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Thread: Help!!!

  1. #1

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    Help!!!

    Since I bought my 84 ram 50 turbo diesel about two months ago it has been a pain to start, idles very rough, inconsistent power, and giant plumes of bluish white smoke that gets me kicked out of parking lots. Time to get to the bottom of it. First off, it isn't losing antifreeze or oil. When I gave it a oil change the oil was black, no milky tint. When starting the truck it will fire up and die right away. I have to hold the throttle at about 1000 to 1500 rpms for a couple minutes in order for the truck to idle. Then once the truck idles it runs super rough like its going to die, almost sounds like a big stroker. When driving it, the truck maxes out at 67 mph some days and 45 mph other days. After the truck is fully warmed up the smoke does not cease. I'm wondering if it isn't a fuel system issue and what I am seeing is unburned diesel. What would cause this? Has anyone else had this problem? I'm sick of going 45 mph and people calling my ram a piece of crap.

  2. #2

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    I'm nowhere near a diesel mechanic however I own one of these trucks and am currently having problems with it starting after changing out the head/head gaskets. It sounds like your head gasket is fine since your oil is normal color. My guess is the issue has to do with either the fuel pump, maybe the fuel filter also, or your injectors. A problem in the fuel system would explain why it doesn't start all the time and feels sluggish, however it would more than likely completely die at times if it was the fuel system. If it were your injectors, that would explain a loss of power and sudden spudders. How many miles are on your truck? More often than not the injectors need rebuilt/replaced after so many miles. Also have you checked your timing belt?

  3. #3


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    Friend has almost the same problem and it ended up being his low pressure lift pump was failing. Not sure if the Mitsu runs 2 pumps but if it does check that then check the injector pump.

  4. #4

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    my d56 runs fine without the lift pump.

    Do a compression check, sounds like you might have a dead cylinder

  5. #5

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    Do I need a special compression tester?

  6. #6

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    yes, you need a diesel compression checker, gas checker doesnt go anywhere near high enough and will break if you try

  7. #7

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    Do I need any special adapters or should it thread right in?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaque View Post
    Do I need any special adapters or should it thread right in?
    Harbor freight sells an inexpensive diesel compression test kit. I bought one for testing my truck, used it once, who knows if I'll ever use it again.

    Also in regards to your issue, I was having the same problem. Check that the turbo spins freely and doesn't have too much play.

  9. #9

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    Clouse, do you remember how much the kit was? Do you think I could have bad injectors? Have to check turbo out.

  10. #10

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    The Harbor Freight kit is pretty cheap, if I recall... let me see.... $30.... http://www.harborfreight.com/20-piec...ter-93644.html

    To Fordubishi's comment - I don't think the mitsubishi has a low pressure lift pump... I think the Injection pump draws the fuel through the filter straight from the tank.

    Anyhow, I'm gonna guess this is a fuel issue ... you don't mention it sounding like it's missing, so I figure that means there is enough compression in all cylinders. So the fact that you have to put your foot on the throttle just to idle leads me to think that there isn't enough fuel. So get your injectors checked and your fuel filter checked, and check the timing of your pump.

    White bluish smoke... hmmm ....
    (http://www.dieselsmoke.com.au/)
    This website says it's likely due to oil getting burnt... how many miles are on this engine? Also, something I suggested to Clouse was to check the condition of your turbo... if the bearing in the turbo is worn, you could have the oil that is meant to lube the turbo leaking and getting into the intake. Read Clouse's post on how he's been troubleshooting his system. If you have a bad turbo, then you might not be getting enough air, which could cause the thing to lack power.

  11. #11

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    This is mostly going to be a combination of mainly worn injection pump and worn motor. Get the pump rebuilt properly and 90% of your problems will go away. The lift pump is part of the IP on these. It kills me when people argue with me that they can rebuild these themselves. The home mechanic and general garage cannot buy parts for these. They need many parts after 30 plus years. Average price for rebuild of the IP is $550-650.00 Stay away from the shops that ask 800.00 plus. They are out of there mind. Just call around and have your pump number handy. It is on the side of the pump below the throttle. And do not waste your money on a used one as they are all shot! Take my advise and do it right. Search for diesel injection shop.

  12. #12

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    By the way if the motor was real bad it would not even start. Remove your air inlet hose (From air cleaner to turbo) and feel if the turbo shaft has alot of shaft play or not. If it turns smoothly and is not loose up and down than move on it's not the turbo causing the big problem. Injectors on these can be rebuilt but will not be the main problem. Also due to the Low Sulfur fuel in this country ALL diesels running mechanical systems must use a diesel additive to make up for the lack of lubricity in our fuel. Injectors and pumps will fail after rebuild with not a long lifespan. Most peoples 4d55 problems will be in the pump. And I have had guys rebuild these and not do them right so do not search only by price. Read google and yelp reviews.

  13. #13

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    The truck does seem to be missing at times. I'm waiting on a compression tester. I'm really hoping I don't have a dead cylinder.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaque View Post
    The truck does seem to be missing at times. I'm waiting on a compression tester. I'm really hoping I don't have a dead cylinder.
    Check valve adjustment too

  15. #15

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    white smoke will be unburnt diesel, blue will be oil. get the pump and injectors tested. around were i am at its like 5-8 bucks to get an injector tested and 20 for the pump. make sure that the pump is timed right and go threw the fuel system. also as stated in previous posts check the turbo for excessive play. the shaft should have almost no visible play to the naked eye. do a leak down test.

  16. #16

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    oh and make sure the intake is not obstructed this can create vacuum and cause your problem too.

  17. #17

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    Checked compression and all cylinders are good. However, I checked compression at the glow plugs and I noticed oil in the fuel coming out of the glow plug holes. Im suspecting the turbo because the truck isn't losing antifreeze or oil.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaque View Post
    Checked compression and all cylinders are good. However, I checked compression at the glow plugs and I noticed oil in the fuel coming out of the glow plug holes. Im suspecting the turbo because the truck isn't losing antifreeze or oil.
    my d56 idles smooth even with the turbo disconnected from the intake. have you checked the timing belt marks to make sure timing is right? IP timing? have you adjusted the valves?

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