Piston Rings Going Out?! - Diesel Bombers



5.9 Liter CR Dodge Cummins 03-07 Discussion of 5.9 Liter Dodge Cummins Diesels with Common Rail Injection

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Old 10-06-2009, 09:42 PM
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Default Piston Rings Going Out?!

Well first off I want to that Tony at Might Diesel for all the GREAT service! I will deffinatly buy from him again! The Air Dog and 90HP injectors are amazing!

I just got my truck back today from the shop. Lately I have been having problems blowing white smoke at start up and a good amount of smoke coming from the breather tube. The shop(diesel diagnostics) told me my piston rings are starting to wear out. I do believe it but at 100,000 miles!? The smoke out of the breather tube has just started recently and has gotten worse. I just got my oil changed as I noticed about 2qts missing.(Amsoil)

Question is, what is the best approach to take this? They quoted around $4000 since they claim they need to pull the motor. In my jeep I was able to replace the rings without taking the engine out and just did it through where the pan is. HELP!

Thanks, Austin

edit: Also, the engine has a very different noise. Code said crankshaft sensor. Took it to the dealer and after clearing it the problem cleaned up some, but is back again with no code. It sounds like a "slow turbo wobble" and is very funky sounding. That worries me a lot.

Last edited by TXAustin; 10-06-2009 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:59 PM
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did this just happen after the injector swap?
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:09 PM
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There's millions of things it could be.... I would get a more complete diangoses or atleast proof of a compression test and a wet compression test?
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Old 10-07-2009, 01:18 AM
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This happened before the injectors and the airdog. I was hoping it was a leaky injector so I had them all tested and put on new nozzles. (plus it was an excuse for more power)

And yes a compression test will be next. What are some of the major reasons that could cause this to happen?
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:39 AM
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I agree about more diagnosis! It is too hard to guess what is going on here.
You could pull off the boot coming out of your turbo to see if it is sending oil into the intercooler.
The only other thing I noticed so far is you don't list any gauges.... If you don't have any, you could have ran it too hot with the Edge 'unlocked' or even towing in too high of a setting. These things run pretty toasty stock so it is easy to add too much extra 'heat' to the fire and damage the engine.

Do you have the old oil filter you just changed? If you can get ahold of it, do! You can cut it open and check inside for metal from your engine. If there is any that you can see, don't start it again!! If it is making enough noise that you can hear, I would go ahead and cut open this filter if you can't get the one that just came off.

I'm not really following you with your description of the noise. I'm not trying to be cruel here; just to understand. How does the sound change? You know how your turbo sounds and how it changes tones under load (Basically how it speeds up and down itself). Is this sound coming from the engine or the turbo? Is the sound always there? Or does it get worse under certain conditions (Like under load, or unloaded - coasting. Or does it get worse cold or hot, or at idle or at a higher RPM)? Any more info you can give about what it does and sounds like will help. Even what the sound is like... Oh heck, just give us all the info you got! . . . LOL
Look around and see if any of that lost oil can be found anywhere on the outside of your engine (Or under the truck!). Try to tell where it came out of the engine if you see any.

I would agree about having to pull the engine. Look how close the oil pan sits above the cross member. There would be no way to pull it or get the rods out the bottom of the block. I would also wonder about a shop that gave an estimate without knowing what to replace or what is wrong. That is just scary in and of itself, I think. There is no way I'm going to tell you I want to replace your tire if it could be your whole rear axle. If the rings are bad.... how do you think the rest of the inside will be.... The pistons could be damaged. The cylinders could be scratched.... And if there is any metal floating around in the oil..... What I mean is: A good look in there will have to be taken to actually know what you will find in there. I hope that will not be necessary and a much easier problem can be found...
Let us know what you find!
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:42 PM
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I run the edge for the gauges. Egts set at 1350 and boost set at 42.

It has a wobble turbo sound, but it is deffinatly not the turbo. To describe it best the engine makes a "Che... Che.. Che. Che" you only hear it out of the exhaust though, up front you can't pay attention because of all the smoke coming from the breather tube. I have been running amsoil for about 35000 miles with no issues at all. Also when you take off the oil cap at idle a goof amount of white smoke puffs come out. It really seems like a hole in a piston or rings. To try and get the rings to possibly "seat" should I hook a trailer on it and drive it like hell? Or go ahead and take it to cummins?

I am going to try and post a video if I can find my camera.

-Austin
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:50 PM
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it is the rings or a piston have you noticed a loss of power hard start ups diesel in your oil
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Old 10-07-2009, 01:46 PM
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It is very easy to tell the truck takes longer to start up. After it starts it never dies and has never hesitated to die.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:31 PM
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I think I want you to take off the oil filter and cut it open. Most all quick oil change places have a cutter. Looks similar to a tubing cutter; just much bigger.
Ideally you could retrieve your old oil filter you just changed. Even if that isn't available anymore the new one should show any metal flakes if there are any. This 'test' is actually one of the cheaper ones you can do. Yeah, it will cost you a new filter; but it will be worth it!
If it is puffing a lot of smoke out the breather, I have to wonder if the rings can't be helped by hooking a heavy load and pushing it hard. If it is a hole in a piston, you don't want it to get bad enough to run away with itself (It will run on any fuel it can get! Even engine oil will cause it to run away with itself. Diesels don't have an air valve in the intake so remember that it will just rev to the moon if it can find the 'fuel' anywhere!)

Try hard to get us that video! Hopefully we can tell a lot from it! Take several angles, just letting the camera run the whole time. Move close and far away too letting the camera run. The microphones on them make it hard to hear engine noises sometimes. Hopefully by walking in from about 25 feet away will give enough of a contrast and change for us to be able to hear what is going on......
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Old 10-09-2009, 01:22 AM
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UPDATE:

I think possibly my truck is camera shy! For the past 2 weeks it has been smoking out the breather and oil cap. I got a hold of a video camera and got a video of a cold start up(hasnt been started in 2 days) and there was a very small puff of smoke out the stacks and that was it!

No smoke out the breather either upon cold start up. The oil cap had some puffs of smoke coming out, which I dont think it should have?!?!?!) but not nearly what it was before!

Took it for a drive to get the engine to warm up and the truck just runs like a BOSS. I wish I could keep the EGTs lower but I try to keep them below 1400. After getting the engine to 190*F for a couple of minutes I stopped at the gas station to check everything again.

The smoke out of the oil cap was very noticeable! The was just a little, little bit coming out of the breather tube. Not much at all but if you look at it close you can tell there is some smoke.

I will cut the oil filter open when I get the chance to look and see what I can find. As of right now the truck is running a lot better than it was. The Airdog and the injectors made the truck into a different animal. The real concern now is the smoke out of the oil cap and breather tube!

Thanks, Austin
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