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Old 09-06-2016, 09:08 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
how does it do when the engine is warm? so you drive it, shut it off, wait 30 minutes.. will it start right up?

is there a possibility your fuel is draining out and pump is losing prime so you have to pump fuel back up to the injector pump on each start?

-Christopher
runs perfect when warm - up to several hours

I would say the fuel is not leaking- as all the smoke you see is diesel
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:38 AM   #152
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No fuel leak. It smokes white from the get go. You either have a temp or compression issue. The grid heater is right underneath the intake air horn. Underneath the dog house, follow the tube from the intercooler back on the left side of the engine and you should find it. It should have two studs on the back side pointing up the and two studs on the front pointing forward. Check the back studs for 12v power when you key on first thing. They're operated by a pair of relays controlled by the ecm.

I don't think I've ever replaced one. They're a lot more durable then glowplugs. If it's not working, you can use a small shot of either into the intake manifold. Just make sure that the heater is for sure not working, remove the relays and wires if you have to, otherwise you run the risk of an explosion in the intake. Do not spray ether anywhere but into the intake, not before the turbo, not the air cleaner, directly into the intake.
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:52 AM   #153
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Thumbs up

so I checked the grid heater.....
- 1st cycle 12 volts
- 2nd time, nothing
- 3rd try, 12v, turned the key.... bam!!! cranks on first bump

So I am ruling out compression (for now)
And I am suspicious of some intermittent relay problem?

Thanks for the help guys
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:54 AM   #154
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You don't need the grid heater for anything basically above freezing if everything else is functioning properly. I know tons of folks who don't even need them then.

Have you done a compression check? Oil analysis? Those two will tell you a lot.

The following is from...
https://www.reference.com/vehicles/d...db4978996a55a#

White smoke occurs in a diesel engine when the diesel fuel goes through the engine and reaches the exhaust without having been burned. This typically occurs due to the engine being too cool to burn the fuel, often resulting from low compression in one cylinder, problems with the fuel injection timing or a defective fuel injector.

Other causes for a diesel engine failing to burn the diesel fuel and producing white smoke include poorly sealed piston rings, burnt-out glow plugs, poor fuel quality or a clogged air filter. Extreme engine problems, such as a cracked block, a cracked cylinder head, leaking valves or a blown head gasket, can also cause the problem.


Sometimes white smoke only appears when the engine starts cold, going away as the engine warms up. When this occurs, it is typically due to deposits around the piston rings. Products designed to flush carbon away from the pistons often cures this problem. If the white smoke is due to the engine being too cool, adding an automatic pre-heater may eliminate white diesel smoke.


Diesel engines also sometimes produce black or blue smoke, both of which are also signs of problems within the engine. Black smoke indicates poor combustion of the diesel fuel, and blue smoke is a sign of oil burning within the engine.
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:04 AM   #155
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its not a fuel leak... its a leak-down.. meaning the fuel in the lines drains back down into the tank so there is none at the fuel pump when you go to start the bus until the pump sends some back up... .. you dont see it on the ground...

on an electronic engine the fuel pump is electric so turning the key on and off a few times re-primes the fuel system.. (at least thats the way it works on a gas engine.. im assuming on a diesel the tank lift pump primes the system for a couple seconds at key-on..

thats why I ask if it starts easy once its warmed up but has sat for an hour or so..

grid heaters and glow plugs arent necessary if the engine is warm.. but the fuel can still drain back and would cause rough starting unless the key was cycled..

-Christopher
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:10 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by dredman View Post
so I checked the grid heater.....
- 1st cycle 12 volts
- 2nd time, nothing
- 3rd try, 12v, turned the key.... bam!!! cranks on first bump

So I am ruling out compression (for now)
And I am suspicious of some intermittent relay problem?

Thanks for the help guys
I didn't see a problem with it cranking, or did you mean running after first bump?

7000 feet, 50 degrees, with 250k on the engine and I could see a grid heater might be needed.

Check the ground for the heater too, it's just connected to one of the bolts that hold it down but it's simple to test and rule out. Relays are simple, figure out which ones are which and swap em out.

You could also probably feel the heat after a few seconds if you touch the external part of the grid heater.

It's hard to say for sure, being that I'm not there, but when you start getting white smoke(fuel vapor) a few seconds after you start cranking, fuel supply issues aren't the problem. Injectors could be worn or junk causing low crack pressure, and that might be the case, but I'm 99% sure leak down isn't the problem.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:21 AM   #157
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fuel problem simply does not make any sense, it starts dumping as soon as I spin it.

If it cranks normally tomorrow morning, I will assume it had something to do with high altitude, low temps, and the strain it took to climb over those 2, Half-Everest passes.


Wish me luck

Today maybe I can figure out why my motorcycle fan is not working? Good to have ONE running vehicle at all times
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:21 AM   #158
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I would *NEVER* do that on the Cummins 5.9, unless you want to blow the head right off of it, or risk a fire in the intake system, or something equally bad.
Ok, explain to me how, every time i've used it i only used a quick maybe half second shot, i'm not talking spraying half a can in there, I've had to use it on my 8.3 a few time & growing upon the farm when it was below zero we always threw a guick shot into the intake while turning them over. Plus I never spray then go turn over giving it a chance to sit I always start turning it over then spray, You may be right, Cummins may have a AD note on that I just personally haven't read or heard it before.
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:16 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
plus the engine is spinning much faster when running so any leakdown through the rings is less percentage compared to the air compressed..

I do question compression since this bus had all the blow-by oil leak issues when under heavy load... extra high blow-by indicates compression / power loss as it is combustion gases being blown past the rings...

-Christopher
Yes, that factors in, too. Engines with worn rings will experience more blow-by, especially under a heavy load.
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:19 PM   #160
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Regarding ether: on my Dodge pickup, and I believe my bus also, there's a sticker in the engine area specifically warning against using ether. Like others here I always assumed it was because of the risk of igniting the ether inside the intake rather than the cylinder. However...

Since you crank the engine, then spray the ether while it cranks, you might avoid/minimize this problem. The grid heater doesn't run while the starter is cranking, and the air consumed by the engine while cranking might cool a hot grid heater below the ignition point of ether fairly quickly. Or maybe the grid heater was just non-functional on those engines where the ether was used. It's possible also that the quick shot of ether, especially with the moving air going into the intake, diluted to a non-explosive level before it reached the heater.

Easy test for the grid heater operation: turn on some light (dome light, head lights, etc) then turn the key to run. The light will dim noticeably if the grid heater activates. In the 1998 Dodge application there are two heaters each rated to draw 90 amps (but so far as I recall they take turns, never both on simultaneously).
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