Evaluate My Smoke

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
I’ve been driving it for over a year now, trying to ignore the knock/ping that I made so much of early on. This includes the white smoke at start. Technically, ignoring it has made no difference. It is still there, and I have not noticed it get any worse.

Until just recently. The whitish smoke maybe slightly blue. and I’m not sure, but it may be slightly low on power.

I left it in the garage while in Europe for the last 20 days. It has a fresh battery, and full tank of fuel. I figured this would make for a good cold start evaluation. The lighting is good. It is 65 degrees, no glow plugs used, but I did run the electric fuel pump for a few seconds before turning the key.

The whitish smoke all goes away once I drive 100 meters or so. It will smoke at idle like this forever, unless I actually drive in gear. The whitish smoke looks to go away when I rev it a bit to between 1700 and 3000.

Also note the way the smoke comes out of the pipe in inconsistent puffs.

 

Napalm00

Well-known member
Totally normal in my book. The white smoke is just unburnt vaporized diesel , once the engine warms up from a minor load it will go away as you describe .

Living in ny my truck during the winter was much worse,.until I started moving.

Remember an engine if this age has no cold start provisions besides the glow plugs , it can't change it's fueling or idle speed to warm itself up...it's too dumb (with the exception of later EGR equipped models). So it will chug along inefficiently forever until you get it to operating temp. Another reason the 200/300 went the way of the dodo for the td5 later .
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
Good to know. I've been assuming it was normal, but wasn't sure if maybe it was getting a bit blue. And the way it comes out of the pipe in puffs suggests that different cylinders are doing different things?
 

Red90

Well-known member
A bit of timing advance would probably make it go away. Normally diesels have a cold start advance mechanism, but Land Rover saved $20 and did not get that option.

Otherwise, don't worry and drive on. It does not hurt anything. Try not to cold idle. Start it and get going to get the cylinders warm.
 

Tbaumer

Well-known member
Relieved at the replies from more experienced members. Mine is similar & I also wondered if it was "normal". Haven't been "mechanic-ing" long enough to play with the timing. It's running strong & I'd be afraid to mess it up.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
A bit of timing advance would probably make it go away. Normally diesels have a cold start advance mechanism, but Land Rover saved $20 and did not get that option.

Otherwise, don't worry and drive on. It does not hurt anything. Try not to cold idle. Start it and get going to get the cylinders warm.
OK, this seems to be what I have heard elsewhere as well. I've looked into the answer in the past, but decided to let a year go by before revisiting the issue. And I do make a practice of not idling cold.

I'm curious if this is something that is normal for a new or rebuilt 300Tdi, or is it something that comes with age, even if the engine is still healthy?
 

NPT90

Well-known member
I had a similar amount of smoke on my vehicle until I did the timing. I only noticed it was bad when I was coming home one night and I saw my exhaust in the headlights of another vehicle.

In my experience, with a 300TDI, I would do the timing before I presume this is good, I had a pretty strong diesel smell at idle and it all but when away when the timing was spot on (little white smoke at start then nothing).
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
The smoke goes away as soon as I drive a few hundred meters. And then once it warms up, there is really nothing to be seen. The diesel smell is there when cold though!
 

NPT90

Well-known member
The smoke goes away as soon as I drive a few hundred meters. And then once it warms up, there is really nothing to be seen. The diesel smell is there when cold though!
A few teeth go a long way in the timing, it's a job worth doing before you dig into some of the other potential concerns just to get a baseline.
 

UnfrozenCaveman

Well-known member
I had Horrible white/gray smoke above 9000' in CO. Back to normal when warmed up & reduced altitude. Ran a bottle of PS cleaner through it & totally back to normal. I've been back under 1000' and all is well.
 

Napalm00

Well-known member
I didn't realize that you had it timed this engine yet. Timing with a gauge would be my first step, then adjust boost and fuel to stock , check boost and EGT gauge and check for smoke . Tune from there if you want more power
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
I asked for stock, and I personally reset it when I checked the belt at 10k. Used my brandy new dial and everything! It may be 1/100th of a mm or two north of 1.54, but only because I couldn't get it right on 1.54, only just before or just after. So I left it after.
 

MountainD

Well-known member
I’ve found timing via dial gauge, as I did last weekend, is very difficult to get exact. Not so much from the dial, that part is fine. The hard part is that the difference between 1.54mm and 1.60mm at the flywheel i found to be so small that it was nearly imperceptible. I can’t use a locking pin (po buggered hole) and have to eyeball dead center, but on the locking pin I did help with, there is still just a little slop that allowed the dial gauge to jump between 1.5mm - 1.78mm with just an unbelievably small amount of crank movement. When checking after revolving the crank twice, I never landed on same mm depth twice. Could just be me in my case due to eyeballing, but I was surprised at how little movement. My is now advanced... I think... pin still fits though set at 1.60...
 

Red90

Well-known member
The timing is not that sensitive... What most people screw up is they get the cam a tooth off.
 

Napalm00

Well-known member
First time I did the timing I used a ratchet on the socket to turn the pump. I found that the slop in the ratchet made it really hard to get in accurate reading.

Now I back out all four of the glow plugs and then use a mini breaker bar on a 6pt socket. Much better
 
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