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Blown Head Gasket?

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Old 10-26-2017, 06:14 AM   #1  
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Blown Head Gasket?

Looks like I just joined the blown head gasket club, about 2 weeks ago for no apparent reason the truck just started to smoke like a freight train, lots of black smoke, I could not even see the car next to me but as soon as I was driving the smoke would clear up, then as quickly as it came, it just stopped smoking (drove about 20 miles)

When I got home I checked but could not find anything out of the ordinary except for the oil leaking from the side of the block at the head gasket from #5, this has been wet with oil for the last year or so, I would clean it off and it would take a few weeks to show up again.

Then today I was on my way to an appointment when I stopped at a red light and I saw a black cloud of smoke pass me by.

I went to my appointment and then afterwards I checked it out in the parking lot, when I rev the engine in neutral there was hardly any smoke but as soon as I put a load on it then it would start to smoke black, after about 5psi boost the smoke would turn to gray, I was thinking more like an injector fouled but the engine still runs smooth.

Anyway, I head home and by the time I got home, there was no more smoke.

Tonight after work, I opened the top of the AFC cover hoping to find something but other than a small tear in the diaphragm, it was normal till I got to the exhaust side of the engine and now I found the side of the block below #5 was slopped with oil.

So I am assuming the head gasket has finally blown but I cannot figure out why it only smokes at times and not at others.

So I have a few questions:

What service do you usually do to the head at this point in the game?

I am hoping nothing is cracked.

Surface the head.

Valve Job.

Any special oil seals like PC Seals?

Head Gasket.

Brass Core Plugs.

service oil cooler.

Where do I find a machine shop competent enough to work on a Cummins head in Southern California,

My trucks needs to be running ASAP, it is my work truck so I need a shop that will not take 6 months to do the work.

How much should all of this machine work cost me?

If needed, where could I find a good used head?

Thanks for any and all of your advice.
Jim
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:18 AM   #2  
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Being a non I/C head with 9mm injector bores, your head has cracks through the injector bore to the valve seat. Per the Cummins manual, if the cracks go through the valve seat, you need to have a new seat installed.

I would say that the majority of Dodge/Cummins owners will junk the head if cracks are found. Personally, I am comfortable with the Cummins procedure and have done a couple that way.

For the head gasket, Genuine Cummins is best.

Can't help you on a good machine shop.

Sounds like you have the rest under control.
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:53 AM   #3  
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How many miles are in that engine, Jim?
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:28 AM   #4  
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a bad head gasket will not make BLACK smoke ! black smoke is caused by unburned fuel! you had better get a professional opinion!!
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:57 AM   #5  
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A tear in the AFC diaphragm will cause problems with the amount of fuel you're injecting IMHO but I don't know which way. Engine oil going past the rings or valve stems in a gasser usually means white smoke. I don't know if the oil will burn in a diesel. The black smoke is from partially burned fuel which is carbon particulates.

But I concur. You need professional help.

Edwin
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:41 AM   #6  
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Good point, Edwin.

I wonder if that oil on the passenger side block, could be oil shooting out of the turbo, meaning seals are shot. Is that even possible?
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:47 AM   #7  
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I just pulled a '95 12v that had a cheap E-bay turbo installed that had lost it bearings and seals.
It was pumping oil out the center section and into down pipe. When I pulled the down pipe it was covered in engine oil on the inside.
It smoked like being at a KISS concert, but was nice and white / gray.

I agree black smoke should be an over and / or un burned fuel situation.
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:20 PM   #8  
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Originally Posted by bigragu View Post
Good point, Edwin.

I wonder if that oil on the passenger side block, could be oil shooting out of the turbo, meaning seals are shot. Is that even possible?
It's possible you are having 2 problems at the same time. Both unrelated to the head gasket. I don't know just how the Holset Turbo's behave with oil seals. I DO know that the bearing runs in lots of oil and is an oil bearing so if you have a bad seal it could cause problems. If you have an intact exhaust system meaning no leaks I don't know that oil could get to the outside. You'd have to pull the turbo to check for sure.

I would powerwash clean the area of the head AND the turbo and then run it some to see if you can pinpoint the leak.

Are you making oil or losing oil?

Edwin
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:30 PM   #9  
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I've seen diesel engines run away just from lube oil getting into the combustion chambers, ie past the rings. Used to happen fairly often in the good old days. (60's) I would imagine lube oil would burn black. The reason it's white if it's from a turbo seal is because it doesn't burn, but just vaporizes.

I can also see more oil getting into the cylinder past a head gasket at low boost than high boost.
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Old 10-28-2017, 06:22 AM   #10  
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Augie,
Since my odometer did not work for about 7 years, I was only keeping track of the engine hours.
I have around 450,000 miles on it.

I keep a book in my truck where I record the mileage at the start of each day, I have done this since 1999 when I bought my truck, while the odometer was not working, I used a Hobbs meter.
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Old 10-28-2017, 06:33 AM   #11  
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Originally Posted by johnh View Post
a bad head gasket will not make BLACK smoke ! black smoke is caused by unburned fuel! you had better get a professional opinion!!
I know black smoke is fuel or not enough air, this is what is so puzzling, this is why I think it is a bad injector,

I used to have a 6.2 diesel and it for no reason start smoking just like this, billowing black smoke where you could not see anyone behind you then it would suddenly stop smoking as quickly as it started,

I pulled the injectors and had them tested and one of them had something broken inside, a new set of injectors and it perfect till it was totaled.
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Old 10-28-2017, 07:12 AM   #12  
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Originally Posted by edwinsmith View Post
It's possible you are having 2 problems at the same time. Both unrelated to the head gasket. I don't know just how the Holset Turbo's behave with oil seals. I DO know that the bearing runs in lots of oil and is an oil bearing so if you have a bad seal it could cause problems. If you have an intact exhaust system meaning no leaks I don't know that oil could get to the outside. You'd have to pull the turbo to check for sure.

I would powerwash clean the area of the head AND the turbo and then run it some to see if you can pinpoint the leak.

Are you making oil or losing oil?

Edwin
Edwin,
I think you might be right about the multiple problems, I went to the $1.50 wash and pressure washed the engine and got most of the oil off, then I went home and dried it off with compressed air.

By the time I got home it was already starting to get wet with oil, the oil is leaking from the outer most head bolt of #5 cylinder and leaking down the boss on the head and then down the block,

I did not remove the exhaust manifold but you can see where it is inside the exhaust port.

I cannot visualize how oil can get from the valve cover to that part of the head to the bolt hole except for a valve guide and blowing it out the exhaust.

Shouldn't this be blue smoke? I am seeing Black and only intermittently.

My oil level is fine and does not smell like diesel fuel.

And for the crazy part, it has not smoked since Wednesday afternoon and I have been driving it every day since.

I have been trying to make it smoke so I can try and figure this out, it is easy to see the smoke.

I have a rear facing video camera on my passenger side mirror so I can see the exhaust easily from my monitor.

I think next week I will take my injectors to BECS and have them pop tested.

Can I put an intercooled head on my engine without any problems, will everything fit? injector lines fit?

What size injectors would I need to compensate for the smaller size?

My turbo seems fine, no out of the ordinary sounds and I can still get 35 psi boost easy.

When it is smoking, the engine is still running smooth, no shake, is there enough inertia in this engine to not feel a weak cylinder?

Jim
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Old 10-28-2017, 07:37 AM   #13  
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Edwin,
I think you might be right about the multiple problems, I went to the $1.50 wash and pressure washed the engine and got most of the oil off, then I went home and dried it off with compressed air.

By the time I got home it was already starting to get wet with oil, the oil is leaking from the outer most head bolt of #5 cylinder and leaking down the boss on the head and then down the block,

I did not remove the exhaust manifold but you can see where it is inside the exhaust port.

I cannot visualize how oil can get from the valve cover to that part of the head to the bolt hole except for a valve guide and blowing it out the exhaust.

Shouldn't this be blue smoke? I am seeing Black and only intermittently.

My oil level is fine and does not smell like diesel fuel.

And for the crazy part, it has not smoked since Wednesday afternoon and I have been driving it every day since.

I have been trying to make it smoke so I can try and figure this out, it is easy to see the smoke.

I have a rear facing video camera on my passenger side mirror so I can see the exhaust easily from my monitor.

I think next week I will take my injectors to BECS and have them pop tested.

Can I put an intercooled head on my engine without any problems, will everything fit? injector lines fit?

What size injectors would I need to compensate for the smaller size?

My turbo seems fine, no out of the ordinary sounds and I can still get 35 psi boost easy.

When it is smoking, the engine is still running smooth, no shake, is there enough inertia in this engine to not feel a weak cylinder?

Jim
It sounds like an injector to me.
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Old 10-28-2017, 11:33 AM   #14  
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Jim:

Below are 2 screenshots of my 89 Diesel FSM showing the oil passages. The oil to the rocker arms goes up the drivers side of the engine. If oil is leaking out the PASSENGER side at #5 then oil has to be traversing all the way across the head. Is there any oil leaking from the passenger side other than from the tappet cover?

My guess is that if oil is traveling that far it's certainly possible some of it is getting in the cylinder and showing up as black smoke if it gets atomized and partly burned.





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Old 10-29-2017, 05:01 AM   #15  
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Edwin,
Thanks for posting the images of the block, this truck is messing with me, I have not been able to make it smoke since Wednesday afternoon.
here are some pictures that I took before I pressure washed the engine.

After I cleaned all of the crud off I could see that the oil was coming from around the head bolt and it looks like it is coming from the #5 exhaust port.



Here is a closer look, it is coming from above the deck.



Here from the top side you can see which head bolt it is leaking from




But..
it is not smoking like there is it is burning oil in the cylinder, I swear it was smoking black fluffy clouds of smoke, I can sometimes smell hot oil like when it gets on the exhaust manifold but not like oily exhaust.

I would think that if it was cracked bad enough to produce thick clouds of smoke, it should be doing it all of the time, not just for a few miles and then just stop.

How is the oil controlled on the valve stem, could the guide crack and allow oil to run down the stem?

But for the smoke, I am really thinking more on an injector fouling up.

Could an injector possibly lose its spray pattern intermittently and not atomize it correctly, could it dump enough fuel to make it smoke, and then clear up?

It did happen on my GM 6.2 but I do not know if they are similar in design.

The only other time my truck has smoked this bad is when I blew my transmission and locked up my torque converter, starting in 1st would almost stall my engine before the turbo could spool.

I was sitting next to a Covina Police Car at the stop and I smoked the poor guy out, couldn't even see him.

Next week I will pull the injectors and have them pop tested.

Can I replace my non intercooled head with one from an intercooled engine?

If I can what size injector would I need to compensate for the difference between the two?

It cannot smoke.

If it will work, where can I get a good intercooled head.

I an trying to get this Imgur hosting figured out, it might take awhile.
Thanks Jim
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