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Old 08-07-2012, 06:42   #1
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Copper Washer under injectors

Hey everyone, I've got an older Vetus m 3.10 diesel engine. A couple years ago, I found exhaust smell inside the engine area and discovered it was just an injector that had come a bit loose. I tightened it up a bit and that seemed to fix it. Just this past weekend I found more exhaust gases inside the engine compartment so I'm guessing it is again an injector. When I first tightened the injector, it was suggested that I replace the copper washer-gasket at the bottom of the injector, which I didn't do, since getting parts of this Vetus can be difficult.

With this new leak, I'm thinking I should get new copper gaskets for each (3) injector and just replace them all.

What I'm wondering is if the gaskets for these things might possibly be a standard interchangeable part that could be found at a good auto parts store? The engine block is Mitsubishi, but I have no idea of anything more specific.

I have a feeling that if I call Vetus, they will need to load three tiny washers onto a cargo ship and sail them over to the US from Holland and charge me a fortune, when Napa may have them.

This looks like an easy job..should I be looking out for anything?
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:55   #2
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Re: Copper Washer under injectors

You also can with a blow torch warm them up and let them cool they will regain their original form. cooper been a "memory" metal
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:56   #3
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Re: Copper Washer under injectors

i think they are regular, ie, easy to find for diesel injectors.... the washers are compression washers, and are designed to be replaced each time the injector is replaced... some/lots of folks dont replace them... but they will leak eventually

good luck
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:00   #4
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Re: Copper Washer under injectors

any diesel injector pump repair shop should be able to supply copper washers.

and whilst your injectors are out you might as well get them serviced and tested!
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:10   #5
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Re: Copper Washer under injectors

Thanks guys,

I think I'll need to find a pick tool to get them out, then I'll bring them to a local aut parts store to find replacements. If I get stuck I'll try heating them a few times..just read up on that.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:45   #6
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You can aneal them but it will make them a little more brittle. Use a set of calipers to measure one when you have it out. You can buy them in bulk from a large engine company or supplier. Depending on the manufacture it may be cheepest to get new vs overhaul if the nozzles are shot.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:51   #7
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Re: Copper Washer under injectors

Annealing Copper: Heat the copper to a dull red colour and immediately quench in cold water.
Annealing makes copper softer not brittle.
Any diesel shop should be able to match your seals.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:52   #8
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Re: Copper Washer under injectors

just had my injectors rebuilt and one of the washers stayed put. I used a screw driver to kinda snap the washer out. If you take the injector to a injector shop they have the washers. I dropped one in the bilge while installing and the injector shop gave me a coupple of extras. I used a spray of "JB Blaster" to loosen the carbon around the washer.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:24   #9
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Re: Copper Washer under injectors

Copper washers can be anealed and used over again and again and again,,i have never come across one that was used up unless it was from friction wear. A half a cup of motor oil in a tin,,a small gas torch,,,heat them up until cherry red on a steel mesh fish grill and then dunk them in the motor oil.
This will re-expand the washer back to its former dimensions.
Aluminum washers work also,,they have the advantage of expanding alot more than copper does,,but they dont last anywhere near as long.
Also,,the copper washers are pretty well standard across the world.
Thats my experience,,just sayin!!!
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:43   #10
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Re: Copper Washer under injectors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo55 View Post
Copper washers can be annealed and used over again and again and again ...
These must be fairly expensive parts. What would you expect to pay for them?
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:49   #11
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Re: Copper Washer under injectors

oh,,about 15cents a piece...and thats from someone with a huge markup..
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:14   #12
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Re: Copper Washer under injectors

It would cost more in gas to resize them than the price of a new washer. Any diesel pump shop will have them, just take along a sample, they will cost pennies, buy a few extras while you're about it. The washers are also there for heat shield/heat dissipation. A mechanics screwdriver, ie, one with a tapered blade, tapped gently into the hole will often grip the old washer enough to help removal.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:36   #13
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Just to add a little exhaust smells can come from lots of places, leaky injectors would be low on the list. The good part being it will be very obvious with carbon buildup around the injector. Much more common would be a little blowby from the crankcase, take off the oil cap on the valve cover with a rag while running at idle, if you can smell exhauste or feel excessive pressure when holding your hand over the cover then you have some leakage. Either blow by on your rings or possibly worn valve seats or a sticky valve. Setting your valve lash is a often overlooked routine maint procedure that is easily done and can turn up sticky valves etc. If the engine is run at low load routinely there may be excessive carbon build up. Taking it out and running it up to load for five or six hours after a full service oil filters setting valves etc may clear things out.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:47   #14
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Re: Copper Washer under injectors

If it gets worse and u start losing compression just remember jb quick. Its been holding compression in my diesel for some time now
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Old 08-07-2012, 16:22   #15
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Re: Copper Washer under injectors

Re annealing:

The above advice to quench in water is wrong. Annealing is done by heating and then slowly cooling the metal. Cherry red seems too hot for copper, though... will likely lead to oxidation of the surfaces. The method that I was taught is to coat the copper with carbon black (soot) from a candle or better an acetylene flame. Then heat the copper just until the carbon burns off. Then place the copper on a non-conducting surface (like a scrap of wood or such) and let it air-cool.

This method also works for re-using solid copper head gaskets.

And for Gordy -- if there is a handy diesel shop around, then buying new makes sense, but if stuck in the woop-woop, knowing how to get by reusing the seals is a good thing!

Cheers,

Jim
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