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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently purchased a 2004 6.0 e350 van with 80,000 miles for my small business. The check engine light came on and I'm noticing blue-ish smoke coming out of the exhaust. The blue-ish smoke occurs during acceleration, however, it clears out when the engine has been idling for about a minute. I believe the engine is running as it should, I haven't experienced a loss of power or noticed any strange noises. I have noticed the exhaust smells quite rich, it smells similar to my old 2000 7.3.

I have done quite a bit of research and it seems typically these are symptoms of either bad injectors or bad turbo seals. Would bad turbo seals throw a code? Has anyone else experienced similar symptoms? If so, any feedback or advice is greatly appreciated!
 

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I recently purchased a 2004 6.0 e350 van with 80,000 miles for my small business. The check engine light came on and I'm noticing blue-ish smoke coming out of the exhaust. The blue-ish smoke occurs during acceleration, however, it clears out when the engine has been idling for about a minute. I believe the engine running is as it should, I haven't experienced a loss of power or noticed any strange noises. I have noticed the exhaust smells quite rich, it smells similar to my old 2000 7.3.

I have done quite a bit of research and it seems typically these are symptoms of either bad injectors or bad turbo seals. Would bad turbo seals throw a code? Has anyone else experienced similar symptoms? If so, any feedback or advice is greatly appreciated!
White Smoke is usually caused by coolant being burned, Black Smoke is usually caused by excess Fuel (Running Too Rich), and Blue Smoke is usually caused by Oil being burned. I would suspect it would be the Turbo Seals, have you checked your Turbo Outlet to see if there is any oil on the inside of it yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I haven't checked it yet, but it seems like a likely culprit. I'm puzzled because the truck has a really rich diesel smell, more so than other 6.0 powerstrokes I have encountered (it is bone stock and has a cat). Perhaps the rich smell is from oil in the exhaust being burnt off. Can anyone explain why the smoke is present only during acceleration? I know egt's go up with acceleration, the higher temp could burn off oil in the downpipe if I have bad seals. Has anyone else had a check engine light for bad turbo seals or do you think I may have something else going on in conjunction with bad turbo seals? Thanks!
 

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White Smoke is usually caused by coolant being burned, Black Smoke is usually caused by excess Fuel (Running Too Rich), and Blue Smoke is usually caused by Oil being burned. I would suspect it would be the Turbo Seals, have you checked your Turbo Outlet to see if there is any oil on the inside of it yet?

White smoke can be raw diesel fuel


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I haven't checked it yet, but it seems like a likely culprit. I'm puzzled because the truck has a really rich diesel smell, more so than other 6.0 powerstrokes I have encountered (it is bone stock and has a cat). Perhaps the rich smell is from oil in the exhaust being burnt off. Can anyone explain why the smoke is present only during acceleration? I know egt's go up with acceleration, the higher temp could burn off oil in the downpipe if I have bad seals. Has anyone else had a check engine light for bad turbo seals or do you think I may have something else going on in conjunction with bad turbo seals? Thanks!
Under Load the oil pressure increases, if the seals in the turbo are bad, then more oil is going past them under load than at idle, which is why you see more blue smoke while accelerating.

White smoke can be raw diesel fuel


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White smoke can also be caused by transmission oil, that's why I said "usually".
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That seems like a very logical explanation. I noticed that if the engine is under a load prior to reaching operating temp, there is no smoke. The smoke starts once temps get into the operational range...this 6.0 has felt like a roller coaster relationship. Sometimes you're madly in love, other times you're just mad.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just an update, I took the van for a quick spin around the block today. I noticed that the smoke is more of a white-ish color and is definitely not steam. The white smoke lingers and will not dissipate the way steam does. The exhaust has what I consider a strong diesel smell. Smoke only happens when the truck has been warmed up close to operating temperature and after accelerating. During warm-up and high idle, zero smoke is observed. I spoke with the previous owner, he hasn't driven the truck in nearly 6 months and I'm sure it still has some old fuel in the system. I ordered oil, archoil 9100, Motorcraft oil filter, and a new air filter. I'm not sure if it's a bad injector, the engine seems to be running quite strong aside from the smoke, I do not hear any cylinders misfire.
 

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Who said it was inside the cylinder?

Im just trying to understand and learn.. I know white smoke is normally coolant. When i add it can also be raw fuel it wasn't to attack you but add another possibility.

For the trans oil i just want to understand and would be nice to have a explanation. That's the first time i hear oil trans will push white smoke.... I'm just trying to learn and pretty sure im not the only one.


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Smoke color is to engine diagnosis what licking your finger and sticking it up is to wind speed detection.

White smoke is raw fuel or coolant. If raw fuel you would have a misfiring cylinder and rough running. If its coolant going through cylinder that also causes misfire. If it is coolant leaking from egr cooler it can go out exhaust and smoke white with no abnormal running of engine.

Black smoke is over fueling or lack of air. low turbo boost causes black smoke but also stuck open egr valve which makes the overfed exhaust gas replace the oxygen.

Blue smoke can be oil but it can also be injector timing. On 6.0 FICM issues can make blue smoke when there is ZERO oil consumption.

You do not list the code read from vehicle. That is the place to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Smoke color is to engine diagnosis what licking your finger and sticking it up is to wind speed detection.

White smoke is raw fuel or coolant. If raw fuel you would have a misfiring cylinder and rough running. If its coolant going through cylinder that also causes misfire. If it is coolant leaking from egr cooler it can go out exhaust and smoke white with no abnormal running of engine.

Black smoke is over fueling or lack of air. low turbo boost causes black smoke but also stuck open egr valve which makes the overfed exhaust gas replace the oxygen.

Blue smoke can be oil but it can also be injector timing. On 6.0 FICM issues can make blue smoke when there is ZERO oil consumption.

You do not list the code read from vehicle. That is the place to start.
I'm waiting for my code reader to arrive. I was just seeing if anyone else has had similar issues and what they did to solve the problem. From what I've read on the forums, a bad egr cooler will results in steam immediately after startup and during idle. My issue only occurs when I'm accelerating or just after acceleration, the smoke clears out after a couple minutes of idling. I have kept a close eye on my coolant levels, my van is not consuming any coolant.
 

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Smoke color is to engine diagnosis what licking your finger and sticking it up is to wind speed detection.



White smoke is raw fuel or coolant. If raw fuel you would have a misfiring cylinder and rough running. If its coolant going through cylinder that also causes misfire. If it is coolant leaking from egr cooler it can go out exhaust and smoke white with no abnormal running of engine.



Black smoke is over fueling or lack of air. low turbo boost causes black smoke but also stuck open egr valve which makes the overfed exhaust gas replace the oxygen.



Blue smoke can be oil but it can also be injector timing. On 6.0 FICM issues can make blue smoke when there is ZERO oil consumption.



You do not list the code read from vehicle. That is the place to start.

Thanks for the clarification, thats what i was thinking


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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
That's a chore. Anyone have a guesstimate of cost to replace said turbo seals?
I called a local turbo specialist shop and they quoted me $450. Of course, most of the price is labor for removal and installation of the turbo plus $155 for the garrett rebuild kit. Apparently, the turbo on the van is one of the few parts that is easier to access than the F-series. The labor on the F-series will probably cost more.
 

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Rebuild it your self. It is very easy. The only things in them are two sleeve bearings, a thrust bearing and sealing rings. Cleanup is the important part. Look at some of the Youtube videos of Dieseltech Ron on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Rebuild it your self. It is very easy. The only things in them are two sleeve bearings, a thrust bearing and sealing rings. Cleanup is the important part. Look at some of the Youtube videos of Dieseltech Ron on it.
Thanks for the advice, I watched the video and it seemed pretty straightforward. I don't think my turbo seals are the issue, the smoke appears to white in color. The van sat for about six months with no use. I think stiction is a likely culprit. I'm going to change my oil and add Archoil 9100. I know Archoil is not a cure-all, however, we'll see if it makes a difference in my case.
 
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