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Crawlers, Dozers, Loaders & Backhoes Discussion Forum

how to clean diesel fuel injectors?

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12-15-2010 14:39:49

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Bought a New Holland 865 Skidsteer and want to go over it(fluids,filters,etc.). It is extremely difficult to try to crank when cold, so I want to see if anyone has any good ways of cleaning the injectors. Is there anything to pour into the fuel tank that really works or any other sure fire cures? Also, any good way to easily check if the glow plugs are working correctly?
Thanks Clyde

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12-19-2010 15:15:00

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 Re: how to clean diesel fuel injectors? in reply to CLYDE557NC, 12-15-2010 14:39:49  
Could you define difficult to crank when cold? If its speed of cranking thats a starter, battery, cable, or connection issue. If it cranks/spins fine with good speed and doesnt want to start then its time to start troubleshoot engine issues. First and foremost I'd do a full fluid and filter change.

To me, pulling injectors is one of those exhaust all other possibility issues.

My skid loader is a slow cranker when cold. Its a combination of too small a battery and too much cold oil being moved around. Its go a 3.9 Cummins engine in it that starts pretty much regardless. Slow cranking speed or not. Even down to about 10 above with no preheat or plug in. I've also got some tractors with well worn pumps, worn engines, etc that spin over fine but dont reliably start down below about 30 without supplimental heat or some fire water.

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12-17-2010 08:56:22

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 Re: how to clean diesel fuel injectors? in reply to CLYDE557NC, 12-15-2010 14:39:49  
Clyde, Something that I will offer is cold weather treatment of fuel. It looks from your handle that you live in North Carolina where it doesn't usually get real cold like in the northern most states but we know that recently it has. Up here road fuel is blended in the winter with kerosene I believe around 30%. You should find out from your supplier if your fuel is blended and if not get some kerosene and add it. Another factor is water in the tank from condensation which you almost surely have if you haven't yet siphoned it out. Check for water and crud in the tank by siphoning until it runs clear, then add some Power Service fuel treatment to take care of any residual water and to prevent waxing until that cold front leaves you. You should also change the fuel filter if you don't know how long since it has been done.

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12-16-2010 19:11:44

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 Re: how to clean diesel fuel injectors? in reply to CLYDE557NC, 12-15-2010 14:39:49  
black smoke indicates its running lean - not enough air, white smoke your burning coolant - headgasket or cracked head, blue smoke your burning oil, bad rings or seals. Thats a real quick way to analyse the smoke you might see.

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12-17-2010 07:44:10

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 Re: how to clean diesel fuel injectors? in reply to case450, 12-16-2010 19:11:44  
Black smoke indicates too much fuel, and too little air. Not something I'd call "lean."

The word "lean" is rarely used with diesels, since with mechanics, it is usually a reference to too MUCH air in a gasoline engine. Not too little air in a diesel.

White smoke can also be caused by a simple timing advance problem.

Trying to guess on diesel smoke color can get confusing.

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730d se

12-18-2010 05:06:45

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 Re: how to clean diesel fuel injectors? in reply to jdemaris, 12-17-2010 07:44:10  
jdemaris, Dead on! Those custom pullers with multiple turbos are not "lean" when they are pouring black smoke!

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135 Fan

12-16-2010 01:44:22

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 Re: how to clean diesel fuel injectors? in reply to CLYDE557NC, 12-15-2010 14:39:49  
Do bad injectors make it hard to crank? Never heard that before. Hows it run once it's started?I think you'd have smoke and a noticeable engine problem like hesitaion or rough running with a bad injector(s). What oil is the machine and what shape is the battery, starter and electrical system in? Dave

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135 Fan

12-16-2010 01:46:18

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 Re: how to clean diesel fuel injectors? in reply to 135 Fan, 12-16-2010 01:44:22  
Also remember that the hydraulic pumps are turning when you crank it as well. I have a hyd. oil heater on my skid steer in addition to the block heater. Dave

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12-16-2010 15:23:09

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 Re: how to clean diesel fuel injectors? in reply to 135 Fan, 12-16-2010 01:46:18  
Thanks. No, I am just trying to "tune it up" with new fluids,filters,etc. It does smoke some with a black smoke and I thought this may be partially due to the injectors. I bought it used and don't know its history of care. I need to first put in fresh diesel fuel and change the fuel filters. I just thought that when I did that, if there was any additive that works well to help the injectors, then I would add it also. I expect the difficult starting may be mostly a glow plug issue?? I don't know as I don't have a lot of experience with diesels, but am willing to learn.

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12-15-2010 15:21:29

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 Re: how to clean diesel fuel injectors? in reply to CLYDE557NC, 12-15-2010 14:39:49  
You can check a glow-plug by checking amp draw on each one. I don't know anything about your specific machine, but most draw 6-10 amps each. If bad, they won't draw any current.

As to cleaning injectors? I don't personally believe in any chemical concoctions. When diesel injectors aren't working correctly, it is usually due to wear - and no cleaning fixes that.

Pintle injectors basically can't get plugged. If you've got injectors with the multiple small injector holes - they CAN get plugged with carbon. When they do, it's hard enough to get them working again with hard steel injector cleaning-wires. I can't imagine any chemical working. When they plug, it's usually with rock-hard carbon.

Some diesel shops have expensive ultra-sonic machines to clean some injectors. Can't say if they work or not.

Injector nozzles are usually pretty cheap. If you have to go through the work of pulling injectors out, it's often well worth just sticking on new nozzle tips. Now, if you've got throw-away pencil injectors - you can't replace any part of them.

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12-15-2010 18:09:34

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 Re: how to clean diesel fuel injectors? in reply to jdemaris, 12-15-2010 15:21:29  
Thanks., this is info that I need. As you know, you can find all kinds of opinions on the net. I am a novice, but willing to slowly attack something and learn. I will eventually clean the engine, look at the injectors and glow plugs and decide what to do. I just do it slowly and deliberately, and don't want to do anything to "tear something up". However, in the end, I want a machine that is fully functional. I read about people pouring different additives into the fuel (tank or directly into the filter) and etc. However if these remedies have little chance of working, I don't want to fool with them. I will look at the injectors and learn what type they are, and begin evaluating the glow plugs. Thanks Clyde

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