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Old 12-08-2017, 17:14   #16
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Rings or valves.
Or a crack in a piston...
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Old 12-08-2017, 18:12   #17
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

Mostly experienced with bigger diesels, but have seen small engines with injector issue sounding just like a rod knock. I think it's unlikely but possible enough water leaked into a cylinder after shutdown to cause a slight hydro lock, but you would find some water in the oil. You'd be talking huge pressures forcing the water past the rings.
The 1st thing I would do is move around all 3 injectors to see if the sound travels. A stethoscope would be nice, but a pencil in your ear held to the block should let you determine where the knock sound is originating. If moving the injectors one hole moves the sound, then move them again to see if the injector pump could be the problem.
You could be loosing coolant in the heat exchanger. Usually coolant is at higher pressure than the raw water. A pin hole leak could account for the loss.
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Old 12-08-2017, 18:39   #18
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

I think you waited to long to deal with this. The exhaust smell, while not really exh., is bad rings, broken piston etc.. If the piston is broken the noise will change. A new head gasket will do no good now.
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Old 12-08-2017, 22:21   #19
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

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Huge thanks here! I did know about it being a Perkins, and the price difference is most certainly important to me.

Moving on, I did one small troubleshooting test and I think it will help here.

There is exhaust coming from the oil fill cap

Knowing this, what should I look for now? I've looked through all of the literature I have and it simply tells me to seek professional help (which is definitely not available here).

In the interest of focusing, is there a list of troubleshooting steps that I can do to eliminate some of the possibilities and narrow things down?

Thanks again!

-N
While it may be possible that 'exhaust' is coming from the oil fill cap, it would have to be coming through the exhaust valve guides or, very remotely, through a crack in the head that somehow managed to avoid a cooling water passage.

Can you give us an idea of the amount of 'exhaust' you notice at the oil fill hole? Does it increase with engine RPM, or is it only evident right at startup?

What you are probably seeing is usually called blowby, and is typically a combination of gases forced by pre-combustion and combustion pressures in the combustion chamber past worn rings into the crankcase.

Given the seemingly progressive nature of the problem, worn rings would probably be the most likely candidate, though the root problem could also be a cracked or otherwise defective piston, a cracked head, a bad head gasket, or bad valve guides. The moderately high oil consumption would tend to support the 'worn rings' hypothesis.

Would be interesting to know the oil pressure, at idle and at speed, and how well (or not) the engine starts; quick and easy, or slow and only with manipulation of throttle and/or glow plugs?

If it were me, I would (for this specific engine), in this order:

1) Check individual cylinders by cracking the each high pressure injector supply nut separately with the engine running to see if the problem is isolated to one cylinder.

2) Check the valve clearances and adjust if necessary.

3) If #1 shows an individual cylinder problem, swap the injector from the mis-firing cylinder with one from a correctly firing cylinder, thus narrowing down the problem to either the injector, the pressure mechanism of the injection pump for that particular cylinder, or the compression characteristics of that cylinder.

If the problem cannot be isolated to one or two cylinders, this strongly suggests, at the very least, worn piston rings.

If the problem can be isolated to one cylinder's compression, then a broken or stuck compression ring seems most likely.

Of course, these suggestions are all provisional; there are just too many variables to say anything with certainty at this point. The best thing you can do is narrow down those variables as much as possible to help you diagnose the problem when you start disassembling things...

The above assumes that you have a clean, free flowing (both exhaust gas and cooling water) exhaust elbow.
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Old 13-08-2017, 02:36   #20
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

possibility... A head gasket leaking into a water chamber can create white smoke. a asket leaking between two cylinders can create a knock, if water seekage is introduced into a leak between the cylinders it could be a harder knock. smoke in dipstick is blowby of some type, head, rings, hoe in piston. I would lean toward head gasket, if you install a new one lightly coat the gasket with grease or vasoline.
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Old 13-08-2017, 06:36   #21
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

Since you have a replacement head gasket-just remove the head , check it out do a valve grind (simple job) and replace this way straight away you should have an answer,

If you had or could get a compression gauge that perhaps would be the first thing to check so you know where to look(which Cyl) ,

Be careful not to place grease or oil on head gaskets-this is very old technology and nearly ALL new head gaskets tell you to fit dry! as they combine special adhesives in certain area's which will be nullified by grease or oil(hence why most manuals tell you to be sure the head/block is free from both!

Cheers Steve
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Old 13-08-2017, 08:00   #22
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

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Can you give us an idea of the amount of 'exhaust' you notice at the oil fill hole? Does it increase with engine RPM, or is it only evident right at startup?
First, big thanks for taking the time to help here.

It's a fair amount, but it's not so much that I completely freaked out.

It's evident mostly at startup, and I'm not running it that much at the moment. It does seem to increase a small amount with RPM's


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Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
Would be interesting to know the oil pressure, at idle and at speed, and how well (or not) the engine starts; quick and easy, or slow and only with manipulation of throttle and/or glow plugs?
Oil pressure sits around 4 bar/60 PSI, but on this engine it sometimes gets higher than normal, pushing 5 bar/75 PSI. Speed doesn't change it much.

The engine starts immediately, with little need of the glow plugs (I'm in the tropics - San Blas, Panama).

The engine also has all of it's power.

I'm going to follow your advice below, today, and I'll report back. Yesterday, being worried about this and having little instruction I replaced the fuel filters again, drained the water in the fuel, cleaned the exhaust elbow and went through the cooling system. So that much is done...

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Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post

If it were me, I would (for this specific engine), in this order:

1) Check individual cylinders by cracking the each high pressure injector supply nut separately with the engine running to see if the problem is isolated to one cylinder.

2) Check the valve clearances and adjust if necessary.

3) If #1 shows an individual cylinder problem, swap the injector from the mis-firing cylinder with one from a correctly firing cylinder, thus narrowing down the problem to either the injector, the pressure mechanism of the injection pump for that particular cylinder, or the compression characteristics of that cylinder.

If the problem cannot be isolated to one or two cylinders, this strongly suggests, at the very least, worn piston rings.

If the problem can be isolated to one cylinder's compression, then a broken or stuck compression ring seems most likely.

Of course, these suggestions are all provisional; there are just too many variables to say anything with certainty at this point. The best thing you can do is narrow down those variables as much as possible to help you diagnose the problem when you start disassembling things...

The above assumes that you have a clean, free flowing (both exhaust gas and cooling water) exhaust elbow.
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Old 13-08-2017, 09:15   #23
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

That the engine starts easily and seems to run at full power is encouraging.

The oil pressure seems high, which may be indicative of a faulty gauge or sending unit, or a sticking relief valve.

Since the engine runs good and starts easily, I would reverse items 1 and 2 of my previous post.

Pull the valve cover and check and adjust the valves if necessary. While you have the valve cover off, make sure that the breather filter located in the valve cover side of the valve cover/intake manifold assembly is clean, and that the passageway to the intake side of the valve cover is unobstructed. This may clear up the 'blowby' you are experiencing.

Then test for a faulty injector/bad cylinder/malfunctioning fuel pump as previously advised.

Let us know what you find.
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Old 13-08-2017, 10:48   #24
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
Mostly experienced with bigger diesels, but have seen small engines with injector issue sounding just like a rod knock. I think it's unlikely but possible enough water leaked into a cylinder after shutdown to cause a slight hydro lock, but you would find some water in the oil. You'd be talking huge pressures forcing the water past the rings.
The 1st thing I would do is move around all 3 injectors to see if the sound travels. A stethoscope would be nice, but a pencil in your ear held to the block should let you determine where the knock sound is originating. If moving the injectors one hole moves the sound, then move them again to see if the injector pump could be the problem.
You could be loosing coolant in the heat exchanger. Usually coolant is at higher pressure than the raw water. A pin hole leak could account for the loss.
I've seen salt water coming out of a heat exchange with a faulty core. To much water in the fresh water side. For what it is worth not his engine type but can't see it going the other way?
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Old 13-08-2017, 11:30   #25
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

sorry about old advice about grease on head gasket, probable cause, grey hir turned to white.... thanks for update.
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Old 13-08-2017, 16:02   #26
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

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sorry about old advice about grease on head gasket, probable cause, grey hir turned to white.... thanks for update.
No sweat man, this is usually a learning experience for all of us

Just for the record, I don't have the bandwidth to respond to everyone, but please do keep the input coming - it's the way this works best.
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Old 13-08-2017, 16:08   #27
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

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Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
That the engine starts easily and seems to run at full power is encouraging.

The oil pressure seems high, which may be indicative of a faulty gauge or sending unit, or a sticking relief valve.

Since the engine runs good and starts easily, I would reverse items 1 and 2 of my previous post.

Pull the valve cover and check and adjust the valves if necessary. While you have the valve cover off, make sure that the breather filter located in the valve cover side of the valve cover/intake manifold assembly is clean, and that the passageway to the intake side of the valve cover is unobstructed. This may clear up the 'blowby' you are experiencing.

Then test for a faulty injector/bad cylinder/malfunctioning fuel pump as previously advised.

Let us know what you find.
Alrighty, here's the official update:

1) pulled the valve cover off, two valves (exhaust) cylinder 1 and 3 were a bit tight. Very minute. Fixed it.

2) crack injectors - several of the nuts were bonded, this took all day and I'm still not sure I made any real progress. I tried a couple of things and eventually cracked the nuts without shearing the fuel return pipes.

I feel like in cylinder 3 there is a minute difference when these nuts are cracked, but really - it's hard to tell. I'm trying again first thing in the morning when I'm fresh. Will update.


Let's assume I can't tell anything by cracking the nuts on the injectors and/or swapping them around. Sorry to be needy here, but all of my instruction manuals end here and this is a big/time sensitive issue (charters back to back).

What's next?
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Old 13-08-2017, 23:09   #28
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

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Originally Posted by TheNomadTrip View Post
Alrighty, here's the official update:

1) pulled the valve cover off, two valves (exhaust) cylinder 1 and 3 were a bit tight. Very minute. Fixed it.

2) crack injectors - several of the nuts were bonded, this took all day and I'm still not sure I made any real progress. I tried a couple of things and eventually cracked the nuts without shearing the fuel return pipes.

I feel like in cylinder 3 there is a minute difference when these nuts are cracked, but really - it's hard to tell. I'm trying again first thing in the morning when I'm fresh. Will update.


Let's assume I can't tell anything by cracking the nuts on the injectors and/or swapping them around. Sorry to be needy here, but all of my instruction manuals end here and this is a big/time sensitive issue (charters back to back).

What's next?
1) Did you also clean the breather filter, item 36 in the drawing below, and check the passageway for obstruction? This is important.

2) When you crack the nut, two things should happen. Fuel should pulse out in time with the compression stroke of that cylinder, and that cylinder should immediately and very noticeably start misfiring (unless it already is misfiring). If not, you're not loosening the nut enough. The idea here is to create a misfiring situation in a specific cylinder, by which a problem can be identified as relating to that cylinder if no change in overall operation of the engine is observed when the cylinder is disabled.

If each cylinder misfires when it's respective supply nut is loosened, you can stop; there's no need to swap injectors as all the cylinders appear to be firing normally.

You can also achieve the same result by 'cracking' the nut at the injection pump end of the high pressure line.

Can't speak for sure for everyone else here, but generally we all try to follow a specific methodical, hierarchical approach when offering advice on matters like these; most likely and simplest-to-address solutions and diagnostics taking precedence. Hence the advice to check individual cylinder performance before changing the head gasket.

That the engine starts easily and runs well would generally indicate that there is only a very minor, if any at all, problem with the injectors, injection pump, head gasket or compression (rings, pistons or valves).

I'm tempted to say (prior to your confirmation to the contrary) that the slight crankcase 'exhaust' is a result of a blocked breather, the white smoke is water vapor, and the intermittent overheating and coolant loss is a result of loose or faulty sealing of the boots connecting and isolating the heat exchanger bundle to the H/E housing/exhaust manifold. Just as a guess.

Though that leaves the (unquantified) knocking unresolved...


If you have a torque wrench, you could try re-torqueing the head. If you do, let us know if you need a tightening schematic...

Since you have a head gasket, by all means give that a try. It shouldn't make matters worse, and will give you a chance to assess the situation more completely (for the most part).

Alternatively, though I would not normally make this suggestion (and I don't know how available this is to you), there is this (if the picture doesn't load for you, it's Bar's Leaks copper loaded block seal 'head gasket fix'). I have used it on occasion, and it has proved to be a temporary, cost effective solution, and could also possibly be considered a 'diagnostic tool' (if you plan on eventually fixing the problem 'properly')...





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Old 14-08-2017, 12:57   #29
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

First, a MASSIVE thank you for taking the time and energy to help out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
1) Did you also clean the breather filter, item 36 in the drawing below, and check the passageway for obstruction? This is important.
I didn't. I saw that in the valve cover and decided to leave it be. Taking it back apart now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post

2) When you crack the nut, two things should happen. Fuel should pulse out in time with the compression stroke of that cylinder, and that cylinder should immediately and very noticeably start misfiring (unless it already is misfiring). If not, you're not loosening the nut enough. The idea here is to create a misfiring situation in a specific cylinder, by which a problem can be identified as relating to that cylinder if no change in overall operation of the engine is observed when the cylinder is disabled.

If each cylinder misfires when it's respective supply nut is loosened, you can stop; there's no need to swap injectors as all the cylinders appear to be firing normally.

You can also achieve the same result by 'cracking' the nut at the injection pump end of the high pressure line.
Indeed, this is what I was trying last night. And it would have been much easier loosening the nuts rather than the injectors. Oh well. Each cylinder is definitely misfiring and there is definitely diesel squirting out on the compression stroke as described.

One thing I am thinking is that there may be a minor issue with one injector and that may be causing the noise/vapor. To that end, I'm going to send the injectors in to be serviced shortly. Probably not a bad idea anyways.

Funny story, a guy on the island last night bet me $100 it was the injectors. I bet it wasn't. It was a win-win for me I figured: if it was the injectors, I got off cheaply and am happy to pay out. If it wasn't the injectors, I'm in real trouble and could use the $100.

Still don't know if I'm $100 richer, but I'll know in an hour or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post

Can't speak for sure for everyone else here, but generally we all try to follow a specific methodical, hierarchical approach when offering advice on matters like these; most likely and simplest-to-address solutions and diagnostics taking precedence. Hence the advice to check individual cylinder performance before changing the head gasket.

That the engine starts easily and runs well would generally indicate that there is only a very minor, if any at all, problem with the injectors, injection pump, head gasket or compression (rings, pistons or valves).

I'm tempted to say (prior to your confirmation to the contrary) that the slight crankcase 'exhaust' is a result of a blocked breather, the white smoke is water vapor, and the intermittent overheating and coolant loss is a result of loose or faulty sealing of the boots connecting and isolating the heat exchanger bundle to the H/E housing/exhaust manifold. Just as a guess.
Good God man, I hope you're right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post

Though that leaves the (unquantified) knocking unresolved...
Yep. This is going to keep me up at night.

In an effort to describe it I listened to the engine alot last night and yesterday. Really it just sounds like a noisier version of my other engine (I've got two). The knocking isn't super apparent, but I'm constantly listening to the engines and I do notice when something sounds slightly different.

It is different, but (and I'm really hoping for this to be true) - it could be that I'm being overly sensitive to what is a relatively small change in sound.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post

If you have a torque wrench, you could try re-torqueing the head. If you do, let us know if you need a tightening schematic...

Since you have a head gasket, by all means give that a try. It shouldn't make matters worse, and will give you a chance to assess the situation more completely (for the most part).

Alternatively, though I would not normally make this suggestion (and I don't know how available this is to you), there is this (if the picture doesn't load for you, it's Bar's Leaks copper loaded block seal 'head gasket fix'). I have used it on occasion, and it has proved to be a temporary, cost effective solution, and could also possibly be considered a 'diagnostic tool' (if you plan on eventually fixing the problem 'properly')...
Good to know about that 'quick-fix' for the head gasket - don't have it down here, but I can have someone bring it down. It would, minimally, be good to have as a 'spare' ..

My plan is to pull the valve cover off and clean the breather filter, and give it another go with the injectors - really listening and trying to see if I can isolate the sound.

Obviously I'm going to keep a very close eye on this. Very close.

But assuming I can't locate something major tonight - would you think that I can use the engine as normal?

For about three weeks I'm booked up, and then I have a break when I can dig into this. The worry about 'just' changing the head gasket is that I'll probably end up breaking something and need a part shipped from Europe to Maine then to Miami and then to Panama, where it will then require me to make a trip to Panama City before it will eventually get to me.

Again, thanks all, much appreciated!
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Old 14-08-2017, 13:04   #30
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2030 White Smoke, Knocking

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sorry about old advice about grease on head gasket, probable cause, grey hir turned to white.... thanks for update.
I am not sure that wasn't the norm. in days of yore? Mine is also white.
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