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Discussion Starter #1
maintained '96 F350 7.3 - 196k miles, no mods or aftermarket i can pick out. i went to start up after a 45F-50F night and had to turn over twice before it would get going. i've previously had this problem, on a side of a new mexican mountain, with my 6.0 and decided to change the glow plugs. driver side went smooth, hadnt been (texas)cold since. i was down for a week having to change the thermostat then decided to do the passenger side. being the silverback gorilla i am i broke the forward injector/glowplug connector so i replaced it before continuing with the plugs. at the time i noticed my #3 FWD rocker arm mount hardware was loose so i torqued. ran c***nasty for two days then the problems started.

exit the highway and feel an awful rattling idle, nonspecific noise. notice WHITE smoke pouring out going from 2nd to 3rd then hard shaking as i sped up with more smoke. got home and removed the oil fill cap to see a hateful smile on #3 pushrod(undamaged, within specs). get the VC off to find both studs conveniently broke off in the arm mount. rocker arm has no damage and within specs. replaced bolts, positioned engine properly to get correct seated torque. idle has gotten better but still smokes and drives hard above 2nd. i checked the injectors while the cover was off and it sounds like the #3 is the problem, idle doesnt change much when connector is removed.

my questions are: is the injector pissing fuel faster than combustion? could the pushrod bouncing around freely, making no noticeable noise, cause this tragedy? should i prepare to purchase a new injector or whip out the ol' multimeter? thanks in advance you beautiful bastards.

TL;DR:
'96 F350 7.3

changed glowplugs on passenger side
drove like new for two days
#3 FWD rocker arm mount hardware broke
bolts have since been replaced
idles/smokes(white) very hard
#3 injector does not change idle when connector is removed

whats my course of action?
 

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how did you tighten the rocker?
this is the proper steps to avoid internal damage:

CAUTION: Failure to follow the next step of this procedure could result in bent valves, causing severe engine damage.

Rotate the engine until the mark on the crankshaft damper is at 11 o'clock to prevent valve damage when installing the intake rocker arm and exhaust rocker arm.

Install push rods.

Install the intake rocker arm or exhaust rocker arm.

Install the two rocker arm bolts. Tighten rocker arm bolts evenly to 27 Nm (20 lb-ft).

Install the valve cover gasket.

Connect the engine harness electrical connectors to the valve cover gasket.

Connect the electrical connectors to the fuel injectors and glow plugs.

Install the valve cover and bolts. Tighten bolts to 11 Nm (97 lb-ft).

Connect the vacuum pump hose to the vacuum pump.

Install the intake duct bracket and the two retaining nuts.

Install the crankcase breather assembly and the two retaining screws.

Install the intake duct tube assembly, the two retaining bolts and the clamps at the turbocharger and air cleaner. Connect battery ground cable.
 

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it sounds like you have a dead hole.
at this point i would swap injectors between #3 and another cylinder and see if the dead hole stays at #3 or follows the injector.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
well f'k me runnin. all right. thanks for your reply i appreciate the insight. might look into swapping an injector, theres different stages correct? any recommendation as far as which one? id like to do the least intervention as possible and work my way up.
 

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You can swap injectors into any other hole. Just swap it with #5. It's easier to get to. If the problem doesn't follow the injector. Next step is a compression test.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
might have to give that a shot. i will say i checked each injector from the IDM connector and the 42 pin connector - all readings within normal limits and similar. kind of worried if the problem is more south. anyone able to explain how a rod would damage a cylinder or valve of the rocker arm came off? it isnt bent and id assume the damage would be proportional to the rods condition, unless im ignorant of valve and cylinder strength. thanks again for the suggestions.
 

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do a compression test on cyl 3 while valve cover is off

If a valve is in the closed position because your rocker came off then I do not see the piston slapping into it. I am not sure you would have caused any cylinder damage this way since the cam is just rotating and pushing nothing open or closed? Lets see what the experts say

Easy check is to move the injector as mentioned above.
For peace of mind consider a compression test on that bank at least
 
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