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View Full Version : BAD Piston ?????


Mobile
03-04-2016, 02:50 PM
Let me start off by saying thank you for all your posts and this forum. It has been a HUGE help just starting out with a Sprinter.

I have a 2004 Dodge 3500 with the 2.7L Diesel with 188567 miles. To start off i worked 10 years in the old field and was let go so I think to myself start my own business. I looked into Sprinter van as my base of operations. Found one bought one. Drove it home from Houston to NW Oklahoma on a tank of fuel WOW. That's were the excitement ended the next morning huge puddle of diesel and I quickly learn of the famed BLACK DEATH. I will digress and stop my whining there.

Finished the repairs replacing the injectors not wanting to have to pull them again (so I thought). Had the oil changed and off I go, get about 50 miles down the road stopped for fuel. Back on the highway i get about 2 miles start to lose power and black smoke following me. Pull over, motor get to an idle and is banging. I noticed a temperature spike and hated to shut off motor but not wanting to further the damage i did. Popped the hood and it was a gusher dipstick was blown out and oil every where. Pulled dip stick lost half of the oil low but still in safe zone. Start to ponder maybe PCV plugged. Fired back up started right up still banging quickly check a few things way to much crank case pressure start to unplug injectors one buy one #3 no change in idle. Tow truck arrived sucked it on a dropped it home. (the one time i am glad my house is built into the side of the hill and garage at bottom).

Popped out the injectors not having a compression tester handy and help to turn over motor i put a rubber glove in each injector seat one by one. Again #3 suspect. on to pulling cam cover to see if a valve dropped could i be that lucky pull the head and not the motor. (Polish luck strikes again) all seem good pulled the cams. Stopped for the night cant take any more of the type of luck i am having.

If the motor is to be rebuilt any suggestions i have poured my life savings into this en-devour these lessons of the hard way with this van and all of the equipment i have ordered. Seems if i rebuild myself all of the specialty tools will eat my lunch. Any body close if i pulled it tore it down and brought it to them? Would gladly even stick around do all the work.

lindenengineering
03-04-2016, 03:18 PM
Sounds like a piston from your description.
Root cause will be a lack of cooling in its past or a leaking injector causing bore wash!

Save the crankcase oil for analysis. This helps to determine the cause.

The block is recoverable although I usually find the piston has gone "plastic" & melted and alum deposits are stuck to the bore so a rebore is most likely required..

The block can be sleeved and there are oversizes available, and it is at this stage where things that things get spendy. It all depends upon the extent of the damage.

It can be expedient to find a good take out but then that can be a crap shoot without some care in the buying and location of the replacement.
No cheap answers I am afraid and if you are going to do the job its often a good idea to check the radiator & cooling system thoroughly because that is where the problem usually has its origines. At least from my experiences.
All the best
Dennis

Mobile
03-05-2016, 12:46 AM
Dennis

Thanks again for all your help, You are definitely the guy to speak with you have educated me on Sprinters and gave me information that will be useful. Hopefully i didn't take to much of your time.

P.S should have motor pulled by tomorrow afternoon.


Thanks AGAIN!!

seans
03-05-2016, 06:16 PM
... the next morning huge puddle of diesel and I quickly learn of the famed BLACK DEATH...

Really sorry to hear about your engine issues and wish you luck in repairing it. It sounds like you are very handy in this area. Your photos will make this a very valuable write-up for the rest of us. I don't recall many write-ups of engine teardowns.

Going back to the "black death" for a second. You wrote that you had a huge puddle of diesel. How much was it and where was it coming from?

Mobile
03-06-2016, 05:34 PM
To start off with I should have done better research into purchasing this van like getting on this forum sooner. But that would be playing arm chair quarterback at this point. This van to look back had ALOT of tell tale signs of being bad. For starters the signs of a slight diesel leak coming from under the plastic cover. Appeared old but van had sat for sale. As far the the puddle there is a drain in the back of the cam cover but was blocked from Black Death so looking at the drain no diesel. It eventually pooled on the cam cover and run down the back of the motor. Cleaned the black death replaced the injectors. Thats where the real store begins. Speaking with Dennis @ Linden Engineering GREAT WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE. This motor has had cooling issues in the past as he had suggested. Antifreeze was way to clean for mileage, fan and clutch replaced appeared new and as Dennis explained the HVAC controls were not operating correctly. That being the first to check for overheating issues i have learned. Who would have known that the ECM talks to it for cooling the motor WOW. SO from the get go if i would have checked these things i would have saved a HUGE amount of time and money which are limited right now. To shorten the story a bit should have done a simple compression test when the injectors where out " Common Sense" but i am a stubborn POL. I would have seen #3 piston was A) weak or B) bad to begin with and masked buy the loss of compression from injector blow by. I did check for blow by when i purchased but did not check well enough. Now as Dennis explained to me that cooling issues will take out a piston along with malfunctioning injector and all the signs where there.

So as of today the motor and tranny are hanging from a lift because of my urgency to get my business up and running and letting that affect my decisions of ignoring the the little red light going this motor has issues.

Overall the the pull was fairly easy for one person to complete. NOTE TO MERCEDES LAY OF THE F'N ZIP TIES. LOL! Will get the rest of the block stripped today and off to the South side of Chicago to visit Gee (pronounced G). Will save on added shipping and a core charge to pick up a remanned motor. That and a chance to visit family for a few minutes. I am also replacing the HVAC controls, new water pump, flushing the air to air and radiator.

Sorry no pictures to share after the dipstick decided to let me know i have issues everything was covered in oil and so was I. Started with gloves on ended with black arms to my shoulders.

Will probably pull head to take a peak at the top of the pistons just to be sure.

Mobile
03-06-2016, 05:43 PM
Going back to the "black death" for a second. You wrote that you had a huge puddle of diesel. How much was it and where was it coming from?[/QUOTE]

Was running out from under the van when i started it. My drive is on a hill so this aided in it running off. Most of which was from the return lines leaking off the top of the injectors. Some where hard to see leaking a quick test with can air blown over the top if injector will aid in seeing them seep. But if you are in it to that point the black death is already evident. When i first replaced injectors i used soapy water worked well for seeing injector blow by and a lot less of a mess than using diesel. Canned air also worked really well in cleaning the injector bolt hold down threads.

Aqua Puttana
03-06-2016, 06:11 PM
A puddle of diesel and "Black Death" residue sound like two separate issues to me. :idunno:

Black Death residue comes from escaped partially burned fuel. The injectors meter the fuel into the combustion chamber in very small quantity. Even if there is that small amount of raw atomized fuel in the combustion chamber (with a bad piston?) it will be pushed out on the exhaust stroke or possibly push down into the crankcase. Not all of that small amount of fuel will come out an injector seal leak. Path of least resistance applies.

vic

Mobile
03-07-2016, 03:01 AM
I agree it did suffer from Black Death prior to finding the bad Piston. Injector blow by resulted in the carbon cookie surprise i was left. The puddle of diesel was from the all for the return lines seeping and bad O-rings atop the injector. Agreed you can have one without the other. I am just the fool that failed to study these engines and see all the signs. Most of which were from your post thank you. Replacing the injector sealed that loss and added to the blow by past the piston. And from what i gathered from Dennis this is not something that just happens overnight. This was confirmed by the above stated findings. OR am i just way out in left field looking for a pop fly in the dark with no lights?

Aqua Puttana
03-07-2016, 03:14 AM
.... OR am i just way out in left field looking for a pop fly in the dark with no lights?
:idunno:

Sounds like you've got the basics as I see them.

vic

Mobile
03-10-2016, 04:54 PM
Got the reman motor Tuesday back last night. The #3 piston was melted. Believes it was the injector. Any way get home checked the invoice for the injectors they were for 612 WOW I AM A DUMB A$$. I have learned more about these motor s in the past 2 weeks and it seems it's been trial by FIRE wouldn't work more like Hell.

Mobile
03-10-2016, 05:05 PM
So i guess the question now is could that have caused that damage to just the #3 cylinder or would it had to have been bad prior to and the change in injection forced the piston to fail. This is really making me sick to think that i destroyed a motor over a very dumb mistake. The other 4 cylinders looked perfect. ???????????????:idunno::censored::censored:

Added point of information motor only ran for an hour with the injectors.

:doh:

Midwestdrifter
03-10-2016, 05:54 PM
So i guess the question now is could that have caused that damage to just the #3 cylinder or would it had to have been bad prior to and the change in injection forced the piston to fail. ...

Added point of information motor only ran for an hour with the injectors.


If an injector sticks open it can burn a piston in a matter of minutes. Contamination during assembly, age, or just a bad unit? Hard to to know from this side of the internet.

Mobile
03-10-2016, 08:07 PM
If an injector sticks open it can burn a piston in a matter of minutes. Contamination during assembly, age, or just a bad unit? Hard to to know from this side of the internet.

Where is your side i am in Northwest Oklahoma.

Midwestdrifter
03-10-2016, 08:48 PM
Where is your side i am in Northwest Oklahoma.

I am in Tulsa. I'm no diesel mechanic though!

I believe Liden engineering posted a PDF with details on identifying piston failure causes in diesel engines (a few months ago). I will see if I can find it and post it here.