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300 TDI Blue smoke

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Hi Chaps,I have a dilemma with the TDI engine in my 90.

I am just about to get it sprayed following a long build however the engine gives blue smoke when idling, I rebuilt the head & replaced the valve stem seals, head gasket & timing belt before fitting it 2years ago.

I was assured it ran perfectly when it was removed from the donor Disco I don't know the mileage on the block

I have been unable to take the car for a run to see if it clears after a long run,& I have only been able to run it at idle for no longer than 15-20 mins since it was installed due to having neighbours that don't share my fascination for cars.

the blue smoke disappears when the revs are held up however the exhaust is sticky rather than sooty, the glow plugs all have a small amount of dry soot on them.

there is no oil in the intake as all pipes are clean & the intercooler is new.

I have even left it idle without intercooler to see if the smoke clears to prove turbo.

after years of V8's this 300 is getting me worried as I don't know if I am fretting about nothing.

I am at the point of replacing the rings and while the pistons are out the big ends before I get it sprayed and at the MOT stn it fails on smoke.

Ideas & opinions please...

Ta in advance

please no swap it for a V8 comments.....

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I have just had to take the head off mine (gasket blown) - 3 out of the 8 valve stem seals had popped off the top of the guides and were up near the top of the valve stems (there is actually manifold pressure trying to push them off after all). If yours are the same you might be able to reseat them. Worth a quick look before thinking of worse things. In any case if it has stood a while, it'll probably feel better for a run where it is doing a bit of work - idling doesn't really help.



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HI Nigel

thanks for the reply but i had checked the seals and replaced mine 3 weeks ago to be sure.

Today I pulled the head and turbo & found the turbo has been passing oil..!

the inlet manifold was full of sticky carbon gunge.

looks like new turbo... A*!E

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You sure the sticky black gunge is not just a a little present left by an EGR valve? If you are that seems to be that then. It's probably filled everything up downstream with rubbish too.Last time I looked Mailorder4x4 had an offer on new turbos....


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  • 1 year later...

Hi ed,

I thought i had a problem with the cyclone breather, i cleaned it and fed the crancase vent to a bottle and blocked the intake port to see how much was going to the turbo,

after doing this i found the turbo was defo passing oil but the cyclone was also carp at stopping the oil mist getting into the air intake.

I replaced the turbo and also swapped the cyclone breather for an alisport breather, this is much more effective than the original breather all ok since.

(have had head gasket fail since which also killed the new turbo but thats another issue)

sorry for the delay in replying i been in germany, 1590 miles in the 90 and all good now.



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Hi Gren

Thanks for the reply!

I have also found that the 300tdi cyclone is carp and I have simply detached the hose at the air intake side and instead ran it to the underside of the vehicle. As a result all oil vapour is vented underneath and there is zero oil entering the air intake. There is also no oil whatsoever in my intercooler!

I think I am going to have the turbo swapped soon and see if that solves my smoking problem (see link http://forums.lr4x4.com/index.php?showtopic=68995).

I concur that it is the oil seal on the exhaust side of the turbo which is leaking causing oil to get into the muffler where the hot exhaust gas is burning it.



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