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4.0 sohc smoking

jbollasina

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Was recently driving my truck at highway speeds when noticed surging so I pulled off to make sure everything was ok, after sitting for a few minutes I started it and it smoked like a blown head gasket. After idling for a long time smoke went away and I tried to drive gently back to where I came from and when I started going up a gentle incline the smoke came back. Parked it in a gas station parking lot and came back the next day with a trailer to tow it the 25 miles home. It smoked heavily while loading onto the trailer but no smoke when I pulled it off at my destination. I have finally gotten around to do some diagnosing starting with radiator check. There was no observed bubbling or disruption in the coolant at the top of the radiator cap. Proceeded to pull all plugs and do a compression test on each cylinder, averaged around 180 psi for all cylinders, lowest being 178 and highest being 185. This coming weekend I am going to pull my intake manifold and check my thermostat housing and intake gaskets. I am posting to ask if anyone has had similar symptoms on this motor, also wondering if 180psi seems normal, it seems high for a motor with 177k miles on it. Any help at all would be appreciated it. My radiator has been completely full every time I have checked since this happened and my reservoir has not gone down a noticeable amount. Oil color and consistency on the dipstick is normal. Other notes are that I changed my driver side pcv not long ago and did cam chain tensioners about 1500 miles ago when I first got the truck. It leaks oil but I always keep an eye on all my oil levels. It sounds smooth at idle with no abnormal rattling, knocks or ticks. The truck has had a light miss at low idle since I bought it, I thought pcv would fix that but it did not. New spark plugs and wires at same time as the tensioners too.
 


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RonD

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Welcome to TRS :)

Yes, the 4.0l SOHC runs with 9.7:1 compression ratio so 175-185psi is expected, rings don't wear like they used to, 400k+ miles is expected

It doesn't read like a blown head gasket but "smoke" is not good, was it grey smoke so not coolant, white smoke

You may have a bad fuel injector that was flooding out the engine
Were any of the spark plug tips black(rich running)?

On the end of the fuel rail on the engine is the Pulse Damper,(passenger side near firewall) it has a vacuum hose connected to it
Pull off that hose and check for gasoline inside it, if damper leaks that would cause similar issue as bad injector
 

jbollasina

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Thanks for the feedback, to my eyes it appeared to be white smoke with some blue smoke from oil burning. It is also pushing way more fluid/condensation out of the tailpipe than normal. I don't get the distinct antifreeze burning smell but the truck has never smoked at all until this incident. A few of the spark plugs were definitely showing signs of running rich. It is dark here currently so I poked around with a flashlight to see if I can find the pulse damper you speak off but wasn't entirely confident on what I was looking for and can't find it, will check again tomorrow in the daylight, going through the process of removing the intake manifold will expose my fuel rails to do anything I want with them, what are some of the best ways to test the injectors on this truck. Thanks again, kinda stumped because I assumed it was a head gasket, relieved it doesn't appear to be the problem, but still have a different problem to track down.
 

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Do Clear flooded engine routine to see if an injector or damper is leaking

All fuel injected engines have this routine to clear a flooded engine
Turn on key
Press gas pedal down to the floor and hold it down all the way

Computer is on(key on), when it sees 0 RPMs and WOT(wide open throttle) it will start Clear Flooded engine
This means spark will be working but fuel injectors will be OFF

Now crank the engine over, it should NOT start, it should not Fire at all, there should be no fuel

In your case if engine has been sitting awhile then any leaking fuel may have evaporated
So cycle the key on and off 3 times FIRST, do it slowly
Then do the Clear Flooded engine test

If engine starts/fires fuel is leaking in

As soon as you release gas pedal injectors will start, or if RPMs reach 400 from engine firing


I use Clear Flooded Engine every morning to start my high mile 4.0l, to get oil pumped thru the passages BEFORE I let it start by releasing gas pedal


If engine starts then you can use this test to ID a leaking injector
Disable spark, unplug coil pack
Repeat Clear Flooded engine test, do the key on/key off 3 times again
then remove spark plugs
The WET spark plug has the leaking injector
 

jbollasina

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Thanks, I do clear flooded engine routine any time I start it cold when its not above 60 degrees out, I have never had it fire on me. However I have never attempted it after cycling my key a few times, I will give this a try. Do you have any more specific info on how to ID the pulse damper, I looked around the passenger side bank near the firewall and saw nothing near the fuel system with a vacuum hose. thanks
 

jbollasina

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Thanks for the tip, I still couldn't find it but I'm assuming its buried under my ignition distributor which I don't have time to remove right now. I did do the clear flood engine test after cycling my key three times and it did not fire at all. As soon as I released the pedal it did puff out a good bit of grey smoke upon start up. Another note is it leaked far more oil in one night than it ever has and I don't know exactly where it came from. I do plan on doing my valve cover gaskets while I have the intake manifold and everything else off there. It appears to be coming from valve cover area. Nothing more to report other than I'll be tearing it down this coming Sunday but might get a head start tomorrow.
 

jbollasina

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Finally got around to pulling some parts off my truck as it has been raining alot and I only have my apartment parking lot to work at school, what I found before getting stopped by rain again was a literal pond of oil inside my intake manifold, I pumped out about 4-5oz of oil with more oil still in there. I'm assuming this is a sign of a severely failed pcv valve. Any other opinions on why the oil is collecting at such a incredible rate? Here's a pic of the oil I pumped out
IMG_20201027_121001.jpg
 

Craig0320

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That most likely is build up over time from a failed pcv valve. Change it and see how it does. If you keep getting oil in the intake then you most likely have blow by from ring issues. To test blow bly let the engine idle with the oil fill cap off. Lay a sheet of paper over the fill hole and see if any compression is blowing the paper up or if any oil is blowing out. Good engine should no lift the paper and not leave any oil residue.
 

jbollasina

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Back again with another update, took the intake manifold off and I have some pictures to go with that, my intake manifold gaskets do appear to be shot based on the amount of oil in my valley. I attempted to change my pcv about a month ago and learned the two little tabs for the half turn on the pcv were gone, so I used some quick set rtv and put a bead around the edge of my pcv and duct taped it over night to set. I'm hoping my shotty backyard fix is what is causing my problems. I currently have a new driver side valve cover on the way with new gaskets for both sides and a new motorcraft pcv, also got a couple other pcv related parts on the way. Current plan is to change valve cover gasket, get the new valve cover in and new pcv. I'll also throw in some fresh motorcraft spark plugs at the end because my current ones are pretty oily and could be fouled. I'm waiting for my valve cover gaskets at the moment so I can't go any further today as I don't want my truck sitting outside with no valve covers for a few days. Anyone have some opinions on what could be causing this? Bad egr valve? Bad vaccum line somewhere else? I understand blow by is possible but I compression tested every cylinder to be about 180psi. Here's some pics of the amount of oil, passenger side inlets were cleaned before the picture but I didn't touch the driver side.
IMG_20201031_163100.jpg

IMG_20201031_163056.jpg
IMG_20201031_163039.jpg

IMG_20201031_163030.jpg

IMG_20201031_163036.jpg
 

Craig0320

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You can still have good compression and blow by.
 

jbollasina

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You can still have good compression and blow by.
Are you saying blow by is most likely my culprit here or I just shouldn't rule it out, I'm for sure going forward with what I'm doing and going to assume that's my problem if I get it back together and the problem persist.
 

Craig0320

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You said you did a compression test not the blow by test I informed you of. Perform the blow by test and you will find out if you do. Simple as that.
 

jbollasina

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Correct, the truck was already partially apart when you suggested that and I'm planning on doing it first thing once it's back together. The way I see it is both my valve cover gaskets are leaking anyways and my intake manifold gaskets are leaking obviously as well, if the ending result is my rings are bad I'll probably sell the truck as is and replace it, don't have the time to do a full engine pull to rebuild it in my current situation with school.
 

Craig0320

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Sounds good. Hell I ran a truck for 6 years with terrible blow by until a man hole jumped up and cracked the oil pan .changed the plus every now and then andit ran fine
 

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