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Lots of smoke!


 
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johnnyc



Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 138
Location: North West UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 18:44    Post subject: Lots of smoke! Reply with quote

Hello, all .

Yesterday, my L300 Star Wagon started billowing out white/grey smoke. I mean, enough to fill the street. Smelt strongly of burning oil. Wasn't gradual, no warning. Took it on a very short journey in the morning with no issues, then got in it a couple of hours later and noticed it straight away. It's always smoked a bit on start up but cleared by the time it's at the bottom of the road. Haven't had time to get under and have a really good look yet but a couple of smallish drops of oil have formed on the pavement underneath.
Checked the oil level today (Id checked it yesterday morning coincidentally and it was right in the middle of two notches) and its gone bellow the bottom notch. There is some oil on the rocker cover which has come from the filler cap, however its always leaked a bit out of here.
I also topped up the coolant yesterday and may have overfilled it slightly, wouldn't have thought this would be too detrimental though?

Just wondering what the most likely causes are. I don't have much time at the moment having just bought a house which I am renovating. The van was up for sale and I'd agreed a sale. Its a good van otherwise, I've put quite a bit of time into over the past couple of years. It's never let me down until now. I don't really want to have to sell it cheap but if its something really bad I might have too Sad

Would appreciate any ideas. Cheers
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 18:44    Post subject: Google Ads keep this community free to join!


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davep10000



Joined: 17 Sep 2009
Posts: 193
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 18:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like the turbo has failed...
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johnnyc



Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 138
Location: North West UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 18:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

No loss of power though and it had a new turbo a few years ago. Engine is running fine otherwise.
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andyman



Joined: 08 Dec 2012
Posts: 4170
Location: Penrith, Cumbria

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 19:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Head gasket blown through to an oilway? Sucking oil into the combustion chamber, then burning it? How much coolant did you need to top up with? My L300 uses less than half a litre per year of coolant mix (3 - 4,000 miles).  That much white/grey 'smoke' often contains a lot of water vapour if the HG has popped, or worse, a crack in the head. But before I become the Prophet of Doom, get the compression checked on each cylinder, and fingers crossed you can identify the poorly cylinder, or better still, they are all the same, so it's not that! Don't be tempted to seal a suspected gasket leak with Radweld or similar, it will clog up more of the waterways than just a gasket leak, for which it will only provide a very temporary cure.  And, yes, a turbo with a worn bearing may still work, but it will also blow more oil into the combustion chambers. Fingers Crossed.
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mark3



Joined: 29 Nov 2009
Posts: 789
Location: Rainham Village, Essex

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 20:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

davep10000 wrote:
Sounds like the turbo has failed...


I'll second that, it still functioning so you won't notice a loss in power but the exhaust (turbine) side seal has let go spilling oil into the hot exhaust which will show as the smoke you say you have, I bet the exhaust feels real oily too, your not burning it so it not blue, its heated and turning white/light grey †Sad
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johnnyc



Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 138
Location: North West UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 21:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, gents. I will get some pics tomorrow as it looks as though oil is dripping from somewhere, not much but may help you guys to diagnose. Thanks very much for the input, much appreciated.
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johnnyc



Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 138
Location: North West UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 14:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wondering, was it the location of the drip of oil that made you think it was the turbo at fault, or the other symptoms generally? Because there have been no more drips. I think maybe the drips found there way down from the filler cap on the rocker cover. I think the oil may have been thrown up and out of there as you can see where its spilled down the side. It was definitely clean before as I had the engine hatch up when I checked all the levels and give everything a quick wipe over.
Also worth mentioning that the smoke may have had a slight blue Colour to it, its hard to say for sure.

At a bit of a loss where to go from here. The van was for sale, within hours of it going up I had two offers to buy it for the asking price (£2k). I was inundated with inquiries including a few messages from people telling me I'd under-priced it. Eventually someone offered over the asking price, I gave the person who had asked to buy it first the opportunity to match it which they did. I was happy with that I stuck at that price. I have no doubt that I could have got quite a bit more that that though.

So, do sell it "spares repair" or do I pay out for the repairs? It needs a back box for the next MOT and has about two and a half months left on the current MOT. I have no idea how much its going to cost to diagnose whats wrong and then to fix it.... I'd usually spend the time reading up and fix it myself but I have just bought a house and have no time for it at the moment.
I've seen worse ones go for well over £3k, I'm wondering if I could pay someone to repair it and get it MOT'd and sell it for for than I was originally asking to try and recover the added cost, or whether I should just sell it as a going concern. I can't imagine I'd get much for it though?

Anyone got an idea of what it might cost if it is the turbo? How much for a head gasket? What are the other possible causes? Someone suggested it could be a seal that's given way somewhere.

I'd really appreciate your input, and thanks again for your help so far.

Cheers
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johnnyc



Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 138
Location: North West UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 15:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark3 wrote:
davep10000 wrote:
Sounds like the turbo has failed...


I'll second that, it still functioning so you won't notice a loss in power but the exhaust (turbine) side seal has let go spilling oil into the hot exhaust which will show as the smoke you say you have, I bet the exhaust feels real oily too, your not burning it so it not blue, its heated and turning white/light grey †Sad


Haven't noticed the exhaust being oily, having said that the backbox has a rust hole in so maybe it didn't get as far as a the tail piece?
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andyman



Joined: 08 Dec 2012
Posts: 4170
Location: Penrith, Cumbria

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 18:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whereabouts in NW UK are you, Jonny? I'm near Penrith. PS Mitzibits in Rotherham have a good, used oil-cooled turbo for a L300 Delica for £99.99 on e.bay. Worth a punt.
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johnnyc



Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 138
Location: North West UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 21:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Andyman. I'm in L39. I think Il see if I can get the cylinders compression checked at my local garage. Would this tell me for definite its not a blown head or head gasket?
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andyman



Joined: 08 Dec 2012
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Location: Penrith, Cumbria

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 0:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, get it done asap while that turbo is still available. I'd be inclined to get your turbo checked out at the same time, if the cylinder pressures are within tolerance. Sadly, with a dubious engine, it is probably worth less than half its "good runner" value.
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andyman



Joined: 08 Dec 2012
Posts: 4170
Location: Penrith, Cumbria

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS there used to be a member Duxy with an L300 in the Maghull/Lydiate area. Haven't heard much from him since the demise of the North West Delica Owners group. He had quite a lot of spares, - I bought some wheels off him. I met him at a meet at the Scotch Piper, Lydiate.
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johnnyc



Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 138
Location: North West UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 20:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bit of an update.  Curiosity got the better of me and I topped up with fresh oil and went for a drive. Whilst I was topping the oil up I decided to disconnect the catch can. It doesn't seem to be smoking now at all. Seems to have held the oil as well. Could a blocked oil catch can cause smoke from the exhaust? I've actually never emptied it  Embarassed  . I think the hose was kinked as well so effectively it could have caused pressure to back up.

I also had a good look at the engine with a toch and I cam see that there is il on the turbo but it seems to have came from above. Possibly from the EGR? It looks like there is a plate blocking the EGR although I need to get closer to confirm this.

Mark, could a blocked breather hose cause something like this?
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johnnyc



Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 138
Location: North West UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 20:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

That should have said Mark/Andy on the end!
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andyman



Joined: 08 Dec 2012
Posts: 4170
Location: Penrith, Cumbria

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 22:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

You never mentioned a catch can! It is there to stop oil getting through the breather into the intercooler air duct and into the combustion chamber. once full, it will overflow into the duct and burn in the cylinders. Simples! As you surmise, a catch can needs checking and emptying.
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andyman



Joined: 08 Dec 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 22:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, no intercooler, forgot we are talking L300. Principle still applies, though.
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johnnyc



Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 138
Location: North West UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 23:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well hopefully this is it then. Will need to keep an eye on it, will drive it locally and keep an eye on the oil levels. Still doesn't explain it loosing oil although it was only a bit...

fingers crossed!

Cheers, gents.
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