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Author Topic: Identifying stuck injector  (Read 259 times)

Offline barlidge

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Identifying stuck injector
« on: April 09, 2021, 08:02:14 PM »
So I think I may have an injector that is stuck open, lots of white smoke at low revs/idle, not so noticeable at higher revs and smells of unburnt fuel, what would you guys think would be the easiest way to identify which one?

I thought about taking the rocker off and unplugging them one at a time to see when the smoke stops but if its stuck open that wont work, also thought of removing glow plugs one at a time but not sure that will stop enough of the fuel going down the exhaust to be indicative.

As a side not I have replaced relay 109 and re crimped the earth connections to the battery as they were not looking the best and on occasions I could hear a relay clicking in and out rapidly.

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2021, 08:24:39 PM »
If itís a PD I canít see any easy way of doing it unlike other injector types where you can do a leak back test.  Only way I can think is removing them and having tested.

Have you got vcds you could plug that in and check what correction you are getting on each cylinder to see if that shows one obviously way off?

Offline barlidge

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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2021, 09:02:52 PM »
Hi Johnny, yes its the infamous PD that I bored you all with regarding the hunting  :'(

I did put VCDS on it, no fault codes and I did a small trace on blocks 013, the trace looks a little wild but if I remember correctly that's how it looked a few months ago when I did an injector trace. Those seal tools will be coming in hand a second time  :)


Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2021, 09:10:23 PM »
Oh yeah I forgot about all the issues with that engine,still at least you know it will come apart easy thatís the only good thing.

Do you have any issues starting it? With my old one I found when I had an iffy injector that was partially stuck it dropped the rail pressure so it took a bit of cranking to fire up when left parked for a while.

Offline barlidge

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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2021, 09:19:48 PM »
Only in that it misses for about 5-10 seconds when its a really cold morning like below freezing which I'm sure is glow plug related and I've found that cycling the glow plug timer a couple of times on those mornings and will start fine.  All other times it starts on the button.

Offline brianh

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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2021, 12:10:04 AM »
Before assuming its the engine thats causing the white smoke, are you sure its not coming from the booster heater? That when its in need of some attention can produce lots of smoke and may well smell of unburnt fuel.

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2021, 12:20:28 AM »
Only in that it misses for about 5-10 seconds when its a really cold morning like below freezing which I'm sure is glow plug related and I've found that cycling the glow plug timer a couple of times on those mornings and will start fine.  All other times it starts on the button.

That sounds like mine did cycling glows also cycles the in tank electric pump which increases pressure at the engine,usually started up better but still chuffed some smoke from exhaust. Even when glow plug light has gone out the glow plugs continue to operate. Cant remember exact timings but even when running after a cold start my glow plugs would continue to work for a while.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 12:22:35 AM by johnnyroper »

Online SirDavidAlhambra

  • Sir David Alhambra.
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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2021, 07:27:40 AM »
Truth be known, diesels do pump out white smoke in a cold morning when they are running rich.

If the car otherwise drives fine then I wouldnít worry about it.

Maybe put a bottle of Redex through the tank to was the innerds out a bit too?
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline barlidge

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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2021, 09:13:14 AM »
100% not the booster heater, that is on manual control via a switch in the dashboard.  The only time its a little iffy on starting is on super cold mornings - any other time it starts on the button. 

This started the day before yesterday and its pumping out smoke all the time not just when cold, at low revs or idle - I've been doing 85 mile each way commutes to work all week, all motorway virtually door to door.

Offline barlidge

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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2021, 10:58:02 PM »
Bit of an update, looks like there is diesel contamination in the oil so its either the tandem pump or injector seals.  I still have the spare tandem pump so an oil and pump change is first on the list.  Failing that it will be cam cover off again to see what joys it has given me this time.

Online SirDavidAlhambra

  • Sir David Alhambra.
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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2021, 11:11:18 AM »
Hello friend, out of interest how did you find out there was diesel in the oil?

I am somewhat obsessive about engine oil, I change mine every 6 months without exception.
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2021, 06:00:48 PM »
Bit of an update, looks like there is diesel contamination in the oil so its either the tandem pump or injector seals.  I still have the spare tandem pump so an oil and pump change is first on the list.  Failing that it will be cam cover off again to see what joys it has given me this time.

With the smoke and fuel dilution along with recent head work I canít help but think that car is craving having its injectors whipped out again.

Offline barlidge

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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2021, 07:10:30 PM »
With the smoke and fuel dilution along with recent head work I canít help but think that car is craving having its injectors whipped out again.

I checked the oil Friday and though all good as was up on the max but when I was reading posts about tandem pump failures and increased oil levels it reminded me that the level should actually have been below the max mark as it uses a little bit of oil and would have been about due for a little top up.   Closer inspection shows it to be extremely thin


With the smoke and fuel dilution along with recent head work I canít help but think that car is craving having its injectors whipped out again.

I think its heading that way, changed the oil and tandem pump today which has had no effect so the next stage is cam cover off probably next weekend.  Its not missing so I don't think its the same/another injector come loose.  Any recommendation for places to send them for testing?  A quick google so far indicates its about £30 an injector for testing.

Offline barlidge

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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2021, 05:37:32 PM »
Removed the rocker cover and started removing the injectors, #1-#3 were all tight and but #4 was no more than hand tight and the tip was covered in sooty deposits so it is the same issue that I had before.  As they were out I decided to send them all off for testing to be sure which was £144 including them fitting new seals on.  All came back clear.

On reassembly #4 thread was knackered which was kind of expected - not a problem as I still had the helicoil kit and was much easier to do without the injector and rocker in place.  Also #1 thread stripped on the last bit of the 270 final tightening sequence so at that point I helicoiled both #1 and #3 as there is clearly some damage been done to the threads at some point and I really didn't want to go back in another couple of thou miles to do the last one.

Its all back together and running nicely again, no smoke now.  Just need to pick up some fresh oil and a filter tomorrow and it will be back on the road.  Not %100 sure what the cause was but here is my list of possibilities and what I've done to try and  eliminate it happening again.

Non stretch or non spec bolts issued with the reconditioned head
If the bolts supplied were not stretch bolts or didn't have the same properties as the genuine ones then the factory torque value may well have not been suitable possibly resulting in them being over torqued.  Have used genuine VAG bolts from darkside, expensive including shipping especially when you have to go back and order an extra 2 extra injector bolts for Cyl #1 and #3 which came to an extra £17 inc shipping.

Injectors not lined up correctly
Have read in a couple of places that if they are not correctly lined up they can come loose.  I was extremely careful when installing them so not sure it was that but just in case I 3d printed some fixed length callipers which just needed a little fettling with a file to get them spot on against a class 1 tape measure.  Not perfect but used with care I am sure they are within the +/- 0.8mm.

Injectors hanging on the grooves in bore
I did wonder if on installation if they got a little stuck in the old grooves if they could have settled later leaving them loose, again not sure on this one but before tightening the injectors I rotated the engine so the rocker was applying some pressure each one and then a lttle tap on all sides to make sure it was fully home.

Previous damage
Another possibility is that in a previous life the injectors had been over torqued in that head - I would have though it would have been apparent sooner but this was my reasoning for taking out and helicoiling #3 even though it had just torqued up.  The existing threads seem to start a few mm down the hole whereas the helicoils are threaded right to the top.

Hopefully that's the last you will hear of this motor - time will tell I guess.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 05:42:47 PM by barlidge »

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: Identifying stuck injector
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2021, 07:21:25 PM »
At least itís sorted now hopefully for good aswell.

I would hazard a guess that the threads have been damaged previously either from poorly aligned injectors or someone going FT with bolts rather than correct torque/angle. The fact you had the same issue with another injector before certainly points to the head having had some work prior to you getting it. Just a shame the reconditioners didnít notice an issue

 

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