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Discussion Starter #1
There are zero good diesel shops near where I live and I would like to get another opinion on my truck from you guys.
I was moving hay a little over 2 weeks ago and had what I thought was a catastrophic failure. I noticed more top end knock or tick than the truck usually has and about an hour later the truck all at once started blasting a cloud of white smoke and making a ticking noise that I can best describe as a card in bicycle spokes. It would start and run but had no power, it also felt like it was running on 5 cylinders. While I was waiting for AAA to show up to tow the truck for about the 6th time in 5 years and a friend to get the trailer I did some diagnostics myself. No oil loss anywhere, smoke was white, no excessive play in the turbo or excessive heat in the turbo. I pulled the valve cover off because I thought maybe I lost a valve or something in the valve train, but on the side of the road nothing noticeable. I had it towed to a Dodge dealer not far from my house that I have a lot more confidence in than the closest dealer to me and had them diagnose what was up with it without tearing into the engine too deep. They said it needed an engine and it sounded like bottom end, I didn't agree with that and asked them to put a few hours into pulling off the rocker box to see if it melted down a piston, instead they drained the oil, did an oil analysis and pulled the filter apart and found no metal in the oil, which is what I assumed.
Now a couple weeks later I'm having second thoughts about their diagnosis of needing an engine,I just hadn't had time to deal with it when it happened. I'm going to feel like a real idiot if this sounds like it just lost an injector. I should mention that the truck still runs, on 4 or 5 cylinders I can't quite tell. But still blasts a giant cloud of white smoke and that loud ticking noise. I thought I had an injector stick open and cause a meltdown in one of the cylinders, but would like to see if anyone else had an idea of what this sounds like.
I'm using the app and can't tell if my signature is showing, the truck is an '05 3500 with a NV5600. All it has for mods are a S&B intake and a Edge Evolution on level 1. I had just done injector lines and feed tubes a few weeks before becuase it had a bad fuel leak somewhere.
 

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There is a cap for the rail you can buy for diagnosing a bad injector. Cap goes on the rail instead of the line. Start truck and see if issue went away. If not cap to next injector and repeat.
 

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Although if it's really that bad, probably better to pull injectors and use a scope in it to look at the cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Could I just pull the wires on the individual injectors to test which one is bad? Or is it safer on the system to cap off at the rail. Anyone have a part number for the test caps?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had to order a rail cap, it finally came in today. I'm planning on getting the truck in the shop first thing this upcoming week. Anything I should watch for or do? I've never used a rail cap to test injectors before. Is there anything I should look for that might help me narrow down which one I should start on?
 

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Could I just pull the wires on the individual injectors to test which one is bad? Or is it safer on the system to cap off at the rail. Anyone have a part number for the test caps?
Problem is if you have a stuck injector, unplugging it won't change anything since it's mechanically stuck.

I had to order a rail cap, it finally came in today. I'm planning on getting the truck in the shop first thing this upcoming week. Anything I should watch for or do? I've never used a rail cap to test injectors before. Is there anything I should look for that might help me narrow down which one I should start on?
If you have a laser infrared thermometer, you could start the truck and see which exhaust port reads way different than the rest. Or which couple. Else wise just start at #1 or #6 and work up/down until the white smoke clears or mostly clears. Might have a couple bad injectors, no way to know until testing is done.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the pointers. Just getting around to starting on it now, unfortunately it's really hard to tell if the smoke is going away or not. I've only tested injectors 6 and 5 so far, 6 was no different but 5 the ticking seems to have gone away with 5 plugged off. The truck is still smoking but it's also been -14*f or so the last couple of nights and the truck was outside. I'll let it sit for the night and warm up in the shop and try again tomorrow. If the ticking goes away on 5 does that mean anything? Will the injectors cause ticking when they go bad?
 

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Thanks for the pointers. Just getting around to starting on it now, unfortunately it's really hard to tell if the smoke is going away or not. I've only tested injectors 6 and 5 so far, 6 was no different but 5 the ticking seems to have gone away with 5 plugged off. The truck is still smoking but it's also been -14*f or so the last couple of nights and the truck was outside. I'll let it sit for the night and warm up in the shop and try again tomorrow. If the ticking goes away on 5 does that mean anything? Will the injectors cause ticking when they go bad?
For the ticking, did you check the clamp on the line for any issues? The #5 line is the one I had the clamp start to fall apart on a while back and the tick was insane. Could hear it outside while idling, inside the cab at all times. It's crazy how loud the clamps can tick when going bad. You could hear mine over my 5" exhaust very very easily.

Assuming the ticking is the injector line, keep on testing. You may have more than one bad injector, but also may be one of the other 4.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the pointers. Just getting around to starting on it now, unfortunately it's really hard to tell if the smoke is going away or not. I've only tested injectors 6 and 5 so far, 6 was no different but 5 the ticking seems to have gone away with 5 plugged off. The truck is still smoking but it's also been -14*f or so the last couple of nights and the truck was outside. I'll let it sit for the night and warm up in the shop and try again tomorrow. If the ticking goes away on 5 does that mean anything? Will the injectors cause ticking when they go bad?
For the ticking, did you check the clamp on the line for any issues? The #5 line is the one I had the clamp start to fall apart on a while back and the tick was insane. Could hear it outside while idling, inside the cab at all times. It's crazy how loud the clamps can tick when going bad. You could hear mine over my 5" exhaust very very easily.

Assuming the ticking is the injector line, keep on testing. You may have more than one bad injector, but also may be one of the other 4.
I had just replaced all 6 injector lines and feed tubes a couple months ago actually, that said apparently I forgot to tighten that hold down clamp as it was really loose. I hadn't thought of the ticking being that line as it was incredibly loud. But hopefully after sitting inside for the night it will be easier to tell if it's smoking excessively or not, it has always smoked quite a bit of white smoke after starting in the winter cold. I'll fix the clamp with one off an old line and keep testing.
 

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It's probably an injector knock. You tube injector knock and see if sounds the same. When you capped off #5 the knock went away, but there still is excessive fuel in the cylinder and exhaust causing the white smoke. Before ordering injectors, I would do a compression check, just to confirm the engine is still healthy. If you choose to do injectors make sure you add extra filtering on your fuel system. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Capped off all the injectors from #6-#1, #5 made the knock mostly go away but not the smoke. #3 made the smoke completely go away and no more knock. The others made no difference, wasn't sure what I was supposed to be accomplishing until I got to #3, pretty interesting.. assuming #3 is totally bad and #5 is going bad. I only have the one cap off tool so I'm going to replace #3 and test the other 5 again then replace #5.
Any known problems with reman injectors? I'll order new tubes with them which sucks becuase I literally just replaced all 6 of them when I had an awful fuel leak. Wish I had brought the truck somewhere to have the injectors all tested this fall, but hindsight is 2020 I guess.
I appreciate all the help so far!
Oh and I have a secondary filter on the truck already, it was the first thing that I did to the truck when I bought it 8 or so years ago. I've been changing the fuel filters every other oil change both the canister and the spin on. I'm guessing the injectors have been going bad the whole time I've had the truck, its always had a slight pop when cold idling.
This whole thing makes me miss my old 24v!
 

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if your going to swap injectors... consider the BBi remans if not BBI new... very low failure rate on both.
 
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