Signs of ...... - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Signs of ......

It's a 6.0L forum. What can the signs of a blown head gasket be, without the degas bottle puking?

Higher then normal white smoke at startup that diminishes but lasts through the high idle warmup? No smoke after fully warm? Slight to medium miss when cold but normal when hot? Smoking is more pronounced with increase of days between restarts. Drive it everyday and it's hard to notice as much.

Started to act funny and I ran through all the AE tests two weeks ago and found nothing.

55k on a factory rebuild, but past warranty by time.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 03:43 AM
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You can have the coolant tested for combustion gasses. That will tell you. FORD has, or can get, the strips, as can a good truck shop.

Dave

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 03:03 PM
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I would first pop off the egr valve (remove 2-bolts + twist it out) and look down inside the manifold to see if it's wet with coolant from egr cooler leakage. The 03' egr coolers are more resilient to cracking, but they still can crack too just like the later design ones.

Also clean up the egr valve whiles it's removed, partially sticking open egr valve can cause your symptoms too.

The other possibilty is a leaky or worn injector, but which one could be hard to determine if no contribution faults are being generated.

Also make sure your FICM voltages are good during start up (47-49v)

I have yet to see any HG's blown and cause your symptom without puking or obvious low coolant issues included.

Harry

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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It might be the EGR cooler rather then HGs. I've been skeptical about this motor since it was put in so I'm looking for the worst.

Tomorrow I'll put the AE back on and pull the intake elbow to look in there. I'm down on coolant too.

Looking up parts and it seems like Ford has discontinued the '03 EGR.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 03:06 AM
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The 2003 EGR coolers are pretty stout - not many failures. The part number I have for the 03 cooler is still available (at least AutoNation WBL has it): 3C3Z-9P456-B.

Is there any way you can get a whiff (smell) of the white smoke? Might be fuel.

Are you actually losing any coolant over say a months time frame? I agree w/ Harry's post. It isn't common for leaking head gaskets to behave as you described, but I have seen posts from Techs that say head gaskets can leak a little when the engine cools down and seal up when it heats up. Not sure how common it is though.

In the past year or so, I have experienced 3-4 starts that dragged a little. They were all followed by some white smoke (definitely more than what would be expected even on the coldest mornings). I began watching the degas pressure and the coolant level VERY closely. While I see some odd pressure behavior, I now believe the unusual pressure readings are related to a flaky fan clutch (I finally got the code). I have not seen ANY coolant drop in a years time.

Mark
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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Mark,

Could be I was using the wrong part number for the 03s as I tried White Bear, Tasca, etc. All that was popping up were Dorman parts on eBay, not good.

There may be a few things going on at the same time. I've known that there are injector issues that have been corrected with Harry's magic fluid. I've having a hard time telling the odor in the exhaust as my olfactory abilities are severely diminished from too much farming dust.

Smoke is strong at first start up (cold now, but not sure if it's a factor), to me it has a slight blue tinge. Never see it again during the day including hours of shutdown. EOT/ECT has climbed to typically 10 degrees with excursions to 12 at 70mph, which should have not been an issue with the 03 cooler, but who knows what was put in at the Ford rebuilder.

No bottle puking so it should not be HGs, but ...... At first my thinking was an injector due my expectations of 03 EGR cooler robustness, but then saw the lowered coolant level. The other day when I started it after sitting a week and felt the skipping at 2k the HG thoughts crept in. The smoke is not what I remember from 4 years ago when I lost cyl 7 with a scored cylinder. Filler cap removal does not show excessive blow by but I don't have the sensitive gauge.

Fuel gauge still shows the rhythmic sweep I mentioned in the other thread. Fuel cap removal two weeks ago did not show bubbles in the canister when I cracked over the motor using the single wire disconnected at the pass fender to battery post jump. Did not notice any variation in rotational speed between cylinders that would indicate singular low compression but thought I may have heard a thump in the intake. God I hate rebuilt motors.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 01:10 PM
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How low was the coolant level Jack, and how many times have you had to add coolant in the last few months?

Mark
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 04:19 PM
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If the egr valve is all gooey and not dry carbon soot, then egr cooler is most likely the cause.

If egr cooler is leaking, it can get severe enough that the coolant can run back through the exhaust manifold and into a cylinder when parked...don't want that happening.

Would almost be better if one injector was the culprit, as it's a much less labor intensive repair.

I hope this turns out as well as can be expected, and is either the egr cooler or an injector and nothing more.

Harry

Jan 03' built 6.0/F250cc4wd trqsft/SCT-tuned by KEM-Performance/Garrett Powermax vg-turbo/blue spring mod/gauges=egt+boost+fuel+SG2/exhaust/airaid intake/DR 4.5 lift/dual bilsteins/315's/greasable ball joints/powerstop/smittybuilt/kc lights/high idle mod/roll-n-lock/Mobil Delvac1 ESP 5W40 with (Archoil AR9100 in the oil) and (AR6200 in the fuel)
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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I didn't get to do anything today other then start the truck for a few minutes, as I do that almost every day in case there is coolant building up in the passages. We had freezing rain this morning that turned into heavy rain.

Mark, I have not really had to add coolant before. I did a couple of trailer runs into PA of about 2 hours each way this November/December and checked the level before each run. The last run on Dec 10 I was about 1/4" below my normal level (Min) which I felt was reasonable as it was very cold. I usually check fluids every two months. I need to make a trip to TSC to get more ELC to get this filled so I'll do that tomorrow between doctor runs.

Harry, an EGR cooler will be bad enough as I would also change out the oil cooler too if things are going to come apart. I may end up taking this to the dealer as its not the time of year for me to be taking a motor apart in the driveway especially if the heads need to come off, and my AE can only check so much.

I really was not expecting an EGR cooler as the Delta was not that bad to me. Gas motors are starting to look more friendly.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 03:39 AM
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Maybe I am in denial for you, but it just doesn't sound like the EGR cooler or head gaskets. I guess that doesn't help fix the problem you are having, but I am just not seeing it being either one of those. Do you have a spare EGR valve to try? Just a WAG (pulling straws I guess), but maybe catch an oil sample and check for fuel dilution.

Mark
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Last edited by bismic; 01-19-2015 at 03:46 AM.
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