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Discussion Starter #1
I noticed my 2004 F250 w/ 6.0 w/ 160K miles was idling a bit rough last Wednesday and my Edge monitor showed P0278 "cylinder number 6 contribution/balance". I was planning to check it out but the next day the truck ran fine and did not throw the code again. So fast forward a few days, I started up my truck yesterday morning and I noticed black exhaust coming out. When I cruised the exhaust was barely noticeable but when I accelerated I saw it prominently. It's not throwing any codes (other than the usual codes after EGR delete) but I noticed that EGT runs a bit hotter than usual.

Are there any easy troubleshooting tips I should check before taking the truck to the shop? Also, IF it is injector #6 problem, would it be advisable to change all of them out at one time rather than one at a time?
 

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I am not convinced that any of the Edge products are thorough at reading codes. ForScan and ForScan Lite are the only ones I think are thorough at pulling from all the modules (except of course the Ford IDS software). I would download ForScan Lite to a smartphone for $5 and get the appropriate OBDII adapter for about $25.

You may have several problems instead of one, and it may turn out that you don't have an injector issue.

Lots of questions first (I know it is a lot, but you don't want to just guess at a problem):
  • What oil are you using, and how many miles on it?
  • Are you using a motorcraft oil filter and oil filter cap?
  • What are ICP pressure, ICP volts, and IPR % duty cyle (cold idle, hot idle, heavy acceleration after warmed up)?
  • What is your fuel pressure (KOEO, idling, WOT)?
  • When did you last change out the fuel filters (miles driven)?
  • Are you using OEM fuel filters?
  • Do you regularly drain the water from the water separator? If so, have you seen any problems?
  • Is your 2004 an early or late model year (the early ones have the 03 engine with the ICP sensor behind the turbo)?
  • What are MAP and Baro readings at KOEO?
  • Is your MAP hose plugged or have any cracks? Is the intake manifold nipple (that the hose connects to) plugged?
  • Stock air intake or aftermarket?
  • Is the filter minder showing any restriction?
  • Are you sure you don't have any intake or charge air leaks?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I am not convinced that any of the Edge products are thorough at reading codes. ForScan and ForScan Lite are the only ones I think are thorough at pulling from all the modules (except of course the Ford IDS software). I would download ForScan Lite to a smartphone for $5 and get the appropriate OBDII adapter for about $25.

You may have several problems instead of one, and it may turn out that you don't have an injector issue.

Lots of questions first (I know it is a lot, but you don't want to just guess at a problem):
  • What oil are you using, and how many miles on it?
  • Are you using a motorcraft oil filter and oil filter cap?
  • What are ICP pressure, ICP volts, and IPR % duty cyle (cold idle, hot idle, heavy acceleration after warmed up)?
  • What is your fuel pressure (KOEO, idling, WOT)?
  • When did you last change out the fuel filters (miles driven)?
  • Are you using OEM fuel filters?
  • Do you regularly drain the water from the water separator? If so, have you seen any problems?
  • Is your 2004 an early or late model year (the early ones have the 03 engine with the ICP sensor behind the turbo)?
  • What are MAP and Baro readings at KOEO?
  • Is your MAP hose plugged or have any cracks? Is the intake manifold nipple (that the hose connects to) plugged?
  • Stock air intake or aftermarket?
  • Is the filter minder showing any restriction?
  • Are you sure you don't have any intake or charge air leaks?
Hi Mark and thanks for the reply.

Here are my answers to your questions.

  • What oil are you using, and how many miles on it?
    • Rotella T6, it has about 4,500 miles on it. I usually change my oil every 5000 miles
  • Are you using a motorcraft oil filter and oil filter cap?
    • Yes, I always use OEM filters (both oil and fuel) and the oil filter cap also is OEM.
  • What are ICP pressure, ICP volts, and IPR % duty cycle (cold idle, hot idle, heavy acceleration after warmed up)?
    • my gauge only shows ICP volts. The readings are: 1.5v at cold idle and 1.0v at hot idle
  • What is your fuel pressure (KOEO, idling, WOT)?
    • I don't have a fuel pressure gauge. FYI, I did do the blue spring update a few years ago....
  • When did you last change out the fuel filters (miles driven)?
    • They were changed out at the same time as my last oil change, about 4500 miles ago.
  • Are you using OEM fuel filters?
    • Yes
  • Do you regularly drain the water from the water separator? If so, have you seen any problems?
    • I do and have not run into much, if any water.
  • Is your 2004 an early or late model year (the early ones have the 03 engine with the ICP sensor behind the turbo)?
    • it's an early model 2004
  • What are MAP and Baro readings at KOEO?
    • MAP 13 psi, Baro 13.6 psi
  • Is your MAP hose plugged or have any cracks? Is the intake manifold nipple (that the hose connects to) plugged?
    • no evidence of plugged or cracked MAP hose or the nipple
  • Stock air intake or aftermarket?
    • OEM
  • Is the filter minder showing any restriction?
    • No, not at all
  • Are you sure you don't have any intake or charge air leaks?
    • I checked the CAC tubes for any evidence of cracks, loose connections, etc. They appear to be alright.
 

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It would certainly be worth a look at that #6 injector (look at the copper washer, the o-rings, etc. All the other things I asked about look good.

Personally, I would probably be thinking to only replace the one injector because I think that injectors should last longer - assuming that they are taken care of (good pressure, oil, and fuel). That said, I would HIGHLY recommend installing a fuel pressure gauge or having the fuel pressure tested at a dealership (they can simulate WOT during their testing). The blue spring is not complete insurance against low pressure, but it is a great thing to do, so good for you for doing it. Since you have not seen any evidence of fuel contamination, then the main risk for low fuel pressure in your truck is a weak or failing fuel pump. Mine went out at about 210k miles. There is a thread on another forum that talks about the OEM fuel pump life and a lot of people have responded with how long theirs lasted. You are still below where the average failure point was IIRC.

Lastly, the drivers side is the easiest side to do, so going into it twice isn't as big of a deal.

Hope that helps. Others may jump in with more/better advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It would certainly be worth a look at that #6 injector (look at the copper washer, the o-rings, etc. All the other things I asked about look good.

Personally, I would probably be thinking to only replace the one injector because I think that injectors should last longer - assuming that they are taken care of (good pressure, oil, and fuel). That said, I would HIGHLY recommend installing a fuel pressure gauge or having the fuel pressure tested at a dealership (they can simulate WOT during their testing). The blue spring is not complete insurance against low pressure, but it is a great thing to do, so good for you for doing it. Since you have not seen any evidence of fuel contamination, then the main risk for low fuel pressure in your truck is a weak or failing fuel pump. Mine went out at about 210k miles. There is a thread on another forum that talks about the OEM fuel pump life and a lot of people have responded with how long theirs lasted. You are still below where the average failure point was IIRC.

Lastly, the drivers side is the easiest side to do, so going into it twice isn't as big of a deal.

Hope that helps. Others may jump in with more/better advice!
Thanks so much for the information Mark. While driving to check out ICP, I noticed that the truck is running a bit rough and the code P0278 popped up again.

I have a few follow on questions:
1. would it be safe to drive the vehicle for ~15 miles to a dealership/shop?
2. IF I were to tackle this myself, how difficult of a task would this be...to take the cover off, change the injector, etc. ? I have changed the engine oil cooler, rebuilt the turbo, etc in the past but that was a LONG time ago.... ;)
3. while I am there, are there any other "upgrades" I should consider? DieselTechRon mentioned out changing out the dummy plug to an upgraded one.
4. I am planning to use OEM injector to replace if it's needed to be replaced. Would you recommend another brand? It seems like there are lots of aftermarket injectors out there....

Regards,
 

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The early 04's didn't have dummy plugs.

I would only use an OEM remanned injector (from a dealership) or a brand new injector from the original injector manufacturer (Pure Power). AutoNation White Bear Lake is a great place to buy OEM parts (very good prices).

I don't like driving much with a bad injector. Things can get bad pretty quick. More than likely you would be ok, but there always is that chance.

IMO if you did an oil cooler, you can do an injector. You need a VERY good torque wrench (24 or 26 ft-lbs) and you need to make sure you don't drop any parts into the engine.

I can post links to changing one out if you want. There are also a few very good youtube videos by Ford Techs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again bismic. I will look up the Ford Tech YouTube video you referenced.
 

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FWIW I did a driver side injector a couple months ago and I'm no genius wrench puller. I didn't rush and I was in and out in a day. I took the air cleaner, battery box & FICM out. Once that's out of the way the only challenging bolts are the two rear valve cover bolts but they're not that big a deal either. Look up DieselTech Ron on Youtube and watch his video on injector R & R.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Bob. I did watch Ron's YouTube and seems straight forward.(y) The issue is that the temp is in the 20s out there and my truck won't fit into my garage.... (n) I will have to figure something out or take it to the dealership.

IF I were to tackle this project, will I need anything other than the replacement injector? Also I hear different torque specs for injector hold downs....Ron talks about 24 or 27 lbs/ft and I just read that T40 hold down is 31 lbs/ft. Which torque spec should I use?

Once the work is done, I will probably do the oil and filter change for a good measure.
 

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Your 03 engine requires 24 ft-lb torque. T40 for the hold down bolt.
Get the injector cup brushes to clean them up before installing the injectors. Motorcraft, tool numbers 303-D111 and 303-D112

T30 torx for oil rail IIRC.

1/2" or 13mm collet wrench to separate the oil rail

Also IIRC, 10mm and 8mm flex-head ratchets help out.

Oh - and clean out the injector hold-down bolt holes - blow with compressed air. You need them clean and dry to ensure proper torque.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Once again much appreciated Mark.
 
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