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tj, Mechanic
Category: Heavy Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 524
Experience:  10 years of john deere,agco,new holland,cummins
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John Deere..excessive white smoke and rough idle at start..runs great

Customer Question

On 2007 John Deere Skid Steer CT332 tracked. I am having problems with excessive white smoke and rough idle at start up. After about 3 minutes the engine levels out and it runs great. It does this in the middle of summer or in a heated shop. If I plug it in for a couple of hours, it starts smooth and no smoke. I relaced the glow plugs and a mechanic charged me $400 to come to my shop and relace a fuel sensor. Niether made a change. I am thinking that there is some kinda intake heater that is not working? What do you think?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Heavy Equipment
Expert:  tj replied 5 years ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. these engines have a very sensitive fuel system. they are known for some problems. there is no intake grid heater in them. there is a solution for your problem but it will need to be done by the dealer it takes special tools to do it.

Complaint or Symptom :

Smoke from the exhaust on a 4024 / 5030 engine with mechanical unit pumps.

Problem or Situation :

Engine Smokes

Three types of smoke:

  • White smoke - Unburned fuel in the exhaust.

  • Black smoke - Excess fuel or insufficient air in the combustion chamber.

  • Blue smoke - Burning of oil in the combustion chamber.

    Note: Smoke at start up that lasts less than 15 seconds has been determined to be part of normal Diesel engine function and should not be of concern unless it is accompanied by stumbling during start up, which indicates a poor adjustment of the rack magnet.

Solution :

Refer to the following list to determine the appropriate diagnostic action. This will be dependant on the period of operation during which the machine smokes:

Smoke at initial start up

  • Black smoke indicates that there is restricted airflow or too much fuel, a little is normal.

  • White/Grey Smoke indicates that there is a timing issue.

  • Blue Smoke indicates oil intrusion into the cylinder.

  • Excessive engine stumble (>10 seconds) without an engine speed peak indicates an improperly adjusted start magnet. The engine speed should peak at 1000-1800 RPM before settling back to the low idle RPM of the particular application (see Operator's Manual).

Smoke during warm up (coolant temperature less than 180°F)

  • White/Grey Smoke indicates timing, compression, or impingement issues.

    1. Record the lower exhaust flange bolt temperatures. This must be done at initial start up (within first minute). Do not let engine warm up first.

    2. Record the cold start advance oil pressure, and the coolant temperature at which this oil flow is shut off. You will hear the advance disengage or see the oil pressure drop (actual oil pressure less than 15 psi). Some 4024 & 5030 engines do not have a cold advance feature. Reference EIB04-09

    3. Record the fuel pressure after the final filter.

    4. Record the engine temperature after 20 minutes of running at low idle.

    5. Record the rack travel measurement.

    6. Remove the exhaust manifold and record which cylinder(s) are smoking.

      Steps 1- 6 must be recorded for a DTAC case, if that becomes necessary.

    7. Remove the rocker cover.
      Check for loose hold down clamps on the pumps and nozzles.
      Check for loose injection line nuts.

    8. If crank speed is normal or greater, perform compression check.

    9. If rack travel is too short:
      Make sure aneroid is not stuck
      Make sure rack magnet is adjusted properly
      Re-clock the pumps & confirm with rack travel measurement

    10. Replace the IFS for the cylinder with the abnormal temperature, if appropriate



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