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That's not mist on them there hills.....


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My Disco (‘96 300tdi 80k) is still smoking and it’s starting to bug! <_<

There’s no smoke on normal running and no ill effect on performance or economy (all relative) so I’ve pretty well ignored it up to now but boy does she smoke in the morning!! :P

Checked a few things out to try and narrow it down a bit......

Only smokes from cold and then after a nights standing to get cold - but not, it appears, after a 200 mile run!

First thing it’s like the SAS are on manoeuvres for the 1st 100 metres or so and then it’s gone - no smoke at all until next day.

No smoke on revving or overrun when warm.

No loss of performance or economy (39 mpg)

No loss of oil

Removed EGR valve long time ago

Recently cleaned Cyclone breather, inlet manifold, intercooler and pipes (intercooler was clean) though there was dripping oil from cyclone to turbo inlet pipe when disconnected and left hanging, before it was cleaned.

Checked again now and it’s just got a film from oil from vapour - which is probably normal.

No wear on turbo vanes or spindle that I can feel.

No oil in turbo that I could feel(at least on what I call the cold inlet side)

Have not yet got compression tests yet as no uneven running or drop in perf or econ or smoke while driving.

So what can the blasted cause be? :blink:

Worn valve guides? - but there’s no smoke when warm - not when revved or on overrun.

Worn rings? - but no crankcase puffing out through oil filler and no smoke except first 100 metres.

Good even idle and excelaration - no smoke.

Head gasket gone? - but no oil in water, no loss of coolant no problems running or power loss or puffing at oil filler.

Worn turbo seals? - possibly!

Might there be a dribble over night which is whistled through and being burnt as she gets warm? Can’t be on the cold inlet side because there is no accumulation inside interooler pipes now that she’s been cleaned.

Is it possible to leak into exhaust side, pool and then be vaporised over 1st 100m or so with the dribble not big enough to notice when normal running?

Can oil seep into bores overnight? - may be but there’s no smoke at start up - only after 15 seconds or so. SO it appears to be something to do with oil in something that gets hot after 20 seconds but only lasts for 100 metres but lots of it (Appears white behind in mirror and persists unlike water vapour)

Is there some form of (mechanical) enrichment at start up that may have gone wrong?

She even passes MOT smoke test provided it’s thrashed beforehand!

Starts well and runs well but I would like to lose the SAS!

AAaarrgghh! :(

Place your bets please....... :)

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39 mpg :-)

Ooops! Felt good while it lasted! (29) :D

Mmmm - Leaking valves and / or injectors - Seeping overnight. One drips oil other drips diesel - getting burnt off as she warms up - fits doesn't it. Early smoke and limited duration, better after long sustained run. Mostly white smoke would suggest more like unburnt fuel I suppose. Can't see how an injector works to make it leak. Is there some form of shut off valve in them when they're not supposed to deliver? Have used 'Forte' in the past - didn't resolve. Will need to read up how to tackle each of these jobs. Never done before.

Wonder if there's an easy way of sampling what's in the pot before firing up? Thin pipette down a glow plug hole?

Appreciate the replies guys -anyone favour of turbo seals - though may be oil seepage is on wrong track........ :blink:

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what colour is the smoke should be the first question?

if it's a blue/white ish colour, then it sounds like the same symptoms as i had last year, turbo seals are on the way out :( when left to stand and go cold, the seals shrink, letting oil through, when left to idle for a few minutes it will give a lot of smoke when you drive off, as the oil exits the exhaust.

turbo rebuild would be the simplest option (if it is that) try A R Turbos they were recommended to me by another forum member, and quoted a reasonable price for an inspection and rebuild, which if memory serves was about half the cost of a new turbo.

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As per my other post in the other thread. Stem Seals. This was diagnosed by other forum members. You have the same symptoms as I do.

Cold start, blue for a few 100 meters and then clear till next day. Nothing to worry about, or so i've been told.

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Neill - only difference in symptoms is that mine is mostly white smoke (maybe a tinge of blue in there somewhere but not much) and that is making me think unburnt fuel. I could kick myself as I had the rocker cover off 2 weeks ago and now that I have read your 'other thread'(Nov 5th) I know what to look for but I could have had a look then. :huh:

Great link to AR Turbos Disco_al - very educational - My money is on the 'T' seals too! ;)

and thanks to Fozug too - just have to fab up a tool and then find a diesel 'specialist' somewhere in Mid Wales!! :lol:

So my to do list:

1. Check valve stem guides

2. Find Diesel specialist and 'whip out' the injectors for testing and / or replacementt

3. Contact AR Turbos for Refurb cost

Thanks guys! :)

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  • 5 months later...


We’re out of ideas!

Copious and excessive white smoke on cold start up for first half mile is still with us. Going down our track we are enveloped in white smoke.

Notably it only smokes up to about 2200 rpm (popping and puffing) then nothing. Bring revs down and off she smokes again - until warm that is.

I have read a number of the other threads on here about ‘Smokies’ and feel there is a simple solution but need a bit of help with the process of elimination.

Read a bit about turbo issues but there’s no apparent wear on spindle and performance is good - no oily smoke

As previously written truck performs very well but for the SAS manoeuvres smoke cloud - not steam!

What’s been done:

New timing belt and therefore static timing

Valve clearances set

Compression tested - so bores and valves ok

Injectors swapped for others whilst mine tested - not resolved

My injectors passed fine

New copper washers

Drained sedimenter

New fuel filter

Variable fuel stations used to vary fuel quality

Thought it might be a CSD (cold start device) gone wrong on pump so

Injector pump off and to Bosch specialist - confirmed as ok but fully serviced anyway as done 80,000 miles

Thought of injector timing but it’s only a cold start issue for 10 mins (but embarrassing) otherwise running is good.

Would be tempted to alter timing to 10 degrees advance but how can you tell with a bit of a turn when your at 10 degrees?

Sweet engine

Good performance

No blue smoke

No black smoke

Too much fuel and or at the wrong time = unburnt on hot = white smoke??

There’s nothing else to check ids there?

We’re a thousand feet up - can’t thing pressures would be an issue

Makes no difference with different parking attitudes

Does it stationary

The work is being done by a good independent and we’re running out of ideas and I’ve spent too much time and dosh!

Any more technical signposts please? :rolleyes:

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When you say no coolant loss is that an absolute definite or is there a chance that there is a small loss over a long period?

I did have a head fail between the water jacket and the exhaust a long time ago which gave very similar symptoms to your description, it could be that the white smoke is decreasing after warm up as the metal expands and closes the hole.

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could be air in the fuel lines so fuel may be draining back into the tank.

try starting it from cold, crack the 10mm nut on top of the fuel filter. keep it open till air stops bubbling out and its just fuel coming out then tighten it up again.

If this makes it run a lot better a lot quicker then your fuel is draining back and the fuel system is bleeding itself over the first 10 mins of running each time.

we have a 200 doing something very similar and bleeding a fuel system makes it get better quicker.


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Thanks for suggests:

Truck has never lost any water even running with no fan and towing - always check it.

ok I'll re bleed the fuel line but that's done for each filter change but anything is worth a try.

As a matter of interest how does air in the fuel make it smoke white and then only for a cold start?

Anything else? :unsure:

Fuel can't be dribbling into a pot overnight can it - If the injector have passed Bosch specialists testing?

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er have we tried the glow plugs whiteish greyish is unburnt fuel are the glow plugs working take them out try them on a battery with jump leads then try them on glowplug harness holding them to earth to see if working with the glow plug relay

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er have we tried the glow plugs whiteish greyish is unburnt fuel are the glow plugs working take them out try them on a battery with jump leads then try them on glowplug harness holding them to earth to see if working with the glow plug relay

To be fair I haven't as they were new Bosch ones a short while back and no problems starting but you're quite right needs checking! :blush:

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To be fair I haven't as they were new Bosch ones a short while back and no problems starting but you're quite right needs checking! :blush:

Good glows - relay only on for about 30 seconds anyway - good shout though!

Can you get white smoke from Turbo issue?

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i see from your list that you haven't tried/looked at stem seals

HI Zimmer, You're quite right - that's simply because it's huge volumes of white acrid smoke at cold start up, no blue (ie oil past the valve stems) and no smoke at all when she's warm!

Is that logic credible?

We've worked through 'Westerns' Diagnostic chart and also the United Diesel Engine problems file (really Good) posted elsewhere on this forum (following the Excessive smoke columns) and nothing!

Oh - just remembered - I am going to retry bleeding the fuel as per 'Jad' the other day.

Clutching now! :(

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  • 2 weeks later...

My money is on an air leak in a fuel line.

If you get air into the injection lines, the contents then becomes compressible effectively retarding the timing (white smoke) until the air is cleared.

I'd run a line to/from the injection pump into a bottle of clean diesel in the engine bay then run to ensure all air is cleared, and eliminating the rest of the fuel system. Leave overnight and try starting in the morning.

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