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  #1  
Old 25 May 2008
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iveco 4x4 advice wanted - thanks!

Hello, i have recently purchased an iveco 4x4 panel van swb. Whenever i cold start it, it belows out whitish smoke (and i mean bellows - cloud like, wafts down the road and people stop and stare!!)
Its fine after about 5 minutes, and is also fine if its a warm start.
It passed its MOT on emmissions.

I have heard it may be the timing chain?
A friend had a similar problem and spent vast sums of cash whilst the garage checked all options, eventually realising it was the timing chain tensioners??

Does anyone have any experience of this? and does it sound like a timing chain tensioner issue? Or if not, what else could it be?

Would like to have an idea, if anyone has experience of this, as many garages are apparently not that used to these vehicles, and may spend hours investigating a relatvley straight forward problem.
(its had new injectors and new fuel filter)

Many thanks in advance if anyone can help....
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  #2  
Old 25 May 2008
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The usual problem is that whatever you have to pre warm the engine, e.g. glow plugs, aren't working properly. I don't know about your engine, what you have or the set up, but that's usually what it is.

Are you having starting problems when it is cold? Do you have to crank it over more than you think you should? When it does "start", is it running rough for a minute or two (and then the white smoke stops?)

The problem is that the fuel is cold, the engine is cold, the cylinders/lines/pumps/injectors etc are all cold. The fuel then doesn't evaporate properly, water vapour and unburnt fuel builds up end exits the exhaust as white smoke.

Do you have glow plugs? Can you check they are getting a current? Can you check they are switching off if they are getting a current? Maybe it's actually the injection timing is at fault, not the valve timing (I assume you mean the valve timing when you talk about the "timing chain".)
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  #3  
Old 25 May 2008
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Hi Mark, thanks for the reply. I dont know anything about mechanics so my terminology may be incorrect, i was told it may be the timing chain tensioner?? maybe the timing chain is stretched?

Yes when the engines cold, its white smoke, which does blow through once its warmed up, so that makes sense.
Iveco 4x4's dont have conventional glow plugs though (injector pump??)....

sorry im not much cop when it comes to engines, i have just aquired the manual though so will see if that sheds any light...
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  #4  
Old 25 May 2008
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unburnt fuel

As mark says it is cold so probably the glow plugs or injection timing. as far as I know the glow plugs are the same as any other. white smoke is unburnt fuel.
Take it to a diesel injector specialist and ask them to test your plugs.

Graeme
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  #5  
Old 25 May 2008
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OK, do a quick weblookup on how diesel engines work, it'll help you understand some replies that will coming on this thread.

White smoke is nearly always a cold start problem (as said by Mark).

The fuel does not get burnt fully and after being squirted into the engine it gets pushed out of the exhaust as nice stinky white cloud. Its usually caused by the engine not being hot enough to burn the fuel (diesels ignite the fuel by compressing the air to a high temp. then squirting in the fuel - hey presto bang!).

The way that engine makers overcome cold start problems is to fit "glow plugs", these are NOT spark plugs, they are little ceramic electric heaters fitted into the combustion chamber at the top of the cylinder. They heat the air/fuel inside the cylinder enough to ensure that the fuel ignites.

Before you go chasing bad glow plugs check that you do not have to press a button or turn the key to a "glow" position to get the engine going. Next check the glow plug circuit and make sure that its active when it should be - some engines have automatic glow plugs which are activated as soon as you turn the key to the "on" position, a light glows on the dash and then goes out, then you can turn the key and start the engine.
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  #6  
Old 26 May 2008
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You need to smell the white cloud to tell what it is. Most likely the others are correct, it is fuel, but unburned diesel it slightly bluish-white and of course smells like hydrocarbons. OTOH if it smells sweet it's coolant and you may have a leaky head gasket which can also only be symptomatic when cold (I presume your motor is too old for exhaust gas recirculation...).

Charlie
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  #7  
Old 26 May 2008
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and the answer is . . . . . .

hello 'eyrewave', firstly congratulations on your purchase. I have a 4x4 iveco from 1995 and am now in USA on my route around the world having come across Turkey, central asia, Mongolia, Russia. They are great, sturdy trucks.

Once you have finally tracked down the cause of your problem then please remember to post the answer here ! I have a similar issue, I suspect glowplugs (as mentioned above) but haven't got around to sorting yet.
Mine is only an issue in below freezing temperatures and it is worst if I am parked at altitude (over 2500m).

Incidently, it would help me tremendously if you could get the bosch partnumbers for the injectors you fitted and also part numbers for the glowplugs if you also replace. be handy for me. Of course that's assuming we have the same vehicles ? mine's the 1995 2.5td.

Thanks n good luck.

Phil.
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  #8  
Old 26 May 2008
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Timing chain tensioner? Probability says not. Though when dealing with mechanics I dismiss nothing, including alien abduction of engine parts to repair their spacecraft.
Logic tells me that if it is the chain tensioner you'd have quite a rattle when the engine is running - no?
Plus if the valve timing was out you'd have other engine "issues" and it'd probably not pass it's emissions test.
But I could be wrong.

My first principle is to check the simplest first, the simplest being operator error. Like me changing the turbo in Cameroon when I'd accidentally left a large rag in the air cleaner.
Are you starting it like you should - excuse me if it's a grandmother and eggs thing.
The next is simple mechanical things - like is whatever pre-start, pre-warm thingy you have fitted - is it working?
Is the fuse blown, is it connected, is the relay working (if fitted). Stuff like that.

Then move onto the more complicated stuff like injection timing.
With the timing chain tensioner, imagine a bike chain. Even when it's loose it still turns the wheel - until it becomes so bad it either falls off, breaks, or slips round a tooth or two. Either way, it's fairly dramatic and you know about it. The tensioner works on the slack side, the non driven side and as long as the driven side is taut, then all seems to work as it should.

Another alternative is to move to a warm climate.
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  #9  
Old 26 May 2008
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er.. I dunno either

Hi, I’ll start with an apology :
Sorry, I don’t have the solution.

But I can tell you what it’s not.
Our Dailys have a hydraulic tensioner, so unless an alien’s nicked the relevant parts and left a manual adjust in its place, the moment you have oil pressure your chain is tensioned correctly.

There is only one pre-heat plug, it’s in the air intake pipe and is linked to a fuel injection line. At start-up it’s supposed to spray lit (burning) diesel down the manifold which burns slowly enough to light the fuel in the first cylinder to compress. Maybe the starter injection’s playing up.

Mine’s stored under a tarp at the moment, I start it up occasionally.
The clattering I hear lasts just long enough for the oil to get back up to the top of the engine (when you know that it’s metal-metal it seems like an eternity to get the oil pressure up)
I’m not too keen on cranking it with the fuel cut off, because the injection pump then runs on nothing, and will probably cavitate.
An unused engine bellows white for a while too; (although for these occasional static start ups I’m using vegetable oil so I don’t know if that has something to do with it)

Happy hunting, as mentioned before, let us know when you find the solution.
Luke
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  #10  
Old 26 May 2008
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Thanks alot for all your replies, much appreciated, i do have a bit of engine reading up to do!!
Its not that im starting it before the yellow (glow plug) light goes out, and am not sure if its the injectors as the last guy put a new one on.

I will post the resolution on here when its found...

(btw Phil Flanagan, 2 things, firstly i have just acquired a 4x4 iveco manual, if you would like it, let me know and i can give you the URL to download, should have all part numbers on - Secondly would be interested in any piccies of the inside of your van, for design ideas. Mines fully converted but am having to do some seriious re-jigging to get a double bed in there, plus still keep the shower and toilet etc - any pics would be grand...)

Thanks again
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  #11  
Old 26 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke View Post
(although for these occasional static start ups I’m using vegetable oil so I don’t know if that has something to do with it)
Hey Luke, have you put in another tank for the veggie oil, and are switching over? or are you just putting the veggie oil straight in? Does it run well on it?
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  #12  
Old 26 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m37charlie View Post
You need to smell the white cloud to tell what it is. Most likely the others are correct, it is fuel, but unburned diesel it slightly bluish-white and of course smells like hydrocarbons. OTOH if it smells sweet it's coolant and you may have a leaky head gasket which can also only be symptomatic when cold (I presume your motor is too old for exhaust gas recirculation...).

Charlie
Hi Charlie, its funny you should mention this, as a couple poeple have said that the smell from the "gigantic cloud" is almost like veggie oil, its definately sweeter than normal pure diesel exhaust fumes....? hope its not the head gasket...
But if the headgasket goes/going doesnt it run like a dog?
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Old 26 May 2008
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Suspect Luke's on the money. (BTW Luke, have you got your Russian truck yet?). It very much sounds to me that your problem is related to the pre-heat system as my Merc (which has the same system) had the identical problem especially when the weather is cold. What you need to do is take out the heater/burner plug (I can't remember what it's technical name is) which will be fitted somewhere on the inlet manifold and check it for electrical continuity. If it's OK what you next need to do is check that when you turn the 'ignition' on power is going to pre-heat plug. If it isn't your problem will almost certainly be that the component which switches on the power is knackered. It's a bit more sophisicated than a simple timer relay as the time it's on is also dependent on ambient temperature. Even if power is going to the heater plug-just remembered it's called a 'flamestat'-put an ammeter between the plug and the power lead to make sure that there's sufficient current flow. On my (24 volt) Merc from memory it should be drawing something like 10-12 amps. If your Iveco is 12 Volt it should be roughly double that.

Having replaced the flamestat, I discovered the problem was with the relay/timer control component which of course is no longer available from Mercedes. So I disabled the system and put up with the white smoke on start up. Had no problem passing the emission test even running crappy Senegalese diesel!

Good luck.

Q
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  #14  
Old 22 Jun 2008
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Fixed

Problem fixed:
It took the garage a while to get to the botton of this as, as everyone mentions there are a number of potential issues.

However, I can now start the engine up, cold with no smoke.

The main problem was knackered (dribbling) injectors, have had them reconditioned.
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  #15  
Old 23 Jun 2008
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Having your injector dribbling is never a good thing.
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