Diesel issues.....

DirtythirtyDirtythirty Delran, NJMember Posts: 375 ✭✭✭
Looking for a little help from anyone who may have some experience with diesel engines.  I've had an issue with my port side engine now for a while and it has been nothing more than an annoyance, but it seems to be getting a little worse as time goes on.  
My port engine has been spewing black sooty smoke and leaving a black oily film on the water when I engage the joystick and maneuver in joystick mode.   It seems to stop when I am not in joystick mode and it either doesn't happen while I'm under way, or I am unable to notice it.   Along with this issue, I've noticed that at times, while powering up to planing speed, my engine(s) seem to level off at about 2700 rpms and hang there..preventing me from getting up on plane. This could be just one engine (possibly the port) hanging....and then the sychro preventing the starboard engine from going to WOT...Not sure.  I can work through the problem, and eventually plane the boat, but sometimes it takes a few tries and a few minutes. And finally, I noticed that while under way, at about 2800 rpms, my gauges are telling me my starboard engine is running at about 11.5GPH, and my port engine is running at about 13.5 gph.   
I have replaced the turbo boost sensor on the port engine, and that has not solved my problem.  
Dock chatter is telling me that maybe its an injector issue.   
Any thoughts

here is video of the boat in joystick mode:



  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 5,518 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Worn turbo seal can cause the black sooty smoke.
    2008 330EC
  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison TWP ,MIMember Posts: 1,672 ✭✭✭
    Ye I remember that video from last year
    i would say turbo seals or injector issue.

  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 2,299 ✭✭✭

    Do you have a boost gauge on your motors?  If so whats the readings? If you dont there are cheap eBay mechanical ones you can buy and install in the engine bay,  great diagnostic tool for diesels.

    Is there a diesel shop in town?  Non marine.  Call them, see if you can't pop them out and carry them in to be checked out possibly rebuilt.  Have you pulled the intake and exhaust pipes on the turbo to examine fins?  On thrust bearing turbo(most common) there will be a little up\down play no in or out.  Expect oil in the charge pipe, it wont be quarts but it will be present.  Think constant mist of oil.  

    Also im not sure what type of waste gate you have on your motor, a simple cracked vac hose or sticky waste gate actuator rod can cause issues with building boost.  Not enough air and too much diesel = black smoke.

    Another biggie is fuel pressure, just because you dont have leaks doesn't mean shes not sucking air from somewhere.  If your obd system has data logging id start there if she passes visual tests. Checking fuel pressure is great.  I dont know how sophisticated your diesel motors are.  The more electronics the more data you can aquire via the obd.

    You have twin motors so a simple swapping of components from one to another can go a long way. 

    I have a cheap harbor freight diesel engine compression gauge kit, works great and i think sub 50 bucks.  Lots of diesel motors dont list compression numbers but what you want is a good steady across the board numbers.  You dont want all 350 to 375 psi and a 220.   Its always good to rule out internal issues before digging in deep elsewhere.  

    Just a few things I'd check if it were mine.  Start simple first.  

  • DirtythirtyDirtythirty Delran, NJMember Posts: 375 ✭✭✭
    @PickleRick thanks !!  All great info !!  One issue I deal with ALL THE TIME, is a true lack of certified Volvo Penta Diesel mechanics. Volvo keeps their diagnostic software close and will not share with ANYONE who is not recognized V-P Diesel certified.  I have no one near me, so I either dig deep and pay for 2 hrs of travel time (each way) or drive the boat to the Chesapeake for service there.   I've already printed out your suggestions and will attempt to troubleshoot these issues.  Many Thanks !   
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Member Posts: 3,027 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Dirty - have local marine diesel guys looked at it and cant seem to solve?
    07' Cruisers 390 (Previous Rinker's: 06' 342EC & 01' 310FV)

  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 2,299 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    No problem and good luck.  Does your boat have an obd port?  I use the torque pro app and a blue tooth dondle to use my phone for many of my more simple diagnostics.  Not sure if the torque app has hacked the volvo penta coding or not but it's worth looking into, if it can read it you can use your phone or tablet to datalog real time.  It not a hack as in modifying your obd system, it's a hack to where anyone can read it without having to buy special obd equipment. It also clears and reads codes.

    Some of the vw guys uncoded a vw marine ecu(mercruiser) and found the coding was nearly identical to the same 1.9t tdi car coding.   Now you can find many vw guys running 1.9 and 2.0 tdi motors in boats with both the electronics and old mechanical injection pumps modified to work on newer motors.
  • DirtythirtyDirtythirty Delran, NJMember Posts: 375 ✭✭✭
    @Liberty44140 ...That's the problem.  It's like "the forbidden fruit"    I have received lots of opinions from local guys, but no one wants to touch it. The V-P guys near me are all "gas" guys...they don't have the software to download the codes for diesel engines, and V-P won't unlock the software for them unless they have a V-P certified trained mechanic in their shop and they are recognized as a V-P certified repair facility. So I'm either digging deep and paying 4 hrs travel time on top of time and materials for someone to come to me, or I try to drive to the Chesapeake for service down there. (probable the same cost in fuel) 
  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison TWP ,MIMember Posts: 1,672 ✭✭✭
    That’s always been the issue with Volvo.
    Clueless dealer network and they know nothing about the product they sell or service.
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 2,299 ✭✭✭
    Ever look into one of these? Says compatible with volvo diesels

    At 2k it would be something I'd talk to a few other oil burning buddies about going in on together.  Im sure at this point its a couple hundred bucks just to have a tech travel out and tell you what codes you're throwing. This would give you real time parameters and in depth diagnostics capability.   

  • dalekdalek Member Posts: 205 ✭✭✭

    Does the port engine smoke when you reverse without engaging joystick mode?
  • DirtythirtyDirtythirty Delran, NJMember Posts: 375 ✭✭✭
    @dalek...no...just in joystick mode
  • DirtythirtyDirtythirty Delran, NJMember Posts: 375 ✭✭✭
    @PickleRick....  my concern ?  it states you then need to purchase the cables with the software license.    I'd be afraid after we dropped $2K on this diagnostic connection, I then wouldn't be able to use it because I wouldn't be able to purchase the cables and/or software to plug into my OBD   and if I did, how much ?

     (WIth this product line, you install software on your PC, and then you would purchase the individual cables (which comes with the software license) for each product line you wish to have functionality with.)

  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 2,299 ✭✭✭
    I didnt look into depth on this so i couldn't answer that, it was a link i found in a forum thread i was reading a while back.  

  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison TWP ,MIMember Posts: 1,672 ✭✭✭
    But you said there are other symptoms besides the joystick only mode.

  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Member Posts: 3,027 ✭✭✭✭✭
    How is Volvo's phone support to owners? I know that Merc has decent phone support, since this is just in joystick mode perhaps a call to Volvo would be worth a try?
    07' Cruisers 390 (Previous Rinker's: 06' 342EC & 01' 310FV)

  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison TWP ,MIMember Posts: 1,672 ✭✭✭
    Is doesn’t exists 
    you call third party that can barely answer calls and look up parts. 
    Dealer network is where they say to go but 80 percent of the dealers are clueless.
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 2,299 ✭✭✭
    So there would be a demand for a large trawler live aboard crusing up and down the eastern seaboard that was a mobile vp and mercruiser dealer with a full shop/parts room on board?  

  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison TWP ,MIMember Posts: 1,672 ✭✭✭
    You would need a cargo ship
    to make money 
  • dalekdalek Member Posts: 205 ✭✭✭
    Is the port engine hunting at all at idle, even a little? Perhaps you could also try cycling the throttle of each engine, in turn, up and down as fast as you can in neutral. Just to see if you can replicate the smoke, or if they behave differently.
  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLMember Posts: 6,698 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That's with everything @zaverin1 for the most part. I have been lucky at the two Ford dealers I have worked at to find people that know what they are talking about- but you take any group of workers in any industry, you have some that care and take interest and an unfortunate majority that just don't and get by...
  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison TWP ,MIMember Posts: 1,672 ✭✭✭
    It’s the main Volvo infrastructure.
    they service and work with manufactures
    consumers are screwed
  • DirtythirtyDirtythirty Delran, NJMember Posts: 375 ✭✭✭
    My experience with V-P support is... They answer your call, and then pass along your issues to the nearest V-P certified repair facility based on zip code,  (2hr. drive from the greater Phila, PA area....either in Cape May, NJ or Maryland).  So right off the bat, I'm paying 4 hrs plus travel expense for the tech to come to my location.   That's only for the troubleshooting.  Then there is the 4hr. return trip with with the parts and labor. Frustrating and expensive to say the least.  

    I'm headed to Chesapeake City on the 29th, and unless I get some resolution before then, I plan on having a tech meet me there to look at these issues. At least I'll be within their scope of travel so as not to pay for the travel time. 

    Running up the engines one at a time helped me isolate the issue to the port engine (not that I couldn't see the smoke only coming from that one side)   What is strange to me is with all the sensors and self diagnostics that my engines have, I get no trouble codes. Hopefully that means I can make the 68 mile trip without damaging anything. 

  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 2,299 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Did you get a chance to inspect the turbos?  Im willing to bet if you're seeing black smoke the bad unning motor isnt going to be building as much boost as the other leading me to think its a fuel or boost issue however with these newer engines sensors/valves could be the culprit of the fuel/boost issue. Thinking out loud the lack of cel should mean its not the sensors giving an issue and its probably a more mechanical issue.  Id love to see injector duty cycle.  On my vw engines map sensors are a common fail item and they dont necessarly throw a code when they fail but when they read wrong you dont get the valve that controls the waste gate to open properly and you get a smokey, no power station where all you can do is limp home.  

    I miss the days of diesels having dirty exhaust, clean intakes and a scew on the injection pump that you could loosen to make more power. They had 1 wire hot going to the injection pump and it was a simple on/off switch for the injection pump.  

    One last thing, have you checked all your charge pipes?  You can have a hole/tear in a boot/coupler and be leaking enough boost pressure to cause a lack of power but not enough of a leak to throw an under boost code(at least on 7.3 and vw turbo diesels) .

    I had a power loss in my vw i couldnt find for weeks as it was under the throttle body where a heater core hose clamp was rubbing. I did find it when it finally blew out completely. You can cap off your charge pipes end to end and pressurize the system looking for leaks with soapy solution.  
    Post edited by PickleRick on
  • DirtythirtyDirtythirty Delran, NJMember Posts: 375 ✭✭✭
    LOL...alot of that is above my pay grade :-)    but I just printed it out and will present it to the person who knows way more than I do .  Just hoping I can locate that person sooner than later !
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 2,299 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    if the leak is big enough you can hear a whistling or whooshing noise with the engine running.  You can also just raise the hatch and feel all the joints of the charge pipe systems and pipes them selves. If they are held together with clamps make sure all of them are tight.  Many times an oily film may be present where its leaking if its been leaking long enough.
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 8,736 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Have you tried to call a local Volvo truck dealer? They may have a mechanic you can talk to. Also, Try Just answer.com. 
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganMember Posts: 5,056 ✭✭✭✭✭
    A lot of the Volvo marine diesels are supercharged and turbocharged. The supercharger is clutched. Worth checking. 

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", 350 MAG MPI, 20P 4x4 Props, PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • 212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,542 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    diesel's are simple and you're overthinking it.  

    soot= too much fuel or too little air.  

    you'd notice on plane if you were delivering too much fuel and not enough air, and your temperatures would skyrocket as the injectors turn into tiny cutting torches and melt holes in your pistons.  it's likely not an overfuel situation. 

    i'd guess you've got an obstruction in your air delivery.   hopefully it's simple such as a filthy air filter, or something sitting in front of a vent.  if it's mechanical, it can get expensive quickly. 

    turns out, though, you're in luck. because you're sooty you know you've got too much fuel or not enough air... guess where else that leaves evidence? 

    on a sunny day but still with a flashlight, open your engine compartment.  look closely around the exhaust manifold- the down pipe- the up pipe- the turbo on both sides.. do you see sooty deposits? that is where your leak is. 

    if you don't, pull the intake side off the turbo and look at the wheel.  does it have deposits on it? grab the wheel and see if it jiggles at all- in and out, up and down... you want zero play. 

    let's look at fuel, too: 

    get your hands on an IR temperature gun. 
    fire your COLD engine... sit where you can get temp reading off of each runner going into the exhaust manifold- aim it as close to the surface marriage as you can-  you're looking for variation where one heats significantly more or less than another.  let it idle until operating temperature and look for variations. ... akin to gassers, initially LEAN burns HOTTER... RICH burns COOLER... 

    make sure it's not in gear, and bring the throttle up to around 1200rpm.  run the temperature readings again... if it's fuel and an injector loosening too much delivery, you're going to see heat on the exhaust runner from that cylinder. 

    ALSO at that RPM, you're going to see and likely hear a leak.. 

    if the temperature delta between cylinders is fairly uniform, it's time to look at fuel pumps, pressure, pressure regulators, and fuel filters/ water separators. 

    i wager you're going to find a restriction in your air delivery, personally.  those injectors are mechanical.  they don't fail that often.  the turbo, unless you run that rascal HOT often, and then abruptly kill the engine before they've dropped off those temperatures, are likely fine.  that is likely the biggest killer of turbo's and seals- running really hot and then just killing the engine before they've cooled down some, and cutting oil flow to them as a result of killing engine. 

    good luck! 
  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLMember Posts: 6,698 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @212rowboat you can't ever leave this forum...
  • DirtythirtyDirtythirty Delran, NJMember Posts: 375 ✭✭✭
    THANK YOU EVERYONE for your input !!!   When I get this figured out, I'll let you know where the problem was.   
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