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On my 82 suburban I 've been having trouble with white smoke coming off of the right bank. On a cold start both sides smoke white. After a few minutes the left bank clears up. Takes a long time to warm up. Black/grey smoke drowns out the white on hard acceleration. Once its warmed up (approx 200 F) it seems like the white smoke goes away.
 

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Im thinking about buying a truck that did this exact same thing when I test drove it. It did site for about 1 year though, I hope its nothing serious. I did notice white smoke after a while from the right and not the left and looked for bubbles in the radiator and didnt see any so I dont think its burning anti freeze. I do hope someone answers your question because I would like to know also.
 

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My truck did that for awhile, but I'm guessing was much more serious because I had a harder time starting it when it was cold out and when it finally fired up I left a huge could of white smoke behind me. But after that I'd get white smoke out one tailpipe longer than the other (sometimes it changed sides though)

If it were water in the fuel, I'd think you'd see smoke out of both sides, (although its easy enough to run some fuel conditioner through a tank). Likewise you'd see smoke out both sides if it was a clogged air filter or plugged fuel filler cap.

Do the radiator cap test (start it up and pull the cap looking for bubbles--I learned that trick here). Have you been having any troubles overheating? That might also point to a coolant/head gasket leak, which could be localized to one cylinder bank. (and we hope that isnt the problem because that's a more expensive & time consuming fix)

Then check the injectors for leaks off the supply line connections (easy to check/easy to fix). And if nothing is amiss there, pull the injectors and take them to a shop to be tested.

Although I defer to guys with more experience, I'm thinking the injectors might be most likely to be the problem. Do you know how old the injectors are? My truck had "solid streams" of fuel coming out of them when I got them checked (ie. they were junk), which was hopefully (since I don't have the truck all back together yet to test it) the only problem causing both the hard starts and the smoke out the tailpipe. Anyway, if the fuel line nuts are leaking, you won't get a good spray out of them. Alternately, as they wear out, the spray pattern also will deteriorate. Both conditions will set you up for white smoke.

Any other thoughts out there?
 

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I think Sblair is correct. Injectors are quite likely the cause of this trouble. Before you condemn the injectors, though, you should check to make sure that the injection pump timing is correct and that the cold advance solenoid is functioning. You could also try running some fuel additive through it. My truck also smokes like a steam locomotive on a cold start, but I can't really afford to replace the injectors, so I just deal with it for now.
 

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Eagle Eyes
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if you decide its the injectors have them all tested. a reliable pump shop will test them for you. like you said, solid steam is bad. supposed to be like a misty spray to help the complete burn of the fuel. I think I heard around here a solid fuel stream will damage things.

either way on a cold start shes going to smoke..nothing wrong with it.
 

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what will a solid stream hurt?
 

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Eagle Eyes
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dont take this as fact until someone more experience says so but i saw in the 6.5TD section solid stream can force holes in the pistons, at the least damage them. dont know if its true...and if it is im sure you can tell way before that you have a bad injector(s)..so if it does happen probably because you neglected attentioned needed.
 

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On the topic of smoke, I just finished installing (after sitting about 4 weeks now) the new IP, injectors, & GPs on my truck and now I'm not getting the huge cloud of white smoke on a hard start (starts much easier now), but I am getting a fair amount of constant bluish/white smoke out both pipes. I've got my timing mark set a lines-width driverside of the mark on the block. Tried retarding it one or two line-widths and no change. As it is now, (one width advanced) I can really tell the difference in engine sound between when the cold advance is on or off. Am I just being timid as far as advancing the timing? I've seen several posts here that talk about changing timing in terms of "line widths", yet I've also seen one or two posts suggesting that up to an 1/8" advance is acceptable. Otherwise, unless I missed a FAQ somewhere, I haven't been able to find much on the topic of "timing" a new IP on an old motor :confused:

Also, since its my first diesel (and being an '82 I dont think it compares to the diesels they sell these days), my ear isnt really tuned well to know what idle timing sounds "right".
 

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A line's width? HA! You ought to see where I set my timing! Probably 3/16" to the driver's side. Don't move yours too much, though, until somebody who knows a bit more about it comes in here...
 

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Ok, spoke to my local diesel guru when I drove it up to his shop (the local Stanadyne dealer--Stateline Diesel Svc in Edwardsburg, MI) to have them time it over lunch. When I got there I looked at the tailpipe and there was no smoke! :eek:

It would seem (and the local guru agreed) that all the old unburned fuel, soot, etc that was in the exhaust system from before the IP/injector/GP change, was still there and needed to get "burned out" by a good drive that would heat up the exhaust system. My commute to work this morning (all of 1 mile) obviously didn't qualify.

While I was talking to the guy, I asked him about timing the truck "by feel/sound" (aka. in the backyard w/o the scope) and how far the timing marks might get spread. His take was that the timing marks should never be more than a linewidth or two away from dead-nuts. He also recalled that 1mm = 2* of change, and being the local licensed Stanadyne guru and working with these things everyday, its likely that he's correct.

He did offer that an easy way to check if the timing was "close enough" would be to shutoff the engine after its been warmed up, and come back to it 15-30mins later and see if there's any difficulty starting it normally (ie. it should start right up). Trouble would be suggestive of timing that's off far enough to make a difference, considering the usual assumptions about injectors, IP, GPs, etc (ie. the engine) being in otherwise fair working condition. When I left his shop after buying some fuel additive & spare return line (probably about 10-15mins after getting there), the truck fired right up without needing the GPs, so I figure that I'm good to go. :cool:

There was another post elsewhere by D.Camilleri regarding IP timing:
Timing could be too far advanced. Find the advance lever on the injection pump passenger side, with engine running at idle, depress lever fully, this will retard the timing, engine should stumble and run rough, if the speed just slows down some, timing is too far advanced. Also, is cold advance coming off when engine warms up? cold advance solenoid is on top of injection pump to the left of the fuel solenoid. It should turn off at about 100 degrees of coolant temp.
I did the, uhh... "timing retard depression test" (for lack of a better, politically correct term;)) and I wouldnt call my idle smooth, so I guess it checks out from that perspective too.

Since smoke and fuel system troubleshooting are such pervasive topics on diesel engines, do you think this might be a good thread to add to the FAQ?
 
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