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View Full Version : 2004 New to me, sitting for over a year ???


joelanderson81
11-19-2016, 04:09 AM
Hello All,

Thanks in advance for your advice. New Sprinter owner here. I've been searching the forum endlessly for days, learning alot but still need a little help.

Here is the scenario:

Purchased a 2004 2500 Super High Top Freightliner Sprinter. The van was purchased via eBay for cheap so I wasn't expecting a diamond. Van has 180K, one previous owner with a clean carfax that outlines regular maintenance intervals...i.e. oil changes. The vehicle was sitting for over a year and the party selling knew nothing about the van. Van fires right up & drives with no warning lights. There is significant body rust throughout.

Before I put the van on a truck to ship back west I made an appointment with a well known Sprinter shop in the Chicago area. The shop agreed to give the van a run through, diagnostic test and give me the report. An hour after I dropped the van off the owner called me to say the motor was shot. When I inquired about specifics all he said was "didn't even need to open the hood to see the engine was burning oil and needed a rebuild". Owner kindly recommended not spending any money on the van.

I appreciate his professionals opinion however I am far from writing the van off. A little body rust and an engine that burns oil doesn't seem reason enough to give up. I figured at 180K I'd have quite a bit of life left. However now my confidence in the van is shot. I have changed the oil, brakes and tires. What else should I look for to confirm that the van is solid?

No warning lights
No signs of "black death"
Turbo appears to be working appropriately
No unusual knocking or smell of diesel
Light blue smoke from tailpipe


Again, any advice is much appreciated!

lindenengineering
11-19-2016, 05:23 AM
Who's the well known Sprinter Expert?????
I have reason to ask--believe me !
You can PM me!
Dennis

Aqua Puttana
11-19-2016, 05:53 AM
... An hour after I dropped the van off the owner called me to say the motor was shot. When I inquired about specifics all he said was "didn't even need to open the hood to see the engine was burning oil and needed a rebuild". ...
:hmmm:

In 1969 I traded a motorcycle that didn't owe me a dime for a 1961 356B Porsche. I knew that the 356 needed a clutch. A couple hours of time and little money cured that.

That car ran like a champ, but didn't idle well. I changed spark plugs, wires, and did other things that normally would help. Nothin'.

I began to wonder about valves. To get an idea of price I pulled up to the local German car shop garage door that was closed. When I asked the guru about a valve job he gave me a ballpark price and added, "The way that sounds I know that you need a valve job".

A subsequent compression check proved that statement suspect. Further investigation had me realize that when someone rebuilt the Zenith Dual Downdraft carburetors they neglected to install all 4 idle air correction jets. Some brass bolts drilled with a small drill worked until I could source the proper jets. The idle issues went away. No valve job was ever needed.

Sorry for the long story. The moral is, don't listen to some expert who thinks no testing is necessary because he's so good. Your engine may be just fine as you suspect.

Good luck. (I'm certain that Dennis will help you sort this out. :thumbup:)

vic

P.S. - I've learned the hard way to avoid using 99% certainty in my replies here even when I think that I know what's wrong. (Well... most of the time. I still sometimes slip.)

joelanderson81
11-19-2016, 01:07 PM
Thanks Vic. Crossing my fingers for similar results. Who doesn't love a motorcycle and Porsche reference.

Cheers!

NORTON
11-20-2016, 06:08 AM
I wouldn't take much notice of someone who made such a rash statement, then didn't have the courtesy to explain the problems, if possible use it and see how it functions.
I've had an experience with a MB dealership and they were inept and that is being lenient.
Along with the small amount of blue smoke was there any noticeable blow by

owner
11-20-2016, 06:55 AM
Yeah blue smoke from a diesel would require engine oil entering the exhaust AFTER combustion, because otherwise the engine will clean burn the oil as fuel, like it is fundamentally designed to do. So I would suspect a turbo seal. To get a better idea, do what was said above - Check how much blow by there is, and also if bad then do a compression test. The engine may have a lot of life left.

But its plain wrong to suggest blue smoke on a diesel means the engine is shot. So I wouldn't take their advice onboard at all.

Midwestdrifter
11-20-2016, 02:57 PM
Depending on the conditions fuel leaking from an injector during the exhaust cycle can sometimes burn blue as well. I agree with the others that you cannot make an assessment like that without a baseline on the engine. This usually involves a compression test and checking the turbo outlet for excessive oil.

joelanderson81
11-22-2016, 01:11 AM
I wouldn't take much notice of someone who made such a rash statement, then didn't have the courtesy to explain the problems, if possible use it and see how it functions.
I've had an experience with a MB dealership and they were inept and that is being lenient.
Along with the small amount of blue smoke was there any noticeable blow by

So unfortunately I found there is in fact noticeable blow by. When I removed the oil cap, smoke and oil came pouring out. I was hoping to get lucky but it appears I might have a serious repair on my hands. Any recommendations as to where to begin? I'll be doing the work myself as cost is a factor.

Thanks, Joel

glasseye
11-22-2016, 01:19 AM
there is in fact noticeable blow by. Any recommendations as to where to begin? I'll be doing the work myself as cost is a factor.


As they say in the movies, `You came to the right place`

If anyone can help with this DIY project, it`s the guys who frequent this forum.

Midwestdrifter
11-22-2016, 01:37 AM
Crankcase pressure is more important than oil. Pull out the dipstick, does oil or lots of gas come out? Remove the crankcase vent hose, is there lots of blowby at idle? Do a leakdown test to isolate the bad cylinder (if there even is one).

You have a couple of options. One is a take out engine (not cheap, but faster) the other is a full or partial rebuild.

Get a usb endoscope that will fit into the injector ports in the top of the head. They are less than 30$ on amazon. Pull the injector and use the endoscope to check the piston and bore. Some of the scopes have a 90 degree mirror attachment. The results will help you decide what level of repair is needed. If the bores look good, and you have minor piston damage, a partial rebuild with hone, piston(s) and gaskets.

Another option is to just pull the engine and head, and give it a thorough disassembly and inspection. If you are lucky a new piston or two and a set of rings might be enough. :idunno:

If you have a damaged/melted cylinder you need to determine why. An overfueling injector will melt piston tops. It can also damage rod bearings, so these must be checked on the affected cylinder(s).

The I5 in these vans seems to be a fairly straight forward diesel as far as rebuilds go. However there is plenty of gotchas with diesels compared to gas engines. Head gasket thickness for example varies between engines to control deck height, so correct gasket must be used (keep the old one).

If there is evidence of oil contamination from component breakdown, the entire oil system needs to be flushed (turbo included).

User LinDenEngineering on this forum is a shop owner and mechanic (as well as a sprinter guru). He has posted a bit on this topic, so searching his posts might be a good idea. He does sometimes help with specific questions (I don't want to speak for him)

Before you dive in, you might drain the oil and filter it (and check the filter). If there is a large amount of metal, you may be in for a big job.

owner
11-22-2016, 01:38 AM
You will get oil popping out because of the cam Chain, its right under the cap. A better test would be the dipstick or pull the crankcase breather pipe and check it there. Then if its still bad, do a compression test. That will tell you a lot more about what's going on inside the engine.

Aqua Puttana
11-22-2016, 01:52 AM
You will get oil popping out because of the cam Chain, its right under the cap. A better test would be the dipstick or pull the crankcase breather pipe and check it there. Then if its still bad, do a compression test. That will tell you a lot more about what's going on inside the engine.
Yep.

I left the oil fill cap off once. :bash:

The cam chain pumps engine oil out like an old fashioned bucket brigade.

I'd think that a compression test is the next priority.

A DAD or DRBIII scan tool can perform a coarse compression test using cranking response. (That test may also be available on the Snap-on scan tool among others.) The test can narrow down to a cylinder(s) in extreme cases. Unfortunately the test is not conclusive in that marginal problems may not be revealed.

Using the correct adapter a direct read compression test can be accomplished using the glow plug ports.

Good luck.

vic

joelanderson81
11-22-2016, 02:19 AM
Excellent. Thanks for the information. This gives me a great place to start. I was prepared for an entire rebuild although I'd love to avoid it. I'll dive into this week.

Flatheadfever
11-22-2016, 04:08 PM
If it hasn't run for a year and only has 180k on it I might be tempted to drive it for a couple of tanks fulls and make sure you don't haven't something as simple as a stuck ring from sitting.