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Thread: 4d55 started misfiring and smoking horrendously

  1. #1

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    4d55 started misfiring and smoking horrendously

    I've had my Power Ram 50 for a while now, been slowly restoring/customizing it to my tastes. The engine was rebuilt shortly before I purchased it, and only has a bout 10k miles on it. I also recently replaced the head gasket after accidentally over heating it. I had the head checked out, no issues, and I had been driving it for about 7 months with no issues. Ran like a top. I took a weekend trip recently and the truck ran great on the way over, but once I returned I noticed it wasn't idling very nicely. As I continued to drive it day to day it got worse and worse, now it smokes horrendously and has no power.

    I recorded a video to show whats up. Any suggestions? Injection pump going out?



    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Your engine looks nice. And clean, too.

    I'm guessing you've checked the compression on all the cylinders?

    The smoke looks bluish to me - would you agree? I believe that could indicate motor oil getting burnt?

    Lack of power .... could be a timing issue, could be the IP like you suspect... I don't know, it's a head-scratcher to me.


    Ooh.... I wonder if your turbo is about to go kaput? Maybe the turbo bearing is now worn and loose, and some of the oil feeding it is going straight into the intake?

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    Motor would probably try and run off the oil. I would assume if it was the turbo, would be rear seal. However the turbo wouldnt effect idle much. Check your valve lash. Though the smoke is definitely oil burning somewhere. smell the smoke. Oil burnt in combustion and burnt in heat of exhaust are 2 completely different smells

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clouse View Post
    I've had my Power Ram 50 for a while now, been slowly restoring/customizing it to my tastes. The engine was rebuilt shortly before I purchased it, and only has a bout 10k miles on it. I also recently replaced the head gasket after accidentally over heating it. I had the head checked out, no issues, and I had been driving it for about 7 months with no issues. Ran like a top. I took a weekend trip recently and the truck ran great on the way over, but once I returned I noticed it wasn't idling very nicely. As I continued to drive it day to day it got worse and worse, now it smokes horrendously and has no power.

    I recorded a video to show whats up. Any suggestions? Injection pump going out?
    Maybe...
    I am gonna roll with 'gasoline contaminated diesel fuel'...

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the replies!

    I have done a compression test on all cylinders, everyone came up to 400 psi (give or take about 5lbs). I checked for any valve lash or cracked cam shaft bearing caps, didn't see any issue. I thought maybe something happened and I jumped a tooth on the injection timing but everything seems to be ok there too. I've tried bleeding the system, when I crack open the lines the engine doesn't seem to idle all that differently. I was hoping as I went through cracking each injector line, that maybe I could determine if I had a single bad injector. The video makes the smoke appear a lot more blue than it is. My first assumption was also a bad turbo seal or something (and I do notice a little oil residue around the housing, but there is virtually no shaft play, so I was hoping it had a little life left. I did recently add some royal purple deisel fuel system cleaner/addative. I did this after the issue began in hopes of clean out the injectors or something, and I will say the smoking grew increasingly worse after adding in the royal purple. I think today I'm going to pull the fuel feed line to the injection pump and throw it in a clean container of fresh diesel and see how it runs. Perhaps I've got something bad in my tank. After that I'm sending the injection pump in to get rebuilt.

    Anyone have experience with refitting and timing a rebuilt injection pump. The shop in Seattle said I would need to get the truck to a shop to the pump timed unfortunately none of the shops here in my little town want to touch the thing...

  6. #6

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    By PA Washington are you referring to Port Angeles Washington? I know that people from there called it PA. If so there might be someone in Sequim who would take a look at it. You really need a competent diesel mechanic and ideally an injector pump specialist. They do still exist. Sometimes you might have to consider shipping to someone reputable.

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    I have never seen a diesel smoking bluish like that. Keep us updated on your diagnosing and I hope we can help.

    Welcome to the forum

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    My bet is the turbo seal went bad. A CAT will do the same thing. Lots of smoke and no power.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clouse View Post
    Anyone have experience with refitting and timing a rebuilt injection pump. The shop in Seattle said I would need to get the truck to a shop to the pump timed unfortunately none of the shops here in my little town want to touch the thing...

    I think you are just referring to the basic timing described in the repair manual? In a nutshell: Set the engine to a little before TDC. Remove the plug at the back in the middle of the 4 injector outputs. Put a dial gauge down there and set it to 0 (need an adapter to hold it in there while you let go). Set engine to (5 degrees?) atdc. Rotate IP until dial reads 1mm.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by huff View Post
    I think you are just referring to the basic timing described in the repair manual? In a nutshell: Set the engine to a little before TDC. Remove the plug at the back in the middle of the 4 injector outputs. Put a dial gauge down there and set it to 0 (need an adapter to hold it in there while you let go). Set engine to (5 degrees?) atdc. Rotate IP until dial reads 1mm.
    Thank you!! Yes, I just need help with the IP timing. The procedure from the manual didn't look too complicated, but they listed a special tool that I couldn't find for sale anywhere. If I can get away with using a dial gauge then I'm in business.

    Uncle Spence, yes I live in Port Angeles, cool to see someone who's familiar with this area! I've gone into a handful of shops in Port Angeles and they all tell me they can't work on old mitsubishi stuff. I should probably have told them it's Bosch style injection pump, nothing too scary about it. If you happen to know of any competent mechanics around here (Port Angeles or Sequim) I'm eagerly looking for one. I'm going to send my pump off to Seattle Injector on Monday, hopefully when I get it back I can find a shop to lend a hand if I have more problems.

    Regarding the blue smoke, I swear the video makes it look a lot worse than it is. Don't get me wrong, I'm certain my turbo is on it's way out, but this smoke looks a lot whiter in person, and doesn't have as bad of an oil smell as I'm used to with engines that burn a lot of oil. That being said, it does have some blue to it, could it be possible that my turbo seal is causing all my problems? I wouldn't think it would have such a dramatic effect on engine idle and performance. It still builds about 12psi of boost. It wasn't consuming a lot of oil it didn't seem. Who knows, I hate to spend $700 on an injection pump rebuild if it's something else, but I gotta start somewhere I guess.

    Thanks for the help everyone, great to see people on a forum for these vehicles. I thought it was pretty dead. I have lots of plans for my truck once it's back on the road. I'll start a build thread pretty soon with pictures. So far I've installed a front mount intercooler, electric power steering from a Toyota MR2, a bed mounted lithium ion battery and solar panel, and a few other things. I love this truck, hoping to keep it on the road for many many years.

  11. #11

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    It really seems a gamble - sending either the turbo or the IP out for overhauling will cost some money either way - so it makes sense to try and determine which it is beforehand.

    Tha tbeing said, I think the fact that it started failing rather quickly on your way back from a long trip (BTW: I've never had a successful long distance round trip in mine either) makes me lean towards the turbo (but I don't have a lot of experience to really say for sure).

    Anyway: the adapter for holding the dial indicator in place can probably be found on ebay usually by searching for "bosch diesel timing".

    I bought one from there and it was horrible and awful, the extension rod that I wanted to use had the wrong thread for my indicator, and the one with the right thread was too short, and the screw for locking the indicator down would barely catch .... but it did the job in the end.


    BTW: In your video, what is that grey (electrical?) box in the lower left corner of the still video frame? Is that for your electric fan?


    This forum isn't exactly a bubbling cauldron of exchange, but people read it. I guess we don't have a lot to report. Unless you have found a good cheap source for reliable parts and whole engines, there isn't a whole lot of news.
    Last edited by huff; 11-06-2015 at 02:45 PM.

  12. #12

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    Is there any way of determining the turbo is the culprit by hooking up a boost gauge and checking boost levels? I have no knowledge on TD or diesels in general but if the turbo is shot it would explain the loss of power and coughing smoke by sucking oil through the seal.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer101 View Post
    Is there any way of determining the turbo is the culprit by hooking up a boost gauge and checking boost levels? I have no knowledge on TD or diesels in general but if the turbo is shot it would explain the loss of power and coughing smoke by sucking oil through the seal.
    That sounds like it makes sense. But what if it isn't producing boost because the exhaust pressure is weak, and if that in turn was caused by something different (like bad timing?)?

    So I think it is a definite thing to measure... it would give us more data, but I don't know it would determine absolutely.....




    I was re-reading what Clouse said, about the smoking getting worse after adding a fuel additive.... if the turbo was the cause, then why would that happen? So now I am leaning more to it being an IP problem.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clouse View Post
    Uncle Spence, yes I live in Port Angeles, cool to see someone who's familiar with this area!I should probably have told them it's Bosch style injection pump, nothing too scary about it. If you happen to know of any competent mechanics around here (Port Angeles or Sequim) I'm eagerly looking for one. I'm going to send my pump off to Seattle Injector on Monday, hopefully when I get it back I can find a shop to lend a hand if I have more problems.
    I don't know of any strong diesel mechanics in the peninsula but keep asking around. Ask other diesel fanatic guys. A lot of diesel truck fans usually think these mitsubishi motors are cool and like to take a closer look and could offer some referrals as to who would be willing to help with the injector and potentially the turbo. I wish I could help you out more. Will be in the Kennewick area here in about two weeks. These trucks can make some long trips though. I drove mine from Utah to North Dakota twice and then have driven it out to Nebraska loaded and that was almost 1000 miles. Sometimes wish I had kept the other Ram 50 I had. It had a brand new rebuilt injector on it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Clouse View Post
    So far I've installed a front mount intercooler, electric power steering from a Toyota MR2, a bed mounted lithium ion battery and solar panel, and a few other things. I love this truck, hoping to keep it on the road for many many years.
    Post a picture of your intercooler set up. Really curious of what you robbed it off of. What is with the lithium battery though? Do you use that as your power for your starter? Bet it cost a pretty penny if that's its purpose. Is it just in that little compartment behind the cab? Did the gas motors come with those compartments?

  15. #15

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    Clouse,
    Update on,
    " I think today I'm going to pull the fuel feed line to the injection pump and throw it in a clean container of fresh diesel and see how it runs".
    ????
    As to the Turbo seal, well weirder things have happened, with that much smoke, removal of the cold side piping for inspection would
    certainly show 'gross' oil contamination...
    Not trying to be argumentative Honored Posters, just tryin to help !

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by claych View Post
    Clouse,
    As to the Turbo seal, well weirder things have happened, with that much smoke, removal of the cold side piping for inspection would
    certainly show 'gross' oil contamination...
    Not trying to be argumentative Honored Posters, just tryin to help !
    yes! this would be an indisputable test. great idea.

  17. #17

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    Thanks again everyone for the quick responses.

    I've been called into work all week so I haven't had a chance to try running it on some fresh diesel, I'll be doing that tomorrow hopefully, and will update on how that goes.

    The gray box (it's actually green, just weird lighting) is an ammo can in place of my battery. I used it to house relays (glow plug, radiator fan, electric power steering pump, and headlights (I always relay headlights on old vehicles, usually brightens them up a touch and saves the old wiring harnesses and fuse blocks from heating up as contact points slowly oxidize and corrode)). It's also got a little fuse block inside for the relays and what not. I also mounted isolated battery posts on the outside so I can jump the truck from both the front and rear, kinda nifty. I'll post pictures of that tomorrow too.

    The intercooler isn't officially plumbed up yet, but it's installed. It's from a starion and I mounted it between the radiator and oil cooler. I bought an aluminum radiator that is for the 2.0 liter gas d50s and it's a touch narrower and taller than the stock radiator. I mounted it slight off center to the drivers side which gives me space to run the intake plumbing. I had to make custom radiator brackets and all that but it worked out pretty well. And because I removed the stock power steering pump and replaced it with an electric pump from an MR2, that cleared the path from the turbo to intercooler. I'll take pictures of that as well, much easier to see than have explained.

    The lithium ion battery I installed is used as the main vehicle battery, and yes it would have been spendy if I had purchased it new, haha. I work with a company that installs battery backup systems and we had a large pack melt down on us. Fortunately quite a few cells were ok and my boss didn't want them, so I put them to use. I installed four 3.3v 250Ahr cells in a large ammo can mounted in the bed. I also mounted a 100watt solar panel on a piano hinge on the bed rail. I go camping a lot and had the panel laying around so I figured why not.

    The engine and transmission have both been recently rebuilt. I installed a Centerforce II clutch (which I DO NOT recommend). I have a limited slip rear axle waiting in my garage to install. It's currently got a 2" body lift, slightly cranked up torsion bars, montero sport upper control arms, and I did my own version of the "Zuk Mod" to cure the saggy rear end. It actually worked surprisingly well. That's about all I can think of that I've done so far, but I have a lot more plans for it, just need the cash haha.

    Oh dear I've written too much.

  18. #18



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    We need pics on the MR2 electric power steering pump. Not sure why you don't like the Centerforce II clutch - Geronimo has had one installed in him for over 25 years with no issues.
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  19. #19



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    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    We need pics on the MR2 electric power steering pump. Not sure why you don't like the Centerforce II clutch - Geronimo has had one installed in him for over 25 years with no issues.
    Isn't your truck 35 years old Pennyman? Not to make you feel old or anything.



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    This is a late model spyder MR2 pump

  20. #20



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    Ya and I have owned him since new over 35 years, so what is your point? I looked up the pump, that setup has an ecm and lots of other stuff that needs to be there somewhere for it to work. Not a simple task on the surface.
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    We need pics on the MR2 electric power steering pump. Not sure why you don't like the Centerforce II clutch - Geronimo has had one installed in him for over 25 years with no issues.
    I probably should have clarified. Don't get me wrong, Centerforce makes good products I'm sure, I was just disappointed to discover that the centrifugal weight system makes a really annoying rattling noise at low speeds and idle. REALLY ANNOYING. It caused me a large headache as I had just had my transmission rebuilt and couldn't figure out where the rattling noise was coming from. After doing some searching online I discovered that it's pretty common with these clutches and to just deal with it. Whenever I have a need to pull the engine or transmission again those weights are coming off! Just my experience, I'm sure most people are very happy with theirs.

    I used a first gen MR2 power steering pump, rather than the later model shown by BradMPH. I welded up a little mounting bracket and attached it on the drivers side down by the engine mount. The pictures I took are kind of difficult to see, but I think you get the idea. It's sitting right next to the power steering box so it was easy to have a few hoses made up at my local hydraulic shop. With the first gen mr2 pump it is possible to yank all of the harness and wire it up so it only turns on with steering pressure and at high speeds etc, but I opted to just wire it to a relay and switch. I turn it on off manually depending on if I'm highway cruising or in town. It's definitely not a must have for these pickups or anything, just an amusing project I wanted to try and have been VERY happy with the results. It cleared engine bay space, got rid of another belt, and while it's only a slight difference, I think the steering feels a little better (possibly a placebo effect).

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  22. #22



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    The rattle noise on a diesel from the clutch is from the fuel. Diesel hits harder then gas. So what is happening is the crank actually speeds up and slows down in a fraction of a second. So any rattle gets amplified. My CAT is real noisy in the trans at idle. All the slop is herd.
    The higher the Ctain the slower the burn. Just like gas octain.
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  23. #23

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    Update: I sent my injection pump to Seattle for a rebuild. I discovered the pump was actually leaking, so off it went. Unfortunately the turbo is also in sad shape and will need to be replaced, so I think the truck may be sitting for some time until I can round up the cash for a bigger turbo and 4d56 water pump. If anyone has any recommendations as to where/what to purchase I'd be immensely grateful.

    Here's a quick shot of my intercooler, I still have to finish plumbing it up, but I'll hopefully have that done in the next couple weeks. A friend and I are planning on building a new front bumper with winch mount. That'll be happening in the next couple months.

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  24. #24

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    So you shoved the intercooler between the radiator and the oil cooler? What is the oil cooler mounted onto now?

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Spence View Post
    So you shoved the intercooler between the radiator and the oil cooler? What is the oil cooler mounted onto now?
    The oil cooler is still mounted by the upper support. I have made two additional supports for the sides that aren't added yet. At the moment it's sturdy enough just with the upper hanger, but once I add the other support it'll help with any vibration or shaking. Don't want to fatigue the hard lines.

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