Black Death Road Trip

blankenship

New member
Purchased an '05 Sprinter with 180k in Kansas last week, and have put 1,000 miles on it in the past week - now staying with my parents in Louisiana and planning a 2,700 mile cross-country adventure in a couple days to eventually arrive back home in Oregon 3 weeks from now.

I've been doing what I can to prepare the vehicle; popped the injector cover today and #1 injector seems to be in a Black Death situation. :doh: Pics attached.
The other injectors look fine.

I don't really have the resources here at my folks' to repair it myself; I'm visiting a friend in California where I could probably fix it, but that's 1,700 miles from now.

Wondering if I need to delay my trip and take it to a local shop-
Or if I'm okay to address it in CA or when home in OR?

Any tests or other info I can provide?
What would you do?
 

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Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
With the engine warm and idling, spray a bit of soapy water around the injector. How bad is the leak? Are your eyes watering and are you coughing? If its not severe, you can drive it a few thousand miles. I would rather the injector be a bit more stuck, than screw up the removal.
 

glasseye

Well-known member
Great thread title! :rad: Happy trails!:thumbup:
 

tbuyan

Member
My experience with black death, which I posted in a thread a couple years ago, is that the plastic cover creates an "oven" that bakes the escaping diesel fuel into that crystalline black goo and then hides it from view. I would leave the plastic cover off and hit the road. Yours is so minor that, with the cover off, the goo will likely reliquify and evaporate by the time you get to the left coast. It will still be leaking though, so you will prolly experience diesel fuel smell while this is happening, but you'll have no mess to clean up and the injector will come out a lot easier.

I have run without the cover for a couple years without ill effect. But I recall in another thread MWD (I think) recommending the cover for protection from the weather and from spray from the fan. I guess I'll put it back on. Besides, it looks prettier.
 

rjc3

Member
Take it easy climbing long grades. The more pressure you build up in the cylinder, the more of a chance there is for it to get worse. Down shift the transmission to keep the RPM,s in the happy zone.
 

Nautamaran

2004 140” HRC 2500 (Crewed)
Does look like early stages... the coke goo hasn’t overflowed the ridge into the 2nd injector area yet.
Earlier is better, since it stops any ongoing seat erosion, but erosion is normally a slow process so I wouldn’t freak out about it.
Removing the cover will expose the felt on the bottom of the hood to the fumes, so if you go that route I’d consider covering the hood with foil to keep the splatter from saturating the felt... my felt has a bit of oil soaked into it from my air intake hose blowing out.

Safe travels,

-dave
 

jrod5150

Active member
BTW IMO as well as a few others, "black death" Is an overly dramatic term for this problem plus it was stolen from Fords garbage AC compressors issues in the late 90s. They would come apart internally and pump black crap through the entire AC system. The proper term should be "Black Mess". Its in no way a death sentance just a big mess to clean up
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
To be fair it was a death sentence of sorts before the skills and knowledge spread a bit. Many a dealer suggested new heads, 5 new injectors, new fuel lines, and a new harness when confronted with a bad case.

Combine that will broken hold down bolts, hack fixes, and double stacked seals, and it got a bad reputation.
 

jrod5150

Active member
Thanks that makes more sense. Maybe its just that they bit the term from Fords junk thats annoying. They needed to come up with their own name. Maybe vader syndrome. lol.
 

tbuyan

Member
Removing the cover will expose the felt on the bottom of the hood to the fumes, so if you go that route I’d consider covering the hood with foil to keep the splatter from saturating the felt.
Good point. I removed mine quite a while ago because rodents were nesting in it.

Please keep us updated on your progress. A photo of that injector each day, and a log of the miles driven would be very useful data.
 

Nautamaran

2004 140” HRC 2500 (Crewed)
Hmmm... given that there’s little power to be gained from injecting fuel into a leaking cylinder, is there anything gained by unplugging the injector? The om647 will keep going on 4 cylinders, it would certainly keep the mess from growing... save some fuel... I’m not sure of the mechanical (vibrational?) implications. It may not be healthy for the crank long term.

Thoughts?

-dave
 

BrennWagon

He’s just this guy, you know?
The five cylinder engine does have a very well balanced crankshaft but I think it would be a bad idea to simply unplug the injector. You’d still be compressing air in a dry cylinder. Possibly removing the injector and putting some sort of fine mesh screen over the hole to keep junk from getting in there could work, but the ecu won’t be happy and limp mode would likely result, negating any fuel saving.

Dennis!! Finish your morning coffee and chime in!!
 
Call me crazy but...The subject of this thread invokes a vision of a bunch of husky, bearded guys wearing medieval garb in a horse drawn cart wasted on mead tear assing thru plague infested villages.

Keep Rolling...Chris
 

blankenship

New member
With the engine warm and idling, spray a bit of soapy water around the injector. How bad is the leak? Are your eyes watering and are you coughing? If its not severe, you can drive it a few thousand miles. I would rather the injector be a bit more stuck, than screw up the removal.


Got it up to temp and sprayed the soapy water on Thursday - didn’t see any bubbling or note any off-gassing.

Drove it 300 miles into TX yesterday to see more family, with the cover on. Will start laying more and more miles on it through west Texas come Monday-
Maybe I’ll take the cover back off when I start hitting grades in Arizona or Nevada, protect hood insulation with foil, and chart the coke as I make my way through Death Valley, eastern California, and Oregon over the coming weeks.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

tbuyan

Member
You have a perfect case study in black death progress/treatment and can contribute significantly to the knowledge base.
Why not take it off now? My bet is the coke will be gone before you get to New Mexico. I almost wish it were me. Almost.
Take the cover off. What's to lose?
tb
 
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Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
If your not smelling any odor, then the leak may have temporarily stopped, or is growing slowly. Typically it takes many thousands of miles to notice. I had a significant enough leak that I could smell it in the cab. It was 3-4k miles before I finally found the leaking injector. At that point the coking was very minor, and the injector came out without a puller.
 

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