected parts .

As for OP , clean your EGR valve , clean /replace air filter , check for obstructions in air pipes i.e. rag ( seen that one as well )

Injectors were not connected to the harness (zero voltage to them) and were not spraying. Just pressurized to see if there are any leaks under pressure. Noticed that two were dripping.

amrbackup
10-16-2013, 03:39 PM
Dingo has it right!
For some reason, your engine is either not getting enough air (plugged air filter, rag in an inlet duct), or too much fuel ...
take it to an authorized MB Sprinter dealer and have it analyzed on the MB SDS machine...then you will know if all the
sensors and devices are working correctly. They can test your fuel injectors in the engine (by running it) and see if the
injectors are calibrated correctly.
Also, do you (or did the other owner before you) let your van idle a lot?
And finally, what kind of driving do you do....how often do you see > 3000 RPM on your tachometer.
Maybe you need to put a load in your van and take if out and really drive it.
Get the temperature up beyond the thermostat @ 181 deg. f.
As suggested, it just sounds like your entire engine is "carboned up" and needs to be run hard to
clean itself out (or you need to clean what you can and then drive it like you stole it.)
Roger

Thanks, I have not changed the air filter in a while, but I did take it out and inspect it, banging it on the cement did not render any big clumps of dust or debris on the ground. So that might make me lean a little to the fuel being too much... I think the van had a problem with the upper turbo hose for a while before I replaced it. I got the van from a dealer who all he could tell me was that it was a student van from Rice University in Texas, If they let it idle it would have been to let the air conditioning run. I don't let it idle unless it's to clean off the frost from the windshield. I never sit in it for hours and idle it. I might have 400 lbs in the van constantly for equipment but I never really load it up and have to drive it hard. the tach rarely sees above 3000 rpm, shifting is smooth and usually before 3000 rpm, When I do drive it like I stole it.... I leave a trail of black everywhere.....:smirk: but black smoke only comes out at the lower rpm and none after tach has hit 2000 rpm. I might just have to break down and take it in to have it diagnosed.:thinking:

Dingo
10-16-2013, 04:01 PM
Diesels only smoke like that due to a lack of air to burn the fuel given during injection cycle .

If the smoke appears at just after tickover & up to partway through the power band it would indicate a blockage in the inlet system . As a side thought it could be possible a boost snesor is reading incorrectly & overfuelling , once the turbo spools up the extra air burns all the fuel given & smoke vanishes

Oh P0672 i am sure is NO.2 glowplug & i think P0380 refers to the glowplug controller a duff plug can knacker / spoil / ruin /break the controller , these would not cause black smoke so panic off for that one .

Pacman_34 , seen your posting , appreciate what you say , but system still has very high pressure in the line , be wary

amrbackup
10-16-2013, 04:49 PM
Diesels only smoke like that due to a lack of air to burn the fuel given during injection cycle .

If the smoke appears at just after tickover & up to partway through the power band it would indicate a blockage in the inlet system . As a side thought it could be possible a boost snesor is reading incorrectly & overfuelling , once the turbo spools up the extra air burns all the fuel given & smoke vanishes

Oh P0672 i am sure is NO.2 glowplug & i think P0380 refers to the glowplug controller a duff plug can knacker / spoil / ruin /break the controller , these would not cause black smoke so panic off for that one .

Pacman_34 , seen your posting , appreciate what you say , but system still has very high pressure in the line , be wary

Thanks for the reply, I am not finding a boost sensor in the parts manual(where is it located?), So I don't know where to look to see if it's working, I have watched the linkage move in between the 2 halves of the turbo, when the engine is revved up the linkage moves. Yes my black smoke appears up to about 2000 rpm, while the van is under 2000 rpm it seems very sluggish, at around 2000 rpm it takes off and allows me to go fast. I have learned not to pull out into traffic unless I have that van hesitation time where it might not have the get up and go...

Aqua Puttana
10-16-2013, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the reply, I am not finding a boost sensor in the parts manual(where is it located?), So I don't know where to look to see if it's working, I have watched the linkage move in between the 2 halves of the turbo, when the engine is revved up the linkage moves. Yes my black smoke appears up to about 2000 rpm, while the van is under 2000 rpm it seems very sluggish, at around 2000 rpm it takes off and allows me to go fast. I have learned not to pull out into traffic unless I have that van hesitation time where it might not have the get up and go...

Download the service manual, owner's manual and parts catalog from http://aie-services-2.net/Sprinter/

55043

55044

55045

55046

55047

vic

amrbackup
10-16-2013, 06:24 PM
Download the service manual, owner's manual and parts catalog from http://aie-services-2.net/Sprinter/

55043

55044

55045

55046

55047

vic

Thanks,
I have downloaded the information in the past, I was looking at the parts manual and was not finding anything that was called the boost pressure sensor, I did have it removed when I was replacing the item attached to part 12(the air intake) of the parts manual page 7-120. the manual calls it a: sensor, MAP. BTW, my odbII device will allow me to measure something called MAP, the number is 88 at idle, and can get up to 250 upon acceleration. I'm not sure if this is referencing the boost pressure sensor values. or if it is measuring the mass air flow pressure. Ok, I looked the autel pt100 obdII manual, it is referencing the manifold absolute pressure. but it does not tell me if that is good or bad. or if the manifold absolute pressure equates to the boost pressure sensor.

Boater
10-16-2013, 06:54 PM
Often several acronyms mean the same, or very similar things.
MAP is Manifold Absolute Pressure and is found in the inlet manifold which is downstream of the turbocharger so the pressure it measures is the Boost Pressure, which is why it sometimes gets the acronym BPS.
It looks like the sprinter sensor is not actually in the manifold but in an air hose downstream of the turbo, so BPS is technically more accurate than MAP, the function is exactly the same. Vic has posted the values for testing the sensor so you will be able to rule it out (or not) scientifically rather than by random substitution.

Real Boost pressure requires atmospheric pressure to be deducted from absolute pressure, you will probably find 2 or 3 related measuring blocks in your diagnostic tool if it can get live data - for the absolute boost, real boost and stmospheric (which comes from a separate sensor).
MAF is Mass Air Flow, related and used by the ECU in the same calcs but a very different sensor.

Personally I would change the air filter anyway, and make sure the new one is seated properly. The filter is long since clogged if you can bang dust and dirt out of it and it is widely reported that some aftermarket filters don't fit the cleaner box well so it could be that once you reach a certain RPM the engine suction flexes the filter and allows air to bypass it which would mean you have unfiltered air going into your engine.

amrbackup
10-22-2013, 04:57 PM
Things I have done to try and remedy problem of black smoke.....
I have replaced the air filter with a new one. I have replaced the fuel filter with a new one, I have cleaned the MAF sensor with a spray cleaner for air flow sensors(crc) I have had the EGR valve off and cleaned it again, it does get black and harder to move by hand....


BTW is it supposed to return to a home position by spring power? or does it only move when the electronics tell it to move?

I have checked the IAT sensor, it changes resistive value when the air temperature changes, when I had it out it read 8k ohms, when breathing on it it would change down to under 6k ohms, I think it's supposed to start at around 6k ohms, at 68F, my day was a little cooler than 68F.

When I have all of my sensors connected the van is hard to start, will start, run for 2 seconds the stop, If I disconnect either the egr valve connector, or the MAF sensor the van will start up and run, but no power when engaged into drive, and will stall out. It's getting harder to drive it.

I also added in an oil change with new oil filter and Mobil 1 0W40. badly overdue....
smoke is not as black now.....:smirk:

Last night when using a flashlight looking under the hood I was noticing some exhaust fumes around the 02 sensor when someone was revving the engine (idle to 2000 rpm)on the decelleration side of the rev. Engine has no turbo whine that I can notice, but the turbo does spin. no codes unless I have removed the sensor(maf, egr)
I'm not hearing any air leak from any of the turbo hoses, and I also am not noticing any leak oil stains.

Something I do notice is when driving, if I have to stop, then ease off the brakes, then brake again, I really have to stand on the brakes to stop, it's actually worried me a few times when trying to stop. it's usually when I'm in a parking lot and backing up or going forward but too many brake pedal pushes and it gets really hard, really fast to push the brake pedal.

Could this mean a vacuum problem that is showing up to the turbo as well?

Thanks to all that have offered suggestions.

MillionMileSprinter
10-22-2013, 06:08 PM
Wait, you said that the smoke isn't as bad after the oil change?
Might that point to oil getting by the piston rings into the combustion chamber? :hmmm:

amrbackup
10-22-2013, 06:37 PM
I have not had any real oil consumption to speak of, before changing the oil the dipstick was down to mid point, I refilled the oil bottles to see how much drained out of the engine, I filled 8 and 1/2 bottles(I'm in canada- 1 litre bottles). I was under the impression that black smoke was a problem with the fuel/air ratio, blue smoke would be burnt oil, and white smoke a lack of fuel(lean ratio) When the van drives properly it does have power, but black smoke trails me where ever I go...

scubanw3
10-22-2013, 08:58 PM
There is a vacuum system check valve inline going to the brake booster (about 6 away from the line connection at the booster). These do fail and cause multiple problems, brake issues is only one of them. Hope this helps.

Thank you, John
Sprinter Store
http://sprinterstore.com/
A division of Upscale Automotive, Inc.
19460 SW 89th Ave.
Tualatin, OR 97062
503-692-0846

Boater
10-23-2013, 12:35 AM
Sounds like vacuum shortage for the brakes, notice that the brake booster is huge compared to the vac switches for turbo/EGR etc. so it should work fine with less vacuum pressure than the other switches need, or to put it another way, by the time you have brake booster troubles I would expect every other vac switch would already have stopped responding....????

amrbackup
10-23-2013, 02:17 AM
Update: I spent the day looking at all of the connections in the turbo hoses and re-cleaning the EGR valve, I went to take it off after driving around a few blocks and found out that it has some good pressure on the hose connection........ after cleaning off hot but not burning antifreeze from my arms and surrounding parts I used a diesel conditioner to clean off the black soot buildup. it got it pretty clean and a little more freed up, at one point the rotating part was able to rotate multiple turns, most of the time I have only had it opening and closing over the opening holes. Who is the EGR master?? I thought if it was bad what did I have to loose by pulling off the top of the cover...... so I did.... I cleaned the contacts that connect the two parts, and put it back together. the valve felt like it was turning ok, but it seems it still does not want to work. I did connect it up and cycle the ignition on and did hear the high pitch squeal and it's attempt to go to the fully open position, when the ignition is off it closes up over the holes. cycle back on again and the same struggle to open fully, tapping on the valve helped to move it along, and when it got to fully open over the holes the noise of the high pitch squeal stops.

I assembled the egr valve back on, and the van still runs the same, rough idle, error P0404 from autel obdII scanner.

when I reset the code I see the turbo linkage drop down for 3 seconds, then return back up to the top. this happens when I start the vehicle as well, I did have the upper linkage removed from it's post and checked to see the travel, it's ok. I think the turbo can work but something else is causing me grief.

my turbo test: remove upper linkage from post, able to move upper arm up and down freely, no sticking or binding. remove the MAP sensor to feel the flow of air from the hole that the sensor would feel, have someone revv the engine up to 3000 rpm and as the engine ramps up, I push the turbo arm down, this changes the air flow from being sucked in at lower rpm's, to pushing out of the hole at higher rpm's. So I do notice that I can induce the turbo manifold pressure from negative(sucking in air at the sensor hole) pressure to positive pressure(blowing out air). As I push the arm linkage lower the van starts to stall out like it is loosing momentum and would stall if I left the linkage in the downward position. I can't get the linkage to stay in the lower position when it is connected. When it's all connected I really have a power problem. I am at the point where it has no power to go up even the slightest of hills.

Does any of this make any sense?:thinking:
I can't clear my P0404 error, it seems to want to be persistent and stick around.
If I rev up on the engine will not go above 3000 rpm(not really any black smoke to speak of), with my foot on the brake and in drive the engine will not rev above about 1200 rpm and starts to emit black smoke. I don't have to put a lot of pressure on the brake pedal to stop the van from moving either which would indicate a lack of power to drive with.

Thanks for all the replies so far, I will check out the vacuum line when I look at it tomorrow.

Aqua Puttana
10-23-2013, 03:18 AM
I must be missing something here.

You have removed and attempted to clean the EGR. By your description it sounds like the EGR is still not operating correctly. You mention it sticks.

You have a generic scan DTC P0404 which the list I looked at shows as "P0404 EGR Pos Sensor Rationality" That indicates "POSition sensor rationality" to me. "It sticks?"

You have poor operating conditions. EGR valve problems are known to cause poor operation.

Except that I'd feel better if you were using a more Sprinter friendly scan tool for a Sprinter specific DTC, I don't know why you haven't ordered a new EGR valve already.

Just a comment, not a diagnosis.

vic

amrbackup
10-24-2013, 07:57 PM
I must be missing something here.

You have removed and attempted to clean the EGR. By your description it sounds like the EGR is still not operating correctly. You mention it sticks.

You have a generic scan DTC P0404 which the list I looked at shows as "P0404 EGR Pos Sensor Rationality" That indicates "POSition sensor rationality" to me. "It sticks?"

You have poor operating conditions. EGR valve problems are known to cause poor operation.

Except that I'd feel better if you were using a more Sprinter friendly scan tool for a Sprinter specific DTC, I don't know why you haven't ordered a new EGR valve already.

Just a comment, not a diagnosis.

vic

I have found out why my egr valve has a problem...... after letting the valve sit in cleaner for a day, I re-attached it, and still had the same problems, I have attached some pics to show the inside of the valve, just in case you wonder what's behind the security screws:smilewink:

My egr sticking is caused by the arm(circled in red) that's supposed to govern the limits of the egr valve movement has broken off. Sometimes the arm would get in the way and bind up any movement, If you can rotate your valve 360degrees the you would have the same sort of problem. the arm restricts the movement so that the spring tension is always correct. My green damper was ok and still intact, I have looked at a few pics on the forum that show melted ones.

Things I've learned about an egr valve:
They should not rotate all the way around.
They are spring loaded and should go back to the same position every time.
2 of the dealerships in Calgary want over 900$ Canadian for a new one.......
I'll be searching for a cheaper priced one online, I have seen some posts on the forum about people selling for under 400$

I will be replacing my egr valve.

I also ran into a problem with one of the bolts that hold the egr in place- the bolt even though I put it in by hand stripped out the threads on the intake manifold when I tightened it down. Top right one.... When it rains it pours....

I still don't know if this will fix my problem with no power, black smoke..... I sure hope it does!
Thanks for every ones suggestions. I will report back after a egr valve is back in place.

Aqua Puttana
10-24-2013, 09:45 PM
...
I also ran into a problem with one of the bolts that hold the egr in place- the bolt even though I put it in by hand stripped out the threads on the intake manifold when I tightened it down. Top right one.... When it rains it pours...
Not that you asked...

The bolt isn't under that much stress so there may be a quick fix. I have had good success using this method on non-critical applications.

Bend a piece of light gauge ss wire into a hairpin shape. Before installing the bolt, insert the legs of the hairpin into the bolt hole separated by maybe a 1/4 of the hole size. Hold the top loop with pliers to stabilize it, then thread the bolt into place and tighten by feel to what you think is tight enough. Be careful not to overdo it. It should grab and hold enough to seal the gaskets properly.

The theory behind this repair... I mean "fix".

The wire forces the bolt over into the remnants of the stripped threads. The bolt threads also bind and lock against the wire. It often provides enough strength to avoid needing a thread insert. If the hairpin doesn't work it doesn't prevent an insert repair from being used.

I suppose iron wire would work, but I always have ss siezing wire on hand and it is a bit tougher wire.

...
I still don't know if this will fix my problem with no power, black smoke..... I sure hope it does!
Thanks for every ones suggestions. I will report back after a egr valve is back in place.
I don't know if it will fix it either, but a bad EGR can certainly make your engine run poorly.

The hand operated valve snap back test is one that I have used. Pretty crude, but it gives an idea of proper operation.

Thanks for the pics.

Good luck. vic

Added:

... Copper wire I would think would mold a lot easier without causing damage. ...

Worth considering. If the copper wire is too thin the threads may cut right through it. Too thick and it will prevent starting the threads.

When available I often use regular old braided picture wire. It is steel. Braided wire should conform even better than any single strand wire.

I have used ss picture wire for exhaust repairs and such. It is strong, lasts, and easier to work than typical iron or monel solid baling wire. I have mentioned ss picture wire for the hairpin repair, but as you point out, the hard ss braided wire may not be as good of a choice. I know that ss seizing wire will work on threads because I have used it.

Certainly choosing the proper size/gauge/type of wire is the art of the fix being successful. Not too small, not too big for the given thread situation.

... Word of caution people, with this kind of [Glow Plug] repair I wouldn't be looking at them with the engine running before your glow plug turns into a missile headed into your eye socket.
Maybe. My thought is that it would be less dramatic. Staying out of the line of fire is good advice.

:2cents:
vic

Crapu
11-09-2013, 03:18 PM
Hello everybody!
Accelerating I saw a black smoke behind so I read many posts in this respect.
As I'm not familiar with CDI technology, my engine is 611.981 - 2148 cmc, before to damage something I like to ask some questions.
1st I have to say that I did a test and on the screen appears that MAF is working less than minimum, I mean there is a scale red - green - red and I'm a little bit on the left red, it means a little bit lower than minimum workable.
The Van is running ok without any error.
I just dismantled the MAF and visually it looks dirty.
I'll attach here the photos, including the cleaner I bought. The seller said this cleaner is the one most of the people buying to clean electrical contacts, EGR, etc...
I have some doubts about using it on MAF because on the label is writing that "leaves a film to protect against corrosion". What's your advice please?
I intend to dismantle the EGR, too. But it seems is quite difficult as I understood that it is located in the back side of the engine! You can see a picture of my engine. So it is not so comfortable to clean it time to time. Could it be a solution to remove it but not to fix it back?
I'll be glad to receive some advices from you.
Thanks in advance.
Wish you a nice weekend!

amrbackup
11-12-2013, 02:42 AM
20$ and a week of time.... that's what it took to fix my van.... from my last posts about the egr valve not working, and I took the chance on removing those scary security bolts, I was able to determine that the real cause of my egr valve sticking was a broken tab that stops the valve from turning more than it should.

My resolution was to find someone in Calgary with a used egr valve, it did not operate smoothly, but after taking it apart and soaking it for days in cleaner, and working the valve back and forth by hand I finally got it free'd up, when I did put it back together it leaked a little, so off it came, I cleaned off all of the surfaces, and used a little red silicone gasket material to fill in for the gasket that you cannot purchase. I still used the gasket, just added to it. This kept the valve from pushing into itself and jamming it up when all tightened down.
Blowing in the coolant end and keeping hand pressure on the outlet end just made me red in the face, I think it will hold coolant pressure now.

I was looking at the dealership cost of 1000$, and a repair facility price of 600$, and an online price of about 400$. after debating the 20$ for about 2 seconds in my mind, I think I made a good choice to use a used part. All I lost out on was the time I was not driving my van.

After the part was back on, and everything done up, it took a few tries to get the van started, I was no longer getting the P0404 error. A bit of black smoke to clear everything out, and it was off to the races.

I can say that with the help of this forum and its members I have gained the confidence to try something like this. So a big thanks to all that have contributed. I'm back "on the road again"..... like the song goes:thumbup:

Aqua Puttana
11-12-2013, 01:08 PM
... and I took the chance on removing those scary security bolts, ...
When you cleaned the used EGR did you remove the "scary security bolts" or just clean it while assembled? (Good job/find by the way.:thumbup:)

If you did disassemble the security bolts, what method did you use to re-assemble and properly index the EGR for it to work again? Going by posts here, so far I haven't known anyone to successfully re-assemble an EGR valve AND get the computer to be happy with the result.

There have been some reports of the EGR failure/fault being traced to a damaged or worn plastic coupler. That part could likely be hand fabricated, but not worth the bother if the valve can't be successfully re-assembled.

Thanks for the update. vic

Boater
11-13-2013, 10:54 AM
Crapu - did you change the air filter? It is the most common cause of black smoke.
I'm not sure about cleaning the MAF sensor with the electrical cleaner, the screen is apparantly quite fragile, maybe a can of compressed air if is just dusty?

Is your EGR the round black plastic thing at the back of the engine on the left in the photo underneath the ventilation duct/cabin air filter? If so it looks similar to the vacuum operated one on my car, see if it has a vac hose or a cable running to it. If it has a hose it should be easy to remove and clean up with brake cleaner. If it is electrical I'm not really sure. You will need to remove it to assess if it can be permanently removed - the one on my car has a plunger that sticks out from the plastic housing and seats on a port within the manifold so it can't just be removed and replaced with a plate or you would leave the valve permanently open, you would need to fabricate something that sealed the port at the same time. Whether your ECM will detect the EGR missing is a problem you would need to experiment to find out, I expect it would but I don't know.

Crapu
11-14-2013, 07:11 AM
@Boater: Thanks for your advice.
I bought the Van s.h. in August and 1st thing I did was to change all filters, oils (except servo) and brake fluid. I'm trying to prepare the car for a long voyage of about 8000-10000 km around Europe, so I'm trying to fix any possible matter.
The MAF I cleaned with that spray and it seems it is better now.
The EGR is the one you said, back of the engine, I attached the photos in previous message.
I cleaned with another spray, break cleaner (red can, I guess TRW, I didn't pay attention).
I saw some oil into the black cover of the intake manifold so I dismantled and cleaned up, too.
I fixed everything back and yesterday I started the engine, it runs ok. I need to drive it a little bit to have a feedback of the work.
Returning to EGR, it is working normal closed, as you can see in the picture. I tested the vacuum, putting a small tube and sucking so the valve opened => working. I decided not to
connect the vacuum tube to the EGR because I want to test the car without EGR. Anyway accelerating the car the smoke is less then before. The vacuum tube I closed with a screw (6mm). To keep clean the EGR vacuum I put a small tube closed with another screw (6mm). So I can reconnect the EGR to vacuum at any time.
I attach a photo with this vacuum.
But I'm still wondering if it is normal that intake manifold is oily...
As off-topic, because cold weather came, yesterday I took a small quantity of coolant and I put it in the freezer, abt -18*C. In the morning it was still liquid so I'm prepared for winter.
Regards.

Boater
11-14-2013, 09:20 AM
Hi Crapu - that looks like a Wahler EGR the same as the one on my Vauxhall/Opel Vectra!

The EGR is normally closed without vacuum, so if just disconnecting and plugging the vac lines works that is your best plan.
A lot of people here like to physically remove the EGR from a car and fit a blank plate instead (we have an annual test and they don't like to see things disconnected!), with that design replacing with a plate would leave the valve open so leaving it in place is probably best!

If disconnecting the EGR stops the smoking, then the solenoid that controls the vacuum to the valve must be leaking, so it is causing the EGR to be opened when it shouldn't be. If the engine management system complains about getting no response from the EGR with it disconnected (P0400 codes usually) you would need to look at reconnecting it and replacing the solenoid (not cheap).

The intake manifold will always be a bit oily - 2 things cause this:
- Recycled exhaust gas, some of the unburned fuel will precipitate when it mixes with the cold charge air
- The crankcase breather is normally connected to the intake hose just before the turbo so any oil mist that isn't precipitated in the valve cover ends up in the intake hoses.

If it is excessively oily the choices are:
- EGR valve stuck open causing excessive amounts of exhaust gas to be vented into it
- Turbocharger oil seals are failing allowing engine oil to get into the turbine and thus into the intake system (there will be a noticeable use of engine oil if it is this)

Usually it will just be oil from the crankcase breather, some people fit an oil catch tank in the breather to reduce it.

Crapu
11-14-2013, 09:44 AM
Hello Boater, and thanks for prompt answer and clear explanation.
It seems the matter is not so big as into the manifold is only very little oil, like dirty of oil.
But I saw a bit of oil into EGR and on the big hose connecting to intake manifold, in front of engine. I attach a photo of EGR before to clean with oil and a photo with the engine showing the big hose connecting to inlet manifold.
Anyway during weekend I'll take a ride and I'll revert with results.
It seems to be a good idea to fit an oil catch tank. I'll search for it but if you have more details pls share with us!
Thanks.
Regards.

Boater
11-14-2013, 02:29 PM
Hi Crapu,

I don't know how many miles are on your odometer, but you can get that much sludge deposited around the intake manifold in 30000 miles (say 50000km) with everything working normally!

I see your EGR valve is slightly different to the vectra because it has the chamber for the end of the manifold attached. If you imagine the port (pipe end) to the right of the plunger being part of the manifold casting and the plunger and external part withdrawing from the manifold as one item (2 screws hold it in place) you will see why on the vectra removing the part leaves the valve open! Looks like you could plate yours off (might need 2 plates?) but it's easier to plug the hoses as you have!

Looking at the photo of your engine I am struggling to see the breather - is that a hose from the cam cover to the intake hose just behind the oil filler cap? If so it looks about 20-25mm diameter which is what I have found with diesels, most of the oil catch tanks I have seen have 10 or 12mm fittings for petrol cars (most are for race cars). I think to get proper sized fittings we might need to make a custom tank, although someone (Dingo?) mentioned having fitted tanks in the past so might be able to advise?

Crapu
11-15-2013, 08:06 AM
Hello Boater and thanks for help.
Yesterday I study the oil catch can posts/photos/videos. I can do it easily. I even decided to do 2 pieces, 1 for Sprinter and 1 for W124.
I presume the hose should be the one from my attached photos 1+2. I have to interfere the oil catch can there and hope it will assist. I even find the place to fix the O.C.C. (photo 3).
Searching on Internet I saw different type of O.C.C., 'closed' or with a 'breather', some kind of small air filter on top. Presume mine should be closed? Better with breather?
Anyway, I'll do the closed one and I'll test it. I'll revert with details and results.
Wish you a nice weekend!

Boater
11-15-2013, 01:05 PM
Yep, that's the breather.

Closed tank (outlet into air duct) is what you need, the open (filtered) type is only needed for race cars where they don't want to pass the breather gas back into the intake.
I have seen some where there are 3 ports and one is a filtered breather to the air - that doesn't make sense to me although some people swear it is essential for the tank to work. The important thing is to have something (baffles or mesh) in the tank to pass the gas through to make the oil condense out of it.

amrbackup
11-18-2013, 05:56 AM
When you cleaned the used EGR did you remove the "scary security bolts" or just clean it while assembled? (Good job/find by the way.:thumbup:)

The security Bolts have to be removed to separate the stepper motor from the valve assembly. earlier photos show the valve assembly(non motor section). I think the only reason they use security bolts here is that they do not sell the gasket in between as a replacement part, they do sell the gasket between the egr valve and the intake manifold by removing the security bolts you compromise the section that is sealed for the cooling to pass through. I would bet that in the design and their testing they found that it was hard to get that sealed again. People probably only ever need the lower valve assembly half, as long as the electronics don't burn up. By the way the lower half is manufactured they were never intending for people to replace anything in the lower half. replacing a 1 $ coupler and 1 $ gasket does not make them money..... especially when they can just call it an assembly and sell you a big ticket item(as high as 1000$ in my case)

If you did disassemble the security bolts, what method did you use to re-assemble and properly index the EGR for it to work again? Going by posts here, so far I haven't known anyone to successfully re-assemble an EGR valve AND get the computer to be happy with the result.

I would question if there is any type of sensor that would index the position of the stepper motor when removed from the valve assembly. My reasoning for this is- the valve assembly only has room to travel a certain distance from the spring loaded position where the valve is closed, to the fully open position. there is no position sensors on the valve assembly that would report back to the electronics as to where or what amount the valve is open or closed.
I did operate the whole egr when I was able to connect it to the van, without turning over the engine and turning on the ignition would make the valve open fully, then when turning off the ignition the valve would full close on the pressure of the spring tension.

If I was to guess on the operation of the egr assembly as a whole, the electronics in the very top only work off of a stepper motor that would consider a non powered egr valve to be in the zero position(fully closed) because of the spring tension in the valve assembly and then apply a certain number of steps to get the valve to the fully open position, a stepper motor can be controlled to maintain that position and be changed based on the other sensors involved in fuel management.

With this reasoning in mind I was not really concerned with splitting the two sections that make up the egr valve. Home position is always determined when power is applied. I think the problem in reassembly is that the valve assembly has too much pressure being forced down onto it because of the gasket tolerance being too small, If the valve flaps are not touching the openings then it's possible that at the connection point between two halves are creating that pressure, I had to build up the gap between the two halves with some high temp gasket silicone so that I would not crush the plastic coupler that cushions the metal on metal contact between the 2 halves. I have seen the coupler on eBay for about 25$


There have been some reports of the EGR failure/fault being traced to a damaged or worn plastic coupler. That part could likely be hand fabricated, but not worth the bother if the valve can't be successfully re-assembled.

Thanks for the update. vic

In looking at the coupler after I removed it, I did notice that in one corner of it there is a number "1", the coupler looks symmetrical in all of it's dimensions so I don't know if it really makes a difference in how it is placed back in.

I did not take apart the very top of the egr valve to look at the circuit board, but I did remove the clips to look at the stepper motor area, no sensors to position from, just magnets.

If anyone would like photos I can try and break down all of the sections I have mentioned to give you the inside look at an egr valve.

Tony

Boater
11-18-2013, 01:22 PM
Have I read correctly, the EGR valve is fully opened whenever the ignition is on?
I'm fairly sure it should only open at higher engine speeds/temperatures when the engine is able to burn up some of the residual fuel vapour in the exhaust.
Makes me wonder of it is a functional issue with the stepper motor or an error in the controller programme or module that does the control.

A vacuum operated EGR valve only has open/closed and is pulsed to control the flow of exhaust gas, so it could be the motor only operates to 2 positions, or possibly the change to a motorised valve is so that it can be part opened rather than pulsed.
Don't steppers usually just measure the angle of rotation internally rather than using external sensors for analogue control?

Aqua Puttana
11-18-2013, 01:36 PM
Tony,
Interesting. Thanks for the detailed response.

First let me say that I have not taken my operating condition spare EGR apart to investigate.

I *suspect* that there is some sort of positioning sensing on the circuit board that will give the ECM feedback and then let it compare to expected results from other sensors. I'm guessing though. The binding that you mention would be enough to affect a feedback signal. Perhaps the feedback is all through other sensors as you suggest? :idunno:

I know that the EGR is controlled by PWM and going by the "singing" of the EGR that signal physically goes out to the unit. Do we know that the actuator is a stepper motor? Would a stepper motor require a spring return?

I'm still not clear whether you disassembled and cleaned the replacement EGR which you freed up, or whether you just cleaned it without touching the "scarey bolts". If my memory is correct, the original EGR that you removed, disassembled, and re-installed was never returned to working condition.

I *think* that the security bolts are simply there to keep people from removing the wrong fasteners when changing out the EGR because, as you already indicated, from MB's viewpoint there are no serviceable parts in that section.
...
If anyone would like photos I can try and break down all of the sections I have mentioned to give you the inside look at an egr valve.

Tony
I'd be very interested in some pictures. Thanks for all the information so far. vic

seans
11-19-2013, 03:11 AM
Tony,
Interesting. Thanks for the detailed response.

First let me say that I have not taken my operating condition spare EGR apart to investigate.

I *suspect* that there is some sort of positioning sensing on the circuit board that will give the ECM feedback and then let it compare to expected results from other sensors. I'm guessing though. The binding that you mention would be enough to affect a feedback signal. Perhaps the feedback is all through other sensors as you suggest? :idunno:

I know that the EGR is controlled by PWM and going by the "singing" of the EGR that signal physically goes out to the unit. Do we know that the actuator is a stepper motor? Would a stepper motor require a spring return?

I'm still not clear whether you disassembled and cleaned the replacement EGR which you freed up, or whether you just cleaned it without touching the "scarey bolts". If my memory is correct, the original EGR that you removed, disassembled, and re-installed was never returned to working condition.

I *think* that the security bolts are simply there to keep people from removing the wrong fasteners when changing out the EGR because, as you already indicated, from MB's viewpoint there are no serviceable parts in that section.

I'd be very interested in some pictures. Thanks for all the information so far. vic

Hey Vic and all,

The EGR valve that fits in the 2004-2006 can fail in a number of ways. I'm surprised the tab can break off the jaw coupler, but from the pictures above, that seems to be another failure mode. I've personally seen my EGR fail because the green coupler between the jaws melted, and I saw another that was broken into pieces. I know mine melted because I was bypassing my Espar and the hose kinked which restricted coolant to the valve. I wonder if a failed circulation pump can also restrict coolant. It might also be that running the van hard can lead to elevated exhaust and coolant temps and cause this plastic piece to fail early. I don't know, but someone who services both fleet and regular driver Sprinters might be able to spot a pattern.

RedDino found a replacement plastic part sold online. I don't recall the link. However, it is not a magic panacea for all EGR valves. I have another EGR valve in my hands with a plastic piece that is fine but it still won't close completely. The reason is that the shaft running through the valve can wear out the sleeve it is in to the point that rotating magnet assembly attached to the shaft rubs against the inside housing, and the additional friction is enough to keep the valve from closing completely. In that case a new valve is needed. I've tried disassembling and lubricating this one and the friction was still too much to let the valve close properly. It seems that after sitting on my desk for two months, it is now returning to the closed position, albeit not promptly, so it is now an emergency spare.

The actuator does not appear to be a stepper motor but merely a motor-like electromagnet that rotates a magnet on a shaft. There is possibly a position sensor in the top (hall effect device?) There is what looks like a CPU inside the very top of the device. You cannot access many of the parts I've described to get a better look at them without destroying the valve (I sacrificed one to learn about it.) I found a driver for the security bolt at my local Sears.

I don't believe there is any precision required to reassemble it (other than being sure not to break the plastic piece) and that you can assemble it 180 degrees out of phase; it does not seem to matter. I know this because I fabricated a couple of the plastic parts by cutting, folding and soldering a copper sheet into roughly the same shape and installed one in my EGR valve that had the melted plastic piece, which got it working again (returning to the closed position when out of the van, and not throwing codes or entering limp home mode in the van.) It has gone for several thousand miles this way but I need to replace it with the good plastic piece I got from the valve with the friction problem.

That valve (my emergency spare) now also has one of these homebrew devices in it and a quick test by unplugging my van's EGR, plugging in this one, and starting the van, showed that the valve opened as expected and IIRC, did the self-cleaning maneuver when the van was shut down. (I did not let the van run any amount of time so I did not throw codes by having my valve not open up.)

I don't recommend making a plastic piece replacement from copper because it may accelerate the wearing out of the sleeve if there is more pressure applied to one side of the shaft than the other.

To sum it up, some of these valves might be repairable by replacing the plastic part; others might not if the sleeve is worn and the shaft is now sitting off-center and the rotating part rubbing on the housing. Not sure if circulation pump problems reduce coolant flow and accelerate the demise of the plastic part. If the valve does not smoothly return to the closed position, and the plastic part is intact (or even removed) it may have the friction problem and should be replaced - this problem is not repairable. I believe that a PWM signal is used because it allows the valve to be controlled proportionally with low dropout switching FETs that dissipate less heat than a transistor circuit which provides a variable analog voltage. The lack of success of repairs is possibly due to the plastic pieces being brittle and breaking during reassembly, or the valves having the worn out sleeve and resulting friction problem which is preventing them from closing despite having a good plastic piece inside. Then there is the possibility that the electronics inside the valve have failed, or like the OP has shown, there is some other mechanical problem. Too bad the darn things cost so much!

MillionMileSprinter
07-05-2014, 02:14 PM
Just wanted to post how I fixed a very similar situation:
'03 with 100K miles, tons of black smoke coming out tail pipe and complaints of low power and slight LHM (no automatic downshifting). CEL was also on. I have a DAD and a Green Diesel Engineering Scanner, but (stupid me) I didn't scan the ECU, I just figured I knew where to look.
I figured it was a bad injector, so I had an extra one just in case.
I was hoping it was a dirty EGR valve and upon removing it, I had to remove the upper turbo hose. To my surprise and delight, I found a large tear in the hose. I just so happened to have a spare hose lying around (salvaging spare parts off of junkyard Sprinters does pay off), so I replaced it and went for a drive. Immediately the power returned, but the smoke was just as bad. Then I removed the EGR valve and gave it a good cleaning. I was sticky, so the cleaning helped it for sure. I replaced it and crossed my fingers. The next test drive was even better, but there was still some smoke coming out the tailpipe. Lastly I went to the injectors. I was going to replace the first one with a new injector. If that didn't fix the smoke, I was going to put the used injector that was #1 into the #2 spot and then go for a drive. You can see where I'm going with this. To do this, MAKE SURE you have an extra set of 5 new hold down bolts and copper washers. Again, from other jobs, I had some extras just in case. I tightened down the injector hold down bolt, but DIDN'T turn the extra 90 degrees, incase I had to take the injector back out for some reason.
Fortunately, injector #1 turned out to be the overfueling injector and replacing it with the new one did the trick. Also, to pop it out, I just sprayed the area with PB Blaster, loosened up the injector hold down bolt and started the engine. Immediately I heard the PFFFT PFFFT PFFFT and saw the diesel mist coming from injector #1. Didn't even need to drive around the block. Within 15 minutes I had the new injector in and tightened down. Once I had the problem fixed, I made SURE I went and had the bolts tightened down to the appropriate level.
Hope this is helpful to those trying to diagnose the black getaway cloud issue.