Sudden blue smoke from 2003- Help!!! - Chevy and GMC Duramax Diesel Forum
01-04.5 LB7 Duramax Powertrain Discussion of components that are directly involved in the power production and all that is needed to get and keep the truck moving . Engine , Transmission, Etc.

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Sudden blue smoke from 2003- Help!!! Update

This is about my brother's 2003 EC, LB, ZF trans, 4x4 ~200k miles

He called a little while ago - I'm stumped.

Said he pumped diesel in at gas station. After finishing pumping fuel he got in and started it. Said it started and the engine immediately "jolted" and died. His words "almost like a backfire". Took some grinding to get it re-started and when it finally started, it was blowing blue smoke. Says that the harder he pushes on the gas pedal, the more blue smoke it blows. He says it may be running a little rough but apparently he was close to home and basically idled home. Says it's making a good bit of noise too. He describes it as "clatter". This is a one-owner truck, like mine so I'm pretty familiar with it's history. Very good maintenance and such. Bone stock. First set of injectors went out at about 120k miles and were replaced under warranty.

I seriously doubt this has anything to do with the diesel he just pumped since it did it immediately upon start up after pumping.

Supposed to meet up with him sometime today and hook it up to my Torque Pro to look at injector balance but I don't think that's the problem.

Anyone have any suggestions???? Possible broken crank shaft???

Thanks!

2002 Chevy 2500HD Crew - Original owner - 400,000 miles so far. All stock with the exception of a lift pump and Donaldson filter

Last edited by long-time-dmax; 04-08-2019 at 12:20 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 05:28 PM
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Hopefully it wasn’t gasoline.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 05:59 PM
 
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Post a video with audio so we can get a better understanding of what is going on.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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More info: I haven't seen or heard personally as he lives about 60 miles away and I just can't drop everything to drive up there.

I had him crank the truck while someone was watching to see if the fan belts spin. Belts spin so hopefully not a broken crankshaft.

It will not start now but he says makes funny sounds while cranking.

He pulled the fuel filter and it was EMPTY - no fuel in it. He installed a new filter and primed it. Still won't start but possibility that he has air between filter and CP3.

He's going to tow it to a repair shop around the corner and let them take a look. He may have already brought it over there by now.

Possible leak in fuel lines pre-filter sucking air?

Possible crapped out CP3?

Guess we'll wait to see what the shop says. He's probably 40 miles from nearest dealer service dept.

Hope it's something simple. He's like me; been driving this truck since 2003 and wants to replace it with a '21 model but can't do w/o a truck for 6+ months waiting for the '20s. His daughter rides horses competitively and he has tractors and such that he tows here and there so he needs a truck. For the past ~7-8 years his truck sits a lot as he has company car and is out of town a lot but the truck is used heavily on weekends. So he'd have to do something now and would have to decide between buying a '19 or a used truck and just wait for the '20s or '21s. He plans to keep the '03 for use at their "farm" when he buys a new one.

2002 Chevy 2500HD Crew - Original owner - 400,000 miles so far. All stock with the exception of a lift pump and Donaldson filter
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 08:00 PM
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Sorry to hear the bad news, although I encourage you and brother not to jump to thinking about a new truck before you guys (and us) figure out what is wrong with it. Buying something now just means he would probably not get the deal he would get if he was financially prepared to purchase. In negotiations, he with the most options wins.

Is he sure it was diesel? That clatter could have been a pre-detonation knock maybe? Although that does not solve the issue of no fuel in the filter. So I guess what would I do; confirm I put in diesel in the tank at the station. Check my oil level and make sure nothing funky is going on there. Then bypass the gas tank and run a line straight from cp3 to a jerry can of diesel. While cranking I would watch my rail pressure and see if it builds. The way it started at first and then died right away definitely sounds like fuel delivery issues. I am also guessing that the blow smoke is from an incomplete burn on the mixture in the cylinder(s). That could also be a due to low fuel pressure and the injectors are just barely spitting. I am not that familiar with these trucks, but that is where I would start.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Got some more info a little while ago...

He apparently filled it up and drove it ~20 miles before all this started happening - not the way I understood it first time around.

He said the big O-ring on the old fuel filter was "swollen" when he pulled it off today.

I told him now that he has primed the new filter to remove it and dump the fuel in a glass jar to see what it looks /smells like then call me.

I seriously doubt he pumped from a gas pump. Same gas station (Shell) that he uses for most fill-ups and he's been driving the truck for 16 years now so he's pretty used to pumping diesel.

Also thinking that if fuel looks and smells good, he may just be air-locked from filter to CP3/ CP3 to injectors so may try to bleed that air if fuel seems ok.

He won't do anything rash like go out and buy a new truck immediately. He wants to wait for the new ones and if possible, like me, wait for the '21s. He does not like the '19 HD body style.

2002 Chevy 2500HD Crew - Original owner - 400,000 miles so far. All stock with the exception of a lift pump and Donaldson filter
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 11:47 PM
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That bad thing about this is without any rail pressure readings, or seeing what the balance rates are,
/return rate rest, if primer button is soft?, no codes so it could be a few things. Bad filter head, fuel line, crapped out cp3, fpr, an injector could be stuck or sticking, just really really bad fuel, could have lifted an injector cup.

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garden hose ran from fass, 16 John deere injectors, 22x16-378 forces, and like sooo many stickers brah

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Update:

Talked to him late last night and walked him thru how to bleed the air by using the "schraeder" valve on the fuel line that feeds the CP3. He did that this morning and the truck started and ran good as in normal with no smoke, clattering or anything. Great news.

So it looks like he's sucking air somewhere as I think he told me he had to re-prime the filter after running it for a bit. He's going to bring it to the shop and let them replace all the rubber line sections, drop the tank, drain and clean it.

I also sent him a link to buy a new filter head.

Thanks guys!

2002 Chevy 2500HD Crew - Original owner - 400,000 miles so far. All stock with the exception of a lift pump and Donaldson filter
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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New info on this:

He left it at a local shop (lives in a small town) and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. Saturday, he came into town to help me build a wooden deck at my Son / DIL's house and the truck broke down about 10 miles from there (~50 mile drive). We fooled with it for a little while on the side of the road and could never get it to start so we called a wrecker and had them bring it to a GMC dealer in town. They called today and said that there's gasoline in the diesel and wanted a crazy price to drain the tank and flush the system. So I told him to just have it towed to my house and we could use my 2 post lift, etc to drop the tank and such.

So how did he get gas in his diesel? Apparently, some dumbass fuel truck driver dropped a load of gas into the diesel tank at the Shell station by his house. I asked if he was positive he didn't grab the gas handle by accident. Said, not possible. The diesel pump is a single pump over in the corner of the lot and only diesel is available at that pump.

Question: Anyone got suggestions for how to go about flushing the system? Plan to drain and drop the tank and rinse out with diesel. Then re-install tank and use the primer pump to get clean diesel up to the filter. Next, use that same pump and the "schraeder valve" by the alternator to bleed as much crap fuel as we can before the CP3. Next, remove all the rail to injector lives and turn the motor over to bleed the crap out of the CP3 and rails. Will this work? Any suggestions? Any cleaner we should use on the fuel tank, etc.? What do you guys think?

He wants to get it running and drive it a bit to see if any other damage was done and wants to go back to the gas station to possibly make a claim. I'm sure he isn't the only one from that town having this problem. As I said, it's a small town and I'm sure there are LOTS of diesel trucks and cars and there are only a few gas stations in town.

2002 Chevy 2500HD Crew - Original owner - 400,000 miles so far. All stock with the exception of a lift pump and Donaldson filter
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 02:34 PM
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Sounds like you have a good plan already, but due to the high pressures in common rail engines, it is recommended to replace the injection lines when they are broken loose. I would flush and bleed the system like you talked about, but disconnect the return line to the tank, then start it and let it run for a minute or 2, or until nothing but diesel comes out of the return line.

The specific gravity of gasoline is lighter than diesel, so if the truck sits, you could bleed the system and it would run fine, until you "shook" the tank and mixed the gas and diesel, then it would start running like there was an issue. I've run into this a few times on equipment. I'm guessing that's why your brother's truck has run, then didn't.

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