Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Turbo Story

That Hurricane Sandy wound up like a good turbocharger, didn't it?  My friend Jay from NE Ohio told a good story about his Jeep Liberty diesel.

"The turbo on my Jeep Liberty CRD (common rail diesel) went out on Sunday when I was 100 miles from home. It started making a whistling sound back in June (4 months ago), but I decided to keep running it. There were no other signs of imminent failure (did not use any oil, fuel economy was unchanged, no loss of power). I pulled the hose off in June to check for play and did not detect any significant play in the shaft. The Jeep only has 80k on the odometer (bought it used, might not be right). It was the first Liberty diesel I bought,,, I now have 3 and really like them. Back to the story:


I was on the highway when it failed and drove it to the next exit (about 1/2 a mile). There was a huge cloud of smoke whenever I gave it any throttle, but I limped it to a parking lot. My dad brought a trailer and I drove it on. Pulled it into my shop when I got home and drained the oil. There was only a quart left in the pan!!!! I pulled the turbo (about 2 hour job). I then installed a used turbo in the CRD. I put new oil in the pan and a new filter. Did a quick lookover, and everything seemed to be in order.

Here is where the fun begins! I started the engine and let it idle while the oil pressure came up. It seemed to be running fine. I let it idle for a couple minutes while the oil warmed up. I then gave it a little throttle (2000 rpm) and it sounded great. So I gave it more throttle (about 3000 rpm). I sounded great for a second and then suddenly went to 4000 rpm. I instantly removed my foot from the throttle. And then it went to 5000 rpm ( I am guessing on the rpm)..... I quickly turned the key off. The engine continued to race as my shop filled with black smoke. It ran like mad for at least 30 seconds and then finally came to a stop.

I went to the house and ate lunch while the smoke cleared. Later I went to see what was left of my Jeep. Surprisingly, there were no puddles of oil or holes in the side of the block. There was a black stain on the concrete where the tailpipe turns down. The oil level in the pan was still on the full mark.

I figure that the intercooler was full of oil and when I gave it some throttle, it started sucking that oil right into the intake. Turning the key off probably saved the engine from going past the point of no return (limited the "fuel" to just the oil in the intercooler).

I pushed the Jeep out of the shop and fired up the engine again. It ran fine until I gave it some throttle. The rpm's danced around the red line again, but soon it smoothed out. I let it run for a few minutes while I varied the throttle. A little smokey, but no too bad. I decided to take it around the block to see if I could use up the rest of the oil in the intercooler. By the time I got back, it had quit smoking and seems to be running normal.

So the lesson here: if you have turbo failure, don't forget to clean the oil out of the intercooler. "

My worst turbo story is having a detonation on an Oliver 88 gas while on the dynomometer and spitting the smoking crankshaft out on the ground.  No less it was in front of a bunch of students back in the early 70's.  That's what we call ventilating the block.  Sounds like Jay nearly did something similar to his Jeep Liberty.

Ed



5 comments:

  1. So we were chopping silage with the 2-135 and it started losing power like it was pulling down hard. I shut it down as I've had some bad experiences with rod bearings on the MM G1355 585 engines.
    The neighbor was driving one truck and my little helper was driving the other and they came over to discuss what went wrong.
    They said it was a fuel filter and I should restart it. I didn't think so but I let them talk me into it. If you really want to believe something sometimes you actually convince yourself.
    I started it and the old Hercules started to rapidly gain rpm. I have never see middle aged farmers move as fast as those two did when it sounded like the Hercules was going to run away.
    I turned off the key and somehow jammed it into sixth gear and dumped the clutch so it all ended well. Had another turbo on a spare engine I acquired somewhere so we were going again later that afternoon.

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  2. I know exactly what you mean Budde, I have done the exact same thing. Put it in road gear and stomp on the brakes and dump the clutch all at the same time and hope you kill the engine. It helps when pulling a load!

    It didn't take long in tractor pulling to put in the rule the tractor had to have some kind of kill switch hooked to the sled in case the tractor became unhitched from the sled! That did happen from time to time!

    I remember the sloppy farmer or backyard wrench jobs of trying to shut the air off a big cube diesel with lots of air and fuel to it. Some thing smothered all the way down the track after it became unhiteched accidentally before the driver got the thing shut off.

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  3. Many years ago I was harvesting wheat on a windy night, which blew all the chaff back toward the air screen on the Gleaner. Wanting to only clean out the air filter on unloading stops, when the 'air restrict' light came on again, as it often did that night, I let it slide. Pity. It eventually blocked up enough to make the engine suck oil past the turbo seals and rev out. I couldn't stall it, not for want of trying. Eventually (we later learned) it stopped when the fuel pump shaft snapped. 2 day delay - we still drive them.

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  4. You needed one of those homemade air shut-offs on that Gleaner! I can almost see your plight that night! Once in awhile those "idiot lights" are saying Hey you better check me but that is true so seldom we tend to run until it dies!

    Thanks for great story.

    Ed

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