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jackbombay
01-29-2017, 05:08 AM
So, I have been dealing with some bad injector issues for a little while now, in May I purchased 5 new injectors and the van ran better, black smoke was eliminated, and I got better fuel mileage.

7,000 miles later I began to develop some smoke at start up again, and a bit of a gallop to my idle....

I checked the smooth running at idle and found the #2 injector to be the culprit, I swapped in one of my old ones and things got notably better.

I have replaced my fuel filters more frequently than the manual suggests for the last 100,000 miles, I replaced the fuel filter about 100 miles before I replaced the injectors, and I've always been meticulous about cleanliness when I have the fuel system open in any way, a full pressure wash of the area where I will be working....

So, it seems like I have fuel contamination issues, so I installed a Caterpillar 2 micron fuel filter downstream from the stock filter, I have now driven about 200 miles with that set-up and want to get my already failed new injector rebuilt, so I make some calls and find a place in Texas that offers a 2 year warranty on their rebuilds and they reuse only the body of the injector, every orher part gets replaced, great.

The guy says the problem is debris in the common rail, and insists I will continue to have problems if I don't send him all the connecting lines downstream of the HP fuel pump, so all 5 injector supply lines the line from the pump to the rail and the rail itself. He cleans them all in an ultrasonic acid bath.


So, my question is how does debris get into the rail if the only thing that has ever been in it is filtered fuel?


I did have my HP fuel pump rebuilt by Andy Bittenbinder about 6 years ago, I suppose there is a chance that material is coming from the pump, but I'd expect that to be somewhat catastrophic which is not what I am experiencing.

Anyone ever get their fuel rail cleaned?

Should I just get the #2 injector rebuilt install it and see how it goes?

The van is a 2003 with 175k miles on it...

talkinghorse43
01-29-2017, 04:54 PM
Water in fuel can damage your high pressure fuel system like that. I had a similar problem in late '14 when I picked up some contaminated fuel (required a new fuel rail (new pressure sensor & pressure control valve too) and decontaminated tank to fix). Mine did set off the water in fuel light, but, since ULSD disperses water, water can easily make it through the filter w/o setting off the light. I now preview all fuel by taking a small sample before pumping. Green, cloudy fuel indicates water contamination and I recently aborted a fill because the preview sample was green & cloudy. It's rare (1 in 31 previews so far), but it does happen, and if you don't preview, you won't know when you pump in water. You might be able to find a combination of filters that would break the water-in-oil emulsion and remove the water so you wouldn't have to preview sample to guarantee no water damage, but I don't know of one.
Acid cleaning would remove the rust, but I'd be concerned about possible damage to the sensor and/or valve.

Aqua Puttana
01-29-2017, 05:04 PM
As TH43 indicated, not all junk gets caught by the filter or there wouldn't be injector and other high pressure component problems from bad fuel. Some stuff does get by.

The fuel rail is an accumulator, so I suppose that it could be contaminated. I haven't seen other posts indicating that special fuel rail cleaning has been necessary.

I didn't see anywhere that you mentioned dropping the tank and cleaning.

...

Should I just get the #2 injector rebuilt install it and see how it goes?

The van is a 2003 with 175k miles on it...
:hmmm:

Since you asked.

I would address the known problem and clean the fuel tank. If you don't clean the tank the contaminants may keep returning even after a special fuel rail cleaning.

:2cents: vic

jackbombay
01-30-2017, 03:43 AM
Water in fuel can damage your high pressure fuel system like that. I had a similar problem in late '14 when I picked up some contaminated fuel (required a new fuel rail (new pressure sensor & pressure control valve too) and decontaminated tank to fix). Mine did set off the water in fuel light, but, since ULSD disperses water, water can easily make it through the filter w/o setting off the light.

I have never had the WIF light come on, but I have of course been running ULSD for many years now :-/


When we get a little further into spring I'll pull the rail and supply lines and have them cleaned and send the injector off for a rebuild.

When you dropped the tank what did you find in it? I know cleaning the tank would be the "belt and suspenders" approach, but any water contaminated fuel is long gone at this point and any particulate matter will get taken care of by the filter, especially now that I have a 2 micron filter in the fuel system, but injector issues are far from cheap, so I'm not not totally opposed to dropping the tank, but I'd rather not...

jackbombay
01-30-2017, 03:48 AM
Acid cleaning would remove the rust, but I'd be concerned about possible damage to the sensor and/or valve.

Sensor gets removed before cleaning I believe.


I would address the known problem and clean the fuel tank. If you don't clean the tank the contaminants may keep returning even after a special fuel rail cleaning.

:2cents: vic

If I just plan ahead and let the tank get low it won't be too much work to drop and clan the tank, but I'm sure it'll be annoying!

talkinghorse43
01-30-2017, 09:35 AM
When you dropped the tank what did you find in it? I know cleaning the tank would be the "belt and suspenders" approach, but any water contaminated fuel is long gone at this point and any particulate matter will get taken care of by the filter, especially now that I have a 2 micron filter in the fuel system, but injector issues are far from cheap, so I'm not not totally opposed to dropping the tank, but I'd rather not...

I had the dealership drop and clean the tank since the offending truck stop was paying the bill, but they said they didn't find any water. The level sensor fell apart when they removed it, so that had to be replaced. As far as the presence of water contaminated fuel in your tank, that can happen at any time, since if you don't preview sample, you never know what's going into your tank. I know I haven't pumped in any water since my problem and my fuel system issues (occasional miss at idle) gradually went away.

jackbombay
01-31-2017, 03:06 AM
if you don't preview sample, you never know what's going into your tank.

Do you cut the bottom off a clear plastic water bottle for this? And then use a funnel to add that fuel to the tank if it isn't cloudy? The one time it was cloudy what did you do with that fuel?

Its a little inconvenient, but not too bad, just wondering how you have streamlined the preview process :-)

dickknapp
01-31-2017, 04:34 AM
Curious here too as to particulars :-)

talkinghorse43
01-31-2017, 05:53 AM
Do you cut the bottom off a clear plastic water bottle for this? And then use a funnel to add that fuel to the tank if it isn't cloudy? The one time it was cloudy what did you do with that fuel?

Its a little inconvenient, but not too bad, just wondering how you have streamlined the preview process :-)

Much more detail in my thread entitled "Water in Fuel - Preview Samples". But, I use an old, clear plastic orange juice container with a screw cap and opening large enough to accommodate insertion of the hose nozzle. I pump in less than a quart of fuel and let it settle down for a bit to let the entrained air separate before making my judgement. I then put the capped bottle in my kit (a large plastic tub containing other liquids, etc.) and dump the contents into the tank just before the next fill (using a funnel). I guessed that the cloudy fill sample would be sufficiently diluted by the ~20 gallons of fuel in the next fill, so I did the same for that. Just in case I find 2 cloudy previews in succession (or a fuel sample with large drops of water), I also carry a spare plastic bottle.

jackbombay
01-31-2017, 03:39 PM
Much more detail in my thread entitled "Water in Fuel - Preview Samples". But, I use an old, clear plastic orange juice container with a screw cap and opening large enough to accommodate insertion of the hose nozzle. I pump in less than a quart of fuel and let it settle down for a bit to let the entrained air separate before making my judgement. I then put the capped bottle in my kit (a large plastic tub containing other liquids, etc.) and dump the contents into the tank just before the next fill (using a funnel). I guessed that the cloudy fill sample would be sufficiently diluted by the ~20 gallons of fuel in the next fill, so I did the same for that. Just in case I find 2 cloudy previews in succession (or a fuel sample with large drops of water), I also carry a spare plastic bottle.

Thanks for the details!

Thats a nice way to take care of it :-)

I'll search for your other thread too.

dickknapp
01-31-2017, 06:24 PM
TalkingHorse, reviewed the WIF thread again - will gear up to preview fuel as you have done. I tried to view the first link to a presentation which I gather presents info on inferring water content by color or cloudiness of the sample. The link no longer works and I could not find anything similar by googling. Any chance you have this saved, or have another link?
Thanks,
Dick

flman
01-31-2017, 06:57 PM
Just wondering about cleaning it with the solenoid on the end of the rail that cannot be removed or replaced? But I assume this in not your mechanics first job like this?

jackbombay
01-31-2017, 07:14 PM
Just wondering about cleaning it with the solenoid on the end of the rail that cannot be removed or replaced? But I assume this in not your mechanics first job like this?

The solenoid on the end of the OM612 rail can be removed and replaced, when I send it off I'll get more details about how they want it, I assume they'll want me to remove the solenoid before I ship it.

I do all my own wrenching, I might not be the fastest wrench around, but I'm better than most everyone else that has ever worked on my van/cars, one thing fixed 2 things broken seems to be par for the course on the rare occasion when I've paid somebody else to work on my vehicles.

flman
01-31-2017, 08:04 PM
The solenoid on the end of the OM612 rail can be removed and replaced, when I send it off I'll get more details about how they want it, I assume they'll want me to remove the solenoid before I ship it.

I do all my own wrenching, I might not be the fastest wrench around, but I'm better than most everyone else that has ever worked on my van/cars, one thing fixed 2 things broken seems to be par for the course on the rare occasion when I've paid somebody else to work on my vehicles.

I did not realize the solenoid can be removed on the T1N rail, on my NCV3 and my 2 Jeeps with Bosch common rail, removing or replacing that part is a no no, and is not for sale separately? But I guess if you used the same exact part, with the same exact calibrated alignment it should be okay? I guess you will need a new crush washer or seal?

jackbombay
01-31-2017, 08:37 PM
I did not realize the solenoid can be removed on the T1N rail, on my NCV3 and my 2 Jeeps with Bosch common rail, removing or replacing that part is a no no, and is not for sale separately? But I guess if you used the same exact part, with the same exact calibrated alignment it should be okay? I guess you will need a new crush washer or seal?

Only on the OM612 is the part removeable, on the OM647 it is supposedly not removeable, although somebody here did it with the help of a shop, I can't remember who that was though.

talkinghorse43
02-03-2017, 07:46 PM
TalkingHorse, reviewed the WIF thread again - will gear up to preview fuel as you have done. I tried to view the first link to a presentation which I gather presents info on inferring water content by color or cloudiness of the sample. The link no longer works and I could not find anything similar by googling. Any chance you have this saved, or have another link?
Thanks,
Dick
Here's the pdf and I hope that you will report your results so we can get a better idea of the likelihood of buying wet fuel.

misterbond10
02-04-2017, 01:59 AM
Never messed with a fuel rail but just a thought if there is a large opening on the thing: use one of those bottle brushes to clean it out + compressed air & kerosene/solvent

misterbond10
02-04-2017, 02:07 AM
Thats a very interesting PDF, thanks talking horse

I've read before that one of the main sources for water contamination is the same for diesel as it is gasoline: the infamous Ethanol

Apparently they use the same tankers many times to haul diesel as they do gasoline, and some ethanol gets left behind and gets into the diesel

Ethanol is INFAMOUS for attracting moisture and ruins many small engines. Hate the stuff. I have many small engines, older engines, motorcycles etc. And I actually have resorted to mixing my own gasoline. I have a 10 gallon carboy that I fill with gasoline, add about 10% water to it and shake it up. Let it sit overnight. The extra water causes the ethanol to phase-seperate from the gasoline (gasohol), then siphon off the good stuff. The only other option is (illegally) buying avgas. Theres a reason ethanol isn't in aviation fuel, #1. it needs to be reliable #2 Ethanol causes rust and #3 Ethanol sucks.

misterbond10
02-04-2017, 02:12 AM
Here is another PDF about fuel additives, a comparison, lubricity results, & characteristics. On the right hand side of the chart, on the last page, you can see if it is a demulsifier or emulsifier, this might help you with your problem.

Also not listed is the iso-heet stuff. make sure its ISO-HEET as that is the formula for diesels. Its just pure isopropyl alcohol.

talkinghorse43
02-04-2017, 04:55 AM
The only other option is (illegally) buying avgas.

I have a boat on Lake Erie, and I know that near the lake, gas w/o ethanol is available for marine engines. My son is also very concerned about ethanol in gas and is able to find the same in the Nashville, TN area.

dickknapp
02-04-2017, 05:09 AM
Thank you for the pdf, Talkinghorse. I will start taking samples and will report as I get some sort of trend. Not much driving until late spring.
Dick