Detroit Series 60 white smoke at cold start

Discussion in 'Heavy Duty Diesel Truck Mechanics Forum' started by valerchekk, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. valerchekk

    valerchekk Light Load Member

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    12.7 Detroit Series 60 PK engine manufactured June 1998.
    Overhauled in August 2019 at my local Freightliner service center. Truck runs great, good mpg and oil analysis. However, it smokes like a freight train during first start when the temps outside are below 32F. There was no smoke whatsoever before this last engine overhaul. Took it 3 or 4 times to different Detroit facilities and they just can't find anything wrong. Last mechanic said that all non-egr 60's do this.
    I did lots of research online and it looks like this issue is specific to the engines with 15/1 compression ratio. My engine S/N calls for R23533204 cylinder kit, which is 15/1 cr.

    Smoking Detroits & More
    Here the guys says that switching to 16.5/1 cr cylinder kits along with 5915 injectors solved the problem.
    Detroit Forum - Cylinder Kits for 12.7... 5837 on 2015-04-13

    There is also a similar thread here on TT, but no solution to the problem yet.
    Detroit series 60 15:1 issues

    Found a video on Youtube, same thing white smoke after inframe:
     
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  2. Bean Jr.

    Bean Jr. Road Train Member

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    I don't understand what the problem is. Diesel engines smoke when they are cold. You have said there are no other problems, so why are you worried about it? Higher hp engines run more boost, so they run lower compression. The lower compression means more unburnt fuel until operating temperature is reached. That's the white smoke. Do you want to run higher compression just to get rid of the smoke when it's cold?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  3. swaan

    swaan Road Train Member

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    He's concerned because before the rebuild it did not do this. And after the rebuild it smokes.

    They rebuilt it with lower compression pistons . Not much you can do about it now. Looks like you've done your research and are aware of why it does it. The reason yours does it now is because they flashed your ECM with the latest and not so greatest software. Timing is retarded and makes lots white unburned fuel smoke. I would send your ECM off to get tuned properly.
     
  4. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    I’ve had a PK,Low Nox Overhaul, never had the white smoke issue, though. As far as needing to change cam, injectors and Jakes, Along with pistons. Got to be an easier way. I’ve heard different things about why. From computer programming that runs it on 3 cylinders till it’s warm, to a bad intake sensor. But like Swaan said, the timing setting gets retarded, a few degrees, when ecm is flashed with Lo nox program. You can even hear a noticeable pinging afterwards.
     
  5. Bean Jr.

    Bean Jr. Road Train Member

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    Still confused here. If it started easy and didn't smoke, why rebuild it?
     
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  6. swaan

    swaan Road Train Member

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    Not sure. That would be a question for the him.

    I'm guessing it was because the engine was a 98 and it had a ton of miles. ? Some guys just like to do a in frame for piece of mind. If it was my engine and it was 20 years old with out a rebuild I'd probley do it too!
     
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  7. valerchekk

    valerchekk Light Load Member

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    I apologize if I wasn't clear enough. Somehow a good portion of my original post got edited and erased. Basically my main question/concern was whether it is ok to run the truck like this and not do anything. I am a kind of lost right now. Detroit shops are saying everything is ok, while my local mechanic is trying to convince me for another overhaul. I am actually fine with white smoke at startup as long as I can get another one million of trouble free miles out of this engine. I can't afford to do rebuilds every 6 months. Thats why I am here today, asking these questions. I know for a fact, there are lots of people with similar "problem" on this forum and I was hoping that they would share their experience.
     
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  8. valerchekk

    valerchekk Light Load Member

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    Well, there are lots of other reasons for this besides just excessive smoke. Like huge oil consumption, bad oil analysis, 20 year old truck with 1,4 million miles...
     
  9. valerchekk

    valerchekk Light Load Member

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    Thank you, sir.
    Yeah, I've read about low-nox ECM flash causing this too. However, some people reported that their ecm's never been touched and truck still smoked. So I am a bit skeptical on that. Still going to send it in for a software modification sometime next week.

    I just wanted to make sure that this kind of cold startup behavior is not harmful for my engine in the long term.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  10. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

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    Take this advice and get back to us.

    It is probably just that simple.
     
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