Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Diesel Engines

Diesel Engine exhaust fumes have a very distinctive odor that makes me think of work and how much I respect these machines.
Although the exhaust smoke from a diesel engine is offensive to some people, I use it as a troubleshooting tool!
I had a diesel engine that ran like crap and pushed out more white smoke than you could imagine! What does that tell you? There is a lot of unburned fuel going out the tail pipe.
The problem with this particular diesel engine was fuel timing which makes sense because fuel injection occurring on the wrong stroke is not a good recipe for efficient combustion.
If you run a diesel out of fuel[lots of starter cranking involved] the first place you should check to see if fuel is getting through the injection system is at the tail pipe. With a no start problem, if there's no smoke pumping out of that pipe you have got a no-fuel problem. Is there fuel in the tank? [it's happened before!]Is the fuel solenoid working? Transfer pump?
My favourite quick check to test fuel lines and the fuel tank[always check the source!] on a diesel engine is to grab a 5 gallon fuel can and stick the suction line to the injection pump into it and crank the engine over, or run the engine whatever the problem may be and see if there is any improvement in your diesel engine performance.
Don't worry about fuel contamination by doing this, you've by-passed the primary fuel filter [suction side] but there is still the secondary [pressure side] fuel filter before the injection pump. [You have of course already replaced the fuel filters since this is a fuel related problem].
Diesel engines have come a long way in the last few decades with the emission standards and electronics but in the end all a diesel engine needs to run is AIR & FUEL! And don't forget that tail pipe jargon I was mentioning earlier. Check the simple things first!
That's all I have to say right now about diesel engines.

No comments :