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why diesel motors fail

Old 04-27-2010, 10:00 AM
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why diesel motors fail

this information comes from parting out wrecked cars/trucks in the past 30 years. in the interest of Dodge diesel motors, i have some points of interest after dealing with several hundred motors i have sold, parted out, payed warranty claims on etc ect ect. #1 rule, stay on top of your fuel system by changing filter with regularity and sumping the water seperator. the factory is smart on this and will do what it takes to blame most problems on "fuel contamination"..why??...cause you can't prove it and they know it's REALLY bad for the system. #2 kinda goes with #1, injection pumps. either # 1 or # 2 will normaly whack the motor by either not adding enough fuel or hydrolicing a cylinder by adding too much, one burns the piston up and the other breaks the piston into smaller bit size pieces. # 3 oil starvation, by nature these motors dont use much oil(amen) but if you happen to run one low for whatever reason, the rods come out first, then the turbo seizes. change the oil when you should and don't start your truck on a cold morning and pull onto the freeway at least until the temp needle wiggles, both of these practices keep the valves happy and in place. # 4 is overheating, if there is one gauge you should put on/in/around your dash it should be a temp gauge for the radiator, in fact use a big red "hey stupid" light instead. should you happen to overheat one of these motors, you will be the proud owner of a low power output, oil burning, hard cold starting piece of crap truck. easy to avoid and horrible consequences should it rear it's ugly head. keep the drive belt replaced whenever the factory states....water pump too. their are other smaller details im sure i missed and possitive someone disagrees with something i posted but, im simply passing along info i've learned.....fire away. (by the way, notice any referrence to types of oil? i didn't either )
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:08 AM
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Good points.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:59 PM
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So what oil do you think we should use???? Just kidding

Very good points. I think I do a good job of keeping up with my truck. I want this thing to last many hundreds of thousands of miles. I don't want to buy another one that's for sure.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:09 PM
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How do you sump the water seperator? I have changed my ff by following the directions on this site, but have no idea how to do this.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:35 PM
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I assume he meant "dump" the water seperator/fuel filter?

Anyway, good points. It does seem most major problems you hear about originated in the fuel system/injectors.

One other thing, if you prefill the oil filter, be absolutely positive you don't get a bit of foil from the bottle or any other debris in there. Any contamination in the center part of the filter will be pushed directly into the oil gallery upon start up. I've known people to spin a cam bearing or trash a rod that was caused by this.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:03 AM
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I feel a Pyrometer is the most important gauge that is overlooked.



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Old 04-28-2010, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by justen920 View Post
How do you sump the water seperator? I have changed my ff by following the directions on this site, but have no idea how to do this.
When changing the fuel filter I use an old battery hydrometer to suck out the bottom of the filter housing. If I see water in the glass, I will drain and flush it with fuel before putting the filter back in.

Since adding the Racor Centrifigual Fuel/Water Seperator to my Aux Tank system, I don't need to suck out the bottom of the filter housing since the racor will show it in the bowl before it ever makes it to the trucks fuel tank.
(picture in my gallery. I changed the tittle of the picture so it would be easy to find, now have to wait for approval.)

I fuel at the same place most times and always fuel the aux tank unless I'm getting ready to make a long run with the Fifth Wheel or Trip.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:29 AM
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Thanks.
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:22 AM
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Odds are sure against me. I change oil at 15k. I have seen 245 on the water temp guage. I use imported fuel filters bought at autozone. My water pump is original, 320k miles. I just changed the antifreeze for the first time at 290k miles. I lost the number 1 injector at 295k. It was stuck pouring raw fuel in the engine for 75 miles till I could find an injection shop in Iowa. It was shooting a nasty stream of white smoke out the exhaust. Was runnin horrible. Burned 1/2 a tank in 75 miles, lol

I do check my oil often. It doesnt use oil till after 10k miles. Then I add a couple quarts from 10k to 15k when I change it.

I do run 2 quarts of lucas each oil change.

Now I am doing an oil study for citgo oil. Im testing a new 5w40 pure sythetic for them. It now has about 9k miles. I have had to add 2 quarts. This is normal when changing to synthetic especially after this many miles. The rings have to reseat to the thinner oil. Next oil change the consumption should be less. I do run mobil filters from autozone. Not using lucas with the citgo oil. I guess they are gonna use me is some advertising. In trade I will put 75k or so miles on there oil and get it for free. It is great stuff!

Ive ran rotella, delo, delvac, and valvoline, oh and I have run the 5-30 amsoil and the 5-40 amsoil too for about 50k. My engine seems to run excellent and its just as quiet as new. I really never give the brand much thought. I buy whats on sale. I use so much of it I cant imagine my lil cummins could care a less. lol I have to change it at least once a month. Sometimes I push it to 18k or so till I get home to do it myself. I feel my lil engine appreciates having me work on er versus some kid at a lube shop that really could give a rats you know. So I push the oil changes over a few thou from time to time.

Wonder how much longer it will last. I haul rvs for a living. I run all sorts of fuel additives. Tried most all of em. I like Type F tranny fluid and walmart 2 stroke oil the best. Lucas is great too. The type F seems to be the best injector cleaner from my findings. The 2 stroke oil makes er quiet same as lucas.. Lucas is cheaper. I run the 2 stroke at a 100 to 1 ratio. The lucas is a quart to each 100 gallons. Makes lucas 10 dollars cheaper over 400 gallons of fuel. But the 2 stroke is 1 gallon of oil per 100 gallons, so dont know which is best, 1 quart of lucas or 1 gallon of 2 stroke for 100 gallons. Youd think having more oil in the 100 galons would be better. Yeah this is stuff I think about while out here doing 16-18 hour days.

I put 4500-5000 miles each week on my lil cummins. My lil motor supports my family of 3 and provides a decent living considering the tough times we are in.

Not knocking your post, just wanted to say I am a fine example of abuse to a cummins engine. Ive got 8000 hours on er and idle a ton too.

Would like to know where you work so if I ever need an engine youll give me a good deal on a used one.

ps.. Do you think I should change my water pump? I keep a spare napa one in the toolbox. Many guys only get 100k on napa water pumps and end up going back to the original they took off to begin with. Guys change there water pumps as preventive maintance. Thinkin maybe I should just stay with cummins water pumps even though the are expensive. Wonder how much longer it will last?

I burn about 30000 dollars of diesel per year.. Last year 26000. Fuel was cheaper. This year I will be over 30000 dollars. Wish I could get better mpgs. Im lucky to get 18. My truck weighs 10000 empty so I feel 17-18 is fair. I only drive at 2000 rpms which is about 64 mph. Loaded, I get 8.5-9.5 and sometimes see 10 or a bit better. I haul large 100k retirment 5ers mostly. Lots of heavy cyclone toy haulers too. Im always above 20k lbs when loaded. Mostly above 24k lbs loaded. Haul lots of 110k plus msrp Landmarks and 90k big horns too. Mostly haul em to alberta and british columbia. Just made my 6th delivery in a row today to vancouver island. Been lucky all have been 10-11k 5ers in the low 30 foot range. Went to a place north of courtenay, bc today.. Beautiful! Love these trips to the island. The 400 dollar ferry ride is paid, so get to play tourist on a boat for free.

Guess I should get some sleep. Moses Lake, Wa now... Will make it to the ND border tomorrow. Takes all day to get across montana.

Carey
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by sturgeon View Post
this information comes from parting out wrecked cars/trucks in the past 30 years. in the interest of Dodge diesel motors, i have some points of interest after dealing with several hundred motors i have sold, parted out, payed warranty claims on etc ect ect. #1 rule, stay on top of your fuel system by changing filter with regularity and sumping the water seperator. the factory is smart on this and will do what it takes to blame most problems on "fuel contamination"..why??...cause you can't prove it and they know it's REALLY bad for the system. #2 kinda goes with #1, injection pumps. either # 1 or # 2 will normaly whack the motor by either not adding enough fuel or hydrolicing a cylinder by adding too much, one burns the piston up and the other breaks the piston into smaller bit size pieces. # 3 oil starvation, by nature these motors dont use much oil(amen) but if you happen to run one low for whatever reason, the rods come out first, then the turbo seizes. change the oil when you should and don't start your truck on a cold morning and pull onto the freeway at least until the temp needle wiggles, both of these practices keep the valves happy and in place. # 4 is overheating, if there is one gauge you should put on/in/around your dash it should be a temp gauge for the radiator, in fact use a big red "hey stupid" light instead. should you happen to overheat one of these motors, you will be the proud owner of a low power output, oil burning, hard cold starting piece of crap truck. easy to avoid and horrible consequences should it rear it's ugly head. keep the drive belt replaced whenever the factory states....water pump too. their are other smaller details im sure i missed and possitive someone disagrees with something i posted but, im simply passing along info i've learned.....fire away. (by the way, notice any referrence to types of oil? i didn't either )
Thank you for taking the time to post this!
Now will you give out any knowledge you have from really high mileage engines that come in and you find out what they do to make them last? I think cold starts and short runs will kill any engine the quickest, and when I see guys running diesels 10,000 miles a year I wonder why they have such an expensive engine and don't use it for what it was designed for.

I haven't been using fuel additives since this winter when my Amsoil ran out.... I need to remember to put some in.....
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:13 AM
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OK. I guess I'm guilty of making "short runs". My old commute was 20 miles each way. But, I moved my office closer to home and now it's only 3 miles each way. I had a car I used most of the time for commuting (relegating the truck to Home Depot runs and towing the 5er a couple times a year). But, with the short commute and the economy as it is, I got rid of the car and now use the truck to go back and forth to the office.

Sooooo, given the reality of situation - I'm using the truck for short runs - what can I do to mitigate the negative consequences to my truck? I guess I can plot a longer route to get it up to operating temps. Are there other maintenance items I should adjust to compensate for this type of usage?
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:42 AM
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Says in the manual anytime you're idling longer and short trips without getting up to operating temps to change your oil more often Schedule B I think. I can see the reasoning with that. Change oil every 7500 they say for schedule B wheres its an oil change every 15k if you sit under schedule A.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:55 AM
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Ive often though about a pyrometer in all 6 on the manifold. It may be over kill though.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:41 PM
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Well, it would tell you if you have one injector out of wack...

For short runs (I have to do that too) I think the main killer is moisture build up from condensation. The temp fluctuates enough to accelerate water build up, but the oil never gets hot enough for long enough to cook off the water.

I like to make sure the engine gets up to operating temp and stays there for 30 minutes once a week, or every other week. I also plug in more than needed in the winter, and change the oil often.

People who drive long distances frequently seem to be the ones who rack up tons of trouble free miles, even running dino oil for extended changes.

I suspect with these common rails, that fuel quality goes a long way in making the injectors last.
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by sturgeon View Post
this information comes from parting out wrecked cars/trucks in the past 30 years. in the interest of Dodge diesel motors, i have some points of interest after dealing with several hundred motors i have sold, parted out, payed warranty claims on etc ect ect. #1 rule, stay on top of your fuel system by changing filter with regularity and sumping the water seperator. the factory is smart on this and will do what it takes to blame most problems on "fuel contamination"..why??...cause you can't prove it and they know it's REALLY bad for the system. #2 kinda goes with #1, injection pumps. either # 1 or # 2 will normaly whack the motor by either not adding enough fuel or hydrolicing a cylinder by adding too much, one burns the piston up and the other breaks the piston into smaller bit size pieces. # 3 oil starvation, by nature these motors dont use much oil(amen) but if you happen to run one low for whatever reason, the rods come out first, then the turbo seizes. change the oil when you should and don't start your truck on a cold morning and pull onto the freeway at least until the temp needle wiggles, both of these practices keep the valves happy and in place. # 4 is overheating, if there is one gauge you should put on/in/around your dash it should be a temp gauge for the radiator, in fact use a big red "hey stupid" light instead. should you happen to overheat one of these motors, you will be the proud owner of a low power output, oil burning, hard cold starting piece of crap truck. easy to avoid and horrible consequences should it rear it's ugly head. keep the drive belt replaced whenever the factory states....water pump too. their are other smaller details im sure i missed and possitive someone disagrees with something i posted but, im simply passing along info i've learned.....fire away. (by the way, notice any referrence to types of oil? i didn't either )
I'd sum this up in a few words-- Proper regular maintenance.

Good reminder.
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